Fishing Report – June 28, 2024

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June Fishing Report – Bribie Islander Three weeks of almost perfect winter weather has ushered in great Pumicestone Passage fishing. As the weather has cooled, the bigger flathead has settled in at the mouths of the creeks all the way up the Passage and plenty are being caught. Flathead are lazy but aggressive and usually go for anything that comes close enough. Casting and retrieving soft plastics and hard-bodied lures will all successfully catch flathead. Kaelan cast around the Avon shipwreck, where two big flathead fell for his metal slug lure. If you’re shore-based, then casting out lures over the shallow flats on the incoming tidal flow should find the fish. Brendan’s three flathead (the biggest was 72cm) were all caught on lures at Whitepatch. Going after flathead, it’s always a good idea to add some strong leader to your line – they’re pretty good at biting through a regular line.

Make sure you use the tidal flow if you’re using bait – if you’re in a boat, drift along the sandbanks. Also, look for a weed bed or the edge of the mangrove. Jerone and Daniel were sitting over the weed bed near the second green marker south of the bridge on a recent afternoon rising tide, where “there was lots of company” – they used motor oil grub lures, as well as prawns and pillies, to get four keeper flathead and a flounder. Darren and Brianna’s biggest flathead was 67cm; they also used pillies.

A pilchard also caught a flathead for John (62cm), but mullet was probably the best bait overall. Jason’s was too big to keep, at 80cm – it was taken on mullet strip at about 10 pm on a VERY cold night, just near the first stairs at Whitepatch. The bream is pretty quiet right now – lots of littlies, but the big ones are interested in other things… but snapper are coming in more regularly. Just in time for the snapper “closed season”, of course. From July 15th to August 15th, you must throw any snapper back, no matter the size.

Tailor will continue to be fun for a while yet, over winter. There have been loads of baitfish throughout the Passage; Kim told me he followed a big school of herring from the second green marker south of the bridge all the way up past the Avon wreck. Sprays of herring leaping out of the water and birds swinging above them – that’s the best way to locate tailor. Adam and his mum just sat south of the bridge and used garfish to bring in tailor. West saw lots of tailor cruising past the ripples at Pacific Harbour and got lucky with a lure; Tayab caught tailor off Kalmakuta Park.

It’s been a bit lumpy to be comfortable further out in the bay, but tailor and whiting have been consistent catches at Cook’s Rocks and on the drift across towards Red Beach. Fishing off the beach at Skirmish Point and Red Beach has also been worth trying. The middle week of July, with the smaller tides, should be a good time; it might be chilly, but early mornings are best, and the second and fourth weekends in July have the outgoing tide just about right for dawn fishing at the beach. It’s hard to find a gutter there but look for an eddy and cast so the line swings over to the edge of it. Pilchards have been working well for bait, but garfish hold better on the hooks and are usually just as tasty to the tailor.

Winter whiting is another popular cool weather target. Both in the Passage and on the ocean-side, winter whiting is a reliable catch at this time of year and is good fun for the kids. Banksia Beach foreshore and the south end of Whitepatch have been good spots to try. The whiting comes over the yabby banks there on the rising tide, looking for one of their favourite meals. Of course, if you get the chance at low tide, pumping some yabbies yourself will be a surefire way to hook a few whiting if you cast out when the tide starts to run back in. Other baits that have been doing almost as well in the past couple of weeks are worms, prawns and squid. You know, at a carnival side show, where “everyone gets a prize”? I reckon it’s been like that this winter with slimy grinners. They are everywhere, and no one wants them. One fellow over from Straddy said there was a plague of grinners right through Moreton Bay and “somebody ought to find out why!”

I told him that I think I know why – for the same reason we sometimes have plagues of blue blubbers or toadies – it’s nature! The other reason is that we keep throwing them back. Maybe we need to find some good recipes for grinners.