Fishing is on fire
  |  First Published: December 2016

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the readers out there! Summer is in full swing, and the Southern Bay is on fire with many species being caught. Bream are in large numbers around the local foreshores, jetties and rock walls, as well as cruising the flats during the lowlight periods. Bait such as prawns, strips of mullet fillet, squid and chicken breast have been popular baits to soak. Slowly rolling hardbodies across the flats has been very successful, with popular lures for this work being the Atomic Crank 38 and Jackall Chubbys. During the warmer months, chasing bream on surface lures is a very effective way to get a bag – my personal favourite lures for this are the Bassday Sugapen 70, Atomic Pop 50 and the Storm Gomoku popper. Using surface lures for bream is great fun and really gets your heart pumping, especially when they’re stalking your lure in only a foot of water!

During this busy time of year there are many boaties out on the water, which can spook species like squire. Escaping the crowds by hitting the water before sunrise can give you some great results. A great way to chase squire is by flicking plastics in the shallows. During the lowlight periods squire head into the shallows to harass bait schools. Throwing plastics on a light jighead and something around the 4” size is a great starting point. Always cast in front of your drift and work the plastic back to the boat or kayak. Make sure you are in full stealth mode, because it is very easy to spook a school of fish in shallow water.

Mackerel have been harassing bait around Peel Island and Coochiemudlo Island over the last few weeks. Always look for the ‘three B’s’: bust-ups, bait and birds, when searching for mackerel to cast a plastic or slug into. Popular lures for this are the ZMan 5” StreakZ and the Halco Twistys. Float lining with pilchards is also a successful way of catching these speedsters. Remember to always have a berley trail going when float lining. Flathead are still about, and are around the 50cm size bracket, with the occasional big breeder being caught. The best results are coming from trolling 50mm lures behind the boat at a brisk walking speed. The lure that has been getting the best results is the Zerek Tango Shad, which is available in a variety of colours.

Mangrove jack have been caught up the local creeks around the mangrove fringes, using prawn style lures. There have been a few reports of jack in the canals hanging around the pontoons and rock walls. Slow rolling 4” plastics along the face of the pontoons is most popular way to target jacks, and get that bite you’re looking for. Crabs are on the march in the Southern Bay, with good reports of blue swimmers coming from the eastern side of Coochiemudlo and Macleay islands, being caught using fresh mullet. Mud crabs are on the move in local creek systems such as Tingalpa Creek and Eprapah Creek. The best spot to place a crab pot is at the mouth of small feeder creeks or along the mangrove fringes.

January is going to be a big month for the Southern Bay with a variety of species on the chew. I hope you all have had a good break over Christmas and New Year, and are looking forward to the big year ahead. If you want to follow my fishing adventures, go like my Facebook page (Ryan’s Fishing) and my Instagram page --e-mail address hidden-- Until next month – tight lines and screaming drags!

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