Brisbane’s best land-based spots
  |  First Published: April 2007

This month I will focus on the land-based fishing areas at the mouth of Breakfast Creek and the surrounding rock walls. First, let’s see what has been biting around the mighty Brisbane River.

Snapper are showing up in patches, all the way from the city to the mouth. I’ve seen pictures of snapper to 2kg caught from as far up the river as UQ. Anglers who search for ‘new’ areas are landing some great catches. Most of the fish are still being caught in the usual spots like Claras Rocks, the Pinkenba rock walls and the Hamilton stretch.

Crab numbers will start to slow in April but if last year is any indication, they won’t stop in the river. It will still be worth chasing them around the mouth of the river with the first couple of hours in the morning the best time.

Bream, flathead and whiting are around in reasonable numbers in the Boat Passage and around the mouth of the river. These bread and butter species inhabit this area and can be caught all year round. At times, especially around breeding cycles, their numbers increase dramatically but anglers can usually land a feed of these fish most days.

Bait fishing is definitely the way to go for all-round success but soft plastics and hard-body lures will also work. My favourite bait for the river is yabbies, fished unweighted along rock walls or around the shallow flats at the mouth. All saltwater species love yabbies and will eat your bait offerings. Yabbies can be collected around the mouth in several areas but won’t be around in huge numbers. If you go for a wander at low tide you will definitely find some useable patches.

Lure anglers should fish Ecogear CK40-F7s and SX40s around the rock walls for mixed bags. These hard-body lures will catch just about everything that lives around these rock walls.

Baitfish are schooling in the shallows of Mud Island and predatory fish are taking advantage of this easy feed. This island fishes best after dark for reef dwelling species but I prefer to fish during the day for bream, mackerel and tuna.

Tailor should start to show up in reasonable numbers and feed on the bait schools as they head north to breed. Some anglers think it’s too early to start targeting tailor but Moreton Bay seems to hold these fish all year round. For the last few years I’ve caught some good fish around the newly reclaimed section at the mouth during April.

Threadfin salmon are starting to show up in numbers throughout the river system. Like last season, the threadies will come out to play when the prawns school up around the mouth. Most anglers catch these fish as a by-catch when fishing for snapper or jew, but some anglers are catching them on a regular basis with live prawns and small poddy mullet rigs.

Most fish are being taken around structure like jetties or bridges that are well lighted at night. There’s a tip.


Breakfast Creek is a land-based river hot-spot where anglers can successfully target snapper, jew, cod and threadies. A lot of the river’s land-based spots hold good numbers of fish but the amount of structure or fighting area to subdue a big fish greatly reduces your chances.

So why is this area so good? It’s on a predominant bend of the river that receives excellent tidal flow and is on a junction of a creek and the main river. There is deep water within casting range and lots of structure, it has good fishing vantage points, can be accessed by everybody (it’s even wheelchair friendly) and there are plenty of lights that attract baitfish after dark. It’s one area that is known for producing big jew and threadfin salmon.

This area can be fished on both sides of the creek and the southern (Newstead House) side has the best vantage points. The southern side also has a jetty where anglers can gather live bait or fish off.

What to Expect

Most anglers fish this area with live baits but you can catch bream, cod and catfish with dead bait. Mullet, herring, prawns and just legal bream are the best live baits for the area. River perch also make great live baits if they are in the area.

Once you have rigged your live baits it’s just a matter of casting them to different depths and waiting. If you have two rods and work different depths or distances from the bank you can cover more ground.

When the tide slows around the creek mouth try fishing your live bait unweighted or under a float so the surface feeding jew and threadies have a chance to find it.

Rod and reel outfits for this area can be anything that holds around 10kg main line. I fish this area with long rock/surf outfits with Alvey reels but have seen anglers fishing with boat rods and hand lines.

Tides and boat traffic play a big part in whether fish will turn up or stay away. Night time highs after the City Cat stops and the kids go to bed seem to produce better fishing. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights are great times to fish.

Breakfast Creek is a great place for land-based anglers to wet a line with relative ease, with the chance of landing a monster.

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