When cruising to your favourite early morning fishing spot, there is nothing more painful than the icy cold shards of wind repeatedly punching your face. With motivation being your only warmth, it’s often hard to get fired up to fish in the early hours of dawn around the cooler months.
After record days over 40°C during our summer this year, the cooler weather has been quite the shock to the system, which has persuaded people into a somewhat early hibernation this winter. Last month’s start of fresh southwesterly winds has been a blessing for the northern bay, with our open waters being nice and accessible for kayaks and smaller craft due to their easterly-facing direction and the land acting as a huge buffer for the wind.
Pumicestone Passage has been fishing quite well for this time of the year, as it’s annual slimy weed infestation usually spoils a day out on the water, especially when the tide starts to run. Flathead have been the hot topic of late, with the drop-offs around Donnybrook holding some good-sized specimens, along with the mouth of Elimbah Creek, especially on the run-out tide. Other noted spots have been Sylvan Beach, Bongaree and Buckleys Hole, and baits have been the popular choice of local anglers.
Sand whiting have still been caught throughout the system around Lime Pocket, the mouth of Coochin Creek, White Patch and around Toorbul. Also on the whiting front, diver whiting have started around outside the southern beaches, and fishing around Cooks Rocks with bloodworms has been the choice of many of the anglers.
Bream have been seeking refuge over the past weeks, as the crystal clear days and increased water clarity have made them less likely to cruise out in the open, making them spooky during daylight hours. The jetty Pacific Harbour canals and the oyster leases around the creek mouths of Ningi and Bullock have been productive for bream, with the start of the run-out being the prime time.
Juvenile snapper are on the move through the peninsula with the two hotspots being around (but not in) the green zone at Scotts Point and North Point. Early mornings have been like carparks in these areas, but careful anchoring ensures less angst amongst anglers.
Fresh bait has been the popular choice for juvenile snapper, with many still getting good fish on soft plastics, especially in brighter colours.
Bream numbers have been steady, with the afternoons proving to a better time to chase them due to the lower lit conditions. With water clarity at a premium, lower lit hours have encouraged these bream to be more aggressive while feeding.
The peninsula has been covered in weed throughout the shallower waters, so chasing bream in waters around 6-8ft deep has been better. Grubs and paddle-tails have been working well, with crankbaits accounting for many deeper feeding fish.
Flathead numbers have been growing, with Woody Point and the Clontarf foreshore working well on the incoming tides.
Squid numbers have also been increasing and are set to peak as the temperature finally hits its minimum for the year.
The bread and butter species have been on fire throughout the lower reaches of the Pine River, with whiting and flathead dominating the catches amongst anglers. Night fishing has been fruitful (and cold!) for land-based anglers around the Ted Smout Bridge fishing platform and the old Horninbrook Bridge on the Eventide side, with bream and whiting getting caught, especially around the fuller tides.
The area from Dohles Rocks through to the Houghton Highway bridge has been fishing well on the run-out tide for many local anglers, most of whom are choosing to anchor up for better results. Fresh yabbies have been the optimal bait with both bream and whiting being quite fond of them.
The Bruce Highway bridge has also been a great area for bream and flathead, with banana prawns still inhabiting that stretch up to the South Pine arm.
Essentials for winter fishing are warm clothes, a beanie and ugg boots, but don’t forget to apply sunscreen. Even though the sun might not be scorching, its UV factor is still high over our cooler months, so please don’t forget to apply on your face and ears to keep yourself protected.Reads: 800