Bribie Island Fishing Report – 15 January

Photo: Neville Carroll with a 38cm bream caught on garfish fillets in pacific harbour canal.

Before I start this week’s report I made a technical error in last week’s report that was picked up by a reader although the conservation message is still the same. Let me explain…

I mentioned the maximum size of flathead is 75cm. This is correct for one species which is the duskie flathead only. There are two other species that we regularly get here in SE Queensland, the sand flathead and the bar tail flathead. The sand flathead is a smaller species and will rarely get to 75cm and the bartail flathead can get to 75cm but is not as common as the duskie. As with all flathead only the breeding females get to this size so although it is not illegal to take these bigger fish out of the system it is much better for flathead fishing to leave them in the water. The way to tell the species apart is with the sand flatties being a much lighter colour (sand colour), and the bar tail, as its name suggests, has bar like horizontal stripes on the tails. Duskie flathead look similar to bartail but have a spot on the tail.

Now to the fishing. Grassy sweetlip are a fish that don’t get much of a mention normally but over the last week we have seen a good number of fish taken in all the areas where we would normally see bream. It seems that the two fish are sharing the ground as we have seen an increase in catches of bream too. The canal system at Pacific Harbour is one of the hot spots for both these fish.

By far the best fish to target this summer has been mackerel. They seem to be everywhere and can be caught both off the bank and from boats. Off the bank the best place to try is the surf side of Bribie and down at Skirmish Point. A longer rod to get a longer cast is needed to get the bigger baits out the back of the breakers in slightly deeper water as the mackerel swim at the back of the waves and patrol along the beaches. From a boat go to any shipping channel marker, sound around it to see if there is any bait on it, if so the mackerel will be there. Dropping a bait through the school and retrieving  quickly should get the attention of the mackerel. A metal slug cast in to the school and fast retrieve should also do the trick. If you want a more relaxed fish for mackerel go to the nearest whiting grounds and drift a pilchard on the surface and a weighted pilchard and sit back and wait.

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