AS I write this article, the so-called Queensland winter species of tailor, winter whiting and bream are still fishing well. These should still be available in October, though the schools will start to thin out. For winter whiting, I find the schools can move around a bit as the months change and the water gets warmer. Brisbane beach bay estuary
For this reason, I GPS as many fish as I can during a session and then change the name of one of the waypoints in the centre of them to the month and year. On my trip the other day, I searched for ‘winteries’ in my waypoints and then selected a corresponding month from previous years I’ve caught good numbers. I have caught these fish in good numbers right up to Christmas Eve, though the schools do spread out in summer.
In my most recent winteries session, the fish were in water of about 3.4-4m, around the top of the tide. As usual drifting produced the most fish for us, as they prefer moving bait. My mainstay baits of red-dyed frozen worms and 2” Berkley Gulp Sandworm soft plastic lures in Bloodworm colour do the trick. Brisbane beach bay estuary
I run these on a paternoster rig with a sinker on the bottom and the two droppers of about 15cm sitting higher off the bottom, to help avoid hooking weed as you drift. When it comes to tailor bigger fish are replacing fewer schools and these make top targets with flesh baits such as a strip of bonito on gang hooks.
The fishing has been hot or cold at times with tailor this season, but the good news is – at the time of writing – numbers were good caught off Ngkala Rocks at Fraser Island, and my son and I got onto a few nice fish recently from South Stradbroke Island. The usual rig involves a short 25cm trace to 3x size 4/0 Tru-Turn gang hooks.
These are not only good for ease of putting hooks on – with the swivels in between the hooks – but the bent cam design of the hooks is brilliant for better hook-ups, as they turn upwards with any pressure. Then I run a 70cm longer trace up to another swivel, to avoid line twist in my Alvey reel. Brisbane beach bay estuary
I run a 6-9 ball, depending on the conditions, and I cushion it’s impact on the bottom knot by running a soft bead between the sinker and the bottom swivel. In addition to these species, spring options such as flathead have been fishing very well around estuary mouths and should continue to do so.
Trolling or casting lures has been productive around lower tides. Unfortunately, as the weather warms up, strong northerly wind kicks in, which brings dirty water and weed, and that makes things tougher, especially for trolling lures. Choose your day, calm wind and low tide – even better on weekdays without the boat traffic. Brisbane beach bay estuary
Another great option for spring is summer whiting from the beaches and entrances of the big bays off the tips of the four big Queensland islands. Several of the beaches have been on absolute fire recently, particularly up around Teewah Beach, with fish to 43cm. Night fishing in estuaries for whiting has been successful too, especially on their favourite bait of live bloodworms.
For those keen on chasing a few northern species closer to home, the barramundi fishing at the Bli Bli Barra Fishing Park has been getting better as the weather warms. As I’ve said a few times, this place is addictive. It presents a challenge, as these fish are no sitting ducks – unlike parks further north where the fish are caught and kept.
Night fishing sessions on the weekend should be up and running from October 30. The bay’s shallow reefs are a good option as the water warms for species such as sweetlip, parrot and tuskfish on fresh baits or soft plastics. Snapper are still about, though in fewer numbers in the shallows. Brisbane beach bay estuary
Finally, what would a Queensland spring be without a feed of crabs? Sand crabs are showing in more numbers and will continue to improve through November. Set pots for mud crabs after a bit of rain, in and around mangroves and rock ledges on foot, or near creek entrances and deep muddy ledges in the estuaries by boat.
I hope this helps you catch a nice mixed bag of species. For more tips and tricks, jump on and like my Facebook page Ontour Fishing Australia or follow the same name on Instagram. Brisbane beach bay estuary
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