Jake upgraded his personal best with a 79cm snapper.

Christmas in Moreton Bay

Glenn has made a few changes to his setup for chasing bream.
A family favourite activity, Ivy with her ‘mini marlin’ garfish.

REALITY check – the big guy in the red suit is not far away. With Christmas destinations limited this year it can only mean one thing – more fishing in Moreton Bay! This is the perfect time to go to the shed, grab the fishing gear you’re going to take away with you and check it out for damage from the last trip – or damage from being stored without being serviced.

The average timeframe for reel repairs is normally two weeks and with an influx around Christmas holiday time, you can expect this to blow out a little. You must remember that a lot of suppliers will be closing for Christmas and may have only an exceedingly small crew on deck to send out parts. Moreton Bay Christmas

Rod repairs should stay on schedule with weekly pick-ups and drop-offs but remember, even a rod repairer will take time off with the family over the Christmas period, so don’t take the chance and wait – get those guides checked and repaired sooner rather than later. Sort your gear now and save yourself the frustration later.

For those not planning a trip away up or down the coast who want to have fun with the family, we have a couple of ‘low cost, max fun’ ideas for you. One of my all-time favourite go-to activities is angling for garfish. If you haven’t tried it before, now is the time to grab the light gear, basic tackle – and I mean basic tackle – a small amount of bait and an Esky for the catch.Moreton Bay Christmas

The basic tackle I mentioned would be along the lines of No. 12 longshank hooks, a small stick float or the old faithful red and white plastic clip-on float, a couple of small split-shot sinkers, half a dozen prawns, a few slices of bread for berley and a bag of giggles. Simplicity at its best – a very small piece of prawn on the hook (and you can get 10 or more baits from one prawn), flick out a couple of small pieces of bread to get the fish feeding and cast that line out.

You will see them flicking about on the surface in schools and in most cases, you can watch them take the bait as well. Once hooked, the fun begins. They will become mini airborne missiles, or as a few people call them ‘mini marlin’ because they leap out of the water and put on a show that will get everyone excited.Moreton Bay Christmas

Once you’ve caught a few, turn them into bait for larger species, keep them as awesome table fish or do the old catch and release. If you would like more information, duck across to the Tackle Land website for a look.

Another no cost activity I enjoy is walking the flats at low tide. This may sound a little deflating but once you’re out there it’s amazing what can be seen and learned when there is little or no water. In the shallow pools, we quite often see things such as baby flathead and whiting, and there’s always toadfish to chase. It pays to take a bucket with you for little gems – empty shellfish, cool looking bits of wood and possibly a couple of old lures snagged in the rocks.

If you do decide to go for a wander along the foreshore, remember to wear shoes and put gloves on to protect against sharp barnacles, broken glass or any other nasty out there. The items the kids collect can be turned into an art and craft project when the weather turns and they’re stuck inside.Moreton Bay Christmas

In the Moreton Bay region, we’ve had a steady increase of catches of the bread and butter species. Bream catch sizes are on the increase, with a few people learning the value of fishing light and fishing structure where these fish feed.Moreton Bay Christmas

Glenn has made a few changes over the past few months – increasing his rod length from a 7’ to a 9’ rod, dropping the main line from a braid to a 6 or 8lb fluorocarbon straight through, and reducing the lead size down to 000, if any at all.

Big bream can be very finicky and will often refuse a weighted bait. I probably over-think the situation, but when I watch fishers who have finished for the day and throw little pieces of bait over the side, I then watch the boil of bream and other species feeding on it.Moreton Bay Christmas

Keep it simple and down-size your gear for better fish. Great catches of snapper are still available in the too. Jake managed to upgrade his personal best on snapper with a 79cm model, which was a great effort by Jake. Hopefully the weather will play fair and let us all out there a bit more often.

Be safe in your travels and maintain the passion.

For tips to catch a Christmas feed further north, click here!

To get yourself up to date on the beacons and navigations aids in Moreton Bay, click here!

About Mark Templeton

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