Small jewfish have been turning up in all of the rivers around Brisbane.

Hot winter species action

July is a great month to chase a variety of species in the rivers and creeks around Brisbane.

Flathead, bream and tailor are the most common species that will be about in large numbers.

Other species that will turn up are trevally, grunter, jewfish, snapper, cod and threadfin salmon.

All of these fish will eat a well-presented lure at the right time.

They can all be found in rivers such as the Pine and Caboolture and throughout Pumicestone Passage.

At this time of year, there are good numbers of fish from the mouth through to the very upper reaches.

Jake Bayliss got stuck into flathead at the mouth of the Caboolture River recently.


At the time of writing, the rivers were extremely clean and the long range forecast didn’t look to be changing in a hurry.

Species such as tailor and trevally can often be found around the mouths of each system early in the morning and late in the afternoon.

Once they are finished terrorising the baitfish population, they can cover a lot of water and travel anywhere up the river.

Tailor will feed all through the water column but they will happily eat a surface lure in low light conditions with minimal boat traffic.

Casting poppers, fizzers and lures that you can retrieve with a ‘walk the dog’ action will all catch tailor.

The MMD Splash Prawns are an excellent surface lure.

These things catch everything from whiting to mangrove jack and are always in my tackle box.

Bridge pylons such as those at the mouth of the Pine River attract a lot of bait. Predators will feed here this month.


The last few winters have produced some excellent trevally fishing.

Big numbers of quality fish have been caught in all the rivers, with the Pine being a standout.

Some of these fish are well over 60cm and are a real handful on gear more suited to catching flathead.

They generally aren’t very fussy when it comes to eating lures.

Small minnow style plastics in the 2-3” range are perfect and can be cast on a decent sized jig head that can get down into the deeper holes.

Prawn imitations also work very well on trevally.

This flathead came from a deep ledge in the Brisbane River.


Threadfin salmon can be very fussy fish to tempt into biting but if you’re determined to catch one, you’ll have to be extremely patient.

Swapping lures and retrieves can stir them up enough to make one of them eat.

Try casting from different angles and varying the speed of your retrieve.

Occasionally you’ll need to drop your leader size down to get a bite.

I’ve landed some big threadies on 12lb leader, however I’ve been rubbed off by a lot more.

Threadfin are capable of wearing through a 30-40lb leader when hooked down deep.

Their mouths are like sandpaper and can quickly wear through a lighter leader.

Jewies are around in huge numbers at the moment, and they appear to be everywhere up and down the coast.

Most of these fish are under the legal-size limit, though are still plenty of fun to catch.

There should be some very good jewie action over the next few years, when these fish get a little bigger.

Trevally will be around this month. Small paddle tails will get their attention.


Jewies love deep holes, bridge pylons and rock bars.

Jigging prawn imitations, soft vibes and plastics should see you hooked up to a few.

Flathead are one of the most common species in the rivers at this time of year.

They’re an excellent species for anglers just starting with lure fishing to target, and even better for kids.

They are also one of the best-eating fish you will get out of the river.

They eat a wide variety of lures and they live in water from 0.3m to 15m.

They eat trolled lures, cast lures, jigged lures and even surface lures.

The good news is that flatties will be around for a while yet.

Pack the jumpers and beanies and get out on the water, go enjoy the wide variety of species on offer this month.

You never know what’s going to eat your lure next!

Hope to see you on the water.

About Keith Stratford

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