I hope everyone is well and looking forward to the 5-10 knots forecast for the Southern Bay this coming weekend. Despite the wind and much needed rain, last week saw good reports of school mackerel from the Rouse and Rainbow Channels as well as good mixed bags taken from some of the local creeks.
School mackerel are being found throughout Moreton Bay and are often targeted around beacons, ledges and even flat rubble ground that holds bait. Trolling 3” spoons behind yamashita #6 or #7 trolling boards is a great way to get a feed of mackerel. Trolling boards or paravanes perform a similar role to a downrigger. They come in many shapes and sizes but all allow anglers to troll small lightweight lures at a much greater depth than normal.
If you want to have a crack at trolling paravanes or diving minnows for school mackerel, good starting locations are the ledges along the northern entrance of the Rouse Channel and the western edge of the Chain Banks. I have found that the runout tide fishes best in these areas and if fishing slows on the lures, anchoring up and floating pillies or small live herring in a burley trail can produce fish.
There have been some good catches of summer whiting taken at the mouth of Lota and Tingalpa Creeks. Better numbers of fish have come on the run out through to the start of incoming tide using live bloodworms or small yabbies. Along with the whiting, there have been the usual bream, flathead and the occasional grunter taken as bycatch. If you haven’t done much of it, selecting a location to fish for whiting in a creek can be difficult. A few good places to start are along the edges of yabby banks, narrowing channels or on river bends.
Once a likely looking spot is located, a few things to consider are the tide, water depth and boat positioning. Whiting often feed in the shallows on the high tide, then are forced back into the deeper channels as the tide retreats. With this in mind, it can be worth positioning baits in the shallows during the incoming tide, then targeting the deeper edges during the run out. For the lure fisherman, throwing small surface lures like Luckycraft Sammy 65 or Bassday Sugapen 70s in these same areas often puts you onto a few fish, particularly now that there are plenty of small prawns getting around.
This past week, the southern bay islands have fished similarly to the previous with mixed reports of snapper, sweetlip, cod, and trevally coming from the shallows. Both baits and soft plastics have accounted for a few fish with better catches coming on large banana prawns and cuttlefish. There have still been a few long tails showing up including this cracker taken by regular customer Geoff. With all the wind around, I don’t think too many boats ventured offshore this past week. Let’s hope that the wind and swell have dropped enough by this coming weekend to allow a few boats to get out there.
I hope you all have a great weekend and get into the fish
Wellington Point Marine