Spring is on us, my favourite time for fishing the southern bay. We get epic weather – not too cold, or too hot, and mild wind. It’s just perfect and there’s plenty of fish starting to show! After what seemed like a slow winter, here’s hoping that the next few months things pick up and we see more fish caught.
Throughout August, good reports have been coming through of the usual suspects – snapper, mulloway and squid. Overall, it’s been quite slow. We had some unusually warm weather for a while too, so this could be partially to blame! However, I received a picture from a friend who caught an absolute monster of a mulloway. One of the biggest I’ve seen in the Southern Bay, going to 136cm, just under 25kg. Jamal caught this beast on a 2.5” ZMan plastic, on only 14lb line. Clearly, he wasn’t expecting to hook a fish of that calibre! They say elephants eat peanuts, so it definitely pays to throw something ‘snack’ size for these fish.
This month we should see more schools of mulloway pushing through. As the weather warms, schools of fish will show up around the deeper reefs. Peel Island Artificial and Harry Atkinson reefs are the most commonly fished. These fish come and go with the tides, and will usually hang around for a few hours. I’m sure they have a ‘milk’ run of areas they travel around – sometimes it’s like clockwork when they show.
The next few months are a prime time to target these silver slabs, so if you haven’t caught one, start putting the time in. They will be on offer shortly. When it comes to selecting the right tackle, stick with soft plastics for mulloway. They make it easy to cover a lot of ground, and if you put a well presented plastic in front of a mulloway, nine times out of ten, they’ll eat it. I like to stick with lures in the 4-6” size and vary my jighead weight to suit. Keeping a few weights between 1/4 and 1/2oz will cover most situations in Moreton Bay. Fish the lures to the bottom, with slow lifts and hops. Keep your lure at the bottom, as these fish don’t often venture too far up.
As with the mulloway, we’ll start seeing more snapper in the southern bay as the weather warms. Fishing has been relatively quiet, even my usual shallow reef areas have slowed down. Winter can often be tough fishing! There has been good fish on offer, and we have hooked our share of fish, but most times end up getting busted off. That’s what happens when you fish light leaders around reef structure!
Harry Atkinson Artificial Reef is the pick of the spots at the moment. It seems to be the most consistently producing spot for the snapper. Early mornings and late afternoons are the best times as usual. Boat traffic can really shut the fish down, and it’s hard work to get them biting once they’ve heard a few boats, driving around and anchors dropping. Find somewhere away from crowds, it can make all the difference.
There have been plenty of bream and squid still on offer in the shallows around the islands. These are a great option to target, as often you can head out chasing snapper early, and then move to the shallows to target squid and. Run in tides are the best. Look for cleaner water, and a bit of water flow will always help. Squid love the cleaner water, and will push up into shallows chasing food.
I’m looking forward to the next few months fishing in the Bay. If the mulloway turn on, you will no doubt read about it next month. If you get out and have a photo or report to show off, send it through to --e-mail address hidden-- and I’ll do my best to share it in my reports.
Jamal’s cracking fish, he did a great job landing this fish on his own!
Nick Whyte with a great mulloway, caught on a ZMan soft plastic and TT Revhead combo. The added flash seems to help when the bite is timid.
Another cracking fish from Jamal – a stonker Moreton Bay snapper. Check out how calm the conditions are!Reads: 367