With another cold snap expected to hit us this weekend, it should have the bream and tailor on the bite both in the rivers and off the beaches. The cool change and uncovering of coffee rock patches along our beaches and river mouths will provide much needed feeding and spawning grounds for our key winter bread and butter fish species, the yellow fin bream.
Yellow -fin bream have picked up in numbers and are weighing in at reasonable sizes at the moment - they will be on the menu for anglers young and old over the next few months. Winter is the time when these big fish migrate to feed and spawn in coastal gutters and river mouths. In particular any rocky rubble or out crops areas will be the best places to target these fish. We have already seen good hauls over the past few weeks with a few fish up over the kilogram mark. The Mooloolah River has been firing well with really good numbers of bream around the boat moorings, La Balsa Park and the rock wall. The lower reaches of the Maroochy River, in particular the mouth is fishing well with bait during low light periods with an increase in the number of bream around 40cm last weekend. The stretch between the Pincushion and Marcoola beach has a few nice gutters scattered along its length and the tailor fisherman have been hooking big pilot bream on pilchards, half their luck! Things can only get better over the coming weeks for big bream.
Make sure that you are well prepared for the craftiness of bream. Dawn, dusk, top of the tide, overnight in the same spot and fishing structures like jetties, boat moorings, rocky areas and near the bar are all important facts to consider. Don't get caught when your out at the Pincushion and you lose your last set of gang hooks snagged on the rocks and the blokes fishing next to you are dragging in kilo size fish. A well organised fisherman should have plenty of pre rigged gang hooks or at least a box of Mustad 4200D or 4202D saltwater series hooks to make up gangs. Tru Turn hooks in style 711 are also very useful when rigged with black crane swivels rigged in between each hook. The swivels allow the hooks to twist and set in the fish's mouth, avoid destroying the pilchards flesh when inserting the gang hooks and help to minimise line twist. Always carry a small spool of bait mate elastic cotton in your tackle box to help lash your pilchard to the hook and avoid loosing it to tidlers. Gangs are also ideal when fishing small baitfish like whitebait, herring, frogmouth pilchards and small strips of mullet fillet.
Get yourself a decent hook file or stone to sharpen the hooks in between fish. Most hooks are sharp new out of the box, but some even require a touch up before use. A small sure catch hook sharpening stone only cost $4.50 and is a very smart investment for any angler. A variety of different sinkers to allow for varying currents and waves heights as well as a couple of different strengths in monofilament and wire leader material are needed for adapting to changing fishing conditions. For those who wish to fish at night it would pay to have spare batteries for your head lamps or torch and some clip on glow in the light for your rod tips so that you can see the bites and what you're doing. Be prepared for changing fishing conditions and the worst case scenario that you loosing hooks to big tailor and you should be rewarded with good fish.
Over the coming weeks we will follow on from this article with tips on baits, rigs, specific locations, tides, moons, tackle, lures and techniques for catching the big pilot bream.
LOCAL FISHING REPORT
Noosa: Tailor to 2kg along Teewah stretch. Bream, good whiting and chopper tailor from Sunshine, Marcus and Peregian Beaches. Trevally, school jew to 90cm and tailor to 2kg in Noosa Sound. Flathead from lake Cooroibah to the ski run. Mangrove jacks, trevally and tailor near the ski run.
Maroochydore: School jew to 85cm around the river mouth over night. Chopper tailor, trevally and 2.8kg mangrove jack around the Motorway Bridge pylons. Flathead and bream from Chambers Island, the cod hole and the river mouth. Mangrove jack, school jew and flathead from Bli Bli.
Kawana: A 1.12m long barramundi and a 2kg estuary cod were taken on lure in the middle reaches of the river. Trevally and flathead around McKenzie's Bridge. Chopper tailor and bream off the rock walls. Garfish in The Basin and along the La Balsa Park.
Caloundra: Chopper tailor and flathead round the bar Flathead and whiting in Bells Creek. Flathead off the Military Jetty. Trevally and estuary cod in Pelican Waters. Mud crabs south of Coochin Creek.
Despite the cool weather there are still a few mangrove jack on the chew. Neville Telford was fishing with mullet strips in the cod hole for this solid 12.85kg specimen.
Best mates Jordan and Jordan also used mullet strips from the bank around the cod for dusky flathead and bream.
Leighton Hicks has been catching some better sized yellow fin bream, along with flathead and blue swimmer crabs off Picnic Point.