The cool change has definitely hit the Sunshine Coast and for those of us with fishing on the mind 24/7, this means possible begging and pleading to the (better) other half to let us spend countless nights in the freezing conditions; enduring cold south-westerlies, barefoot in freezing river water/surf and the much needed nip or two of whisky to warm the cockles of our hearts....ahhh gotta love winter. Though winter is officially next month, the evening temperatures are definitely indicating that it will be a cold one!
The next new moon is Friday the 14th and the 3 days leading up to the full moon is looking to be best for fishing. The 2 days following the full moon on Friday the 28th are also looking predictably good for fishing, according to the Anglers Almanac.
Big bream and tailor are entering the river systems in decent sized schools and all we need is to have our lines in the waters as they swim by. Big bream, close to the 1kg mark are feeding along the coastal rocky out crops and the rubble beds inside the rivers. Each year the pilot bream enter the river mouths to spawn around the rocks. They leave eggs and sperm on the rocks in hope they become fertilized. The catch is that, when they come to spawn, they need to feed as well.
As the skillful anglers that we are, there's a really good chance to catch a few of the bigger bream when they attempt to refuel for the journey back out to sea. Bream generally love to feed on oysters and barnacles from the rocks. So try pippies, white bait, frogmouth pilchards, W.A. pilchards, mullet gut, fresh prawn and mullet flesh for best results in bream hook ups. Best to try the South Channel, off the bank in the Twin Waters and Maroochy Waters Canals, off the Chambers Island Bridge at night, in a boat or off the bank at the Cod Hole. If heading further south, then the jetties and rock walls in the Mooloolah River and The Boardwalk in Caloundra are worth a try.
Tailor are also a great winter species to fish for in the rivers and along the beaches. Being a pelagic species that swims and feeds in a school, tailor munch on most baits that are placed in front of them. W.A. pilchards are the most commonly used bait, but tailor also love gar and flesh baits. Commonly during May, the tailor are often a bit patchy. The promising reports in so far since Anzac Day are indicating that bigger fish are already frequenting the rivers and beaches. Fish between 2.5kg and 5.4kg have been weighed in most recently. There have also been plenty of choppers caught in the rivers from both boat and bank.
Local anglers report that schools are moving upstream via Pin Cushion and past the jetty at Cotton Tree, then mainly take the South Channel towards the Cod Hole.
If tailor and bream are not your cup of tea, target flathead as they are still hitting lures; live and fresh baits quite well, but will become more lethargic over the next month due to the drop in water temperature. The best bet when chasing flatties during May and June is to fish with smaller pilchards, white bait or small diver whiting. The regular haunts around Bli Bli channel markers, Petrie Creek and Goat Island should still produce a few bigger fish and tend to work better on the falling tides.
The luderick have been a bit hit and miss so far. In years gone by, May was often the start of their season. There were a few fish weighed in before Easter but there have been very few since. However the cooler conditions in June/July will definitely bring them on the bite, particularly when the weather is bitterly cold. The luderick like deeper drop-off banks and holes where snags are evident. Remember to berley up with generous amounts of weed mixed in with a bit of sand. Best locations are along the Caloundra boardwalk, the groynes at Cotton Tree, along the rocks at the mouth of Cornmeal Creek and in the Cod Hole area - off the bridge pylons and the banks near the traffic lights.
Keep your eyes open and ears to the ground in the coming weeks for increasing reports of winter species getting caught and drop as many subtle hints as necessary to win some time for much needed winter fishing action!