Photos: Spero Kartanos.
Happy New Year to all our readers, and happy and healthy and good fishing in 2024. How time flies!
During the school holidays and the Christmas break, there’s nothing better than spending time on the water in Moreton Bay with the family. Thousands of boats will be out with the families catching a fresh fish for the table.
The bay has so many fishing options, from the fun of catching whiting to the tiger squid. Prime fishing spots in January will be around the shallows from the Chain Banks, the Rous Channel, the western side of Moreton Island, and Amity Banks.
The tiger squid season will get better as the water clears after storms and heavy rains, and in large tides, they should also front up at Green Island. At the moment, they’re in the weed banks at the Small Boat Channel and all through the Rous and Amity Banks. The weed banks at Moreton Island will produce plenty of squid, especially an hour each side of the tide and at dawn and dusk.
Snapper and squire and some really nice sweetlip will be around this time of year at Mud Island and the Lazaret Gutter at Peel Island, St Helena and Green Island, but for me, the best thing will be getting plenty of whitebait at Peel and Green Islands at night. Whitebait is one of our favourite foods to eat, and all you need to catch these tasty critters is a butterfly net and a light at the back of the boat at night. If you need a good bait net on a long cane, you can order or get one from Water Tower Bait and Tackle.
If all things line up in the universe, the spotty mackerel should start entering the bay in January. They are so nice to eat and so much fun to catch. Use a chrome slug and a spinning rod, and just cast and retrieve where you see them chopping up the water. I use the 34-gram chrome slugs; there is no need to spend lots of money on them. Water Tower Bait and Tackle carry my chrome slugs, which don’t break the bank if you lose a few.
With all the extra boat traffic, be aware and keep a good eye on the weather. It’s always better to cancel or postpone a fishing trip than put your friends or family in danger.
BY SPERO KARTANOS