Fishing tip: What's biting in July 2024

Published 8:00am 11 July 2024

Fishing tip: What's biting in July 2024
Words by Dr Dazza
Written by Daryl McPhee, AKA Dr Dazza

It’s chilly but there are still lots of options for anglers this month.

Inshore reefs and bay waters

Diver whiting are in full swing and are a great species for the whole family to target. They are commonly called winter whiting but are found in Moreton Bay all year round. They are more abundant on the western side of Moreton Bay during winter.

Diver whiting have always been a popular species for small boat fishers in Deception and Bramble Bay. The Cockle Banks out from Scarborough is a productive spot for them. Popular baits are bloodworms or strips of squid, and a good method is to drift until you find them. There is an in-possession limit of 50 fish per person but no minimum legal size.

For those targeting the inshore reefs around Redcliffe, there will be some snapper. The water will be clear most of the month and night will be the best time to catch them. Fishing as light as you can is always the best option. There is no need for big sinkers on the shallow reefs.

Pelagic fish

Pelagic fish continue to be present and are also a great option this month. Exactly where they will be is dependent on where the bait fish are. If you are fishing for diver whiting, a well-presented diver whiting fillet or whole pilchard floated behind the boat can produce school mackerel.

Alternatively, you can target them specifically trolling lures on paravane rigs. Longtail tuna and Mac tuna will be busting up and look for the birds working on top of them. Throwing metal slugs at these schools will be productive but they can often spook easily so make sure you pay attention to boat position.

Estuary and land based

Flathead, tailor and bream are the main target species for estuary and land-based anglers. The Pine River, Hays Inlet and the Ted Smout fishing platform will be the pick of the spots for flathead. They can be targeted on live baits such as herring and soft or hard-bodied lures, but you will also get them on dead baits such as pilchards.

Bream will be widespread along the foreshores and are best targeted at night on the big high tides with lightly weighted or unweighted baits. Mullet strips are a great bait for this. Tailor have been active around Redcliffe with plenty of good quality fish caught. Woody Point Jetty is a good place to chase them in the late afternoon and evening. Yellowtail pike will be schooled up around the local jetties and these can make great bait for larger tailor.

If you are land-based fishing, make sure you pack some squid jigs, particularly if you are fishing at night. This is one of the best months for chasing tiger squid around Redcliffe.

Surf beaches

Bream, tarwhine and swallowtail dart should be your target species on the surf beaches of Moreton Island. For swallowtail dart, yabbies are the number one bait, although eugaries (pippies), beach worms, blood worms or peeled prawns will produce some fish as well. The right sinker size is critical for surf fishing. If you are not catching fish, going up or down a sinker size can make a big difference. Swallowtail dart are an underrated table fish when fresh.

Tailor are also present on surf beaches as their northerly spawning migration is well underway. While you can catch plenty of fish on pilchards and metal lures during the day, most of the larger fish will be caught at night on baits such as bonito fillets or garfish.

For surf fishing, the Alvey reel is still king!

Offshore

A closed season on snapper and pearl perch applies throughout Queensland tidal waters from July 15 to August 15. Offshore anglers should look for other options during this period. Other reef fish alternatives include teraglin, gold spot wrasse, silver trevally, venus tuskfish, and yellowtail kingfish.

Daryl McPhee is an associate professor of environmental science at Bond University.

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