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How weather affects fishing

Posted: 7am 14 May 2021

After plenty of rain in recent weeks, fishing expert Tony Lincoln explains how weather conditions affect your chances of reeling in a decent catch.

Fish live in an eat or be eaten world and are constantly looking for food or shelter. Beautiful as crystal-clear days and nights are, especially during SEQ winters, these aren't necessarily optimum conditions for fish to feed. Clear water and bright sunshine can mean that they're very exposed and easily seen by predators, in the water and from above. Nervous fish often stop feeding in favour of staying sheltered.

With most fish, their eyes are on the sides and towards the top of their heads, which in many cases means they're designed to attack or feed from behind, to the side, or from below. As their eyes aren't positioned to see something coming from underneath, this is when they can be at their most vulnerable. In clear water, this can make them reluctant to leave the bottom.

Colouring and markings can reduce this "from below" vulnerability in many species with a light-coloured belly not giving a distinctive silhouette for a predator underneath. Scales, stripes or spots also break up silhouettes from the side. A darker top colouring, seen against the water's surface from above, provides camouflage against hunting seabirds eyes.

These factors affect us how?

On clear days and in shallow waters, it’s better to fish in shaded areas or tight against structure. We should also consider moving to slightly deeper water, where the fish aren't as visible or exposed. Overcast or rainy days in shallow water can significantly increase feeding activity. Windy, rough weather, WHEN SAFE, agitates the seabed, stirs up food and greatly reduces exposure to potential predators.

Low light conditions, such as dawn, dusk and night, are also premium times to fish as these are definite peak feeding times and once again, the fish aren't as exposed or vulnerable and will feed much more readily.

Consistently successful anglers fish when conditions suit the fish.

A nice day's a bonus.

FISHING REPORT

  • Still a few school mackerel in Bramble Bay, off Woody Point Jetty, and around the corner to Scotts Point, (remember to stay out of the Green Zone).
  • Tailor becoming more consistent all around the peninsula, off the rocky points and on the inshore reefs.
  • Squire, snapper and grassy sweetlip on the rocky points and inshore reefs.
  • Bream on the beaches, rocky points and on the inshore reefs.
  • Bream, flathead and some whiting in Hays Inlet, the Pine River, Scarborough Spit and foreshore, and the mouth of the canals.
  • Squid becoming more consistent off the jetties, points and inshore reefs.
  • Mud crabs in creeks and rivers.
  • Prawn in the creek mouths and the inshore bays, but can be a little inconsistent.
  • Extremely good numbers of longtail tuna inside Moreton Bay.
  • Snapper and tuskies on the artificial reefs inside Moreton.
  • The odd spanish mackerel off the cape and wide of the islands.

Tony Lincoln is the owner of Hornibrook Bait and Tackle at Clontarf. Want to know more? Head to the Facebook page

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