The Pine Rivers system boats some of the best fishing spots in Brisbane’s northern suburbs. Whether you fish the lakes at the top end of the system, work the northern or southern rivers, or spend time flicking lures around Hayes Inlet (Hornibrook) where the system enters Moreton Bay doesn’t matter! There’s a ton of fishing spots holding an impressive number of species – and they’re perfect for boating and land based fishing alike.
Best Fishing Spots in Northern Brisbane
Fishing Lake Samsonvale (North Pine Dam)
Lake Samsonvale is particularly popular with Brisbanites as it offers exceptional lure fishing within the boundaries of the greater Brisbane area. Australian bass are the main target (more info on fishing North Pine Dam for Bass) but the lake is also stocked with saratoga, golden perch, silver perch and Mary River cod. The optimal time for lure fishing is from September to May, with the early morning and late afternoon proving most productive. Surface lures and crankbaits are highly effective when cast around weed edges, fallen trees, and rock formations. Note that a permit is required to fish this system.
Lake Kurwongbah Fishing
Lake Kurwongbah was formed by the damming of Sideling Creek and was opened to recreational fishing about 15 years ago. It’s home to some very large Australian bass but is also stocked with golden perch and Mary River cod. For those thinking of fishing Lake Kurwongbah from the shore the best options are the access points at Mick Hanfling Park and at Kurwongbah Park. The latter gives access to deeper water, although Australian bass are often found in very shallow water, especially around dawn and dusk. Fishing Lake Kurwongbah from a boat or kayak is also productive, but it’s important to note the fishing and boating regulations and be sure to have a fishing permit.
Hornibrook Fishing Spots
Hornibrook is a famous Pine River fishing spot and is readily accessible to just about everyone. The Ted Smout bridge spans Hayes Inlet, which is a great place for boating anglers to target flathead, bream, trevally and tailor, along with some quality squid. At the northern end of the bridge are the remnants of the old bridge, which was largely demolished, the remaining portion left to create the Hornibrook fishing pier. This structure offers the same mix of estuarine species as Hayes inlet, plus the odd mangrove jack for those who manage to extract them. For land-based anglers there is also the Ted Smout Bridge fishing platform, which is accessible by a 1.2km walk from the southern end of the bridge or a 1.6km walk from the northern end. This platform gives anglers access to the deep water of the main Hayes Inlet channel, where mulloway can be added to the above list of target species.
Pine River Fishing Spots: Bald Hills Creek To Motorway Reach
This stretch of the Pine River holds plenty of structure to keep lure flickers busy. Starting at the eastern side and working west, Bald Hills Creek comes into the inlet from the south and is a great place to target bream and flathead. The area around Dohles Rocks has a mixture of shallow and deep, rock, sand and mud and offers great whiting fishing in addition to the bream and flathead. These can be targeted from the shore, but there is also a good boat ramp at Dohles Rocks for those looking for a launch point. Land-based anglers can also access the river for some excellent fishing at the Tinchi Tamba wetlands on the southern shore. Boating anglers can target bream, mulloway and threadfin in this area, particularly around Deepwater Bend. Finally, the motorway bridge at the western end of this reach is a hotspot for quality bream and the occasional mangrove jack.
Fishing The North Pine River
Moving west of the motorway bridge the river splits into the North and South arms. The North Pine River is well known for holding good numbers of prawns through the summer and autumn months, which sustains good stocks of bream, flathead, jewfish, estuary cod and threadfin. The northern bank immediately upstream of the motorway bridge contains some really good structure that holds quality bream and the occasional mangrove jack. Working upstream there is a ton of both natural and manmade structure in the form of mangroves, sunken trees, rock wall and pontoons that produce good bream and mangrove jack. Casting soft plastics tight to structure works particularly well.
Fishing The South Pine River
The South Pine River fishes well for all of the bread and butter species, flathead, bream and whiting. It also hold a good population of small mulloway in the deeper holes and bends. A small access point at Bald Hills is ideal for kayak launching and gives access to some pretty good fishing. Australian Bass are the primary target, but during the dry season you’ll often find bream, mangrove jack and the occassional mulloway pushing this far up river.
Best Fishing Seasons:
A great thing about the rivers and lakes in this system is that they produce quality fish year-round. But obviously most species have times of year when they’re more active, so here’s a quick guide to seasonal opportunities:
a. Summer: During the warmer months, you’re likely to encounter species such as whiting and bream in abundance. Mangrove jack can be on the chew during these months also, especially for those who spend some time working tight to hard structure such as snags, pylons and pontoons.
b. Autumn: Early autumn is when the biggest jacks usually come out to play, but is also a great time to target bass, bream and jewfish.
c. Winter: A great time to target bream, flathead, tailor, trevally and threadfin salmon.
d. Spring: As the water warms the bream, flathead, jacks and whiting will start to liven up again.