For the boating angler, Southeast Queensland during spring is all about big snapper, quality jewfish, threadfin salmon, flathead and plenty more! Nabeel Issa is a multiple time ALF podcast guest and always has plenty of great info to share. Today he walks us through why spring is his favourite time to fish in SEQ and gives us the rundown on how, when and where.
Lure Fishing in the Brisbane River: Exploring Freshwater and Estuary Sections
The Brisbane River offers a plethora of opportunities for anglers. The river provides both freshwater and estuary sections with a diversity of structure and a list of sport species that are perfect for lure fishing. Whether you prefer boat-based or land-based angling, the Brisbane River has something to offer for every fishing enthusiast. In this article, we’ll delve into the top fishing spots, discuss seasonal factors, and explore the excitement of lure fishing in the Brisbane River.
Five Kayak And Boat-Based Brisbane River Fishing Spots
Situated where the Brisbane River meets the Bremer River, The Junction is a popular spot for boat-based lure fishing – although there is some land-based access also. This area offers a mix estuarine species, including mangrove jack, flathead, and threadfin salmon. Targeting snags, rock bars, and drop-offs with a variety of lures, such as soft plastics, surface poppers, and deep-diving crankbaits, can attract some exciting catches.
The Gateway Bridge is one of the most recognisable fishing spots in Brisbane. Being near the mouth of the river it’s subject to massive currents due to tidal influences and runoff during the wet season. Access for the land-based lure tosser access is via the Colmslie reserve and the best opportunities are at the turn of the tide or on neap tides. The main targets here are bream, flathead, grunter and the occassional mulloway. Boating anglers can access the jetties, pontoons, moorings, creek mouths and other structures and can add threadfin, snapper and the odd mangrove jack to the target list.
Port Of Brisbane
The Port of Brisbane is one of the best fishing spots Brisbane has to offer, boasting deep water, rockwalls, and hard structure such as wharves, jetties and pylons galore. There are restrictions on access to some of the wharves, so be careful not to stray too close. That said, there are plenty of options still open to anglers targeting threadfin salmon and jewfish in particular, but also snapper and mangrove jack at times. You’ll find good numbers of flathead, cod and bream through this area as well.
This area can also be fished from boat or kayak, but there are plenty of land-based fishing spots if you don’t have a floating platform. This part of the river is brackish for most of the year, but the salt tends to get pushed out over the wet season. Australian Bass are the primary target, but during the dry season you’ll often find bream, mangrove jack and the occasional mulloway pushing this far up river. It’s also a productive area for threadfin, at times.
When it comes to threadfin, most Brisbane River fishing enthusiasts focus their efforts around the mouth of the river, often below the Gateway Bridge. But in September and October, towards the end of the dry season, it’s not uncommon for salt to have pushed up beyond the Jindalee area. When this occurs threadfin often move up with it, and can be targeted on a range of surface and sub-surface lures. There’s more detailed information on this in my episode on Brisbane River Threadfin with Joshua Charles.
Five Land-based Brisbane River Fishing Spots
Breakfast Creek is a small tributary that joins the main river at Newstead. It’s a great land-based fishing spot and has been the scene of some epic Brisbane River Fishing sessions at times. The mouth of the creek and the areas to either side are the places to concentrate your efforts. Pretty much all of the previously mentioned species have been taken at Breakfast Creek at times, but the most highly prized are jewfish and threadfin – this is one of the best land-based options if those two species are on your radar.
Just to be clear, you’re not allowed to fish from the Rivercat Ferry Terminals, for obvious reasons. But you can definitely get out at night and pepper the “light pools” around the ferry terminals with casts if you are careful about it. The best time of year for this is around the start of the dry season in March/April through until September. At this time of year you’ll get a mixed bag of jewfish and threadfin – for a heap more information be sure to check out my interview with Steve Morgan about his ferry terminal threadfin strategy.
Council Fishing Platforms
Brisbane City Council have built a network of fishing platforms around the Brisbane River (and elsewhere across the city). You’ll find addresses for these platforms on the Brisbane City Council Website. The fishing varies a little depending on which platform you visit, but essentially the available species stay pretty much the same. Bread and butter fish like bream and flathead are probably the most commonly taken.
Howard Smith Bridge
This is a deep water spot that is accessible beneath the bridge but best fished on neap tides or around the turn of bigger tides. It’s a good place for land-based anglers to get in with a chance to pick up some quality mangrove jacks, occassional jewfish and of course plenty of bream.
Mount Crosby Weir
Check the regulations, it’s not permisable to fish in the immediate vicinity of the weir, but there is good land access downstream for those interested in targeting Australian bass. The best time of year is the late dry season, but you’ll find bass in this stretch at any time of year provided it’s not in full flood.
Brisbane River Fishing By Season
Rising water temperatures during the Spring months invigorate the fish communities in the Brisbane River. This period corresponds with the later part of the dry season, so water clarity is usually better than at other times of year and food sources like prwans become more abundant and active. Australian bass start to move back upstream after spawning and become active in throughout the system. Threadfin and Jewfish continue to surface feed under lights at night through this period.
Moving into the wet season, the fishing in the Brisbane River starts to change as large amounts of muddy fresh water push through the system. This tends to push the fish down towards the mouth of the system more, making the port and other areas below the Gateway Bridge the go-to destinations. Periods of big, incoming tides push salt water into the system underneath the fresh water that sits on top. Threadfin and jewfish particularly love this scenario.
The transition period between the wet and dry seasons is a great time for fishing in the Brisbane River. The water starts to clear as fresh water inflows subside, and threadfin and jewfish begin to feed aggressively – fishing under lights at night is particularly effective. This is also the time of year that produces the best quality mangrove jacks, as they move up through the structures from the port and infiltrate all of the city reach.
The winter months are very comfortable for anglers due to the cooler temperatures, plus they can also be very productive. The salt pushes progressively further through the system as the dry season rolls out, opening up a whole bunch of Brisbane River fishing opportunities. Around the Port of Brisbane you’ll find snapper increasingly turn up for anglers who target them, whilst jewfish and threadfin will be found right through the town reach and beyond.
ALF Episodes About Fishing In The Brisbane River And Nearby Areas
Brisbane offers an astonishing range of land based fishing options to suit anglers of all skill levels, ranging from the hunble flathead right through to tailor, squid, bass and jewfish. Local fishing tutor and land-based guide Beau Rixon spends a lot of time fishing the area from the shore and teaching others to do the same, so for today’s episode I invited Bea to jump onboard and share some of his favourite land based spots.
Joshua Charles has been enjoying consistent success on Brisbane River threadfin upstream of the city for a number of years. Today he shares his secrets!
Brisbane has a wonderful population of quality threadfin salmon right on it’s doorstep. Local Threadie enthusiast Reece Thomas explains how to target them both at the port and in under the city lights at night.
Brisbane offers some exciting threadfin salmon fishing, an local angler Nick Whyte will explain just how to go about catching them in this episode!
Brisbane River jewfish on lures? In this episode Brisbane local gun Peter Herbst shares his tips and tricks for making it happen!
Tim Morgan is one of Australia’s most successful bream and bass tournament champs. In this episode he shares how our listeners can get onto Aussie bass within a couple of hours of Brisbane.