As the waters of Pumicestone Passage warm up towards summer, there’ll be opportunities for fishing estuary cod and mangrove jacks, as well as some good flathead, in the creeks and around the mangroves and oyster leases. Ningi Creek is the first creek on the left (mainland) side as you travel north from Spinnaker Sound Marina. As you explore the mouth of this creek on a low tide you will soon realise why locals love this area so much, but be careful not to get stuck on any of the sandbanks! The entrance is marked by a yellow cross beacon 2km north of Spinnaker Sound Marina – you’ll find it on the Bribie Island Boat Charters’ chart. The mouth of Ningi Creek is a popular area for flathead, and also sand crabs through the summer months (any month that has an “r” in it, is the usual saying). Along the oyster leases in that area is also good for bream but be careful not to interfere with or damage the working oyster leases. The summer whiting also spend the warmer months in the Passage and up the creeks.
The deep water in the middle of the Passage between the mouth of Ningi Creek and the bridge holds lots of grassy sweetlip and Moses perch over the summer. The tidal run through there is strong, especially during December-early January, so you might have to fish on the drift. If you want to anchor, try to choose a period of time over the change of tide.
Just north-west of Pacific Harbour is the Avon Wreck, which is most visible on the lower part of the tides before it becomes submerged. It is home to some decent whiting and bream. Shag Island lies behind the wreck looking northward and the relatively deep water channel between them is known to hold good fish, although it can leave you in shallow water with no obvious exit if you don’t watch the tide.
Heading another 2km north of the Pacific Harbour entrance, on the Bribie side of the Pumicestone Passsage is White Patch. White Patch is nicely protected from northerlies and northeast/easterlies. Anchoring in towards Wright’s Creek will also offer shelter from the regular south-easterlies, but coming home to Spinnaker Sound Marina might be a little bumpy! This spot holds juvenile snapper, bream, flathead, occasional trevally and mulloway and sand crabs. The northern end of the White Patch gutter narrows and drops out quickly, so be careful of the tide, but there are good catches possible from this area.
The Pumicestone Passage’s mudflats and protected wetlands also support many species of wading birds. During summer, huge numbers of migratory birds use Bribie Island and the Pumicestone Passage as their nesting-place; others use the area as a resting-place on their migratory path. Be aware of the no-go zone known as Kakadu bird-roost, on the north side of Pacific Harbour and marked on the Bribie Island Boat Charters’ chart – we all need to help protect these birds after their long-haul flights from Siberia and other northern climes.
Any time, any tide, any season, there is something to find out in the Pumicestone Passage. The diversity of its fish species, as well as the dolphins, dugongs and turtles, birdlife and natural beauty make a day out in the Passage a very special experience.