Bribie Island extends for 30km along the coast immediately north of Brisbane.
You will catch a surprising range of species within the sheltered waters of Pumicestone Passage, which is the labyrinth of mangrove flats and channels that flows inside the island between Caloundra and Brisbane’s northern Moreton Bay.
There is also surf fishing on Bribie’s outer beaches.
Pumicestone Passage was closed to commercial netting in 1996.
The extensive flats are home to yabbies (nippers), marine worms and shellfish, which in turn attract feeding fish.
The main species caught in the passage are bream, flathead, jacks, tailor and whiting, along with mud crabs, and good runs of prawns and sand crabs at times.
Try channel edges for big flathead, and fish the flats edges for whiting on a rising tide.
Bream and mangrove jacks like structure and usually bite on the rise and the turn of the tide.
Less well known is that the passage contains painted crayfish, octopus, squid, big prawns, sea snakes and turtles, as well as big sharks.
Larger fish dwell in the deeper water of the passage, including mulloway, cod, snapper and sweetlip.
There is coral and other structure in the deeper waters. There is also a man-made shellfish reef.
Threadfin salmon are caught in the passage, and occasional barramundi, along with a few grunter.
Bribie Bridge, located at the Brisbane end of the passage, is effectively a huge artificial reef located in a deep part of the waterway.
The bridge can be fished by boat but the tide runs hard. Try to fish the turn.
Cod, mulloway, bream, jacks, trevally, flathead, tuskfish, sweetlip, snapper and more are caught here, along with seasonal tailor from about June to August.
Bongaree jetty is located near deep water. It produces roughly the same fish as the bridge and can be fished on foot, but go early or late to avoid jetski riders and the like.
Fishing the deep drop-off from beaches near Bongaree jetty can be successful.
Bribie’s canals provide good sport for mainly bream, jacks and small trevally.
Between the bridge and jetty, the canal entrance called The Lock is a mangrove jack hotspot.
Further north, Pacific Harbour canals produce the same fish.
At the entrance to Pacific Harbour, sweetlip are sometimes caught.
Red Beach, at the southern end of the island, produces winter whiting, a small but tasty species of whiting caught in large numbers in season around Brisbane.
North of Bribie Bridge, Sylvan Beach can be fished on foot, along with Banksia Beach. Expect mainly bream, tailor, whiting and flathead.
More inaccessible fishing spots are located further north, with White Patch the last point accessible by 2WD.
A 4WD vehicle gives access to tracks in Bribie National Park and its campgrounds.
Bream, whiting, flathead, occasional mulloway and mud crabs are the main catch in the northern section.
Gallaghers Gutter runs near Gallaghers Camp Ground, and fishes well.
Further north, Poverty Creek Campground has the same fish, and is a proven spot for mud crabs.
North again, Mission Point Campground is reached only by boat, with the nearest ramp at Donnybrook.
Bribie Island Marine Zones
Before fishing be sure to check the marine park zones.
There is a large green zone around Long Island, and other restricted areas.
Crabbing and prawning
For sand crabs (blue crabs) try the southern entry to the passage area up to the Mission Point sandbanks.
Prawns are best in the passage after heavy rain in mid to late summer.
Cooks Rocks – jewies, cod and snapper
Bongaree Ledge – sweetlip, snapper, cod and tuskfish
Ningi Creek – a good spot for boaters as it is accessible through the tide, most species.
Donnybrook jetty – prawns February to March. Bream, grunter, whiting, flathead, mulloway, crabs.
Dunlops Gutter (Donnybrook) – bream are found a few metres out from the boat ramp.
Glasshouse Mountains Creek – mud crabs, flathead, whiting, bream, grunter, prawns.
Sweetlip, small snapper, cod and tuskfish are caught on reef and coffee rock in the deeper waters of the passage.
Woorim is a handy surf beach on the ocean side of Bribie Island. It produces mostly whiting, dart and bream.
Skirmish Point is popular for surf fishing and is only a short walk from the carpark. It produces mackerel from the beach in season, as well as whiting, tailor, dart and more.
North of Woorim is a 4WD beach access point. With a Beach Access Permit, fishos can book book in advance for the coastal campsites, with dart, whiting, flathead, tailor and bream caught in the surf.
As the water is often quite clear, and the more settled area is fished hard at times because of its proximity to Brisbane, bigger fish in the passage can be educated and hard to tempt.
To succeed, use fresh or live bait and light tackle for the best results. Night fishing also improves your chances.
Fish deep areas on the turn of the tide.
The passage fishes well when settling down after prolonged heavy rain. Dry years tend to produce slower fishing.
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Some external videos filmed around Bribie Island are featured below.