Brisbane offers many fishing opportunities for the novice and experienced fisher alike. If you'd like to relax and catch a fish or two with the wife and kids or trudge down a heavily wooded goats trail in the middle of the night chasing threadfin salmon, Brisbane has something to offer for just about everyone.
Breakfast Creek is a small tributary joining the Brisbane River at Newstead. At all times of the year, it can produce good fish including bream, cod, flathead, jewfish, squire, threadfin salmon, tailor, sharks, and the less desirable eels and catfish. Like most fishing spots, it can be hit and miss, with some days producing great catches in short periods, and others leaving you wondering what a bite felt like. Nonetheless, it's a fantastic spot if you're not interested in travelling very far for a chance at quality fish. Indeed, I still pay it a visit at least a dozen times a year to try my luck.
The best place to set up or your fishing session is at Newstead Park, a prominent location which should be familiar to most people. Parking can be found in the surrounding streets around Newstead Avenue or next to Newstead House itself. A quick walk to the riverfront and you will find yourself with many fishing options.
Once you're standing on the riverfront, look for the spot where the inlet of Breakfast Creek joins the Brisbane River. There is a pontoon here from which you can gather bait if you know how to use a cast net. Common catches include herring, poddy mullet, and live prawn, all of which make excellent bait. If you're not sure how to cast net, just grab a pack of frozen prawns or frozen pilchards from the service station, although if you have time to get to a bait shop and pick up some fresh prawns or fresh worm, your results will improve.
Tip: Many times you can purchase fresh Australian banana prawns for a cheaply from Woolworths and these make great bait. Make sure they are uncooked and be sure to ONLY buy Australian prawns, as imported prawns, while safe for human consumption, can introduce disease into our waterways.
So you have some bait, now where to fish? Walking around to the left of the pontoon and into the creek itself will find you along a stretch of pathway and grass leading to the main bridge crossing the creek. Park benches are lined next to the waterway here, and I have caught almost every species available in Breakfast Creek from this location. It's a fantastic place to set up the rods, sit back and relax, and wait for your bait to hopefully get snapped up.
Mouth of Breaktfast Creek: Great location to sit back and catch fish
To the right of the pontoon is a wooden walkway stretching for hundreds of meters along the Brisbane River. Any spot along the walkway is great for setting up your rods and casting in, with the option of leaving the rods to lean against the walkway rail, enabling you to get more bait in the water, or to have a beer and a pizza while your rod does the work. Just be sure to be courteous and not leave your gear all over the walkway so others can't get through. From this location you have a chance at some good bream and the occasional cod, threadfin, jewfish, squire and others.
Live/fresh baits are best, but I've caught some great fish here using service station prawn and pilchard. If nothing is biting, don't be shy about moving up the walkway fifty meters or more. You don't know where the fish are holding, so an hour in one location without much action is probably your cue to move on.
So we have our bait and our location, what about our tackle? Choice of tackle is very much personal preference, and depends upon what you're chasing. If you're taking the kids and just want to get a few fish for the young ones, size 2 to a 1/0 hook on a live prawn or frozen prawn should get you some action. If you're using live bait or pilchards and are chasing bigger fish like jewfish, threadfin, big bream and squire, then a 2/0-6/0 hook depending on your bait size is appropriate. If you're chasing the big ones, make sure you have a strong enough fishing line and a heavy leader so you get bitten off or broken on the rocks!
Rigs can be anything from a ball or bean sinker of size 0-5 depending on wind and current. Running the sinker down to a swivel, with 40cm or so of trace from the swivel to the hook is a good setup. Having no swivel and the sinker running freely onto the hook can also work well with lighter weights. If you're unsure of how to set up your gear, pop into a local tackle shop and ask for some advice.
Fishing this location at any time day or night can produce some results, but if you are really serious about catching some good fish, try to time your trip with a tide change- fish are always feeding when the tide is changing!