Hi everyone, hope you are all having a nice week. It’s good to see some nice weather this week on the Gold and Tweed coasts for the end of the snapper and pearl perch closure in Queensland waters, giving fishos a good opportunity to get out and catch a feed. At the time of writing this report, the weekend was looking good, with a light wind making offshore a good option. Make sure you have the most up-to-date forecast before heading out on the water. Let’s have a look at what’s been happening this week so far.
Good news for fishos on the Gold Coast with the snapper and pearl perch closure coming to an end. This good news combined with some nice weather this week has given anglers a chance to head out offshore and catch great feeds of snapper. Local fishos Ben and Justin wasted no time heading out and had a great session landing a few top-quality snapper off the Gold Coast Seaway. With the season only recently opening, it will be a matter getting an early start to a day on the water to head to your favourite spot and have a good look around on the sounder for life. This time of year, the 18, 24 and 36-fathom grounds – current dependent – should all be holding good bait schools, which in turn will attract the hungry predatory snapper to feed in these areas. Once you have located a show on the sounder worth fishing, if you’re anchoring up, I’d recommend getting a berley trail on the go straight away because this will help attract fish to the area you’re fishing and help keep them feeding in your strike zone. Fishing as light as possible always gives you the best chance of catching better-quality snapper. I usually fish with a 15-20lb braid mainline and run a 20lb mono trace with a light ball sinker running directly to the hooks, making the perfect floating line rig to maximise my chances. When choosing bait, you should try to mix it up a bit and put a few different offerings out until you can see what the snapper are best feeding on that day. Western Australian pilchard and large whole squid are always favourites, followed by flesh bait such as fillets of mullet, bonito and tailor, and even silver trevally fillet works well. If you can catch live bait, such as yakka and slimy mackerel, it will do the trick on larger snapper because the smaller pickers tend to not eat them. When targeting snapper in these areas, you are always in with a good chance of landing a variety of species, such as jewfish, cobia, pearl perch, moses perch, tuskfish, maori cod, teraglin and spangled emperor, to name a few.
Flathead fishing has been great on the Gold Coast over the past week, with plenty of top-quality fish being landed. And the Gold Coast Sportfishing Top Gun competition was a great success last Sunday, seeing plenty of big fish caught and released. Both Jumpinpin and the southern Broadwater have been fishing consistently, which is great news. There is a bit of snot weed starting to show up, but not enough to be an issue yet. When choosing an area to fish, you are better off trying to find spots with the cleanest water available on an incoming tide because flathead tend to prefer better water clarity when feeding. There’s still plenty of bait around, which means flathead won’t be too far away. If you spot bait on the sounder, visually see it swimming around or view it being stirred up that area, this will be a good spot to start fishing. On a high tide, you can get right up into the shallows and fish the tops of sandbanks and the edges of mangrove islands – these are all prime areas for flathead to hold. Once the tide turns and starts to run out, the water quality will get dirty. This is the best time to target the edges of sandbanks, river mouths and the entrances of smaller feeder creeks and drains. All these areas are prime flathead territory because they will lay in wait, head into the flow of water and pounce on any baitfish or prawn that swims past. When the water is dirty, if you slow your lure speed down – whether you’re casting or trolling – this will help the hook-up rate when the fish goes for the lure, as it tends to react to vibration rather than being able to see your lure. Best sized lures to troll are hard-body shads between 65-100mm, soft plastics and prawn imitations from 3-4” size, rigged on either 1/4 or 3/8 jig heads or soft vibes from 65-90mm in size will all do the job. Just mix it up a bit until you find the right sized lure that the fish are best reacting to. Drifting bait is also a great method – Western Australian pilchard, white pilchard, prawns, blue bait, mullet fillet and yabbies will all work well. Some good spots to try are Wave Break, Crab and Brown islands, the Coomera River, Never Fails Island, Tipplers Passage, Jacobs Well, Bedrooms, Tiger Mullet Channel, Kalinga Bank and the Logan River.
Brad from Brad Smith Fishing Charters reports… As I had hoped from last week’s report, a few very big tailor did move into the river. They were not in big schools but put up a great fight on light tackle. Keeping a close look out for any bird activity is the best way to find where these fish are roaming. Apart from tailor, good quality and numbers of flathead continue to dominate the catch, with some reasonable bream also smashing the lures. Little jewies have been lurking around the deep holes in the river, with the occasional nice one mixed in for good measure. Gold Coast
Clint from Brad Smith Fishing Charters reports… It was a good week for arrow squid in the Broadwater. We caught them on Ecogear Dartmax 3.0 squid jigs, with the purple one working great on cloudy days, and orange, pink and green and gold for other conditions. Keep trying different colours to find what works. We catch a lot of squid on Samaki 70mm Vibelicious Fork Tail Vibes too – my favourite colours lately on squid and fish are Whitebait, UV Squid, Ghost Bait and Slimy Mackerel. Keep jigging these vibes on the bottom, as squid will grab at them repeatedly until hooked and also get fired up and grab the squid jigs. We caught some nice big flounder, flathead and bream this week also on lures and yabbies. The full moon has passed now, so squid should come on thick this coming week, and hopefully plenty of big tailor.
Stay up to date with all fishing regulations in Queensland https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/fisheries
Fisho Tackle and Coomera Houseboat Holidays now have Hire Tinnies follow the link to view https://www.coomerahouseboats.com.au/our-fleet-type/hire-tinnies/
Seabreeze is a great website to access a local forecast http://www.seabreeze.com.au/graphs/
Good luck with the fishing.