Fishing around the yabby banks is fun for kids and you may find a big starfish like Kaiden did.

Holiday fishing tips

Catching a nice flathead on a lure or bait will always put a smile on your face.
Mark caught this quality whiting on an MMD Splash Prawn on the surface in shallow water over a yabby bank.
Joshua was stoked to catch his biggest ever flathead, which took a soft plastic lure.

G’DAY everyone, in this month’s article I’d like to give you and your family a few holiday fishing tips. To start, you need only basic fishing equipment – which might be gift-wrapped under the Christmas tree – and include a simple 2-4kg spin outfit with light 6-8lb braid on it.

When it comes to lures, a few small plastics, matching light jig heads, a few small surface lures and a couple of blades will suffice. For bait, all you need are a few small different sized sinkers, a packet of swivels, a couple of No. 4 long shank hooks and a yabby pump. The yabby pump would be a perfect Christmas present, as pumping yabbies is fun for the whole family and yabbies are the best all-round bait you can use. Holiday fishing tips

Let’s look at several locations that might put a bend in the rods for you. To start, I would stay away from rock walls that have a lot of tidal flow along them. This might sound like a strange call as these areas do hold a lot of fish, but for years I have watched dads and their little kids try to fish these areas and it is hard work. The kids either wind their lines into the rocks or the current washes the lines into the rocks and the dads spend more time retying hooks than enjoying the fishing.

The first place I would suggest would be around the banks that you are pumping your yabbies. The sandy banks here hold fish such as whiting, bream and flathead, and if the kids get a bit bored – as they occasionally do when fishing – they can run around on the sand or have a swim in the shallows. This would give mum or dad a chance to have a fish with yabbies or lures.Holiday fishing tips

The way to fish the yabby banks is to pump them at the bottom of the tide then fish the run-in tide. Most fish take the opportunity to move out of the deeper channels to feed over the banks with the rising tide. This is also a good time to give everyone a cast with the surface poppers we mentioned above, as the shallow water covering the yabby banks is one of the best places for surface fish for whiting.Holiday fishing tips

Another small tip is to purchase a couple of sand spike rod holders to put your rods in if you are not fishing, as placing your rods on the sand will destroy your reels in no time. You can easily and cheaply make your own rod holder by purchasing a length of 50mm poly pipe, hack sawing it to an appropriate length and pushing it into the sand. There are public jetties and wharves in our rivers and creeks, and these are great platforms for the family to fish from because they provide good structure for fish.

Once again, you could mix it up and try bait as well as casting and slowly hopping a soft plastic or blade lure along the bottom. When casting lures from jetties, throw up-current and hop them back with the tide, as this will keep your lure on the bottom where most fish feed. The summer holiday period is one of the best times to take the family to fish the beautiful beaches we are blessed with along our coastline.Holiday fishing tips

When fishing beaches, always look for deep water running parallel along the shoreline, often called beach gutters. These gutters hold whiting, bream, flathead and swallowtail dart through summer. Yabbies work well here as do live beachworms and you can even get the kids to wiggle their feet into the sand in the shallow water for another great bait called pipis.Holiday fishing tips

Wiggling your feet along the shallow beach water until you can feel the pipis with your feet is known as the pipi twist. Small rods that you use for rivers will still work for beach gutters, as long casts are not always required. In fact, I find most of the fish are in close range, particularly when fishing beach gutters on the run-in tide.Holiday fishing tips

Once again you can mix it up and try casting soft plastics or blade lures into the beach gutters, but remember to take your sand spike rod holders in case the kids decide to ditch the rods for the boogie boards.

That’s it, and merry Christmas!


About Brad 'Smithy' Smith

Smithy has been working as a full-time professional fishing guide for over 20 years, which makes him southeast Queensland’s and northern NSW’s longest-serving guide. Above all the commitments Smithy has in the charter industry, his overriding passion has always been to pass on his specialist experience to anglers and teach people of all ages and angling abilities the correct techniques required to catch all the Gold Coast’s estuary species on a variety of different lures. Smithy’s unique charter operations guarantees you will catch fish on lures or you don’t pay.

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