G’DAY everyone, I am very excited about the fishing prospects in this early part of the year.
I would like to explain why March is always a good month for fishing. To begin, there isn’t an angler I know that did not complain or find the last six months of 2019 and beginning of 2020 quite challenging when it came to good consistent angling success. Even though I was born on the Gold Coast and have fished it and the Tweed River all my life, and have been a professional guide for over 20 years working the local waterways, I found most days in the past eight months very challenging.
The reason is simple: the serious lack of rain. In fact, it was the worst drought recorded in the history of not only the area, but the country. Swamps, creeks, rivers and oceans need rain, just like the land does; “a drought on land is a drought at sea”. With rain comes life because it induces and accelerates the spawning cycle of all bait and fish.
Rain also spreads nutrients and helps keep the salinity levels in check as well as maintaining a balance to the water temperature. Through October to December 2019, the water temperature in the mid to upper reaches of all our waterways was averaging 30C, with parts of the Nerang River regularly hitting 32C, meaning our rivers were a boiling pot.
OK, let’s start chatting about some positives and why good times are ahead, starting in March. The end of January saw a rain cell deliver over 300mm of rain to the Gold Coast and Tweed area, which gave our rivers and creeks a good old-fashioned flush out. And with good top-up rain at the beginning of February, we should now see balance returning. March is one of my favourite times of the year in any case, mainly due to the variety on offer and good numbers of fish on hand.
This month is a cracker for mangrove jack because they tend to start feeding hard prior to the cooler months when they become more dormant. The ever-popular flathead, which were a challenge to find through summer due to the overheated water, will become frisky once again as the water cools leading into winter. I love incorporating some surface fishing on the shallow flats during my trips, to offer some variety.
Flathead, bream and especially whiting are good campaigners through March and into April. October and November is the prime time of year for trevally and the good news is March and April also present an excellent time to target them before it gets too cold. Keep a close eye on and awareness of any bird or surface activity in the deeper holes and channels while on the water.
These signs could indicate potentially great sportfishing for giant, bigeye, tea-leaf and golden trevally. As I said, with rain comes life.
Let the good times roll for both our country and our beloved rivers and ocean.