Hi everyone, it’s crazy that we are into February already. January flew by so fast, with plenty of charters for us during peak season.
The fishing has been excellent – bumper catches of big sand whiting, still plenty of flathead and even late runs of tailor feeding in the Broadwater on huge schools of whitebait.
Mangrove jack will continue to be caught as well – we are lucky to be able to catch such big jacks here on the Gold Coast and from the Tweed River.
This month is still a great time to catch a feed of delicious sand whiting.
As I have written about previously, whiting are easily caught on yabbies in the Broadwater and on worms in the Nerang River, however this month, I’m going to talk about catching whiting on lures.
One of the most visual and exciting ways to target this sporty fish is with surface lures.
Two of our favourites are MMD Splash Prawns and Bassday Sugapens.
It is not easy to catch whiting on surface lures on the Gold Coast. The best chance for a good session is to get out there early in the morning and put long casts out over shallow sand.
A non-stop medium speed retrieve while twitching the rod works well. Another tip is to use clear monofilament for leader line because it floats more than fluorocarbon and doesn’t drag the lure under the surface of the water.
A 7’ light-action rod is all that is needed, and for a reel, we like the Okuma Ceymar HD CHD-2500HA spinning reel spooled with 8lb braid and 6-8lb mono leader.
At times, the Tweed River is an amazing fishery for whiting on surface lures.
If you want to experience it for yourself, book on one of Brad Smith’s charters this month or in March. Smithy can be contacted on 0419 028 704.
Other lures that work well are Ecogear ZXs and Z-Man 2.5” PrawnZ and ST GrubZ.
A new lure that arrived recently from the US is the micro finesse Z-Man Shad FryZ 1.75”.
For me, these tiny soft plastics are already catching loads of flathead and I’ll be trying them on whiting too.
However, for now, it’s back to my proven lures.
For many years we have been using Ecogear ZX40 blades with scent smeared on them.
We have caught over 30 species on them, including big whiting and tons of winter whiting.
These are best fished in water 4m and deeper, using a tea-bagging method while drifting.
Lately, I’ve been experimenting with the ZX40s smaller siblings – the ZX35s and 30s – for a more finessed presentation over the flats in water less than 1m deep.