Fishing Report – 15 December 2022
It was a bit of a warm and windy start to the week on the Gold and Tweed Coasts, but as the week progressed we saw a few nice days giving everyone a good weather window to get out on the water an try your luck. A drop in swell was good to see. There has been a few little Black Marlin showing up in close off the Gold Coast this week, with local fishos getting out to try their luck. Let’s have a look at a few options for the weekend and week ahead.
At the time of writing this report, the forecast was looking pretty good for heading offshore on the weekend with lighter S/SE winds and smaller swell on the cards. The water quality offshore has been pretty good the past week along with plenty of bait schools on both Yakka’s and Slimy Mackerel hanging around. This has given predatory pelagic specials like Dolphin Fish and Little Black Marlin a great reason to hang around offshore on the Gold Coast. Reports of several boats hooking multiple Marlin this past week is great news for anyone interested in chasing these exciting game fish. The majority of the Dolphin Fish have been coming from the fads on both the 36 and 50 fathom lines with some bigger fish amongst them. As we head further into to summer bigger Dollies will be mixed amongst the Marlin feeding on bait schools on the local reefs, from North Stradbroke Island to the Tweed. Like all forms of fishing, finding the right area to fish can be hit and miss. It pays to keep a keen eye on the sounder for bait schools and looking for bigger fish hanging around the general area and keeping an eye on the sky for bird activity. Birds that are very high in the sky working a particular area usually means that the bait is siting fairly deep. If the birds are working low and hitting the water it means that predatory fish like Marlin, Dolphin Fish, Tuna or Wahoo have pushed the bait school to the surface whilst feeding, giving the birds a target to dive in for a catch. Trolling Skirted lures at 6 to 7 knots is a great way to cover large areas whilst always keeping an eye out for tell tail signs, if you get a hit or hook a fish mark the spot to return to fish it again. If you find an area holding both bait schools and fish it may be worth dropping down a live bait if the fish are not responding to lures just to cover all bases. Most of the fish you will encounter from the bait grounds out to 50 fathoms will be anywhere from 10kg to 80kg in size, I usually run a leader size between 80 to 120lb when targeting smaller Black Marlin. Marlin is an exciting fish to hook and land, capable of stripping line of the reel in seconds and jumping multiple times trying to throw the hooks. When fishing always consider that safety is very important for all on board given the fast speeds, big jumps and a long sharp beak can do all sorts of damage if not treated with respect. Some good areas to start looking are the 18 to 24, 36, 42 and 50 fathom grounds off the Gold Coast, Sullies, Cottons and drilling tracks off the pin and Kirra, Gravel Patch and Nile Mile or fidos off the Tweed. I always recommend having the latest forecast on hand before heading out on the water.
Flathead have been around in pretty good numbers so far this month. As the water temperature heats up the fish will tend to move back up the rivers or into deeper holes to find some cooler water. Throwing 3-to-4-inch soft plastics with either quarter ounce or three eighth ounce jig heads around the edges of sandbanks and drop offs can be productive. Working soft vibes in the deeper water is a great way to temp a strike or trolling hard body lures in the shallow water or tops of sandbanks around high tide will usually produce a few fish. The run-out tide is normally the easiest tide to find fish, as the water level drops out of creeks and off sandbanks, the Flathead will make their way out and sit at the entrances to creeks and the edges of sandbanks and wait for the bait to swim past to ambush. Some good spots to try are Wavebreak Island, Crab Island, Coomera River, The Neverfails, Bedrooms, Tiger Mullet Channel, Jacobs Well, Crusoe Island, Russel Island and the Logan River.
Bream and Whiting
There has been some good catches of Bream and Whiting around the Gold and Tweed Coasts this past week. When targeting Bream, look to fish structures like Jetty’s, pontoons, bridges and rock walls in your local area: Mullet Fillet, Prawns, White Pilchards and Squid all make good bait. For Whiting most sandy beaches along the Broadwater should produce a feed of Whiting. Also try the tops of sandbanks on high tides, or fish the edges as the tide runs out. Best bait for Whiting is live Bloodworms, Beachworms or Yabbies.
QUOTES FROM THE BOATS
Brad from Brad Smith Fishing Charters reports:
“On the days that were fishable there were more Jewfish, Flathead, Big Eye Trevally, and Bream caught on Ecogear ZX40 and Samaki soft vibes in the deeper holes now that that the water is warming up.”
Clint from Brad Smith Fishing Charters reports:
“The Gold Coast Broadwater this week produced some Flathead, Bream, and Tailor on soft plastic and vibe lures. Bigger tide sizes around the full moon filled some of the flats that are normally very shallow, and it was these areas that were the best spots to catch fish. The water is getting crystal clear, so it pays to target weed edges that fish use to hide and ambush prey. There has been massive schools of white bait which sometimes makes it hard to catch fish as they are so well fed. We always get these tides around Christmas, and it does make it tricky to find fish. The fishing is up one day and down the next, unsurprisingly with such extremes. Nerang river is fishing quite well, as normal for Sand Whiting on worms and yabbies, and Mangrove Jacks on lures and live bait. This will continue until there is flooding rain. This coming week the tide sizes drop off and revert to morning lows, great for chasing Sand Whiting in the Southern Broadwater. Don’t worry about the almanac, if they’re hungry the fish will eat.”
Gavin from Sea Probe Fishing Charters reports:
“This week there are plenty of Black Marlins in the close grounds in 30 to 80m of water trolling lures has been doing the best trolling 6 to 8 knots and looking for bait schools, also fads still working a treat out there for Dolphin Fish.”
LINKS & INFO
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 follow the link to view http://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. Brett