Fishing Report – 18 January 2023
The wind hung around this week and was stronger than initially forecast, along with a few showers on the Gold and Tweed Coasts giving fishos some pretty average conditions to deal with on the water. Those that could find a nice spot tucked away from the wind, managed to have some fun and land a few nice fish. The Gold Coast Gamefish Club is holding the light tackle masters comp this weekend.
Looking at the forecast at the time of writing this report conditions on Saturday are looking less than favourable with the wind up from the South to Southeast and the swell increasing, making the Seaway most suited to experienced boaties looking to head offshore. Let’s see what’s been biting this week.
Whiting and Crabs
Heading up the rivers and canals has been a great option to get out of the wind this week, fishos have managed to land some great catches of Whiting, which is great news for anyone keen for to catch a great feed. The best spots to try your luck have been the Nerang River, Coomera River, Pimpama River, Wave Break Island, Jacobs Well, Tiger Mullet Channel and the Logan River. Fishing during the daytime has been consistent, with some nice fish being landed. Fishing at night has certainly produced the bigger quality fish and also better numbers caught. During the summer months Whiting will tend to feed better at night, and more often than not, they will be in fairly large schools of fish. It is always worth fishing each area you have in mind for around 15 to 30 minutes to see what’s around, if you have not caught any legal fish I would move onto the next spot to. Whiting tend to move through an area when feeding, if you catch a few then they go quiet it might be worth hanging around as they won’t move too far and will come back to feed again in the same area. Tidal flow is a big factor when it comes to catching fish; the saying “no run no fun” defiantly applies to Whiting, as they rely on the current stirring up the bottom to expose the worms, small crabs and yabbies they feed on. I find most areas fish well on either the run out or run in tides. Live bait is very important to catch quality fish, with bloodworms, beach worms and yabbies being the best option. A nice light estuary rod and reel set up will get you started. I normally use 6 to 9lb mono main line, a long 6lb fluro carbon trace, a size 3 to 5 ball sinker (depending on current flow) to keep the bait on the bottom. A size 6 short shank bait holder hook for worms, or a size 4 long shank baitholder hook when using yabbies. It’s always worth throwing in a few crab pots whilst you are having a fish, there have been some nice hauls of both Sand Crabs and Mud Crabs lately.
It was good to see a few boats venture out offshore the past week and take advantage of one of few weather windows we have seen so far this year. Young Bailey had a great day recently trolling with his Dad Ben on the 24 fathom line off the Gold Coast, scoring a quality Spanish Mackerel. It has been a pretty good start to the Mackerel season so far with several boats managing to put together a great feed. An early start is key: getting the lures and troll baits in the water on first light will increase your chances of success. Depending on the amount of Spanish in the area, they will usually go off the bite by mid-morning and sit deep closer to the bottom, trolling live baits on a down rigger is a good option when the surface bite slows up.
A few good spots to look for a Spanish Mackerel is the bait grounds, 18 and 24 fathom reefs, Gravel Patch, Palm Beach and Mermaid reef. Like any fishing having a sound around whilst trolling is extremely important to try to locate and mark bait schools in the area that are likely to hold predatory fish. Black Marlin have also been a great target species for anyone keen to tangle with these aerial speedsters of the ocean. They are still pretty wide spread at the moment and are being caught in water depths from 30m to 80m off the Coast, with most boats reporting multiple numbers of fish hooked and landed per trip. Try trolling a spread of small and medium sized light tackle skirted lures and cover ground particularly concentrating of local reefs in the water depth you choose to fish. Always keep and eye on the sounder for bait, an eye on the sky for bird activity, and surface action including splashing or birds hitting the surface. These are all signs of predatory fish actively feeding, tide changes are a great time for a hook up as they are known as a bite time. Bottom fishing will still produce a feed of Snapper, Moses Perch, Tusk Fish, Jew Fish, Trag Jew and Cobia current dependant.
Mangrove Jack are a good target with the humidity we have had the past week or so with a few nice fish being caught. The Tweed River, The Nerang River, Runaway Bay and Paradise Point canals, Coomera River rock walls and rock bars. Bridges in the above area that hold bait, natural snags in the Logan River and also Marks Rocks will be worth a try. Estuary Cod and Trevally and a common bycatch and fun to land, live baits work well especially at night, Herring, Mullet, Pike, Winter Whiting and Yakkas all make great bait. My favourite dead bait is Mullet Fillet, it’s keeps the pickers like Bream at bay long enough for a Jack to show interest.
QUOTES FROM THE BOATS
Brad from Brad Smith Fishing Charters reports:
“This week I started my charters as early as possible, as it has been getting too hot through the middle of the day and a bit uncomfortable for my clients. The early morning starts have also been the most productive bite periods, which is not uncommon for this time of the year with the quickly rising water temperatures. Working the deeper holes in the Tweed River still produced the best results but I rigged up a couple of extra rods with some MMD Splash Prawns and cast them at some random surface action from schools of Big Eye and Giant Trevally. The species caught this week were Flatties, Bream, Whiting, School Jew and the mentioned Trevally..”
Clint from Brad Smith Fishing Charters reports:
“A nice mix of fishing this week. We caught mangrove jacks, mulloway, giant trevally, grunter, flathead, big whiting, flounder, and endless amounts of bream and tarwine. It looks like the relatively dry weather will continue here on the coast and the water near the seaway is getting very clean. It pays to find a bit dirtier and deeper water where bait is hiding. Ecogear ZX40 blades have been getting smashed and catching lots of variety. Best areas have been Curlew island, Benowa, North Currigee. This coming week we have neap tides with morning highs getting bigger through the week as we move towards new moon on 22 January. There are high low tides during the day which are good for some whiting spots, or drifting the broadwater channels with vibes and yabbies.”
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