Fishing Report – 2 February 2023
The hot weather continued this week on the Tweed and Gold Coast with warmer Northly winds and a few showers hanging around.
At the time of writing my report, the weekend was looking ok to start with – Saturday morning being the pick of the days – seeing much lighter Northerly winds before a Southerly change moves through later in the day, increasing on Sunday. This will make conditions a bit unpleasant for being on the water, unless you can find some shelter up the rivers.
It seems the holiday season went by very quickly. Let’s check what’s been on the bite this week.
Some quality Mangrove Jack have been landed around the Gold and Tweed Coasts during the past week. The Coomera River has produced some quality fish with canals and marina entrances around Hope Island and Coomera holding some big fish and a fair bit of bait. The western reaches of the Coomera have also fished well up past the highway bridge with plenty of natural structure including; the big rock bar behind the old koala town, and the channels behind the quarry that have several deep holes close to structure.
Bait fishing is my number one go to when chasing Jacks, if you can manage to cast net or catch some Live Herring, Mullet, Silver Biddies, Garfish and Pike they all make fantastic bait. Mullet fillet or half poddy Mullet are my favourite dead bait that seems to attract the big Jacks but is tough enough to put up with little pickers like Bream until a Jack shows up. Fishing with bait is a great way to temp a big Jack, but also plenty of Estuary Cod and Trevally will respond to this method.
You can also try casting or trolling lures along the rock walls, bridge pylons and pontoons scattered throughout the Gold and Tweed Coast. Some good spots to look around are the Tweed River, The Nerang River, Runaway Bay Canals, Paradise Point bridges, Ephraim Island and Sovereign Island, Coomera River, Jacobs Well, Cabbage Tree Point and the Logan River to name a few. Jacks will tend to hit hard so having a fairly tight drag will give you the best chance of a solid hook up, and limit your chances of being bricked back into the nearest snag that the fish can find. Jacks are dirty fighters and will make you earn each fish on most occasions.
My normal outfit will be a medium to heavy rod 5 to 10kg rating with either a bait caster or spinning reel spooled with 30lb braid and either 30 to 60lb leader depending on how tentative the fish are and the type of structure you decide to fish.
It’s that time of year to dust off the cast nets and start having a look around for a feed of Prawns on the Gold Coast. They usually start to appear from February and most years run until May or June. I have seen a few reports where fishos have been scoring a feed from up north around the Pine River, but some of the Prawns have been a little on the smaller side. We have not had as much rain as last year so it will be interesting to see how this season will go – last year was a cracker with plenty of great feeds on offer for those willing to put in the time.
This time of year, Banana Prawns are well spread out so having a hunt around a few different areas on the sounder will be worth a go. Try looking around The Powerlines, Rocky Point, Logan River, Russell Island, Macleay Island, Cabbage Tree Point and Jacobs Well. When choosing the right net, I recommend using a top pocket cast net as it is the best option. When casted, as the net sinks the prawns are pushed into a catch pocket in the top of the net. When you have casted, and you can feel something kicking in the net just pull on the rope a few times and that will make the prawns head into the top pocket. The top pocket makes emptying the prawns from the net an easy task then you can go straight back into casting at the school a lot quicker. An easy way to know if there are Prawns around just keep a keen eye out for other boats throwing nets that way you know you are in the general area.
Tide changes are important when timing your trip, top or bottom of the tide will work for most areas. When the tide slows the Prawns will pop up from the mud to schools and feed, this is the prime time to target them. As the tide starts to flow and more boats start casting the schools tend to break up, then you only get a few at a time, which can be hard work. I will normally take a fishing rod this time of year it can be a bit quiet and cast some soft plastics and vibes around for a Flathead, Snapper or Bream.
QUOTES FROM THE BOATS
Brad from Brad Smith Fishing Charters reports:
“It was extremely hot on the water this week, so I started all my trips very early to finish up before the midday heat. This worked out well as we were in time for the first of the early morning run out tides which saw for the first hour a heap of small, Big Eye and Giant Trevally busting up on the surface everywhere. We quickly took advantage and started casting MMd Splash Prawn lures across the surface and the Trevally smashed them. Although the Trevally were only small it is so exciting to watch how much fun my clients had seeing the fish attack surface lures. We also took the opportunity to jig some Ecogear ZX 40 lures in the deep holes that had a ton of bait showing on the sounder. Deep jigging through the bait schools produced some Flatties, Bream, Whiting and small School Jew.”
Clint from Brad Smith Fishing Charters reports:
“The water heated up this week to 29 degrees in some areas in the Broadwater, and higher up the rivers and creeks. It’s best to fish the shallows early in the morning then venture deeper, as most fish can’t tolerate too much heat this time of year. This includes the Sand Whiting who like to explore the sand flats as the tide flows in. The good thing is that cooler water comes in from the ocean with the run in. There have been good numbers of legal size Whiting when we fished the shallows. With the neap tides and the heat, I have been sticking to the deeper areas on drifting charters. While the fish have down in size there has been lots of numbers and variety including Slateys, Snapper, Tuskfish, Moses Perch, Flathead, and many good size Tarwhine and Bream. Ecogear breamer vibes and yabbies once again are working great. Best areas have been the deep hole wrecks, Carter’s reef, Southport main channel, and the holes up from Capri bridge.”
Gavin from Sea Probe Fishing Charters reports:
“The Dolphin fish have been very quiet around the fads but with the less current bottom fishing has been ok with Snapper and nice size Pearl Perch on the chew. Trolling has been good outside on the shelf and in close around the 60 to 80 m with Black Marlin, Blue Marlin and Striped Marlin being caught trolling lures.”
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