As we approach the weekend, the Gold and Tweed Coast are finally catching a break from the relentless rain and heat that has tested the resilience of local fishers in recent weeks. At the time of writing, the weather forecast promises a fantastic turn, providing a much-needed two-day window of favourable conditions for offshore fishing. It’s the first such opportunity we’ve seen in a long time, with light winds and a small swell predicted for both Saturday and Sunday.
Spotty Mackerel and Spanish Action
Close to shore, promising catches of Spotted Mackerel have been reported from Palm Beach Reef, The Gravel Patch, Mermaid Reef, and the Bait Grounds SE of the Seaway entrance. Techniques like slow trolling with rigged WA Pilchards, small diving lures, or skirted lures have proven effective in locating feeding predators. For Spanish Mackerel, the Gravel Patch, 18-fathom reef off the Seaway, and the 24’s have shown some activity. Trolling diving lures and, once concentrated, slow trolling live baits are recommended, adhering to the new bag limits.
Marlin Expectations and Fads for Dolphin Fish
The Marlin scene has been moderate, with a few catches reported, but expectations are high for the weekend. Fads have held some Dolphin Fish, offering an exciting opportunity for those keen on a satisfying catch, provided the currents permit.
Reef Bounty in Varied Depths
In deeper waters, the 50 and 36 fathom reefs have yielded a diverse catch including Snapper, Jobfish, Pear Perch, Tusk Fish, Yellow Tail Kingfish, Amberjack, and Trag Jew. Closer to shore, the 18 and 24 fathom reefs have seen good-sized Snapper, Spangled Emperor, Silver Jewfish, Trag Jew, Moses Perch, Maori Cod, and a few Spotted and Spanish Mackerel.
Mangrove Jack Triumphs Amidst Challenging Conditions
Despite less-than-ideal conditions this season, there’s been a welcome surge in quality Mangrove Jack catches around the Gold Coast. The persistent rain and runoff haven’t deterred these aggressive red fish. Exploring the Coomera River, particularly upstream and along the South arm, has proven fruitful. Casting or trolling lures along rock walls, pontoons, and bridges can be rewarding for those pursuing the Mangrove Jack thrill.
River Adventures – Tweed, Nerang, and More
The Tweed River, Nerang River, Runaway Bay Canals, Paradise Point bridges, Ephraim Island, Sovereign Island, and the Gold Coast Seaway offer diverse opportunities for river fishing. Live or dead bait fishing, with options like Live Herring, Yakka’s, Mullet, Garfish, Pike, Mullet Fillet, and WA Pilchards, has been effective. The Gold Coast Seaway has delivered impressive Mangrove Jack and Jewfish catches, with caution advised due to occasional unpredictable swell conditions.
Whiting on the Rise
As water quality improves, Whiting fishing is gaining momentum. Last Thursday night in the Nerang River, a successful expedition yielded a great feed of Whiting, including a notable 39.5cm catch. Given the current in the system, anglers may need to navigate through Tarwhine, Bream, Stingrays, and Catfish to locate Whiting schools. Suggested spots include Wavebreak Island, Crab Island, Paradise Point, South Arm of the Coomera, Pimpama River, Jacobs Well, Bedrooms, Tiger Mullet Channel, and Cabbage Tree Point. Baits like Blood Worms, Beach Worms, and Yabbies are recommended, with a reminder to fish light and allow the fish to fully engage with the bait before attempting a hook.
Quotes from the Boats
Brad from Brad Smith Fishing Charters reports
“This week was all about very early morning starts to beat the heat and utilize the tide changes to chase a few jacks. The start of the run-in tide especially when it is on grey light which at this time of the year is around 4.30 am to 5.30 am is the perfect corridor for me to target Jacks. I started my Jack campaign last Sunday afternoon with a cold beer in my shed and a maintenance program on my reels and a change of new heavy-duty hooks and split rings on my favourite Jack lures. Monday morning which is usually my only day off the water I decided to go on an early morning solo mission, and it was successful. So, to cut a long story short I have focused on catching Jacks for my clients this week with some great results and heart-breaking bust offs which comes from targeting the red devils.“
Gavin from Sea Probe Fishing Charters reports
“Very good fishing for Jewfish at the moment, mostly taken on live baits on the closer reefs also plenty of Dolphin Fish around the fads and also few Marlin still about on lures and live bait off the Gold Coast.“
CLARKIE’S GC FISHING – A Challenging Week on the Gold Coast
CLARKIE’S GC FISHING – A Challenging Week on the Gold Coast 19/10/2023 Posted by: BrettC No Comments Gold Coast Fishing: A Challenging Week on the Gold and Tweed Coasts The past week has been a tough one for anglers on the Gold and Tweed Coasts, with relentless south winds making fishing conditions less than ideal....