Pelagic run continues
  |  First Published: June 2012

Water temperatures start to drop and the fishing patterns change with the onset of winter.

Out wide off the Continental Shelf the pelagic activity should continue.

June generally sees blue marlin activity continue and there should also be an increasing number of striped marlin showing from the 50 fathom line and out further. Work the area between 120-200m and you might also run into some decent yellowfin tuna and the odd mahi mahi and wahoo.

It often pays to slightly down size your lures to cater better for striped marlin that can be very tricky to hook. Try running a straight running bullet head in the shot gun position on calm days. I have been quite surprised how effective these straight runners are on blue and striped marlin.

It has been a very unusual marlin season this year. It seems most of the black marlin bypassed the Gold Coast in their southern migration.

Closer inshore some big Spanish mackerel and wahoo should still be around. Often as the water cools these species are smaller in numbers but bigger in size, so it pays to use bigger lures and baits. Small trolled tuna are particularly effective when rigged on wire with a stinger rig. Spin up small tuna on metal slugs and immediately put them out and work them slowly around the edge of the tuna schools.

In June, expect a ‘return run’ of big spotted mackerel as the population moves back north from the mid north coast of NSW. Pal Beach and Mermaid Reef can fish well this month, and there should also be plenty of mac tuna and small yellowfin on the Tweed Nine Mile Reef.

Bottom fishing should improve markedly as the current slows and the water cools. The north east 50 fathom line should produce pearl perch, snapper, amberjack and Samson. This area is a great place for jigging and live baiting.

The 36 fathom line should start to see good numbers of snapper moving in towards the end of the month in preparation for spawning. Fishing tide changes at dawn and dusk are the best times. Be careful if the weather forecast is for anything over 15 knots northwesterly as this area gets particularly rough in these conditions.

On the close reefs, snapper and decent mulloway should start to show, especially at night. Anchoring up and berleying heavily while fishing a mix of live baits and floating pilchards has proved a very productive method.

Cobia, some over 30kg, should also start to show this month around the inshore bait schools and around the desalination plant off Tugun. Most cobia fall to big live baits, but 7” Gulp Jerk Shads are also quite effective at times. Slow trolling live baits is another good method that can also bring on the big Spanish mackerel.


June is a great month around the Seaway and Southport Broadwater. Light westerlies, calm cool mornings and lots of fish make it an ideal month to chase mulloway, tailor, bream and flathead.

As the water cools a lot of fish get ready for spawning and there is a lot of activity with big schools of bream, mullet and luderick moving to the estuary entrances. This attracts a wide variety of predators and, generally, there are a lot of white pilchards this month.

Winter flathead fishing should start to fire up as the water over the flats cools and the fish become a lot more active. While there aren’t as many monster fish around as there are in spring, it is a great time to chase school fish between 40-60cm, which are ideal table fish.

I like to work the flats around the eastern side of Crab Island in June; trolling hardbodies and casting are very effective. Small lures and light 12lb fluorocarbon leader are all you need this month. I like to use Lively Lures Micro Mullets in pink and silver to troll the flats. Working the top of the tide over mud flats in less than a metre of water is a very productive way to fish.

The flats behind Browns Island are another good spot to fish. Casting small soft plastics, blades and rattlers work well and it pays to mix up your fishing styles. Some days the fish will be focused on one particular lure style and avoid all others. More generally, you will find a pattern related to particular conditions and be able to use the knowledge you gained on your next trip. Expect a lot of bream by-catch while flathead fishing this month.

Tailor should start to move into the Broadwater and Jumpinpin this month. They are usually easy to find by watching the birds, and can be caught casting metal slugs, trolling shallow hardbodies or drifting with pilchards. Some solid fish up to 2kg should turn up this month.

An early morning tailor session on the last half of a run-in tide is a great way to catch a tasty breakfast. Small Snipers are a great little tailor lure in the 30g size.

A lot of big mulloway start to become active around the entrances this month coinciding with the annual run of tiger mullet. Fish the entrances at night with live mullet on the top of the tide for best results. Don’t expect to get one on your first try, but rewards come to those who persist.

June is a great month for anglers on the Gold Coast. The southeasterlies abate and the weather is beautiful. With all the summer and autumn rain the estuary should be in top condition and the fishing should be excellent.

Tight lines and good fishing.

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