New species on radar
  |  First Published: June 2012

As things start to cool down and the days start becoming shorter there will be plenty of new species to target. You will find that the offshore reefs will become easier to fish as the current starts to slow and the sea becomes calmer.

There will still be a few blue marlin present wide off the coast for the anglers that are willing to put in the time. These fish are a real thrill to catch and any gear that is not up to scratch will soon succumb to an explosive fate.

Lures are usually the most effective option for chasing blue marlin mainly because you can cover more ground. Blue marlin will eat a wide range of lures, and all will work on its given day but if you stick to quality lures such as Meridian, Pula Kai or Black Snacks lures you will rarely miss out on a bite when the fish are around.

I run a wind on leader of around 15ft and anywhere from 250-400lb, which runs to an 8ft leader in front of the lure. Your lure leader must be 400lb or heavier purely because you never know when that big one will jump on.

Running two hooks on you lure is the best option, though I’ve had success on singles. I think hook ups are more consistent with blues on two hooks. For slice head lures try to keep your hooks at 180 and for cup faced lures your hooks should run at 60.

The 42 and 50 fathom reefs should fish well this month with the pearl perch, king snapper and parrot fish starting to come on the chew more and more. A paternoster rig with two or three droppers is a really good way to target reefies. By using multiple droppers you can use various baits and bait sizes at the same time. Leader of around 60lb is more than suitable and vary your hook sizes to match the bait. Baits such as pillies, squid and most flesh baits will usually entice a bite.

On the closer reefs like the 18 and 24 fathom reefs float lining baits such as pilchards is probably a more effective way to fish. Fish such as snapper, cobia and mulloway can be regularly expected in these areas. When float lining I use ganged 7766 Mustad 5/0 hooks. I like the gangs because if there are a few tailor or mackerel in the area you are far less likely to be bitten off.

When fishing the offshore reefs don’t hesitate to use live bait. This will often provoke a quality fish into biting. A simple rig to use for live baiting would be a fairly large sinker down to a swivel with a trace of around a metre and either a snelled double hook rig or a large single hook, depending on the size of the live bait. This is kind of like a really big whiting rig. Make sure that your sinker is heavy enough because a lighter sinker may allow your live bait to swim around and tangle other lines.


If you’re keen to get your toes wet this month then beach fishing may be for you. There should be plenty of tailor and maybe a few mulloway lurking in the surf gutters around the pumping jetties at Southport and the Tweed, Narrow Neck and around Burleigh headland.

Fishing in the surf is a bit of an art, but the biggest trick is to use the correct sinker shape and weight. The “flying saucer” shape is my most preferred as it will be less likely to roll and you may be able to get away with slightly lighter weight. Tailor are a sucker for a pilchard but you may find casting metal lures of around 50-80g can be an effective and hassle free way of fishing.


Tailor will also be on offer inshore throughout June. Chase the first push of clean water on a run in tide and if there are tailor present it won’t take you long to find them. You could also try anchoring on dusk and into the early evening on the run in tide, berleying and using pilchards for bait. Try to use a fairly light weight as you want the bait to waft around a bit. Places like Crab Island or the southern drop off behind the hospital in the Tweed are top spots for this but anywhere close to the mouths is worth a try.

There will be a few school flathead around, but you may find better numbers up river a bit from their normal locations as it is still early in the season. Places like the Cotton Trees, around Carrara Stadium in the Nerang and around Chinderah in the Tweed will be where you will most likely find the masses.

Try using lures that are a bit smaller profile than what you may be used to using. Blades will work well like Ecogear VX 35 and 40, but if plastics are more your style 2-3” tails such as Gulp Swimming Mullets, Guzzler Jerk Minnows or 3” Ecogear Paramax will be best.

Bream should be around in full force and these fish can be caught on a wide variety of baits and lures. As far as baits go, yabbies are probably the best general bait for all sizes but if you want to target a bigger class of fish, mullet gut and flesh baits such as gar, mullet or tuna are more suitable.

A simple running sinker rig will suit most bream applications but if your fishing in a really snaggy area just run your sinker right down on top if the hook. This will give you a better chance at getting you rig back when snagged.

You will find good numbers of bream around the Piggery and Chinderah as well as the drop off on the northern side of the channel in the mouth of the Tallebudgera Creek.

A feed of winter whiting will be available for those who are keen to give them a go use live yabbies or sand worms on top of the sand banks at the top of the tide. The best spots will be around the mouth of Currumbin and Tallebudgera creeks as well as around the Piggery in the Tweed.

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