Now that the holiday season has come to an end and there is less boat traffic, we can now get down to some serious fishing and start targeting bigger and better fish.
The warmer water has small black marlin, mackerel, tuna, bonito and the odd cobia feeding close in along the coast just behind the breakers through the Pin Bar. Trolling small skirts or medium divers should entice a strike from any of these top fighting fish, so if the weather is good head out and get amongst them.
The jacks and cod are enjoying the warmer water as well, as this is one of the best seasons we’ve had for them. Live bait is the key to catching these fantastic fighting and eating fish but if you can’t get your hands on any then a well presented fresh strip bait should do the trick. Any rocky outcrop or wall with cover should house a jack or cod so persist, be patient and they will eventually come.
You can expect some good quality flathead in February with plenty between the 40-60cm mark – the bigger girls over the 75cm should be released to breed and fight another day. Trolling small shallow divers over weedy patches and steep drop-offs should get you a fish, or try flicking plastics up in to the shallows and retrieving them towards yourself in the deeper water.
Drifting with pillies is another great way to score a fish if lures aren’t your thing. The pick of the spots have been the weed and mud banks near Pandannus Island, Kalinga Bank (as always), Cobby Passage, Mosquito Island and near the Mouth of the Logan.
Some decent whiting have been on the bite through January and should continue to be on the chew right through February; the best have been well over half a kilo around the 40cm mark. They have been a little quiet throughout the day but persistence pays for those that stay out all night in the Logan and Pimpama rivers, which have produced the biggest fish. Canaipa Passage, NW Mosquito Island and the Gold Bank make up the other hot spots. Worms and yabbies are still the best of the baits for whiting.
A lot of sandies along the deeper holes of Tiger Mullet Channel, Tabby Tabby, Canaipa Passage, the mouth of the Logan River and near Diner Island. Muddies have been in good numbers in the lower reaches of the Logan, off Cabbage Tree Point, Cobby Passage and behind Eden Island.
There are a few 30cm bream around, but most are well undersized and are probably what has been knocking your bait off all day. If you’d just like to have fun then down size your hook and bait and you’ll find your hook up rate will increase. Try all the usual hot spots for bream because they are always there looking for an easy meal.
February is always a good time for tailor and there should be some decent greenbacks off the beaches of North and South Straddie. The big ones don’t usually come through the Bar so you’ll find a lot more of the smaller variety inside. They like chasing the schools of whitebait that come through the Pin so using any small metal slugs or plastics that look like whitebait is a great way to fish for choppers.
Small schools of tarpon have been about too, and will take pillies or lures and put up a tremendous fight jumping and testing your gear. A great fight but unfortunately not very good to eat.
The mulloway have been slow with only the odd schoolie around 3-4kg, which is still a decent fish but just under the legal 75cm length from the Logan near Marks Rocks, Short Island and out front of Swan Bay in the Jew Hole.
Thanks for all reports and if you have any questions on conditions or what’s biting drop us a line at Gem Bait & Tackle on 07 32873868 or email --e-mail address hidden--Reads: 864