A cool change
  |  First Published: May 2015

This year is just flying by, I can’t believe it’s May already, and that we’re only a month away from winter.

May is an excellent month for fishing, and as we head into the last month of autumn the canals are one fire. Flathead, bream, whiting, decent trevally, and the odd jack are roaming around at the moment harassing bait and eating lures. Over the last few years May has been one of the better months for fishing the canals, and I’m expecting the trend to continue this year.

afternoon delight

The best action traditionally comes late afternoon (4-6pm) with the canal entrances, corners, and retaining walls holding the best fish. GTs and jack will be in residence in these spots, with poppers such as the Strada Chaos 45 and Halco Rooster Popper two gun lures to use (watch my video at youtube.com/joshdunnsfishing where I catch trevally and jacks on these lures). Try looking for spots where the current comes together from different angles. The corners in the canals are prime places where this happens, with bait regularly holding up here. Keep your eyes open for signs of bait and action and don’t be put off by dirty water.

Plenty of big bream will start to appear with the spawning season not far away. Try fishing the pontoons and deep holes, and sound fish up with your sounder to help locate the better concentrations of fish. Small walking stickbaits have been producing fish at the end of the canals, while small plastics and hardbodies flicked up against rock walls and pontoons have been catching plenty of fish.

Cool runnings

Within the next month the cooler weather will start kicking in and the water temperature will begin to drop. As this happens tailor will begin to become more prominent, and will start being caught throughout the Broadwater and at the mouth of canals. Trolling hardbodies is a great way to catch tailor in these locations with Rapala X-raps, especially the blue pilchard, and the white colours, one of my favourite lures to use. When it comes to soft plastics the 3” Z-Man MinnowZ in opening night colour is hard to go past for matching the hatch when it comes to a baitfish imitation.

The flathead have been on the quiet side of late, my suggestion for those keen to catch a few is to fish the areas that have plenty of flow and bait such as bridges, rock walls, sandflat drop offs, and the the mouth of canals. TT Lures Switchblades have been working on flathead in these areas and are hard to go past.

Pilchards and prawns have been great baits for bream, especially at night, while live mullet and herring have been catching their fair share of flathead, jacks and trevally. Live baiting is most successful when done in the deep holes and around the bridges.

Getting sharked

Professional shark fisherman Max Muggeridge from TBD Shark Fishing has been kind enough to give us his insight into the shark fishing on offer in the canals during May.

“As the water temperature drops pup bull sharks will be harder to catch, as they chase the warmer water. One way to keep your catch rate up is to reduce your bait size. Try to catch live bait for your fishing, if not collect the freshest bait you can find and drop down your hook size. It also pays to drop down in trace size, as low as 20lb (nylon coated trace) if need be. Sharks will be found around river mouths until the warm water fires them up once again. The best baits are live mullet, catfish fillets or an eel fillet, fished along the bottom. After rain it is always a sure bet the larger sharks will be congregating around river mouths waiting for bait to get flushed to them”

If you want to find out more on shark fishing check out TBDsharkfishing on Facebook.

May is set to be a terrific month for fishing the canals, regardless of what species you’re targeting so get out there and enjoy the excellent angling the Gold Coast canals has to offer.

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