Gold Coast turning up the heat and the flatties
  |  First Published: October 2015

After a cool winter it’s great to see summer species making a mark on the Gold Coast. October is a month of transition for both offshore and estuary fish species and would have to be one of my favourite months to super size a catch with big mulloway, flathead, yellowtail, and kingfish on offer.

October is a great time to chase metre plus mulloway in the seaway during daylight hours. Working large plastics, in tandem with the tide change around the north wall of the seaway and the pipeline will do the trick this month. I would recommend throwing something like the 7" Gulp! Jerk Shads and 6inch McCarthy in the paddle tail.

Big breeding flathead will also be available for capture in the deeper parts of the seaway. Throw your line over a tree and to suspend your lure over the surface, then dip the lure in, effectively ‘tea-bagging’ the lure. Big plastics like the McCarthy 5" paddle tail and the 6" Gulp! Grub will see you some good fish. If you aren’t a lure person then drifting live herring will also land a lot of flathead.

From the drop off at the pipeline all the way to the trees on south Stradbroke Island are prime flathead spots. A lot of flathead that turn up in the deep water are spawning females over 70cm. These fish need to be handled very carefully before being released. Micro jigging the seaway will also produce species of all sorts from trevally to yellow kingfish and even the odd mulloway. Storm 30g Koika and Maria Jigs work extremely well with two stand out features - firstly, the sink rate is perfect for the fast current in the seaway and secondly, their small profile resembles white and frog mouth pilchards.

Mangrove jacks come alive this month and are worth the effort as a prized estuary sportfish. This time last year, jack action took place from 12-3pm in the afternoon. After that the jacks would shut down due to the cold north-easterly sea breeze. Slow rolling 4" Zman Swimmerz in pearl under pontoons in the Nerang River will work well. Trolling hard body lures like Killalure River Rats and Atomic Shiner will also prove successful in the Nerang River. Places like Cotton Trees, Bundall Bridge, the Council Chambers, the deep hole behind the old Titanium Bar and the rocky shelf in front of TSS school are all worth a look.

Whiting will make a return later in the month. For the best result use live bloodworms and canal wrigglers. Whiting will be found from the Council Chambers up to Cotton Trees.


The first trickle of eastern Australian current moves in this month and with it the water temperature will begin to rise. Game fishing is generally good at this stage but only if the bait shows up. Quite a few yellowfin from 40-70kg and a few around the 100kg have been caught in the past month on the wider grounds. Most have fallen to trolled 8-12" skirted lures but a few have also been caught on jigs, dropped into schools marked on the sounder. Cubing with pilchards or chopped tuna is another method that has plenty of potential on those calm days.

In September the bigger snapper showed up in quantities – a great sign for October. Float lining pillies in a berley trail to get good numbers of snapper, but live baits on down riggers and soft plastics will catch the bigger models. Jerk bait style plastics in 5" and 7" in nuclear chicken and white still work the best on Gold Coast snapper. You’ll find snapper in the 24 and 26 fathom of the seaway, and the gravel reef south of Diamond Reef as well as the 30-fathom and the Mud Hole of the Tweed. Last time I went float lining on the 24’s, I was bitten off a few times by mackerel so hopefully this is good sign that we might have a bumper mackerel season.

The Gold Coast has seen good numbers of tailor along the coastline. Anglers have bagged out on tailor by trolling hard body lures behind the sand bags at Narrowneck. Remember to always take care when fishing behind the breakers. The sand pumping jetties have also been fishing well for tailor and the odd mulloway, with fun fishing at night on the jetty under the lights using gang pillies.

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