Canals are on the up.
  |  First Published: October 2015

The big flathead and jacks are on in the canals! Fishing the canals can be fruitful this time of year with masses of baitfish hanging around bridges and walls, alongside trevally patrolling the canals in search of a feed!

The odd few tailor are still lurking throughout the Pin and Broadwater, smashing bait on the surface. These fish are only small, but plenty of fun and can keep you occupied for hours. To find the larger models try trolling hard bodied lures around 100mm through the bait schools. Rapala X-raps are one of the few I would recommend using. Once you’ve found a patch of fish, hold in that position and cast plastics around. Fan your casts around the boat or kayak to cover more ground.

With the water and weather warming up, our summer species will be becoming more common. Flathead are one such species that will be found around rock walls and sand banks throughout the Broadwater. We all know flathead love eating mullet and one lure that’s been working great for me lately is the Z-man 4" SwimmerZ V2 in AYU, which looks just like mullet. No surprise then that some pretty decent fish have been caught recently.

Best spots to pull up and investigate are the North wall in the seaway, the estuaries coming off the main river in Jumpinpin, canal mouths, and deep holes. I’ve found that the run out tide is when I’ve caught most fish as flathead will lay in wait for baitfish to get flushed out of canals or off sandbanks.

Flathead won’t be the only thing anglers can target now. Jacks will be on everyone’s mind, especially from October through to around March/April. Fish your lures or baits close to structure - bridges, deep rock walls, and jetties. My heart races with excitement every time I see a jack post on Facebook or when I approach a jetty, rock, or retaining wall. Yep, it’s time - time to start packing your jack lures and get your mind set on these canal beasts. From this month onwards we will see warmer waters and consequently waters the bait will rise in the water, making them an easier target for trevally, jacks, and bream.

Fishing at night has proved successful in the past few weeks with big eye trevally hitting the surface around bridge pylons and lights. These fish will go all night long if there’s enough baitfish. Live baiting around bridge pylons also works well with small poddy mullet.

Another great piece of advice is to schedule a trip when there’s a full moon. During the full moon the tides are massive and when there are big tides there are also very low tides when the fish flee from their usual haunts to hide in the deeper water under jetties (front side) or bridge pylons. I have gone out lately on the very low tide and fished quite well with a solid jack and brassy trevally as a result.

Well that’s it for me for another month from the Gold Coast canals, good luck this October and I’ll see you on the water!

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