February is shaping up to be a great month for fishing and with the pelagic season already under way off the Gold Coast you will see good numbers of mahimahi, spotted mackerel, wahoo, black marlin and the odd Spaniard.
The spotty mackerel have been hit and miss on the close inshore reef with Palm Beach Reef having close to a hundred boats parked over it on any given day. Boat numbers will drop off in February and make fishing a lot easier during weekdays.
Palm Beach and Mermaid reef after a southerly blow will fish well in February. Anchor up before dark and float line half cut pillies in a berley trail and spinning 15-40g metal slugs while you wait.
The week before the first full moon in February is a great time to chase Spanish mackerel on trolled dead baits, minnows and live baits. The southern reefs like the Tweed 9-Mile, Fidos and the gravel patch off Burleigh have had better numbers of mackerel so far this season. This will filter to the northern Gold Coast this month, so it might be worth hitting spots like the Diamond Reef and the 18 and 20-fathom reef off Southport.
Mahimahi have been in great numbers off the coast. Most of the bigger bulls have been caught on the 50m line off the Seaway and the Tweed. Trolling 6” skirts like Black Snacks in the lumo and flying fish colours has worked extremely well.
The FAD that sits on the 40-fathom line east of the seaway has had a lot of mahimahi sitting on it, not many big bulls there but heaps of smaller fish. These little mahimahi are extremely fun to catch on soft plastics on light spin gear.
Wahoo numbers will increase this month and a good number of juvenile wahoo have turned up off the Tweed in places like Burleigh, the gravel patch, 9-Mile and Deep Southern, which have already seen success this year. Wahoo are a tackle shop owner’s best friend, they snip off expensive skirted lures that were meant for a marlin or mahimahi. It pays to a have a Halco Laser Pro 190 or something similar on the long corner, as this will cut down the bite offs and a second mortgage when trolling.
Fishing conditions will improve in February as the Christmas holidays and the Australia Day long weekend come to an end.
The rough conditions in January have pushed small schools of very large yellowtail kingfish into the seaway; with some up to 40lb. These brutes have been destroying tackle on the way. Kingies can be very frustrating when you’re targeting them on artificial baits, but drifting live yellowtail pike from the under water pipe line to the north wall of Wavebreak Island has worked well. Yellowtail pike are easy to catch, and places like the Grand Hotel, the weed beds north of Wavebreak Island and Anchorage Inn Bridge are great places to collect these baits.
Large schools of mangrove jacks will start to school up in the seaway before they head out to the reefs this month, and live pike, yakkas and slimy mackerel make excellent bait for these red devils around the north wall of the seaway. The bottom of the tide seems to be the best time, and don’t be afraid to use heavy tackle to get them out from their caves.
The rain in January has fired up the whiting in the Nerang River, so night time fishing trips around the full moon will be the go this month, and blood worms and canal wrigglers are the pick of the baits.
Tallebudgerra Creek has also fished well for whiting. This is a great creek system where you can easily pump a few yabbies and catch quality whiting from the bank.
The rain also has got the jelly prawns going and with the hot humid days this has the mangrove jacks following them in hot pursuit. Throwing topwater lures that imitate a fleeing prawn is one of the most thrilling ways to target mangrove jacks, with spectacular surface strikes. Early morning, late afternoon and night time are the prime time to use topwater lures, as mangrove jacks will leave their snag and search for food during this time.
This same technique also stirs up the big-eye trevally, and good places to look for are mouth of marinas, lights from bridges and retaining walls.
This is a great month to wet a few crab pots while you are fishing, just look for any drop-off in front of any creeks and use plenty of bait. Mackerel heads and chicken frames always seem to work well together. Always remember to clearly label your pots and floats with your name and address.
Overall, February will be a big month with lots of boats off the water and plenty of action close to our shores. It will also be a be another hot month, so remember to cover up before you go out to avoid sunburn. Stay safe, and enjoy your fishing. How good is the Gold Coast?Reads: 811