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Fish loving windy waters
  |  First Published: August 2016



This dry season the Gold Coast has seen plenty of rain, which has given our estuaries and rivers a good flush out. This will make great fishing in the next couple of months and August will see the dreadful start of annoying northwesterlies that turn clean water brown and lifeless in the estuaries with rough conditions on the outer reefs.

Flathead

With the fast approaching Flathead Classic, a lot of teams will be searching for new ground, refining their plastic and trolling skills. There have been excellent numbers of flathead caught already throughout the Broadwater system. The bulk of flathead have been in central parts of the Broadwater from Tipplers to Crab Island with the water temperature still around 17°C. Flathead will move around a fair bit at the end of the month, looking to find a big breeding female.

The Berkley Gulp 4” Minnows, Squidgy Wrigglers and the ZMan 3” MinnowZ are good plastics to work the weed edges and drains. Trolling hardbody lures like the pink Micro Mullet and Zerek Tango Shad are effective in searching for flathead.

Flathead will be caught on the last of the run out and the beginning of the run in before they start to spread over the flooding banks. It’s been a very late spawning run for the bream so they have been popping up with lots of fish over the 1kg mark. The Seaway, the pipe in front of Biggera Creek and both entrances of Currumbin and Tallebudgera have been producing cricket scores. Flesh baits like herring, mullet, gar and bonito are working well.

Better class of bream have been taken at night leading up to the full moon. Some hard-core anglers fishing the cold nights have produced a few mulloway. Big schools of mullet have entered the estuary system and the mulloway are hot on their tails, feeding on mullet schools when the sun goes down.

Hearing a mulloway crunch mullet off the surface at night is an awesome experience! Free-swimming mullet with no weight on top of the tide is a great way of landing a 20kg+ mulloway this month. For the best hook up rate, try snelling your mullet with the correct hook size for your live bait offering.

Tailor have been active both off the beaches as well in the main Broadwater. They’ve been aggressive, especially when the westerly wind blows. Spinning behind the breakers is producing good numbers still, and the 20-40g slugs are most effective with fish up to 3.6kg (8lb) being caught. Squid have returned after all the rain and many have been caught around the rock walls in the Seaway, or the weed beds north of the Seaway.

Offshore

With the strong offshore winds usual for August, there are plenty of good fishing areas to try close to shore. August is a great month because most species will feed heavily before and after their spawning run on the inshore reefs. Fish early mornings and late afternoons that coincide with a tide change. This also gives you a chance to catch different species, like mulloway, which like a dawn and evening bit.

Most species of fish are susceptible to a berley trail, which is another key factor when fishing outside. Run two systems and a steady stream of cube pilchard from the boat, with a berley cage deep in the water column as well.

Colder water temperatures have turned the snapper on. They can be found on any part of reef from the 18 fathoms to the 50 fathoms the entire way along the coastline. When floatlining, use a two hook rig connected by a rolling swivel. The Gamakatsu SL12 and the Mustard 7766 make fantastic ganging as both hooks are strong and sharp.

Snapper love a rock pinnacle that is surrounded by rubble or sand and these pinnacles can be found at just about any reef offshore of the Gold Coast. Try the 22 and 24 fathom reefs off Surfers Paradise, Diamond Reef, Fidos, the Mud Hole and Deep Southern for lots of snapper this time of year. These spots also fish well with plastics, micro jigs and octopus jigs. Focus, Palm Beach Reef and the desalination plants are holding good numbers of cobia in July and this will continue this month. Plenty of berley and large baits like tailor and slimies work well on these hard fighters. Cobia bite better on a westerly wind on the Gold Coast and these close inshore reefs are perfect areas for these conditions.

Many teraglin have been on the close reefs and these greedy fish will eat just about everything. Many fishers prefer nighttime for getting better quality fish. Overall, early rains in winter have improved the fishing. Plenty of teams are already practicing for the Flathead Classic, and if you haven’t registered your teams go to www.goldcoastsportsfishingclub.com.au and click on the red register dot. How good is the Gold Coast!
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