Flathead fishing is flat out on the coast
  |  First Published: September 2016

The northwesterlies play a big part for fishing on the Gold Coast in September. If the northerly winds stay away, fishing will be excellent in estuaries and outside. If not, fishing can be tough. With so much interest in the Great Northern Flathead Classic, if previous months are to go by, we might be in for bumper records.

Flathead numbers have been excellent towards the Northern Broadwater, but more flathead are starting to filter towards Crab Island, Nerang River and the Seaway rock walls. It has been an awesome season to chase flathead on the flats and drains, casting soft plastic in inches of water. I like Berkley Gulp Minnows and Swimming Mullets in chartreuse colour, which have been the go to lure for many years. They’re hard to beat in shallow water.

The Aldershots, Neverfails and middle banks of Crab Island have had plenty of flathead. A lot of big girls are over the 80cm mark. If the northerly wind blows, these areas turn into lifeless brown water. The brown water usually flows along South Stradbroke Island. If this happens, look for water trapped by sand banks. A good example is the Ghost Hole at Crab Island. Swimming enclosures at Paradise Point and the Southport hold good numbers of bait and flathead.

Numbers of big flathead start to filter towards the entrances for their breeding season this month. Tea bagging 5” Scented PaddlerZ on TT HeadlockZ is perfect for catching big flathead in the deep. The hole in the wall on the southwest corner of Stradbroke, rock walls and bridge pilons in the Currumbin Creek will hold good numbers of big flathead leading up to the full moon.

The deeper channels around Sovereign and Ephraim islands have had plenty of line burners like giant herring, tarpon and medium size trevally. Look for deep bait schools on your sounder and these predatory fish won’t be far behind. Drop 15g micro-jigs, soft plastics and 3” minnows in pearl white – these have been the pick of lures, even when the fish shut down.

Mangrove jacks will be back this month, so look for shallow canal systems that heat up during the day. Try slow rolling a 4” ZMan DieZel under local jetties, in the Tallebudgera and Currimbin creeks. I glue my plastic on my jighead, as this will stop a jack pulling plastics over the point of the hook.

Water temperature in Hinze Dam has stayed relatively high, so bass have been biting well through winter. Slow rolling minnows and spinnerbaits, in the timbers on the western arm, has done the damage. Quality fish have been well over the 50cm mark.


It’s been a real mixed bag of fish on the local reefs, this season. Snapper, teraglin, Maori cod, tuskfish, mulloway and cobia all play their part on certain days. The bite times have been short for snapper on the local grounds. The afternoon bite has lasted longer than the morning bite and the snapper have been better quality so far. Soft plastics ranging from 4-7” in the jerk shad pattern are great with the correct weight jighead.

The current has been sporadic this season. One day we have no current, and the next day it’s running hot at two knots. Have plenty of jig eads to match the current. Places like Kingscliff Reef, the 36-fathom line, Fidos and Tweed Nine-Mile are worth a look this month on the Southern Grounds. The 18-, 20-, 24-, 26-fathom reefs off Surfers and Southport are going well.

Tailor fishing has been red-hot on the south end of the coast. Plenty of greenback are mixed in with choppers. Cast 65g slugs and pencil poppers around dusk near the many headlands and river mouths like the Tweed, Burleigh, Tallebudgera and Currumbin. If you’re using baits, soak a pilly, gar and strip bonito on a set of gang hooks, this has caught plenty of tailor so far. The sand pumping jetty is worth a look this month. Tailor, dart and big mulloway are coming in quite consistently.

Overall, we hope the northerly winds stay away, but there are still plenty of options to get a feed. It’s flathead fever in September, and I wish all competitors the best and tight lines during the Gold Coast Sports Fishing Great Northern Flathead Classic.


Flathead fishing will be the main draw card this month, as we lead up to the Flathead Classic.


Con with a thumper snapper caught in the Simrad Snapper Classic.


Sally had her hands full with this solid spangled emperor.

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