Productive month offshore
  |  First Published: March 2007

March should be a very productive month for anglers fishing the bluewater east of the Seaway. There have already been excellent runs of wahoo, small to medium cobia and small black marlin. The marlin will start to thin out a bit in March, and the Spanish mackerel and wahoo will increase in numbers as the water temperature usually drops slightly. It’s also a good time to catch sailfish off the Gold Coast.

Trolling is the most productive method and when the warm blue current pushes in close to the coast there should be several strikes on most trips. Bait schools have been hard to figure out with the absence of big slimies but an abundance of tiny bait including toadfish, dories and frog-mouthed pilchards. So far very few big mackerel have been caught, but by March the big Spaniards should show east of Couran Cove, Palm Beach and Mermaid Reef.

Trolling skirted lures has been a good standby this season and this should continue in March. This allows you to cover lots of water and catch billfish, dolphinfish and wahoo – but it may cost you in lures. Try mixing skirted lures with a couple of minnows or trolling a big timber or plastic stick bait.

One very effective lure to try is the Halco Laser Pro, re-rigged with single hooks. By using a pair of 8/0-10/0 Gamakatsu SL12 hooks on double split rings it’s possible to rig this lure with one hook pointing up, and the belly hook running down. This has been a surprisingly good marlin lure with a great hook up rate on the single hooks. The pilchard colour has been the best. This lure also attracts wahoo and keeps their teeth away from the skirted lures swimming around them.

Out on the wider grounds there have been some great reports of big blue marlin which should increase in March. A few striped marlin and yellowfin are around on the wider grounds with the odd big dolphinfish. This is generally big boat country and 37kg tackle is recommended.

For the bottom fisher, the current will often slow down a bit this month, and a few pearl perch and parrotfish will turn up on the 50-fathom line, but the bottom fishing will be tough this month. In closer there will be a few cobia, spotted mackerel, tailor, mack tuna and teraglin for boats that anchor and berley hard. Live baits and pilchards are the best options.

The Tweed Nine Mile producing everything from marlin to snapper in March. A lot of wahoo are usually caught when trolling with high-speed lures. This is the last good month to reliably tangle with the inshore run of marlin so get out there and troll up a few!

Broadwater and Gold Coast Rivers

There have been plenty of mangrove jack around this year, with a few 5kg+ fish being reported in some of the marinas. These big jacks will move into the Seaway and drifting live baits is a very good way to target them. A few GTs, school mulloway and flathead will also take livies this month, particularly at the end of the Seaway’s North Wall.

Up the rivers summer species will start to decrease in numbers while flathead and bream will consolidate their numbers. There should be quite a few crabs, particularly if there is a decent fresh which the entire estuary system needs to liven things up. Baitfish have been very scattered and the water over the flats has been very hot. There has been a lot of algal bloom and uprooted eel-grass in most areas of the Broadwater.

There should be lots of decent blue swimmer crabs in the main part of the Broadwater this month. The weedbeds between Tipplers Passage and the north side of Wavebreak Island will all produce on the first of the run-in tide. There may be a few banana prawns around later this month.

Bream will be in reasonable numbers in the Nerang system. Most of these are resident fish and are becoming tricky to catch at times. Small surface lures fished early in the morning have been the most productive method.

Whiting should be excellent in the Nerang and Pimpama systems, with wriggler worms and small soldier crabs the ideal baits. Shrimp are a very useful alternative and are easy to catch at high tide.

March is a great month to fish in the Gold Coast. Where else can you catch a wahoo and a whiting? We have an incredible variety of fishing options and this month has something for just about every type of fishing.

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