There is a lot of hubbub about lure fishing these days with the tournament scene propelling soft plastics and their fishing right into the spotlight. But if you’re new to the game there are lots of hurdles to get across before you feel comfortable with a soft plastic outfit in your hand and a set of pontoons staring you in the face.
An easy way to make the leap from a fishing novice to a seasoned veteran is to hire a guide who can show you all the tricks of the trade. That is exactly what A’luring Fishing Adventures offers to anglers that are keen to get in on the soft plastic action. Operating out of the Gold Coast, A’luring Fishing Adventures is the brainchild of Angus Collins. Angus is a hopeless angler (like the rest of us) who just can’t keep off the water. His passion for fishing saw him pack in his executive job, change his lifestyle and teach people the dos and don’ts of fishing around the Gold Coast.
Angus runs a brilliantly laid out Attack 580 that has massive clear areas for clients to fish in. The boat is surveyed for calm waters meaning Angus can take you up the canals, through the Southport Broadwater and into the Seaway right up to the end of the North Wall.
Angus concentrates on lure and flyfishing and catch and release is a very important part of the day. This doesn’t mean you can’t keep a feed if you want, you’ll just have to let Angus know before you get there as he will need to reorganise the boat.
Your day starts as early as you want from first light as it’s a daylight hours operation and you can target any of the common estuary species like flathead, bream, mangrove jack, trevally, tarpon and tailor. Add to this the range of ‘incidental’ captures like whiting, luderick and mackerel and there is plenty of scope for a great day out.
Angus can supply lunches and snacks to keep you going and is available for half and full day or more charters. Just be aware that it is an open boat with no sun cover, so dress appropriately and take plenty of sunscreen.
Greg Livingstone and I were lucky enough to fish with Angus just at the end of the flathead season so we thought we’d give him a challenge. When Angus asked what we’d like to chase, we both said fish that pull harder than the famous Gold Coast 23cm bream.
“No worries,” said Angus, “We’ll head for the Seaway and spin up a few tailor”.
The short trip from the Sundale ramp gave us enough time to go through the safety drill and get our tackle ready. We started with 4kg spin sticks and 5” soft plastics rigged on 1/4oz jigheads. Pulling up to the North Wall hole we fired our lures into the wash, let them sink and retrieved them at a medium pace. Angus explained that the tailor we were chasing did not chase fish that moved too quickly, so we had to sink the lure down and retrieve it at a moderate pace.
After a few nervous and short casts we started to get our rhythm going and a few tailor began smashing the plastics. They weren’t monsters, but a couple around 1kg were great fun as we drifted inland with the tide. The highlight was a massive hook-up on something big with fins that had no regard for the 4kg tackle we were using and peeled off about 10m of line to bury the lure deep under some rocky crevice. The inevitable bust off was very quick.
After the tailor fun we went to chase some flathead up around Ephraim Island. We threw the same plastics at the sand flats and weed beds for flathead and also some lighter rigs at the pontoons for bream. The flatties were a little thin on the ground, but the lighter rigs were working a treat on oddballs such as whiting and a greedy little happy moment.
As we moved around the island we caught and released six average size flatties before pulling stumps and heading a little more north to Sovereign Islands. We swapped our plastics rigs for hard-bodied lures in the hope of tempting a jack, but some pesky big bream kept getting in on the act before any jacks could smash the lures. It was here that we also saw our biggest tailor of the day – a 2kg+ beast that was momentarily attached to my line before angrily shaking its way free of the lure.
This prompted a move so we headed over to South Straddie and fished some productive weedy flats for a few more decent flathead before calling it a day at 11am.
When I mentally added up the fish we caught I was a little surprised. We caught tailor, bream, flathead, whiting, happy moment and cod in enough numbers to keep us interested. We even had a few building crews laughing at us – until they saw the rods bend and the fish come aboard. All of a sudden they were very interested!
It was a great escape from the office for a morning and Angus certainly has the skills to get you onto some great fish. If you’re learning the art of lure or flyfishing in estuaries, fast track your learning by hooking up with A’luring Charters on the Gold Coast.
A’luring Fishing Charter
0408 609 813
Half Day (5 hours): $300 individual or $200/person for 2-4 anglers
Full Day (8 hours): $400 individual or $250/person fro 2-4 anglers
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