Excellent estuary fishing in June
  |  First Published: June 2005

June is the first month when the water temperature starts to drop, the current slows and the weather generally improves, which means there are a lot more fishable days on the offshore grounds.

This season has been good for Spanish mackerel and average for wahoo. In June the general rule for these two speedsters is that the fish are fewer but generally bigger, and some of the biggest Spaniards seem to be caught in the last trickles of warm water. Troll big baits this month like tailor, bonito and small tuna; for wahoo, a small mack tuna trolled over the Nine Mile east of the Tweed is the best method to pin a big one. Fast trolling lures like Hex Heads are another alternative. Wahoo and Spanish mackerel over 20kg can be fairly common this month and those last tongues of warm blue current are the best place to look.

On the wider grounds there should still be plenty of blue marlin, while striped marlin are likely to increase in number. This season has been hot and cold for blues out wide, but most boats are averaging a couple of strikes a day. There have also been a few big wahoo on the wide grounds and the occasional large dolphinfish and yellowfin tuna.

The 50-fathom line will be a good bet for bottom fishing and jigging this month. Snapper will increase in numbers, with plenty of pearl perch about as well. Around the Traps on the 50-fathom line east of Burleigh, there should be lots of big amberjack and kingfish. Live baiting and jigging are the best ways to get connected to one of these bruisers. 300g Knife jigs, Sacrifice Sticks and Zests are all very effective in this area.

On the 36-fathom line big snapper will be the main target. As the water cools, big reddies start to move inshore and fish over 7kg should start to turn up and will take floating strip baits, pilchards or whole slimies. There is a lot of interest in catching snapper on soft plastics at the moment and the 4” PowerBait in pink is very effective for this. The only problem with snapper jigging on light tackle is that a lot of bigger fish can get involved: the last time I tried, I lost 250m of 7kg braid!

Cobia are another target this month, although it is unlikely we will see a run of monsters as happened last year. Areas to look include 18 fathoms east of Southport, 27 fathoms northeast of the Seaway and Mermaid Reef. Big live baits are the most effective method, although large soft plastics also work well at times. Last season a few of the fish caught in June were over 40kg – massive fish that take a lot of stopping.

Broadwater and Rivers

June sees the water cool right down and the winter westerlies start to bite. This triggers the spawning runs of bream, luderick, mullet and tailor and activity in the Seaway area increases greatly. It is an excellent month in the estuaries, and this season has seen plenty of baitfish in the mouth of Jumpinpin and the Gold Coast Seaway, which means there should be good fishing, especially for tailor.

Mulloway (jewfish) are usually caught in good numbers in the Seaway this month. Live tiger mullet drifted around the walls of Wavebreak Island on a flood tide at night is a good way to target jewies. Despite the number of boats in this area, there are still plenty of big fish for those who put in the time. The hole at the north wall of the Seaway is another good spot. Smaller school jew are common here and live slimies, yellowtail, herrings and mullet are the best baits for them.

There should be increasing numbers of bream in the Seaway area and also around Jumpinpin this month. Live yabbies, small soft plastic lures and white pilchards are all effective. For the bigger bream, live herrings work well. The Nerang River should fish well for bream on lures around the Paradise Waters canals; 3” watermelon coloured Berkley PowerBaits are very good here.

Flathead increase in numbers as the water cools and clears due to the westerly winds. It is a great month for casting soft plastics around the weed beds and flats, and although few really big fish are around at this time of year, there are plenty of 50-60cm specimens. Try the new 3” mullet soft plastics with a 1/4 to 3/8 ounce jighead.

Alternatives to soft plastics include lure trolling small minnows or drifting with white pilchards. Flatties are well worth a look this month – the numbers seem to skyrocket with the first run of cool mornings, while the clean water and light winds create ideal conditions for soft plastic fishing.

There may be a few kingies in the Seaway this month. These fish are quite flighty but metal jigs around the Seaway markers, big live baits, poppers and soft plastics will all catch the odd fish. Some of the kingies scooting around the flats at high tide have been around 15kg this season. The occasional small amberjack may also turn up in the Seaway.

Overall, June is a good month to fish both offshore and in the rivers. There are still some pelagics about and the winter spawning runs of fish in the estuaries make it very productive. The weather is generally the best feature, and those clear cool days are ideal for fishing up the rivers or far offshore.

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