All Fish Great and Small
  |  First Published: February 2009

What a cracker of a summer we have experienced on the Gold Coast this year. This year is certainly making up for it last year’s complete washout and it’s not over yet.

February is usually the hottest month of the year so just be weary when spending a fair bit of time on the water. I have been working on Gone Fishing Charters out of Southport for the passed few months and have seen a number of customers unaware of how badly they were getting sunburnt until one of us mentioned it to them. A quick pit stop from the fishing to apply a bit of sunscreen is usually all that is required to stop this.

The marlin season so far has been a cracker with just about everybody getting in on the action. It took a few weeks for the fish to move down to the Southern Gold Coast in the same numbers that the boys were seeing off the ‘Pin bar, but hopefully they will still be around in February if you haven’t yet got one.

We have been using mostly Fish Eagle pushers for our fish because they have been working exceptionally well and are very reasonably priced. When you are on the water most days you tend to go through a few lures. Colours have been a hotly contested debate and everyone you ask has their own preferential colour and trolling spread. Try to keep it simple and mess around with a few different colours until you find a few colours and sizes you have confidence in. The highlight of the season was a ten-year-old boy catching his first ever marlin and the boys all giving him a cheer when he helped to release it.

Mackerel will be an option at Palm Beach while wahoo, dolphin fish and most of the tuna species will be terrorising the local concentrations of slimeys. Boat numbers should be a bit more bearable with the end of the holidays but tempers will still be short so try to do the right thing out there and give the next boat a bit of room.

When heading out across the bar in low light conditions be aware that the number of kayak anglers is increasing daily so just keep a vigilant eye out for these guys. I have had a few close ones heading out towards the Tweed bar when coming up to a few of these boys with no lights showing.

The creeks should continue to fish well if the conditions remain as well as they have been, with the summer species still dominating. Whiting, flathead, mangrove jacks and trevally will be the major target species with bream also around in good numbers although lacking a bit in size. The larger specimens of these fish prefer periods of low light namely early morning or late afternoon. So if you want to try and target the bigger fish you need to be on the water nice and early to beat the crowds.

Try to fish the areas with the least boat traffic, although I think the fish that reside in the Gold Coast waters have learnt to live with boat traffic. If they hadn’t then they would starve pretty quickly. Lighter line and a bit of stealth can also help your chances whether using bait or lures and try to use the lightest weight possible. Obviously you wouldn’t be taking this approach when fishing for trevally or jacks around structure, but for whiting or bream on the open banks it is the way to go.

Both Tally and Currumbin creeks are very popular land based venues for taking the kids for a fish or just soaking a bait after work. Although they get an absolute flogging through summer they still continue to produce the odd good quality fish for those that are willing to put the time in. So if you haven’t got anything better to do and feel like a bit of fresh air, then grab a rod and head down to one of the creeks on the Southern Gold Coast and have a few flicks. Who knows you might even take home a feed for the night.

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