Creeks Crumble but Rivers Roar
  |  First Published: March 2009

Although the rain has been welcomed in the dams on the southern Gold Coast, it has played havoc with the creeks. The upper reaches have been extremely hard to fish and this has placed a fair bit of pressure on the lower reaches. Fortunately there have been a few fish around to keep it interesting.

Some good quality bream, flathead and trevally have been flushed down around the lower reaches of the rivers where most of the bait has congregated. This will probably remain the case through April with the majority of the better fishing being around the mouth and lower areas of the rivers.

With a bit of luck the rain should ease off and we can enjoy the Easter holiday and a bit of rest and relaxation. Trevally, the odd jack, bream and flathead will be the main target species in the creeks with trevally being the most prevalent and willing to grab the most baits and lures.

The rock walls, mouth of the canals or drains on the run-out tide and start of the run-in are the places to look for these fish. Early morning or late afternoons are the best times, and if you can be on the water at the right time and tide action, the fishing can often be thick and fast.

Top sportsfish can often be located by slowly working up or down the river with your boat or walking the bank watching for any signs of bust ups. These telltale splashes show you the actively feeding fish. They don’t hang around in this frenzied state for very long so you need to get a lure or live bait into the school as quickly as possible.

Lead slugs, small plastics or poppers worked fast through feeding fish will normally result in an instant hook up, and double or triple hook ups are great fun. Live herring are a top bait and a trevally won’t swim passed one, unfortunately they are a bit tricky so it maybe necessary to cast a fair way at them.

The key to catching the trevally in this instance is to work the area that they are busting up with your livies and as they swim past they will grab them. Try to have the bait set at different depths and make sure that your rods are secure in the rod holders, because they hit them very hard.

If the rain backs off a bit the upper reaches of the rivers should start to produce really well, as both creeks have had a good flush out. They always fire well after heavy rain so if the conditions start to improve grab the gear and head out.


The action at Palm Beach Reef has been a bit patchy with the spotties being on one day and then missing for the next three. They have been tough to figure out but if you are there at the right time the fishing has been top notch. Some of the better sessions have been later in the day, once most of the boats have left. Slugs and drift pieces of pillies have been the standout techniques.

Spaniards have been a lot more constant when targeted, with some anglers getting pretty good fish. Unfortunately the sharks have been a major problem and if you take too long with the bigger fish they have been getting sharked very quickly. We actually watched a bloke hook a spotty and while it was making its first run there was a massive explosion on the surface and a huge whaler grabbed the fish; almost as if it was sitting waiting for the spotty to be hooked.

These shallow reefs start to produce better reef fish in April. Squire and the odd snapper can be on the cards with cobia often grabbing live baits intended for Spaniards.

We have also had a really good season on the black marlin and it has kept going well into March, so here’s hoping that the spotty mackerel stick around till April too!

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