Terrific transitions
  |  First Published: July 2009

The snapper season has been an absolute cracker this winter with most fishos getting in on the action, although the cold mornings often meant that you wouldn’t feel the bites until the feeling in your hands returned. Hopefully these super cold mornings will be a thing of the past as August rolls on. The fishing however should remain constant with a lot of the bigger reds making their presence felt this month.

Currumbin and Tally creeks are both access points to good inshore reefs and although these are well-known summer venues for mackerel, they fish really well in winter too. Snapper, cobia, mack tuna and spangled emperor are just some of the species that you can target on the inshore reefs. Soft plastics as well as the ever-popular float lining techniques are both excellent ways to scratch together a feed, while live-bait can often tempt cobia or the odd jew.

The deeper offshore reefs should still fish well this month. If you feel like getting your arms stretched then jigging or live baiting the 36-fathom line is a good way to get stuck into a few yellowtail kings, amberjack or Samson fish. The larger class of reef fish also find a well-presented live bait hard to swim past. This was evident on a recent charter with Gone Fishing.

We were struggling to get bites on conventional baits fished on the bottom even though there was good showings of fish on the sounder. I decided to send a live bait rigged on a fairly long trace to the bottom and immediately hooked up to a trag jew. We jigged up a few more live baits and the customers starting to catch trag at regular intervals. The fish then switched on and were jumping on any bait dropped down. It was as if the livies got the school excited and they started biting.

The rivers have been fishing reasonably well with a mixture of winter species being caught on both lures and baits. August is a bit of a transition month for the rivers on the Southern Gold Coast, with the systems starting to change from a winter cycle to a summer cycle; the fishing can either be red hot or very quiet. The winter species can usually feel the change starting to happen and will often feed very well. While the summer species are also feeling the warming trend beginning and will start to stick their heads out for a feed. Unfortunately we will still have to wait for another month or two before we start to experience the summer species like whiting or jacks in good numbers.

The upper reaches of the creeks should still hold good numbers of Australian wild bass and there are numerous spots that you can walk the bank targeting these top little sportfish. At this time of year poppers really start to come into their own and you can have some awesome sessions flicking surface lures in under the overhanging trees or around snags. Don’t walk past water that looks too shallow as you will often find these fish cruising the shallows looking for a feed, especially in the early mornings or late afternoons. If poppers aren’t producing the goods then a change to a sub surface lure like a small minnow or spinnerbait can be the key. Just remember that these fish are very sensitive to angling pressure and try to release them in good health.

Good numbers of bream and flathead should still be frequenting the lower reaches of the creeks with the odd tailor and trevally bringing up the rear. Both creeks often produce some really large tailor through the winter months, but if you really want to get amongst some good size tailor or the occasional jew then the headlands are the place to spend your time. Large fillet baits or even live mullet fished in the gutters around the headlands are top baits to catch a jew. Just remember that if you do intend fishing these areas ensure that you locate a safe place to land your fish before you start fishing and try to fish with a companion. Good fishing to you all.

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