Warm waters trigger summer bite
  |  First Published: August 2009

Last month showed the signs of summer beginning here on the Southern Gold Coast. September is generally an extension of these conditions as we make our way progressively towards the summer patterns.

Although the weather has warmed significantly, the temperature has not risen quite enough to switch many of the summer species into feeding mode. We will however start to see a lot more summer species making up some of the catches. Whiting, jack, trevally and flathead are all species that can be caught up the creeks this month, with numerous bream still being a viable option. It can pay to keep an eye on the weather as well as the tides to increase your catch rates this month.

For instance if we have a few days of really warm weather coinciding with a low tide around midday, then the warm sun can bake the sand flats at low tide and help to increase the water temperature of the incoming water. This can often bump up the water temperature a degree or two, which can be enough to trigger a feeding spree from the summer species.

If you are on the water and notice a spike in the water temperature then it will pay to put in the extra yards to target a mangrove jack or even pull out the whiting gear to try and secure a feed of these tasty fish. Water temperature is the key factor in a hot bite or an average session this month.

Many of the land locked lakes around the Southern Gold Coast should also start to fire with tarpon, giant herring and bream. This type of fishing can be great fun and extremely cost effective as all you need is a backpack, a medium weight spin rod and a handful of lures.

Spending some time in front of the computer and checking out some likely looking lakes is a top method of finding new spots to fish. Best of all you don’t need a boat to fish in these areas. Be aware that as the fish activity increases with the warming weather, the snakes will also become more active. Try to fish with a mate when exploring new overgrown areas and take the necessary precautions.

Both Tally and Currumbin creeks should fish well this month as long as the weather plays the part. If we do get a fair bit of rain dumped in the creeks the fishing will unfortunately be limited to the lower reaches, where you should concentrate your efforts.


The inshore reefs will still fire in September although the reds will tend to be around in larger numbers on the slightly deeper reefs. The 36-fathom line off Burley is a good area to start prospecting for reds.

If the current starts to make an appearance then it can pay dividends to try using a new lure that is becoming increasingly popular: the swing jig. It’s a strange looking jig/skirt combo that is amazingly effective. They are made up of a metal jig-like body and they have two hooks running off the bottom section of the jig. A squid skirt is rigged on these hooks.

The lure swims in the water with the slightest movement and all manner of reef fish find them irresistible. Fishing the lure on braid is a major plus as you have very little resistance in the water and you can feel everything the lure is doing.

Simply drop the swing jig all the way to the bottom. Once it touches down begin a slow retrieve with the odd slight twitch of the rod tip. The fish seem to latch onto the lure and all you feel is the jig start to get heavy. However when the larger snapper and kingfish hit the lure, they hit it hard and there is no doubt as to whether or not you have a bite.

The key here is not to rear back and strike hard but to simply keep winding until the rod starts to load up and then just lean back into the fish. These jigs come pre-rigged with smallish hooks and if you strike immediately you will pull the lure out of the fish’s mouth.

It is an extremely simple way of fishing but the effectiveness of these swing jigs on our local reef species is quite astounding. Good fishing to you all.

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