Monsters beyond the bar
  |  First Published: September 2009

What a great time of year to be out on the water. The weather is spot on and the fish are coming to the party as well. Plenty of the usual suspects are on offer as well as a few monsters from beyond the bar too.

Whiting have stared to show up in large numbers now the water is heating up with some real elbow slappers being caught. Matt Farrell and Amanda Jurta recently scored some top quality whiting from Short Island weighing over 600g. Spots to try for a feed of whiting this month include Never Fail Islands, Tipplers Island, Alberton Sands and Marks Rocks in the Logan, Gold and Green banks, near Browns Bay and the Nerang or Pimpama rivers.

Stick with worms for bait or try yabbies, prawn and squid.

I’ve also been catching some good bream from the Pig Sties lately.

The tide really rips through this spot so make sure to use enough lead to get down to the bottom. The tide was so strong the other day I had to throw 20m up tide just get the bait down long enough for a fish to bite.

Try around the dead trees off the bottom of North Straddie, Flatrock, the Powerlines, Pimpama River mouth, the Five Ways and the north wall of the Seaway.

Yabbies are a great bait but they tend to get picked off easily so stick with heartier baits like prawn, squid, gut, flesh baits and whitebait, fished on a small 2 or 3 gang rig.

Flathead are going well too with some top quality fish being caught well over the 75cm max size limit.

My mate Julian recently caught a 79cm lizard from Kalinga Bank on a 20cm live Mullet – seriously it was that big!

I learnt a valuable lesson that day when I grabbed the camera only to find the battery was dead. Not to worry, the trusty phone will do – another dead battery. The fish was released with no proof it was ever caught, so make sure you charge up the technology before you head out!

For your chance to catch one of these big flatties try drifting from Kalinga Bank to Swan Bay, the sand flats at the top of South Straddie, Little Rocky Point, the Stockyards, Willis Island and Cobby Passage.

Big baits mean big fish when lizard hunting, so don’t be shy to throw on a large mullet, pillie or soft plastic as they are very aggressive fish and will have a go at almost anything.

There are a few greenbacks off the beaches along the coast but the catches are very inconsistent. Choppers have been pretty scarce too, with only the odd couple being caught inside the bar.

The crabs are also back on the move with plenty of sandies in the main channel between Long Island and Cabbage Tree Point. Muddies should be in the rivers and the run-off drains along the mangrove banks.

Through the bar at the Dragon, Alfs and Sullys reefs there have been plenty of cobia.

Some real monsters have been captured with the biggest caught by Cheyne Sales weighing 35kg. Cheyne and his parents also got a 27kg and a 24kg cobia in one morning session. Two days later he was at it again with a 40kg+ amberjack.

Dave Hubner also scored a decent 15kg cobia from his tinnie off the Dragon on a live slimey.

Caution on the Bar

I would just like to remind everyone the ‘Pin Bar can be very dangerous and extreme caution must be exercised even on the flattest of days.

The outgoing tide can cause pressure waves that can pop up at any moment especially in a decent swell. The incoming tide is best when there’s a small swell running.

This reminder comes on the back of a boat being rolled a short time ago coming in through the bar. Those on board were not wearing life jackets, and if not for other boaties coming to their aid, they would probably have drowned.

Be sure to secure all loose items in the boat, wear life jackets and let the authorities know that you’re heading out and when you intend to get back.

Thanks for all your great reports and fish weighed in and if you’d like to order any bait or receive up to date fishing info drop us a line at Gem Bait & Tackle on 3287 3868 or email --e-mail address hidden-- I’ll catch you next month.

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