Gold Coast rivers ripe with fish

The fishing on the Gold Coast this winter has been exceptional, with May and June providing some of the hottest bream fishing I have seen in nearly 10 years. All the waterways from the Clarence River in the south to Jumpinpin in the north have provided record catches.
The mass explosion of this species is due to the record amounts of rain and flooding we received at the beginning of the year, which flushed out huge numbers of bream from the big rivers in the south.

These fish then migrated along the coastline and re-entered the rivers to spawn during the weeks leading up to the new and full moons.
I expect a good bream bite during August on the same moon phases but probably with a lower level of activity than we saw through May and June. Bream will definitely remain a target species however.

The river mouths will be the areas to look for bream, as will any heavily structured or deep holes in the vicinity of the river mouths.
Yabbies, whitebait and fresh cut baits will work well, as will small soft plastics and blades. Luderick is another species that has been in record numbers over the past few months, and I expect these fish will make their presence felt along the rock walls in the lower reaches of rivers this month.

Luderick are most commonly targeted with a well-weighted float and green or cabbage weed for bait, but on most trips I have been catching them along the walls with blades. A small band of anglers has had great results on this species in the Tweed River while using fly gear. These anglers tie green flies to look like the weed that bait anglers traditionally use.

The local lads reckon luderick pull like trains on light fly equipment and I have no doubt about that. I will try to find some time between charters to have a go myself.

Jimmy Bourne captured this school jew by dropping a blade on top of a school holding in 12m of water.
Jimmy Bourne captured this school jew by dropping a blade on top of a school holding in 12m of water.
Solid bream such as this one taken by Jimmy Bourne will be a good prospect during August.
Solid bream such as this one taken by Jimmy Bourne will be a good prospect during August.
Tailor such as this example should be found in numbers throughout the rivers this month.
Tailor such as this example should be found in numbers throughout the rivers this month.
August coincides with fantastic tailor action on the lead-up to the moons in the lower reaches of the Tweed and Gold Coast river systems. Tailor tend to spike in activity around the tide changes and in particular the first couple of hours of the run-in tide. They can often be easily located by either bird or surface activity as they make their marauding attacks on the local baitfish schools.

Anglers who like to use bait should use either white or frogmouth pilchards.Metal spinners cast and retrieved through the schools will work well for lure fishers. Another option for the lure anglers is to troll small hard-bodied minnows around the surface activity.
Though in some cases, trolling will allow you to find the tailor that might be holding in deeper water too.

I sometimes troll a combination of deep and shallow-running minnows to cover the depths where the bait and tailor might be suspending.
Jewfish is another target species this month and you are best off looking for them in the deepest holes through the rivers on the tide changes. Use live herring, soft plastics and blades to entice them.

Take your time to sound around the deep holes before fishing because jewfish mark up beautifully on your sounder screen and locating them first will save time and obviously increase your chances of success. Last month I mentioned some anglers don’t regard the colder months as being conducive to good flathead fishing, however I have always found the opposite, with great flathead numbers if you know where to locate them.

Unlike the spring and summer months when flatties seem to congregate in the mid to lower reaches of the rivers, through winter the big concentrations hold in the upper reaches. I start my flathead campaign in the middle reaches but usually find that the farther upstream I travel the better it gets. Trolling minnow lures on the trip upstream is the best way to locate them. Once I find where the concentrations are holding I start mixing it up a bit by casting soft plastics and blades.

It's only fair to share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Print this page
Print
Email this to someone
email

About Brad 'Smithy' Smith

Brad 'Smithy' Smith
Smithy has been working as a full-time professional fishing guide for over 20 years, which makes him southeast Queensland’s and northern NSW’s longest-serving guide. Above all the commitments Smithy has in the charter industry, his overriding passion has always been to pass on his specialist experience to anglers and teach people of all ages and angling abilities the correct techniques required to catch all the Gold Coast’s estuary species on a variety of different lures. Smithy’s unique charter operations guarantees you will catch fish on lures or you don’t pay.

Check Also

saltwater fly fishing for sailfish

Saltwater fly fishing for sailfish

I HAVE been saltwater fly fishing a bloody long time! The legendary Ron Pearson, regarded …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *