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14 September 2018 fishing report

This week’s fishing tip:

As mentioned in our weekly fishing report below, our estuaries are currently experiencing drought conditions. The old saying goes, drought by land, drought by sea. Nowhere is this more true than in rivers. There has been a lack of significant rainfall for a long time now, typical of this sunburnt country of ours that experiences extreme droughts and floods.

We are finding the water is very clear which can make fishing tough, so what do we do? Firstly if you head out on the water and are seeing crystal clear where you can easily see the bottom, it’s likely you’ll struggle to catch fish of much size, especially ambush predators.

We have covered this topic before but here are some options and ideas, whether you are land based or have a boat: fish deeper water such as Jumpinpin mouth and the seaway, fish a run out tide where there is dirtier water running out of creeks, fish early morning and at night, fish with light gear and small sinkers and lures, fish the windward side of waterways that have been roughed up.

Use natural looking colour and transparent lures nothing too flashy, and try around the edges of sand banks and weed beds with surface lures, and in the shadows of bridges, boats, pontoons, rock walls and natural structure such as trees and mangroves. Also fish in the trail of jetskis and wakeboats that have stirred up the muddy areas. Cloudy days are better too. If wading the flats be very stealthy and quiet.

Fingers crossed for some decent downfalls from storms over the summer, as El nino will make regular rain scarce.

This week’s fishing report:


Brad has been working hard as always to put his clients onto fish, still finding school size flathead up around Chinderah and North Tumbulgum, on Atomic semihardz, Pontoon 21 crackjacks, Lively Lures micro mullets, Zerek fishtraps, and Strike pro cyber vibes. As he says the rivers need some decent rain to replenish and flush the systems, that rain we had last week hardly made a difference.

On the days when there is an absence of bait fish in the rivers, there is also a lack of predators, which means putting in many kilometres to find the fish.

No one tries harder than us to find them and we always do eventually, whether its 10 fish in a day or 100+. The better fishing is upstream still, and lead ups to bigger moons.

Soon enough the focus will switch to the big summer whiting and mangrove jacks, and it will only take a decent storm or rain event to really improve the fishing. Surface lures such as Suga pens are very effective in shallow water on whiting, trevally, bream, tailor, flathead and tarpon.

With the water being so clear it does help to fish on windy and cloudy days. On the glassy calm days try covering all the deeper areas with vibe lures to attract bites.

Small neap tides this coming week will make things tough on the flats, but again it does provide the opportunity to fish the deeper holes and structure.

Gold Coast:

Brad’s son and Big Hit team angler Jack Smith ventured to Jumpinpin and scored some nice flathead including a 71cm model in 15m depth on large soft plastics. He reports good mixed bags of Jew, flathead and tailor in the Pin mouth and drop offs from Swan Bay to North Straddie tip. Yakkas have been the predominant bait in the area which makes 5 to 9 inch soft plastics the go to lures.

Clint has still been chasing flathead, biggest this week was an 81cm fat fish caught and released by Mark Hill from Brisbane, on a 65mm Zerek fishtrap in Fat Betty colour, in 7 metre deep water. A personal flathead pb for Mark and on 6lb braid, 10lb fluorocarbon leader, which was a great and patient effort. He was stoked to say the least!

This week with neap tides the focus will be around the seaway while trying to avoid the snot weed which makes fishing very difficult once it spreads everywhere in a running tide.

To escape it involves getting out of the main channels and up the creeks, and even the southern broadwater can offer respite from this seasonal pest. It is however starting to thin out.

Try upstream from Sundale bridge to Budds Beach for whiting, bream and flathead. Any further up the river in small tides and you won’t get much run which means less fishing fun.

Cheers and say g’day if you see us on the water!

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