Neap tides can mean slow fishing in areas where flow usually enables fish to feed aggressively, by being able to sit in the current and get food brought to them on a plate.
Other times there can be a small difference between high and low tide. In this situation a change of tactic is required. One such tactic is fishing on top of shallow areas that stay covered for longer thus enabling fish such as flathead to feed for longer. This water can be super shallow and produce big fish.
A shallow bank with mangroves nearby can cause flathead, bream, and whiting to go on a feeding frenzy by actively rounding up bait fish or prawns and cornering them. You will notice this action with boils and splashes on the surface.
A number of methods work well in targeting them including long trolling runs with shallow diving lures such as Pontoon 21 crackjacks, surface luring with Suga pens for example, and casting lightly weighted soft plastics or vibes ahead of you into the shallows then hopping the lure back into deeper water and enticing the fish to chase.
This time of year with the clear water around, natural and transparent lure colours work best. Early in the morning slow your retrieve right down, in winter flathead are cold and sleepy until the sun warms the shallows.
This week’s fishing report:
Tailor are starting to creep into the lower reaches of the river, and the flathead are still in fantastic numbers in the mid to upper reaches. Trolling a mixture of deep and shallow lures are working well as is fishing soft vibes in the deep holes. It’s been a bumper season for the lizards so far, long may it continue.
With the neap tides this week it pays to not fish too far upstream, as there won’t be much run. As the old saying goes “no run, no fun”. This is especially true in our Tweed and Gold Coast estuaries. The slower tides do however provide longer periods of time to fish the deeper holes for Mulloway. Persistence and patience is the key to success.
Upstream in the rivers has been producing some healthy, fat flathead in the 50-65cm range, with whitebait and yabbies effective, as well as Ecogear ZX40 and Hurricane Sting 37 blades.
Bream, and a few sand whiting are also keeping our guests entertained.
Again with the neap tides this weekend it may pay to fish closer to the ocean mouths if the wind allows.
Young Liam caught his first ever first fish with us this week, opening his fishing career with a 51cm and a 52cm flathead. Well done Liam and good on you!
Harry and John enjoyed a good session on flathead, taking a great feed home with fish up to 63cm caught on white pilchards and blades, and many others released.