Monthly Archives: November 2011
Seaway and Broadwater Report 30th November 2011
Moved into the seaway at 2.30am, the tide was halfway through the run out, a 1m ENE swell made things a bit lumpy. Wind was light from the east, water visibility looked ok. Had a look around, plenty of fish on the sounder but nothing was interested.
Moved back into the broadwater had a look around, found some fish holding in an area about 4 metres deep. Tried a few lures but wasn't until first light that a few bigeyes started to hit the surface. Managed a few hits before dad landed one around 40cm on a popper. Unfortunately that put the rest of them down so we headed back out towards the seaway.
Back at the seaway we pulled a couple of tailor on minnows around the wall but it was quiet. We spotted some birds working just behind the breakers along south straddie. Turned out to be feeding schools of tailor & dart and a quick switch to sea rocks in 14gram had us hooking up every couple of casts, the tailor were around 35-40cm and the dart between 30 & 40cm. We spent an hour or so catching those before heading back to the seaway for the start of the run in. Had a few casts around with minnows and poppers but had no hits. Dad managed a couple of nice tailor around 55cm fishing 7" jerk shads on the bottom.
We moved back into the broadwater and found some queenfish feeding on the surface, managed a couple of those around 40cm before they too shut down. Had another look around saw a few decent bait schools entering the seaway during the run in tide but nothing eating them.
Around 8.30am we moved back to the wall and spied some birds diving on feeding fish, turned out to be more dart and we caught another 10 or so of those. While that was happening I spied a couple of decent bustups right in close to the wall, and I do mean close they were feeding right on top of the submerged rocks no more than a metre away from the rock wall. I threw caution to the wind and chucked a slug in there and it was hit as soon as it landed, and the fish screamed off and launched itself out of the water. Looked like a big tailor well over 60cm, after a torrid fight the hooks pulled close to the boat... bummer. Got back to the spot and had another cast and it was monstered again as soon as it landed this time it stayed connected and after another excellent fight on 6lb braid I landed a quality greenback at 65cm. Moved back to the spot and switched lures to a 115mm Luckycraft Sammy(surface stickbait). Next cast It was monstered probably about a foot away from the rocks and the fish took off thankfully away from the rocks dragging me into the tidal flow and I landed it 10 minutes later about 100m away, that fish went 64cm. Next cast it got smashed again right in the rocks and I landed another tailor at 60cm. The next dozen or casts went unmolested so we moved again and soon hooked and landed another tailor at 55cm. Dad managed a couple of mid 40's fish on vision 110's. After that it went quiet tried a few different lures and areas but they had switched off for the day.
So a pretty good day overall, plenty of fish landed, a bit of variety and a couple of decent fish in there. Plenty of bait behind the surf on south straddie but not much in the seaway itself or the broadwater. There were a few schools of bait that came in with the tide though so I'd expect baitfish numbers to increase substantially in the days ahead. Not many bigeyes in the seaway which is surprising for this time of year, plenty holding in the broadwater but they weren't in a feeding mood due to the poor tide. The next lot of morning run in tides should fish very well weather permitting.
A SE blow is due Thursday afternoon so hopefully that should bring the warmer water in close and bring in more bait and hopefully the mackerel and tuna will come with it. Water temps were 23.3-25.6 degrees.
Rainy Seaway Report Thursday 24th November 2011
Into the seaway at 3.30am, I knew the conditions would be a bit challenging but wanted to see if the tailor would bite for a bit longer during rainy heavy overcast conditions. Pretty much started raining as soon as we arrived and didn't stop until just after we left. Swell was about a metre coming from the north east which made fishing the northern side of the north wall difficult. Water quality was poor with visibility less than a metre but that did improve towards the top of the tide. Wind was a bit strong from the south to start with but eased off as the day progressed. Once we had a bit of light to work with we started catching tailor, a mix of sizes from 20cm rats to 50+cm fish with most hits coming about 2 metres away from the rocks.
The fishing was consistent but not frantic, we still had to work a bit for them. Water was dirty so we used a vision 110 in the moon glow colour, did try the xr10 at first but they weren't interested in that, towards the end of the morning as the water cleared the xr10 caught a few fish but the vision was the lure for the day. Unfortunately one big fish decided to keep it for himself. We did try poppers a few times but they weren't interested in those, rain might have put them off. They bit steadily until about 8am then switched off as the tide slowed. We tried some plastics on the bottom but only had the tails bitten off by small tailor. Overall we landed over 20 fish with about half of those going over 50cm, biggest fish went 57cm. Also got a 40cm mackerel on a xr10 near the top of the tide, first one I've caught on the southern side of the wall.
Had a look north of wavebreak but there was little around, a few small bait schools. There does seem to be alot of injured tailor this year, far more than I've seen in previous years, I'd say the sharks must have been thick up at fraser this year.
Water temps 21.3-24.5 degrees
Looking forward to summer in the Seaway
With December now only just over a week and a bit away its time to look at what summer brings to the seaway. Summer sees early bite times for most fish with the period from first light(3.45am) until 6am yielding the most fish. The dusk bite can start as the sun begins to drop around 4ish though they really go into overdrive just as the sun dips below wavebreak. Bigeyes do feed in the area after dark so its worth staying around and see if you can find a school. High daily temps mean you bake out there once the sun is up to full strength.
During spring we have been cursed with constant N-NE winds which have dropped water temps and dirtied the water especially around the north wall. With summer I hope we will see some SE winds come through, even though this means that at times the ends of the walls will be unfishable. There's nice clean water just offshore so a decent SE blow should bring that water right into the seaway and bring the bait with it.
No sign of the big frogmouth pilchard schools as yet(last year they turned up around the 25th November) but once they turn up then the surface fishing should go into overdrive especially around the pipeline so keep an eye around this area for signs of feeding fish. Tailor, Bigeyes, GT's, salmon, mackerel and kingfish are all possible.
There's been alot of tailor around already and hopefully we should see average size and numbers increase and we head into early december. Poppers and shallow running minnows are the go for edge fishing but chrome slices work fine for the flats and fishing current lines.
Bigeye Trevally should turn up in numbers along with the froggies, always keep an eye out for surface feeding bigeyes anywhere in the seaway during dawn or dusk. Poppers, minnows and chrome slices for these fish.
Jewies will still be around and can be taken during slower tidal movements on vibs, blades and plastics.
Other fish such as kingfish, salmon, school mackerel, bonito and GT's are a random encounter and you'll probably find them mixed in with feeding schools of tailor or bigeyes.
Pelagics such as tuna and mackerel should show up offshore with the next SE blow as well.
I've done alot of prep for this years summer season, I have 3 new reels all full to the brim with line, all hooks (and split rings where needed)on lures have been changed to razor sharp Owner ST56's. I have stocked up on 20g twisties and 25gram gillies baitfish(20 of each), other chrome slices have been polished and I've got a few more poppers and minnows. All I need now is the fish and so far this season is looking alot better than last years so it should be good.
Seaway Report Wednesday 17th November 2011
Into the seaway at 3.30am, it was the bottom of the runout tide and there was no wind at all for change. Started off throwing a few plastics around, picked up 3 small jewies(40-50cm) in quick succession just on first light on 1/2oz 3" pearl chart gulp minnows. Moved a bit and found some tailor feeding on the surface, got a dozen or so on poppers(skitter pop 9's) all 35-45cm plus dad got a 60cm salmon on a popper as well.
Had a look offshore for tuna while we waited for the tide to start running in but saw none, pulled some small tailor and bonito off one of the inshore reefs.
Back to the seaway for the run in tide, we got a few more tailor on vision 110's and missed a couple of others including one big one that took a saltiga pencil, best fish landed went around 50cm. Had a couple of big fish shadow the tango dancer I was using but wouldn't hit it.
Moved into the broadwater and had a look at the bait situation, slightly more than last time but still no big schools. Got a couple of flatties and a bream on plastics.
Water temps 22.5-24.5 degrees. Water visibilty was good between 2 and 5 metres. Nice blue water just offshore, mackerel should show up soon.
Targeting Greenback Tailor on Lures
I define Greenback Tailor as any fish over 60cm or over 2.5kg. You won't find too many fish in the seaway at this size, most are loners or are swimming with groups of smaller fish. The ideal method to catch big Tailor like this is using live pike or a strip of bonito, but thats kinda boring. Targeting greenbacks on lures is more challenging and more fun so this article will go into a bit of detail on how I and others have caught these larger fish on lures. I'm going to do this on a case by case basis, detailing the conditions and techniques used at the time. Between now and February is when you will catch the big ones on lures so its a good time to try for one.
This 65cm Tailor was caught on the 25th January 2007, no swell no wind and it was at top of the tide with minimal tidal movement. Water visibilty was about 3 metres. It hit the 9cm Redhead Skitter pop close to the rocks at around 6am using a 3 bloop pause retrieve, one of the first fish caught on the redhead skitter pop, a lure which I now consider to be one of the must have lures for the seaway.
This 67cm Tailor was caught on the 25th November 2007, on that particular day the usual techniques (twisties, minnows and poppers) had yielded nothing, the tide was incoming and there was a 15kt Se wind blowing making things difficult. Water visibility was about 2 metres. As a last ditch effort at around 8am I put on a 35gram sniper(chrome lure) cast it into the current line gave it a 6 second sink time and cranked it back. As the lure neared the boat and started skipping along the surface this tailor had one swipe at it, missed and then connected on the second strike. Once we had landed this fish, using the same technique we then went to land another dozen fish between 50 & 60cm. A classic example of finding just the right technique on the day. They didn't want the smaller 20gram twisties we were throwing and would only hit 35-40gram chromes.
This 65cm Tailor was caught on the 15th November 2008, the tide was running in, no wind, 1 metre SE Swell, water visibility was about 2 metres and he hit the redhead skitter pop using a steady walk the dog retrieve about 2 metres away from the rocks at around 4.30am.
This 71cm Tailor was caught on the 3rd December 2009, It was the first half of the runout tide, no wind or swell, visibility was around 3 metres. This particular fish hit an 85gram Raider (yes thats right 85gram.. the big one) that was cast along the front of the wall and retrieved using a steady retrieve, he hit it about 2 metres out from the rocks then went on to put on an excellent aerial display. It was hooked around 4.30am.
This 63cm Tailor was caught on the 2nd November 2010, tide was running in, 1 metre ESE swell, water vis was 1.5m. This fish took a Zipbaits system minnow 15f being worked with a stop start retrieve about a metre away from the wall just on first light at around 4am.
This 63cm Tailor was caught on the 11th November 2009, no wind, 1m NE swell on a run in tide. Water vis was about 2 metres. The fish struck the 9cm Metallic skitter pop on a 3 bloop pause retrieve about 3 metres away from the rock wall, the fish had a couple of goes at it before hooking up properly. When you get a few hits without a hookup, stop the retrieve and jiggle the lure in place, most of the time the fish will come back and smash the lure and hookup.
And last but definitely not least Dad got this 74cm Tailor on the 9th November 2011. Water visibilty was poor with less than a metre due to disturbed sand thanks to the prevailing northerly winds. 1 metre NE swell with a 10 kt Northerly wind. Despite catching a few small tailor on twisties it was quiet, after a switch to a 9cm skitter pop in a mullet colour, dad nailed this fish on his second cast about 1 metre away from the rock wall just on sunrise at 5am. We continued to catch a few more tailor on poppers after that.
So looking at that info, it looks like we have a few things we can look at for targeting greenbacks on lures.
- Cast close to the walls, as close as you dare, any more than a few metres away from the rock edge and you are out of the zone.
- Use reasonable size lures, preferably 9cm and above. Big Tailor are not scared of attacking a 40cm pike so a 9cm lure is just a snack to them.
- While catching greenbacks is certainly possible once the sun is in the sky, most of them are caught between first light and sunup.
- Water clarity, tide and swell do not seem to matter, though run in tides do seen to yield them more consistently.
Now you'll notice that all of those lures only cover the top couple of metres of water, so what about the fish on the bottom where all the livie caught fish hang out? Unfortunately while I've managed to catch a couple of fish that would have just nudged 60cm on the bottom with vibs and plastics, I'm yet to see a consistent method of lure fishing to target those fish. While they are quite happy to hit a pike as soon as you put it down there, they'll ignore lures all day long.
Seaway Report Wednesday 9th November 2011
Into the seaway at 3.30am, the tide was in the bottom half of the run-in and there was a 1m NE swell, just enough to make it uncomfortable on the points. Had a quick look around for tarpon but no interest at the usual locations so switched to minnows to work the washes at dawn. No interest in the minnows so we switched to 20g twistys and managed to pull a couple of small tailor on the flats, dropped a couple of others and I managed to foulhook a luderick. Water was quite dirty around the north wall due to the constant northerlies, the water around the south wall was clean and clear though.
We had a look down near wavebreak but nothing there so moved back to the pipeline. Saw a few surface hits there but nothing we could get a cast into. A couple more weeks and it should have some good surface feeding in that area on dawn.
Switched to poppers with dad going for the 9cm skitter pop and me using the 98mm cultiva tango dancer stick bait. Dad hooked up on a good fish close to the wall which gave him a bit of a workout and had me thinking decent trevally but it ended up being a nice 74cm Tailor. I hooked a tailor which promptly jumped off, dad hooked and landed another tailor around 40cm. I finally managed to stay connected to a tailor and landed one around the same size. Dad managed to land another 2 Tailor around mid 40's while I managed to lose the other fish I hooked.
They went off the bite so we moved back into the broadwater and had a look around. There was some bait holding near Crab island, there were a few tailor into them and I managed 2 more in the low 40's on twisties. Spent half an hour working the tango dancer over the flats and managed a couple of nice hits but no hookups.
We moved back into the seaway for the top of the tide and first cast with the tango had a tailor hit it as soon as it landed. Landed that fish and the next cast it got smashed by a big tailor that got airborne on the strike, unfortunately the hooks pulled shortly after. Nothing else after that so we switched to vision 110's in the chartreuse color and worked the dirty water at the end of the wall. Dad managed one fish around 40cm and lost another, I landed one mid 30's. That was pretty much it though. Didn't see too many fish landed today by other boats, just one small jewie on a livie.
Good to see tailor hitting surface lures so early in the season, interesting that they preferred surface lures over every other lure type we used, also interesting that they were still hitting them hours after the sun had risen. The dirty water might have had something to do with that making them more confident to hunt just below the surface. I don't often use surface lures in dirty water but after that result I'll definitely be giving them a go in the future.
Water temps have dropped due to the northerlies, ranging from 18.5-19.9 degrees.
Dad’s 74cm Tailor
Full report on the days fishing a bit later but this fish deserves a post of its own. Dad's 74cm Tailor taken on a Rapala skitter pop 90 on 6lb braid.
Stick baiting Whiting
Did a couple of hours down Coombabah creek with a mate (Mick) specifically looking for whiting on surface lures, we only managed 3 whiting and a Bream all on 50mm River 2 Sea rovers, the fish were all small but a lot of fun none the less and certainly worth some further exploration, what was interesting was that both Mick and I missed massive strikes on the small lures, both failed to hook up and both of our 6lb traces had raspy rub marks so we're thinking GH or Tarpon so weather permitting we'll be back next weekend.
This also got me looking for a fix to see me through till then so I headed to another nearby spot the next morn with the 2kg mono bait gear and in 2 hours managed 1 66cm GH with another lost, several Bream to a kilo and a very nice 50cm Sea Mullet which made me glad I left the 1kg gear at home, interesting that the Mullet was taken on a small cube of salted Tailor.
The gear is nothing fancy just a 20 year old rebound ugly stick, fairly cheap Pflueger Trion 4725 (which is closer to a 1000 size than 2500) and spooled with 2kg Platypus pretest. It still amazes me what you can get sitting on a grassy bank a short drive from home and no boat or expensive gear required, the hardest part is putting in the time and effort to find the spots.