Monthly Archives: April 2011
Seaway and Broadwater Quick Report Friday 30th April
Just a quick report on Fridays effort. Bad weather once again with a 2-2.5m SE swell and some strong SW-S winds. Did rain a bit early but that cleared off with the sunrise. My timing was a bit off today and as a result I faired pretty badly. I managed 2 pike before sunrise and then moved into the seaway just as the sky began to lighten. Tried drifting unweighted pike over the pipeline for zip then moved up to the north wall. The swell was huge but it was okay to fish(very challenging though) as long as the tide was coming in. First cast with a unweighted live pike in close to the wall got eaten by a good tailor which proceeded to get airborne, unfortunately I had forgotten to change rigs and was using mono straight through and of course he cut the line between the first and second hook. A new rig this time with wire was cast in and he landed in the eddy about 5 metres back from the end of the wall. He got eaten within about 30 seconds and the fish took off like a rocket, unfortunately he took off around the front of the wall heading north while the tide and swell was dragging me back in the seaway. After pulling about 50 metres of line off I felt the line dragging over the rocks and then pop.... gone. Not much I could have done there, just too rough to be fighting a fish and controlling the boat at the same time. I tried casting lures around the walls for a bit further back in the seaway where I could actually stand up for a while but that yielded nothing so I went off to get more livies.
Even the pike weren't interested today and it took ages to just get 4 in the well, but I did pick up a couple of flathead in the 40cm range and a couple of small reefie types, a small spangled emperor and a lancer. I tried drifting the flats for a while, saw the occasional surface hit but didn't see any kings. Went back to the seaway and tried livebaiting the pipeline for a while. That yielded nothing so gave it away at 9am.
Bif of a difficult day today though some of it was my fault, got on the water late for a start. Casting unweighted pike around the north wall has alot of potential though, hopefully I'll actually get some decent conditions to try it out on soon. Water temps conitnue to slide being around 23-23.5 degrees. No pics today.
Tried and Trusted Terminal Tackle
Terminal tackle is the stuff at the pointy end of your fishing gear. Hooks, swivels, lines, leaders and clips. Over the years I've tried many different brands of all types and here is my selection of trusted terminal tackle. This is gear that I know won't let me down when the fish of a lifetime smashes the lure or grabs a bait.
I use swivels in my livebait rigs, its important to have a good quality swivel because the fish can be quite large and extended fights can put alot of stress on swivels. Shogun once again is the only brand I trust in particular the black crane or rolling swivels. They can be quite cheap if purchased in packs of 50. Available from the The Tackle Warehouse or BCF.
Brand to avoid: Surecatch, Seahorse, any elcheapo brand.
Good quality hooks are needed for livebaiting as they are at the pointy end of your rigs. Firstly they should be sharp and retain that sharpness over a number of fish and secondly they should be strong yet thin enough to have good penetration. Over the years I've tried a number of brands but now the only brand I'll use is Gamakatsu. In particular the Octopus Black in sizes 4/0 -8/0. I'll also use the Octopus Red but they do not hold the sharpness as well as the blacks, they also lose the red colouring after a few fish. Prices are $29.95 per box of 50. Available from most tackle stores.
I've tried a number of leader materials over the years and went through a period of heavy testing early in 2010. I tried flourocarbons and monofilaments and eventually settled on Famell Super Shock Leader and now its the only leader material I use in the 20 -50lb range. The only bad aspect about it is that I haven't been able to find any of it in the lighter or heavier sizes. So whats so good about it? Firstly and most importantly it ties a superb knot, and secondly its very hard wearing and abrasion resistant. I use it for both lure fishing and live baiting leaders. Available in 20, 30, 40 and 50lb sizes for around $29.95 per 100m spool. BCF is the only store that stocks it.
Brands to avoid: Berkley Vanish
Finding good quality trebles has always been difficult. A few years ago Owner launched a new range of trebles called the Cultiva Stinger. The silver ST-56 is my preferred strength as it is the perfect match between strength and penetration. Avoid the black stingers as they lack the strength needed for seaway fishing. The ST-66 is a heavier gauge but the retention rate is poor due to the thickness of the hooks. The ST-46 are okay for smaller and larger lures but avoid in the mid sizes. Australian shops stock a limited range so most of mine are sourced from online japanese websites, notably Samurai Tackle and Oriental Angler . Both now stock them in barbless variations as well. Special mention goes to Gamakatsu as well, although you need to pick the style carefully.
Brands to avoid: Just about any other brand on the market.
There are 3 brands of braid that I use, Firstly I use Stren Sonic Braid for casting work, its very limp though so should be avoided for plastic use as it has a tendency to tip wrap jigging plastics on the bottom. It casts like a dream though and is ideal for working the washes or casting slugs to working fish. Only available from 10lb to 50lb sizes. Unlike other braids it doesn't fray after extended use. Secondly I use Fins PRT for plastic or light work as its a bit stiffer, still a good quality braid I can trust and available in lighter breaking strains. Does fray after extended use though. Thirdly I use Bionic Braid for livebait work mainly because its one of the cheaper good quality braids. In the 20 -50lb sizes it works fine. I always use hi vis colours such as yellow because being able to see what your line is doing at all times is very important. PE Braids are all the rage at the moment but the cost is prohibitive so I haven't tried any as yet. Stren Sonic is only available through BCF, Fins PRT and Bionic Braid can be found in most tackle stores. Prices are around 30 dollars for 125m.
Brand to avoid: Stren Micro Fuse, Berkely Fireline Crystal.
Write your own fishing reports on Seawayfishing
SeawayFishing was always designed to allow users to post their own fishing reports and articles. Up until now only one person has done that so this article will show you how easy it is.
Firstly a few things you should know.
- Only registered users can submit reports and articles
- All user submitted content must be submitted for review by me before it gets posted. This ensures all content is relevant.
- Only submit reports from the Gold Coast Seaway, Southport Broadwater or close inshore(within 1km) gold coast.
- Landbased and boat based reports are welcome.
- Pics are not able to be added initially, but you can email me the pics and I will add them for you.
- You can post as much or as little info you want. Obviously the more info you post the more we will all learn and the more fish we will catch.
- I reserve the right to modify the text if need be but will only do that to remove anything really controversial or to correct spelling or punctuation.
Now then, you must be logged in to post articles so make sure you are. Up the top is a navigation bar in grey. Click 'Add New' and click on 'Post' in the drop down menu. That will take you to the 'Add New Post' screen.. see pic below.
- Add your title, make sure its relevant to the content.
- Write your report/article. You can imbed Youtube videos using the button that looks like a film strip with a heart on it.
- Click a category for it to go in.
- Add a tag. Tags are keywords that describe the content. You can choose your own tag or click on 'choose from the most used tags' to use the ones that I have used.
- 'Preview 'your post(which will open in a new window), then if you are happy press 'Submit for review'
Once you have done all that, I will check it then if everything's ok I'll add the pics and post it to the site. Easy as that.
Thursday 20th April Quick Report
This one won't be a full report as most of the morning was spent trialling some bait catching rigs(which unfortunately didn't work..... back to the drawing board). However I did spend some time in the seaway early for only 1 undersize jewie. And I also had a look for some more kingies and got one nice Kingfish at 101cm. Got him to the boat in about 15 minutes on 20lb gear. Not feeding on the surface today, just mooching around in less than 1 metre of water, after I saw the school swim past the boat a cast towards thier expected swim direction hooked this fish. After I caught that fish I left them to it, rather than try for another one. They'll need their strength to survive the easter break. I won't be fishing again until after easter, but there may be some more articles during that time.
Seaway and Broadwater Report Monday 18th April 2011
- Wind: S 15-25 knots
- Preceeding 3 Days Wind : SW-SE 5-15 knots
- Swell: 1 m SSE Swell
- Water Clarity 1.5-2.0m
- Tide : BOM: Low tide at 01.59 am, High tide at 08.04am ( 0.06-1.49)
- Time Fished: 04.00am to 09.00am
- Moon Phase: day of the full moon.
- Barometer 1017.8-1020.0
- Water Temp 23.5-24.5 Degrees C
Heavy overcast with heavy rain periods. Constant strong winds. Too windy and rough to fish the end of the north wall.
Moved into the seaway at 4.00am, the conditions were terrible with 20-25kt Southerly winds and heavy showers. There was a small window of opportunity to fish for Tarpon so despite the difficulty in fishing I gave it a go. The first two fish jumped off before hooking a good fish which proceeded to jump all over the place , despite that the hook stayed in place and I was able to net my personal best Tarpon of 65cm. By the time I had released him the Tarpon had shut down and I had no more interest. Like i said a 'small window', they are predictable up to a point. Dawn was upon me so I changed to a megabass vision 110 and started working the washes but it was obvious that I couldn't work them properly with the wind constantly blowing me into the wall. Rather than waste more time fighting the wind in the seaway I decided on a secondary course of action. There was two things I wanted to do. I had a new rig I wanted to test for catching pike under 20cm(candies) and I wanted to see if I could catch one of the kings that occasionally visit the flats areas around the broadwater.
The pike rig worked great(though still needs some modifications) and it only took about half an hour before I had a dozen pike between 15 and 25cm in the livewell so I moved off to the flats. I decided to use my 10lb lure outfit and see if i could get a kingie on the light gear. Wasn't long before I noticed a boil in some shallow water so I moved in to have a look. Sure enough there was something there and it looked big going by the swirls it left behind. The first cast was right on the money but a damn bird picked it up and and got fouled. By the time I had dealt with that I had drifted close to where the boil had been. The next thing I know a school of big yellowtail kings(20+) busts up within 5 metres of the boat chasing a school of froggies. I cast in there and it was hammered within seconds, I gave him a few more seconds then hit him and didn't he take off. He powered off the flats and into deeper water and then slugged it out for the next 5 minutes. Then all of a sudden he just took off, even faster than before and I had to chase him. I made some line back until he was slugging it out about 30 metres away and then he got smashed, all I saw was a massive boil in the water, a heap of blood and I was left with a limp line and no fish. Damn sharks, I've been losing quite a few fish to them this year.
Anyway after a rerig I moved back to where I had seen them earlier but no sign of them. I drifted with the wind for a while and then saw a school of froggies leaping out of the water. I cast in there with a fresh pike and it got nailed straight away, its unreal when you see a big king take your bait off the surface. I set the hook and he powered off this time he stayed in the shallow water but didn't he run, in no time I had to chase him. He easily had 100m of line out and was still going strong. At this time I was trying to juggle fighting the fish, filming the fight and controling the boat, not easy at the best of times. After 20 minutes of strong runs he was slugging it out around the boat about 20 metres out with still a few short runs. After another 20 minutes and countless circles around the boat I finally managed to net him in water less than a metre deep. Ever tried fitting a metre long kingie in a environet? Its not easy, he was damn heavy too. My personal best Yellowtail Kingfish at 1 metre long exactly, to say I was ecstatic would be an understatement.
Once he had been photographed and released I moved back to where they had been, they had moved again and were about 100 metres further up. I cast in there, let it sit for a bit before winding back in slowly, the kings followed him back in. I know from previous experience the best thing to do when they do that is to stop winding and let it sit there, so I did that. They swam under the boat then one turned around and hit the pike on the way back through. I set the hook and he powered off, he had about 50 m of line out before I felt him really get violent with lots of shaking, then the line parted. I'd say he got tail wrapped and the braid couldn't take the punishment.
Rather than rerig that one, I pulled out my standard 20lb livebait gear and used that. Same routine find the boils cast in there and hold on. I hooked another fish and he powered off, this one had a few nice runs in him, but they were short, no more than about 50 metres at a time. He was hell bent on getting to structure though and I had to use the boat a number of times to lead him away from it. He slugged it out around the boat for ages and even tried to bust me off around the motor once so I tilted it out of the water. After about 20mins I had another nice yellowtail king next to the boat and into the net, the heavier gear and the shallow water obviously knocked him over alot more quickly. He went 98cm.
After this I could find no more fish, I hung around for about half an hour but they were nowhere to be seen so I gave it away.
Well, what can you say about a day like that. Sightcasting for yellowtail kings on the flats is bloody awesome. I highly doubt it would be like that every day, usually you only see them as lone fish, if you see them at all. All fish were hooked in less than 2 metres of water.
What a morning
Shocking conditions for fishing with 25 knots of wind and driving rain but the big boys were hungry, only landed 3 good fish for the day but what fish they were...!!!!! A 65cm Tarpon, A 1 metre yellowtail King(taken on 10lb braid) and a 98cm Yellowtail King
More detail a bit later.
Seaway Report Wednesday 13th April
- Wind: SW 5-10 knots
- Preceeding 3 Days Wind : NW-NE 5-15 knots
- Swell: 0.5 m E Swell
- Water Clarity 1.5-8.0m
- Tide : BOM: Low tide at 10.24 am, High tide at 04.44am ( 0.31-1.51)
- Time Fished: 12.30am to 09.00am
- Moon Phase: 5 days before full moon.
- Barometer 1016.4-1017.4
- Water Temp 24.2-24.9 Degrees C
Mainly sunny with occasional clouds. Light winds and very clear water, could see the bottom in 8 metres of water near the top of the tide. Lots of activity before dawn but no fish interested once the sun was up.
Moved into the seaway at 12.30am, I went out early today because the conditions were ideal for Tarpon and I had a few other places I wanted to look at while the swell was down and conditions were good. First cast I got bumped which was promising, second cast I hooked up on a good Tarpon which did an excellent aerial display and actually stayed connected. That fish went 60cm on the dot. The next 20 casts yielded nothing so I moved on to the next spot.
The sounder showed fish stacked from top to bottom and first cast had me hooked up on a bigeye trev. It was pretty much a fish a cast for the half hour with bigeye trevs taking anything, I used plastics, poppers, minnows and metals and they were all eaten. Interestingly enough there was a bit of phosphorescence at this spot, which usually means fish aren't interested but it didn't bother them at all today. You could see the phosphor trails of other fish as they chased the hooked fish around.. very cool. About 30 minutes after I started catching fish I noticed one almighty big phosphor trail chasing my hooked fish in which looked suspiciously like a big shark, which in fact it was, a whaler of about 2 metres long had taken an interest in my hooked fish. He hit the boat once after chasing a hooked fish right up to the boat, after that I decided to go back to my Tarpon spot and see if any other fish were around.
First cast back at the spot and I hooked another bigeye of around 40cm. Next cast I hooked a tarpon which promptly jumped off. Over the next two hours I hooked 13 more Tarpon losing 5 and landing 8 from 54cm up to 63cm. Once the tide started to slow at 4am they went off the bite so I moved back to where the bigeyes were and continued to catch small bigeyes until the first ray of dawn when they promptly disappeared, thankfully the shark did not return(although I may have a go at him at a later date).
I lurefished around the north wall from first light until sunup for zip(odd considering the water quality was good) then moved offshore to get some livies. I soon had a nice mix of pike, slimies and yellowtail so I returned to the seaway to livebait. Unfortunately for whatever reason the fish had lockjaw, they weren't interested, I tried the north wall, the south wall and the pipeline and didn't lose a bait. Just goes to show there's no such thing as a sure thing when it comes to fishing. Gave it away at 9am.
So another fishing day completed, and a good example of why you should keep your options open and not rely on a single strategy to get fish. Livies, usually a near guarantee of a few fish failed to get a single one. Why that is I don't know, just one of the many mysteries of fishing.
Sounding the seaway, analysing the returns
This article will show a bunch of sounder screens and a bit of detail into what they actually were, which might help in deciding how to approach different sounder returns. More pics will be added as they get taken.
A school of 8 -15cm pike north of the north wall
Inactive Kingfish near the Canyon, with a school of frogmouth pilchards to the upper right
Active Kingfish near the pipeline
This is a school of active Tarpon in the Northern Y, plastics cast out, sunk to the bottom and slow rolled got hit.
This is a school of GT's hanging just off the dropoff to the canyon, these fish are not active and would not hit a lure.
This is a tightly packed school of Tarpon in the Northern Y, these fish are not active and would not hit a lure.
The first pic shows the pipeline on the left of the screen followed by active bigeye trevally between 4 and 10 metres down. Twisties dropped down to the bottom and cranked back fast pulled quite a few fish.
This sounder picture shows a school of jewfish between 65 & 75cm holding on the edge of the deep hole at the north wall. This day they were quite happy to eat big plastics jigged on the bottom.
This picture shows the dropoff at the end of the north wall, at the line approximately 30 metres out from the end. The fish shown here were GT's from 50-70cm in length, the run-in tide was in full swing so the fish were holding close to the bottom. Baits held 1 metre off the bottom were eaten on every drop.
This picture shows a large bait school holding close to the bottom near the cardinal mark on the outer edge of the wavebreak flats, the fish above it were small tailor and twisties dropped to the bottom and cranked back to the top got fish every few casts.
This pic shows a large school of bigeyes between 3 and 6 metres down. These fish were largely inactive but we did manage a few on poppers.
This pic shows Tarpon that are scattered over a wide area, quite often this is all you will see when searching for Tarpon and its easily mistaken for something else. Of course just because you can seee them on the sounder doesn't mean they'll eat anything. On this occasion they were hungry and any plastic cast in the general area was eaten, staying connected to them once hooked was another matter.
This pic shows a school of Tarpon tightly packed in midwater between 4 and 6 metres down. These fish were active but you needed to get down to the school, 1/2oz Jigheads were used with a 7 second sink time followed by a standard slow steady retrieve.
This pic shows a school of actively feeding GT's between 50 & 65cm, these fish were feeding on the surface sporadically but twisites dropped down and minnows trolled through them hooked up straight away.
Seaway Report Thursday 7th April 2011
- Wind: SE 10-20 knots
- Preceeding 3 Days Wind : SE-15-30 knots
- Swell: 1.5 m SE Swell
- Water Clarity 0.5-1.0m
- Tide : BOM: Low tide at 04.21 am, High tide at 10.11am ( 0.34-1.15)
- Time Fished: 03.30am to 09.00am
- Moon Phase: 4 days before last quarter moon.
- Barometer 1022.8-1025.0
- Water Temp 23.4-24.5 Degrees C
Mainly overcast with occasional rain. Moderate to strong winds. Dropping water temperature. Lots of bird activity just north of the north wall.
Moved into the seaway at 3.30am, winds were strong from the south making things difficult. Looked around for some fish, found lots of shows but nothing that was really interested. I did pick up a small squire on a gulp 3" minnow though. Moved back to wavebreak and fished the shallow section with poppers for a while and picked up a 27cm whiting on a zbl popper but not much else. Dawn arrived and so did the bottom of the tide, typically a tough time to pull a fish on lures so I moved off to get some livies while I waited for the tide to start running in. While I was doing that, I noticed some big bustups in shallow water and a big yellow fin carving up the water, that was probably the same fish I saw a few weeks ago.. I'll be targeting him soon... should be awesome hooking a fish like that in water a metre deep. Anyway back at the seaway with a tank full of livies and a newly incoming tide, first drop with a pike yielded the usual undersize jewie, then 3 GT's from 45-53cm then another undersize jewie and even a bream at 32cm, why he was attacking a 30cm pike I dont know.. The wind was howling at this stage making fishing very difficult, constant changes were needed to keep the boat from getting smashed onto the rocks but I persisted. I found a school of tailor in one spot but proceeded to lose all the ones I hooked but did manage to land one on my last livie at 53cm. Gave it away at 9am.
So another tough day out on the water, the conditions made it very difficult to fish properly but still managed a few fish.
Seaway Report Thursday 31st March 2011
- Wind: SW 5-10 knots
- Preceeding 3 Days Wind : SE-10-20 knots
- Swell: 2 m ESE Swell
- Water Clarity 0.5-1.5m
- Tide : BOM: Low tide at 12.40 pm, High tide at 06.25am ( 0.25-1.41)
- Time Fished: 03.00am to 09.00am
- Moon Phase: 4 days before new moon.
- Barometer 1017.1-1019.6
- Water Temp 25.2-25.6 Degrees C
Mainly overcast with occasional rain. Big swell. Water was a dirty green colour though improved at the top of the tide.
Moved into the seaway at 3.00am, had a look around for some fish. Not much around so I threw a few plastics around hoping for a stray Tarpon, I did hook 2 but lost both next to the boat. I managed to catch a few pike before sunup so I put a big one down just on first light hoping for a big jewie. Wasn't to be though he went unmolested. I threw some shallow running minnows around the washes but that yielded nothing either.
I moved offshore to try and get some yellowtail. Due to the swell, I only had a short time to do that as I didn't want to be coming back in once the tide started to run out. I had 5 in the well before my time ran out and I had to return. First drop with a yellowtail in the same spot that I got the GT's last time and I hooked a good fish which ran me about a bit, it turned out to be a 59cm GT. Next 2 drops yielded tailor at 47 and 53cm then I hooked a good fish which gave me a bit of a fight and I soon had a Tailor bigger than 70cm circling the boat, he gave one more jump and the hook pulled. I was a bit disappointed in that, I've been trying to get a decent tailor for a while now and all the good ones I've hooked have managed to get away close to the boat.
I had run out of livies so I went off to get some more, by the time I had done that the tide was in full run out mode so I tried around the pipeline for a while. There were plenty of fish down there, but they weren't interested in live pike. I moved off and went back to the north wall, due to the runout tide and the big swell it was a very challenging place to fish with a huge amount of water movement, I persisted anyway and landed a jewie of around 65cm, lost the next few fish and ran out of time at 9am.
So that was it, a bit of a tough day out on the water, but a few fish landed anyway. No sign of any bait schools today which may have been a factor.