Another week passes with low winds and no swell. Right now we have exceptionally clear water 15m+ on the run in tides, night fishing is tough due to phosphorescence and the run out tides are full of snot weed. There are still fish in the seaway, some tailor and small bigeyes around the north wall, small kingfish and jewies around the pipe and thousands of luderick all over the place. Most of the big fish have moved well upstream with the bait so you should be looking south around marina mirage into the nerang river and North of Crab and Sovereign Island. GT's are still around but no bait coming in means they are sulking on the bottom, if you are lucky you might get an afternoon where they feed around the canyon on trolled lures in the next 5 days or so. Barracuda and Big Kingfish are still in the Canyon as well. Early to Mid next week looks very good with excellent afternoon tides plus a decent SE wind forecast. Most of my time this week was spent north of Sovereign chasing Tarpon, Tailor and Jewies on Tuesday and Wednesday. Best lures were the Squidgy Slick Rigs 65mm in Dropbear colour and CCM grass Minnows. The skitterbait landed some very nice tailor out of surface feeding schools plus it managed a Tarpon as well.
If you want to understand the structure of the seaway alot better I highly recommend getting out there at the top of the tide and having a look around while the water is so clear, you can see where the rocks end and the sand begins and where the largest patches of coffee rock are and using that to set GPS marks. I spent alot of time getting underwater video of the areas I fish this week which will be released in the coming weeks.
We should be seeing some big schools of decent sized Bigeye Trevally soon, more than likely they are up river at the moment but we should see some at night in the channels leading to the seaway shortly.
I will be at the Cararra Markets Car Boot sale on Sunday from 6am til 10am if anyone wants a chat or has some questions.
Tuesday 27th August
4.00am - 11.30am
0607 0.24 1253 1.25 1905 0.47
Wednesday 28th August
3.30pm - 8.00pm
0048 0.97 0652 0.31 1354 1.22 2024 0.52
This Tailor took a trolled Bolt Omega
A Tarpon on a Skitterbait.
A tarpon getting some serious air.
A nice Tailor on the skitterbait
This 64cm Tailor took a skitterbait off the surface
A 65cm Tarpon caught on a ccm grass minnow
A Kingfish and some Barracuda sitting in the canyon
A school of luderick off the end of the north wall.
.... on a skitterbait. Very short report ....In what is likely to be the first of many greenbacks fr this little lure, I managed to find some quality tailor busting up just on dusk further up the broadwater north of Crab island. They ignored plastics and minnows but climbed all over the skitterbait. Good news for summer! Briefly in the seaway, 10m + visibility, lots of weed on the runout and still phosphorescence at night so still tough. Some tailor around the end of the north wall, mid 40's and massive schools of luderick.
The Skitterbait, a mix between a popper and a stickbait these 9cm lures have proven to be a top performer in the seaway and broadwater in the last couple of months despite some tough fishing winter conditions and in what is probably the worst time of the year for fishing surface lures. With the summer surface season approaching these lures will pull some top fish before the end of the year.
The Skitterbait is made of high impact plastic and is equipped with GT Bio #6 Hooks and #1 Owner split rings. It contains a magnetic retention system for the ball bearings to keep them in perfect place on a retrieve. When you cast it the momentum pushes the ball bearings past the magnet and right to the back of the tail. Due to this casts with the Skitterbait tend to go alot further than you might expect, very few plastic lures cast this well. Cast carefully or these might end up on the rocks.
The magnetic weight retention system keeps the lure perfectly weighted at all times, you can see it holding the treble in place.
Working the Skitterbait
These lures can be worked in four ways, a flat out retrieve will have this lure skipping across the surface, a blooping retrieve with the rod tip down will have the lure spitting out water with the occasional dive under the water, a slow twitching retrieve with the rod tip up will have the lure spitting out water and popping side to side(my favourite retrieve) and the standard walk the dog retrieve with the rod tip down.
Where the Rapala Skitter Pop 9 is big, loud and brash and is at its best in the roughest of water conditions and more vigorous retrieves, the Skitterbait is a finesse lure and should be worked as such. Pay attention to what its doing, if it dives under wait til it pops up to the top again and continue. Work it slowly with pauses for effect. Use this lure on light to medium gear, any heavier than about 15lb and you will lose some action. Any 7ft rod rated medium light t0 light is ideal for working it. I reccomend fairly heavy leader, no light than 20lb but preferably 30lb. You can tie it on with a loop knot or use snap clip to attach it.
This video shows the slow twitching retrieve in close to the north wall.
Where to use it
The skitterbait can be used anywhere from the calmest sand flat to the roughest conditions out on the ends of the walls. As a small thin lure it struggles a bit in very rough water at the end of the wall, but with a few extra pauses it will pop back up on the surface so you can continue the retrieve. The edge of the white water zone around the north wall tip and on the north wall flats are both excellent places to use it. The skitterbait is at its best when the sun is up and most fish have shut down, it will pull fish when all others are failing to get a strike.
What eats it
So far I have caught Giant Trevally, Tarpon, Bigeye Trevally, Dart, Bream and endless amounts of Tailor. It is only a matter of time before a Kingfish eats one, I'm pretty sure all the pelagic species would have a go as well. I'm still using the orginal prototype and it has landed well over 50 fish since the start of July, its lost a bit of paint but the fish are still hitting it.
If you have one of these and are having trouble with them, call me over if you see me out on the water and I'll give you a demo on how I work them. There will also be a video showing all the techniques coming out soon.
I'd had enough of livebaiting so I decided to dedicate a day to lure only, just to see what I could get. Got into the seaway at around 4.30am, swell was minimal wind was light. Phosphorescence in the water was off the scale with everything lighting up like a neon sign every time you put it in the water. Not much you can do when that happens. We waited until first light. We started working the north wall with surface lures, I had a skitterbait, dad was using the Skitterpop 9. Wasn't long before I stated getting hits from tailor and I landed 2 around 45-50cm on the skitterbait from 5 hits while dad only managed 1 hit. We did a bit of trolling around in the hope of a GT but got nothing. Not much else around so we went for a run along the surf zone on south straddie, to see if I could find some more tailor to use the skitterbait on, saw plenty of bait but no fish only dolphins.
Decided to take a run up the broadwater away from the clean water. We headed north and kept going until the water started to get dirty around the top end of Sovereign Island. We did a bit of a troll around, dad hooked a big tailor on a bolt omega which unfortunately I lost while netting it, would have gone 60cm+. While we where trolling around I noticed some good shows on the sounder, classic Tarpon sulking on the bottom and lots of them. I switched to a Trolling sinker rig with a xr8 on the back end and dropping it right to the bottom trolled through the shows, soon hooked up on to have a decent Tarpon rocket to the surface and throw the lure back at me. Tried doing that a bit more but lost 3 more fish. Switched to plastics but that didn't work much better but dad landed one around 55cm on a zman 3"minnow pearl and 1/4 oz head while I lost 3 more. Once the run started to push out strongly the schools broke up and they started feeding on the surface in single bustups, we had a couple more hookups but they were getting fussy.
Had to take dad back to the ramp at 11am, then messed around for a bit before getting back up there around 1pm. The fish were still sporadically hitting the surface and I tried casting but got zip. Time for a change in tactics, I anchored in the general area and prepared for my "Super Secret Tarpon Technique". Basically chucking out a plastic and letting it swim in the current with the rod in the rod holder. That worked, very well in fact I ended up hooking 5 Tarpon landing 2 including one that went 67cm. They pretty much hooked themselves, all you had to was sit back and watch the rod tips for the Tarpon tap then watch as they inhaled the plastic(1/4oz zmans minnows) and hooked themselves. Good stuff. Anyway as the tide slowed the plastics dropped to the bottom and the fun(or lazy fishing) ended. I cast around a skitterbait for a while hoping to get a Tarpon on surface but it got smashed by a good GT instead, that surface strike was something to behold, he nearly got airborne, pity I didn't get it on camera. He went 65cm. As the tide started to push in I had another troll but the surface activity was much less, and the Tarpon had not reschooled.
By 4pm I decided to head back down to the seaway. Got back down there and started to troll for GT's around the canyon, I put out two rods(first mistake!!) and about 30 seconds into the troll the bolt omega got smashed but i left the motor in gear so I could clear the other rod(second mistake!!). Of course the other lure got nailed and I was left with two rampaging GT's and only one set of hands. I tried fighting both fish at once(third mistake!!) and just ended up with one massive tangle with line wrapped around both reels, and no way to make back line. I had to cut one off just so I could salvage the other. After about 10 minutes I finally managed to clear the tangle and was able to land 1 GT around 60cm.
The next hour saw me hook 6 more GT's landing 5 all around the 60-65cm mark all on Bolt Omegas. Just on dark I was doing one last pass when the poor Bolt Omega got hit again, but this fish was different, instead of the slugging fight of the GT's this one had alot more weight and did more short runs. After about 10 minutes of fight and 5 minutes of trying to fit the damn thing in the net I finally landed a 96cm Barracuda. My first in the seaway and a damn big one at that.
Yeah I was happy!
After that days action I decided to go again the next day(Wednesday). I skipped the early morning start and got on the water around 10am. Had a look in the seaway but the water was super clear and apart from some dart feeding on surface it was quiet. Did a quick troll around for zip before heading off upstream back to the Tarpon. I had to work for them a bit but managed 6 Tarpon from 8 hookups in the same spot but I worked for them. They wouldn't hit the zmans minnow today, all they wanted was the 80mm Squidgy dropbear slick rig slow rolled across the bottom on a drift. Goddamn contrary creatures. I did hook another GT but lost him at the boat.
At around 3pm I headed back to the seaway for the afternoon troll session but that ended up being disappointing. No GT's, no nothing on the trolling lures today. Perhaps the tide was too late and the GT's had not moved into feeding mode. I'm starting to get an idea of the formula for predicting good afternoon troll sessions but will need another few weeks to work it out. Headed to the end of the north wall just on sunset to try for some tailor on surface. Got a couple of nice tailor around 50cm on the skitterbait off the north wall just on sunset, it also got smashed twice in row by something big but failed to hookup both times probably a big greenback. Damn that lure is awesome. Minnows and twisties didn't even get a hit.
So a couple of good days there with some very nice fish though I did have to work for the fish a bit. There is little bait around the seaway, its either well upstream or offshore, if we get a decent SE wind hopefully some of that offshore bait will end up in the seaway. Snot weed is still a problem on the run out tides and will be for a while yet.
Spending as much time fishing in the seaway as I do, I see plenty of people fishing with little to no return. Many of them are making the same mistakes which is preventing them from catching good fish. So here is my top 5 mistakes people make when fishing the seaway.
May as well start with what will be a controversial one. Anchoring. Not only do you get in the way of everyone else trying to drift, its not an effective technique. There are only 3 reasons to anchor in the Seaway and they involve specific targets, techniques or baits.
1. You want to catch lots of bream or random little fish. You want to do this fine.. go nuts, there's billions of these fish in the seaway but do it off to the side.
2. You want to fish with large flesh baits for sharks or large jewies. Both of these require the fish to track the scent down, flesh baits don't tend to work very well while drifting but can work while anchored as long as the billions of bream don't strip the bait first.
3. You are lazy and or cheap and don't want to be using fuel to find the fish.
Seriously.. Anchoring.... if you want to catch lots of good fish... just don't.
2. Using an Electric motor.
Yes, we are all impressed you have your shiny new Ipilot and you want to show it off and use it, after all it cost alot of money right... Well there is only one reason to use an electric in the seaway and that is to stay on the fish once you have found them. Ipilots in particular are exceptionally good at holding in one area in strong winds and tide, but should only be used once you have located the fish. The Drift is your most powerful fish finding tool. Figuring out the drift varies from day to day but once you have figured it out not only will you find the fish, you will stay with them as they move.
3. Only fishing the Pipeline.
Yes the pipeline can be a good fishing spot.. but some fishermen seem to stick to it like its their mother and they are 4 years old. Most of the fish sitting on the pipe are resting or getting a clean they are not eating. Once the fish are in a feeding mood most of them move away from the pipe to get something to eat. Mulloway will move out into the Triangle or Northern Y when they are hungry, GT's will move into the Northern Y and Canyon, Bigeyes will move into the Triangle or the Eastern Seaway channel. Move with the fish!
4. Ignoring what is going on around them.
Time and again I see fisherman either not notice or fail to recognise what is happening around them. Open your eyes and ears people. Look for birds(or even just one bird), bait spraying, a single boil. Listen for fish feeding, time and again I have found fish feeding by hearing just a single surface hit and throwing a lure in that direction.
5.Sticking to only one technique when lure fishing.
Lastly but perhaps most importantly don't stick to using only 1 technique. I am always seeing fisherman only throwing slugs at the wall or dropping plastics to the bottom. Sure both of these techniques have thier day, but being able to use every technique in the book will have you catching so many more fish. Trolling deep diving minnows, blooping or fast retrieve poppers , saltwater fly, shallow running minnows, slow rolling edge plastics, surface finesse plastics, slow rolling and fast jigging blades and vibs, jigging metals and many more will outfish every other technique on the day. As for figuring out what to use on that day, use your eyes, ears, sounder and experimentation. SeawayFishing will always be ontop of whats working so make sure you keep up with the latest posts.
Feel free to comment below if you disagree with any of this.
Decided to dedicate a whole day to fishing on Tuesday. Looking at the tides and conditions I decided on a plan of attack, serious livebaiting in the morning then fishing the run out tide in the Northern Y and Canyon in the afternoon with plastics and trolling minnows. Arrived at the seaway at 5.30am and headed straight out to the livebait grounds. Wind was 5kts from the NW, the Swell was about 1m from the NE. Chose the close in grounds this time and started gathering livies. With the tide turning to run in around 8am I had until 7.30 to get as many livebaits as possible. While the bait wasn't thick I still managed 30 or so by 7.30, a mix of yellowtail, bulleyes, slimies and pike. I headed back to the north wall and while I was waiting for the tide to push in I threw around a skitterbait and got hit by a decent tailor but the hooks pulled at the boat.
As the tide pushed in around the north wall I deployed the livies starting with the smallest yellowtail I had, the snot weed was bad initially but cleared up as the tide pushed it away. The fish were not sitting in the eddy this time but were sitting right on the front south eastern point of the tidal flow, took me a little while to figure out the drift and I dropped quite a few fish but I still managed to land 2 tailor around 50cm and 3 jewies from 50cm to 76cm. About an hour after the tide began to push in the fish went off the bite, I tried down near the pipe but got nothing so I stopped livebating in order to conserve the rest of my livebaits for the last hour of the run in tide. I had a look around in the broadwater but saw nothing. I spent the rest of the time putting the camera down under the water(alot of snot weed on the bottom).
At 11.30 as the tide bgan to slow I got back into it and headed back to the north wall, the wind had changed direction going to 15kts from the SE, wet but fishable. First drop saw me land an 78cm jewie then three more of his brothers at 77, 75 & 79cm respectively, then a whole bunch of tailor in the 45-50cm mark. That used up the rest of my yellowtail and the only things I had left was 2 bullseyes, 1 slimy mackerel and 1 pike. Bullseyes don't seem to work as well on the north wall so I headed down to the pipe and deployed a dual bullseye rig. Basically two bullseyes one of each hook of a dual hook rig. I'll be calling it a "Double Shot" in future. One bullseye seems to get ignored but you put two on there and the fish can't seem to resist it. Wasn't until I did a long drift and I was 100m away from the pipe into the triangle that a fish decided it was too easy a meal to miss and after a spirited fight I had a 90cm Jewie in the boat. I put down the slimy next but got nothing after a few drifts so I went back to the north wall and it got eating instantly but I pulled the hooks. Pike was next and he got eaten instantly but I got cut off just as quick well above the trace... shark.
That was it for the livebaits, cleaned up the boat and got the lure gear ready. Had a troll around the canyon and found the GT's on the sounder in the northern most section of the canyon but they weren't eating. So I commenced throwing pearl sliders on a 3/8z jighead around the northern Y, just casting it out letting it sink to the bottom then slow rolling it back. While it was quiet I did hook one good fish but the hook pulled about a minute into the fight.
At 3.30 I went back to trolling with a Bolt Omega in Pearl. The Bolt Omega is a deep diving minnow lure that gets down to 4.5m, it was the best minnow I used on my trip up north even beating the infamous XRD10 but I have only just started to use it properly in the seaway and it has done very well so far. More details about trolling the seaway and the Bolt Omega will be in the upcoming Trolling the Seaway Article. I will soon have Bolt Omegas for sale in the SeawayFishing shop as well.
Anyway about 50m into the troll the lure along the eastern side of the Northern Y it got smacked by a Gt around 55cm. I trolled around for a bit more and picked up another one around 60cm just over the edge of the canyon, then another around the same size. By 5 pm I had 10 GT's in the boat and I was into a nonstop stream of GT's smacking the Bolt Omega as soon as it got to trolling depth, then I hooked a bigger fish which ran about 100 metres found some rock and took it home for keeps. Checking all my tackle boxes I realised I only had 2 other deep diving lures as I had left the tackle box with all my deep divers at home. One was a Rapala XRD10 brand new I hadn't even changed the hooks yet and a Sebile 118 Koolie Minnow. I put on the XRD10 and it got hit within a minute, another big fish it screamed off into the northern Y and proceeded to bust me off again!!! $@#%@#$%^^!@%$. Switched to a Lucky Strike Thunder sinking stickbait 110 in yellow picked up another one around 60cm then a few hits on the next few casts then nothing. I went back to trolling with my last deep diving lure a Sebile 118 Koolie Minnow on my only rigged outfit left, 12lb Spider Braid 20lb leader. As soon as the lure got down to swimming depth it got hit, another GT and they just kept biting until it got dark. Just on dark I changed tack and threw out a Lucky Strike King hunter in Redhead, hooked and landed 1 Gt around 60cm but that was it for the day.
Called it a day after that, quite happy with the days efforts.
I also went out on Wednesday afternoon with Mick only to see if the GT's would feed like that again. Winds had changed back to a light NE. Right on 4pm I hooked on to a GT around 55cm on the Sebile Koolie Minnow, then another soon after a bit bigger. Then there was a bit of a pause until about 5pm then we landed 3 more in quick succession and I got busted off again losing the Koolie Minnow. @!#$%$$#^%@! The GT's had moved and were not around the canyon where we got the first two but were further down about halway through the middle of the Northern Y. That was it though, the northerlies had obviously made them a bit more shy than the southerlies I was fishing in on tuesday. The deeper diving Koolie Minnow(5m+) definitely had the edge on the shallower running XRD10's Mick was using hooking 4 of the 6 fish. A Bolt Omega caught the other fish after I lost the Sebile.
So some good fishing to be had out there, I know alot of people are struggling to get good fish at the moment but it is super important to fish those main feeding periods. Dawn, Dusk, The first hour of the run in and last hour of the run in regardless of the time of day. Make sure you plan your trips around them.
Snot weed will be around in increasing amounts for the next few weeks, it happens every year at this time and its just something you have to deal with as best you can. Most of it is coming out of the Northern Channel so if it is too thick concentrate on the southern side of the seaway, stick with surface lures or fish the second half of the run in tides.
Tuesday 13th August
5.30am - 6.00pm
0600 0.19 1239 1.27 1840 0.41
Wednesday 14th August
3.00pm - 6.30pm
0035 1.16 0650 0.22 1347 1.29 1956 0.45
Successful Lure’s Rundown
Pearl Slider – price $10.00/10 pack – Availability – SeawayFishing Shop or some tackle stores
Some great fishing available right now, all you need to know is where, when and how.
GT's are hungry and feeding in the canyon and the northern Y again. During the runout tide in the afternoon, they go into feeding mode from 4pm until sunset. If there is bait around they will feed on surface(still very hit and miss), if not any deep diving lure that runs to 3 metres plus should get hit, I used Bolt Omega's, Rapala XRD10's and Sebile Koolie Minnows. Troll around the area from the canyon half the way to the first set of beacons north and down through the northern Y and you should get hit. Trolling against the current works best and a troll speed around 5 knots seems to stir them up. I had an epic 2 hour session on Tuesday afternoon that lasted 2 hours nonstop. Lost count of the GT's landed. From 4pm til 6pm I was almost constantly hooked up, I would hookup, fight a fish, release it throw the lure out troll about 10m and get smashed again! Lost count of the fish landed. all around the 50-65cm mark though I did get busted off twice by bigger fish. Only one other boat out and all they had was plastics.. They got zip and had to put up with me constantly landing GT's for 2 hours straight, almost feel sorry for them.. almost.. A classic example of why you should not rely on one technique to get fish. I went out on wednesday afternoon to confirm it would continue and while it was not quite as frenetic we still managed to boat 5 GT's and lose a couple of others.
Bolt Omega's will soon be available through the SeawayFishing Shop.
A word of warning though, snot weed is coming through the seaway from the broadwater on the run out tides in increasing amounts as it does every year when temperatures begin to warm up. This is making trolling a bit difficult so make sure you check those lures frequently. The eastern side is not as affected so concentrate there if it causes you problems. We will have to put up with this weed for the next 4 weeks. The weed usually clears about an hour after the start of the run in.
Birds are the fisherman's eyes in the sky, by observing their behaviour they can lead you to fish before anybody else knows whats happening. This article will cover the types of birds found in the broadwater and seaway, their holding areas, what to look for and what to ignore.
There are 4 main types of birds in the seaway and broadwater .Terns, Seagulls, Cormorants and Pelicans.Of these 4 only one is of real interest to fisherman, that is the Tern.
The Common Tern
The Common Tern is distinguishable by a sharp beak and a black head, grey wings and white body.Terns are the fisherman’s eyes in the sky, they can see fish feeding on surface from a long way off and send out scouts even further that will communicate with the main flock if a school of fish pops up and there are easy pickings to be had.Terns will also only eat small fish, so they won’t waste time picking up rubbish like seagulls do. Terns also have exceptional eyesight into the water, they are capable of tracking fish 3-4 metres under the water and often will do so until the fish push the bait up to the surface where the terns can make easy pickings.Giant Trevally, Yellowtail Kingfish, Bigeye Trevally, Tailor, Queenfish, Tuna, Dartand Australian Salmon are the main species that terns can track. Terns are in the broadwater and seaway year round.
Terns on the lookut for fish action on a marker beacon
Seagulls will also get involved in a feast, if there are big schools of baitfish around that are near the surface andeasy to catch seagulls will be there, likewise if there is a big school of fish feeding for a few minutes seagulls will join in.Seagulls however will also spend alot of time eating rubbish around scum lines.They are worth keeping an eye on but generally if there are no terns about they are just eating rubbish.
Cormorants are large black birds with long necks, they are in the broadwater and seaway year round but will occasionally show up in flocks of hundreds of birds.Cormorants are superb fish huntersand do not need fish to push bait up to the surface as they are quite able to get down 10 metres under the water to catch fish themselves.When the large flocks arrive they spendmost of their time pushing bait into the shallows, if you see this behaviour its best to ignore it, there usually isn’t any large fish around.Occasionally they will join in a big feast if fish are pushing bait up to the surface for a while, generally if cormorants join in the fish are hunting alot and there is alot of surface feeding so they abandon their normal method of feeding in favour of easy pickings.
Cormorants and Pelicans near Wavebreak Island
Pelicans are the largest and slowest of the bird species in the broadwater but they have limited uses to the fisherman, they will get involved if the bait is thick and easy to catch and they will occasionally join in a feeding frenzy if it lasts for a while.Like the cormorant, an indicator for the level of fish feeding activity on the day.
Seagulls, Terns, Cormorants and Pelicans all chasing a school of baitfish on Horseshoe Flats
So those are the 4 main species of birds to be aware of, the Tern is the most important and that is the one we will focus on for the rest of the article.
Terns have specific behaviour that will tell you what they are doing, the 5 main types are sipping, tracking, watching, dive bombing and hovering. I will go through each of these as being able to tell what they are doing is very important to being in the right place at the right time.
Sipping – Sipping bait is the term I use for Terns that are picking free swimming bait off the surface, usually this bait is only schooled up loosely and there are no fish hunting the bait underneath.You will see this behaviour more than any others in the seaway and broadwater.Generally it is a sign of plenty of bait around but not much else.Terns that are sipping fly low to the water and generally swoop in at a shallow angle to pick the bait off, think of it as like a wave action.At the top of the wave the tern is scouting for bait, once he see’s it he swoops in and grabs the bait at the bottom of the wave.The action is more horizontal than vertical.If I see terns sipping bait, I’ll have a quick look but generally won’t waste much time on them.
Tracking – Terns that are tracking large fish under the water will be flying alonghorizontally anywhere from 5-10 metres above the water with their heads pointed straight down into the water.The deeper the fish are the higher the terns will be, and conversely the closer the fish get to the surface the closer the terns will fly to the water..I have followed terns that were obviously tracking fish for nearly a kilometre before the fish popped up to the surface.You can try and pre-empt this by getting in front of the terns and making a cast to intercept the fish below, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.Once the terns start false dive bombing(they vertically dive towards the water but pull up at the last minute) you know the fish will be up in a matter of seconds so get within casting distance.
Dive Bombing & Hovering – Terns use vertical dive bombs to get bait that gets stunned or disorientated while fish are feeding on them.They will usually fly up 2-5 metres in the air, then vertically dive into the school of feeding fish. This vertical attack pattern is the surest sign of feeding fish that can be seen from quite a distance away. If the feeding is really thick they will hover half a meter above the fish and pick up bait as it gets disorientated.
These terns are above a school of GT's feeding in the mouth of the seaway.
Sentinel Terns watching for fish on a marker beacon
The sentinels(watching) are terns located in strategic locations that are looking for any sign of fish feeding. As soon as the sentinels see any feeding fish they will communicate it to the rest of the flock and the mass of birds will take off at once and head towards the action. Its like a big neon sign saying "fish are over there ", but it is surprising how many fisherman ignore it. If the fish are not coming up for long you may get a number of false starts where the birds take off then circle around and land back on the bank/beacon. Watch them carefully when they take off to see if they are heading towards fish, if the flock breaks up some head off in one direction, others circle around and land then it was a false start. If they all take off and head in one direction then they are most likely heading for fish. Sentinel locations are as follows:
The north seaway wall 20m back from the tip on a flat concrete block on the top of the wall.(Map 3)
The tip of the North Wavebreak Wall.(Map 2)
The sandbank on the North Wavebreak Flats (Map 2)
Any of the marker beacons in the Northern Channel(Map 2-3)
The sandbank on Crab island(Map 4)
The sandbank just south of Wavebreak Island(Map 6.. Coming Soon!)
The sandbank just west of Seaworld(Map 7.. Coming soon!)
Birds are an important part of any savvy fisherman's arsenal of fish finding techniques, they are smart airborne hunters whose life depends on finding the food they eat so they are exceptionally good at it. They can show you where fish are feeding and be an early warning indicator of fish activity if only you take the trouble to watch them.
I wanted to dedicate a trip to livebaiting to see what was around, catching fish on lures in the seaway has been a bit tough lately so I wanted to see if the fish were there but only interested in livebaits. Arrived at around 11am, swell was less than a metre and the wind was light from the NW. Went straight out to the baitgrounds to see what I could find. I spent about 2 hours out there and only managed 4 yellowtail, a pike and 2 bullseyes. Came back in and had a look at the north wall and found mullet schooling in near the rocks. I managed to get 4 of those on a 15gram gillies and a Watsons Leaping Bonito as well.
As the tide began to slow around 3pm I deployed my first yellowtail around the north wall. Did a few drifts for nothing so I went down to the pipeline and sent him down again and he was promptly swallowed by a jewie around 85cm who I'll call stumpy on account of his shortened tail section which made him look like a cross between a barramundi and a jewfish. I released him and put down another yellowtail, it got hit but the fish spat the hooks. The next 2 yellowtail died on the hook without a looker. I put down the pike and as usual it got eaten within seconds, I got a solid hookup and fought the fish for about a minute before the hooks pulled. I've never used bullseyes as a livebait before but they looked good to me so put down the bullseyes one on each hook and they got eaten within a minute, but it was only a jewie around 65cm. Still I'll be using bullseyes as a livebait again, it wouldn't surprise me if they turn out to be quite a good one. So I was down to mullet as a livie, I've never been a big fan of mullet as a livebait and always seen them as a last resort bait but it was all I had left so I put him down. By 5am he was still untouched so I decided to take a break from that and do a bit of trolling as the sun set.
I only had 2 outfits with me suitable for that, a 6lb outfit and a 20lb outfit. I decided on the 6lb outfit( big mistake) after all I'm not likely to hook anything big.... right? Out went a Rapala ST XRD10 in Glass ghost and I trolled over to the canyon, as soon as I passed the dropoff the lure got hit and this thing went into overdrive. With the line melting off the spool at a blindingly fast rate I tried to follow the fish with the boat but it was swimming away(against the current mind you) faster than I could drive and hold the rod. With the bottom of the spool now clearly in sight the fish found some structures and busted me off. I was left to wind in nearly 200 metres of line. Nice. Switched to the 20lb outfit, put a new lure on but of course nothing wanted that. Had a quick fish around the north wall as the sun set for zip.
Once it was dark I headed back out to the bait grounds to try and get some pike, but all I managed was about a million small tailor. Gave that away and came back in for the top of the tide, deployed the mullet again and drifted around the north wall, south wall, deep hole, pipeline and canyon for not even a touch. Had enough by 11pm, anchored up deployed the mullet and had a kip. Woke at 4am for the change of tide, mullet was still swimming around untouched. Tried again around the north wall, south wall, pipeline etc. Zip. Tossed him out and the other mullet as well and headed offshore to get some yellowtail just on dawn.
That worked a bit better and I soon had 20 or so in the tank, plus two bullseyes and 1 cowanyoung. Came back to the seaway and the run in tide pushing around the north wall just screamed tailor. Deployed my first yellowtail on the edge of the eddy and he was promptly eaten by a tailor around 45cm. Over the next hour or so I landed a dozen tailor all in the 45-50cm range, good fun. As the tide began to slow I moved down to the pipe and drifted a yellowtail over the pipe, that was eaten straight away and I was in a battle with a fish that clearly wanted to get back down to the pipe. I was only using 20lb line but I did hold him off it for a minute or so before he made it back down and busted me off. Next up was the cowanyoung, same story drifted it over the pipe but this time the 78cm jewfish was no match for my no holds barred approach. Sent down the bullseyes and they got eaten as well but pulled the hooks. That was the last of my livies and by this time I was low on fuel so called it a day around 9.30.
So an interesting overnighter, though I didn't get any fish while it was dark. I didn't see anyone else get a fish on lures or fly the whole time I was there. The tailor were sitting on the bottom between 14 & 17 metres down which is typical winter behaviour, there were reasonbale numbers as a couple of times the hooked fish were followed up by half a dozen of his mates. Mullet continue to be a last resort bait with pike still maintaning the top spot and yellowtail coming second. Everyone I have talked to in the last week or so has said how tough it is with lures at the moment, the fish are there but they want livies. There is some bait coming through at night but nothing during the day. I sent the camera down off the front of the north wall and there was a big school of Watsons Bonito down there so you might see them pop up in the mornings. The bigeyes were near the Wavebreak cardinal mark at night but not feeding.
Tuesday 6th August
11.00am - 11.00pm
0201 0.21 0750 1.13 1332 0.13 2012 1.58
Wednesday 7th August
4.00am - 9.30am
0232 0.17 0824 1.17 1408 0.11 2045 1.59
Stumpy on the deck
A 65cm Jewie caught on a bullseye
Hooked up to a solid fish near the canyon
Tailor ona a live yellowtail
Another Tailor on a live yellowtail
A 78cm jewie ona live cowanyoung
This is why I like to use two hooks
Bullseyes are a reasonable alternative livebait
Hooked up to a solid pipeline dweller
Just as something interesting, I have for some time now known about some schools of fish that have been holding about 200m out from the south wall on the runout tides. I've seen them on the sounder numerous times, put down lures, plastics, even bait jigs but had no interest. Well today I put the camera down and found out what they were. Turns out they were big schools of winter whiting, not something I would have guessed.
August’s prize is a Plano Waterproof Tackle Box filled with lures including a 15gm Twistie, ST Flash Minnow 25, 2 11gm Blades, Flash pop 8, Lurch minnnow and a Zipbaits Vib 25. Thats nearly $70 worth of lures, so write those reports up to get in the running!
Went out for a fish yesterday with dad as the deckie, arrived at the seaway at around 2.30 am. Was a little surprised to see the swell at around 2m from the south east, lumpy but manageable. The forecast had it 3m from the East but its amazing how much more fishable the seaway is with a little bit of south in the swell direction. Anyway we fished and scouted around the pipeline, north wall and Northern Y for zip. We did a troll run up the south wall and finally found the fish stacked up 8 metres down between The Gates(see Map 3) and the Seaway Tower. Dropped a 1/2oz CCM grass minnow down and hooked up straight away which turned out to be a 45cm Bigeye. Switched to a new lure under test the Vivi 30s(now available for purchase from the SeawayFishing Shop). Its a solid vib in the style of the legendary Zipbaits Vib 25 but with a slightly smaller profile and alot lower price. As a 30gram vib its sink time is excellent and it has a nice vigorous vibrating action on the retrieve. I dropped that down and hooked up again straight away, that went on for a while with dad getting a few as well on a Zman 2.5" curl tail in pearl and some double hookups all bigeyes between 30 & 45cm. As dawn arrived the bigeyes moved off and we headed over to the north wall to fish the flats.
First cast onto the flats with the Vivi30 I hooked up on another bigeye around 40cm, next cast multiple hits no hookup, next cast hooked up and landed a GT of around 40cm. Meanwhile dad was persisting with a chrome skitter pop 9 getting a few hits but no hookups. I briefly switched to a skitterbait to fish the surface got whacked on the first cast by a good Tailor which then threw the lure on one of its jumps. We moved around the front of the wall and fished that area for a while, I was just about to move when dad's ST Chrome Skitter Pop 9 got nailed by a massive fish. I didn't see the strike but the massive boil afterwards made me call it for a good kingfish. It took off and headed for the south east corner of the wall, a place where we have lost many fish over the years, luckily it turned at the last minute and headed out to sea, once we were about 100m out I knew we had a good chance of landing it and after about 15 minutes we finally got colour on a very good kingfish. It didn't like the boat and everytime we got it close it took off again. After 10 minutes of that I slid the 90cm kingfish into the net. Dad's biggest Kingfish yet, he was happy!
We fished on for a while in the same area before we saw some small mack tuna feeding on surface, I was back to using the Vivi30 and threw that in there and it was hit by a feisty jellybean mack tuna around 30cm. We landed another 5 or so of those before moving off to try some plastics on the bottom. Unfortunately try as we might we didn't hook another fish. We moved around, tried the pipeline, south wall, broadwater all for zip so we called it a day.
So an interesting morning, there is fish around but once that sun gets up it seems to be real hard work.
As for the rest of the week, not too many reports coming through. Some Tailor, Bigeyes and small GT's on metals, vibs and minnows around the North Wall Flats at dawn. Tailor around the north wall on minnows at dusk. Small Mack Tuna in front of the seaway, nothing bigger than about 40cm though. A few jewies about the pipe and north wall deep hole and eddy on livies and plastics. Some small to medium Bigeyes along the south wall. There are some real big fish around though, on Monday I sent a 45cm Pike to the bottom of the deep hole just before the top of the tide, he got eaten in minutes and I hooked up to a solid fish which proceeded to not bothered at all by me on the other end, after 5 minutes of me trying to get some line back he finally figured out he was hooked and he did a long screaming run before busting me off on a bit of underwater structure. God only knows what that was.
I will be at the Carrara Markets Car Boot sale again this sunday if anyone wants to come along for a chat.
Monday 29th July
3.00am - 11.30am
0042 1.22 0701 0.24 1342 1.24 1939 0.51
Thursday 1st August
2.30am - 10.30am
0352 0.95 0946 0.33 1652 1.34 2327 0.47
Successful Lure’s Rundown
CCM Ecogear Grass Minnow M – price $12.50/10 pack – Availability – SeawayFishing Shop or Samurai Tackle
..Howard for his excellent 25th July report. Bringing a different perspective to SeawayFishing is always appreciated and his use of lightly weighted yabbies around the rock walls shows how techniques can be adapted to work in a different way when the fishing is tough. Thinking outside the box not only gives you more options but gives you a better understanding of whats going on underneath the water. His report was detailed, his pictures were good and he gave prompt replies to any questions.
The prize for Howard is a Brand new SW-3000 Reel plus his choice of 300m Braid in 12,20 or 31lb strengths. Let me know what you would prefer Howard.
Prize for August will be announced tomorrow.
P.s one lucky person got a 90cm kingfish on a popper this morning. More details tomorrow...