Well after such good reports from the weekend I was hopeful of a few good days fishing this week. Unfortunately that didn't happen when I fished on Monday and Wednesday. Thursday and Friday were better.
On Monday the day started at 4am just as the first light broke the horizon. A few bigeyes over the pipe early morning, the occasional bustup from Kingfish after sunup and that was it. The morning showed a complete lack of interest on the part of the fish, a few fish were caught but you had to work for them. I managed a foulhooked bigeye and longnosed trevally on microjigs drifting the north wall runway on the runout tide though. I didn't get out in the afternoons other than Monday so that may have been when most of the action happened, nothing happened on Monday afternoon though which was disappointing considering the hours I put in. 13 hours is a long time on the water for so few fish. Off the water at 7.15pm
Wednesday was no better in terms of fish landed or sighted, same start time but no bigeyes a couple of undersized jewies on plastics near the pipe on the tide change, a small bigeye near the tower during the run-in and not much else. Gave it away around 10.30.
On Thursday the action picked up alot more with Bigeyes feeding from the time I arrived at the pipe for a good hour or so with fish ranging from 30 to 55cm. 20 and 30 gram twisties did the job. Tailor were scarce, a few around the North Wall on Minnows, Microjigs and Twisties, biggest about mid 50's on lures. Barry did pick up a massive 90cm Tailor while on a SeawayFishing tutorial on a live pike though. Kingfish were caught on the first hour of the runout tide on the pipeline by sinking flies or plastics down deep and jigging them back fast but it's a bit like winning lotto. Definitely not a sure thing. They also showed up on surface a few times near the Canyon but the few casts I did manage to get in there were ignored. The Cross channels Kings were around during the run-in tide and because the bait is quite large you are in with a shot if you can get your lure in there. Chris's son got a very nice 115cm Kingfish on a 30gram Twisty(20lb braid 30lb leader). Picked up the usual couple of small Jewies in the North Wall Eddy during the first and last hour of the run-in on big plastics as well.
Friday was much the same as Thursday, Good bigeye action early over the pipe, some scattered but reasonable tailor near the north wall and erratic kingfish action though I did see a very nice school of Kings come up near the wavebreak marker for about 30 seconds. Managed a follow but no hook-ups.
The difference in results between one day and the next were quite large, on Monday and Wednesday the fish weren't even slightly interested, on Thursday and Friday they were. Just goes to show what a difference a day makes.
Monday 13th January
4.00am - 7.15pm
0640 1.50m, 1309 0.33m, 1847pm 1.04m
Wednesday 15th January
4.00am - 10.30am
0107 0.14, 0754 1.58, 1420 0.23, 2003 1.10
Thursday 16th January
4.30am - 11.00am
0143 0.12, 0827 1.60, 1453 0.20, 2038 1.13
Friday 17th January
5.00am - 11.30am
0217 0.12, 0900 1.60, 1524 0.18, 2112 1.14
A massive 90cm Tailor in comparison to a 50cm Tailor, that ruler is 80cm long
I've been on the water 4 times since the last update and the seaway continues to fish very well. I fished the morning sessions on Monday 23rd and Thursday 26th, and the afternoon sessions on Monday 30th and the 2nd January. This time of year it is super important to remember your tides and fish based on them. It saves you time and money to fish the peak feeding periods and your results will improve.
Water temps are up and holding between 23 and 25 degrees. Plenty of bait around, some frogmouths and there are big schools of small white pilchards around the 4cm mark as well. Boating traffic over the break was high but there were some good fish to be caught if you put in the effort.
Greenbacks have finally showed up with some nice fish in the low 60's caught this week on surface lures around the north wall during the low light periods of dawn and dusk. There are lots of tailor around the 34-45cm mark around the North Wall as well and a few fish around the mid 50's.
Kingfish have been feeding along the pipeline and in close to the south western corner of South Stradbroke on the morning run-in tides, how they feed depends on the weather and the bait that they are feeding on. If they are feeding on the small white pilchards it's alot tougher to get a strike than if they round up a school of frogmouths. There is also a few around the North Wall but not enough that you can target with any effectiveness. They do make a nice surprise though.
Bigeye's are around in numbers and when they do feed as a school they'll hit anything, with surface lure's they were getting airborne on the strike which was awesome. When they aren't feeding as a school there are a few random fish to be caught around the North and South Walls as well. They have been feeding aggressively around the end of the North Wall right as the tide starts to push in so make sure you are there at the right time. To make sure I recommend getting there no longer than an hour after the official bottom of the tide. They have shown up a couple of times on surface after dark near the pipeline but it's a bit random.
Plenty of dart around the North Wall Flats as well, but only when there is a bit of swell or waves running.
There is some excellent surface fishing opportunities at the moment so get those surface lures out and use them. It's quite possible to get good fish on surface in the middle of the day so don't restrict them to just the dawn and dusk periods. Use small thin profile surface lure's no bigger than 9cm.
Give the fish something different and you might get a fish that others don't. For example, the kingfish shown below was pulled off the end of the North Wall on a surface lure on my second cast at 7.30 in the morning on Boxing day after other boats had been throwing slugs at the wall for hours.
It's also important to 'Rest' an area. If you have cast at a certain spot on the wall twenty or so times, move elsewhere then come back an hour later and you might be able to pick up some more fish. Resting an area gives the fish a chance to get back to normal behaviour.
Afternoons provided the best fishing this week, with the morning sessions seeing few fish landed. I fished Tuesday and Thursday Mornings with a full day session Wednesday to catch the afternoon tide as well.
The afternoon run-in tides saw some excellent surface feeding by Tailor, Bigeye's and Dart, which were quite happy to hit anything thrown in the vicinity. Twisties and skitterbaits worked well but I'm sure anything thrown in the vicinity would have worked. I didn't see or hear of any Kingfish feeding in the afternoons though. The Kingfish did feed on the morning run-in tides on Tuesday and Wednesday, but not Thursday(which I would have picked for a better day for it). Only a couple were caught though, feeding times were short, between 5 and 10 seconds for the most part.
It's been a funny week, the fish seem to of only fed in the afternoons and thats it, they were done for the day. Morning sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday only yielded a few Tailor around the North Wall and small kingfish feeding over the pipe in very short bursts, though some big kingfish did show a couple 0f times in the Canyon.
After dark there has been some massive Hairtail around Hairtail Reach on the run-in tides, from 1.2 to 1.5m long. I picked up a few on plastics, got cut off plenty of times and trolled up a couple on Rapala XRD10's. I also managed to find(I ran right over them on a troll run) some jewies busting into bait in the same area and picked one up on a Rapala XRD10. With the amount of bait coming through it's worthwhile keeping an ear out for surface feeding by jewies in that area at night and casting plastics or minnows at them.
Overall it's been a disappointing summer season, very short bite periods, no greenbacks, bigeyes have been rare, little dawn feeding and the edge fishing has been poor. Still there has been a few excellent sessions if you were in the right place at the right time. Fishing the seaway in summer is always different every year, you never know what it is going to happen. This summer has been tough to consistently pull good fish, lets hope the new year changes things a little.
This is my last weekly wrap up for 2013, the next article will be Looking Back on 2013. If you are heading out, Good luck and stay safe on the water.
We had Northerlies this week which not only dropped water temperatures down to 19 degrees, but also created a dirty plume of water coming in the seaway during each run-in tide. Thankfully, the northerlies have abated and the dirty water has now gone but water temps are still around the 20-21 degree mark, occasionally getting up to 23 degrees on the bottom of the run-out. Baitfish numbers are still high but the fish species taking advantage of it hasn't changed since last week. This weekend has very small seas and light SE winds so don't expect too much action in the seaway. The tides weren't great this week so I fished mornings only on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
A run of very small (15-20cm)Tailor has mixed in with the larger fish and they are feeding off the end of the North Wall on the run-out tides. These little fish will hit anything and it's quite entertaining to see them hitting a big popper until they hook up. The larger fish are in very close to the wall, I got Tailor from 45-55cm by fishing minnows and skitterbaits right next to the rocks. No sign of anything around greenback size though. I still caught Tailor in the dirty water caused by the northerlies too so if it happens again, it's still worth a few casts. Time of day doesn't seem to matter, I was catching good Tailor at around 10am in the morning on Thursday.
Small Yellowtail Kingfish (55-65cm) are still hanging around the south wall and they are feeding from just after sunup for anything between 15 minutes and a couple of hours depending on the day. They are moving along the wall and picking a feeding spot on the day. On Monday and Tuesday morning they were feeding at the end of the south wall, busting up for about 15 seconds then sitting on the bottom for 15 minutes or until another school of baitfish came through. On Thursday they were feeding around the southern end of the pipeline and only fed twice. Skitterbaits and 20gram twisties work well on the surface feeding fish, 20gram twisties dropped into the school of kings on the bottom got a few hookups but no fish landed so if you see them on the sounder it's worth dropping a twistie down to them and cranking it back to the surface at speed. In general, if the tide is running out on sunup look for them at the end of the wall, if the tide is running in on sunup look for them around the pipeline. I didn't see any big Kingfish this week.
Didn't see any Bigeyes this week but apparently a few were caught on Monday around the North Wavebreak Rock wall. There is none around the North Wall.
Queenfish are still around in the Southern Y and over the pipeline at times, the usual small slugs work on them but you'll need a few casts to get a hookup.
Most of the GT's are still up the rivers, I know that some are located in the stretch above Sovereign Island and in the lake at the top of the Coomera. Hopefully they will make their way back down soon.
Monday 9th December
3.00am - 10.30am
0116 1.08, 0650 0.30, 1328 1.40, 2003 0.13
Tuesday 10th December
4.00am - 11.00am
0227 1.12 0804 0.38 1429 1.28 2100 0.15
Thursday 12th December
3.30am - 10.00am
0438 1.29, 1039 0.40, 1634 1.12, 2244 0.13
A nice 60cm Kingfish on the Skitterbait
A Nice tailor taken on a flash25 minnow in the dirty water of the north wall on thursday
Double tailor hookup on skitterbaits
This GT was taken on a 3/8 oz Ecogear Grass Minnow in the channel above sovereign
Looks like the standout fish for the summer of 2013 will be the Yellowtail Kingfish. They fed in some big ways this week but timing and location were critical. Tailor and Bigeye Trevally were also around in numbers on some days(and nights). I fished the afternoon tides on Monday and Tuesday followed by a morning session on Wednesday.
Converting fish feeding opportunities into fish in the boat is quite tricky, casting accuracy is imperative. Some anglers are still coming home empty handed. Cricket scores of fish are unlikely but if you find the fish in the right mood you can catch fish for a good hour.
The Kingfish action this week has been covered extensively in the Seaway Yellowtail Kingfish Update posted yesterday. Give it a read if you want to target these hard fighting sportsfish. Many other fish have been mixed in with these schools of Kingfish as well, Tailor, Bigeye Trevally and GT's are all being caught out of Kingfish schools.
Tailor are feeding along the North Wall and are mixed in with the Kingfish feeding around the South Wall particularly when they are near the tip. They are liking they windier days alot more than when it is calm. Keep an eye on the area's surrounding the ends of both walls and the 100m back from the tip. You can also work the edges with poppers and minnows around dawn or dusk or around a run-in tide change. Micro Jigs pulled in good numbers of tailor on the start of the run-out tide about 20 metres out from the north wall along the runway. Drop them to the bottom, give them 5 quick jigs then let them sink back down and repeat. Lures that are working casting at the wall are 20gm Twisties, Rapala Skitter Pop 9's, Skitterbaits and 30gram Storm Gomoku Chrome Micro Jigs.
Bigeye Trevally have been a bit more active this week coming up around the pipeline on the run-in tides in the mornings and mixed in with the Kingfish along the south wall. They have also been active at night on the run-out tides along the south wall from the pipeline to the tower. Skitterbaits worked great on these night-time fish but most poppers or shallow running minnows would work. Slugs like the Gillies baitfish 15 and skitterbaits work fine on the daytime fish as long as you get it into the bustup.
There have been a few Queenfish around 40cm in the southern channel during the day, you'll need to go to small slugs around 5-7 grams, check the dirty water lines on the run-out tides.
There is plenty of action on days when the weather is bad, not only that but the fish seem to feed for longer and are more aggressive so you are more likely to get a decent catch. If you are only fishing on days with light winds and calm seas(and going by the sheer volume of boats that went out on Wednesday.. many are) then you are missing out. You still need to pay attention to the tides, and fishing on the first couple of hours of the run-in tide is the best. Be at the mouth when the tide begins to push in and work your way in the seaway as the tide pushes the clean water further in. Keep an eye out for any bird activity especially false diving birds as these are usually over Kingfish.
Lastly, sorry about all the Skitterbait mentions in just about everything I write up. I know it seems like I'm going for the hard sell but these lures work on almost everything at the moment and in so many situations it's hard to put anything else on the end of the line.
As we say goodbye to November and get into the last month of 2013, the baitfish numbers continue to increase but fish behaviour is still erratic. I fished fairly long days on both Monday and Wednesday rather than fishing a heap of separate days this week.
The fish are there but bite times can be short, or the fish bite for a long time and it's hard to get a hookup. To be fair the tides were rubbish with middle of the day run-in tides. Next weeks morning and afternoon tides should fish alot better. The afternoon tides over the weekend should fish ok as well, the morning's might fish ok but the wind looks to be howling, . If you do go out, you won't have much company and sometimes the windiest days can have the best fishing. Baitfish numbers have exploded, now not only do we have large schools of frogmouth pilchards, but there are large schools of white pilchards as well. On the run-in tide it's almost one giant stream of baitfish from the mouth of the seaway through to the cross channels just south of Crab island. Next weeks sustained SE winds look very good as well, if the forecast holds. Water temperatures are fluctuating wildly, from 21.5 degrees up to 25 degrees and back down again.
As for the fish, there is an element of predictability but also some random behaviour thrown in as well just to make you think real hard about the decisions you make. Should I go out to the end of the North wall/Pipeline or stick around the Canyon in the hope that the Kings & GT's will begin to feed. For an example, bottom of the tide on Monday around 8.30am the absolute worst stage of tide for surface feeding, the Kings came up at least half a dozen times and on the last time they came up I finally managed to get a decent cast in, only for the Kings to have 5 goes at the skitterbait without hooking up then a 65cm GT grabbed it.
The Kingfish are centered in 3 locations, The Pipeline, the Canyon and the Cross Channels.
The Pipeline is a mix of 60cm and metre long fish. The Canyon and Cross Channels are all metre long fish.
The Pipeline fish are feeding on the surface on the 3/4 line and up to 100m east of that(3/4 of the way across the seaway from the south to the north)during the run-in tide. Sometimes they will feed for 15 minutes, sometimes it goes for hours but hooking the Pipeline fish is not easy. The odd one is getting caught on chrome metals and poppers but it's hard work and frustrating. On Wednesday at midday the little kingfish fed for 2 hours at least coming up every 10 minutes or so but only one was hooked on a 25g raider, they were moving fast too so it was difficult to get a cast in the zone. There is also a chance of a Kingfish in close to the southern end of the Pipeline just on dawn.
The Canyon fish are alot easier to hook(or at least get interested) but they feed less. They are hunting in the area between the Canyon and the first set of beacons north. The second half of the run-in tide seems to see them out and feeding every 10 minutes or so but this can depend on the day. On Monday they didn't show at all on the run-in, but did on the run-out. On Wednesday they didn't show on the run-out but did on the second half of the run-in(2pm-3.30pm). They are definitely feeding and will hit a lure but you still need a bit of luck to get a hookup. I had lots of looks, nudges and follows this week with no hookups.
The Cross Channels fish are located near the two beacons just south of Crab, they are the least predictable and fewest in number but if everywhere else is quiet it's worth a look. At least if you hook a fish around them there isn't much structure.
GT's are still mixed in with the Canyon Kingfish, but a small school of just GT's did show on Monday morning alongside the North Wavebreak Rock Wall from the tip to halfway along it just on sunup so keep an eye on that area around dawn. Trolling and plastics didn't get any GT's at all so it looks like your only shot for a GT is casting into bustups.
Tailor are still around the North Wall in numbers. They are also feeding erratically, dawn sessions have been ordinary for the most part with only the odd good fish. They are feeding on the run-in tides along the inside of the North Wall in the middle of the day but only for very short periods, if you can get a twistie or skitterbait into the area they are feeding then you'll hookup but hooking strays after they stop feeding is rare. They did feed on the surface along the 3/4 line of the pipeline on the first of the runout tide on thursday afternoon which is unusual.
Bigeyes continue to confound me, I've seen them a few times. Alongside the north wall of wavebreak up as far as the little cove at dawn, near the pipeline in the middle of the day but catching them in any sort of numbers seems to be impossible. Hopefully that will change as water temperatures increase.
So overall, its a bit of a mix. There are fish around and lots of them but if you don't find them feeding you'll end up with nothing(this doesn't apply to livebaiting). Very few fish are being caught as random catches. I suspect what is happening is that because of the huge amount of bait around the fish are full and they are just 'topping up' in short bursts. As always your mileage may vary, with the amount of bait around you might see some random fish pop up and begin to feed so keep your eyes open.
Monday 25th November
4.00am - 3.00pm
0111 0.91, 0636 0.44, 1316 1.25, 2000 0.29
Wednesday 27th November
4.00am - 7.00pm
0328 1.02, 0902 0.47, 1514 1.18, 2147 0.22
A mixed school of Frogmouth and White Pilchards
Hooked up on a Gt alongside the north wall of Wavebreak
This 61cm Gt took a skitterbait just on sunup along the north wavebreak wall
This 65cm GT took a skitterbait in amongst a school of Kingfish
As we head into the end of the year, the water temperatures have begun to creep up and the potential is there, but the fish are still reluctant to feed for extended periods.
This week saw some classic summer surface season feeding behaviour from Kingfish, Bigeyes and Tailor but only for very short periods. Use the wrong lure or be in the wrong place when they come up and you go without. Water temps increased up to 23 degrees this week. I only fished morning sessions on Monday and Tuesday this week.
Kingfish have been the highlight and they showed up in numbers around the Canyon on Monday and around the Pipeline on Tuesday, if you want a Kingfish you are going to have to keep your eye on the birds and get over there fast when they indicate feeding activity. There is still no guarantees about hookups when they feed on surface but if you persist you should get a hookup or two if you are lucky. Landing them is another matter. The Kings should hang around as long as the baitfish do, and that usually hangs around until the new year. Realistically, if you REALLY want to hook a kingfish, hang around the Canyon around sunup or during the first half of a run-in tide and sooner or later they will come up and you will get a shot at them, just be ready when they do.
There have been GT's mixed in with the Kingfish but the numbers aren't there, most of them are still upstream. They are taking surface lures meant for Kingfish but aren't coming up for poppers worked over the Canyon Edge or taking trolled lures. They have to be in feeding mode. Just keep an eye out for any bustups and get a popper or skitterbait in there quick.
Bigeyes are around but their behaviour is still erratic. Tuesday they came up over the pipe on the 3/4 line just after sunup and they were mixed in with the big Kingfish. Most people got nothing though, I managed one about 45cm on a redhead/silver skitterbait.
Tailor are there but with the flat calm conditions they are only coming up to the surface once that tide starts to run-in, and not feeding for long when they do. 20gram Twisties are getting fish and skitterbaits pulled a couple of Tailor around the North Wall working the eddies and edges.
Jewies are still in the usual spots BUT if you are interested in picking one up on a lure you should try the south wall, they are hanging below the massive schools of frogmouth pilchards particularly around the end of the south wall on a run-out tide just before sunup. Most are small (70cm or less)but it wouldn't surprise me if a bigger one was mooching around underneath the schools of bait. Get a small plastic about 5-8cm long on a 3/8oz jighead and work it slow under the schools of bait. I was using Ecogear Grass Minnows in CCM but any small plastic should work particularly anything that resembles a frogmouth pilchard. Squidgy Flickbaits in the 80mm size would be perfect.
Still the occasional Tarpon around, I hooked one off the end of the North Wavebreak rock wall on a run-out tide on tuesday and another couple around the end of the south wall just before sunup. This time of year most of them have headed upstream into the rivers and canals.
So overall, the fish are there but bite times are short. Pay attention to whats going on around you or miss out. Look for the congregations of baitfish on the run-out tides and fish below them in particular around the North Wavebreak Rock Wall and the end of the South Wall. On the run-in tides look for any surface activity and get over there quick. Mornings are still fishing much better than afternoons, but if the tide is right you can get a burst of feeding activity just as the sun sets.
I am currently testing single hook configurations on skitterbaits and these will be available as an option towards the end of next week. These single hooks are perfectly balanced and do not affect the action or buoyancy but they should increase the chances of landing a big Kingfish on them. Remember that Skitterbaits need to be worked with a steady pulsing action to get the best out of them, keep that rod tip up and don't work them too fast. Get them into a bustup and not many fish will refuse them. This week they have hooked Kingfish, GT's, Tailor and Bigeyes.
Monday 18th November
3.00am - 10.30am
0146 0.04 0830 1.58 1453 0.16 2038 1.10
Tuesday 19th November
3.00am - 11.00am
0219 0.07 0906 1.57 1533 0.17 2114 1.06
Bigeye on a skitterbait cast into a school feeding on surface near the pipeline
Tailor are still taking skitters around the North Wall
GT's are mixed in with the Kingfish, this one took a skitterbait
Slugging it out with a King
This jewie took a CCM grass minnow worked underneath the baitfish schools
While I wouldn't normally put up a post about a lost fish, this one was special. Easily the biggest fish I've hooked in the broadwater and one of the longest fights I've ever had. Anyway on with the story.
Arrived at the seaway monday morning at around 3.30, swell was non existant, as was wind. Too calm for my liking. I immediately forgot about fishing the ends of the walls and decided to stick with the Canyon/North Wavebreak area as that is where the big fish were holding and feeding. Based on what I have seen and reports from others big Kingfish have made it thier feeding ground but only for short periods so I knew I'd have to stick with just the one spot to have a shot at it. Tide was an official low at 1.47am which with the adjustment meant that the tide would begin pushing in around 3.47, right on dawn... GT tide..
Choice of lure was simple, skitterbait on the light rod, Rapala Skitter Pop 9 ST on the big rod. Around 4.30am I saw the first swirls of feeding Kings and on about my 4th cast a big bow wave came up behind the skitterbait then lunged but the bow wave pushed the lure out of its way. After a few more half hearted bustups I placed a good cast right into the middle of a pack of feeding Kings. A king came up behind it and swallowed it and kept going straight at me, I wound the reel fast to pick up the slack and the king opened it's mouth and the lure came out without a hookup.
I tried again, after a few more half-hearted boils they came up in a group and I got over there just in time, a few twitches with the skitterbait and it was nailed by a fish that nearly got airborne on the strike, then took off. A solid hookup and the fish made a few runs before coming to the boat.. strange didn't feel like a kingfish..and it wasn't. It was a decent GT of around 63cm though.
By the time I had dealt with him and got back the action was tapering off, a few more scattered fish came up then there were 15-20 minute gaps between short bustups lasting around 10-15 seconds. I decided to anchor up using my detachable anchor(anchor + 1m chain + 10m rope + float) rather than waste more fuel running in the channel. I anchored up in the eddy at the end of the north wavebreak wall. While I was waiting a few fish busted up near the wall, but I couldn't get a hookup out of them, I think they were Bigeyes. After half an hour or so I saw another bustup so I unclipped the float and raced over there. Got over there too late though. That happened twice more over the next hour so it was drop float, start engine, full throttle over to the bustup and cast in there. Both times the bustup had finished before I arrived.
At around 9am I saw a big bustup up near the first set of channel markers north. Anyone who has chased Kingfish before will be familiar with the area. I got there just as the action was tapering off and managed to put in one decent cast. The lure was about 3 metres away from the boat when out of nowhere a yellowtailed torpedo nailed it and sped off. You see the Kingfish feeding so leisurely most of the time you forget how fast they can be when they really want to move. He sped northwards emptying the spool of the little Ballistic 3000 so I gave chase. The worst thing you can do for a kingfish is give it alot line out, your best hope is to keep the line as vertical as possible so thats what I did. He headed for the Canyon, the place of nightmares when it comes to big Kingfish. A rugged bottom full of sharp rocks, two cungevoi incrusted beacons, sunken trees and a large rock wall. For the next 20 minutes he slugged it out at the back end of the canyon going from one side to the other thankfully keeping away from the dropoff where the sharpest rocks were, then he went for a run alongside the North Wavebreak rock wall, unfortunately heading right for the anchor rope which was still floating from where I'd left it. Of course he managed to wrap the line around it so I got over there and managed to untangle it and retrieve it one handed(18.00 mins on the video). He headed for the yellow beacon marking the Wavebreak anchorage so I got alongside him and applied some side pressure which turned him around just in time. I did get a good look at him at this point as he arced around the front of the boat and he was easily the biggest Kingfish I've ever seen, well over a metre long and fat too. He headed back out heading North east, a real good direction, nothing but sand in that direction. For the first time I thought I had a chance... I should have known better. Once he reached the middle of the channel he turned and headed back north and over to the eastern side of the channel where he slugged it out for another 10 minutes. Then slowly but surely he began to work his way south west towards the dropoff and the sharpest rocks. The tide was now slowing and he made the dropoff then spent 10 minutes swimming along the edge of it trying to get the right angle to bust me off. Due to the fact that I was right over him the whole time it took him a while but eventually the line hit a rock edge and it was all over. Sat down for a while after that.
So could I have done anything different to change the outcome? I kept the line as vertical as possible, I used directional changes to keep him away from serious structure. The only thing I could have tried but didn't was to freespool him in the hope he would swim away from the dropoff but that is a technique fraught with danger. Overall I'm happy with what I accomplished, most kingfish hookups only last seconds let alone 40 minutes. As I always say, only the stupid big kingfish get caught, and there aren't too many of them.
Skitterbait's have now proven themselves to be one of the most versatile seaway lures in my box, able to hook everything from the smallest tailor to the largest kingfish. They can hack a bit of punishment with the hooks I supply them with as long as you don't try and redline your gear or fish them on gear that is too heavy. When it comes right down to it, I'd rather hook a kingfish and lose it than not hook any at all. That said, I will be trialling the use of single hooks on skitterbaits to improve your chances on large kingfish.
Lure: Skitterbait Black Redhead
Line: 15lb Spider Braid
Leader: 30lb Famell Super shock
Rod: Daiwa Triforce TFZA701MLFS
Reel: Daiwa Ballistic 3000
Here is 23 minutes of the battle, batteries in the camera went flat after that.
I spent 3 days in the seaway this week, Monday Wednesday and Friday, all morning sessions. Despite the Fish Alert I put out on Wednesday the fishing still remains unpredictable. Some day's the fish are feeding, some days they aren't. There was significant surface feeding on Monday through to Wednesday in the strong Northerlies, not sure about Thursday but no surface feeding on Friday in the much better conditions. Unfortunately the fish seem to be favouring windy conditions so it doesn't look good for the weekend given the forecast of light winds and no swell. Still you never know if you never go. Bait levels in the seaway are very high with massive schools of big Frogmouth Pilchards everywhere.
If you do see a bustup cast in there with whatever you have on the line and it should get eaten. When the fish do decide to feed they aren't fussy. Skitterbaits are being taken home by kings at an alarming rate, I know of 4 that have been lost over the last week to rampaging kingfish, noone has managed to land a big one on them yet. Skitterbaits are also still being taken by Tailor around the north wall after sunup but only a few this week. The North Wall around dawn has fished very poorly due to all the dirty water from the Northerlies. Most of the Tailor action this week was on Tuesday and Wednesday with lots of surface busting around the end of the North Wall halfway through the runout from 9am-11am.
Black Redhead Skitterbaits are out of stock at the moment but more are coming in next week.
The North Wavebreak Wall and the Canyon was where most of the big surface action was but it was shortlived, only lasting a few minutes on Monday and about 10 minutes on Wednesday. There was no surface action there at all on Friday.
It's tough to make any recommendations at the moment due to things changing so quickly and unpredictable behaviour. We'd all rather be catching fish on lures but if you don't mind soaking a bait while waiting for some surface action, catch a dozen or so frogmouths on bait jigs and put some down the bottom on a single hook through the head(put it through both the top and bottom jaws to stop the mouth opening and the bait spinning). Sink it to the bottom then lift it up a metre so that it drifts just above the bottom. With the amount of Frogmouths around it's an effective technique and keeps you busy while waiting for something to throw your lure at. I did this for an hour or so on Friday and managed 2 Flathead around 40cm, a Spangled Emperor around 30cm, A Jewie around 65-70cm and a couple of 30cm Bream. It wouldn't surprise me if some other bigger fish(Kingfish, GT, Tailor) took a liking to that technique either. Best to use decent gear as you never know what you will hook. I was using 50lb leader and a 3/0 XX Tru Turn hook. I might be on Channel 7 news tonight with that Jewie as Paul Burt took some footage of it.
Low water temps are still a problem with it being around 20.5 degrees on Friday.
As we head towards the end of the year baitfish levels continue to increase, this week saw some interesting things happen.
Tailor continue to be the most consistent catch, with them preferring the days with good wash around the north wall. I fished on Tuesday/Wednesday this week and the 20/25kt SE winds on Tuesday had the tailor active and feeding in the wash for hours. Still had to work for them a bit but I was able to catch them on skitterbaits as late as 9am in the morning. Minnows like the flash 15, 25 and vision 111 are still pulling some decent fish around dawn with the odd fish after sunup. I didn't get a single fish on metals this week. Afternoons just don't seem to be fishing well for them at the moment.
Kingfish are still around the Canyon and the Pipeline, though some days they aren't feeding much at all with just a few boils. Tuesday they fed probably 10 times and I managed to get two decent casts into them, the skitterbait got hit twice but no hookup. Wednesday they only came up 3 times each time around 5 seconds each, not enough time to get a cast in.
Bigeyes are around further up the Nerang river with a few around Marina Mirage but the bulk of the fish in the stretch from Sunrise Bridge to the Council Chambers feeding early mornings, late afternoons or just after dark. There's only a few around the seaway, though with the volume of bait coming through I don't think it will be long before they return to the seaway area.
GT's are still further up the rivers, I've heard of a few from Marina Mirage and at random spots in the river up to Lake Intrepid.
Small Mack Tuna have been turning up in the seaway but it's very random, there are there one day and gone the next.
I didn't see any surface feeding anywhere in the northern channel up as far as Crab or in the Southern channel this week.
The most interesting thing this week was finding massive schools of 10-15cm pike and 5cm yellowtail holding on the north wall flats dropoff. I noticed these when they started jumping out of the water trying to get my lure which was swinging over the side of the boat. I put on a bait jig and managed to get about 10 of these fairly quickly. I've been wondering what the large bait was that I've been seeing in the seaway and that's what it was. I know for a fact that the kingfish have been chasing these so having these as livies I though I might be in with a shot casting them unweighted into bustups. Unfortunately the Kingfish really didn't show in any numbers on that day and I had to leave early so I didn't spend much time livebaiting them on the bottom. I definitely think it will work but again accuracy and timing will be important. If you can get a live mini pike into a kingfish bustup I don't think they would refuse it. It also explains why skitterbaits are getting some interest, the small thin profile is a pretty good imitation of a small pike.
So overall not much improvement on last week but with the sheer volume of bait around(Eyes + Frogmouths + Small Yellowtail + Small Pike) I can't imagine the seaway will be overlooked by predators much longer. Water temperatures are still low, around 21.5 degrees this week.
Tuesday 5th November
4.00am - 10.00am
0227 -0.06 0914 1.68 1535 0.03 2125 1.20
Wednesday 6th November
3.30am - 8.00am
0311 -0.02 1002 1.68 1628 0.06 2216 1.12
A skitterbait Tailor
Tailor on a Flash 15
Small pike caught on a bait jig off the north wall flats dropoff
Active kingfish near the pipeline
Inactive kingfish on the bottom near the canyon, you can also see the pike to the upper left and a school of frogmouths to the upper right
Well the big news this week is that... the big Kingfish have returned in numbers to the Seaway and the Canyon Area and are now feeding during the first half of the run in tides. I spent Thursday and Friday morning's on the water this week and the kings showed up on both days. I have also seen them feeding halfway through the run-out in the north wavebreak flats corner. Look for them just after sunrise or whenever baitfish begin to congregate around this area. They are still pretty hard to get a cast into but if you can get a lure in there when they are feeding you are in with a shot. One of our members Chris managed to get a good cast into a bustup this morning with a skitterbait and it got eaten, he got busted off though.
In other news Tailor are still around the North Wall and if you can pick a day when a school of baitfish comes through you are in for some good fishing. Thursday morning a school of yellowtail came through and the Tailor smashed into them in the Eddy at the end of the North Wall. That excited them enough to get them really hitting the surface lures with gusto for an hour or so though most lures caught fish. Flash 25 minnows, Vision 111, Twisties, Skitterbaits and skitter pops all got fish. Friday morning by comparison they weren't interested and I only managed a few on minnows.
At the moment it seems we only have Tailor and Kingfish and while thats an improvement, we should be seeing more than that by this time of year. Bigeyes and GT's are nowhere to be seen. I did manage to hook a decent shark on Thursday over the Canyon just on sunset on a Bolt Omega, it jumped twice and busted me off though. It looked around 1.5m long.
There is loads of bait around but most of it is no bigger than 4cm, and on the run-in tide it is not hanging around the Canyon but moves through the Northern channel up closer to Crab Island. There doesn't seem to be any fish up that far, I looked on multiple occasions and saw nothing. There is plenty up in the Southern Channel as well but I didn't see any fish into them.
This weekends tides are pretty good for both the morning and afternoon, with the afternoon being the best. If the boating traffic isn't too bad you should see some feeding by Kingfish around the Canyon as the tide pushes in around 3-6pm.
Thursday 31st October
3.00 - 9.30
0550 1.23 1142 0.26 1748 1.28
Friday 1st November
3.30 - 10.00
0000 0.07 0629 1.36 1228 0.18 1831 1.30
A school of Frogmouths preying on a school of eyes.
Tailor and Yellowtail
Another popper tailor
This Tailor had a set of ganged hooks hanging out of its gills
As another week passes and we head towards November, the odd weather continues and the surface feeding is improving....slowly. I fished on Monday, Tuesday and Friday mornings this week.
Plenty of Tailor around the North Wall on Monday and Tuesday especially on the NE corner on Skitterbaits and Skitter Pops, Skitterbaits getting the numbers but Skitter Pops getting the quality during the dawn session, I suggest mixing them up to get the best of both. Once that sun is up fully though, the skitterbaits are the only things getting action. Microjigs fished on the bottom around the face and eddy on the run in tides have picked up some more tailor as well. Interestingly minnows and Twisties are yielding little though its possible I didn't give them enough swim time, probably due to the large amount of weed around the North Wall. . Yellowtail Kingfish ranging from 50-70cm are holding around the pipe and are coming up to the surface to feed on the run-in tides, it's very unpredictable though. Small queenfish are feeding early in the mornings in the Southern Channel but the bait they are chasing is tiny, so go as small as you can, 3-7 grams of slug or fly if you have it.
More bait is coming through with every run-in tide and the Northern Channel is starting to fill up with bait, there's some holding along the North wall of the seaway as well. I haven't seen any fish feeding on this large amount of bait as yet, though I did see a couple of bustups on the eastern side of the channel opposite the Canyon on Monday and Tuesday.
Bigeyes did show up on thier usual holding spot on Monday and Tuesday along the South Wall(between the tower and the last gate) but they were not feeding.
As for the weather, we have not seen a sustained SE wind event(3-4 days of 20-30kt SE or FWF) for months now, its all been days of Northerlies, then a day or two of SE then back to the Northerlies again. Sustained SE wind events usually push the large schools of bait into the Seaway and increase water temperatures, which usually drives some excellent fishing opportunities. So keep an eye out for that if one ever shows up.
I did go out this(friday) morning as well in the hope the strong southerlies would push more bait in, and it did and bloody hell it looked good, massive bait schools all over the place and lots of birds, geez it looked fishy. But nothing happened. No surface feeding anywhere and nothing but bait on the sounder. The only thing I managed was a few tailor along the North wall on Skitterbaits and 1 on a Microjig. Water temp was right down though at a solid 18.5 degrees.. not good.
So nothing has changed over the last week, it's still very hit and miss(mainly miss) and we are missing the high end predators. I suspect we won't see them until water temperatures increase.
Monday 21st October
3.00am - 11.15am
0251 0.04 0929 1.53 1547 0.16 2138 1.12
Tuesday 22nd October
4.00am - 11.30am
0322 0.10 1007 1.49 1630 0.22 2215 1.04
Friday 25th October
4.00am - 9.30am
0517 0.33 1214 1.30 1855 0.36
Another Tailor on the skitterbait
This kingfish took a skitterbait thrown into a group of feeding fish
Dad hooked into a good fish.. but the hooks pulled
Arrived at the seaway at 3.30am on Tuesday morning, had a quick fish along the edge and got bitten off once(hairtail) before dawn was upon me. Tried minnows at first around the north wall got nothing so switched to skitterbaits and landed two tailor around the mid to high 40's and missed a couple of others. Switched to minnows got nothing then went to the microjigs. That got me another two tailor around the same size in the Eddy and I dropped another couple as well. Interestingly I did get two hookups while I was talking to another fisherman with the jig just sitting a metre above the bottom. The tide slowed and the bites stopped. Went down to the pipeline and sent down the microjig and it was followed up by a small kingfish but no hits. Had a look in the Broadwater(plenty of bait), had a quick troll over the canyon and generally messed around for nothing else.
Came back to the North wall around 12.30pm just as the tide started to move in. There was a fairly well defined dirty water line so I fished around that for a while until the clean water, no hits on plastics or metal so I switched to the skitterbait. Mutton Birds had begun to gather around the North wall Eddy where I wanted to throw it so it was a case of cast in between them, if it got too close they would grab it. About 5 minutes in a good fish smashed it off the top about 2 metres off the rocks, after a stubborn fight a 58cm Tailor was in the net. That's getting up towards greenback size(but not quite) and an excellent fish off the surface in the middle of the day. Tried for a bit longer had one more hit but the mutton birds got too thick and I had to stop fishing surface. Tried minnows for a while before switching to microjigs. Hooked 2 more fish but dropped them both. As the sun began to go down I went for a run into the broadwater again, heaps of bait between Crab and Horseshoe Flats but nothing into it. Did a quick troll, tried again around the North wall with minnows but got zip Off the water at 7.15pm.
Wednesday morning I took dad out for a dawn session on the water by 3.30am, Tried minnows first(zip) switched to skitters got two hits no hookups around the northern side of the wall, then nothing. Got distracted by 3 whales that came in the seaway, then tried the South wall(zip) then tried microjigs(zip) then twisties(zip). Went back around the northern side of the wall once the sun was up, got two 40cm tailor in two casts on the skitter then Dad got 1 solid Tailor around 50cm on a limited edition Skitter Pop 9. That was it for there, we tried a bunch of other stuff none of which worked. Called it a day at 10.00am
So a tough couple of days, everyone I talked to over those two days was doing it tough, no-one managed any more than a handful of fish, if it wasn't for the tailor I would have caught nothing. Most of the Tailor are skinny post spawn fish but they are in good condition, I haven't seen any with shark wounds on them yet. There was no surface feeding anywhere. Not sure whats going on though the water temperature coming in the seaway had dropped a couple of degrees down to around 19 which may be a factor. There is plenty of bait hanging in the northern part of the northern channel but no fish into it as yet. Not much in the seaway itself. Very hit and miss at the moment though surface fishing for Tailor is yielding some good fish. Still the occasional small kingfish around the pipe but you need to be the first one to fish it.
The mutton birds are everywhere at the moment and they are quite willing to grab anything, even lures that are hanging over the side of the boat. They are also sitting in the channels and not moving until you get very close and as a result some are getting hit by boats and killed, try and avoid them if you can. There is already quite a few dead ones floating in the channels.
After a 2 week break I was keen to get out to the seaway and see what was around. Arrived at 4pm to fish the afternoon session, tide was probably as bad as it gets..last of the runout.. swell was down to less than a metre from the SE but the wind was around 20kts from the SE. Had a quick look at the Canyon(tons of ribbon weed) before proceeding on to the end of the north wall. The end of the north wall looked alot better, some decent schools of bait along the clean/dirty water line, manta rays, the occasional bustup and lots of mutton birds and terns. Very fishy. Attempts to fish with surface lures proved impossible as the mutton birds jumped on the lure almost as soon as it landed so I switched to 30 gram twisties. That had me hooking in to tailor every few casts for about an hour on the north eastern corner, size wasn't anything special though mid 30's to mid 40's. They went off the bite as the sun set so I moved back into the seaway for the evening session. Once the sun set I went to work looking for Tarpon, Bigeyes..anything.. I fished the incoming and outgoing tides but try as I might, I didn't get a hit all night. Thats a big change from a couple of weeks ago.
Right on dawn I focused on the north wall again, skitterbaits were being rolled on(the fish comes up to the surface but doesn't hit the lure properly) quite a bit but the fish just weren't hitting with any enthusiasm. At least until the tide started to push in around 5.30. As the clean/dirty water line pushed around the front of the wall that was the trigger for the fish to feed and schools of Tailor and Bonito started smashing into the schools of mainly white pilchards. Skitterbaits thrown into the mix were nailed instantly, even the bonito where hitting them(another new species for the skitter). Size was around 40-45 for both the Tailor and Bonito. They stopped feeding on surface after about half an hour but there were plenty of fish showing on the sounder so I switched to a new technique..Micro Jigging. Micro Jigging is basically taking a slug(10-40grams) with a single assist hook, dropping it to the bottom jigging it 5 times then dropping it back down and repeat. On the second drop I hooked a good fish which turned out to be a 53cm Tailor, thats the biggest Tailor on lure I've seen for a couple of months so that a pretty good start. I proceeded to hook another half dozen Tailor and a lone bonito off the bottom on the micro jigs so I was mighty impressed and I didn't get stuck once. Considering I was sinking that slug right into the rocky dropoffs on the edges of the deep hole that was great. Micro Jigging has alot of potential for the seaway, while it is too early to call it a must do technique, I'll be giving it a fair go over the next few months to see if it has the consistent results to merit inclusion in my arsenal of seaway techniques. An article will be coming if it proves to be a solid performer.
I had a quick troll over the Canyon and hooked a GT but dropped it, had a look in the broadwater.. plenty of bait but no fish. Called it a day around 9am.
The bait around at the moment is in a mix of sizes, from tiny eyes(eyes on a clear body) to fully grown white and frogmouth pilchards. There is enough around now to start getting the fish excited but we are still waiting for some bigger fish to show which could happen any time. I'm going to call this a soft start to the summer surface season, surface lures have already picked up some good fish and it should only get better from here. There is bait around the ends of the walls, in the Triangle and in the Northern and Southern Channels leading to the Seaway. It will be interesting to see what happens on the next lot of morning run in tides on Wednesday onwards next week. Mutton Birds are a good sign as they usually follow the pelagics around so we might see some schools of tuna and mackerel come through. There are small kingfish still over the southern end of the pipeline but they are only feeding properly on the first half of the runout tide.
Made a quick decision to go out late on Sunday Afternoon, went straight out to the north wall, with a 20kt NE wind conditions and the last of the runout tide were rough but fishable. Had a cast around with poppers, metals and minnows but no interest. I notice some large schools of bait holding outside the dirty water line though. Moved back into the seaway and had a quick troll just as the sun set. Decided on ultra deep divers due to the dirty water, I used a Maria Deep Snare while dad put on a Rapala Mag 15. First fish to hit the Deep Snare in the Northern Y was a Jewie at 73cm which is quite an unusual catch. Next up we had a double hookup on GT's both around the 60cm mark. That was it for the trolling so we had a go for Tarpon but Dolphin's were hunting along the north wall so we headed up the broadwater into the Nerang to look for Bigeyes. No luck up there so we came back to the seaway just as the moon rose and the wind dropped out. Tried again for Tarpon and this time we found them though we had to go heavy, 1/2oz jigheads were needed to hit the main school. Landed half a dozen though all small fish for the seaway between 52 & 58cm. Called it a night at the top of the tide around 10.30.
After sunday's effort I decided to do an overnight trip on Monday afternoon, got on the water late and went straight to trolling. Picked up a nice GT on a Bolt Omega, 1 minute into the first troll, then nothing until sunset where I hooked a very big fish right over the edge of the canyon, could feel the line scraping over the rocks as the fish took off down deep and it was over. Scratch another Bolt Omega. Switched to a Rapala Mag 15 and tried again. Next run I picked up another jewie around 60cm. That was it for the trolling, as the light faded away I moved back to the north wall to try for Tarpon. Took a little while or them to get on with the job but after an hour or so I was hooking Tarpon on almost every cast on 1/2oz CCM Grass Minnows. Cast at the wall, wind it in a few turns then let it drift down the water column, wait for the signature taps then slowly wind it back. Landed probably 10 then right as the moon came up around 10.30 they switched off. Headed back to north wall wavebreak and found a heap of small bigeyes feeding on surface. Slowly worked skitterbaits did the job on them. Decided to take a break so I set up my new fish attracting light on the back and set the alarm for 2am. Woke up before the larm and checked the light and it had worked a treat, a big school of Frogmouth and Blue Pilchards were swimmimg in circles around the central beam of light. I could see pike down below picking off the pilchards as well. Scooped up a few dozen just incase and I left there and went for another look around. Just off the end of the South wall on the runout tide I found a few Hairtail around a metre long, on 3/8oz Albino Kisu Grass Minnows and I picked up a few more Tarpon as well.
As the sun came up I dropped some 3" Gulp Charteuse Pearl Minnows to the bottom and picked up half a dozen small jewies nothing bigger than about 60cm. Then I switched to skitterbaits and had numerous Tailor hits but only landed 2 small fish. Went back down to the Northern Y and Canyon had a quick troll but nothing. I did see a few small schools of Frogmouth Pilchards making thier way into the northern channel during the run in tide though.
So overall, a solid mix of species across a range of techniques. Fish numbers in the seaway are increasing by the day and surface feeding is increasing but still not predictable. Night time is fishing quite well at the moment but during the day we are limited to the dawn and dusk periods. Bait numbers should continue to increase until we hit the end of December.
This will be my last report until the 10th October, but I will still be posting any reports submitted by members and posting in comments or on the forum. Any shop orders purchased between the 27th September and 6th October will not be posted until the 7th October. The reports winner for September will be decided on the 7th October.
Until then Observe, Experiment and Remember your Timing.
things are well and truly on the improve. The weed has gone( a little bit around the north wall courtesy of the northerlies but not excessive), the phosphorescence at night has gone and the water has lost it's crystal clear look. Visibility is now 2 metres at the top of the tide which is right about where you want it. It's a bit dirty on the bottom half of the runout but not too bad. The only bad news is that we still have very little bait flicking around. The big fish are there but they are just going through the motions and eating just enough not to starve. All the GT's I have caught lately have been quite skinny, not at all like the fat fish we were seeing in April/May. Why they choose to lean up rather than searching for food further afield I have no idea.
Fishwise. Tarpon around the walls again, not heaps of them but enough to keep you occupied if you can find them. GT's still sitting in the canyon eating trolled lures on dawn or dusk at the top half of the tide, you won't catch alot unless some bait comes through but there are some good size ones there. Use a lure that trolls to 4m+ as they don't seem to like coming up too far, I got them on Bolt Omegas and Rapala Mag 15 & 20. Lots of Dart around the north wall some even around 50cm but you need to go tiny to have a shot at them, flies like crazy charlies are working best. Yellowtail Kingfish around the southern end of the pipeline, a mix of sizes from about 60cm up to a metre. Whether they feed depends on the day and the amount of bait that comes through. Poppers are working if they start chasing decent size bait like garfish or pilchards. This time last year the kingfish were chasing the tiny bait hidden under the blue jellyfish on the runout tides so keep an eye out for that. If they are only chasing tiny bait you need to go real small with finesse plastics like the 3" Fisharrow Flash J. Very few tailor around but that can change at any time, the few I did get this week was on Flash 25 minnows in redhead yellow. I suspect most of the tailor are still up at fraser but they should start making thier way back down very soon if they haven't already. The usual jewies around the pipe, canyon and north wall eddy.
So in summary everything is just about right, all we need is the bait to fire up the fish.
Friday 20th September
2.00am - 11.30am
0219 -0.06 0835 1.45 1433 0.00 2051 1.4
A Wire Netting Cod caught jigging a 25gram gillies near the pipeline
A 72cm GT trolled up over the Canyon on a Bolt Omega
This little GT took a liking to a Rapala Mag 20
One of the few tailor around this week took a liking to a redhead Flash 25 in the North Wall eddy
Lots of dolphins around at the moment making a nuisance of themselves.
This week we had light to moderate N-NW winds with afternoon NE Seabreezes for most of the week with a light SE change coming through on Thursday afternoon. Swell was quite small on Monday morning but increased and went around to the east monday afternoon making things difficult on the runout tides. I only got out twice this week and the results from both sessions weren't the best. Monday morning I went out with Howard, we had a look at a bunch of spots before sunup but the only place that held any fish was the end of the north wall right in close. That held a mix of Tarpon and Hairtail which were hitting plastics, I used 65mm Squidgy Slick Rigs in Dropbear colour while Howard threw around a Squigy Flick Bait , Howard landed one over a metre and I managed to lose all the fish I hooked. Howards fish did throw up a small pike which will give you some idea of what they are eating. After sunup things were average with only some schools of small mack tuna chasing tiny baitfish up the Northern Channel as far as Crab Island. Fussy though, very hard to get a hookup out of them. Around the walls yielded nothing.
Monday afternoon I went out alone for an evening session, didn't get on the water until just after sunset. First few casts up near the tip of the north wall had me hooked up on Hairtail again but each time they managed to get thier teeth on the trace and cut me off. After that I searched for some bigeyes and found some near the north wavebreak wall hitting the surface. I threw plastics and minnows at them first but they didn't want those so I switched to the Skitterbait and pulled a half dozen over an hour with a very slow twitching retrieve. Size was pretty small though, nothing over 35cm. I headed up into the nerang river looking for schools of larger fish but saw none, no bait up there either and nothing around marina mirage.
Snot weed levels are falling rapidly and we should be free of it in a couple of weeks time. The lack of decent sized bait is the biggest issue right now, we won't see any decent action until that improves which could happen anytime between now and November. Phosphorescence levels are still quite high but most of it is on the surface so you can catch a few fish at night regardless of it.
The GT's are still around as a big school of a hundred plus fish was sighted in the canyon last sunday. Like us they are waiting for some decent food to come through, I suspect that at the moment they are just eating enough to get by and conserving energy the rest of the time but once the bait shows up, it should be on.
So in summary, things haven't improved much but looking back on previous years it is not until October that we start seeing some decent action. The Greenback's are not far away so get those minnows and poppers ready. If they do show up in numbers there will be a fish alert BUT previous years have shown me that the schools of big fish move on very quickly so you will need to get out there very soon after the fish alert to get on to them.
For a week that held such promise with some nice strong winds and good tides the results were decidedly below par. In fact it may well go down as my worst weeks fishing the seaway this year(at least I hope it does...). I went out Monday afternoon, swell was still quite small but the wind was up spent plenty of time looking for fish, prospecting the rock walls and trolling and my only result from that was one hookup on a trolled lure just on dark over the canyon, but it pulled the hooks. I went out again Wednesday morning, swell was much bigger and the wind was gusting to 30kts, again lots of time spent prospecting the edges, looking for fish and trolling and the only thing I managed was a couple of small mack tuna(30cm) on 7 gram sea rocks which were feeding at the top of the tide near the pipeline.
I spent a bit of time with the camera underwater on Wednesday to try and find the fish and found some interesting stuff though, a school of big kingfish sitting 6 metres down 50m east of the pipeline at the top of the tide, the usual bigeyes over the pipeline and a school of silver trevally off the end of the north wall. There is also spawning aggregations of luderick off the end of the north wall.
The water clarity is still around 8 metres which is still too clear, the snot weed is lessening though, another couple of weeks and it should be gone. The phosphorescence is still there at night but seems to be disapating slowly. The biggest problem at the moment seem to be the lack of bait coming through the seaway, and what bait there is, is tiny.. around 2cm long. There's plenty of bait well upstream though. So not much has changed in a week, but as always with the seaway you never know what could happen. It's probably worthwhile seeing if you can get a live pike or two then drifting it over the area from the seaway tower to the pipeline for a kingie, fish heavy because they don't have far to go to bust you off. Other than that... Observe. Experiment.
Monday 2nd September
3.30pm - 9.15pm
0022 0.28 0612 1.05 1155 0.22 1832 1.44
Wednesday 4th September
3.00am - 9.00am
0126 0.15 0726 1.18 1313 0.10 1942 1.51
A porcupine fish on the bottom of the northern channel
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.