Seaway Fishing Opportunities after a Flood
Flooding is a regular occurrence these days and there are still opportunities for some top quality fishing in the dirty water. Fish still need to eat regardless of the visibility and the important thing to remember is that all the fresh water will be in the top layer of water, there will still be salt water towards the bottom especially in deep holes. Most predatory fish will take advantage of the dirty water by ambushing prey as it is flushed out of canals and rivers. The seaway itself provides an excellent hunting ground for predators after a flood due to its depth and strong tidal flows. The deep hole at the end of the north wall is particularly good as it enables fish to rest in the salt water on the bottom and dash up to the surface through the fresh to grab some food. Fish like Mulloway, Tailor and the various Trevally species have no problem hunting in dirty water but they tend to do so only at a time that suits them. This may be at the start of a run out or start of a run in tide.
Dirty water herring
Livebaiting on the bottom usually works very well so as long as you can find some livies you are in with a good shot at some fish. Lures can work well if you find the fish hunting along the current lines, the most likely area for this would be at the ends of the walls but don't discount the edges of the walls themselves. Dirty water makes larger fish more comfortable at hunting close to the surface so throwing around a shallow running minnow or popper can sometimes pay big dividends. Also try a metal such as a twistie or raider along the current lines to see if there are any fish hunting just below the surface. Plastics can also yield a fish or two on the bottom or midwater. If there are any well defined dirty water/clean water lines these are well worth a cast with a minnow or a metal. From what I have seen the flooding on the gold coast was not too bad so it should not take too long for water quality to improve.
For a look at a report made shortly after a flood you can look at this one from last year: http://seawayfishing.info/home/2012/02/27/seaway-report-27th-february-2011/
Foul Weather Fishing
Lots of bad weather around at the moment and that has had me thinking a bit about fishing in the worst weather. I've had a few trips over the last couple of years where the weather has been absolutely shocking, yet the fishing has been red hot. Talking it over with a few other guys they have also had some awesome fishing sessions in strong winds and driving rain. The caveat seems to be that you need to find the fish first and if they are holding in an exposed area fishing will be difficult, if not downright dangerous. So with that in mind I'm going to do a test for the rest of the year and try to fish some bad weather at least a couple of times a month, I don't expect the fishing to be easy at first and might donut a couple of times but with a bit of luck I'll be able to work out a pattern and know where to look.
Rain and Floods.. again
Well more rain and another flood for the gold coast. Another mild one so it shouldn't take too long to clean up, the gold coast certainly faired better than brisbane and moreton bay. I do think however that it is only a matter of time before the Gold Coast gets hit with a major flood which will wreck whats left of the summer season.
Looks like we are in for some rain over the next few days so I thought I'd track it a bit on here. The seaway is already dirty and any more significant rain will wipe out any chance we have of decent fishing for some time. All amounts are for the 24hours preceeding the date. Recorded rain at the seaway only.
- 9th October - 9am 41.1mm
- 10th October - 9am 24.2mm Wind Gusts up to 41knots! (76kph)
- 11th October - 9am 79mm!
- 12th October - 9am 2.6mm
Looks like the rain has finished for now but the seaway is a mess with dirty brown water. Over 200mm fell in the hinterland areas of the gold coast and most of it flows out the seaway. It will take weeks to clear, but depends on whether we get any more rain. Swells were recorded up to 8 metres in size but its going to drop pretty quickly and be under a metre by next monday. Looks like more rain forecast for Thursday/Friday lets hope its only showers.
Weather Update… LaNina and its effects.
We are currently in a LaNina weather system, read the article below for what this means to us here in SE QLD. What this means for the seaway is more chance of flooding especially if we get a cyclone or two, and more chance that it will wipe out the entire summer surface season which should start any day now. Not Good.
Update: 4th October
The Seaway had 118mm of rain overnight, dangerously close to flood territory, the webcam is down so I'm not sure if it has affected it or not. I'll know by tomorrow morning though as I will be out there fishing.
From this article at goldcoast.com.au
A total of 94.2mm fell at the Gold Coast Seaway last month, which is almost double the long-term September average.
This pushed the yearly rainfall total to 1111.2mm - 266mm more above the long-term rainfall average to the same period.
The wet is predicted to continue throughout spring and summer as two weather phenomenons combine for the first time in 35 years.
Weather Channel meteorologist Dick Whitaker said the La Nina in the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean Diapole had effectively created a double rainfall whammy.
The last time the events occurred simultaneously in 1974, the Gold Coast recorded its highest yearly rainfall of 2468mm.
''It is unusual ... the last time it happened back in 74-75 we had Cyclone Wanda which brought very heavy flooding to the Brisbane areas,'' said Mr Whitaker.
Mr Whitaker here was a `high probability of above average rainfall' for the remainder of the year.
But Mr Whitaker said while the La Nina may weaken in the early part of next year, it was unpredictable.
''When it weakens it will be like turning off a tap, or it could linger.''
Mr Whitaker said an active cyclone season was likely during the La Nina period.
The Bureau of Meteorology will release its seasonal outlook on Monday, which is predicted to forecast more tropical cyclones forming off the Queensland coast.
Understanding summer weather patterns and how they affect the Seaway
During the summer season there are 2 distinct weather patterns, South East and Northerly. Each of these patterns plays a part in the fishing in the seaway, as the water can go from clean blue water to dirty green water in a matter of days. Below we have 2 sea surface temperature pictures, one dated 4th december 2009, and the other 6 days later dated 10th December 2009. Weather patterns are usually cyclic repeating every 6-7 days until a significant change comes through altering the cycle.
The first one (4th December) shows the sea surface temperature after a sustained period of South Easterly Winds. A warm water current (25-26 degrees) has pushed right in close to the seaway and the water was clean and fish were very active with lots of surface feeding by kingfish, bigeyes and tailor. Warm Water currents can also bring in the pelagic species such as Striped, Yellowfin and Mack Tuna, Spotted and School mackerel and bonito. the one caveat to this is that a sustained South Easterly weather pattern is sometimes associated with a cyclone up north. This can bring a deluge of rain and floods which will shut down the seaway for weeks. The Gold Coast can handle about 150mm of rain without much effect, any more than that and it will flood which can wipe out the entire summer season.
The second picture (10th December) just 6 days later shows what happens when a strong northerly weather pattern takes over. A cold water current (21-22 degrees)has slipped up the coast from NSW right up as far as the tip of north stradbroke. This cold water current brings dirty green water right into the seaway and shuts down much of the action. Fish can still be caught but not in the numbers that are around with the clean warm water associated with a South Easterly weather pattern. Northerlies also stir up alot of sand and weed into the water, particularly on the north wall this can be a problem.
The strong winds at this time of year can make fishing the ends of the walls difficult, however prediciting a lull in the wind is quite easy if you know what to look for. Usually when a SE weather pattern switches over to a Northerly pattern, the day of the switch is usually calm with little wind and these days are ideal for fishing as the water is usually clean and with enough wave action so the fish are feeding aggressively. The same lull happens when a Northerly switches over to a SE pattern, though the water is usually dirty.
Current sea surface temperatures can be found by visiting the CSIRO ocean currents page. If you have a look at the current map (2nd September)you'll see alot of warm water in close, this has brung in the pilchards and baitfish and what has increased the level of fish activity in the last few days.