The Three Things to Remember
Three most important things to keep in mind when fishing the seaway.
Just by keeping your eyes open to whats going on around you can lead you to unique fishing opportunites that others may miss. That is not only looking for birds that are over fish but also any surface action even if it is just a single boil or a spray of baitfish. Keeping a constant eye on your sounder is also important.
Move around based on what the tide is doing, if the tide is just about to run in you should be at the ends of the walls waiting for the first push of the tide around the front of the walls and the clean water to push in, at Dawn or Dusk you should be concentrating around the major fish holding areas like the North Wall/Pipeline/Canyon. Never get so carried away with collecting bait that you miss the major bite periods - first hour of the run-in, last hour of the run-in, first hour of the runout.
When using a specific lure or bait, pay attention to where it is at all times. If you are using a microjig keep it within 2 metres of the bottom, same with plastics and live baits. You should be constantly dropping them to the bottom and lifting them up a metre just to make sure. If you are fishing the edges, make sure your lure is landing within 1 metre of the rock edge or closer... as close as you dare. If you aren't getting snagged occasionally, you aren't getting close enough. If you are casting into feeding fish aim for the thickest part of the bustup. When trolling make sure the lure is running no more than a couple of metres over the top of the fish or the bottom.
Paying attention to these three things will catch you more fish than spending any amount of money on expensive fishing gear or fancy boats.
Looking Back On 2013
As we come to the end of 2013 it's time to look back on what happened this year in the Gold Coast Seaway And Broadwater. It's been an interesting year, I've spent more time in the seaway this year than any of the other previous years and as a result I have a much better understanding of how and why fish feed in there. That said, the seaway can still be a tough place to catch fish consistently, alot of the time on overnighter trips I found myself waiting....for the next tidal change or change in conditions(dawn/dusk). For consistent results, stacking the odds in your favour by using the right timing is essential, as is keen observation and experimentation of techniques to see what the fish want on the day.
Here's a rundown of what species showed up in each month.
January - Striped Tuna, Big GT's, Tailor, Bigeyes
February - Floods, Bigeyes, Dart
March - GT's, Bigeyes, Tailor, Mack Tuna, Tarpon
April - GT's, Tarpon, Tailor, Kingfish, Mulloway
May - GT's, Kingfish, Tailor, Mulloway, School Mackerel
June - School Mackerel, Mulloway, GT's, Dart, Tarpon,
July - Mulloway, Hairtail, Tailor, Tarpon
August - Mulloway, Tailor, Tarpon, GT's, Bigeyes
September - Mulloway, Tailor, GT's, Tarpon, Hairtail
October - Tailor, Bonito, Mulloway
November - Yellowtail Kingfish, Tailor, Dart,
December - Yellowtail Kingfish, Tailor, Bigeyes, Dart, Hairtail, Queenfish, Mulloway
The GT's played the biggest part this year and some awesome sessions were had on just about every technique from March to August. What was the most interesting was the progression of techniques used throughout the year from slugs, to plastics, to poppers/stickbaits to trolled minnows.
Yellowtail Kingfish again proved how tough they could be with this year only a few large specimens landed during the year, many(many) more got away. The smaller Kingfish that showed up during November and December showed how much fun they can be when they aren't too big to land on light gear.
Tailor showed up in schools of smaller fish numerous times, both in the Northern Channel and in the Seaway itself but Greenbacks only showed as single fish around the North Wall a few times during the year. The summer run of greenbacks never eventuated.
Bigeyes showed up in numbers during the first few months of the year, then disappeared only to reappear in short bursts in the last couple of months of the year. At this time they are still unpredictable.
Tarpon were caught in singles for the first couple of months, then we saw some schools feeding during the day in the Northern Y which stuck around for a couple of months. Nocturnal session's around the North and South walls had the Tarpon throwing lures with wild abandon as usual during June and July. They tapered off as usual around the end of October.
Hairtail showed up in odd times during nocturnal sessions but showed their typical here today gone tomorrow behaviour, they still managed to cut off at least 20 plastics this year.
This year saw a few oddities captured, Golden, Longnose and Cale Cale Trevally, Barracuda, Sharks(on lures), Blue Maori Cod, School Mackerel and I even saw a couple of spanish mackerel landed.
Thanks to all of you who have shared your fishing adventures with me over the past year, both on the website and on the water: Vince, Andrew, Howard, Andy, Jayde, Chris, Kane, Jeff, Tim, Brett, Shamus, Wade, Steve, Wayne, Mick, Steven, Peter, Gordo, Rob, James, Kris, Ricko and anyone else I may have missed.
Lets hope that 2014 see's some more good fish landed for all of us.
The Top 5 Mistakes People Make Fishing The Seaway
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.
Looking back on 2011
So as we come to the end of another year its time to look back and see what the seaway yielded this year. The weather was alot better this year with only a few rainy days and lots of low wind days especially on the weekends. Some exceptional fish were caught this year and most trips yielded a few fish.
Early in the year saw big schools of GT's and Bigeyes around the seaway and good sized Mack Tuna offshore. Big Yellowtail Kingfish showed up in the broadwater and occasionally in the seaway during Feb, March and April. Large schools of white pilchards entered the broadwater early in June and brang with them big schools of Giant Trevally. The tarpon showed up in the seaway as the temps begin to cool and some awesome sessions were had during the cooler months. The salmon arrived at around the same time but spent most of the time in the broadwater and only a few stragglers were caught in the seaway. Winter was characterised by very clear water and very hard fishing in the seaway during the daylight hours, some decent mulloway were taken at night though. We even saw some mack tuna during winter this year though they disappeared after August and have yet to return. As we entered spring the big tailor arrived and some excellent sessions were had on poppers and minnows. The bigeyes showed up again but not until december, some good size fish amongst them but 60cm+ fish were rare. Sharks were very active in the seaway this year and I lost a dozen or so fish to them. At this time the mackerel have not shown in any of the offshore spots in numbers.
My top fish of the year were as follows....
- Best Tailor 65cm
- Best Mulloway 118cm
- Best Giant Trevally 68cm
- Best Bigeye Trevally 65cm
- Best Tarpon 65cm
- Best Yellowtail Kingfish 101cm
Still looking for that 80cm Tailor, 70cm Tarpon and 70cm Bigeye Trevally.
There's going to be a few changes to my fishing during 2012 due to changing circumstances, reports may be a bit lean during the first couple of months of the year but hopefully I'll be able to sort something out that gives an idea of whats around. Thanks to all those who have submitted reports during the year, all the info provided helps make fishing easier for everyone.
Just a reminder.. From January 1st 2012, the seaway is now a designated bar and lifejackets are required to be worn by the occupants of any boats under 4.8m that go out past the walls. It doesn't matter if the bar is flat as a tack, you need to be wearing a lifejacket in a small boat. You can bet fisheries and water police will be policing this hard in the next few months.
Looking forward to summer in the Seaway
With December now only just over a week and a bit away its time to look at what summer brings to the seaway. Summer sees early bite times for most fish with the period from first light(3.45am) until 6am yielding the most fish. The dusk bite can start as the sun begins to drop around 4ish though they really go into overdrive just as the sun dips below wavebreak. Bigeyes do feed in the area after dark so its worth staying around and see if you can find a school. High daily temps mean you bake out there once the sun is up to full strength.
During spring we have been cursed with constant N-NE winds which have dropped water temps and dirtied the water especially around the north wall. With summer I hope we will see some SE winds come through, even though this means that at times the ends of the walls will be unfishable. There's nice clean water just offshore so a decent SE blow should bring that water right into the seaway and bring the bait with it.
No sign of the big frogmouth pilchard schools as yet(last year they turned up around the 25th November) but once they turn up then the surface fishing should go into overdrive especially around the pipeline so keep an eye around this area for signs of feeding fish. Tailor, Bigeyes, GT's, salmon, mackerel and kingfish are all possible.
There's been alot of tailor around already and hopefully we should see average size and numbers increase and we head into early december. Poppers and shallow running minnows are the go for edge fishing but chrome slices work fine for the flats and fishing current lines.
Bigeye Trevally should turn up in numbers along with the froggies, always keep an eye out for surface feeding bigeyes anywhere in the seaway during dawn or dusk. Poppers, minnows and chrome slices for these fish.
Jewies will still be around and can be taken during slower tidal movements on vibs, blades and plastics.
Other fish such as kingfish, salmon, school mackerel, bonito and GT's are a random encounter and you'll probably find them mixed in with feeding schools of tailor or bigeyes.
Pelagics such as tuna and mackerel should show up offshore with the next SE blow as well.
I've done alot of prep for this years summer season, I have 3 new reels all full to the brim with line, all hooks (and split rings where needed)on lures have been changed to razor sharp Owner ST56's. I have stocked up on 20g twisties and 25gram gillies baitfish(20 of each), other chrome slices have been polished and I've got a few more poppers and minnows. All I need now is the fish and so far this season is looking alot better than last years so it should be good.
How much info is too much
Given the level of uber secrecy that usually goes with fishing, both techniques and in particular fishing spots some people have asked me why I post such a high level of detail on a easily accessible web site. After all there are some people in our society that are quite willing to rip as many fish out of a spot as they can. Just witness the disgraceful slaughter on the sand pumping jetty any time theres a run of tailor. Theres a simple reason for that, as far as the seaway is concerned it doesn't matter. Noone can possibly outfish it, even on the best day's fishing you are lucky to get more than about 40 fish and that doesn't happen very often.
The reason for that is variables. The seaway has more variables than any other place I know, while some locations have these too, in the seaway they matter alot more. I'll list them below.
- Tidal Flow :a little or alot..it makes a difference
- Tidal changes: certain fish only bite hard during tidal changes thats only 30 minutes at a time, a couple of times a day.
- Time of Day: Dawn and dusk increase fish activity.
- Moon : Moonlit nights make it tough to catch fish, also can increase fish activity during the day.
- The amount and type of baitfish: more bait = more big fish
- Weed: very frustrating when it occurs, can make the north wall unfishable
- Water Clarity: you don't want it too dirty, you also dont want it too clear.
- Swell size: can be a dangerous to fish in swell sizes over 2 metres, also creates wash areas for fish to feed under.
- Swell direction: Determines how the swell hits the walls, a 2m southerly swell is fishable around the ends of the walls, a 2m easterly swell is not.
- Water temperature: Higher water temps make the fish more active, colder makes them sulk.
- Phosphorescence: Waste of time fishing at night if there alot of this in the water.
- Wind Strength: Strong winds make it impossible to fish the walls properly, decreasing drift times and making certain areas unsafe.
Theres probably a few more but thats all i can think of for now. There are thousands of fish in the seaway at any one time and more fish come and go every hour and these variables are changing every second.
Theres also one other reason why the seaway is safe from overfishing, despite what we might think the fish are not dumb. Virtually every trip I come across massive schools of fish that shut down after a few fish are caught. They are still there but they refuse to hit a lure or eat a bait. Bigeyes, Tailor and Jewies are particularly prone to this. Whether thats caused by panicked vibrations from hooked fish or some other factor I don't know. Some fish are also very particular when they feed(Tarpon I'm looking at you), if the conditions aren't right then they won't touch a thing.
Add all this together and you get a constantly changing challenging environment to fish in, which is the main reason why the fishing the seaway has kept my interest for so many years. You never know what the next trip will bring.