Went for a fish on Monday morning specifically to target GT's on the run in tide. Things were looking good early with a few random bustups which turned out to be schools of small mack tuna around the 30-40cm mark. We got plenty of those but unfortunately the GT's didn't show at all. We covered the area from the seaway mouth down to crab multiple times but we found zip. Nothing on the sounder in all the usual locations either. Pity but thats fishing for you.
The tides look good for afternoon GT's this weekend but there will be major interruption due to the Gold Coast Marathon and closures on all the major roads and some of the ramps will be closed as well. Details can be found below.
Into the seaway at 1.30am, I spent the next 5 hours casting at every damn rock wall in the place and only managed 1 tarpon. It was an exceptional fish though coming in at 67cm, my biggest yet. Others I talked to during the morning also did it tough during the night, so I'm glad it wasn't just me. Not sure why the fish were sulking maybe the northerlies put them off. It was exceptionally warm for a winter's night around 17 degrees. Anyway on dawn I had a cast or 20 around the north wall with all the usual lures and that got me zip.
As the morning wore on I concentrated on looking for GT's and did numerous circuits of all the usual areas. Around 7.30 they turned up briefly close to the north wall, kane was there at the right time and he managed a few, I was too late and got zip. Going by thier movement I figured they would be heading into the seaway so I stuck around for a while and around 8.30 they turned up over the pipeline, occasionally busting up but you could see them on the sounder in between bustups and twisties dropped down into them and jigged got hit. I switched to 30 gram twisties to get them down quicker which worked really well. Over the next hour I landed 6 Gt's up to 63cm though most of them were in the 50-55cm mark. Also got busted off on the pipeline once and dropped a few other fish. Lots of boats around, probably 15 or so when the fishing was at its peak. By 9.30 the fish were tapering off and I went to have another look around but found no more fish. Off the water at 10.30am.
Its going to be tough when the GT's leave as they are providing some exceptional fishing at the moment, not much else around to target at this point in time. Being in the right place at the right time is the key to getting some good fishing but that is not always easy.. you can't be everywhere at once after all.
I was undecided on which day to go fishing this weekend, I knew the tides favoured an evening fish with a chance for GT's, Tarpon and bigeyes but the weather was going to be an issue. On saturday I didnt like the northerly winds even though the tides were better for GT's than sunday(obviously this didn't prove to be the case in the end) so I decided on Sunday which had better tides for after dark fishing. On the water on Sunday at 2pm, we had plenty of time before the GT's got active so we spent some time around the north wall. I had a new rig to test for daytime fishing and it worked, landing a GT around 50cm. One fish is not exactly a successful test but it has potential, slugs got nothing though I did see a couple of tailor caught by another boat around 3.30pm. At 3pm the wind dropped off and we did the rounds looking in all the spots where GT's might be feeding but saw nothing.
Went back to the north wall and fished until about 3.45pm then did another circuit. This time we saw a couple of bustups in close to south straddie so we hung around and sure enough the GT's came up. A bit skittish at first, they soon switched it on big time and we had double hookups for the next hour or so until the sun set. even when they weren't busting on the surface we could drop a twistie down and hookup straight away. The bait they were chasing was quite large they looked like big pilchards to me, around 10cm long. I tried casting a minnow into them as well and that worked as well as the twisties we were using. Lost count of the number landed but it would have been over 15 with most fish in the 60-65cm bracket. Nothing huge but top fun regardless.
After sunset we tried for Tarpon but got nothing then went for a fish in the broadwater, trolled around for a bit picked up one bigeye, then tried casting some grassminnows around picked up another half dozen bigeyes biggest going around 50cm plus another GT around 55cm. Interestingly they only want the plastics deadsticked and wouldn't hit them moving. Had another go for Tarpon but got zip and headed back to the ramp.
Pretty good afternoon night overall, the weather behaved itself and the fish were cooperative for the most part, I think I'm getting the hang of these afternoon fishes now. Good to see the GT's still around in numbers and hungry if you can find them at the right time. Water temps 20.2-21.5 degrees. Water visibilty about 50cm at the bottom of the tide, improving to 2 metres at mid tide, takes about 2 hours for the clean water to start pushing in.
Hi Everyone, Thank you so much for all your donations. Because of your generosity I have been able to upgrade the hosting plan to an unlimited bandwidth plan so that will no longer be an issue(incidentally the site would have gone down yesterday on the old plan). Hopefully congestion in the evenings should no longer be a problem as well. I've removed all advertising on the site, as that has always annoyed me anyway. I'm going to leave the donation post up for a while but will change it a bit. All funds donated go into a dedicated account for SeawayFishing and will only be used for site expenses. I will also keep track of who donated so that if I have to make any changes later, those who have donated will get recognition of that fact.
Now that's the admin stuff taken care of, lets focus on fishing!!
The swell has been massive(up to 11 metres) over the last few days and it is still fairly big, up to 6 metres today on the wave rider buoy. Looks like the swell should drop over the next few days but will still be around 2.5 - 3 metres on Saturday so use caution if you are planning to head out over the weekend. Such big seas will have stirred up alot of sand and dirtied the water a bit particularly around the walls which will probably take a few days to settle. Weed can also be a problem after such big seas. On the fishing side, you'll probably see a few offshore species such as snapper in the seaway, plus the big seas might have convinced a few schools of tailor and salmon to come into the broadwater. I won't be able to get out there until the weekend so let us know how it looks if you get out there before then.
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I fished on friday night with Wade and Steve in Wade's boat, we didn't get on the water until around 7.30pm and the wind was blowing 15-20kts from the south but thankfully the rain held off. The guys were keen to try and get some Tarpon so we concentrated on targeting those. It took us a while to find them and even when we did they were being difficult as usual and alot of casts were needed to hook fish. We did land 4 from 7 hookups which is a pretty good result, size was between 55 & 59cm so small size fish for the seaway. We also had to get through lots of bigeye trevally in the 35-40cm range and small hairtail as well. Hairtail were in particular a nuisance due to thier habit of biting the tails off the plastics. Towards the top of the tide we moved into the broadwater and trolled around a bit and found yet more bigeyes in the 35-40cm range but not much else. Called it a night at around 12pm.
Looks like the hairtail are the latest visitor to the gold coast and you can expect to see more of them over the next few months, the small ones less than a meter seem to be very thick in places. I wouldn't mind a 1.5-2m hairtail though.
The Southport Seaway holds alot of fish at times.. and I do mean alot. The sounder can be stacked with fish from top to bottom, the only problem is that most of these fish are resting and not feeding. Like us fish do not feed 24 hours a day, they only feed at certain times and then only for short bursts. Feeding times for fish are dictated by a number of factors and once you know these you can start to plan a fishing trip around them. There's never any guarantees with fishing, but you can stack the odds in your favour by being in the right place at the right time.
Lets start with the easy ones.. Dawn and Dusk and thier siblings, the first hour after.
Dawn starts at first light, and I do mean first light.. the instant you see the slightest lightening in the sky at the very edge of the horizon, that is when the big fish start to prowl. The change in light enables bigger fish to hunt more easily for prey, which take longer to adjust to the changing light conditions. From first light until sunup(when the sun breaks the horizon) is the period when you will see alot of surface feeding by Bigeye Trevally and Tailor and is generally when the bigger fish will be taken, the north wall and pipeline are the areas to fish if prospecting but keep an eye out in the middle of the seaway as fish often feed on the surface in this area at dawn.
The first hour after sunup
The first hour after sunup is generally when the tuna's will feed and during this time they will feed hard and hit lures willingly getting progessively more fussy the higher the sun gets in the sky, this is also when the smaller fish will start feeding as well most of these along the front of south straddie or in front of the seaway, stuff like small tailor, bonito and dart.
The exact opposite of dawn, dusk starts as the sun begins to dip below the buildings of southport blocking the sun from view and finishes with complete darkness. Dusk bite times are usually alot shorter around 15-30 minutes. Sometimes with certain fish such as mulloway or tailor the bite can extend well past darkness. I must admit I'm not a big fan of dusk fishing due to too many average trips, but fish can and do feed hard during this time. Livebaiting tends to work better than lures.
The first hour after sundown
The first hour after sundown is when your primarily nocturnal hunters will feed, Mulloway, Hairtail, Tarpon and Bigeye Trevally are the main species that like this time to hunt. In season you will find big schools of each of these species feeding, you still have to find them of course which is more easier said than done. Mulloway are usually found around the pipeline and in the deep hole off the north wall, Hairtail in the deep holes around the broadwater, Tarpon can turn up anywhere and bigeye trevally can be found feeding in the channels south and north of the seaway and in the seaway itself.
Next up is probably the most important triggers for feeding, The Tides..
The last hour of the run in
Many fish are lazy and an important time for them to feed is the hour just before the tide gets to the high as the tidal flow is slowing, this is particularly important for slower fish such as mulloway, once the tide has stopped most feeding seems to cease until the tide starts to go back out again. The tidal flow will slow on the south wall of the seaway about half an hour before it starts to slow on the northern side so you can fish both sides effectively. If the water is very clear and you can see the bottom in 15m of water then you will probably struggle to get a fish in the last hour of the run up during the day.
The first half hour of the run in
The first half hour of the run in is a good time to fish especially if the water is very clear at the top of the tide. Just when the tide starts to move around the front of the north wall is the time to fish, fish like cod and jacks like to hunt around the end of the wall just as the tide starts to move though unless you have decent gear or are very lucky most will make it back to holes in the rock and bust you off. Once the tide is in full swing they will go back to thier rocky homes or find an eddy close to the rocks. Big fish like kingfish and mulloway will also wait just on the dropoff and pick up and food that comes over the edge during this time, there's usually also small jewies, tailor and GT's along the edges of the eddy.
Fish like GT's and Salmon will almost exclusively feed on the surface during run in tides and they like the water to be flowing at full speed which makes it easier to hunt the baitfish they seek. They will only ever hunt like this during the day or at dawn/dusk and seem to prefer the first few hours of the morning(7am-10am) and the late afternoon (3pm-6pm). Tailor will also hunt on surface during these times but are less predictable. You can still effectively livebait in the seaway during a run in tide but you need serious weight and small baits(herring, yellowtail) to get to the bottom depending on the tidal flow, I use up to 5oz if the tidal flow is strong. GT's, Bigeyes and Tailor are the most likely species you will catch with a few school jew in the slower area's.
The first hour of the run out.
The first hour of the runout seems to be an important time for the pipeline, moreso than the north wall. During this time I've seen an increase in fish feeding behaviour quite a few times and sometimes they will feed on the surface during this time. Livebaits tend to work better than lures though, especially if the sun has been up for a while. It seems to affect most species that sit on the pipe but kingfish, GT's and Bigeye Trevally are the main ones. Some of the time on the north wall the fish just seem to shut down after the tide changes to run out, but its still worth a look if the pipe has no fish.
I'm not a big believer in the solunar tables as triggers for fish feeding but the moon does play a part, there's unquestionably a buildup in feeding activity in the week before the full moon and fishing is better at night if there is no moon at all. so its worth keeping those two in mind. You still have to find the fish though.
Fish can't eat without someting to eat and the better catches come when there is lots of bait around. March to July(white pilchards) and November to January(frogmouth pilchards) usually sees big schools of bait entering the seaway and broadwater, find the bait and you can usually find the fish. If you find the bait and there's nothing feeding on it the fish may be waiting until the tide or time of day changes to commence feeding.
So thats it, there's a few feeding triggers for you to consider. Fish can and will ignore these and feed whenever the hell they feel like it but I've found more often than not planning a trip around these elements, especially trips where I can stack some of these in a row are trips that are the most successful.
After reading Craigs Saturday arvo post, My brother and I got inspired to hit the seaway this afternoon.
Hit the water at about 3.15pm. Cruised the water between crab island and wave break island looking for action. Spotted a few birds diving but no surface bust ups. Moved to the seaway and was surprised to see plenty of birds circling just around the mouth. The water was quite choppy but still fishable, just had to keep an eye on the swells coming through. Didnt take long before we saw small patches of bust ups and put a few cast in. No hits just yet so i decided to wait until the slug was deep down before cranking it up. Straight away my lure got hit and from there till about 4.45pm, the action was pretty consistent. We landed 6 GTs between 58cms - 68cms. The GTs hit the surface a fair few times and stayed up for a few minutes at a time even. We were catching them deep down when they werent seen on the surface aswel which was great fun. Between me and my brother we hooked up to about 15plus fish. Had one fish on fighting for about 1minute before the shogun 60lb snap lock clip gave way (so stopped using the clips today and started tying the lure straight to FC leader). Also had what could have been the fish of the day, i think was a kingie because took all my 100yards of 20lb braid, wanted to chase whatever it was but my brother so happened to hook on to a GT at the same time so all i could do was lock the drag up and try to turn it. No good, lost the speedster. Also my Saragosa 4000 reel drag system got busted up during that attempt. Couldn't believe it. Another fish i had on today also snapped my single gamagatsu lure hook in half.
Crazy arvo but great fun. Plenty of hookups and some lost gear. Headed back to ramp about 5pm.Hope they stick around for more action next time.
Fairly average weather out there at the moment with some strong winds and rain but I decided to get out there and have a go on saturday afternoon, pretty much poured down rain the entire time we were there which made it near impossible to spot birds from a long way off. Rain didn't seem to bother the fish though. Started off by having a look around all the usual spots but didn't see any fish feeding. Trolled around for a bit but caught nothing.
Around 4pm moved down to the twin beacons just south of crab island and thats where the fish were, big schools of GT's feeding on the surface every 5 minutes and staying up for minutes at a time. We ended up with 5 Gt's landed all over 60cm, lost a few others, even had a treble straightend by a very big fish I was fighting for 15 minutes. All fish were hooked on 20gram twisties. All too soon darkness closed in and and as it got darker the fish became harder to hook. We trolled around for a while once it was dark but only landed 1 hairtail about 80cm, first hairtail landed in my boat though.
I thought that the tarpon might be on the bite in the seaway so we went up there, I picked a spot I though might hold a fish or two and second cast... bang.. 62cm Tarpon. Dad was next with a magnificient 66cm Tarpon which is a new record in my boat for a seaway Tarpon, didn't jump at all and put all its effort into making short but fast runs..what a fish. From that point on it was anarchy with multiple double hookups, crossed lines were common with two tarpon jumping around the boat at the same time and we lost a few due to entangled fish. We landed 7 fish altogether from 58-66cm with probably 15+ hooked all on 3" Ecogear grass minnows as usual. Right at the top of the tide they switched off and we called it a night soaked but happy. We cursed the rain quite a few times but the fishing was red hot once we found the fish. The GT's will probably be there again this afternoon(sunday) if the rain hasn't flooded the rivers if anyone is so inclined.
Thanks for all your kind word words below, its nice to know that this site is valued and appreciated. Going by the amount of bandwidth used yesterday it looks like the problem is not going to go away so I'm going to have to move forward. At this stage I'm going to try donations first and see how that works rather than force a membership fee on everyone. It'll take a little while to set up and test but it should be up and running in a week or so.
I've got some more articles in the pipeline, no guarantee of when they will be ready to post but some of them should be ready in the near future.
Titles are as follows:
Went for a fish on saturday morning, the rain friday night and dodgy forecast ensured we had the seaway to ourself for a few hours. On the water at 3am, conditions were good with zero swell and a mild westerly. Conditions were perfect for Tarpon so we targeted those, we found them after about 20 mins. We found them to be a bit fussy as they only wanted the lures coming from a certain direction, they also only wanted silver or white grass minnows they wouldn' touch the chartreuse. Such is the fussy behaviour of seaway tarpon. Anyway we landed 5 out of 15 or so hookups, all good quality fish between 58 and 62cm. Good fun.
Just on dawn we pullled a couple of small jewies then we headed south to the scottish prince and caught some small tailor and bonito. Back to the seaway for the start of the run in tide, I decided to try my split shot rig over the graveyard. First cast and a couple of twitches and it gets smashed and the line screams off the reel at top speed and the fish heads south around the front of the wall back into the seaway at top speed, I knew how this was going to end and about 10 seconds later so it did with the line touching the rocks and a bustoff. One of these days I'm going to land one of these big fish I hook in front of the wall.... Once I had rigged up again on the next cast in the same spot I pulled a 47cm Cale Cale Trevally which is a new species for me. With the tide now running in we had a look in the broadwater for surface feeders but the only thing we found were some lesser queenfish, good size though with the best fish going 48cm. That was it for the day, pretty good session overall, the split shot rig has loads of potential and I'll be using it alot more over the next few months.
As regular readers are no doubt aware Seawayfishing exceeded its allocated bandwidth on the evening of 20th may and subsequently the site's hosting company blocked all external access including mine. Seawayfishing was created by me 2 years ago as a place to keep all my reports and data as well as let other anglers post theirs. It runs on a shoestring budget, the cheapest plan available(which is why sometimes during peak periods at night sometimes it wont load). For a while now Seawayfishing has been growing exponentially with more readers and registered user's most of these are non active who read but don't contribute. More users means more bandwidth usage and it has gotten to the point where it can no longer be supported on the current hosting plan it is on. That means it needs more money to continue.
Web sites are supported by one of 3 ways.
So those are the choices I have, I'm not going to do anything straight away and I haven't decided what to do but I'll be keeping a close eye on the bandwidth usage this month and may institute changes if it gets close to the mark. Being offline for so long willl have cut the users down a bit so we should have a bit of breathing room in that regard. Feel free to discuss it below, but lets keep the righteous indignation to a minimum shall we.