The Summer Surface Season is my favourite time of year for fishing in the seaway, it begins when large schools of Frogmouth Pilchards enter into the Seaway and Broadwater. These schools can turn up any time from mid September to Late November. We have already seen a few small schools entering so the bulk of the bait can't be too far away. Once these schools of bait enter they are usually followed by large schools of predators like Tailor, Bigeye Trevally, Giant Trevally and Yellowtail Kingfish. Striped, Mack and Yellowfin tuna as well as Spotted and School Mackerel are also possible around the ends of the walls and just offshore.
One species usually dominates the catches but it differs every year, In 2007 we had an exceptional run of Yellowtail Kingfish, in 2008 we had a great run of 60cm+ Bigeyes. Last year we had a run of 70cm+ GT's. Most feeding activity is centred between the walls from the tips down to the Triangle on the morning run in tides but as last year showed us you shouldn't ignore the runout tides either. Birds will show you if there is any surface feeding going on, for a refresh on what to look for reread the Birdwatching article. You should keep an eye out early morning from first light until after sunup and in the late afternoons after 5pm for any signs of bird activity.
For a look at what to look for on these early morning run in tides check out one of my oldest videos below, from the summer of 2008-2009.
Lures to use when this surface feeding is going on is the 20gram twistie, Rapala Skitter Pop 9 or my pick for the best lure this season "The Skitterbait". Cast any of these lures into a bustup and you are very likely to get hit. With the twistie, a medium to fast paced retrieve back to the boat works just fine. With the Skitter Pop a medium paced blooping retrieve works the best, the Skitterbait can be worked a number of ways, either blooping with the rod tip down, twitching with the rod tip up or a flat out skipping retrieve. Other lures will work of course but these are my top 3 for Summer Surface Feeders.
It is also worth keeping an eye on the area just outside the breakers on South Stradbroke Island as this often sees alot of surface feeding by Tailor and Dart. Inside the broadwater there is usually some surface feeding by Tailor, Bigeyes and Queenfish in the channels but these tend to be smaller fish than those that feed in the seaway itself.
It will be interesting to see what the GT's do over summer as the big schools are still hanging around the seaway, if they add into the general mix we could be in for one awesome summer of fishing.
Craig is the creator, web designer, admin and chief contributor for seawayfishing.info. He has fished the Gold Coast Seaway and Broadwater constantly for more than 10 years and loves the constant challenges and variety that the area provides. He is also constantly analysing fish behaviour to work out patterns, trying new techniques and trying to understand just why fish act they way they do. SeawayFishing.info is the result of that.