The Great Northern Brewing Co. Flathead Classic run by the Gold Coast Sport Fishing Club is done and dusted, with 240 teams fishing and over 4000 fish caught in the three day competition. Conditions were not the best – 25 knots and northwesterlies made fishing very tough.
Team Wilson fished well in these conditions. Congratulations to them and all teams that competed in the tournament. Good flathead numbers should continue throughout this month with most of the action happening around the full moon. Big female flathead will still be around too. Tea bagging big soft plastics like 5” ZMan paddlers around the Seaway and Tweed Bar will encounter some big girls. This technique is fantastic with mulloway as well.
Whiting should be biting well this month, especially in the Nerang River between the Southport School and Sorrento. Bloodworms, baby soldier crabs, shrimp and canal wrigglers are the best baits. As the days start to lengthen and the weather starts to warm, this should fire up the mangrove jacks. The waterways around the Gold Coast provide a wide range of both natural and man-made structure that mangrove jacks love to call home, including extensive canal systems, rock walls, pontoons, retaining walls, bridges and lay down timber. Early morning and late afternoon are the key to snaring these red devils.
There’s so many ways to catch mangrove jacks. I like to get out early around 3am and throw surface poppers around rocks and retaining walls that feed out of canals and rivers. When the sun starts to get high, try slow rolling 4” ZMan DieZels just millimetres from the shaded side of jetties when chasing jacks. Bait fishing is a very popular way to chase mangrove jacks at night.
I like to use live herring and mullet fillets as bait with 20lb mainline and 40lb leader. These fish are very quick, so having your rod in your hand will increase your chance of not getting busted off. Places like the Bundall Bridge, the Council chambers, and the rock bar in front of the Southport School in the Nerang River fish very well with bait. Other places to try are the rock bar behind the golf course in the Tallebudgera River, Boyds Bay Bridge, and Tumbulgum Bridge in the Tweed River.
The first run of pelagics will be in full swing this month with mahimahi and small wahoo turning up. November is usually the start of our juvenile black marlin season, with good numbers of black marlin around the Hervey Bay area. These fish should filter down the east coast and hit the Gold Coast around late November. Good amounts of bait on our local reefs should keep them around for us to enjoy.
The local made skirted lures like Black Snacks and Pakulas are a great option and are a good way to cover ground. Trolling most of our local reefs, east of the Seaway and areas like Kirra reef, the Gravel Patch and the Nine-Mile are great places to start.
Big numbers of blue pilchards have been along the coast between the Seaway and Jumpinpin Bar, which have attracted schools of tailor, mac tuna and a few big long-tail tuna which are pushing the 20kg mark. Casting stickbaits and soft plastics in 5” has been working the best. Spotted mackerel will appear this month in drips and drabs. Palm Beach Reef will see the first run of mackerel followed by Mermaid Reef.
I like to get on the water before sun up to beat the crowds and sound around looking for bait and mackerel before I anchor up. Float lining half and whole pilchards with no weight down a berley trail is a great way to catch a feed. Use a light nylon coated multi-strand wire around 20cm in length with a black swivel and 3/0 Suicide hook. This is a great set-up for finicky mackerel. Palm Beach Reef will hold good numbers of cobia this month and will cause a bit of havoc for the anglers that fish light for mackerel.
Casting spinnerbaits and slow rolling paddle-tailed soft plastics around the timber points and weed edges on the western arm have been producing thumper bass. This is great fun on light gear. As the days start getting a bit longer and hotter, the insect population starts to increase, making surface action a must. This can be one of the most exciting ways to fish. Casting cicada pattern surface walkers to grass patches and fallen timber is a proven winner fishing Hinze Dam.
The Gold Coast Flathead Classic biggest flathead went to Christian Cross with this 96cm beast.
Big mulloway will still be cruising around all bar entrances in November.
The hot weather will stir up the local jacks population this month.Reads: 1655