Taking your tide this storm season
  |  First Published: November 2017

Finally, we have some hot weather setting in. We’ll be seeing hot evenings – prime jack fishing time! Anglers have been getting into multiple jacks per session, showing the rest of us that hard work pays off. Last year I checked the radar and weather before school to find a hot day with an afternoon storm. They’re the days I look forward to.

Quality fish have been throughout most of the Gold Coast canals and estuaries. The main river systems including Logan, Coomera, Nerang and Tallebudgera have all been holding plenty of bait. The predatory fish won’t be too far behind. Bridge pylons, rock and retaining walls, mangroves and natural structure hold jacks, trevally, bream and flathead. Logan River has been fishing quite slow over the past month, but as the prawns start coming on in the next month, we’ll start to see the river system really fire up!

Basically, find the prawns and inlets and you’ll find the fish – especially flathead, jacks, trevally and bream. Although, the odd flathead is being caught around sandbanks, deep holes and mud banks. My go-to lure for flathead in this river system, as it can get quite dirty at times, is the ZMan 3” MinnowZ in Calico Candy.

Over the next month, we’ll see temperatures rise – both in water and on land. This is exciting to hear, but can also build up some nasty afternoon storms, so be careful on the water and check the local forecast. These storms can build quickly. There’s a few reasons why the bite can be tough.

Things have to fall in place to get a red hot bite. You’ll have noticed the bite really tough, then all of a sudden the tide turns and you’re catching fish after fish, right? Lately I’ve found tides to be a huge factor in my fishing, where it can separate a bag of fish or a donut on the water. The best tide I’ve found is around two hours before high tide and an hour before the low tide.

Without doubt, bridge pylons have been my recent go-to structure – some can hold masses of bait and quality fish. Mangrove jacks, trevally, bream and flathead are the main species that will roam many bridges. There are numerous ways to fish bridges and most will be successful.

A simple but effective way is with plastics, by positioning your boat so you can line the pylons up where the bow of the boat is facing into the current. Sit about several metres from the last pylon, get nice and long casts right up along the pylons, so you’re bringing the lure along each one. Be prepared to get fish out quick, as a solid GT or jack won’t muck around with busting you off.

Despite the tough bite at times, fishing hard and persisting really pays off. My biggest tip for this month would be to fish a lot of structure and cover where bait will flourish. Keep your lures or baits in the strike zone and you’re in for a good chance. Stay safe and see you on the water.


Harrison Branch with a solid flathead caught in a tight creek.


The author’s PB bass caught from the kayak on a ZMan 2.5” Slim SwimZ.

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