Wonderful winter weather conditions
  |  First Published: June 2017

The Gold Coast is a great place to be in winter. The westerly winds start to blow, glassing out the ocean. We have crisp blue skies and the water temperature will start to fall. The early rains in April also paved the way for good fishing for winter. All these factors will start the spawning run of many species of fish. Mullet, tailor, bream, luderick and gar, just to name a few, will call the Gold Coast home.

The water temperature in the estuaries will drop to around 17-20°C and flathead fishing is at its best around the midday lows. Expect big numbers of flathead between 40-60cm. The best techniques are to cast 3-4” soft plastics and troll hardbody lures like Micro Mullets, Pig Lures and Zerek Tango Shads. Drop your leader size to around 10lb in clear water to improve your catch rates this month as well.

Look for shallow weedy flats on the high tide. When the water starts to run out, look for any shallow drain that runs off from the high tide flats. The bream have been in good numbers and have been nailing everything in sight, from plastics to 30cm pike intended for mulloway. Fishing around the full moon with flesh baits like herring, gar and mullet will get the bigger fish.

If you’re getting your kids into fishing, grab a packet of prawns, a quill float and a heap of berley and go gar fishing. There have been big numbers of gar around the weed flats just north of Wavebreak Island and the bottom end of Crab Island. Gar are excellent eating and they are a fantastic bait.

With the clean water the tiger squid have been in excellent numbers over the last couple of weeks. More numbers of squid have been caught at night time. The Grand Hotel and Bayview Harbour and both Sovereign and Ephraim Bridge on a high tide are great land-based fishing spots. If you are fishing from a boat, try putting some overhanging lights on your boat. This will improve your catch during the night while drifting over the weed beds around Wavebreak Island.

Another fish I like to target that tastes great when looked after is the luderick. Fresh bait is the key. Cabbage and black cane weed work well in the Tweed area. Green weed works well in the Broadwater and rivers. Green weed can be picked up from the drains at the crab farm near Helensvale.

To keep your bait fresh for weeks wrap it up in a wet hessian sack and put it in the bottom crisper in the fridge. Don’t forget to keep it a secret, too! Try fishing the rock walls around Boyds Bay Bridge and behind Twin Towns and both walls in the Seaway.


After a pretty poor mackerel season most anglers are keen to get amongst a few reef fish. The winter westerlies will start to settle in this month and flatten out the ocean. This will make June one of the better months to chase reef fish off the coast. Snapper will start to push into the close inshore reefs. Probably the most effective way to catch snapper on the close reefs is to float line pillies in a constant berley trail.

A tide change on dawn and dusk is generally the best bite time for snapper. The berley will also attract a few cobia while snapper fishing on the close reefs. Cobia are fast growers and need a lot of food and are suckers for deep live baits and big soft plastics.

There have been good numbers of mulloway on both the blocks and the close inshore reefs. Dropping live baits and artificial baits like 7” Jerk Shads and the Koika jigs from Gomoku has been working extremely well.

Chasing longtail tuna and mac tuna behind the breakers will be worth a look this month. There have been good numbers of both bait and tuna near the artificial blocks off South Stradbroke Island. Casting 20 and 40g slugs into feeding tuna always gets the heart racing.

The current should have slowed right down this month, making fishing a lot easier on the wider grounds. Pearl perch, snapper and tuskfish will make up the bulk of fish on the outside reefs. A simple paternoster rig with two droppers is a really good way to target reef fish on the wider grounds, and by using multiple droppers you can use various baits and bait sizes at the same time. A mixture of baits like pillies, squid, bonito and slimies will work well this month.

With the current slowing down, June is also a great month to chase a few arm-pulling kingfish and amberjack on both the Gold Coast and Tweed Coast. Both live baits and jigging will be very effective.

Overall, it’s great to chase a few different species this month. There are plenty of bread and butter species to chase in the estuaries. If you are heading outside, please keep a watchful eye out for the migrating whales along the coastline. Rug up and take care.

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