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FISHING ON THE BROADWATER

FISHING ON THE BROADWATER

The Broadwater estuary is my favourite place to fish on the coast. Providing easy access to protected waterways, and the chance to catch a trophy-sized fish or just a feed of crabs, Squid or prawns make this a low stress option. The extensive size of this water way gives a sense of having the place to yourself, even during peak holiday periods you can still find your own secluded hideaway. As an angler, you will coexist with dolphins, dugongs, and turtles and stealthy anglers frequently have a close encounters with these exotic creatures. The number of different fish species available make it impossible to ever get bored and with South Stradbroke Island being so accessible you can easily pull up and stretch your legs or have lunch.

SEASONAL FISHING

The Gold Coast Broadwater is teaming with fish due to great water quality, which is flushed twice daily via the Seaway and the Jumpinpin Bar entrances. Complementing the natural environment is a multitude of artificial fish holding structures inside the estuary including the Seaway rock walls, Wave Break, Sovereign, and Ephraim islands, and the entire canal system. The creation of these new habitants ensure every angler can expect to catch fish whether it be from a boat or a land based option.

The months of August to October are perfect for chasing Dusky Flathead, arguably Australia’s most popular fish. These tasty bottom huggers begin their Broadwater invasion in readiness for the spawning cycle that heats up in September and October. A size slot limit allows fish between 40 and 75 centimetres to be taken, with the larger breeding females all released after a photo. In addition to Flathead schools of Giant and Big-Eye Trevally, school Mulloway and Tailor are prolific in areas with a bit more depth and the some early season jacks will have started to turn up.

A great tip for the season is to fish as light as possible. A 7’ spin rod 2000 or 2500 reel 6lb braid, and 12lb fluorocarbon leader will handle a large proportion of the critters that inhabit the local estuaries. By fishing light you can cast longer distances, cover more ground and not spook fish in the shallow wate

KEV’S RECOMMENDED GEAR

THE BOAT

  • The main considerations when deciding to buy a boat for fishing is versatility. You will need a boat able to negotiate very shallow banks when chasing flathead with the electric motor, but still able to safely handle a decent chop or oversized washes that the big cruisers create. A four- to six-metre aluminium or fibreglass boat with a 40-150 horsepower will allow easy manoeuvring in the Broadwater as well as handle unexpected offshore conditions.
  • Do not buy a boat until you have a good understanding of your requirements and the number of passengers you will regularly load. It is recommended first to hire a boat or go out with a mate before you talk to a sales person about buying a boat.

THE ESSENTIAL GEAR

electric outboardboatmaglip gripsunglassesbragmatsmedical kit

  • Electric motors with spot lock. This feature permits the user to anchor on a specific location by using the inbuilt GPS system to lock onto the satellites. These are must-haves and are fantastic for silently working the extensive shallow banks or just holding you on a snag.
  • Depth sounders are excellent tools for finding everything from rock bars, drop-offs, gutters, bait and certain fish species, especially trevally and mulloway.
  • Lip grips (or Boga grips) are essential for releasing fish and are handy holding devices for removing hooks and taking photos.
  • Polarised sunglasses with glass lenses are critical for spotting drains on shallow banks, weed beds, drop-offs, or even cruising fish.
  • Catch and release measuring mats, or commonly called Brag Mats, perfect for measuring, and to have photographic evidence before release.
  • Another essential when you are out fishing is a decent medical kit. Having basic first aid supplies on board can be the difference between a miserable or a great day.

DANGERS OF INTERNET SHOPPING FOR GEAR

Buying fishing tackle over the internet can be risky if you’re product knowledge is’nt spot on, inexperienced anglers with the best intentions often purchase fishing equipment that appears cheap and are led to believe that will do a particular job when it can’t.

When buying new gear, think about what type of fishing you will be doing. Pick a particular species and customise the gear needed to suit that fish. If you are not sure, ask someone in a tackle store for help. When visiting your local tackle shop, discuss with the staff the type of fish you want to chase.

The local knowledge provided by a tackle store is your short cut to a successful days fishing. By trusting the tackle store’s advice, you will be purchasing the right tackle to suit your needs.

Bigger is not necessarily better, so do not judge your tackle shop by its size. Finding a local supplier that offers genuine service, home-grown knowledge and a well-thought-out product range are key to your evolution into a successful fisher.

By Kevin Ballantine of Gold Coast Fishing Tackle

Editorial with Andy Kancachian

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