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Summer Fishing

Summer Fishing

Fishing on the Gold Coast is an all-year-round affair, with many options from rivers, canals, estuaries, creeks, and sand banks to offshore in the vast ocean. As the long summer days heat up, the waters teem with inshore fish such as flathead and offshore ones such as mackerel.

Here is a list of inshore and offshore species, and tips on when, where and how to catch them.


FLATHEADLate run after heading back from spawning at the river mouths Hard body lures or soft plastics on typically light gear no more than 8lb line/braid for best results;Flathead like bright pinks, chartreuse, and natural colours typically.  

Best methods are casting or trolling. Flathead can also be tempted or taken on baits including small pilchards or white bait. Live bait can be either herring, whiting or small mullet.

MANGROVE JACKShould start heating up as water temperatures begin to rise. Heavier tackle should be used with this species; 20+lb braid when using larger hard bodies or plastics. Live baits are, however, their preferred meal. Trolling or casting are again the best methods. Pay particular attention to snaggy areas, including but not limited to, rock walls, pontoons, jetties and marinas. (Most marinas on the Gold Coast prohibit fishing, so it is necessary to check first before deciding to fish at any marina.)
SAND WHITINGIn big numbers and size in yabby beds and sand banks Gear should be as light as willing or prepared to go 6lb max.Live yabbies or worms (either sand or blood worms).Ultralight braid with either poppers or stick baits, between 50 and 90mm. Casting is the best method for sand whiting if using baits. Cast it out and allow it to sit until eaten/taken.
MUD CRABSIn full swing as water temperatures start to rise. Measuring crabs is a MUST to comply with legal requirements. (See instructions on how to measure crabs.) Only MALE crabs can be kept for consumption. Place labels on both the pots and floats, clearly indicating your name, phone number as required by law. Place close to or around creek mouths and near mangrove trees and muddy banks. DO NOT drop next to professional fishing pots. (Professional pots are tied to coloured float balls with numbers engraved on the sides.)



SAILFISHSmaller sizes off Jumpinpin Bar; part of the billfish family which include blue, black & striped marlin Skirted lures; 20lb+ linesTry and match lure size to that of the bait fish under you. Find Bait Schools on sounder or on the surface and troll with the skirted lures around on with a minimum 20+lb Line.
MACKERELJumpinpin Bar from behind the breakers out to roughly the 36’s 20+lb gear, and hard body lures or poppers Casting towards bait schools with hard bodies or poppers.Can also troll using hard bodies or, alternatively, can also troll with live or dead baits.
MAHI MAHI (DOLPHIN FISH)From the 36’s out to deeper depths. Find current lines with some floating debris as a starting point. Then, use techniques varying from trolling to float lining to jigging, as you may be required to use all 3 techniques throughout your day to achieve the bite.



Identifying mud crabs (male vs female) and how to measure





Take this list with you as you prepare your gear and plan your fishing trip before you go out for a day or two. Whether solo fishing or in the company of friends, summer fishing with ice-cold drinks is the best way to soak in the heat.


By Luke Rafton

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