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Cabbage Tree Point Fishing

Cabbage Tree Point Fishing

Andy Kancachian chats with a Cabbage Tree Point local, Luke Rafton, who sees all that goes on in town. Luke generously shares his knowledge of fishing in the area during the cooler months.

Don’t bloody tell anyone about Cabbage Tree Point

At the very southern edge of Southern Moreton Bay, Cabbage Tree Point is located at the north-eastern corner of the Gold Coast. The name refers to the cabbage tree palms that grew in the area. If you have travelled that way, you will notice that local residents are fishing fanatics. With a bustling boat ramp, the small town is the launching point for those in search of a good day’s catch.

Luke was born to be a fisher. He started fishing at the age of two among his kinfolk, and now still spends his days reeling in fish with family and close friends. “Fishing keeps our family together,” explains Luke. “I currently fish with my father in the Flathead Classic each year as a father-son team. It’s a great bonding session. I even had a stint as a commercial fisher for several years—on and off—chasing species such as Spanish mackerel, reef fish and mud crabs.”

Fishing is what he does to get away, relax and just unwind. Luke shares, “Even though I work in the fishing industry all day, getting out on the boat for an hour or two is a great way to de-stress.”

Boat Gold Coast Luke 30kg blue eye trevalla caught doing a deep drop offshore from the gold coast in 300m of water

In the cool season: snapper and tailor

In Autumn and Winter, Luke is chasing Jewies with plastics and livies. Luke says, “The prawns will be coming to an end and so will the whiting. I will definitely try to take advantage of their quality numbers before they stop.”

His optimism is contagious when explaining Autumn to Winter fishing conditions. “Offshore, the snapper will be growing in quality and numbers as it gets colder. And tailor in the pin bar and off the beaches will be on fire.”

As a local safety advocate, Luke recommends boaties always carry plenty of drinking water, snacks, a torch, a phone and a changes of wet weather clothing.

Boat Gold Coast john with his 94.5cm flathead we caught during the flathead classic 2014 which won longest flathead on a hard body lure. it was taken in tipplers passage

Boat tip

When advising on a suitable boat for the area, his father, John Rafton, provides the best example: “Stability was a deciding factor when he purchased his boat – a 4.1-metre moulded plastic hull which I use from time to time. It is great for all purposes in the southern bay, such as for lure and bait fishing. The boat has good balance when cast-netting for bait or prawns, and while setting pots for crabs.”

Bait tip

If you are planning on venturing to Cabbage Tree Point, here is the best local tip: “Soft plastics will work really well in the upcoming months for flathead and jewies. If you find the bait, you will find the fish. The cold still mornings are a great time to find fish attacking bait balls on the surface, so try unweighted plastics or small poppers for best results.”

The “secret” point called Cabbage Tree

Luke knows he is fortunate to be so accessible to a renowned fishing location. “Cabbage Tree Point area is a treasure, as species can be caught within two kilometres of the ramp. Whiting and Jewies, even threadfin, salmon, and snapper are caught here.” Known to locals, the area is one of the best spots on the coast to catch mud crabs that make an excellent winter meal.

Cabbage Tree Point is a fishers’ wonderland. Luke shares that “the best day I experienced was with my sister’s fiancé, Chris Sheehan, a couple of weeks before the Flathead Classic. We were trolling lures along the sand and weed banks in front of my shop, and we were literally hooking a fish every 50 metres or so for about five hours. It was insane!”

The flathead ranged from 38 to 89 centimetres, and they caught whiting on the lures that were 39 and 41 centimetres. “And to top it off we also got several tailor up to 65 centimetres! It was a crazy five hours,” he reminisces fondly.

A short drive from the heart of the Gold Coast, Cabbage Tree Point provides easy launching and a short boat journey to where all the fish are. But don’t bloody tell anyone else. It is our secret.




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