- 01 Dec Off
Offshore bottom reef fishing Gold coast.
Bottom reef fishing gold coast can only be done from a boat. Ideally a large stable one that’s suited for offshore conditions. Getting a dead or live bait down to the fish is a complex operation at best, as the drift of the boat is a mixture of the vessels hull design, the prevailing current, swell and sea conditions and the wind factor on any particular day. Off Queensland’s Gold Coast, where we operate our deep sea fishing charters, we have three main extensive reef systems on the 24, 36, and 50 fathom line. These rocky outcrops extend from Tweed heads to Point Lookout and are situated between 3-15 nautical miles offshore, depending on where exactly you are fishing off the coast line. Working the 24s 36s and the 50s is common practice for us and Snapper, teraglin, Tuskfish, Pearl perch, Samson fish, Cobia, amberjack, flathead and kingfish are the main target species. If you fish on the drift, as most of the local charter boats do, your catch rates will always better if you know how to best control the drift angle.
The prevailing conditions make a huge difference to success. Whenever the wind is over 15-20 knots on the local grounds, getting a good drift is damn near impossible, and like wise any current over about 2.5 knots makes keeping your bait near the bottom extremely tough. In conditions like this it’s sometimes better to drop the pick and hold the vessel over the reef at anchor. In South east Queensland the winter months are often still and calm and the current is usually minimal. So If you want to drift the wider grounds pick a smooth calm day with winds below 15 knots. When it is blowing hard or the current is ripping, we generally operate in closer on anchor.
Setting the drift is critical
When we get arrive at our chosen spot, the skipper will stop and drift before we start our customers fishing, generally in this time our deckhands will perform a rod demonstration while the skipper uses The GPS/chart plotter to work out the line and angle of drift. The best drifts are usually in a north to south direction, which drifts you along the reef rather than across it. It is a very rare day when you get a perfect drift without motor control. While we plot our drift, we keep an eye on the depth sounder looking for signs of life. When you’ve found the direction of drift and the fish, head back up the line on the plotter so you drift back over the fish. We generally fish three different techniques: a paternoster rig on the bottom with a big snapper lead, a deep fished live bait and a float-lining rig with a running sinker that sinks down slowly. This rig targets snapper. The livey targets pelaegics, and the paternoster will snare the bottom dwellers.
Weighing it down.
Choosing the correct sinker weight is extremely important, and sometimes needs to be adjusted through the day as wind and sea conditions change. The aim is to keep the boat above the baits as much as possible with lines straight up and down to avoid tangles. At the start of the drift, we make sure all our customers drop down at the same time. This greatly helps in minimising tangles. In perfect conditions the lines will go straight down, but more usually they will trail out the back.
If it is hard to get down to where the fish are lurking while bottom reef fishing gold coast, there are several strategies we try. The first is to increase the weight of the sinker. At times we may need up to a pound of lead to hit bottom, but in general about ½ – ¾ of a pound is adequate. The second useful tip is to use braid instead of mono. Another method is to reverse into the sea to follow the lines. This takes some skill, and is easier if you have twin motors. That’s our skipper’s job and he will do his best to keep the boat straight. If you utilise the above methods it is quite possible to successfully fish in rough conditions and heavy current.
Of course if you don’t have your own boat, you won’t be doing much bottom reef fishing, that’s where we come in. Visit our website to book your offshore bottom reef fishing gold coast charter.
Bottom reef fishing Gold coast. Stop wishing and come fishing.