Lately it seems like every weekend the wind has been blowing and during the week the conditions have been near perfect. It’s hard to believe its mid February already. When the weather turns bad every weekend, the year can slip away very quickly. Eventually I would need to get my fishing fix, and with the weather forecast less then ideal it was going to be an interesting day out on the water.
With wind strengths predicted to reach 30 knots from the south with showers, fishing the canal system in the Nerang River on the Gold Coast would be a great option. By learning to adapt to the conditions you can make the most of the days fishing whatever the weather Gods throw at you.
I haven’t always fished canal systems like the ones in the Nerang River. After fishing the Bream Tournaments in both boats and kayaks over many years now I have learnt that certain times of the year better numbers of fish come from canal systems and you need to have mastered this style of fishing to be competitive.
But it’s not all about the Bream and the Bream tournaments. If you haven’t fished any canal systems before you will certainly be surprised at what fish you may come across. And by far the best way to fish these systems is in a kayak. My current kayak is a Native Watercraft Slayer 13 which has been by far the best fishing kayak I have been in. After fishing canals both in boats and kayaks I have found sneaking up on the fish much easier in the kayak and more sight casting opportunities arise.
Species I have encountered while fishing the canals of the Gold Coast and Brisbane include: Bream, Mangrove Jack, Sweetlip, Parrot, Cod, Flathead, Whiting, Jewfish, Trevally, Queenfish, Tailor, Tarpon, Pike, Flounder and even Barramundi.
The fishing on this particular day was unbelievable. In a five hour session I was
“Blown Away” by the amount of fish caught and the variety of species. Most of the quality fish came from the banks and pontoons where the strong winds were blowing on to. The fish were more active on these banks, willing to feed higher in the water column. The Slayer was perfect for this situation. I could fish the bank in front of me while using the drive in reverse to hold in position, giving me the perfect drift. I was unable to do this in my previous kayak.
Generally when the wind is up I increase my jighead size up one, or decrease the size of the plastic to allow the lure to remain in the strike zone as long as possible. Of late my lure of choice has been the new Pontoon 21 Pillo grub. This plastic is a curl grub style lure and at 2.25 inch long it is ideal for canal fishing with many species taking a liking to it. It comes in some of the best natural looking colours going around. To check it out go to www.searingtackle.com.au
So if the wind is up on the day you planned to go fishing check out the canals in your local waterways. You maybe pleasantly surprised at what you might encounter and for those who fish tournaments these days make for great practice.
Cheers, Michael Maas