Despite the late start there were still a few fish about………

Conditions: Late morning, light wind, blazing sun on a dropping tide with a swell coming from the south east
Season: Late Autumn
Strategy: Flick some lures about while I’m down the Coast dropping the wife off at the airport
Technique: Slow rolling plastics over rock bommies and ledges
Target: Bream & Tailor
Gear: 3-5kg 8ft graphite rod, 2500 size spin reel, 8lb braid & 8lb leader
Lure Types: 20g metal slugs, 3″ soft plastic minnows on 1/6 oz size 1 jigheads
Session Rating: 6/10

While the cat’s away

Rock fishing in the middle of the day is generally pretty tough work. I was down the Gold Coast at 10am to drop the family off at the airport and so I figured I would have quick fish anyway. As soon as we said our goodbyes at the airport, I drove over to the Tweed and got my gear ready. It was around 11 am, the tide was halfway out and my expectations were suitably low.

On arrival, there was a fisherman cleaning a couple of fish near the water’s edge. This was a surprisingly good sign. This fella had caught a medium sized Bream and what looked like a decent sized reef fish. I  started talking to him and he mentioned that he had caught this species of reef fish here before and had been told that they were “Coral Trout”. I told him i was not a Coral Trout but was unable to give him more information on the identity of the fish. I took a photo to assist in some research but was unable to find a match. If you have any thoughts on this fish species – please let me know.

Little Bream in numbers

I started off by throwing a few slugs around which didn’t get much interest. I switched to the 3″ plastic minnow and flicked it at the rock ledges and bommie structures. It got the attention of some smaller fish close in that nipped up to have a go before it was lifted out of the whitewater. I hooked and landed a little Bream. This was followed shortly after by another then another and another before the school of little Bream moved on.

The Bream were replaced by a school of even smaller fish, which were hanging around the base of the rock and were picking at my bait. I was having trouble hooking these fish and began to wonder what they were. My question was answered when I finally pulled up a baby Trevally. At 10cm long, this cute little fish has a lot of growing to do before he becomes the famous, all-powerful, rod bending, line busting thug of the reef systems.

Fat daddy finally comes out to play

I switched to a 4″ plastic minnow in order to try and get something bigger on the end of my line. I slow rolled it over the bommies in the area making sure it didn’t get snagged. This technique works well on a rocky bottom and today was no different as on my fourth cast, the plastic was ambushed over a reef ledge. The fish pulled hard and was clearly a solid fish but the rod and reel did their job by absorbing all the runs and lunges nicely. It was not long before I was soon lifting a fat 35cm Bream up onto the rocks by the leader.

I was pretty stoked with this fish for something caught from the middle of the day. I released him and realised how quickly time gets away when you are having fun. After a few more casts, I decided that my brief session, though enjoyable, had come to an end. It was time for me to start the long march back to Brisbane.

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