Half way through October, I managed to get down to Brunswick Heads for the weekend and had a few mornings fishing on South Golden Beach. Earlier in the year, in the cooler water, I had found plenty of tailor and bream down here.
The moon was in its first quarter and the tides were not big. The wind was a light south easterly, turning northerly in the afternoons. As you all know I love to fish with soft plastics lures. On the beach, success with plastics requires a bit of persistence – especially in the warmer months.
As usual you have to be up early or be prepared to fish through dusk. I prefer the dawn session, as I am an early riser and you know the water has not really been fished/ surfed/ disturbed overnight.
In spring and summer I fish with very light gear. The predominant summer species; dart, whiting, bream can be very picky and the water is often clear. I rarely use more than a 12lb fluorocarbon leader and will often go down to 8lb to get the bites. This means you have to have a good, functioning drag on your reel and make sure it is set correctly. You will certainly lose a big bream/ or dart in the surf, if your drag is set to tight. If you get a fish hooked you have to bring it in patiently, using the rhythm of the surf. If a big mackerel is passing through, your are doomed, but that is fairly unlikely.
I like to use small brightly coloured soft plastics when the water is clear. My favourite for dart is the GULP 3” Minnow in the lime tiger colour. If the water is stirred up I swap to paddle and grub tailed soft plastics in darker colours. In these conditions it is often the vibration that will bring the fish to the lure.
On Sunday, I decided fish the rocks and beach on the north shore of the Brunswick River mouth. There is often a nice big gutter here and the rocky/ reefy area on the north side of the river rock wall also provides some good structure to fish around. I arrived at the carpark at about 5.30 am, just after first light.
The water was a little stirred up so I started with a GULP 3” Minnow soft plastic in the Pearl Watermelon colour. I was using my Daiwa Air Edge 96L light surf rod and initially fishing with a 1/6th ounce, size 1 hook jighead. I was fishing with 10lb fluorocarbon leader. After a while I was not getting any bites, so I swapped down to a lighter 1/8th ounce jighead. I moved a little closer to the rocks.
The fishing was tough. I had a couple of bites from what I assume were dart. Low tide had passed at about 5.40 am and the water was now starting to run in. Perhaps this was the catalyst for action and I hooked a small bream (about 25cm long) and then another.
There was a pause of about 20 minutes then I caught a few more. At about 8.15 am the sun was high in the sky – and my fishing spot was right at the start of the surfer route out to their favoured spot. They kept, very politely, swimming through the fishing zone, so I decided to give up for the morning.