Surface luring is heaps of fun.
Twitch and pause or use an erratic darting action. Mixing it up to get the bites is half the fun.
MMD splash prawn 70mm in Honey Bee colour- one of the best lures in Australia for surface whiting, bream, trevally and more. Use a popping action over shallow clear water or around structure
MMD splash prawn 95 mm in Lime Tiger colour- the emerging surface jack and big fish lure!
Pro Lure SF62 floating pencil popper- awesome colour that works well over sandbanks for flathead and whiting, and close to structure for bream and trevally
Pro Lure SK62 sinking pencil popper- cast this over yabby banks when the surface fishing is slow or close to structure, for flathead, whiting, bream and others
1 x 2 pack Ecogear assist hooks
Smithy’s UV prawn Sax Scent 30ml tube
Free shipping anywhere in Australia
1 x pack of Pro Lure paddle grub soft plastics- can be used anywhere. Great action, rig on a 1/8 to 1/4 2/0L jighead
1 x Pro Lure D36 crank bait- cast these around structure as the sun and noise comes up and the surface fishing slows
Surface luring tips from Smithy
The flats at the mouths of pretty much all creeks in Northern NSW and SE Queensland offer amazing opportunities for topwater fishing.
These opportunities are accessible to anyone through boating, kayaking or simply wading the shorelines.
Whiting are the number one target, but bream and flathead are common bycatch and other species such as various trevallies, queenfish and grunter also turn up from time to time.
The key is to fish water of 70cm depth or less, especially in areas where there are plenty of yabby burrows, seagrass beds and so on, indicating the presence of bait. The wind is your friend when fishing the flats, and sunny days tend to fish best. Glassed out, overcast days offer the greatest challenge for flats fishers and usually don’t fish well.
Periods around the full and new moons have bigger tidal movement, which usually makes for better fishing. Any phase of the tide can be fished effectively, simply by following the water up and down so that you’re always fishing in the right depth. Try and organise your session so that there is a tide change at some point.
There is often a hot bite around the turns.
Switching the rear treble hook on most topwater lures for a smaller treble, or even better, a small assist hook can improve the strike to hookup conversion rates. Where possible, position yourself with the wind to your back, allowing you to make long casts and cover a lot more water..
A lightweight 7 foot or longer spin rod in the 1-3kg line class with a lightweight, 2500 size carbon fibre spin reel loaded with 6lb braid and with a short 6lb fluorocarbon leader is Smithy’s chosen tackle. He likes the Arrowz and Samaki range of rods for this application.
Maintain a loose grip on the rod and point the tip towards the water in line with where the lure landed. Wind slowly whilst twitching the rod left and right to achieve a zig zag action across the water surface. Whiting will hunt in packs and will often make multiple failed attempts to take the lure.
Maintaining constant movement seems to work best for whiting, as they return to the bottom if the lure is paused. Bream are more effectively targeted by making occasional pauses, while flathead can engulf the lure using either retrieve.
Pro tip: Water that is too glassy, choppy, deep,and cloud cover, makes it hard to get whiting to rise to lures.
The locally made MMD Splash Prawn is a great lure for shallow flats fishing in this part of the world. It is fished in the same way as the Bassday Sugar Pen.
Brad Smith Fishing Charters specialises in catching jewfish and big mangrove jacks, but offers fishing for plenty of other species and can tailor a SEQ or Northern NSW fishing package to your needs.