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Fishing Cairns Blog

August 19, 2010

BREAM FISHING CANALS
Keith Graham

The last time I fished a canal was back in the UK more than 25 years ago! I had walked the banks with fishing creel and rod hold all on my back for several kilometres to find my designated spot. Setting up my gear I fished away for five hours and caught gudgeon and small roach in the mini sized bracket. No wonder my recollections of man made waterway fishing were distant and somewhat boring.

I was given an opportunity to fish on the Gold Coast canals with ABT guru Steve Booth, and knowing that this is such a popular form of fishing down there I didn’t hesitate at the chance….taking my son Matt along too. Many readers will be aware of the ‘bream’ tournament circuit in the south and how many anglers / sponsors / TV viewers it does attract, not to mention the cash & prizes going to the winners.

Meeting Steve at the ramp behind the Convention Centre at 6-30 am I was impressed with his USA made flash rig. All the usual bells & whistles plus a whole lot more. Painted to the max with flouro decals and adorned with sponsor logos this was a floating advertisement for the sport and attracted attention from all quarters. I guess ‘if you’ve got it…flaunt it ‘.





Underfloor storage catered for 8 to 10 light spin rigs loaded with 4 to 6 lbs. Japanese mono, (only the very best will do for the bream boys). Micro hard bodied lures in the Sebile / Japanese exclusive class were attached and at $25 a pop you wouldn’t want to tie a dodgy knot! Matt & I were each given a Loomis / Daiwa combo to use as we set out at the mandatory 6 knots to search out the back blocks of the canals. (Steve mentioned that bream are not usually early risers so the slow pace suited the occasion).

Casting to structure such as floating pontoons, and sometimes fishing the sandy drop offs by casting into the bank then working your lure over the ‘lip’ were the preferred methods. A little different to FNQ tactics but in essence much the same…..searching for predators lying in cover! Twitching lures, as we tend to do up here using rod tip action, didn’t produce. Surprisingly a slow …steady retrieve ‘straight tracking’ the bibbed lures worked best.

Matt was first to score and it was a fair sized flathead, and I could see his excitement using such a light line class and longer whippy rod. Steve gently netted it and used a new grip, at the rear end of the fish, to take his time to unhook and release it. Interesting!

Moving on from one area to another we learned that fish tended to gather at the ends of these canal systems, especially when the prevailing wind lapped food onto the shores. (Not that there was much wind…it was such a still, almost perfect morning). They also sat on the ‘points’ and under overhanging vegetation. We all caught bream, some legal, steadily for the next two hours and I must admit to thoroughly enjoying the experience. Matt and I learned so much about these critters, and their environment from Steve’s expert commentary.

The previous Friday a comp. was held and Steve paired up with Patrick Sebile….and not surprisingly they won the event. Patrick, (of Sebile Lures fame), having fished 60 countries and caught over 650 different species of fish was well qualified to toss mini lures at our yellowfin bream.

Heading back to the ramp around 10 ‘ish Steve made mention that as the tide had just started to run out it was ‘prime time’ and we could borrow the boat whilst he attended the Tackle Show. A generous offer but we had appointments there too and had to regretfully decline. There’s always a next time!



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