Fishing The 36s and 50s Gold Coast – Tweed heads

Fishing 36s and 50s off the Gold Coast is a great way to catch some cracking fish! There is plenty of good reef structure scattered along both the 36 fathom and 50 fathom line east of Brisbane, the Gold coast and Tweed heads region. Firstly the 36s, the reef system begins approximately 10 nautical miles due east of the Gold coast. This area holds Snapper, Tuskies, Samson fish and Teraglin. Head a out further 5 Miles and you will arrive at the 50 fathom grounds. Expect to catch Amberjack, pearl perch, Samson fish and Kingies. However don’t discount the 42s in between, as these reefs hold good quality fish too.

fishing 36s gold coast tweed heads and brisbaneSafety First When Fishing Wide

These wider grounds on the 36s and in particular the 50s are a considerable distance off shore. in this case a quality reliable boat of at least 6 metres is recommended. Uncle Roys Tinny that hasn’t been started for two years, should be avoided at all costs if you value your life! The current out wide can run at three knots plus. In the event your motor wont start. In short, your boat can drift a long way in a short period of time. Furthermore help from organisations like VMR and the Coast guard will take at least 1-2 hours to reach you.

A full compliment of safety gear as required by maritime safety Qld is absolutely essential. Always remember that no fish is worth your life. In the event that the weather looks dodgy on the day you plan to go out. Stay at home and wait for safer conditions.

Marine safety equipmentFishing 36s Gold Coast Tips and Techniques

Fishing the 36s and 50s can be rewarding. But it has a challenging aspect too. The east Australian current will dictate how heavy, or light you can fish. That is to say, when the current is strong more lead is required to get the bait down deeper in the water column. Patternoster style rigs with snapper leads are ideal when the current is strong. While on better days when there isn’t as much run. As a rule a lighter float line style works better. For example two 5/0 hooks in a snelled rig with a light ball sinker. This rig allows the bait to sink slower and appear more natural to wary fish lurking in the depths.

Pearl perch 36 and 50 fathoms

What Bait to use on 36 and 50 Fathom Reefs

Snapper, Pearl Perch, Venus Tuskfish, Teraglin

Good quality fresh bait is critical, if you have old stuff use it as burley and put the good stuff on your hooks. Pilchards are a known favourite of the local Snapper as are fresh squid, its important that you present your bait as naturally looking as possible. Hence it also needs to stay on your hooks until it reaches the fish down deeper in the water column. In short pillies and squid will catch snapper, pearlies, tusk fish and larger predators.

36 fathom reefs. Gold spotted wrasseAmberjack, Samson Fish, Kingfish, Cod

If you want get serious about chasing the bigger brutes that hang out wide and you have time. Live baits are well worth chasing on the bait grounds east of Southport between 12-18 fathoms in depth. Bait fish are usually easy to get, check out our live bait fishing article for detailed information. Be sure to keep your livies in a tank with good water circulation to maintain their health while travelling out wide.

Amberjack 50 fathoms

Pelagic Species – Mahi mahi, Black, blue and striped Marlin, Wahoo, Tuna

The warmer summer months bring strong currents and the pelagic species come out to play. Similarly, surface fishing 36s and 50s can produce some spectacular trophy fish. Tactics include Trolling, Switch baiting, and flicking lightly weighted baits at FADs. How long these fast moving pelagic fish hang around for depends on the water temperature. It varies from year to year.

Marlin fishing 36s and 50s
Charter Fishing 36s and 50s Gold Coast

As we mentioned earlier in the article. A reliable boat with all the safety equipment is the number one requirement to fish the deeper 36 and 50 fathom reef systems. In the event that you don’t have a boat, or perhaps you lack the experience or confidence to head many miles to sea in a small boat. All is not lost. You can still get out there and catch some great fish. Just gather up a bunch of your mates. Then contact Gold coast fishing charters to charter a boat for your family and friends.


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