Nabeel Issa

Nabeel Issa

Tournament Angler And Local Identity

Nabeel Issa has lived in Brisbane for all but the first 3 months of his life, so he knows how to fish Moreton Bay and the Gold Coast extremely well. Nabeel joined the bream tournament circuit at the age of 14 and decided to to take a break after 12 years and plenty of success. Right now he’s enjoying fishing for multiple SEQ species and does pretty well on the long tail tuna, snapper, thredies, jew and other species that abound in SEQ.

Nabeel’s Top Tips For Gold Coast Snapper Fishing

  • The close-in reefs out from the Gold Coast Seaway hold plenty of quality snapper in 30-50m of water. Winter is the prime snapper fishing time in this area but fish can be caught year-round if you pick the weather.
  • A characteristic of large snapper is that they almost always take the lure when it’s on the drop. Finesse fishing with light, bream-style tackle is the key to presenting the lure effectively. Even large snapper can generally be caught on good quality light gear if they are played carefully.
  • Cast your lures ahead of the drift and allow then to sink on a slack line so that they drop as though they are unencumbered. If the drift or boat movement doesn’t allow this, don’t water time fishing an unnatural looking presentation, reel in and make another cast.
  • Use your sonar to find and mark reefs and use sidescan to map out the reef extents. Then position the boat to provide a drift across the reef using an electric motor or a sea anchor to slow the drift to allow good lure presentation. If you cross a reef whilst moving on your main motor, don’t bother stopping to fish it, but mark it’s location and come back later or on another day. Big fish can become wary of motor noise.
  • Best conditions are when the wind is 10 knots or less and there is some current, but not so much that it’s hard to fish the lures effectively. Unlike Moreton Bay to the north, the best bites on the Gold Coast don’t come at sunrise, but usually an hour or two after the sun comes up.
  • Nabeel’s sonar and side scan is crucial to his success in this style of fishing. He’s sponsored by Lowrance and uses their HDS Live models.

Nabeel’s Snapper Fishing Outfits

  • For fishing soft plastics Nabeel uses a Daiwa TD Hyper Rod, (7 ft long, 3-6 kg line class) with 4000 Exceler LT with 15lb braid and 16lb leader. A 3000 size reel is fine also.
  • For fishing Cranka Crabs, he switches to a Daiwa Comander (7ft long, 4-8kg line class) 5000 size sol reel with 10kg braid. This outfit is a little faster actioned and handles the drag and weight of the lure better, as well as the bigger fish often encountered with this lure.

Nabeel’s Best Snapper Lures For The Gold Coast

  • A 4″ soft plastic curl tail grub in motor oil colour is Nabeel’s “go to” soft plastic. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Z-Man, Berkeley or other brand of lure as long as it’s fished well. Cast the lure well ahead of the drift and allow it to sink on a slack line. The majority of big fish will take the lure as it sinks. Use the lightest jig head that will get the lure to fall naturally through the water and be prepared to re-cast once the boat drift causes the lure to look unnatural
  • The larger sized Cranka crab is his Nabeel’s favourite big fish lure. Cast ahead of the drift and allow to fall to the bottom on a slack line. Once on the bottom, minimal action is imparted until the boat drifts over and the lure is retrieved and re-cast.
  • A 5″ single tail jerk shad style plastic in space guppy colour is also effective and is fished the same way as the 4″ curly tail grub.

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Murray cod fishing lures

Nabeel’s Sponsors

Daiwa Fishing Australia provide the rods and reels that Nabeel uses for his Gold Coast snapper fishing.

Lowrance Australia supply high-end marine electronics for fishermen, including the sonar and side scan fish finders with Live View technology that Nabeel considers critical to this style of fishing.

Cranka Lures are an Australian company that produces Nabeel’s favourite big snapper lure, the Cranka Crab.