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, threadies, jew and other species that abound in SEQ.
Nabeel’s Top Tips For Moreton Bay Jewfish
- Moreton Bay has numerous types of structure with tons of fishing options ranging from bream, flathead and whiting to Spanish, school and spotted mackerel, trevallies, cobra, snapper, tuna, kingfish, sweet lip and many more.
- Jewfish school in large numbers in the southern bay, particularly around Peel Island, wrecks and artificial reefs in areas with some current and water depths of 10-15m. Nabeel prefers the September-October period when fish are actively schooling and sharks haven’t yet started to become a menace.
- This style of fishing is strongly dependent on having a decent quality sounder and knowing how to use it. Do some research by looking at pics and videos online to help with sounder interpretation. Nabeel will spend hours sounding to find fish and often won’t make a cast until he’s located a school.
- Nabeel prefers not to spot lock, but uses his electric motor to control the drift of his boat such that the lures and boats move at the same pace. This is particularly important when the wind and tide are in different directions as it allows the lures to get down close to the bottom.
- Jewfish aren’t fussy about lures. If you find fish, position yourself and present your lures well you’ll most likely catch fish. It’s not important to give the lure a lot of action, subtle actions work well – but getting the lures right in the fish’s face is key.
- Nabeel doesn’t find that lunar cycles make a huge difference to the fish. Big tides can be challenging though, as it’s hard to get the lure down to the fish – fish around the tide turn and expect that your window of opportunity might be smaller than on the smaller tides.
Nab’s Preferred Jewfish Tackle
- Nabeel is sponsored by Daiwa and is a big fan of their rods, reels and line. He uses baitcasters (150 size) and spin gear (3000 size reel) of 6-8kg, which gives a good balance between being light and sensitive enough to work the lures properly and heavy enough to minimise the number of fish lost to sharks.
- 20 lb braided line with a 20-30 lb leader completes the outfit.
Nabeel’s Best Jewfish Fishing Lures
- The 95mm, 20g Zerek Fish Trap vibration bait in natural colours is a good choice for this style of fishing. Nabeel drops the lure over the side, gets it to the bottom and then double hops it gently, with just enough speed to feel the lures work, dropping it back down and repeating.
- When the current is running hard a micro jig in the 50g size range is a good choice because it sinks fast and can be worked through the schools. These are fished slower than normal for jigs, being hopped a couple of times then allowed to flutter back down.
- A soft plastic lure is usually a good option also. Lots of different style work, but Nabeel is presently most excited by the Holt Production Swim Prawn at present. Again, hop them gently through the school keeping them close to the bottom.
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.