Summer is on its way with our daytime temperatures hitting 38°C. The weather isn’t the only thing that’s been hot – the fishing is going off too!
Winter is over. As the cold recedes the comfortable warmth of summer creeps in to welcome anglers far and wide. At least, it was like that back down in Hervey Bay. Up here in the Cape, winter temperatures are as high as the bay’s summer, and the summer up here is in a nutshell, hot – very hot. Nonetheless, warm water temperatures improve the fishing. Most predatory fish will feed constantly during warmer months.
November is here already, meaning it’s all about to go crazy with Christmas around the corner. It’s a good time to get on the water between the pelagic, reef and estuary species on offer – there are plenty of options this month. Flathead are going nuts in the warmer water in the bay with good numbers of 50-70cm fish around.
With warmer weather, offshore night fishing has been worth the trip lately.
Bugs are a slipper lobster. For foodies, the most important are the Balmain bugs found from the QLD and NSW border around to WA and most commonly produced out of NSW. If you live in Queensland, the Moreton Bay bugs are tops. Incidentally, Moreton Bay bugs range from Queensland to WA.
The heat is on and fish have responded well with good catches being reported all around, from the reef to the freshwater dams and streams. From late September through October, barra went nuts over live baits and lures with plenty of fish up to 1.2m being caught in the creeks from Rocky Dam to the south, right through to the Proserpine River. A good sign for the future is the good numbers of smaller fish around 45-55cm. Many of these fish will be legal size when the season reopens in February.
Finally, we have some hot weather setting in. We’ll be seeing hot evenings – prime jack fishing time! Anglers have been getting into multiple jacks per session, showing the rest of us that hard work pays off. Last year I checked the radar and weather before school to find a hot day with an afternoon storm. They’re the days I look forward to.
It may be closed barra season this month in the salt, but that doesn’t stop us chasing the big girls in the freshwater impoundments. Barra activity should peak this month across most of the dams and with powerful fish over 120cm long on offer, you’d be mad to miss it.
We’re rapidly approaching the end of the year. Hopefully the weather remains on its best behaviour, just like it has been lately. Offshore, we’ve had a fantastic run of snapper. It was the new moon period that sent the snapper into a frenzy with some excellent sized fish.
If you haven’t been fishing this month, you better have a really good excuse. With the warm weather and increased water temperatures, the northern bay is aging like a good red wine.
November is a transitional month east of the South Passage Bar, with water temperatures on the rise, and anglers are starting to target the pelagic species. Mahimahi and a few small black marlin have been caught and their numbers will increase in the coming months along with Spanish mackerel and wahoo.
Spring has seen unseasonably high water temperatures on the grounds off the Gold Coast. There have already been quite a lot of blue marlin and large yellowfin caught on the wide grounds. November should see a further increase in water temperatures to around 24°C. Overall, November is a good month to fish both the Gold Coast estuaries and offshore grounds and there are plenty of options this month.
We are quickly approaching the final stages of another year once again, and some diehards are already setting up their Christmas decorations. With spring in full swing, we wind down the previous month with some great catches and look forward to the final month of spring as things look to heat up.
Summer is just around the corner. How fast has this year gone? Already the fishing is heating up and so are the water temperatures. It’s still cool enough to chase a good mulloway and big flathead. I’ll be focusing most of my efforts on jacks and if you’re up for a challenge, so should you. Be warned, it’s slightly addictive.
There’s a general feel around the traps that we might be in for a more traditional build up to the wet season this time around. Some indicators are already in place. The days are definitely warm and muggy, we’ve already seen a bit of good rainfall around the place and water temperatures are high.
The ceiling fans are spinning faster than last time and fish are playing the game much better. From all reports mackerel have been around in numbers, but there are plenty of missed strikes but lots are being landed. No one can really explain the reason for winding back half wolfies and gar, but there are plenty of people having troubles out wide.
The fishing just keeps getting hotter! The Southern Bay has been fishing great with all sorts of species coming on the bite this spring. Bream, mulloway and snapper have been around in good numbers. Plenty of anglers have been getting out there and stuck into them. The weather has also helped, with some awesome mornings over the past month. Moreton Bay is a great place to be at this time of the year.
November’s a tricky, frustrating month on both the beaches of Fraser Island and inshore Hervey Bay. On the ocean beach, the scourge of brown weed that moved in just in time for the school holidays and continued well into October may still be making its presence known.
Mangrove jacks are really starting to fire up here in the tropical north, especially in the sweetwater streams. I had an absolute blinder of a session a few days ago – just about every snag had a platoon of angry red dogs ready to chase down and assault my soft plastic offerings. The fish in the freshwater systems are smaller models compared to the average size in the estuaries and offshore.
Warmer days are becoming more common and by November we should be averaging about 30°C days. As these days become more common, you can expect to see more and more people hitting the dam. Especially when the barra closure comes into play.
It’s not every day I’m lucky enough to drive a top of the range vehicle with all bells and whistles, including leather seats and just about every electronic adjustment or function you could wish for. The Triton Exceed dual cab 4x4 provided the drive experience with ease.
I’d heard about Cania Dam for around 20 years, first from my mentor Ted Clayton from my earliest photo journalism days, and when others mentioned Cania it was always the same theme – terrific toga, brawling bass, sensational silver perch and the scenery of Cania Gorge. While it sounded so enticing, this was an impoundment I hadn’t fished.
This month’s coral reef fin fish closure is from the 28 October to 1 November. Last closure we had guys talking over the radio about the trout and reds they had taken, not realising it was a closure. There is no excuse, particularly as everyone has a smartphone these days and the fisheries app is free. It gives you all you need to know from species identification to sizes and closures.
Hot summer conditions catalyse hot angling action. As the waters warm within the bay and estuaries, the metabolism of many species increases and their aggressiveness soars. Mackerel, mangrove jack, estuary cod, threadfin, sharks, crabs and tuna species will be common fare within their respective waters. There’s a broad array on offer. Heightened baitfish activity will bring some quality pelagics into the bay. With the hot sun beating down, anglers need to apply sunscreen, put on some protective clothing and keep up the fluids, but piscatorial rewards are out there for the taking.
No matter whether you’re chasing bass, queenfish, saratoga, trevally, murray cod, tailor, bream or barramundi, fishing with topwater offerings is addictive. The visual aspect of the surface strike will have you trembling at the knees and the power some species emit as they head for cover will have you buckling at the knees. While there’s now a myriad of surface lures, all imitating a wounded or struggling food source, poppers would have to be one of the more commonly used topwater presentations.
As we move through the last of our spring into the summer months, some would say we’re in our prime fishing seasons of the year. With water temperatures warming nicely, and if the early catches are anything to go by, it should be a cracker season for the almighty mangrove jack.
It’s my favourite month of the year, big jack month. This excites me, because in our area, big mangrove jack fire up as the water temperature rises with longer days. The mangrove jack isn’t actually classed as an estuarine species, as it only spends its first few years of life in estuaries before moving offshore to mature and breed.
During the last month, we’ve caught spectacular fish inside the northern end of the channel, including a 30lb GT while casting for barra, 110cm black jewfish, 90cm golden snapper and quite a few big barra including our milestone 2000th metre plus fish. It’s definitely warmed up early this year and that would explain better than average fishing for September. Early northwesterlies slowed things a little at times, which is a pain but overall we can’t complain. It’s been pretty good.
Of course we don’t do it enough – take fishing rods on a boat test – but when we had the opportunity to test the new Sea Jay 4.58 Stealth and the Moreton Bay forecast was atrocious, it didn’t take long to get the bass gear out and hit the road for a dawn start at Lake Somerset.
The acquisition of Melbourne based Streaker boats by iconic Brisbane boat builder Cruise Craft hasn’t attracted all that much attention. Maybe that’s a good thing and maybe it isn’t, but from a consumer’s point of view, having the brand under the Cruise Craft roof is nothing but positive.
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