Salmon Invasion
  |  First Published: November 2010

At this time of year the fishing can be a real hit and miss affair when you are trying to target certain species.

We have cold water and a touch of warmer spring water mixing together on the Hunter Coast, so everything is on offer. Winter and summer fish overlap and it can be great fun wondering what will take the bait next.

We have a real salmon invasion here at the moment with fish up to 6kg being caught. Most of the bigger schools hold fish around 2-4kg; there are that many you can near walk on them and throw them into the boat if you wanted to.

The close reefs at this time of year can also hold big kingfish, trag, jew and thumper bream.

November is a great time to run out to the reefs and soak live yellowtail, squid and slimy mackerel. The days are getting warmer and the usual westerlies that start in August haven’t really affected us yet.

Trevally have been taken around the Hunter, and dedicated local angler Roger Pricter actually caught one in the Hunter River not so long back.

I had reports that a few barracuda were also taken south from the reefs. Barracuda are an unusual catch around here; it’s the colder water is what makes these fish turn up.

The beaches have been slow, but I think that is due to all the closures and fences Newcastle council have erected to keep anglers out of certain spots.

The big hole at the back of the Stockton soccer ground has tank traps in place to keep anglers out. They have also cut off a spot that was one of the best tailor places. It was around the road that run where the old punt used to go, behind the old service station.

Off the rocks drummer, luderick and tailor have kept anglers busy. Good size greenbacks usually make their presence known in November.

When targeting these species all you need is a float and a pilchard and you are set. Horseshoe Doggy Beach has been producing some great fish including flathead in excess of 5kg.

I have seen plenty of big flathead come out of the Hunter River. Flatties usually take live bait that is intended for a jewfish.

The area around Hexham in November can be the worst place for mosquitoes, but there are reports of big bream from this area.

I saw one thumper bream nearing the 2kg mark not long back. It was taken on a hardbody Halco bomber, just near the Ash Island bridge. The same angler said he had released three school jewfish all around 3kg.

Crabs have been reported in the Hunter River North Channel. From now until Christmas the blue swimmer crabs numbers will increase, so don’t forget the pots.

The best spots have been near the wrecks on the Stockton side and up around Fullerton Cove.

Don’t forget this month is the month insects hatch out, so a ride up the river might hook you a bass or two.

Around Seaham and Raymond Terrace they are already getting a few, but they should get into strike mode by the time this magazine hits the stands.

To find these fish, troll along the reedy areas and cast the snags. Also concentrating o one area and fishing it consistently can sometimes result in more fish.

Jitterbugs and poppers can be used to great effect in the afternoons just before sunset.

Don’t forget if you haven’t been using your boat all winter, check all your safety gear and especially your bearings on your trailer.

I say this as the past six or seven trips I have run into Fisheries when I have been out – I never seen them so much! In twenty years I have been pulled up twice, but in the last couple of months I’ve been pulled up seven times, so check everything on board.

I got talking to one of the officers and he said the majority of anglers forget a bucket with a lanyard attached. It might sound trivial but it’s important if you ever take water onboard.

The Fisheries officers also said lights have been a big issue as well.

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