Great expectations
  |  First Published: November 2008

This is one of those months when everything seems set to fire up but it doesn’t always live up to expectations.

Despite the weather being warm for a couple of months already, the sea temperature can be a real mixed bag with warm water one day and cold currents the next.

Although fishing can be hard to predict this month, it should largely be an improvement on what we’ve had over the past six weeks.

Traditionally, this is one of the better months to pin a jewfish off the beach. Last month I mentioned stocking up on some southern calamari for the bait so now I’ll pass on a few more tips that should increase the chance of a jewie hook-up.

Firstly, the moon. The only thing that’s worth mentioning is that the night before, the night of and the night after the full moon are generally a total waste of time.

If the sky is clear and the moon blazing brightly, just stay at home. If there is some thick cloud covering the moon than it could still be worth going, but only just. To put it simply, I hate the full moon !

Apart from that, it’s best not to worry that much about what the moon is doing and concentrate more on the tides.

Basically, a rising tide that peaks sometime after dark is what we want.

High tide could be half an hour after sunset or it could be at 3 am. Either way, it’s a good idea to pick a three-hour period and fish up to an hour or so after high tide.

The first half of the run in can also be good, particularly in the first half-hour after sunset.

Dead low tide can still produce fish if there is enough water in the gutter, but a falling tide can be another dull period.

One of the few beach spots along the Central Coast where a falling tide is actually worth fishing is right next to the run out at The Entrance and a few hundred metres up the beach from there. In this case, I would be fishing the first two hours of the run out.

In summary, concentrate your efforts after dark, don’t worry about the moon too much and use top quality bait. Calamari is at the top of the list but big beach worms, mullet heads, tailor heads or a fillet of mullet or tailor are also very good.


Last November there were heaps of small bream along our beaches so perhaps that could be the case again. If they don’t show up like last year, there’s still a good chance of catching a couple of bream off the beach from now right through the warmer months and into next Autumn.

Salmon have still been cruising the surf zone but they were nowhere near as thick this Spring as they were last year.

The few times we’ve been battered by huge swell, the sambos and most other inshore fish have vanished for a week or two. A few sambos should hang around for a while yet and as we move towards the end of the month, the odd tailor may show up as well.

Rock fishing can be a bit hit-and-miss this month. Again, sambos are the main fish on offer for those casting pillies on ganged hooks, with a chance of tailor and bream.

Blackfish and drummer are probably the more reliable option off our local rocks, with Terrigal, Crackneck, Norah Head and Snapper Point just some areas worth fishing.


Offshore fishing should pick up this month, with rat kingfish building up in numbers and mixing with salmon and the odd tailor close in, while bigger kings are more likely out wide.

The hordes of leatherjackets may start to thin out if some warmer currents push down the coast but there’s no guarantee when it comes to these Aussie piranhas.

Jewfish could be worth targeting on the inshore reefs after dark. Again, fresh calamari is a top bait but live yakkas can be reliable as well.

Snapper, flathead and bonito are other possibilities this month, although it’s still a bit early for the bonnies at this stage.

Brisbane Water and Tuggerah Lakes have been slow to come good but the water has warmed up now and with an increase in prawn activity, the bream, flathead and whiting should also kick into gear.

Jewfish may also be worth a shot around The Rip bridge, Woy Woy and up towards the Gosford end of the system. Soft plastics, metal blades and other lures have become increasingly popular when it comes to estuary jewfish but if you’re not having much luck with lures and just want to catch a Brisbane Water jewie, a live mullet is a very reliable bait in this waterway.

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