The Angler’s Octoberfest
  |  First Published: October 2011

It seems like just yesterday that we were here talking about the rains that will come in the months ahead, and how every angler is sweating on the first real big dumping of rain before November 1 for a taste of NQ run off fishing at its best.

I personally love the fishing this time of year, where the water is crystal clear, the sweat engulfs the fishing shirt, and the fish engulf whatever is put in front of them!

October has to be the best time introduce the kids into some wicked freshwater fishing with the sootys being oversized and hungry due to their spawning period. The rivers are at their lowest and fish can be much easier to find. Sootys eat just about anything which make them an easy target for kids learning to use lures. A great spot to take the kids is a little place an hour west of Townsville called Bivouac Junction, a very tidy camping ground perched right on the edge of the mighty Burdekin River. A short walk from the camp site and your in the heart of sooty country. Try pieces of meat or even prawns for bait, or if you want to give luring a go then the humble Koolabung blade is hard to beat. If all else fails just ask Joe Cooper the owner of Bivouac Junction for advice and tell him I sent you!


The creeks in October should be nothing short of scintillating, with all species now wide awake from the dormant period that can so often produce fruitless trips in winter. It’s also your last chance to extend your barra PB for 2011 with November 1 a temporary green zone to all barra anglers until February. Like September it’s big lure and bait time and it’s the time of year where monster fish can be caught frequently. Systems such as the Haughton and Morrissey’s are renown for big fish captures this time of year, and further north the Hinchinbrook channel headlands are a productive location to troll deep divers or jig soft plastics for big barra.

Let’s not forget about the incredible mangrove jack fishing that’s on offer this time of year as well. Some of the best jack fishing can be had if you push right into really skinny water. Try surface lures, as jacks love a good stick bait and put on an absolute clinic to get to it! Sometimes this is where you can experience two or more jacks racing to get to your lure. But you’ve only got one shot at them; if you miss the strike generally move on to new water and come back later. Other offerings such as small minnows and blades can often pick up the pieces from sulking surface jacks, and keep this motto in mind - Out of sight out of mind - the closer you get to them the more fish you will catch!


The mackerel will be the key focus right up until November as mass congregations of Spanish mackerel will find their way to iconic breeding locations. It’s here where you will find big mackerel in plague proportions at times. Areas such as the Palm Island group is a fail safe location to begin your search with wolf herring and garfish rigged on a wog head by far the best method of capture. Large poppers work well for mackerel this time of year as well as sinking stickbaits. Work deep water drop offs and work lures right to the edge of the boat, you’ll be surprised how close fish will follow you to the boat.

I’ve been testing Koolabung’s latest stickbaits and poppers over the past month and I have to say they will destroy the market in this department. They are made from a new top secret material that’s virtually indestructible, giving you more bang for buck. No more destroyed lures from GT and mackerel, and they can swing the heaviest of trebles with ease so you don’t lose that fish of a lifetime. Check out Tackleworld Townsville for the first batch that was recently released.

Do it cos ya love it!

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