A Chilly start to summer
  |  First Published: November 2011

Global warming my butt, with the coldest inshore waters we have seen for a long, long time I would be more worried about slipping into another ice age.

Needless to say our fishery has changed slightly because of this as it has taken a lot longer this year for our summer species to arrive in numbers and take up their usual habits. We have had some periods of brilliance but when the wind blows in conjunction with our cooler waters the fishing slips into silent mode, but surely it won’t last much longer.

Fishing in the past month has certainly been a bit below par compared to previous years, although we have still had some good sessions on the barra.

I don’t know what other anglers may think but I would like to see our barra season extended to the end of November and reopened at the start of March. In November the fish are still not at their crucial stage when it comes to spawning and it would allow an extra month for tourism opportunities. By reopening a bit later many of the fish will have definitely spawned by the time the barra nets go in, rather than be taken while some are still in full roe.

With the barra season now closed most anglers will start turning their attention to other species such as threadfin, blue salmon, fingermark, jacks and grunter. Apart from jacks these other species are foragers and are easily targeted over rubble bottom with live greenback herring on a running rig.

The up-current slopes of most deep holes are a good place to start looking especially if your sounder shows jagged looking bottom. Keep an eye out for echoes on your sounder that are green or yellow as this means the fish are on the move compared to red when they are holding up.

Many anglers put too much emphasis on looking for red blobs on their sounder and they dismiss the lesser echoes for weed or current, but that’s enough tips on that as the rest is up to you.

During November the offshore scene will change as well. The Spaniards will all be offshore around the reefs completing their annual spawn. By this time of year most mackos will be up around the 30lb mark and provide great sport at that size.

Just remember that there is a bag limit of three per angler and their minimum size is 75cm. You should also avoid taking any large fish over the 40lb mark as many are known to carry ciguatera poisoning.

Reef species will also be on the move to deeper waters as we approach the summer period. Trout and red throat emperor will be best encountered on the 30-40m slopes and fish such as red emperor and scarlet sea perch will be best targeted at night.

But a word of warning for twilight anglers: study your weather before heading out, as November usually heralds the start of the northwesters and they can be an unpleasant surprise to wake to in the early hours of the morning. They are quite often associated with the onset of thunderstorms as well.

Call me on 0418 538170 if you would like to book a trip targeting other species during the closure or for the opening of next years barra season.

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