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Think red in November
  |  First Published: November 2011



For many November spells the end to another fishing season with the official close of the barra season now in place. But it also encourages other anglers to fish the beautiful prosperous waters off Townsville.

With the mercury sky rocketing well above predicted temperatures, the fishing should heat up as well with all forms of shoal/reef fishing expected be productive in the coming months.

The barra season ended on a real solid note with memorable fish caught right up to the dying day. Systems such as the Bohle and the Haughton River produced many great fish. Many found big barra on the troll while others had good fun and accounted for plenty of numbers while hand casting amongst the fallen timber.

We are now faced with a switch in tactics and the mangrove jack becomes a very hot topic over the closed season. Mangrove jacks prefer smaller creeks and generally favour smaller lures.

Some of the best mangrove jack lures would have to be the Koolabung Bass Raider for a hardbody and the Koolabung 6/7g blade for a match the hatch presentation. Remember, elephants eat peanuts, so by that logic small lures often account for some of the biggest fish during the wet season.

Further offshore the bluewater scene has been absolutely electric lately with memorable catches coming from all sections of the water column. As the Spanish mackerel fatten up for the spawning season there’s already indications that they are one step ahead of us.

Notorious areas such as the Palm Islands, Rib Reef and Bramble Reef have produced cricket score catches and should continue well into this month. The red and black Halco and red Bolt has done most of the damage on the troll, while sportfishers have had a blast with big poppers finding raging Spaniards beating XOS GTs to the lures. Keep a keen eye out for birds, as the predators won’t be too far away from big bait schools.

Once again the surface action has been second to none, with my new favourite the Koolabung popper accounting for some of the best GT fishing I have ever experienced. Not to mention the mackerel and the thug red bass to add to its list of victims. Don’t forget to see the guys at Tackleworld Townsville for any more information on this style of fishing.

Looking a little deeper the red throat, coral trout and red fishing has been 11/10 and with the water only getting clearer and temperature rising, November should be a great month to target these reef species.

With the mass bait schools around it’s no wonder the reef fishing has been so good; big red throat are starting to show up in big numbers. But the real action and my new found love has come from the non-descript depths between the major reefs. The red fishing has really stepped it up a notch and some memorable fish have been caught both day and night.

Look for isolated shoals, lumps and bumps. Even the tiniest indication of aquatic life in one spot could mean the fish of a lifetime is nearby and waiting to be hooked.

While bait works a treat as always, explore with other forms of lures such as knife jigs, soft plastics and blade style lures. Reds are avid lure takers but they may take a little time to figure out which form of lure they actually prefer. And yes, reds can be caught during the day, so keep your eye on the sounder for any signs of life in deep water!

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