Pelagic festival in November
  |  First Published: November 2011

November is often a hot month in the Whitsundays, and not just in temperature, the quality of fishing also sizzles. In particular, options for pelagics are all over the anglers’ menu.

Fast fish time

There’s nothing better than having a hectic session on big tropical pelagics, we had such a session on a recent trip. We found a few large schools of fish on our Lowrance HDS sounder that were hanging close to the bottom. There were loads of thick arches that looked like pelagic fish because of the erratic way they were moving about on the screen.

We dropped down a couple of TT Switchblade HDs in 1.5oz and 2oz. After letting them fall to the bottom, we started to work them back up through the school with a fast wind-and-jig style of retrieve. Only seconds in, both rods were buckled over and connected to two solid, charging queenfish. The frenzied session continued on with many more double and triple hook-ups on 1m+ queenfish and plump lipped golden trevally for variety.

The fish were in numbers and in the mood to eat – a common scenario of great fishing for any type of species!

Queenfish, giant trevally and golden trevally are the most common pelagics found around the Whitsundays many reefs, rocks, edges and sandy bays. These swift, opportunistic fish should be well worth targeting with the warm tropical waters of November.

Generally, the shallow areas seem to hold smaller sized fish. Sandy bays, shallow coral bommies and rocky edges will hold schools of these fish in smaller sizes. However, when you target deep water areas, you’ll find bigger fish. Big pelagics just love deep blue water.

If you take note of any big queenfish or GT that you’ve ever caught, it’s likely that it came from or close to deep water of at least 8m. There are always exceptions, but if you’re targeting big pelagics, it pays to look for those fishy spots with deep water nearby.

Faust leading the way

Peter Faust Dam should also offer some excellent fishing opportunities during November for both impoundment barramundi and sooty grunter. Water temperature in the lakes are really starting to get up there, which means the barramundi will be more active and feed more often.

Compared to other lakes like Awoonga, Monduran and Teemburra, Peter Faust seems to be fishing the best for size and numbers of fish. The overflows of early 2011 have seen many fish escaping from QLDs dams and this seems to have had quite an effect on the fishing. Now with many of the lakes still at near full capacity, it’ll only take a small wet season for them to overflow and loose even more big fish, which could be bad news for lakes like Awoonga where the fishing seems to be very quiet.

The Barra Trophy tournament was held at Peter Faust Dam in late September produced 18 barra over the two sessions with an average size of 91.7cm. There were also five sooty grunters caught with an impressive average size of 45.2cm.

We entered the event and had a fun two sessions, landing our bag limit of six fish and loosing many more. We connected to a good size range of fish too, with about four over a metre and another five or so between 60-85cm mark. This shows there’s a good size range of fish in the lake and these should be biting well as we move into December.

Local fishing guide, Lindsay Dobe of Proserpine Bait & Tackle has also been catching some great fish on charters in both shallow and deep water. If you don’t have much experience fishing for impoundment barramundi, we’d highly recommend a trip with Lindsay not only to catch fish but to learn how to do it for your future trips.

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