Busy times on the water
  |  First Published: November 2011

November is one of the best fishing months for more reasons than one.

But you won’t be alone out on the water, you’ll have swimmers, jet skis, tubers, kayaks and anglers all enjoying the warmth and it can get ultra busy on the water so ensure you keep your cool.

I’ve had reports of ramp rage with people ending up in hospital, but I suspect there may have been some issues with crabs and crab pots going missing as well as just rang rage. As the water becomes busier crabs going missing becomes more and more common. Keep one eye on your pots at all times if possible. You can avoid the crowds by fishing low light times of the day or restrict your fishing to weekdays.

The whiting have been very reliable with excellent catches coming from the middle reaches of the passage. These fish are great sport for the whole family. Some of them have been measuring in at around 40cm, making them well worth of a bit of time and effort.

Keep in mind that whiting are very fussy with what they eat; your bait needs to be ultra fresh or still kicking. Bait caught the day you go fishing is best not the day before, as it goes backwards quickly in the warm weather.

If you need to get your bait the day before, try keeping it lightly chilled in an esky, this works especially well with live worms. Look after your baits and they will look after you.

The bream have been a reliable source of fun, keeping the kids and big kids amused with good hauls of decent size fish but there are plenty of pickers to keep your bait stocks low. Bribie Bridge, Ningi Creek, Bullock Creek have all been producing consistent results.

If I had to pick one spot alone, I would be working the rocky outcrops at the mouth of Ningi Creek as they are prime real estate for big feeding bream as the area is covered in food.

Flathead have been targeted heavily at the moment with most anglers doing well on bait and soft plastics. There are a lot of guys doing well on blades too. If I could make a suggestion it would be to take a handful of plastics and blades, give them all a good workout and see what works best for you.

Anchor up and sink a few baits out the back and send your partner up the front flicking blades or plastics. I have seen this very simple technique angle fish on many occasions. It also works just as well if you like drifting with the tide, with the bait out one side and lures out the other and you will soon work out which style is bringing more fish to the net.

There have been a few nice jew patrolling the passage, most of which are just under the legal length of 75cm. These fish need to be handled with the utmost respect; treat them like gold and release them as quickly as you can to ensure no stress or harm of any kind to the fish. Take a quick happy snap and let them go.

While taking photos and handling them make sure your hands are wet and always support the fish by placing one hand underneath the stomach or close to it. Jews are a very fast growing fish, and one that is just under the legal length will grow to legal length within a few months.

Queenfish, mangrove jack and estuary cod will be taken this month on live or slab bait as well as lures, hardbodies, soft plastics or blades. You will need to use your brain to tangle with these guys, as they are three of the most powerful fish in the estuary. I rely on my brain to catch them, not luck. Good luck doesn’t land many, if any, of these fish.

They will chew through line, bust you up on the nearest piece of structure, straighten hooks, pull your knots to their limits and find any weakness in your gear or angling ability; and it all happens in a split second leaving you with no second chances.

There are a few crabs around if you don’t mind doing a bit of work for them. The majority of sand crabs (blue swimmers) and mud crabs have been good quality heavy crabs. Make sure if you do catch light empty crabs you let them go as their eating quality is very poor

There are lots of turtles, dugongs and dolphins around at the moments so take it easy out there, have a good look around and don’t rush home – the mowing will still be there tomorrow.

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