Half-way through Spring and all the signs of the warmer weather are becoming more apparent. Warmer days are becoming more regular and the good old afternoon storms rolling over the Coffs coast are now more common.
October has to be up there with my favourite fishing months.
The start of daylight saving also marks the start of a number of great fishing opportunities, especially for those of us stuck in 9-to-5 jobs.
My kayak practically lives on the roof of my car from this point on and there is nothing better than knocking off work and having enough time to do the running around and still have a couple of hours of light to get on the water after a bass, bream or mangrove jack.
If you want to get up the creek to chase some of these iconic species, walking the bank or a going in a small tinny is a great way to do it but you really want to get into a canoe or kayak.
Even though most of our local bream and jack water is readily accessible by larger boats, hitting it under paddle power gives you a much more stealthy advantage and you’ll be surprised how good this can be.
When it comes to bass water on the coast, paddling it with a canoe or kayak really is the only way to access a lot of the water and in the middle of the season when there is a lot of fishing pressure, having access to the less frequented areas can make all the difference.
Another great option to think about when the local systems start getting pressured, or if you just want to try something a little different, is taking a short trip inland to one of the many impoundment options available.
A couple of my fishing buddies came back with great stories of the number of bass they found only a couple of hours up the road at Toonumbar Dam, near Kyogle.
There are some great impoundments to be found and a lot can be fished from Coffs in a day if you wanted. Bass, yellowbellow, Murray cod and others are all on the cards – just grab some of the local maps and see what you can find.
A few of those bass impoundments are open to electric or paddle-powered craft only – another good reason to get your hands on some paddles.
The October long weekend marks the opening for the trout season. It’s not for everyone but there is definitely a lot to be said about getting up into the New England region and spending a day walking the banks of some of the most beautiful trout water around.
If the coastal and inland fisheries aren’t really your go, there is still great fishing happening along the coast and offshore.
As I write, we are in the middle of some very inconsistent weather with calm, fantastic fishing conditions one day and blowy, horrible seas the next, so it’s really a case of keeping an eye on the weather and picking your days to hit the beaches, rocks or offshore grounds.
Those who have been able to get in some hours offshore report good kingfish around the washes of the islands. They’ve been mainly rats up to 75cm but a few better fish have been mixed in with them.
Poppers and big soft stickbaits up to 10” will work well. Try something like the new Z-Man 8” Streakz; these have proven pretty effective on the kings lately and they have been pulling their share of reds from the reefs, too.
This month I’m looking forward to spending a lot of time in my kayak around the upper Bellinger and Kalang systems chasing bass. I’ll also take a few weekends to hit some of those impoundments I was talking about.
It’s also that time that you’ll probably come across me poking around in the upper tidal reaches of all the small estuaries along our coast, trying to fool a few jacks and bream.
When we get good weather I’ll be sneaking offshore to try and score a feed.Reads: 934