The action escalates
  |  First Published: October 2011

If you’re keen to fish, this month there are plenty of ways to scratch your itch, whether you like wetting a line offshore, from the rocks rock or in the estuary.

This month offshore action is pretty flat out, from flathead to snapper.

If you’re after a feed of lizards you should head straight out from the bar, hit the 50m line and start bottom bouncing with soft plastics.

If you seek a bit more rod-bending action, head south, off Nobbys, Tacking Point Lighthouse or the golf course and you’ll get into some good snapper.

This month fish should still be holding on the inshore reefs. If things are quiet then a quick change to some wider grounds can yield good results.

Best options for big snapper are 7” jerk shad-style plastics rigged on 3/8oz and 1/4oz jig heads with 5/0 hooks.

A variety of colours always go well and mixing them up can be the difference between a few and many fish brought to the boat.

On the wider reefs pearl perch and morwong will also be possible.

If you prefer to fish with bait, bonito, pilchards and squid will be prime selections.

Some kingfish should be on offer if you head north. The FAD is often a good starting point but it has been removed for cleaning. Hopefully it will be operational before long.


This month is a bit of a transition month on the stones but if you put in the effort the rewards can still be good.

Drummer have been on fire and should still be viable options this month. Tacking Point, Nobbys and Shelly Beach have produced some quality fish recently.

Those wishing to snare some quality bream will have their best opportunity on the top of the tide with fresh baits, either unweighted or very lightly weighted.

Fishing close to the washes can get you some good-sized bream. Around October 20 onwards should be good for an afternoon session as the fading light coincides with some good high tides.

If you’re looking to chase mulloway then these tides will also suit you, with live poddy mullet the prime bait, while 5” soft jerkbaits on 1/4oz and 1/2oz jig heads also effective.

The break walls should be productive with bait schools increasing. But the best spots will be off the headlands, with Shelly Beach and Point Perpendicular top spots to target some school mulloway.


This month we’ll see a rise in the water temperature and an increase in fish activity in the estuary.

Already the water is steadily warming and weed beds that were devastated earlier in the year by floods are bouncing back beautifully. On a recent outing I was surprised at the speed at which some areas were growing.

With bream starting to spread throughout the system, this month we should see the first of a run of quality fish caught on surface lures.

In the past I’ve always waited for the cicadas to crank up before getting out the surface lures but already fish are looking upwards and this month we should see quality bream taking lures off the top.

Start with pencil styles and small to medium poppers, which will imitate wounded baitfish and fleeing prawns.

It’ll be time to head up river and even get the kayak out and get into the waters that the boats struggle to get to.

Whiting also start up this month. Look for the weed beds when chasing them this month. Large flats with scattered weed are happy hunting grounds for whiting.

For a spot of bait fishing, fresh prawns, worms or yabbies will ensure you get a mixed bag.

Drifting the flats this month will get you flathead and whiting. If you cast to the edges of the weed beds you should also do well on luderick, which have been in big numbers.

Those soaking the weed for luderick have done well along the coal wall and in Limeburners Creek.

Best spots for bream on bait will be the coal walls, look for deeper spots and fish as light as you possibly can. Remember, it’s not always about how far you can cast, especially when fishing from the bank.


Recently I’ve been taking the kids on some short sessions fishing with fresh prawns. We stick to the canal flood walls, which are super-friendly for kids.

The run-in or run-out tide have been fine, it hasn’t really mattered as long as there is some flow.

We haven’t had a poor session yet, catching quality bream, flathead and flounder. Madeline, 3, caught her first fish with minimal assistance (she needed help lifting it out of the water).

The best tip is to be patient, prepared and make it fun for the kids.

I take a chair for Madeline to sit on and climb because as the rail is high.

Lots of food is always good – some bread to feed the fish and lightly weighted prawns fished close keep the kids happy.

So make sure you take the kids fishing this month and share your passion. Remember, it’s not about you catching the fish, it’s about them.

Wayne Bale with a mulloway caught fishing the North Wall. Bigger models will be around this month.

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