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So much to choose from
  |  First Published: October 2011



This month we have a wide selection of species to target, bass, estuary perch, bream, flathead, mulloway, kingfish, carp, mullet and trout, for a start.

The main species that are targeted along my stretch of river will be Bass, EPs, Carp and Mullet. You might also pick up a bream or flathead while fishing for bass and EPs, they like eating the same kind of lures.

This month lure selection for me mainly revolves around surface styles such as buzzbaits, paddlers like Jitterbugs, walk-the-dog lures, poppers, unweighted soft plastics and winged paddlers like the famous Crazy Crawler.

I like using these lures mainly for the adrenalin rush you get when you a hungry fish smashes the lure while you are retrieving it across the surface.

The water is relatively warm and the fish are most active during twilight periods, early in the morning for a couple of hours before the sun rises and dusk into the night.

You can fish all day but you need to fish deeper, so must use lipless crankbaits, soft plastics rigged on spinner harnesses (Beetle Spins), deep-diving crankbaits and vibrating blades.

The only problem you are likely to encounter this month is the increase in the amount of boat traffic, such as skiers and wakeboards. That’s why I like to be off the water around 10am and back on around 4pm.

Otherwise, get out the kayak and go exploring places powered boats can’t get to.

If you decide to fish among the skiers and wakeboarders you will need to hit the sweet spot every time you cast your lure, otherwise you will be wasting your time.

THE PLAN

Try this plan of attack: Fish the morning session working your way up-river casting surface lures at undercut banks, beneath overhanging trees, steep rocky points, submerged rocks and timber and along the edges of weed beds.

While it is still relatively dark, casting accuracy isn’t as important because the fish will be cruising around hunting for food. As the sun rises higher the fish will work their way back to their snags or resting places, awaiting food that swims past them.

Once the sun has risen, you need to be accurate with your casting because the fish will be holding tight to the structure.

If you see a likely snag that you think is holding a fish or two, don’t write it off if you don’t get a hit or hook-up on the first cast; sometimes you can put half a dozen casts in snag before enticing a fish to strike.

When the boat traffic increases by mid morning, head further up-river and find a good spot to pull up and set up to fish for carp and mullet.

These fish will bite right through the day and can be attracted with a bit of berley. Bread is the best bait for both species; you can use corn for the carp.

Rigging up is simple. For the carp I like a size 1 or 1/0 baitholder-style hook. If the river is flowing, use a little ball sinker, about 0 or 00, straight on top of the hook.

Take a slice of bread and tear it into quarters and wrap the bait around the hook, squeezing from the eye of the hook down to bend. Leave the bread that is covering the barb fluffy.

Dip the bait in the water, squeeze out the excess water and cast it out and wait for a hungry carp.

These fish are very powerful fighters and on light gear can give you a run for your money.

The set-up for bully and yellow-eye mullet consists of a running float and a size 10 or 12 baitholder hook. Don’t fix the float in one position; use a rubber float stopper that you can slide up and down your line so you can vary the depth you are fishing.

Bully mullet mainly swim from the surface to about half-way to the bottom and the yellow-eye mullet are generally found near the bottom.

Berley is the key to catching these fish. I use stale bread rolls and the crusts off my bread baits soaked in water.

Grab a handful of the soggy mess, squeeze out the excess water and throw it out around your float and the carp baits sitting on the bottom.

Don’t over-feed the fish with your berley, throw out a handful every 20 minutes or so.

Like the carp, mullet are awesome fighters and also make great bait for mulloway and sharks.

After a couple of hours of fishing for carp and mullet it should be getting later in the day and the boat traffic will start to disappear.

Get back out on the water in your kayak or boat and set up for the dusk session.

Start with diving lures, blades, spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits cast along the edges of the bank and weed beds.

Once the sun starts to go down, clip on your surface lures and let the fun begin.

Fishing at night with surface lures can be very exciting. Listen to your lure swimming across the surface in the pitch-black and then all of a sudden there’s an eruption of water and the drag screams to life – awesome stuff!

If you have good photos of live fish held in the appropriate way, email them to me with a short description of how you caught it and you might just see yourself in NSWFM.

This is also one of my busiest months instructing and guiding people in the sport we all enjoy. We still have spaces available at various locations across NSW if you would like to learn some new techniques or how to cast more accurately and increase your catch rate and minimize your lure loses. Visit www.younggunsfishing.com.au or email me.

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