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Exciting times on the water
  |  First Published: October 2012



October in the Whitsundays means exciting fishing. There’s usually lots of fish on the move that are mainly being driven by the weather warming up. This will signify better fishing all round for a range of species.

Islands

The fishing options around the Whitsunday islands in October should be excellent. GT, queenfish, various mackerel species, coral trout and sweetlip are among the common targets to expect this month.

Targeting pelagics in the Whitsundays usually requires finding spots with current and baitfish, as well as some structure and deep water nearby. Fishing around these sorts of areas is the best you can do and will give you a great chance at finding some fish. Our favourite spots to start looking are Double Cone islands, Hook Island, and occasionally inshore around Long Island and Shute Harbour.

Casting metal slice lures, like the Spanyid Raider, large plastics such as the larger sized Squidgy Flickbaits, and blades like the 1 1/2oz TT switchblade are all great lures to cast or troll for these fish. Keep your retrieve at a high speed.

Coral trout and sweetlip are the other prime targets when fishing the reefs and deeper shoals this month. Using fresh bait and jigging soft plastics and blade type lures on the bottom in the deeper waters is a top technique.

We like to locate some structure on the sounder, whether it’s some reef or underwater rocks. Providing there’s a bit of tide movement, these places are always worth a try.

Fishing the reefs that surround the islands are some of the best places to start looking. Our top spots include North Molle, Double Cones and Nara Inlet.

Rivers

In the local surrounding rivers expect the main targets of salmon and barramundi, with a variety of other desirable species including flathead, bream and mangrove jack.

Targeting the snags in the river can be a great technique where the riverbank has fallen into the river. The tree branches create an underwater haven for fish to escape predators and ambush baitfish that move by.

If using baits, be sure to get tight to the structure. Presenting a fresh cut bait with minimal weight to the area is a great way to catch a range of fish that may be present in the area. Using small circle hooks will have less chance of snagging on any tree branches underwater and also does less damage to hooked fish; they most usually get hooked in the corner of the jaw.

Using lures in these snaggy spots calls for a method that doesn’t allow you to get caught up on structure. This is where snagless rigged soft plastics perform at their best. You can sink them deep into the structure and work them out knowing you won’t lose an expensive lure. Unless of course you hook a fish that’s too big to pull out!

Peter Faust Dam

October at Peter Faust Dam is a standout month to fish the lake for barramundi.

As the weather warms up quite quickly, in combination with some favourable winds, the fishing will become easier for anglers.

Large metre-plus fish will start to become more common in the open basin of the lake, making trolling a great technique. Trolling anywhere out in the main basin of the lake could produce a fish but you can increase your chances by finding aggregations of bait and barramundi on the sounder and thoroughly working the area.

Deep diving hardbody lures work best during the day and at night be sure to try shallower diving models.

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