Waters warming, fish firing
  |  First Published: October 2012

The Central Coast has had a run of great weather over the past month resulting in great conditions to head offshore and hit the reefs. Many have taken advantage of this and come home with some reasonable catches.

Sykes Reef is the standout, producing plenty of coral trout and sweetlip on the top of the tide.

Closer to land, good numbers of mackerel are being reported around North Entrance and Gatcombe Head; unweighted pillies are doing the trick with these speedsters. Red emperor have been located up around Rundle Island.

Around the harbour the mulloway are on the chew, especially up around the wharfs. Jigging soft plastics such as the Berkeley Jerk shad 5-7” or live bait have been the favoured methods.

In the Calliope River, the hot water at the start of the month was producing some excellent fish, such as threadfin salmon, estuary cod and plenty of metre-plus barra. However, as it got later on in the month, captures have decreased significantly. It is unclear whether this due to the river temperature increasing and dispersing the fish from this area or from the pro netters placing their nets across the hot water stream and netting the place dry.

Nevertheless, the river is still the best option for anglers to fish from the bank and have a good chance of tangling with a 1m+ barra, along with some quality bycatch.

Standout lures have been Halco Hamma in green and gold, Tilsans Barra gold and black and the ever faithful Squidgies 100mm Slick Rig in white. Cast the lure out into the current and allow it to be taken downstream, then hold it in the current, jigging and pausing it for a few seconds – the barra always seem to take it on the pause.

Fishing this part of the river has been most productive three hours either side of low tide, especially if it coincides with dusk.

Trolling deep diving lures in the deeper section of the river have been producing blue salmon and grunter.

Upstream around the historical village has been quiet, however with water temperatures on the rise we should start to see mangrove jack showing up as the month progresses. Rapala X-Raps XR6/XR8, Lively Lures Mad Mullet or live bait will tempt these fish.

A few flathead have been taken at the mouth of the Boyne River on yabbies and prawns. A lot of those frustrating catfish have also been reported throughout the system.

As the water heats up I have my sights set on the upper reaches of the Boyne around Pikes Crossing. This time of year should see the barra, tarpon and jacks start to fire up.

Closed seasons are also approaching so please abide by them and report offenders to the DPI Fisheries - 24-hour Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116.

Closed seasons are as follows:


Throughout the Queensland East Coast, a closed season applies to barramundi from midday 1 November to midday 1 February.

Throughout the Gulf of Carpentaria and adjoining waterways west and south of the intersection of longitude 142°09'E with the shore at high tide, from midday 7 October to midday 1 February (but possession on boats allowed until midday 17 October).

It is prohibited to deliberately target barramundi for catch and release during these closed seasons, as the stress of capture may prevent a fish from spawning.

Coral reef fin fish

From 12 October to 16 October 2012, and 11 November to 15 November 2012.

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