Offshore will produce goods
  |  First Published: November 2012

Who would have thought the start of October we would be experiencing cold waters and some crazy winter weather patterns? Where is the beautiful heat and warm waters?

Normally the start of October brings on 30ºC in our waters but we have been lucky if it gets over 25ºC. I wonder if our government would extend the start of the barra closure for us? I think we all know the answer to that one…

Before the closure we have seen some reasonable barra fishing, but not the big numbers as yet. I have found most fish were hanging in the shallows rather than exploring the deeper holes as they normally would this time of year.

Live baiting the shallows has been the best method when compared to trolling and jigging plastics, which we would normally be doing in October.

Other species have seen some changes locally with the school-sized fingermark disappearing but the larger offshore fish have started to arrive. We are now catching fish around the 5-6kg in the channel. Golden grunter have also been around in good numbers and they have been mainly in the shallows on larger tides and deeper on the neaps. Big live greenback herring on a running rig has proven the best for the larger fish.

Offshore has been firing well for all reef species thanks to the slightly cooler conditions and the small black marlin have continued to bite through what has been described as the best season in years. Sailfish have also been rather prevalent lately, and are always a welcomed by-catch.

November should see our waters finally warm up and, although barra are off limits, there are plenty of top sportfish to target, in particular threadfin salmon. I have found that more clients are now booking through the closure to have a crack at these stunning looking speedsters. Many of the salmon we catch are over 110cm and some have nudged the 150cm in the past.

I mainly jig plastics for threadfin salmon, however when they school up trolling can be rather productive. If you look around most of the deep holes up the creeks this time of year you will eventually run into them. I would rather catch them all day than barra.

Spaniards are also popular on the reef in November as they are in full spawning mode and are easy to catch. Trolled gar and jigging slices should account for some reasonable catches; remember that the bag limit is three per angler.

Now is a great time for the game fishers, especially out on the Shelf. This is when the dog-tooth and yellowfin tuna thrive, not to mention wahoo and mahi-mahi. It is often the calmest time of year out wide, but be aware of the tropical thunderstorms so choose suitable anchorages allowing for big northwesterly wind changes during the evenings.

If you would like to come up and have a crack at some giant threadfin contact us for a charter at www.hookedonhinchinbrook.com and check out our Facebook page for all our updates.

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