November is when many things start to increase, such as the size of your mate’s moustache, or the monthly rainfall. But more interestingly this is when the fishing action really heats up.
The most important thing about November is that it marks the close of the barramundi season. This closure begins on midday the 1 November and finishes on the 1 February at midday. While this closed season is in place you are not allowed to intentionally target and take barra, this is to ensure the fish can breed successfully and produce many more fish that we can catch for years to come.
There are still plenty of other fish on offer and one that is a firm favourite for north Queenslanders, is the finger mark. This wonderful fish is targeted with a variety of different techniques but the most popular method recently is using soft plastics. Plastics around the 5-7” size are ideal and a variety of tails have been working from flick baits, shads and even the humble wriggler tail.
Matching the correct jighead to the plastic you are using is another important part of the rig and this will vary depending on the depth you are fishing and the amount of current that is around. A jighead weight of about 5/8oz has been the go. Keeping your lure on the bottom is vital when fishing for fingermark so have a few different jig weights in you tackle box.
November is a mixed bag of conditions; it can herald some great weather that allows for plenty of offshore fishing and then some weather that makes heading offshore seem like a nightmare. When the conditions have allowed a trip out wide, the fishing has been great with all the reef species coming to the party.
Fish, such as coral trout, have been a consistent catch with numbers scored over productive reef structure. Large bommies that have a good show of bait are definitely worth a look, and often many other species such as red throat emperor, spangled emperor, trevally and mackerel can all be caught as well. Try fishing a little deeper next time you are out in the 30-50m range as often the coral trout and other fish will become slightly bigger in this deeper water.
You will also have the chance to tangle with a few other prized reef fish, like the sought-after red emperor and nannygai. They are fish that fight a lot harder than the coral trout, which will test your gear and put a smile from ear to ear when landed successfully.
Largemouth nannygai and red emperor are a schooling fish and where you catch one there will be others around, so stay on the ball as this will hopefully see you hooked up more than once.
Overall, the barra may be off the cards but this surely doesn’t mean the fishing slows up with plenty of fish to be caught for the keen angler.Reads: 731