Promise of things to come
  |  First Published: November 2012

Although it’s not prime time for our Summer species all the signs are looking good for the coming months and even now we are starting to see a sprinkling of what’s to come.

Bream have migrated to the upper reaches of the estuary and you will find them lazing about the oyster racks and rock bars in the Karuah River and Tilligerry Creek.

Many anglers target them at high tide on warm still mornings by casting surface lures. There’s nothing better then watching a bream bow wave on your lure in just centimetres of water, the fish slurping and rolling until it finds your trebles.

You can also try smaller hardbodies and lightly weighted soft plastics.

You may even find that stud whiting will chase down your surface lures so it could be worth trying the adjacent flats.

Flathead are going ballistic throughout the Bay and there are some real crocs among them.

There has been limited rain over the past couple of months, making the water clear and warm. This has allowed the flatties to lie up high on the flats among the oyster racks and mangroves to ambush baitfish and prawns on the run-out tide.

I have been using more natural-coloured plastics to ‘match the hatch’ and the 70mm Squidgy Fish in black and gold or silver fox patterns have been the standouts.

A sure-fire way of nailing some nice lizards is an early morning assault on local beaches such as Corlette, Shoal Bay and Jimmys slow-rolling brined pilchards across the weed beds. But be sure to go early, before the swimmers and boat traffic send the fish to deeper water.

If you’re after a feed then take the kids out behind Soldiers Point and drift in 3m-4m of water with a few beach worms. Tasty trumpeter whiting are lining up to snaffle a worm on a No 6 long-shank hook and you can spend hours drifting around having fun.

It will be also worth throwing over a few witches’ hats because November heralds the start of blue swimmer crab season. North Arm Cove is a good place to start and be sure to use chunks of oily mullet for best results.


Daylight saving has allowed many anglers to fish the beaches late afternoon and into the evening. Mulloway are the prominent species and there’s nothing better then fishing a warm afternoon along Birubi Beach.

Go just before or after the full moon coinciding with a high tide mid-evening and you should be in luck.

I like to use the freshest bait possible, either live beach worms or fresh squid rigged on a dual-hook system such as the new Shinto 4/0 or 5/0 glow hook.

You will also find plenty of other species including a few bream, tailor and salmon so it’s also worth tossing out an extra rod.

To the north, Samurai Beach is fishing well with sand whiting starting to move into the shallow gutters as the water warms.

I like to use a smaller 8’-10’ spin rod with 6lb braid and light fluorocarbon leader for these. Little weight is needed because most times big whiting hunt close to the shore break and it’s just a matter of flicking a live worm on a long-shank hook.


The East Australian Current is slowly trickling down from the north and swirling on the edge of the continental shelf. Already a few striped marlin have been sighted with local boat Lone Wolf tagging the first stripy of the season.

As December approaches the current will pick up and the water will warm and a few blue marlin will be racing around chasing skipjack tuna. Your best bet is to fish the edge of the current switch baiting or running a spread of three pushers with hooks.

The inshore fishing is good and some big kings have started to show around the bommies and shallow reefs.

Islands such as Broughton, Big and Little are all holding good kings but it pays to fish live bait on a downrigger and hang on.

The same areas are also fishing well for snapper with those anglers out there sunrise and sunset doing better, especially those laying out a berley trail and allowing their baits to drift down naturally.

The deeper reefs such as The 21 and The V are also producing snapper and a lot of anglers using slow octopus-style jigs with success.

The idea is to work them slowly just a few feet from the bottom. You can even leave them in the rod holder and let the boat do the work.

If you’re fishing baits in the same area then you should find a few morwong, nannygai and at night a few jew and trag on live bait.

Drifting in 40m-50m well north of Broughton will have you catching plenty of sand flathead but be sure to use Black Magic Snapper Snatchers for better results.

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