The cricket season, cicadas buzzing, backyard barbies – it’s all happening now and so is the fishing. Well let’s hope so because last November was a bit colder and the fishing a bit slower than normal.
All going to plan, though, fish activity should be improving on most fronts, apart from the possibility of cold ocean currents putting a dent in offshore and rock fishing opportunities.
While we’re all hoping for and expecting the arrival of nice warm water, the unfortunate reality is that some of the coldest currents can push in at this time of year and when that happens it’s pretty much like a big switch that gets turned off.
Ocean currents aside, we normally start seeing more kingfish moving in close this month and next.
As usual, the majority may be undersized rats, although they’re still heaps of fun to catch on light tackle and there’s always a sprinkling of bigger models that will quickly reef you on light gear. That’s especially when you’re fishing in close around our headlands and bommies.
If the water remains cold then salmon will stick around, but if we get any current over 19° there’s a good chance the sambos will thin out and some more kings and bonito will replace them as our main inshore predators.
It’s not easy to predict exactly what’s likely to happen during November because it’s still a bit of a crossover month and very dependent on water temps.
Estuary fishing is more predictable and everything indicates a good season for typical target species like flathead, bream and whiting.
Overall, this has been a pretty good year for bream so I can’t see why it won’t be a ripper of a Summer, with plenty of surface-luring action and some good fish among them for lure-tossers and bait-soakers.
Flathead have also been active around the lakes and Brisbane Water. November is another quite reliable flattie month so expect plenty of fish at the usual hot spots like The Entrance bridge, Toukley bridge, Woy Woy and Ettalong.
Of course, plenty of other spots around our estuaries will produce flathead this month, particularly when you present the fish with suitable offerings like live prawns, poddy mullet, whitebait, light-coloured soft plastics and so on.
Whiting are another great fish to chase in November. I haven’t been specifically targeting them lately but have consistently picked up a few decent whiting while chucking lures for bream around Tuggerah Lakes.
I reckon the better whiting months are still ahead of us but then again, more boats on the water mean more fishing pressure, so my advice is to get into ’em while you can.
If you’re not enjoying any success with surface lures, try small soft plastics or small metal vibes slowly worked along the bottom. Better still, try the real deal like live bloodworms, beach worms or pink nippers and see how you go.
In Brisbane Water and Lake Macquarie there should also be an increase in jewfish activity. Flounder and prawns will also become more active, so the estuary scene is looking good if you want a feed of fresh seafood.
Beach fishing can still be a bit hit and miss this month; those ocean currents obviously influence what happens.
It’s quite certain that some salmon will still be cruising the gutters, ready to pounce on almost any type of bait you’ve cast out.
Bream also are almost as certain, then we get to the possibilities like tailor, jewies, whiting, tarwhine and flathead. Any or all of them could show up, but sambos are still the most likely.
Rock fishing again depends on water temps. I could just about lay a bet that a few blackfish and drummer will be on the chew, mainly taking green cabbage, peeled prawns, cunjevoi and white bread.
Salmon would be the next most reliable fish to chase, along with the chance of rat kingfish, tailor and bonito. If you’re willing to fish after dark or you have them wired on soft plastics, jewies might also be worthwhile.
Realistically, though, I wouldn’t be expecting too much from the rocks but all you can do is try. I would mainly be trying for drummer, blackfish and sambos.
Groper are another to consider if you’ve got some heavy gear and can spend some time gathering decent crabs for bait.
Apart from that, if you want to pin a jewie this summer, I would be preparing for it now by putting in the time to round up some quality bait. It doesn’t get any better than local calamari squid, which can be caught from most of the recognised rock fishing spots at Frazer Park, Norah Head and Terrigal.
Alternatively, we have heaps of great inshore reefs in less than 10m depths where squid aren’t too hard to find. With our abundant inshore reef and kelp it really does surprise me how few people actually chase calamari along the Central Coast.
You don’t have to head to Moon Island out from Swansea to catch these squid. Plenty are available within 10 minutes from Terrigal or Norah Head ramps. Just head to a shallow kelpy reef and start casting.Reads: 1060