Find the bait, find the fish
  |  First Published: October 2014

Warm weather, light breezes and sunshine is the order of the month for October.

Finally the warm weather is here and it hasn't come soon enough for me. This time of the year is what I look forward to over the winter period as the water temperatures rise, the baitfish move in and the fishing just gets better.

The Burnett river

The burnet has been fishing pretty well lately with some nice flathead, bream and whiting being caught throughout the river.

The surprise packet of late has been the salmon and grunter and one of our local super keen anglers Royce Taylor has been really getting into them. Royce has been getting salmon up to 1m long and grunter to well over 3kg and he has mostly been getting them fishing deeper water.

His technique is quit simple but needs to be done correctly to be successful. He fishes a variety of sinking lures like blades and soft plastics but he picks his spots based on the influence of the tide. It takes a fair bit of practice but once you get your head around presenting your lure to the fish at the optimal time it really isn't that complicated. You just have to spend more time on the water.

As the water warms there will be a lot more bait turning up in the river and this will fire up the fishing. We should see the start of the Spanish and school mackerel hot on the heels of the bait and that means early mornings on the close in reefs trolling or floating a bait.

The many different tuna species that traverse our coastline are also being following the bait schools and they are great fun and make great bait when fishing the reefs.

the baffle

Once again the Baffle has been fishing well with flathead everywhere and the mangrove jack and barra starting to fire up. Roger from Baffle Creek Caravan Park has been getting some great fish in the last few weeks. Roger says it's all about the tide if you want flathead. Fish the run-out tide around the sandbars around the mouth with small plastics or troll a hardbodied lure over the sandy drop-offs.

The mangrove jacks have started to show up around the rock bars and are hitting hardbodies and soft vibes. The water temperature will be on the rise quickly throughout the system and this should spread the jacks around so make sure you travel around looking for that warmer water as this will be where the active jacks will feed.


October is a great month for early offshore mornings as the weather warms. As previously mentioned the bait will be moving and so will the pelagics so grab a hand full of lures and slices and get into these great fighting speedsters.

Trolling for mackerel isn't that complicated; you tie on a proven lure like a 3m Halco Scorpion 120 in chrome and purple and you troll at around 8-10 knots and do loops around the baitfish schools until a big silver train grabs the lure. The key is speed, too many boats slow down because they aren't getting bites, what you should try first is deeper diving lures or a different colour but maintain the speed; they love lures moving quickly.

The bottom fishing has also been pretty good and should keep improving. The warmer water species like coral trout will really start to fire up when the bait moves in. Big live baits, blades or big plastics will also temp these great eating fish from their lairs.

October is a great month to be fishing so get out there and enjoy!

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