Cruising on the Central Coast
  |  First Published: October 2015

What a great time of year we find ourselves in. Sure we’re still getting the occasional cool day and it’s a bit windy at times, but our local waters are now warming up nicely and plenty of fish are kicking into gear.

The usual suspects

The shallow lakes warm up quickly and places that were largely devoid of life only six weeks ago are now coming alive with prawns, mullet, bream, whiting, and flathead. A lack of rain through the latter part of winter resulted in thick weed growth however; a lot of slimy plant matter will die off as the water becomes warmer.

All the usual spots from Budgewoi to The Entrance are producing some reasonable bream on both bait and lures. As we progress through the month this trend should only get better. My picks for some bream action in the coming weeks are around the shallow weed beds in the lower reaches of the creeks or just outside from the mouths. The sandy channels and clearer pockets between the weeds at The Entrance, and from the bridge to the back of the islands should fire up nicely too.

Plenty of flathead should also be found around The Entrance, but remember to take your measuring stick as at least half of the flatties hooked are just on or just under the legal size of 36cm. Hopefully a few bigger fish closer to 50cm will come your way!

Brisbane Waters fishes similarly to the lakes at this time of year. Some parts may remain cooler than others due to depth and current flow. In general, the shallow flats adjacent to weed and other structures in the middle and upper sections of the system should house bream, flathead, and whiting.

Some winter favourites like blackfish, silver trevally and the odd salmon may also be active this month, particularly around the Woy Woy to Rip Bridge area. Jewfish are also a possibility in the same area.

Offshore Offerings

October isn’t one of the best months for offshore fishing but it is still worth heading out when the weather or sea conditions allow. This is an ‘in between seasons’ period as October isn’t particularly great for any one species, apart from the hordes of inshore salmon. Having said that, trevally, along with a few snapper, tailor, flathead and the odd kingfish are still very much on the cards over inshore reef, around headlands and bommies (bomboras). Get out on one of those super-flat days with clear water and better fishing will likely be down deep in 30m or more.

Offshore water temps are probably still going to be quite cold this month and temperatures out to 100m are still likely to be around 16 to 18deg at this stage.

Rock fishing can also suffer in very flat seas this month, as north westerlies are common. After a few days of these offshore winds the water clears right up, wash around the rocks is minimal and areas with lush green cabbage growth die off. Consequently, some fish move out into deeper water and others simply become difficult to catch. If this is the case and your chosen target species are bream, drummer or luderick, try to get onto the rocks nice and early or concentrate on late afternoon when light levels are lower. Lighter line, careful use of berley and dropping baits right in close, adjacent to shaded ledges with a little bit of whitewash are other things that can be done to increase the odds in your favour.

Of course, salmon are still around in numbers this month and despite the fact that some anglers don’t like them, sambos can at least save the day with some fun, sport-fishing action. At this time of year they become easier to catch on lures, although the good old Pillie on ganged hooks is still the best bet if just hooking into a few is the priority. The odd tailor, bream or trevally may also snatch a lure or pilchard bait while chasing salmon.

Beach fishing over the coming weeks, will see salmon become dominant species in the surf zone. Once again, this is all largely dependent on water temperature and how flat the surf ends up being at the time of fishing. Prolonged periods with flat seas also affect sand formations and sometimes the simple task of finding a gutter to fish may take more time and effort.

On the other hand, if nature is kind to us, the local beaches can also start producing a few more jewfish after dark from this time of year onwards. Normally, by November beach fishing is quite good, with a range of species on offer, so eventually we will see improvement.

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