Plenty to chase while barra breed
  |  First Published: November 2015

The start to October was a somewhat frustrating one with below average temperatures and strong winds keeping that water temperature down for the first couple of weeks.

Towards the end of October the waters warmed up and the bigger barra became a bit more responsive. Previous to this period we mostly concentrated on smaller school sized barra in the shallows, and there has been plenty of them willing to bite, especially on the larger tides. This year was by far the latest season I have seen for 20 years and its happened in the past too when we have periods of drought. Cooler waters hanging around well into October is certainly not a common occurrence.

Some good action has been experienced during October in regards to golden snapper. Deep waters have been providing well with abundant schools around the smaller tides. They respond well to plastics, vibes and livies. It all comes down to how to find these patches of rubble and rock that produce these popular sportfish.

Offshore the small black marlin never really came on in a big way, however, a few boats have seen up to 5 a day during the better days. There’s also been some reports of some good sailfish in the reef openings with the southern end of Otter being a well known area for them. Schools of Spaniards have also been sporadic, showing up thick in some areas while adjacent reefs have seen no action at all.

A few triple tail, otherwise called jumping cod, have also started their summer campaign with some noticed recently around floating timber and at the jetty on the Cardwell foreshore. Another good place to find them is holding on any big logs out on the flats up near the Tully and Murray Rivers in Rockingham bay. They will take a shallow hardbodies cast at them, or even a floating pilchard drifted onto their nose. An ugly but strong, tasty rare catch and they put up a massive fight all the way to the boat.

Anglers looking to November for a fish should maybe try targeting golden snapper and big golden grunter at night in particular. There are many headland areas with drop offs around them and these are good areas to start looking. Around tide changes on the making dark moon tides is an ideal time to start fishing for them.

As far as daytime goes, Hinchinbrook has some great mangrove jack fishing. Flicking small diving lures in tight to mangroves is a popular way of fishing for them or if you are a bait fisher, you can’t beat a nice mullet strip or even a hole pilly on a 2 hook gang rig. Live greenback is always a great back up bait if mullet isn’t available.

November might see the arrival of the northwesterlies too, which can make the northern end of the channel as well as missionary bay a rather hard place to fish. It sometimes pays to fish further south when this happens. Lucinda has a boat ramp at Dungeness and there’s also Fishers Creek out on the highway just over the Cardwell range (tide permitting). You really need about 1.4m of tide to squeeze in and out at Fishers creek, so low tides in the late afternoons don’t work too well if you want to get out before dark.

Barra are out of bounds now until 1 Feb 2016 and any accidentally caught must be returned immediately to the water. There are plenty of other species to target now and I would have to say that threadfin will be my favourite over the coming month.

We will have our online masterclass on Threadfin available early in the New Year for those interested in taking the shortcut to achieve becoming successful with this species. This is one for the Brisbane anglers as well. Stay tuned in the coming months.

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