Follow the warm water
  |  First Published: October 2007

I look at October as the start of the Summer season. Even though the hot weather hasn’t quite arrived, the Summer species usually start to bite well before the heat sets in.

I think we should be in for a good season this year after some heavy rain in August which should get the rivers firing in the coming months. Last month I got the jack gear out but it’s not really til October-November that I really seriously start targeting these prime sportfish.

Water temperature plays a large role in how active the Summer species become this month because the weather is usually very fickle and a few cold days can shut the fish down. But then a few hot and balmy days will fire them up.

The numbers of quality bream in the system should start to dwindle now with only the odd big fish getting caught.

Whiting will start to be the more popular and last month saw some good numbers of quality fish showing up. The bigger fish don’t get that big by being stupid so when targeting whiting one should fish as light as possible.

This Winter I did a lot of my breaming with 2lb fluorocarbon. I would top-shot my reel with 100m of 2lb and fish my plastics on a light 1kg to 3kg rod. At the top of the tide when I normally used to struggle to get bream in the gin-clear water, we actually caught good numbers.

It was really evident when one of us would go back to fishing 4lb or 6lb leader in the same conditions. The 2lb would still be getting fish after fish, while the heavier lines were struggling to get bites. I am going to give the whiting a good go with this same gear this year and see if we can get some quality fish.

The flats opposite the Fingal boat ramp and up around the piggery are good spots to start looking, Try to fish early morning for the bigger fish because they are usually a lot keener to bite at this time of the day. The lack of boat traffic is also a big plus.


It surprised me just how many good-sized whiting were getting caught over the flats on small hard minnows. The ones that are keen to hit the little crankbaits are usually quality fish so if you are doing it tough with bait, take a chance and chuck a few hardbodies around over your usual whiting spots. The little sinking poppers and deep-diving Sugar minnows in the Bassday range were the standouts.

Big-eye trevally and GTs will also be around in numbers with the start of the warmer water. Keep an eye out for these fish harassing baitfish. A quick cast into the action can result into an instant hook-up.

Early morning and late afternoon are the best times and I usually drive around for a bit to see if there are any bust-ups that I can cast at. The trevors usually go off after a fair bit of rain.

Current eddies, rock walls, bridges and water colour changes are all good places to start looking for trevally. Chucking poppers around in the early morning and getting smashed by a good-sized trevally is some of the most exciting fishing that you can get into locally.

If you enjoy catching wild river bass then this is one of the last months that you will still be able to chase them in the Tweed River before they head up into all the little creeks. I didn’t get much of a chance to chase them this year as the bream tournaments kept me busy but I will definitely be trying to get a few this month.

Small crankbaits and poppers are the best way to get them. There is no shortage of snags to cast at in the upper reaches so simply pick a section of bank and start casting.

Just make sure to upgrade your leader size because they usually hit hard and head straight back into the snags.


With the currents starting to do their work warming up the water, the razor gang shouldn’t be far behind. If the water warms up enough then the mackerel should be an option on the shallow reefs.

It’s not hard to see when they arrive because there is usually a flotilla of boats sitting on Palm Beach Reef. Small black marlin and mahi mahi will also be starting to make their presence felt and if you haven’t yet pinned your first ‘beaky’, get out there this Summer and have a go.

The shallower reefs around Cook Island and the Nine Mile will produce some good snapper this month, whether you enjoy floatlining or chucking plastics for them.

All in all, October is a pretty good month to be fishing so get out there and have some fun.

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