Days are getting longer, cold winter mornings are a distant memory – this can mean only one thing, October is here and its time to get cracking! With the influx of warm water we’ve had a change of the guard from winter to summer species – out with the snapper and in with the baby black marlin. Our resident species also fire up as the water warms, giving Fraser Coast anglers many options during one of the windiest months of the year.
Our estuaries are alive with post-spawning flathead and bream looking to replenish themselves, as they finish breeding. Soft plastics and hardbodies from 50-120mm are perfect for targeting these species on the flats, up the creeks and creek mouths and off the jetties and rocks. Summer whiting are also back in play and while most anglers target them on baits, they’re suckers for tiny hardbodies, plastics and poppers in shallow water or fished tight amongst the mangroves.
Our common species of blackall, coral bream and cod are a reliable target this month, having been a common catch through the cooler months. Blue-spot tuskfish come back on the radar and there are still a few juvenile snapper and coral trout kicking around our shallow reefs.
October is the start of the annual migration of juvenile black marlin that move inside Fraser Island. For the next few months, these fish stalk the flats and work bait schools between Arch Cliffs and Rooneys Point. Fish ranging from 10-30kg can be sight cast, trolled, live baited and even caught on a pilly and gangs.
If you’re thinking of giving trolling for marlin a go this year, run your lures from 6-25m from the back of your boat at around 6 knots. Work the Wathumba Creek to Rooneys area in depths of 3-20m of water. A couple of teasers would help the cause, but aren’t essential. If you do this in these areas, you have every chance of catching a marlin and understanding what all the fuss is about. Last year, most of my billfish were caught around Wathumba in less than 10m of water and we had up to 10 shots a day at marlin. You gotta love the Fraser Coast.
Peter Weir with a Hervey Bay black marlin.Reads: 931