Summer is quickly approaching – warmer and longer days are in the near future. November is going to be an excellent month for a variety of species in the southern bay, which include a large number of flathead and bream cruising the flats!
Flathead have been in good numbers recently and have been caught on the last half of the run-out tide around draining flats and creek mouths. Soft plastics have been nailing the flathead and anything around 3-5” will work a treat. My favourite is the Atomic 3” Prong.
Being bottom feeders, flathead require a heavy jighead that can reach the bottom, which is used with soft plastics. Anything between the 1/8-1/2oz size with a hook to match the plastic being used is ideal. When chasing these fish on lures, you need to be able to cover ground. Drifting is a great way to do it. Drift and cast in front of the boat for a very successful technique. This lets you cover a large area.
Bream are in feeding mode after spawning and should be fired up throughout this month. I’ve been targeting them recently on surface lures and am having great success! When chasing bream on the surface, lowlight periods are preferred. During the day can also be very successful.
Any area with less than 1m of water with some kind of structure on the bottom is a great place to start. The structure can be anywhere from a sand flat with yabby holes to an oyster-encrusted rock bar. My favourite areas to chase this little sportfish on surface are shallow muscle beds around Macleay and Coochiemudlo islands. Lures that have been successful in these areas are the Atomic K9 Walkers, Atomic Pop 50, Bassday Sugar Pens and the Megabass Dying Fish in natural colours.
For the bait fishos, any bait with a bit of smell in it has been producing quality fish lately. Baits such as mullet fillet, mullet gut, squid and chopped pilchards have been the best choices. When chasing bream on bait, it’s very important to have a berley trail going to draw the fish in. A berley trail can be as simple as a few broken up pieces of bread chucked out into the water every few minutes.
Snapper have been on the chew, but are few and far between. Best reports have been coming from Potts Point on Macleay Island and the artificial reef off Peel Island. The preferred method of catching these fish has been on a snell rig with squid, gar or mullet used as bait. Throughout the month, I’ve been seeing a lot of crab pot floats out on the water. Crabbing has been fairly slow from reports, but it’s still early in the season.
It was a big season for squid in the southern bay with many good reports of quality squid being caught. There are still a few squid around and if you’re willing to put the effort in, you’ll reap the rewards. Redland Bay, Victoria Point, Cleveland and Manly foreshores are good places to start your hunt for some calamari.
With summer approaching, mangrove jacks will be on most anglers’ minds, with a few reports already of jacks up the creeks and canals harassing bait. Summer whiting are already in the bay with reports of fish coming from the Banana Banks, Pelican Banks and the mouth of the Logan River.
November is surely going to be a great month for fishing in the southern bay with a variety of species to be caught! If you want to follow my fishing adventures, like my Facebook page – Ryan’s Fishing, and follow me on Instagram @ryans.fishing. Until next month, tight lines and screaming drags.
The author with a flathead taken on an Atomic 3” Prong with stinger hook.
This bream smashed a Megabass Dying Fish on sunrise.
An early morning bream taken on an Atomic Crank 38.Reads: 726