September – A good time to fish!
  |  First Published: September 2007

September is a perfect time for fishing the saltwater of the Whitsundays. There is a lot of variety of species and styles to select; coral trout with deep baits, giant trevally on surface poppers and fishing the shallow flats for mangrove jacks and bream.

Rock walls and Jetties

The many rock walls and jetty structures around the Whitsundays are great places to fish with bait and lures. They usually hold large amounts of baitfish, which hang around the pylons and other cover. These are good places to fish at night or early in the morning with live baits or fresh dead baits such as herring, mullet or squid. The best jetties to fish are those with masses of baitfish ­ the more baitfish, the greater the chance of hooking up.

In September around the jetties, you can catch fish like mangrove jacks, bream, flathead and even fingermark. Other fish that will smash fresh bait include queenfish and small trevally. They aren’t great eating but are a lot of fun to catch.

It’s best to fish as light as you can, use light line, small sinkers and swivels and a small hook. This ‘finesse’ rigging gives you more bites from fish and a lot more enjoyment.

Flats fishing

A great way of catching some different fish is to cast soft plastics around the sandy beaches and shallow coral flats. Flathead, bream, queenfish, trevally, coral trout, mangrove jack and tuskfish are all likely targets. Any large pieces of cover like a mangrove tree in the middle of a sandy flat, large rocks on the shoreline or coral crevices will hold these types of fish.

Our favourite technique is to cast small 3” to 5” soft plastics on really light leader of 5-10lb fluorocarbon and 5lb braid. If you are fishing around sharp areas like coral, the fish can easily cut you off, so the best option is to use heavier line. Walk along the edge of the water, casting to any likely looking areas or move quietly around with a boat, both options are great.

Trevally on surface lures

If you want a big challenge and like catching huge fish on lures, giant trevally on surface lures are the go! Also known as GT popping, it is an awesome sport which more people are getting into, especially around the Whitsundays.

Big GTs can be found in schools around coral reef edges, and usually inhabit bommies close to deep water. We have found that points in the reef and rocky islands can be very good areas which are worth a few casts with a giant surface lure.

Nomad’s new stickbait-type surface lure is an amazing lure for big GTs. It has been catching a lot of fish out at the Coral Sea and Marion Reef where dogtooth tuna, wahoo and GT have been pounding them with relish. Try to get big GT in as fast as you can as they usually try to run around the coral or cut your line around seabed structure.

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