Sunrise and Sunset
  |  First Published: November 2007

There are two great joys in life which can be attained by anglers each and every day. They are wetting a line at sunrise and sunset. And in November, if you’re not willing to test out either of these time zones on the water, you’re missing out!

Not only are these the two times when the sweltering heat of the build-up abate, they are also your best chance of hooking into some great fish. If you can be on the water anywhere from 6am through to 10am or after 4pm then a hot bite is always a possibility.

Sunrise and sunset do not negate the effect of tide and moon phase on the fishing. However, despite the tide or time of month, fish will often be at their most active and accessible early in the morning and just before evening.

Lagoons and stretches of river which have ceased flowing are prime examples of the effect of the sun rising and falling. Next time you’re out camping or boating, check out the water nearby for the half hour around sunrise. Often you will see a dead body of water come to life with fish actively near the surface.

We rely on this when targeting black bream, saratoga and barramundi in the lagoons and rivers around the Aurukun wetlands. At these two times of the day, fish leave the sanctuary of cooler water and come to the surface to feed. You chuck a plastic frog, a popper or fizzer around a lagoon just before dark and you’d best be ready for a jolt when something comes a knocking.

As the land heats up during tropical November afternoons, anglers will usually have an onshore breeze to contend with. This means trips off-shore should be completed by lunchtime if a comfortable run home is in order. However, for those willing to spend a windy afternoon taking it easy in the shade of some Shea oak trees, a late afternoon thunderhead might move across the sky, quietening down the conditions.

Nothing better than awakening late afternoon to perfect weather conditions (humid and calm), wiping the sweat from your brow and casting a few poppers around the sandbars just on dark. Watching a big threadfin salmon, blue salmon or queen fish erupt through the surface to smash a small popper is a wonderful sight to behold.

Fishing for threadfin salmon can be red hot this time of year. Be ready to adapt to whatever mood they’re in. When you hear the tell-tail sound of a threadfin salmon boil nearby, look at the bait fleeing from the scene. Try and match the size and concept of what they are eating, or at least make a presentation in front of them. Often, threadfin salmon prove fickle and difficult to hook and then every so often they will climb all over lures like it was their last meal.

Be careful with any Barramundi captured this time of year, to get them back safe and sound into the water. Make sure your trebles are barb-less (they should be regardless) and be especially careful not to stress any larger fish caught. Get them straight back in the water with as little handling as possible.

If you can really handle the heat, the flies and chance of a late afternoon shower, November is a very worthwhile month to be around Aurukun. Up here, we enjoy it by casting lures right up until the sun sinks in the sky. Watching the red sun glisten on a leaping fish out in Archer Bay is something I hope more people will get to enjoy.

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