November Set to Shine
  |  First Published: November 2008

Well if last month is anything to go by then November is set to be a cracker. Throughout October the prawn, threadfin, snapper and crab numbers really started to increase around the mouth of the river, which is much earlier than previous years. Got to love that global warming.

Schools of threadfin have been prevalent around the established threadie hot spots like the oil pipeline, each end of the main loading terminal, the mouths of Norman, Breakfast, Bulimba and Boggy creeks and scattered shipping terminals along the Hamilton stretch. The numbers of threadies seem to increase slightly from the cooler months around the river mouth but it may be because the threadies just congregate in larger numbers to target the prawn schools rather than being spread over a wider area like they are in the cooler months when they tend to feed on larger bait fish. One thing I will mention again is that these fish are big breeding females and need to be handled with the utmost care for future generations to enjoy.

Night sessions are well worth a look throughout the warmer months when the prawns will school under any available light shining into the river. Jew, threadies and snapper love feasting on surface schools of prawns and from all the reports I’ve been getting from the locals the action has already started. Target areas where lights hanging from shipping terminals, river cat terminals or private jetties create a distinct light shadow on the water. Hang away from the shadow and watch for scattering prawns and baitfish and if nothing is present then move to the next light looking for action. The lights with the majority of action for that particular night will hold the predatory fish that we are trying to target. Every night is different so continually moving from light to light is the key to getting action.

Snapper have started to increase in size around the mouth of the river with fish to 4kg being landed around the new reclaimed section and the main loading terminal at the mouth. Throughout the warmer months the snapper will move away from the comforts of the shipping terminals and rock ledges in search of prawn and bait schools before returning to the pylons. In the cooler months I catch the majority of my snapper hard into the pylons where long casts and perfect boat positioning is required to extract these hard fighting river snapper. But during the warmer months it’s well worth having a drift wide of the shipping terminal where the prawn schools like to hang during the daylight hours.

Crabs have started around the mouth of the river with good number of sandies coming from the Gateway Bridge to the mouth of Boggy Creek. Muddies have also started to move around the Boat Passage and most of the local creeks and drains. High tides, close into the mangroves with fresh baits is the go for mud crabs at this time of year, whilst deep water and fresh baits is the key to success for the sand crabs in the main river. Because of the depth of water and current in the main river where the majority of sandies are found it’s worth putting a decent weight in your pots or lead weights for the dillies and ropes. Remember fisheries will be checking pots and floats for correct identification so be prepared. Crab numbers will only increase over the next few months so it’s worth putting in a few pots each trip.

Bream are around in reasonable numbers and size around the Pinkenba stretch and around the new reclaimed section at the mouth. Early mornings and evenings are producing the quality fish as they feed on the hardihead schools. With the afternoon northerlies throughout summer months the new reclaimed section at the mouth really roughs-up but quiet often the rougher this wall gets the better the fishing is.

Flathead and whiting have been patchy over the last month with reports differing from day to day. It’s still worth having a drift over the flats at the mouth because there’s always a fish to be had in this region. The large summer whiting shouldn’t be far away so keep persisting.

With the increase in boat traffic throughout the summer months it’s best for boaties to take a couple of deep breaths before entering overcrowded boat ramps to launch or retrieve your boat. Remember that not everyone is as experienced as you, so a little patience or lending a hand to others may make yours and other boaties days on the water that little bit more enjoyable.

One last thing I would like to say is; congratulations to all the anglers who made the ABT grand finals this year. Special thanks on behalf of tournament anglers and all the sponsors, myself and associated industry for ABT running another outstanding tournament season.

Until next month…

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