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Time to get cracking
  |  First Published: September 2004



SEPTEMBER is a good month to go fishing because the weather is a bit warmer and this usually helps because the water warms up and baitfish start to move around.

As everything warms up, fish in the ocean, estuaries and rivers start to move about and feed so it’s a good time to get out and chase a few.

This month and next will be worth a go for flathead in your local river or estuary. Now is when they begin to breed and this makes them hungrier than they would have been over Winter, when there wasn’t as much food around and the water was a lot colder.

You can fish for flathead at this time of year with baits such as small pilchards, prawns or live nippers but lures are a lot easier because you don’t have to buy or catch bait.

Soft plastics fished along the bottom or close to it are the go and anything around 80mm or 100mm long with a lead head will work. You can buy pre-rigged ones or a few jig heads and a couple of packs of soft bodies to rig on them.

You don’t have to buy the best, just a few different colours so that you have natural baitfish colours to use in clear or shallow water and a few brighter colours for deeper or coloured water.

Fish these along the edges where sand bars run into deep water or over flats in around a metre of water and you shouldn’t miss out too much.

With the increased baitfish activity some pelagic species usually start to move around at this time of the year. These include tailor and salmon in the larger estuaries and bonito outside, around river entrances or in large bays.

To chase tailor you can simply cast small metal lures where fish are working on the surface but to have a go at salmon or bonito you really need a boat so that you can move around and chase these fish as they feed.

Bonito will usually be out in clear, deeper water and can be taken on trolled lures or by casting metal lures if you see fish up on top. Salmon can also be taken like this but they will also hang and feed in closer to shore.

This makes washes and the entrances to bays worth a go and even along the backs of beaches, where salmon will often congregate and feed.

Another estuary species that will start to show up from now through to Summer is the jewfish. They are also attracted by the baitfish activity in estuaries and can be found in deep water around channels, wharves and where sand bars drop into deep water.

You can use large soft plastic lures for jewfish during the day or fish at night with squid, fish baits or even live baits. You need to put some time in if you are to be successful but it’s worth it if you catch a jewfish.

With a few fish starting to feed after the Winter, now is a good time to clean up your gear, check your tackle and get it ready for the next six or seven months.

Flathead on lures will be all the go this month and next.

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