Dam good fishing!
  |  First Published: November 2008

From Peter Faust Dam to the vast Whitsunday islands is a great place to fish and explore. In this article, we’ll look at some cool fish species that will be good to chase this time of year and also how to chase them.

Estuary and inshore fishing

Casting light lures for estuary and inshore fish is a fun way of fishing in the Whitsundays. It involves casting small soft plastics and hardbody lures around where the fish live and feed.

Good examples of places to fish with lures are around boat hulls, rocky points near beaches, rock walls, reef, and any other types of cover and structure.

Probably the best inshore fish to target in November around the Whitsundays are flathead, bream, mangrove jack, and reef fish, such as coral trout, emperor, sweetlip, trevally and queenfish.

Casting around these places works well in low light conditions. Early and late in the day is perfect, although you can catch these fish at anytime if you find a school. We have learned that finding fish and casting over them is the most important part of lure fishing and getting consistently good captures.

Finesse is another important part of fishing for these types of fish. Braided lines need to be thin but very strong in case of abrasion against structure. We’ve found 4lb Fins is a perfect braid as its light and very strong, and 4-6lb fluorocarbon leader works well as it is less visible to the fish.

Great plastics to use are the Squidgy Pro Range, which are small imitations of baitfish, crustaceans and other small foods. The Lobby, Critter, Worm, Wriggler and Flickbait come in different sizes and are the perfect baits for all of these fish. The S-Factor scent that comes with them also improves these baits and gives them a fish attracting smell.

Offshore fishing

In November, big GT and large queenfish will be good targets in the fast flowing currents that sweep past the baitfish rich rocky headlands and bomboras. And both of these fish love surface lures, like the Nomad Ulua stickbaits and Cubera poppers.

Large golden trevally are another good target on the clear sandy flats of the islands. These fish mainly hunt the beaches for crabs, but they also feed on all types of baitfish. Using crab flies and crab plastics and sight casting is a good way of tempting these fish. Patience is a big part of finding them on the flats – wait for them to pass by with a rigged rod ready and be observant for the shadows they create in the water. Rubble-type ground in the shallows is a good place to start looking.

Impoundment barra fishing

Impoundment barramundi are the fish to target at Peter Faust Dam in November. They love to feed in the shallows around weeds and timber, and will feed on bony bream, barred grunter and redclaw crayfish.

As always, low light is usually the best time to be fishing, although they can be caught throughout the day. When casting to the edges, your lure will often foul in the weedy cover. This is a good thing because when you rip it out, the lure breaks the weed strands and creates an attractive noise to the fish.

Finding barramundi in open water and trolling or casting to them will also be an effective way of catching them in November. When the temperatures are warmer the barramundi seem to feed and move around the main basin more often. Remember to use your sounder/GPS when marking fish and features in deep water as they can be hard to track down sometimes

Our favourite outfits for barramundi at Peter Faust Dam are Millerods Hi Roller baitcasters and Stilleto spin rods. We match these up with Shimano Calais 200DC and Stella 2500 size reels and 20lb or 30lb Fins PRT, Windtamer and XS braid. These outfits are incredible for casting and are the ultimate tools for catching big barramundi.

November will be a great month to fish the Whitsundays with plenty of fish activity in both salt and freshwater. It can also be a very hot time of year so make sure you’re sun-smart while fishing. Wearing sun protective clothing, wide-brim hats and sunscreen is a good way of keeping out of the strong UV rays.

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