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Waiting for warm water
  |  First Published: November 2003



FISHING THE Hunter Coast in November is usually dynamite. We are lucky here because we get the full gamut of species.

The warm-water and temperate species overlap one another from September to November onwards, so to predict what is going to bite in this month is a very hard call. Water temperature is the major influence, especially at this time of year. I know some readers must get sick of hearing that it’s all got to do with water temps, but it truly has.

Big female dusky flathead get caught in numbers this month. It is one of the best times to target the big girls but just remember that putting these back will benefit everyone in the future. Flathead in the estuaries and bays mouths are numerous and love lures. Then, after Christmas, they move farther into the estuary systems.

Bream also show up in November. Fishing at night through the dark of the moon is the best. Try floating out peeled prawns or fresh crab broken into smaller pieces on a 1/0 hook. If you get a hint the big blue nose monster bream are around, use 2/0 hooks. One of the best spots is at the Soldier Pool under Fort Scratchley. You can encounter some big whiting here also using the same method.

The Hunter River breakwalls are filled with hopefuls targeting the jewfish which have been caught in good numbers. They have been a bit on the small side but the beach, as well as the walls, are fishing well. Don’t forget soft plastics – they sure are taking a number of good fish.

Use the lights of wharves, bridges or piers to your advantage at night. Everyone has favourite spots but I firmly believe that any deep water around structure with light shining on it is a good starting point to hunt jewies on lures.

Don’t forget if you’re boating around Newcastle that there is a lot of night traffic up and down both arms of the river. Having a close call with a ship or other large freighter is something that can be avoided – light your boat well when under way or at anchor.

This is the month most of the tackle and boating industry shows what is new and what to buy for Christmas. A wave of catalogues and newly-released gear hits as everyone starts thinking about the new fishing season ahead.

I am off to see the new gear that has just hit the shops. This month they’re like candy stores with all new reels, lures and rods. Call over and see Mitch at Terrace Boating and have a look at their new stuff – some great reels have shown up.

A Gwydir Gobbler lure nailed these two flathead. Spinning in November is usually successful. Try the Hunter River mouth and along the first 10 kilometres over shallow sandy or muddy bottom.

Broken up crab is one of the best baits for bream. Poddy mullet are great jewfish takers especially when fresh or alive.

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