Waiting for whiting
  |  First Published: November 2003

THIS IS traditionally a good month to start targeting the first of the sand whiting in the lower reaches of the estuaries.

As the north-easterly winds become more regular the whiting will also push out onto the beaches, where they can be found sifting the beach gutter sand for pipis and worms. Along with the whiting, a few bream and dart can be expected along the sandy shores.

Jewfish from the breakwalls will be sought as the weather and water warm. The likelihood of jewies will increase as the large volume of baitfish filter into the lake and estuary systems. Good gars are already showing up over the weed beds, along with plenty of mullet. One attraction for the jew is the blackfish that hang around the breakwalls, grazing on weed.

There are heaps of flathead right through the rivers and lower parts of the lakes and this time of year the small males are very aggressive to baits and lures. DOA Shrimps or other soft plastics rigged on 1/4oz jigheads and bounced along the bottom are probably the best way to probe the deeper holes and depressions in the channels.

Breckenridge Channel is a top spot to start and the weed-fringed flats just up from the Forster-Tuncurry bridge should hold fish.

The bream have been flighty of late but during low light and at night they are still relatively easy on baits of mullet and slimy mackerel. This year the numbers of bream have been a little disappointing and they have been scattered but hopefully the coming Summer will correct this.

There are some healthy bream in the Wallamba River right up to Nabiac. Fixed oyster leases that still have trays out are worth a throw with hard-bodied lures but you’ll have to move around a bit to find the fish.

Close inshore, a few bonito have shown up and it may be a good idea to have an early-morning spin, or an arvo fish now that we’ve settled in to daylight saving. You may even snag a small king or tailor for your trouble. Some pinkies and silver trevally are coming in off the close reefs and spots like Latitude Rock.

Pigs are still around but you will need plenty of bread to get them interested and it may serve you well to have another outfit handy for bream, trevally and blackfish if they show up.


A month or so ago I lamented that after a 57cm bass, a 60cm fish was only a step away. Well, it’s happened. While fishing our usual early-season river hole I managed to snag a bass that took a fancy to an appleseed-coloured soft plastic. While fishing a six-metre deep shoreline at midday, the bass came from under cover to suck up the lure and took off away from the bank.

The fight, while heavy, was not the spectacular affair I had expected – though I was thankful as the fish came to the surface and into view. The bass was photographed, revived and released healthy, leaving all of us with beaming smiles.

It is great to see fish of this calibre living happily in the local rivers and November is a terrific time to have a go. Spinnerbaits and surface lures are a must, with 5/8oz black Heddon Jitterbugs compulsory equipment as the sun begins to lower in the sky.

There have also been some bass caught below the Wallamba weir. These are fish that haven’t been able to make it back to the freshwater section above the wall.

All is bubbling along nicely but a little more heat should spark things up for Christmas.

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