It’s all starting to stir
  |  First Published: September 2009

It feels great to wake up in the morning and not have to quickly pack on a pile of clothes to avoid those ice-cold chills.

Driving across the lake or ocean at the crack of dawn has also become a more pleasurable activity, but the best aspect of the approaching season is the change in our local fishing.

Flathead, bream, jewfish and bass are back on the agenda and they tend to become easier to catch as water temperatures rise.

Unfortunately, it may take another month or more yet before we start to see a real increase in ocean temperatures, but good things come to those who wait.

On the beaches we still have salmon hanging around this month and although each year is slightly different, I predict that they may still be quite thick along some beaches right through October.

While that may considered good or bad news to beach fishos, at least they have something to catch and have a bit of fun with if other species aren’t taking baits.

Providing we don’t have any abnormally cold currents moving in, there’s a very good chance that jewfish numbers will increase along our beaches this month.

Other fish like tailor and bream can also put in a bit of a showing during October, so as we move towards the end of the month I would say that the sambos may have to compete with a few other species.

Then, by mid-November, the majority of the salmon may have vacated the premises.

Rock fishing should be similar to beach fishing this month, with salmon taking pilchard baits at places like South Avoca, Terrigal, Wybung Head and Snapper Point.

As I mentioned last month, those traditional Winter targets like drummer, blackfish and groper are probably going to be the saviours of rock fishing again during October, but a few bream could also get in on the act.

If we have those late-season north-westerly winds flattening the seas off then the best bet is to chase blue groper if you still want to fish the rocks and actually catch something.

Offshore fishing is at the mercy of weather and ocean currents. October can be a tough month offshore in some regards, but as soon as those first few fingers of warmer water start moving in we may see some more action.

In that case, kingfish would be on the cards not too far off the headlands and over the inshore reefs and bommies.

A few striped tuna or the odd early-season bonito may also move in close.

On the bottom, snapper, morwong, trevally and those dreaded leatherjackets are probably going to be the more active species but if the water does start to warm up then jewfish could be worth considering around sunset or after dark.

Back on calmer waters, blackfish have been going well this year but we’re approaching the time when these striped fish start to thin out, so if you still want to get your blackfish fix then now is the time to do it.

If weed isn’t working, be prepared to try a few different types of baits, though, including live shrimps, pink nippers or squirt worms.


One of the main species locals look forward to at this time of year is the flathead.

In the lakes, try the channels and out towards the islands west of The Entrance, around the mouths of Ourimbah and Wyong creeks and over at Toukley Bridge.

Brisbane Waters tends to offer a better class of flathead and they can be widespread around the system. For a good chance of a feed of flatties, try around Woy Woy, Ettalong, Wagstaffe and Paddys Channel.

For those living on the northern end of the Central Coast, it would be hard to go past the southern parts of Lake Macquarie, where bigger flathead are reasonably common. Try Mannering Park, Chain Valley Bay and Nords Wharf.

Over the past few years casting surface lures for bream has been the in thing over the warmer months.

While it won’t be too hard to catch a few on the top this month, the better bream surface action tends to come more towards the end of November when water temperatures are higher.

For now, though, try around the fringes of the lakes and Brisbane Water, adjacent to features like weed beds, rocky outcrops, oyster leases and mangroves. Everyone has their favourite surface lures, but some that I rate very highly are the Jackson T-Pivots, Lucky Craft NW Pencils and Ecogear PX45s.

Whiting and school jewfish may also start to become more active in Brisbane Water. The Rip Bridge, Paddys Channel and Woy Woy are good places to start looking for both species.

For the whiting, try live bloodworms, pink nippers or beachworms or for something a little more active, cast small surface lures over the flats on a rising tide. Remember that whiting prefer a constant retrieve when it comes to surface lures, whereas bream often hit a lure on the pause.

For the jewies, it’s hard to go past freshly caught squid or live mullet, although more locals are catching jewies on plastics around The Rip bridge and adjacent spots these days.

Catching bream on surface lures is back on the agenda this month. Top lures to try are Jackson T-Pivots, Lucky Craft NW Pencils and Ecogear PX45s.

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