Good fishing on the Hunter Coast this month will depend on the way the baitfish make their presence felt.
As the water warms and the baitfish become more prolific, the action should pick up considerably.
Recently a great number of squid have been around in all the calm corners and over shallow kelp beds.
these have been the No 1 bait to have out on the reefs, especially for the kingfish that have been prowling over North Reef,
the Granites and the
a few outside anglers have also taken bonito when they were trolling for tailor and salmon.
Flathead have been very reliable over the 13m to 20m depths.
sand flathead sometimes stay in one area for a while so if you drift across a patch, do the drift again and you might be rewarded.
fresh mullet strips on long-shank hooks have been working for the flatties.
reports of snapper and jewfish have been sketchy but as you read this they should be around in good enough numbers over the reefs.
I reckon live-baiting is the best way to maximise your catches of jewfish and really big snapper.
once the slimy mackerel hit town they are deadly on both these species.
if you can’t get live baits, try the freshest squid you can get your hands on.
The estuaries have been fishing great all through this year, with flathead and whiting not leaving this area.
whiting of very good size and are snooping up and down both channels of the Hunter River all the way to Hexham.
a lot have been caught on lures that were meant for flathead.
The lizards have been around in great numbers, as have the bream.
I’ll stick my neck out and say the next three months should fish exceptionally well.
summer species, along with the ones that haven’t left should add up for some great fishing adventures.
try flicking soft or hard lures around the pylons of Lee Wharf and also the deeper areas in front of where the tugboats tie up.
watch the sounder bottom line drop from 3m to 20m vertically, drop lures onto the edges and hang on.
Blue swimmer crabs are about in numbers but the problem is finding the areas where they’re feeding.
one day you will get 10 or so and then the same place the next day will produce nothing.
but it’s still worth a try so throw in a few traps.
The guys at the local tackle shops had to help me out with beach reports. Apparently whiting, bream and salmon have been very active, but there’s no word on any good jewfish.
it’s been pretty windy in recent weeks so that could have a lot to do with the lack of action on the sand.
the sting from flying sand when you’re trying to fish can send you home.
November, however, is a great time for quality whiting and flathead to move into the close gutters and feed, and tailor and bream can turn up around dusk.
The Stockton and Nobbys rock walls have been filled with anglers lately, most after the squid and luderick that have been ever-present.
These walls are a great places to escape the southerly winds and sometimes when its really rough a squire or two will show up along the calmer sides of the walls.
So this month I would be concentrating on getting some bait, as there is a lot about, and snap-freezing it when the fish really start to hit town.
that shouldn’t be long, as the water is slowly warming up and current running increasingly to the south.