Big Bite Action
  |  First Published: October 2009

It just keeps on getting better. I love this warmer weather pattern we are slipping back into. The past month has even exceeded my expectations with some exceptional captures of big barra and large schools of monster threadfin salmon.

October as usual fired on queue and is always the best month of the year. Reports of good grunter from the Gould Island area, fingermark at Cape Richards and Eva Island, and even a few visitors picking up some good barra. Another welcome occurrence is the influx of giant sardines during the making tides, unlike I have ever seen before and I hope they hang around for a few more months.

The light tackle billfish tournaments were a bit of an anti climax this year with very few numbers of billfish tagged at all events. They were around in better numbers in July and August and I think that they might have moved off earlier this year because of the warmer conditions, and the Spaniards moved offshore a month earlier as well. We may have to bring the tournament dates forward if this is going to be the trend for this next weather cycle. It will be interesting to see what happens with the heavy tackle season this year, and the next month or so should tell.

November predictions can only be guessed at the moment but with the barra season closing, I expect it to be a cracker of a month for threadfin and fingermark. The big grunter will bite on the making tides right through to when the monsoon starts as well. The best live bait to use for all three species is greenback herring.

Barra will also become an accidental capture when targeting these other species but remember don’t take the risk in doing something stupid, like trying to sneak one home. Something else to be avoided if you accidentally catch a bigger barra is to bring it on board for a photo, especially if you are inexperienced in handling them because many of them will start to have maturing row sacks. You can still get your photo with your head over the side.

Offshore in November should see a few changes with the waters warming. Coral trout should start to move into deeper waters, as will the red throat emperor. Red emperor and Scarlet sea perch can still be found in the deeper trenches that surround most reefs, however, they and all other reef species can shut down in summer when the wind swings to the northwest. No one has ever come up with an explanation as to why this occurs, but if you fish at night during this time you will see much better results. Be a little wary though, as the NW winds usually bring some thunderstorms with them.

Grey mackerel and northern bluefin tuna should make a good appearance in November, particularly on the making tides and the back of Gould Island and waters just wide of Eva Island are a good place to start looking. Small 2" metal slices are best as they resemble the juvenile sardines they feed on.

The barra season might be closed but the coming months before the monsoon is a great time to catch some other top species like threadfin salmon and fingermark. If you want to pop up for a fish give us a bell on 0418 538170 to arrange a charter.

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