Because many species can be caught in the warm water still off the coast, this is probably one of the best fishing months in Port Stephens.
The land-based game season is in full swing with many longtail tuna being captured from the rocks.
Of course, Tomaree has seen plenty of fish but also plenty of anglers and it pays to arrive early.
If the crowds are too much, head south towards One Mile Point and Boat Harbour. These areas are easily accessible and at times can attract good numbers of longtails.
Although bait can be caught at these locations they are probably more suited for spinning. Tailor, bonito and kingfish are also viable at these locations and they can’t resist a 65g Raider spun through the washes early morning.
Offshore fishing could not be any better, with all manner of species showing up.
Trolling the washes has produced some excellent catches of bonito, tailor, kingfish and mackerel tuna. Concentrate your efforts on the more exposed headlands where the wash is more turbulent.
Lures such as Halco Laser Pros and Christmas trees will work, or if you are after something that will catch multiple fish at one time then I suggest trolling an unweighted Black Pete Bait Jig troll and watch the bonito and tailor climb all over it.
Bottom bouncers have been rewarded with snapper, trag, mulloway, morwong and the odd pearl perch. Down south has been the go with reefs such as Uralla and The Tank best. Further north, you can’t go past the Big Gibber.
On the continental shelf there is still a decent chance of catching some really big striped marlin, where they can be seen marauding the bait to the surface.
I recently had the pleasure of doing some filming with Paul Worsteling from IFISH TV inside the bay targeting Flathead on soft plastics.
We were rewarded with up to 20 nice fish and although the fishing was sensational the really big ones eluded us. Paul and crew also shot footage with Captain Tim Dean on Calypso chasing black and striped marlin and you won’t want to miss it!
Bream numbers have increased in the lower half of the estuary and they are now schooling in anticipation of their annual spawning migration.
Any rock wall licked by tidal flow should have a school of bream, likewise the oyster racks.
I can’t go past a soft plastic at this time of year and if you’re considering using them for the first time then now is your best chance.
Luderick numbers are rising and the fishos are appearing on the rock walls, waiting for those little stem floats to disappear.
Flathead are along the flats at Shoal Bay, Jimmys Beach and Corlette. I suggest an early morning high tide with a soft plastic or ganged pilchard.
For something a little different you could always target the longtail tuna, which chase the garfish inside the bay. Simply find a school of feeding fish and toss a pencil popper and retrieve at speed. If you don’t hook up you will certainly see one hell of surface bite!
Beach and rock fishing is generally good during Autumn and you can expect to encounter tailor on pilchards while drummer, luderick and bream will be all eager to snaffle baits in the washes.
As the month progresses and the odd westerly blows, bream and mullet will make their way along the beaches. Bream will often hold up in the gutters and be easily targeted using fresh cut baits.
So as we slide into the cooler months we can expect to find those usual breed-and-butter species back in action.Reads: 2044