Eyes on the water temp
  |  First Published: October 2008

After such as cold and dismal few months I’m sure there won’t be any complaints about the arrival of some hot weather, if it comes.

The arrival of a few more fish wouldn’t go astray, either, as we haven’t exactly had it easy in this part of the world.

Water temperature is a critical factor at this time of year.

As Tuggerah Lakes and Brisbane Waters warm up, there will be an increase in prawn activity which in turn switches on the bream and flathead.

Offshore, there is normally a slight increase in the average sea temperature to around 18° but that tends to fluctuate quite a bit from now until the end of the year.

So there’s every chance of some freezing currents moving in from time to time which can shut fish activity right down. Overall, though, the fishing should pick up considerably over the next two months.

In our estuaries there have been a lot more flathead taking baits and lures over the past month, so that trend should continue as we move towards Summer.

In the lakes, try spots like Toukley and The Entrance bridges, around the weed beds at The Entrance and the mouths of Ourimbah, Wyong and Wallarah creeks.

In Brisbane Water, concentrate your efforts along the edges of the channels and weed beds around Woy Woy, Ettalong, Saratoga and the mouths of Erina and Narara creeks.

Whitebait, thin strips of tailor or mullet and live prawns are some of the best flattie baits.

We really are being spoilt with the vast array of lures that are now on the market and the good news is that most work well on flathead.

The ever-reliable soft plastics are always a good choice but this season I’m sure a lot of flathead will be caught on metal blades.

I’m also planning to do more fly fishing for them over Summer, as well as working some super-shallow spots with surface poppers.


Bream will also become more enthusiastic about hitting surface lures this month. Of course, metal blades and other lure types are all in with a chance as we get into the warmer months.

If you’re more inclined to sit back and soak a bait, try pink nippers, live prawns or fresh strips of mullet or tailor.

Remember that you don’t have to seek out deep water for bream over Summer, they often move right into the shallows, particularly on a rising tide.

A few blackfish and whiting should also be about, with The Entrance a top place for both species.

Jewfish may also start to become more active in Brisbane Water so it could be worth spending some time around the change of tide with some fresh squid or live mullet.

If you’re keen to pin a few jewfish from the local beaches over the warmer months, now is a good time to get your gear together and start catching some calamari squid.

While fresh squid is certainly a top jewie bait, so is freshly frozen squid that you’ve caught yourself.

Rather than waste money buying second-rate squid, you could spend the same amount on a few squid jigs. I prefer a size 3 or 3.5 jig and it’s hard to go past the Yamashita naturals as top quality jigs that calamari simply won’t refuse.

My favourite colour is the AJK which is a very reflective gold-bronze and it’s particularly effective around shallow kelp beds.

Next month I will go into more detail about fishing our beaches for jewfish, so until then, get some jigs and start stocking up on some first-class bait.

Rock fishing is typically tough at this time of year. We’ve had quite a bit of swell pounding our coastline over the past few months which obviously stops you from going anywhere near the rocks, but then the seas drop off and become too flat and clear.

The best time to fish is just after the seas have dropped off, but don’t expect any miracles this month. Salmon and drummer are probably the best bets, but there could also be a few bream, blackfish and groper around.


Offshore fishing has mainly been tough, with cold currents and a plague of leatherjackets biting off anything you lower down to them.

Some reasonable kings have been jigged up on the wider marks and a few snapper and trevally have been caught here and there.

This month we should see those rat kings return and so it’s important to remember the 65cm size limit, because the majority of these fish will probably be 55cm to 60 cm.

Trevally, jackets, salmon and a few snapper are the other species we’re likely to encounter this month and there’s a chance of a few early season bonito.

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