Offshore waters remain cool, but there’s good fishing to be had. The bluefin tuna run is generally finished, but yellowfin and albacore numbers build now. Snapper, morwong and most reef species are readily available, along with sand and tiger flathead. Tailor and salmon numbers increase and kingfish become more readily available. Big dusky flathead are congregating on shallow flats near the entrances to many estuaries before spawning. Bream and luderick or blackfish are present in good numbers, along with some whiting, and mulloway catches also increase. Bass and estuary perch are moving upstream.
Snapper numbers are steadily increasing now, and many more anglers begin chasing these fish, especially after the AFL footy Grand Final. Early season blue swimmer crabs and yellowfin whiting are available, primarily in SA waters. Good squid fishing in many waters.
Snapper season closes in Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds at the start of the month and the demersal finfish closure begins mid-month. Offshore, the emphasis switches to non-demersals such as King George whiting and Samson fish. Beaches north of Perth fish well now for tailor, mulloway and the occasional shark and snapper. Squidding is a very good option down south, too. Trout season now in full swing.
The “build up” continues to raise temperatures and humidity levels and there may even be isolated storms later in the month. Barramundi become increasingly active, and other estuary and inshore species such as mangrove jacks, fingermark and threadfin are also more readily available. In the freshwater, saratoga and sooty grunter are hitting well. Some of the year’s biggest mackerel will be taken offshore, along with plenty of tuna, although mackerel tuna (kawa kawa) tend to become more prolific than longtails as the month progresses. Reef fishing is very good, but check for periodic reef fish closures in QLD waters. October is also the peak month for big black marlin along the outer Barrier Reef from Townsville to Lizard Island and beyond.
This is a great month to fish inland waters! Golden perch or yellowbelly activity is now hitting its peak. Note that the closed season for Murray cod remains in force on rivers and most still waters and cod should not be targeted. However, in those dams where cod fishing is permitted, October can be a very good month. Trout fishing seasons are open everywhere now and there’s some great trout fishing on offer.
1 OCT: Pink snapper season CLOSES in Cockburn & Warnbro Sounds, WA
First Sunday in OCT: Daylight Saving begins in NSW, VIC, TAS and SA
7 OCT: Barramundi season CLOSES in QLD’s Gulf of Carpentaria waters
15 OCT: Demersal finfish closure BEGINS in West Coast Bioregion (WA)
Second or third Sunday in OCT: Gone Fishing Day (Australia-wide)
31 OCT: Halloween