Offshore waters are cool and often rather green this month, but there’s still some good fishing to be had. In southern waters, the bluefin tuna run may continue right through the month, and there could even be a few solid yellowfin out wide, especially north of Jervis Bay. Snapper, morwong and most other reef species are biting well, and sand flathead remain a good inshore stand-by. In the estuaries, dusky flathead are shaking off their lethargy and the big females now begin congregating on shallow flats near the entrances to many systems in preparation for spawning. This action moves steadily south as the weeks pass. Yellowfin bream are still returning to the estuaries in numbers, with bright silvery/white flanks and empty stomachs, and should bite well. Luderick or blackfish are also present in large schools. The bass and estuary perch season opens, and these fish begin hitting well in upper tidal waters.
A few snapper are starting to show up in many inshore waters, but they’re generally scattered and often hard to find. Black bream remain reliable in most southern estuaries, and salmon are a viable surf fishing target, along with yellow-eye mullet and the odd gummy shark. King George whiting are still present in good numbers on most inshore grounds, but their size is generally down.
Inshore snapper fishing slows now, but some good fish are available from the shore, especially after storms. Skippy (silver trevally) remain abundant along inshore reefs and squid are still a great option. The mid-west beaches are fishing well for mulloway, tailor, sharks and even the occasional snapper. Trout season opens, with streams and dams producing both trout and redfin. In the north-west, the land-based mackerel season comes to an end as southerly winds take over from easterlies.
Temperatures and humidity levels begin to rise noticeably, especially later in the month. This heralds the arrival of the “build-up” and with it, increasing barramundi action and much improved catches. Saratoga are active and aggressive in freshwater rivers and billabongs, while mangrove jacks and fingermark (golden snapper) are biting better in the estuaries. Offshore, mackerel fishing is often at its very best now, and mackerel tuna (kawa kawa) and longtail tuna are still present in good numbers. The first big black marlin of the season also begin to arrive off the outer Barrier Reef, north of Cairns.
While nights can still be cool to cold, days are warming noticeably and native fish are becoming more active. This is especially the case with golden perch or yellowbelly. Trout fishing (where permitted) is improving, and will continue to do so as insect activity increases. Many rainbow trout are only now running to spawn and will continue to do so for at least another month.
1 SEPT: Bass & estuary perch season OPENS in NSW (rivers & estuaries)
1 SEPT: Bass season OPENS in Queensland tidal waters.
1 SEPT: Murray cod season CLOSES in QLD, NSW & VIC (some dams excluded)
1 SEPT: Murray cray season closes in designated NSW and VIC waters
1 SEPT: Trout season OPENS in WA
1 SEPT: Striped trumpeter season CLOSES in Tasmanian waters
Midnight First Friday in SEPT: Trout season (in streams) OPENS in VIC
First Sun in SEPT: Fathers’ Day — take Dad fishing!