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Hungry Hordes
  |  First Published: April 2011



It’s been a while since I have reported on the Bundaberg scene but I have had some rebuilding to do after the floods. All is well now and I am back and keen to get into some fishing.

The Burnett River

The Burnett River has been a mess since the raging torrent of water swept before it and now that it has settled down there has been some major changes. The upper reaches of the river in the fresh water side has seen some major erosion and that sediment has been transported down to the saltwater end of the system. In fact the town reach resembles more of a beach scene now that the council has cleaned away the debris around the town boat ramp.

There have been plenty of families enjoying a fish from the bank and now that it has started to clean up the fish have been moving up as well. There are warnings at all boat ramps and most of the channel markers in the river are not where the channel is now. There are also semi submerged objects of all shapes and sizes scattered throughout the system. Down the mouth of the river, where the swing basin is for the large sugar ships, the river depth has gone from 50ft to 20ft.

The dredge will unfortunately dirty up the river again but it is necessary to get our busy port trading again.

The river will certainly be worth a fish in the town reach area this month but I do recommend being careful, I would be having a crack at all the new structure in the river as they will hold bream, cod and jacks.

Inshore

With the weather actually being kind of late, there have been plenty of boats out fishing along the coast. The water has cleaned up and good numbers of pelagic have turned up and are hungry. Trolling big lures and also casting poppers and steel slugs have been working well.

On the bottom there have been good catches of hussar, cod and sweetlip. This is a result of the weather giving these inshore spots a break.

This month should continue in the same vain with hopefully some more good weather giving us smaller boats a shot at some bigger fish.

The Baffle

It was sad news to me that long-time Baffle Creek resident and gentleman Frank Barnett had recently passed away. Frank spent his whole life living and working around the area, and on the river I was fortunate enough to get to hear a few fishing tales and bit of the rich history he and his family had in the area. My sincerest condolences go to his family.

The river has been up and down with flood waters for many months and this has had an impact on the fishing. There is light at the end of the tunnel though because I have some inside information revealing the mud crabs are back and they are as big footballs. It’s been a while since the residents of Winfield have had fresh crab but as the salt has started to push back up the system so have the crabs.

The fish have started to move around more as well with flathead, whiting and bream being the easy target and the mangrove and salmon being a little harder to land. The upper reaches will be worth a look this month before it starts to cool down.

Kayak Capers

I had a chance to get out on my Malibu of late and headed into the upper reaches of the Kolan. My target was barramundi that had gone over the wall of Monduran Dam while it was in flood. Much to my disappointment all we saw were countless barra carcasses rotting in trees and floating around pools.

After close inspection of the spillway at the dam I would highly doubt that many of the fish that took the plunge survived. The spillway is very steep and at the base is large rocks placed there to slow the massive torrent of water that was flowing over it. Unfortunately when the spillway was built survival of fish swimming over it was not on the agenda.

I hope I am wrong about the fish survival chances and would really like to know if anyone has managed to catch a barra in the fresh water of the Kolan please drop me an email, I am not after details just interested.

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