Snappy Cold Snap
  |  First Published: July 2011

We were told it wasn’t going to be a cold winter but I think they got it wrong; Bundaberg has had overnight lows down to 9ºC, which for here is unthinkable.

Of course it is winter and unfortunately due to all the rain and flooding around our area over the summer period I feel robbed of a summer fishing season. I can’t actually believe it’s time to start chasing snapper at night again. I guess I will have to toughen up and rug up because I believe it’s going to be a great winter fishing season.

Pelagic action

The pelagic fishing has been awesome as we have moved into winter with acres of mackerel popping up all over the place. Floating pilchards have been working for those who like to soak a bait and trolling small flashy lures has been a good way to locate them.

Most of the mackerel have been average size schoolies but there has also been some nice Spanish and spotties amongst the hordes.

The birds have been giving away the location of most of the schools so it pays to keep an eye out for diving birds indicating the presence of fish feeding. The tuna are really firing as well and as we move deeper into winter we should see a few more northern blues. In our area these fish can be up to 20kg and are a real challenge on light spin gear.

The Burnett will produce some big queenfish and trevally over winter and their favourite haunt is the end of the north wall. They are particularly productive when there is some wash over the point. Poppers and steel slices cast around the point and wound back at speed should get you some action if they are home.

Winter bream

The famous winter bream run has started already with the Burnett producing some big fish at night, with mullet and chicken gut producing the goods. I will leave the cold night time gut fishing to the diehards and try to temp a few on plastics during the day.

As this will be the first winter after the big flood the bream might be a bit harder to find. There are numerous new holes to fish and old deep holes are now high and dry at low tide so you might need to do a bit of homework.

Apparently the dredge will be spending a few months clearing the swing basin so the water clarity may be a bit ordinary around the mouth at low tide. This can have either a positive effect by giving cover for fish to hunt in or a negative effect by unsettling the silt and making it hard for the fish to breath.

If the water quality is too bad at the mouth it will pay to fish the town reach a bit as the fish should school in the better quality water. Don’t forget the hot water outlet it can be awesome fishing over winter.


While I rarely report on Woodgate, I have been fishing there a bit lately and after some hard work I’ve started to get into some fish.

Fishing off the beach hasn’t been producing a lot, just a few whiting and the odd flathead, probably because of the muddy sand still lying around after the floods. Just beyond the low water mark the guys in their boats and kayaks have been getting into some decent whiting and plenty of smaller flathead.

About 1km offshore the school tailor and mackerel have been moving through with the odd school of tuna, they are good fun on small lures and light gear and can provide a nice feed.

The beach launching ramp in front of the pub is a bit slippery so be careful. Boats can be launched in at the creek but you have to make sure you launch and retrieve around the top of the tide. Alternatively you can put the boat in down at Walkers Point and drive around. While it does add about 20mins to your boating trip, it is much easier to pull the boat out and you can do it on nearly all tides

I first fished in Theodolite Creek around 30 years ago and boy has it changed. As kids we used to run and jump off the sand cliffs into very deep water at low tide and now at low tide there is barely enough water to get your feet wet. Those cliffs are also gone now and unfortunately so has a lot of fish habitat.

The creek can still fish well but like most systems it fishes best on the last of the run-out tide and with little water in it now it appears the fish move in and out pretty quick.

There are a few good holes in the creek but they do get a lot of attention from the locals. The best option is to fish across the flats towards the turn of the top of the tide, as it seems a lot of fish move through there.

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