The winter bite has arrived in Bundaberg so it’s time to look forward to some small boat offshore fishing. June in Bundaberg should bring some cool westerlies, which gives us small boat anglers the chance to tackle a few reef fish we otherwise have to overlook.
It will be interesting this winter as quite a few new artificial reefs have spread about due to the floods in January. It might pay to watch your sounder very carefully when out and around the mouth of the river as there has been plenty of time for fish to move in on these new structures.
Over these cooler months the snapper, sweetlip and mackerel should be on your target list to catch. The best time to target snapper and big sweetlip is just on sunset and after dark, as the bigger fish tend to out muscle the smaller ones once the sunsets.
Don’t fish too heavy for them as both these species respond to more naturally presented baits; big 50lb hand line with two droppers using 70lb with a kilo of lead doesn’t move naturally in the water when you’re only in 70ft of water. Try taking out a spin outfit with 15lb braid and use a 30lb leader with a running sinker rig fishing the least amount of lead you can get it to the bottom. This rig is very effective when the big fish are about and feeling shy, you just have to be careful if you’re fishing close to structure. You may lose a fish or two but I can guarantee you will hook more fish on lighter tackle and have more fun fighting them.
The Burnett River has been fishing okay but as there has been a big dredge at the mouth, the river has been pretty dirty for a while. I am not sure how long the dredge will be there but it won’t take long for the water to clean up after it leaves.
The upper reaches of the river is still a bit controversial; I am hoping that the sewage issue has already been sorted out by now. If you are planning a trip in the river and you haven’t been in the river since the flood, be very careful as the river is not the same.
The Baffle has started to fire up with some good flathead, whiting and grunter being caught around the mouth. There have also been some decent queenfish and trevally caught in the deeper holes of the river on lures and live bait. Keep your eye out for nervous baitfish as they are a sure sign of hunters in the area.
Trolling small shallow diving lures around the sand drop-offs should see you tangle with a few decent flathead. If you’re not getting any fish make sure your lure is just bouncing on the bottom as this gets their attention. My sons favourite lure for flathead is a Frenzy Flickershad in the orange perch, he has caught plenty of lizards and other species on this cheap little lure.
The Kolan River has been patchy and with the water temp dropping but I believe after the recent floods the river will fire up very soon. I have had a couple of trips in the river lately and have caught a few small barra and even a few bass, which have obviously come all the way down from Monduran dam.
We should see a few grunter, bream and whiting showing up this month so it should be worth a look just make sure you dodge all the crab pots.Reads: 776