Cool, clear and the fishing has been hot
  |  First Published: July 2013

July in Bundaberg usually means cool westerlies, clean water and gentleman’s hours.

The past month was a bit of a cracker with some warm weather firing up some species not usually on the menu in June. Fish like barramundi and mangrove jack were being regularly encountered. The weather should really cool down and bring that water temp right down in July, which will slow the estuary fishing down a bit.

The Burnett River

The Burnett has been fishing very well on the right tides with the build-up to the full and new moon tides producing some great catches.

Grunter, bream, whiting and the ever present flathead have been mainstays in the river with the bigger specimens biting better on those aforementioned tides. The mouth has been the go to area with the successful anglers targeting deeper holes that are showing fish on the sounder. I can’t tell you how important a good sounder is to having a successful day on the water. I recently fitted my Polycraft with a new Humminbird 998 series side imaging unit and even my tired, ageing eyes can see every bit of the definition it displays.

I could go on for pages explaining the advantage of a great side imaging sounder but until you have been on a boat with one fitted you would not believe the difference. So here’s an invitation: if you see me on the water, and you can’t miss the 4.1 green Polycraft with the side console with the barra sticker on it, come on over and I will be happy to show you what they look like on the water. But be prepared as once you seen the difference you will want one.

Once you have located the fish it is important to fish a bit slower than you would when the water is warmer as the fish aren’t going to be as active. Fishing deep holes with lures can be done by either trolling or casting. Trolling can be a great way of putting a lure right in front of a fish, but sometimes when the water depth ranges from 3-8m it’s hard to keep your lure in the strike zone all the time. Trolling can be a real skill and I have fished with some guys who really do it well as they fully map in their minds the bottom and keep the lures in the zone by driving them rather than just dragging them.

Of course having a bit of OCD (Obsessive Casting Disorder) I just can’t sit down, so casting lures is my favourite way to target fish. The key again is to have your lure down where the fish are which can take some practice before you get the hang of it. Heavily rigged soft plastics with paddle tails is a good start up lure as the tide generally will keep that tail kicking, letting the fish know where it is at all times. I do like vibration type hard bodied lures as well with the C’ultiva Savoy Vibe and the Halco Trembler 70 giving off some great noise and vibration when you need it. If you are happy to spend a bit of coin grab a Transam as they work when the fish need a more subtle offering but be prepared as when you lose one Harry Watson’s smile just gets bigger.

The Baffle

Roger from Baffle Creek Caravan Park has reported the flathead are biting very well and should keep doing so throughout this month. He likes to fish small hard bodied lures around the channels around the mouth he slowly trolls them and says he hasn’t had a trip where he hasn’t picked a couple for a feed yet. The whiting keep moving around and when you find them you will get a decent feed. The trick is to keep moving and use fresh yabbies.

The upper reaches probably won’t be worth a look until spring as the water is still fresh and very cold that doesn’t mean count it out though.


The big news around Woodgate of course has been the prawns; well they seemed to have finally moved. I wouldn’t panic though as they will be back again at some stage. I would however make sure you comply with the regulations regarding in possession limits. There have been countless fines handed out to those folk who believe they should be entitled to more than the legal limit.

An in possession limit means it’s in your possession, so if you go and cast your net, fill your bucket up drive the boat back to your car and pour those prawns into your already full 100L esky, you then have way too many prawns in your possession.

I have no sympathy for those who were caught deliberately breaking the law. It’s no different than talking on your phone while driving: it’s the law. I wish all those who are the majority that obey the law happy prawning enjoy your catch.

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