As the saying goes…
  |  First Published: September 2013

Not to sound like I need a cleanex or require a teaspoon of cement, but how cold has it been this year? We have had some very cool waters this last few months leaving making you question the logic of any form of fishing.

Never the less, a few coldies next to the outdoor gas heater allows you to plan the next adventures, and boy, we have had some cracker fishing trips despite some of the conditions. We have had everything this winter from unpredictable wind patterns that you had to really pick in order to get underway to thick pea soup fog leaving a lot of trust in your equipment to navigate.

As one of our respected anglers has stated, “If the conditions are bad for you the conditions are typically great for the fish,” how true that is!

River Action

After a couple coldies with some seasoned anglers this last weekend, we were discussing the abundance of Pelicans which have really made a presence in Burrum Heads. One very good reason is we have continued to experience very good quality live bait such as herring, pike, hardiheads and yabbies.

The Burrum River has seen good thick bream in the 35-40cm+ range with big flathead such as Graeme Stretton’s (pictured) that took live herring and went 73cm on the tape. The surprise that has kept most anglers on the hop has been the size and quality of whiting averaging 29-32cm. They have been especially prolific through the Gregory River. What has been interesting is the appearance of goldenline whiting, which is very similar to summer whiting.

The bait of choice has been live bloodworms sourced from Tinana Bait & Tackle and live yabbies. The rig of choice has been light 6lb line, light running ball sinker rig and #1 hook fished in 3m of water off the face of the sand banks. Anglers have hit bag limits despite underestimating the abundance of whiting often running out of bait.


Goldenline whiting are very similar to summer whiting and there are differences that need to be observed, the most common difference is the pectoral fin has a dark spot at the base. It is also important to note that a combined total of goldenline, sand and northern whiting of 30 may be taken.


Snapper season has been keeping us busy on our offshore adventures. Live baits have been popular along with the trusty mullet or fresh bait fillets. This season we haven’t had to go too far offshore to find good quality snapper with the 8 and 12 mile reefs 10-20mins out from the Burrum River being good fishing grounds with the Fairway Beacon also being very productive.

Myself and JB have been having a ball chasing snapper and enjoying some great by-catch with reds such as the one good mate Chris (pictured) had some fun with, along with grunter and what has been (presumably) the elusive Spaniard that has been busting us up. The sneaky buggers have been avoiding the heavy gear, leaving us nothing to show and often just fish heads. Next time Spaniard…next time!


Jig live bait when off shore. Use live or as fillets. The whiting fames have been responsible for the bag-outs on snapper we have enjoyed.

The Fishing Ahead

The cooler months will turn into the springtime and with bream in the river hot on the spawn, there is excitement around the next few months as the river system is really coming back to life. Local traders are well supplied with bait, tackle and all the fishing essentials to help all members of the family to have a great time.

With some of the best all-round fishing on the east coast right here at Burrum Heads, we are certain it will provide you with some great fishing tales while you catch up on some well-earned R&R.


Locals love a chat so ask for some local knowledge and remember, the ladies are good for some hints too.

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