|  First Published: October 2013

I don't know what happened to spring but we are well on the way to a hot, hot summer. With the early increase in temperatures, the fishing is really heating up and so long as we don't get too much rain, we should see some awesome estuary fishing.

The Burnett River

The Burnett is as clean as I have seen it for years. The reason is Sunwater has stopped releasing water from Paradise Dam so they can repair the spillway from the damage of the floods. I believe it won't be long before we see them releasing again, which will give us a bit more environmental flow. This will see an increase of dirtier water back in the river.

In the freshwater reaches the low water levels have revealed how much the river has changed due to the massive amount water that carved its way along the river. There are some very deep holes and carved out banks and also some very shallow areas that will make navigating the river in anything other than a kayak or canoe nearly impossible. For the explorer who is looking for some untouched water that is loaded with bass, golden perch, silver perch and believe it or not barramundi, the freshwater reaches of the Burnett should be on your list of places to visit.

Further down in the salt the river has been fishing sensationally with the guys in the know catching barramundi, salmon and some big mangrove jack. How are they in the know you say? It’s simple, the guys who are getting into the quality fish are putting in the time. I have been speaking to a few of those in the know and the common thread with is the amount of time. They don't have great sessions every time they are the water, but each time they are on the water they are learning more about when is the best time and what is the best technique. So a good tip is to get out on the water look around and put the time in.

The Baffle

Roger from Baffle Creek Caravan Park has been very busy fishing nearly every day and he has been catching plenty of flathead and mangrove jack. This time of the year is prime fishing time for the Baffle and mad keen jack anglers should get themselves up there before any big fresh water flushes. I would be putting in at the ferry crossing and heading up stream looking for the bait. If you don't see baitfish or jelly prawns, head back towards the mouth. This time of year the fish will move up and down the river with the bait, so it's very important to make sure you fish where the fish are.

As the water is very clear, getting on the water early before the sun is too high and casting to the shallows would be the go. As the sun rises and the fish move to deeper water, it’s time then to get out the sinking lures and hit the deeper ledges. I like using darker plastics and lures in such clear water. I also like to be very quiet and use longer casts as the clearer water means the fish sometimes see you before you see them and when that happens they spook and are nearly impossible to tempt.

Further afield

I managed a trip up to Middle Creek recently and had a great day catching my favourite mangrove jack, fingermark, flathead and quit a few trevally. The key that day was locating fish on the side imaging and nearly every time we did we caught them. We used Prawnstars, Ripple Shad soft plastics and Jackall Transams and they all caught fish. My fishing partner for the day Paul was amazed at how well the side imaging worked for locating fish and luckily enough the fish were active, so all we had to do was too put the lure where the fish were. Of course this doesn't work every time but it certainly helps if you’re fishing where the are.

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