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Time to hit the beaches
  |  First Published: December 2013



Bundaberg has had a busy year with floods and recovery, and there are a lot people ready to down tools and pick up a rod and reel. Of course, the waterways are always busy during the holidays, so if you’re keen to get amongst them you may have to get up early or plan a few night time trips.

Beaches

Holiday time is beach time! Bundy’s beaches are great for the kids and great to wet a line in as well. The main targets are dart, whiting and flathead, and with the right approach you can get the kids wet and catch a feed at the same time.

Woodgate, Coonar and the beaches dotted along the coast are all accessible but you will need a 4WD for Coonar. Dart are always a great target off the beach and they love beachworms, pipis and the will also eat small soft plastics. They usually bite on the incoming tide but if you’re fishing around a creek mouth they will bite all tide when you find them.

The whiting love coming right up into the shallows on the incoming tide. Don't be afraid to cast your line along the beach because sometimes if you have waded out you have gone past the fish. They love beachworms and yabbies, and the pipis that you find at your feet in the sand will do just fine, too.

The flathead will come into the drains and gutters on the hunt for whiting and they will take pilchards, yabbies and worms.

When I was a kid some 40 years ago I was walking along the beach at Woodgate with my fishing rod loaded with a yabby when I came across a bloke casting his line in the water. He kept winding it back in after each cast, and I confidently told him he wouldn’t catch anything unless he left his bait there for the fish to find. He then showed me he was fishing with a soft plastic, and that the technique he was using was the way to fish them.

I followed this man a while and watched him catch a few flathead on that plastic, and I was instantly hooked on lure fishing. I still love wandering along the beach casting soft plastics and lures into the surf, and even my kids love doing it. Like the whiting you don't have to cast a long way out because our beaches are usually very calm; the white water the fish use to hide in is right at your feet. I spend most of my time casting along the beach and slowly walking along, gazing out to sea. It’s very peaceful.

River Fishing

The big jacks are well and truly on the chew at the moment. As the barramundi in the rivers and creeks are off limits for the closed season, the mad keen anglers are targeting jacks.

We haven't had any decent rain for months and the creeks and rivers are very clean. In fact, some are crystal clear which can make fishing pretty hard. If we don't get any rain before you head for a fish, look around the mouths of the systems as the tidal movement usually stirs the water up a bit and the predators will hunt there. Also fish the deeper holes as the fish will hole up there during the day and hunt at night.

If you’re keen on catching a jack on a surface lure, now is the time to get into them. In the early morning low light in clear water, the jacks just love a slowly worked C’ultiva Zip’N Ziggy. It’s a walking type of lure which, when worked properly, moves from side to side like a wounded baitfish. My favourite colour is gold, but if the fish are swirling the lure but not committing try a different colour. This sometimes makes a world of difference.

Well, I hope you get some new fishing gear for Christmas and then get the chance to use it. Merry Christmas!

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