Fitzroy river producing
  |  First Published: February 2014

The barra season is now open, which is excellent news for those of us who enjoy targeting this species. I prefer catch and release because you can still have fun catching them while ensuring the population will be there for future generations.

As always, the Rockhampton city reaches of the Fitzroy river will be fishing well, especially with the active and large amount of bait from the mid-January rains.

Fitzroy and the Narrows

After a lot of heat then some patches of heavy rain last month, February is predicted to be a great fishing month for species such as barra, salmon and golden snapper (fingermark). Small deep diving hardbody lures appear to be doing the trick, with lightly weighted prawn plastics still getting the salmon.

As always, a collection of fresh baits can’t go wrong in this river – especially when they’re well-presented out the front of a bit of structure. A little hint when picking up some lures this month – there’s an exceptional amount of bait so natural colours are going to be the winner. Anything that looks like a spangled perch or mullet or even hardbody lures in the shape of a bony bream will be your best bet.

Rivers, Creeks and the Beaches

The salt is fishing well, especially in the harbour. Many fish are being taken on little hardbody lures and plastics. The long-range forecast predicted that the heat would pick back up, and if so the burst of bait from the rain and the activity from the predators from the heat will make fishing the flats brilliant. The most likely species you’ll catch include trevally, queenfish, bream and salmon.

If the rain continues into early February, the turbidity in most of the harbour and little creeks will pick up. That’s when it would be best to stick it out and fish in some of the bigger creeks right up against the structure. Either way, late February should be a cracker of a month for fishing!

Freshwater lagoons

The lagoons have been fishing very differently of late. Although fish are still being taken on surface there have been many more captured on plastics, which points to a larger amount of baitfish and the predators having to rely less on insects and other surface animals like frogs.

If the rain continues with steady weekly showers, the lagoons should fire up more on surface lures, shallow divers and baits. This is because the fish will move up the water column to get into the cool water provided by rain and run-off.


Crabbing is a relatively cheap fishing activity to get in to. All you need to start out are some basic pots, floats and ropes. Just write your name on the pots and the floats and you are good to go. The limit of pots is 4 per person but most crabbing packages from stores are 4-pot deals so there’s no worries there. Why not pick up a few pots on your next trip to get some tackle, and give crabbing a go?

The crabs are going extremely well with many large bucks bagged around the port. Obviously the further from other people you put your pots the more success you will have. Most people have been coming into work and saying they are getting 8-10 legal crabs a trip, with most crabs being full of meat. Grab a bag of mullet heads and some bait clips before your next crabbing trip!

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