April sun in Bundaberg
  |  First Published: April 2014

It’s been a dry, windy March and the forecast is for a dry April but hopefully without the wind.

With school holidays and Easter in April there should be plenty of time to get on the water. The Bundaberg region really shines over the autumn period with sunny skies, calm winds, warm days and cooling nights. For the holiday fishing family areas like Woodgate Beach, Coonar Beach, Elliott Heads, Moore Park Beach and the Baffle area will all be great destinations. I am really looking forward to my Easter break and it will be spent camping by a river with friends and family and of course there will be my fishing gear.

April on the fishing front should produce a few less windy days giving us all a chance to get on the water without having to hang onto our hats.

Inshore should see an increase of pelagic action with large schools of tuna and mackerel already being encountered by those who have been lucky enough to get out. My favourite way to get into the pelagics is by casting metal lures at them and let them sink into the schooling fish, then wind like crazy until you hook up. My pick of lures for the job is either the 20g or 30g Halco Twisty. They have bent up ends that make the lure flutter down rather than sink like a stone and often the fish will eat them as they sink. Even if you’re having a baitfish out the front and it’s a bit slow I often cast a Twisty out, let it sink near the bottom then rip it up at a great rate of knots. Often mackerel cruise around close to the bottom and a metal slice flying through the water column can spark them up and they will chase and eat it, which is great fun.

Other options are to troll for mackerel. Mackerel are very fast fish so trolling slow is not an option. Keep your boat speed around 8-10 knots and don’t worry as you can’t troll too fast for them. Keep an eye on your sounder as sometimes the fish will be sitting pretty deep, so deeper diving lures are the go. If you can’t get a bite but you’re sure they are there, then a live bait trolled slowly is pretty deadly on them as well.

In the rivers and creeks there will be a few boats on the water so get out there early if you want to avoid the crowds. Most rivers should fish well through April as water temperatures will drop slightly but not too much to shut the fish down. There have been some nice size grunter being caught in the deeper holes in most systems and fresh prawns or live yabbies have been the best bait. There have been some good fish being caught on soft plastics as well and they are being caught in the same places the bait fishers are getting theirs, which of course is in the deeper holes. My favourite plastic for targeting fish like grunter is the Berkley Gulp Single Tail Grub in the 4” in either the brown or white colour.

For those anglers keen for a jack or barra you should still be in with a very good chance this month. For jacks the rivers have stayed pretty salty so as long as the water isn’t too clear, head upstream. For barra they have been found in most sections of rivers and creeks but they will start to move around a bit as the water cools so they may take some finding.

It’s no secret my favourite are the jacks and they will be on my hit list over Easter. I plan to fish in the upper reaches of a few local creeks in my Polycraft and in my kayak and, as it’s a time to spend with family, I will be time managing the best I can. For those of you in the same boat, so to speak, the best way not to get into too much trouble is to try to fish only at peak times. So try and time your hours spent fishing around the turns of the tide say 2 hours before the low until 2 hours after as this will have you on the water in peak jack feeding time. Traditionally I have some cracking jack fishing in April.

As long as the weather behaves I believe we will be in for a great holiday period so bring it on I say.

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