Cold snap, good fishing!
  |  First Published: June 2014

Predominately sunny weather and fairly calm conditions in the Rockhampton area made for great fishing over the past month, especially after the few cold snaps. This trend should continue for the month to come. Saltwater areas are firing up with many catches of grunter, trevally, bream, flathead and even some nice school jew.

The Fitzroy River has not been fishing as well as usual though, with most reports coming through about grunter, jew and salmon around the mouth. The semi-regular doses of freshwater run-off and the cold snaps are part of the cause.

The islands have been teeming with fish. The colder weather has brought with it fairly calm days and clearer water, and many of the reports have been of mackerel and tuna caught around the Keppel group.


The freshwater areas around Rocky had been fishing well for barra and tarpon because of all the fresh. However, during the end of the month when the cold really set in the barra become more timid, with only a few captures here and there. The tarpon are still running well though, and on light gear they’re heaps of fun.

The river

The river had been going well but now mainly smaller barra are being pulled in the Rockhampton vicinity, with many people having luck off the rocks between the two bridges on low, and all the pontoons along the river. Towards the end of the month the same happened to the river as happened in the freshwater: the cold snaps turned the barra a little timid and off the chew. All is not lost though, because persistence can pay off.

The good news is there is quite a large amount of salmon in the river at the moment once you find the salty areas. At present this is more towards the mouth of the river as the barrage still has a fair bit of water coming out.


I don’t normally comment on the inshore areas such as the Keppel group with barra fishing. However, with the river the way it is at the moment, myself and many other fishos have headed out to the islands more frequently to take full advantage of the cold, clear weather.

Just walking the rocks and foreshores of the different islands can produce many species, from cod and queenies to the ideal reef captures like coral trout and grassy sweetlip. Heading for a troll or casting around rocky structures have been pulling many fish from doggie, spotted and grey mackerel through to tuna and queen fish. The most ideal lures have for the mackerel and tuna have been found to be flashers, small metals and The H79 and R21 coloured Halcos. For walking the rocks we have been using 6lb braid, 15lb fluorocarbon and anything predominately Zereks and 4” Gulp jigging grubs.


Although the river has been slow for barra fishing due to the fresh and cold, many people are still pulling ripper crabs out around the port and Thompsons Point. Mullet heads and heavy duty pots have been selling like crazy and the feedback from people and the photos have been insane. Anyone who likes a crabbing session should definitely get down and get some crabs while they are going hard or if you’re new to the process crab pot kits are readily available.

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