Full ahead for flatties
  |  First Published: September 2014

The moderately cool weather this winter has really kicked up the fishing in many areas. All the typical winter species such a bream and flathead are very active, and barramundi are still a good estuary species to successfully target. The systems are full of prawns and smaller baitfish, which is a great sign!


The freshwater lagoons and creeks around the region are also beginning to fire up. Shallow fish plastics and surface lures are the way to go to get the fish. Using surface lures at this time of year will stir up the surface water and get a take from a barra and tarpon sitting just below.


The common winter season estuarine species are all in amongst the mangroves and flats of all the creeks and inlets, particularly the Corio Bay.

Grunter have really started to come out recently with many reports of these fish being caught.

Through this past month places like the Fitzroy River and Corio Bay have seen a large number of salmon move in, from king threadfin in the creeks to the blues and flat salmon out the front on the flats and beach gutters.

Now is the time to fish the hot water outlet, the warming waters will see barra leave in the next few months, deep dives and soft plastics cast around in the main channel will see one or two larger specimens landed, if you’re not into the lure side of things, some poddy mullet cast out will do just about the same job.

Whiting have been found just along the drop-off line around the estuaries coming off the flats, fresh yabbies and worms will see you bag out on these in no time.

Flathead have been an easy to take fish this year with a massive hype on soft plastic vibes and almost all manufacturers getting their hands in the pot there are now sizes for any species from bream through to coral trout. There are quite a few good 80mm vibes, which have worked well for flathead around the region.


The city reaches of the Fitzroy River have been fishing quite well and many people have been pulling good sized winter barra and big king threadfin salmon.

Using a down-scan function on a fish finder can provide massive clarity as to where the fish are sitting. There are a few deep holes around the city reaches that have a large number of fish sitting in them.

Many anglers choose to throw soft plastic and hardbody style vibes down so they get down to the depth quick and are capable of imparting a great action simply from lifting and dropping the rod tip.

Inshore regions

The Keppel group has been fishing well along with coastal headlands around the Keppel Bay Marina.

A great variety of species have been caught, anything from large tuna through to mackerel and coral trout. Many people casting for these large long tail tuna are using ‘barra’ spin gear with small metal lures the same size as the baitfish in the water.

Many of the trout and other reef species have been pulled on shrimp imitation lures, such as Zereks and the ever-reliable Gulp Jerk Shads are still taking the fish by storm.

There are heaps of wolf herring out and about lately, which is awesome for anyone stowing away some troll baits for when the mackerel fire up quite a bit late September.

If you have any fishing photos of the Rockhampton/Gladstone region feel free to send them through with a brief description of where you caught the fish and how you caught them.

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