It's been a typical start to a Queensland summer; hot, stormy and muggy. Bundaberg has had some pretty steamy days of late and this should continue through February, which means fishing is way more comfortable early in the morning or out for a late arvo session.
The river has been on fire lately with the odd storms just keeping enough fresh flowing down it to keep the bait, prawns and fish moving around.
With the holiday crowds gone home it’s now time for the locals to come out and enjoy our pristine waterways once again.
The deeper holes in the Burnett have been producing good grunter on both lures and baits and with a few nice salmon eating the blades and soft vibes there has been some reel fun being had.
The boys from Tackle World have had heaps of good reports lately with mangrove jack and barramundi on the chew and of course as of 1 February; the mighty barramundi will be back on the hit list.
I did manage a couple of trips out the front lately and the mackerel action has been awesome. The Spanish have been around in good numbers in the 6-10kg range and the schoolies and spotties have been in plague proportions. Without a doubt the number one fish producer for me has been a 40g Halco Twisty. I have even started fishing it with a short 2” length of single-strand because we have been losing so many to bite offs. Thanks Jason Ehrlich for showing how easy they are to put on if you have prepared them before your trip out.
The mac tuna are also everywhere out the front and they will move in and out depending on bait school movements, so keep an eye on the birds, they will give the tuna away. Even if you don't eat tuna, try catching them for bait as their flesh is firm and they make great strip baits for big trout and sweetlip.
I touched on the fact the barra were back on the target list, which means it’s time to get out there and get amongst them. Barra have turned up in every creek, river, headland and lagoon since the big flood a couple of years ago so it hasn’t been too hard to find a few.
If you’re new to targeting barra and want to give it a go this time of year, they will have just spawned (hopefully) and they will start to push back up the rivers and creeks. Rock bars and deep holes are their favourite haunts but they will hunt and feed in very shallow water and can show up in some very odd spots.
If you do get a hit or see a barra, stay in the area as they are schooling fish and can sit in snags in numbers so keep casting, you may just fire them up.
They will eat all sorts of lures and really you just can't have enough lures so make sure you have the water columns covered. My advice is to have a range of lures at your disposal as sometimes they like suspending lures and sometimes they like them when they float back up to the surface, so the key is be well-armed. In other words, keep trying until you find what they want.
With plastics, I like a big T-tail that works at very slow speeds. The barra will follow and the kick from the tail can just drive them nuts, so they have to hit it. I like to use large-gaped hooks, which means there is a big space between the hook point and the shank of the hook and this gives you a better chance of pinning the fish when they swallow it and try to spit it out.
Whatever type of artificial you decide to use, just make sure the hooks are beefed up as barra will sort cheap and light hooks out very quickly.Reads: 1218