Rocky preparing for hot and steamy
  |  First Published: November 2015

This summer scientist have reported it will be much hotter than many of us have ever been through, and this is due to a massive El Niño effect in our ocean, where the warm water is taken far out into the ocean leaving cooler water close to land. The rainfall follows the warm water and the cooler water causes more dryness for the area.

How much of the east coast this will affect, they still don’t know, as there are way too many variables in place but they are certain in many areas it will be a long hot dry summer.

Congratulations to Craig Griffiths and Tom Hawkes for 1st and 2nd place in the recent Rockhampton Barra Bounty. Craig led with 11,205 points while Tom held close with 9,380.

Fitzroy and the Narrows

With the 1 November upon us, closed season now applies to barra, however it doesn’t mean you can’t get out for a lure fishing session to target the many jacks, blue and king threadfin in the river, not to mention the large bream and grunter up in the narrows. The river temperature is still fairly cool, which is great for blue and king salmon. Typical estuary lures selling in high demand in stores are all pulling fish, especially the blade market with hardbody and soft blades. The hundreds of new prawn imitation lures are also working just as well.

The recent barra competition in the Fitzroy saw a few large species caught, but an overall average length of 50-80cm. There were a few absolute ripper fish were caught in the bounty with a 105cm barra and a 131cm king threadfin topping the board.

River mouths Creeks and Beaches

The estuaries are always loaded with fish at this time of year during the transition of winter to summer, especially with the mild nights upon us. Many people are catching a lot of bream amongst the snags, flathead along the drop offs, sandbars and muddy ledges and a heap of tarpon and cod, that have been around the systems in huge numbers lately.

Like the Fitzroy, the creeks around the area have a decent amount of prawns moving around the area making the prawn imitation plastics the way to go. In the channels through, the estuaries and beach gutters have had a lot of activity from blue salmon and queenfish, both of which are great fish that can be targeted by using lures or baits.

There are a lot of great options for people heading into the estuaries to fish, whether you go up to Yellow Patch on Curtis Island or stay in closer to home targeting the Narrows or Corio Bay, the most important part lately has been matching the baitfish.

I have had some great luck lately using Gulp in the ‘watermelon pearl’ colour because it closely resembles a herring or mullet, a baitfish that have been very active recently. Once I see larger numbers of small whiting pushing in the system, I will switch to a banana prawn colour or ‘new penny’ if the water is murky.

Freshwater lagoons

The freshwater lagoons around the area have plenty of activity this time of year and many of the accessible freshwater areas around the Rockhampton region hold some of Queensland’s most iconic species. Surface and subsurface lures that mimic insects are a go to this time of year, there shear amount of moths around at the moment is amazing. A nice walk-the-dog action or a small popper hat mimics an action of a moth will attract just about every species.

Tarpon are a species you will come to grips with when fishing in the freshwater lagoons around the area, there are hundreds of them, they hit pretty hard, jump a lot and just make surface fishing that much more enjoyable. They don’t fight as hard as a barramundi would, but the sheer number you can catch per session makes up for that!


If you’re wanting to catch a crab or two, the best bait lately is mullet head with catfish coming a close second. Fortunately mullet head can be bought from anywhere and it takes no time at all to rig a pot up with them. A simple bait clip between the eyes and the mullet head is good to go.

The rules still apply at 4 pots per person with the pots and floats both labelled. Label kits can be picked up for next to nothing and come with a waterproof marker, labels and zip ties. Do the right thing when out crabbing to preserve this fishing method for future generations.

‘Fish light get the bite’

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