Offshore fishing has been limited lately, thanks to a combination of Coral Reef Finfish Closures and poor weather conditions.
It’s better news in the river systems. The Elliott, Burnett, Kolan and Baffle are all fishing very well, with lots of mangrove jacks being boated. The Burnett and Kolan are also fishing well for big grunter (javelinfish). Some of the best artificials for these fish have been soft plastics and soft vibes, with the most popular choices being 5” Berkley Gulp Jerk Shads, Jackal Transams and Samaki Thumper Tails.
Plenty of bread and butter species are around as well, with anglers getting good numbers of bream, whiting and flathead. The only downside is that quite a few of the flathead are oversize and have to go back, but nobody really minds.
Another option is to head down to the mouth of the Burnett to chase school mackerel. Early in the morning is the best time, before the winds get up. We’re seeing plenty of guys in little boats shoot out to the mouth, catch some schoolies and then zip straight home. Most of the fish have been caught on trolled metal spoons.
On the freshwater scene, Lake Gregory (Isis) has been fishing really well for bass on surface poppers early in the morning. As the sun gets up, it’s best to switch to using spinnerbaits on the weed edges.
There are some crabs around but they’re very patchy at the moment. If you’re keen for a feed of crustaceans, prawns might be a better bet. Although they have been patchy as well, when they do pop up they’re of good quality – we’re talking 15-20 banana prawns to a kilo. The best times are low tide or high tide if you want to get some.
Provided it doesn’t rain or flood (fingers crossed it’s not going to!) we’re going to have one of the best summer species seasons we’ve had in a long time. This will be particularly true for mangrove jacks. There’s plenty of bait, and lots of juvenile jacks mixed in with the big ones. I even caught a handful of small jacks while fishing for bream on the rocks recently, so I’m tipping next month is going to be good.
The reef fishing should be good in December, with welcome catches of coral trout and red emperor. Pelagic-wise, some guys are catching a few marlin. There are quite a few marlin out there – we just need the weather to get out to them – and catches should continue until January or February.
For all the latest information on what’s biting and where, drop in and see the friendly team at Tackle World Bundaberg on 22 Quay St. They’re always happy to answer any questions customers may have. You can also reach them on (07) 4153 4747 or visit their website at www.tackleworldbundy.com.au.Reads: 524