Make the run to the reef!
  |  First Published: May 2016

Saying I am impressed with the fishing lately doesn’t even cut it, as we’ve had a huge number of quality fish caught through April and into early May.

We have had much better weather windows to head out to the reefs and mouths of the rivers. The freshwater rivers and impoundments have been producing good quality fish, which I have not seen in some time with many catching their share of barra, and some have exceeded 120cm!


They seem to be everywhere at the moment and what a bag of fun they are to catch! Facing Island has been producing good fish both in the north and south entrances. The best catches are coming mostly through the southern entrance around the shipping channels around the beacons. Trolling diving lures that dive anywhere between 2-7m seem to be the best lures.

For those who don’t like to troll, floated baits and jigging has also good numbers around Rundle Island, Hummocky Island and Bass Shoals.


Right along the front of Facing Island and toward the mouth of North Entrance, we have seen some good catches of school, spotted and grey mackerel. Again, a deeper lure that dives to around 3-7m has been working the best. Some days there is a lot of bird activity and they are feeding on the surface, but most of the time they seem to be a little deeper.

Northwest, Masthead, Lamont and around the southern side of Rockcod have seen good numbers of Spanish for those floating pilchard baits, and this is also a good place to have a jig.

Red Emperor

Boult Reef, Northwest and Fitzroy would be my target areas for reds, as they are sticking to around 38m and deeper.

Whole cuttlefish would be my pick for bait.

There have also been some sporadic reports of good catches off Masthead in and around 20-30m of water and at Rockcod in 17m of water.

Coral Trout

Trout have arguably been the most common reef catch throughout the past few weeks, and all outer reefs are fishing well for them, as well as some of inshore areas such as Rundle, the outside of Facing, and in an around Rat Island.

Trolling diving lures to around 7-10m of water saw some quality fish brought into the boat north of Facing Island along the coastline a few weeks ago We also saw some good trout bottom bouncing shallower waters, and a few of the deeper areas past Masthead and Sykes.

At the moment, you could target them around any structure you see fly up on your sounder.

Barramundi and Mangrove Jack

The Boyne and Calliope are fishing well for both species, and the rivers have drained very well. Pikes Crossing is showing good numbers of both species and the upper reaches of both systems are fishing well.

Big tides have created some overflow around Callemondah, which is producing great sized barra for those flicking lures on the fresh side. Both plastics and hardbodied lures are giving up the goods.

Night fishing for jack along the banks of both systems and in and around the bridges is also bring anglers joy, live baits and plastics have been the best offerings.

Well that’s all from me this month. I hope everyone had a great time at the Hook Up and it was fantastic to see so many kids getting involved in our great sport. The huge turnout was brilliant to see, we need to support these events as they are too important for our community to lose.

Happy fishing and stay safe on the water.

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