Goondiwindi is situated along the MacIntyre River, 350km southwest of Brisbane. Gundy, as it is affectionately known by the locals, is arguably home to some of the best wild Murray cod and yellowbelly fishing in Queensland.
The MacIntyre is a mighty river, and feeds the massive crop and cattle properties around the region. The river marks the boundary between NSW and Queensland in this area; consequently the river is under NSW regulation, and you will need a current NSW fishing license.
Goondiwindi is a township immersed in outdoor culture; sports fields and parks are dotted around the town. There are two tackle stores in Gundy that both have helpful and experienced staff who are more than willing to point you in the right direction when seeking local fish. You can also purchase a NSW fishing licenses at these stores or online.
There are many motels and other accommodation to make your stay in Gundy comfortable, all within walking distance of the main street. As far as fishing goes, you don’t need to venture far from the CBD to snag yourself a fish and the boat ramp in the centre of town will provide easy access to the MacIntyre.
There are toilets, ample parking space and shaded grass areas provided at the boat ramp. The stretch of river between the two weirs is approximately 16km long. You will find the banks of the river lined with snags and rock walls, begging to be fished. It won’t matter which direction you head first, there are large numbers of natives awaiting your lure. Casting tight against the banks and standing timber as well as slowly trolling will be successful.
Spinnerbaits, especially types with large gold Colorado blades work the best. Cast under low branches and rock walls for yellowbelly. Many of the large trees that overhang the banks have lost branches into the river below, which make great hidey holes for big Murray cod. If you don’t have a sounder, keep an eye out for trees missing branches and fish the depths below.
Deep diving lures with a wide swaying action will easily get down and into prime snags, and if divers aren’t working, try loud and obnoxious spinnerbaits. Cast them tight against the bank and let them sink, slowly retrieve the spinnerbait, and this should tempt a big green monster out of their lair.
If camping along the riverbank is more your style, there are many public reserves marked along the river. The stretch of river between Goondiwindi and Yelarbon holds many good reserves, in particular Lee’s Reserve.
Lee’s Reserve holds some of the larger bodies of water and is a great spot for a weekend away. Free unpowered bush camping on the water’s edge is what you will find, as well as an abundance of native fish. Mooring your kayak on the bank in front of your tent is all too easy as there are many beaches along the water, large enough to fit the whole family and camper.
Camping so close to the water and with a kayak is definitely an advantage. There is quite a lot of standing timber that holds fish. Be sure to keep a distance from the snags you cast at, because you never know when a 1m+ Murray cod might grab your lure. These big fish are a lot of fun to catch, but can tow a kayak into the trees quite quickly and damage or break gear.
Green and chartreuse lures work well in the area at the moment, so lipless crankbaits and deep divers in this colour are a must. Spinnerbaits of all colours are working well, though models with bigger blades tempt more cod.
If you are feeling adventurous, large surface walkers and poppers will provide you with some heart-stopping, reel screaming action in the early mornings, late afternoons and moonlit nights. Casting these big surface lures past snags and working them back at a slow and steady pace will produce good fish. Don’t be scared to fish very shallow water. Under the cover of darkness, Murray cod will venture into the shallows and take surface presentations willingly.
Goondiwindi is sure to please; with so much water easily accessible by kayak, you’re guaranteed to have a great time.Reads: 582