Hit up the Burnett for a paddle
  |  First Published: June 2016

Finally the seemingly endless summer has relented and the cooler weather is upon us. June in the Bundaberg region comprises of cool clear mornings with the onset of chilly westerlies bringing drier cold air from the inland and forcing us Queenslanders to actually use footwear.

The Rivers

As the water temperature drops, the warmer species of fish that thrive in the warm water will either move offshore or become very difficult to tempt a bite from. This isn’t a total loss as winter brings on a whole new set of species to target with their own specific techniques to master. I get to see a lot of great fishing images from all my Facebook friends and many of them live and fish around Brisbane.

These friends fish a lot in the Brisbane River at this time of year to target snapper from the many deep holes, structure and drop-offs using vibes and plastics. Last winter I put a bit of time into trying out this technique in the Burnett River and did manage some good fish, but no decent snapper. I believe they come in and hunt in the river mouth just like in Brisbane and this year I will be trying to get that trophy snapper from our river. I have seen some photos of our local gun fisher with some awesome fish caught on vibes fishing around the deep holes, including some nice snapper. I am confident that if you put the time and effort in you will get some great reward.

The bread and butter species of the rivers really come into their own now with bream, whiting and flathead a major draw card. As winter progresses, bream become a big target among the local anglers both young and old and in the Burnett they really can turn it on. Bream are pretty much an all year round target in our rivers, but as the water cools the big ones move into the rivers in numbers to spawn. This is when you have the chance to mess with some really decent specimens including plenty of fish over the 1kg mark.

Whiting have been pretty much everywhere lately with a late run of summer whiting still hanging around and the winter whiting starting to show up recently. Winter whiting will get thicker this month and the best way to target them is on fresh prawns, squid and of course live yabbies will get you a feed. Flathead love the cooler water temperatures too and trolling the shallow sand flats with small hardbodied lures should get you into a few of these flatfish that hunt winter whiting.

Having a Yak

I love kayaking, whether with a fishing rod or simply paddling along under your own steam observing undisturbed nature. After breaking my collarbone a couple of years ago and having surgery on my shoulder paddling for a few hours became more painful than enjoyable, so it was time for an upgrade.

I recently acquired a new Hobie Revolution 11 and after its maiden voyage I am rapt. It is easy to manoeuvre and so fast under both pedal power and with the paddle, which is why I decided on this model. The best feature is the new lumbar support seat. Even after five hours in the seat I hopped up and still had feeling in my butt and legs.

There are a lot of keen kayakers in Bundaberg and over the next few months of cooler weather I will be taking part in a few camping kayaking weekends. If you are like-minded drop me a line as there is a trip being planned to paddle the fresh water of the Burnett and anyone is welcome to come.

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