Meter madness in the Fitzroy
  |  First Published: June 2016

Winter is certainly upon us, and with the cooler waters we see nice calm weather, big reef fish and even bigger Spanish mackerel. The cooler water also brings out decent schools of bream and whiting onto the flats along with blue salmon in the creeks and rivers. On top of all of this, the crabbing in the region has been great in the past month, with many people catching big hauls.

The Fitzroy

The river has been going well, with a number of people catching large barra. These fish are being pulled in the Rockhampton stretch, with many people having luck off the rocks between the two bridges on low tide, and all the pontoons along the river.

King threadfin salmon have also been on many peoples’ hit lists, with some cracking-sized fish being caught towards the mouth of the river. Many fishos are persisting with lures to target the species and sometimes it pays to ‘match the hatch’. When the salmon are feeding on smaller food sources such as small prawns and crabs, lures of that style and size need to be used. There are many lures on the market now of all shapes and sizes to cover almost every scenario.

As the water temperature drops, some of the deeper holes will start holding the big jewfish and grunter that a lot of people target in the ‘off season’ on days that are too rough to head out to the islands.

Inshore regions

The Keppel Group has been fishing well along with coastal headlands around Curtis Island, Hummocky and Ship Rock. A great variety of species have been caught, and anything from queenfish through to mackerel, coral trout and red emperor has been common.

The most common outfit around the islands for casting metals and small poppers is a 7ft rod rated at about 15-30lb matched with a 4000 sized reel. This set up will catch most of the species around the Keppel Group and is easy to use all day long.

Fishing around the many rock bars around the Keppel Group has resulted in a large number of mackerel, queenfish and trevally being taken. Most of these fishing have been taken on barra sized hardbodies and barra gear! The number of baitfish getting around is unreal, but at the moment it’s mostly herring.

Creeks and Estuaries

All the creeks and estuaries around the region will soon see a boom from the cold waters, and bream will start stocking up for spawning, flathead will be more present, whiting will be up on the flats more and the pelagics will push further into the estuaries.

Blue and king threadfin salmon will be abundant and can be great fun on light gear.

With the bream and whiting moving up onto the flats and headlands, the main idea would be to find the pressure points and spots away from the water flow or the calm side of a rubble patch. Bream and whiting are some of the most commonly targeted species in Australia and everyone has their own special bait or lure that works for them, but around here it will come down to whatever food source is in the area.


Crabbing has been pretty good the last month. It’s been much better than expected, with some very large and very full bucks being taken from the river and feeder creeks.

Mullet heads and heavy duty pots have been selling like crazy and the feedback from people and the photos coming in have been insane.

Anyone who likes a crabbing session should definitely get down, drop some pots and nail some crabs while they are going hard. If you’re new to crabbing, crab pot kits are also available.

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