Flat conditions and flat fish
  |  First Published: October 2016

A wet start to spring has fired up the fishing in our region, so it’s time to get the boat on the water!

Burnett River

The Burnett has been fishing well with bream, whiting and flathead being on the target list for most anglers and for the most they have been getting a feed. The flathead, of course, have been on the chew and once you have found them they have been there in numbers.

Soft plastics have been a real hit with the flathead with 3” Gulp Shrimp in the pepper colour doing the damage for me. There has been schools of three-tooth jew in the river and although they don’t grow very large, you can eat them as long as they are fresh and well bled.

Mangrove jack have made their presence felt with some local guns donating a few expensive lures to them around Kirbys Wall and in a few of the deeper holes. Trolling around the many rock walls will see you intercept them, but they are very hard to stop using this technique, as they don’t have far to go to bury you in the rocks.

The mouth of the river has produced plenty of flathead and should still do so throughout October. Again, trolling the edges of the sand bars around low tide will put you in with a chance and, once you have caught one, concentrate your efforts in that area.

The pelagics have started to show up around the river mouth as the warmer water starts to push the bait schools along the coast, so keep an eye out for diving birds. Jigging lures around the channel markers can be a very effective way of finding fish. The key is to use your fish finder to locate the pylons with the most bait hanging off them. Once you have located schools of bait around a pylon, jig metal slices or jigs through the bait, as the predators won’t be far from the bait.

I have caught golden snapper (fingermark), giant trevally and all species of mackerel around these pylons using this method; you just have to find the one with the bait on it.

Baffle Creek

The mouth of Baffle Creek is fishing very well and should just keep firing as the water warms up heading towards summer. Flathead have been like a carpet on the bottom. Again, as its spring, if you find one flathead you should find lots of them and the abundant sand flats at the mouth has many ambush points for flathead to hang out in.

Trolling is a great way to look for fish, especially if you haven’t fished this place before. Keep your eye out for creek mouths, junctions and drop-offs.

There have been a few mangrove jack and barramundi turning up down the mouth, with live baits being the most popular method amongst the local anglers. Drop-offs around rock bars have produced fish, and there is no shortage of rock bars in Baffle Creek to choose from.

As the water warms, the fish will start to push upstream, but that may be a month or two away as yet.

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