Baffling river fishing
  |  First Published: December 2016

It’s that season again to enjoy time with family and get some much needed hours on the water. The lead up to Christmas is usually busy – we have to get the house ready for visitors, prepare the camping gear and pack for the holidays. For those that don’t have to worry about all the fuss, or are prepared, the couple of weeks prior to the holiday chaos usually have great fishing. The lead up to the full moon on the 14th will be well worth a pre-Christmas fishing adventure, as the tides will be great for estuary fishing.

The Burnett

The Burnett has produced some great fishing for cod, grunter, bream and even a few mangrove jack. Barramundi have been caught recently. Remember that it’s closed season and if you hook one while chasing other species, don’t lift them out of the water. Release them boat side as carefully as you can. The town reach of the Burnett has produced school mulloway ­– they are small but fun for the kids.

The bridge pylons have schools of trevally hanging around, with a few big jacks mixed in. The jacks have been destroying lures and rigs. Night fishing around the lights has produced some bigger fish including jacks, mulloway and some very big river whalers (sharks). The mouth of the river has started to fire, as the large schools of baitfish move up and down the coast. Mackerel of all sorts have hit trolled lures and baits, with the odd big Spaniard around the bait schools. The ever-present mac tuna have turned up and are a bit of fun on light tackle. Spinning with chrome slices and slugs will get you hooked-up.

The Baffle

The Baffle is getting more and more popular with locals and travelling anglers and so it should. It’s a magic place that can produce great fishing and crabbing. If you can sneak up there before the crowds then do so – the creek will get a lot of traffic over the break. The jacks have really fired up with warmer water temperatures and they have spread out throughout the system.

The creek is still flowing fresh in the upper reaches, which should get the prawns moving. Prawn imitations will be a go to for the lure fisherman. My favourite technique for the Baffle is fishing with surface lures, and I fish them pretty much all day. Mangrove jack are my main target, but I also catch trevally, bream, queenfish and barra when in season. Have a happy and safe Christmas and I hope Santa brings you heaps of new fishing gear.

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