Just about every species is biting well
  |  First Published: April 2017

Last month was still hot and dry, but there was a distinct slight cooling in the early mornings and in the evenings. The water temperature really didn’t drop much, which is supposed to happen in March, but I expect April will see the start of cooler times ahead.

The fishing has been on fire with just about every species of fish on the chew. Offshore there have been great catches of coral trout, sweetlip, cod, hussar and tuskfish. These fish have mostly been caught on bait, with fresh flesh baits being the most successful. There has also been a lot of pelagic activity with different species of tuna and mackerel turning up wherever the bait is. There have been nice Spanish mackerel taken on trolled lures and live baits and this should continue this month.

In the Burnett we’ve had very little rain, so the river has been clean for a long time. This has meant plenty of fish pushing up into the town reach. Barramundi, mangrove jack and grunter seem to be on the hit list amongst the keener anglers.

Night fishing the river with live baits and big vibes has been producing quality fish. Watching your fish finder looking for those schools of prawns and bait is the key to tangling with better quality fish at night. There have been a few big river whalers hunting at night as well stealing some nice fish and giving anglers a bit of a shock.

During April, little will change unless we get some much-needed rain or a dramatic temperature drop. It doesn’t look like that will happen. At the mouth of the river, while it’s so clean, the pelagics have been hunting in close. Now’s a great time for smaller boats to tangle with some big fish.

Floating a live bait around the navigational markers can have you hooked up to just about anything at this time of year. Big tuna, trevally, mackerel and some big toothy critters will hunt the mouth in April. If you need live bait, just outside of the boat harbour entrance always has schools of bait hiding from the current stationed there, just be careful of the rocks on the bottom.

The Baffle

April on the Baffle is a great month with fish moving up and downstream hunting the prawns. There is still a bit of fresh water high up in the creek and this attracts a lot of fish, as they love to transition between the two to get rid of lice and other bugs. The mouth has been producing a few barramundi on live baits and spear guns, but I expect there won’t be many left soon to target.

There are schools of trevally and queenfish hunting the flats around the mouth giving keen anglers some fun on light tackle. Small surface lures or plastics worked where you’re seeing the baitfish spraying out of the water should get you into some fun. The mangrove jack will be moving around so check the deeper rock bars and holes and try jigging vibes or trolling a few lures up and down the rocks. Just remember to hang on – there have been some big jacks caught this time of the year.

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