A quick-snap start to the cold season
  |  First Published: June 2017

Winter is upon us. We really got a volatile jump between summer and winter this year – one day it was hot and the next we didn’t even break 30°C.

The Fitzroy River has been going well with a number of people catching large barra. These fish are being pulled in the Rockhampton vicinity with many people having luck off the rocks between the two bridges on low tide. It is fair to note that most of the success in the town reaches has been on live bait. Threadfin salmon have been a good and viable target for many anglers and the majority of these fish have been caught near the mouth of the river.

As the water temperature continually drops, the fish will move into the deeper holes along the river along with the deeper gravel and rubble patches. With the lure market full of wild and interesting lures, sometimes it pays dividends to try some you haven’t used before. There are a lot of great crab imitations out there and these can be very successful fished along rock bars and rocky banks.

Rivers, Creeks and the Beaches

Many of the local creeks and beaches have been fishing well. Coorooman has been holding many large grunter, good-sized salmon and decent bream. There have been a great amount of prawns in the systems which many fishos have been using as live bait. The most common way of rigging these prawns is a 2/0 circle hook with a lightly weighted sinker. This lets the prawns waft around more.

Using the lightest sinkers lets the bait look more natural in the water and gives less pressure when the fish tries to take the bait, so it’s more likely to stay on. On the lure side of things, casting into the drains and gutters has worked surprisingly well. Little 3” minnows in green and white have proved very good for grunter and bream.


With the weather cooling down, the freshwater areas are slowly getting harder and harder to induce bites. Lately the Woolwash and Frogmore lagoons have filled up more with recent rains. This is certainly helping them give out a few last good fishing sessions before the cold finally shuts it down.

Hedlow has had some great last sessions, always around 2pm in the afternoon and always using big gold deep diving lures like YoZuri Hydro Magnums. The afternoon surface bite in the freshwater has become less productive for barra, but you can certainly still get a high catch count with the tarpon.


Crabbing is pretty good at the moment with many people catching a heap of bucks at Corio Bay and Coorooman. Whole mullet is still doing the trick like last month. Thankfully we are still getting patches of rain, enough to stir the crabs and keep them active and feeding on all the stuff coming out of the creeks after the rain. The crabs will eventually slow down. For now they are still in good numbers.

As winter sets in and we get calmer weather, many anglers will head towards Kepple Island to get stuck into some fish. It might be time to brush up on the regulations, as the minimum safety requirements at the Kepples are very different to the minimum in the river. Life jacket levels are just one example.

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