Cool Water Tempters
  |  First Published: August 2007

Winter is definitely here with the water temps at their lowest. Offshore water in the Bundaberg area is down to 18C and is so clear it is hard to encourage the fish to bite.

Last month I mentioned fishing at 1770 with the idea of catching some marlin in July and August.

On a recent trip we left Bundaberg bound for the Karma, a wreck lying out from Baffle Creek. It is situated about half way to 1770 and is a 50nm voyage. This place is notorious for large kingfish but is well known for the schools of trevally. The fish generally haunt this 70m wreck that lies in 20m of water. It is a great place to take the kids for some light tackle practise. We dropped our baits and caught trevally after trevally.

In calm waters we continued to 1770. South from Agnes Waters, we sighted large schools of bait from the spring’s beach.

Billfish and pelagic fish of all varieties favour the warmer water temperatures in this area. Put large schools of bait on the menu, and you will have a place that rivals South West Rocks on the northern coast of NSW. Situated close to the continental shelf, the area is a hot spot for small black marlin in December to March. Even though 1770 is not close to the shelf, it is still fed by warm nutrient rich water from the Coral Sea.

Another area that fishes well for small blacks is Cape Bowling Green. You can plan some incredible game fishing close to 1770 during the winter months that are within 4hrs from Brisbane. Being so close, it becomes accessible by small boat. Therefore, in good weather, a day of fishing can be enjoyed within 10 minutes of the coast. On our first trip we hooked up dolphinfish, yellowfin tuna and one small marlin. That’s not bad for an afternoon’s winter fishing.

Bustard Head near Inner and Outer Rock is about 12km to the north and can produce some great fishing. The campsite at Pancake Creek is also accessible by a small boat. This area can produce rewarding fishing, but be wary of sandflies in summer.

The reef fishing had been fairly good, until the westerlies arrived. The windy climate makes it hard for fishing inshore reefs. The clear water fish do not bite well in these conditions either.

Angers who can travel out over 30km are not affected by these conditions and report pleasing results. August is a great month for the black kingfish as they can pop-up just about anywhere. Last year we caught some huge sized fish. Wreck sites are also good hiding places for the fish. Reports show them being caught on the smallest bit of hard ground. With this in mind, any of the reefs are a possibility.

Live baits are recommended for this time of year. They are usually found inshore, at such places as the leads to the Two-Mile Reef or Ryans Rock. If you do not have any success, try some chook pellets as berley, the laying pellets are best. To facilitate dispersal through the water evenly, it is best to wet them down. This prevents them floating on the top or sitting on the bottom, as the bait jig works best at mid-water.

The Lake

The barra and bass fishing has been surprisingly good. Reports show there have been impressive hauls of both species. This is perhaps due to the declining water level that reduces the search areas. Low levels expose more habitats previously unreachable to lurefishing anglers.

Do not hibernate your rods for winter - there is still plenty of good fishing left.

Remember to book your accommodation for the MASA competition this year. Ring Rob and Kelly at the park to book a campsite. Unfortunately, the Gin Gin hotel is already fully booked, but check out The Wild Scotsman Motor Inn, The Gin Gin Motel and the Village Motel.

The competition is on 13-14 October and Gin Gin really comes alive.

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