Gold in the shallows
  |  First Published: November 2005

With water levels high along most sections of the Murray, anglers fishing worm baits in the shallow backwaters near timber have been catching a few nice golden perch.

Most of our local rivers have extra water in them at this time of the year and this scenario should continue over the next month or so.

The trick is to fish shallow, as most fish are feeding in close to the bank.

While goldens are good fun on light tackle, with the Murray cod season closed until December 1 it’s time to go in search of greener pastures.


Three days in Queensland, three different destinations: This was fishing on the run.

Day one we fished the Fitzroy River at Rockhampton, home of the Rocky Barra Bounty fishing competition, with past winner Mitch Lester.

Mitch is a local who knows his stuff well. When you’re pushed for time, local knowledge is invaluable in giving you the edge on the fish.

With the water temperature down and most other anglers coming up empty-handed, Mitch produced the goods with a nice barra around 60cm tagged and returned to the water.

The thing I found most appealing about the session was it all took place within sight of the ‘Rocky’ CBD. Apparently you don’t have to travel to remote places to catch Barramundi at Rockhampton, they’re right on the front doorstep.

Contact Rockhampton Tourist and Business Information on 07 4922 2855, email --e-mail address hidden-- .

Day two: At 3:30am we made our way to the Keppel Bay Marina to meet skipper Richard Wilson aboard the custom-built Keppeluna catamaran. Two-and-a-half hours offshore, the first baits went down and the action was instantaneous as the rods load up.

My first fish started off small but half a dozen winds of the handle and it suddenly became unstoppable as it was scoffed by something much larger. After a few minutes, the monster below got tired of the game and spat out the smaller fish.

In the other corner of the boat, Graeme Scott had his hands full as he pulled a cod of around 20kg alongside.

The fishing was full-on all day with no less than 18 species coming aboard. A day on the Keppeluna is five-star fishing and with the culinary delights that Richard prepares over the afternoon, you could be forgiven for thinking you were on a floating restaurant. One of the best days fishing I have ever experienced.

Contact Keppeluna cruises on free call 1800 336 244.

Day three was a morning session on Water Park Creek out of Yeppoon with guide Neville Brooks.

Neville is a down-to-earth character intimate with the area and the many forms of angling available. While we did get a few fish for the morning, fresh-cooked mud crabs were the highlight.

Neville set the traps on the way down stream and on our way back upstream at full tide, the traps were retrieved and the crabs were dispatched and cooked.

Neville operates out of Yeppoon and fishes most waters within a two-hour radius. Overnight or extended trips are also available for one to four people. If you are ever in the area this is one bloke who’s well worth a look. A few days with Nev would be full-on fun.

Contact Nev Brooks at Nev’s Sportsfishing Tours on 97 4925 0266, mobile 0411 661 314.

It’s back to the Murray next month!

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