Things are really starting to warm up around Bundy, and the fishing is following suit. With a bit of rain about, the fish are more consistent down towards the mouths of our creeks and rivers, but there are still plenty of options for anyone visiting over January.
Things have been a bit patchy in the Baffle lately, with the mouth probably producing more than upriver. Frank Barnet, one the Baffle’s longest serving fisherman, reports there have been a few whiting about in the shallows and there are also a few prawns for those willing to put in the effort.
Speaking of effort, Frank has been trying to catch a mangrove jack on a Prawnstar since last year. So far he hasn’t managed it but he assures me he’s not going to give up. Keep it up, Frank – it’ll happen.
For my money, a trip or two up Baffle Creek on the smaller tides for a few jack would be the trick. It will also be well worth a trip right up the top of the river to target jacks but be careful as there are plenty of rock bars.
The big tides mean plenty of baitfish down the mouth of the river, followed closely by pelagics, so break out the spinning rod and have a go at the tuna. The southeasterlies will start to blow and this will have the tuna eating their way south, so watch for a break in the weather and get into them.
The spit on the north wall will produce queenfish, trevally and wolf herring on poppers, and if they won’t take the popper try a big soft plastic – they won’t be able to resist that.
Upriver there should be a few jacks around Tofts Rocks, and as usual for January there will be a few barra caught.
January is typified by unpredictable weather dominated by strong wind changes, but if you do get a weather window you have to be careful where you go as most of Bundy’s inshore fishing grounds are now green zones – not to mention the reef spawning closures.
I don’t know how the once-a-year reef fishermen are going to fare with all these new restrictions on their annual fishing holidays, but I bet they won’t be happy. Some visitors may not come back, and that’s not good for our local economy.
I hope the state government is listening as they plan their next wave of attacks on our recreational fishery. Tourism means jobs, and recreational fishing tourism doesn’t need any more restrictions choking the flow of interstate and international anglers paying to experience Queensland’s awesome fishing. I agree we need to reach a balance, but so far I have yet to see any balance at all. My advice is to join The Fishing Party – at least we have someone batting for our side.Reads: 816