THERE are a few new fishy things going on in Bundaberg at the moment. Firstly, we have a new reef fishing charter boat called Kato. This vessel is run by Rob Wood of Bundaberg Deep Sea Charters, and is currently running out of the Bundaberg Port Marina. It is 28ft long and carries eight anglers at a time. Rob says he is currently very busy, as there is a good demand for one-day reef charters for small groups in this area.
Rob starts off by heading out to our close-in reefs and does a bit of bottom bouncing, and lately this has produced plenty of tablefish like red emperor, sweetlip, hussar, cod and the odd nice coral trout. As the day progresses he jigs live baits and trolls them using his downrigger around the many pelagic hot spots in our area. Big black king, giant trevally and Spanish mackerel have all been landed by some of his lucky clients. If you’re interested in a charter with Rob you can give him a call on (07) 4159 0995 or 0427 590 995.
The other offshore charter vessel at the port marina isn’t new here, but it has changed its operation slightly. Bundaberg Reef and Game Charters are now concentrating on extended reef fishing trips to Cato and wreck reefs. If you saw the episodes of Escape With ET that featured the 65ft Crusader 111 you’ll know what’s in store for the mad keen adventure-loving angler out there. Giant dogtooth tuna, Spanish mackerel, GTs the size of small cars and a whole lot more. ET was flyfishing of one of the sand quays catching coral trout, sharks, barracuda and a heap of other fantastic sportfish.
Jeff Shorthouse, the owner of Bundaberg Reef and Game Charters, also runs The Bundy Belle and the Burnett Queen. These two passenger ferries cruise the Burnett River from the town reach down to the heads. They also take dinners at night to both the Blue Water Club at Burnett Heads and Baltimore at the port marina, and then return them back to town. These ferries have been very popular with tourists and have really added something special that even the locals are proud off.
As I write this, Bundaberg is getting a real drenching and the town is loving it. This should really get things moving in our estuaries, and with rivers and creeks flowing the baitfish and prawns should start the fish biting. It will take a couple of weeks for the place to settle down, and then we should see some great fishing.
The Baffle, having such a large catchment, will stay fresh for some time. This is great news because, like all the systems on the East Coast, this creek has desperately needed a good flush out. If you’re planning a trip up to the Baffle over the next few weeks, take plenty of prawn imitations. There should be plenty of real prawns moving around, and the predators will certainly be tuned into them.
The Burnett River should also fish really well after the fresh settles in. With a bit of luck you might even get to tangle with a barra or two.
Robert Wood of Bundaberg Deep Sea Fishing Charters reports that light winds have made for some great fishing lately. Rob’s clients have been encountering a variety of fish, including snapper, grass sweetlip, cobia, trevally, parrot and catfish (that’s right – catfish! There have been plenty of them fighting quite well on light tackle). A 16kg cobia from the Barjon was one of the most memorable catches, putting up a good fight on a l0kg outfit.
The crew from the Bargara Hotel had a great day fishing at the Fifteen Mile not long ago. They started the day at 6am drinking beer at the Port Marina jetty. By 10am there was none left, and the boys wanted to charter a helicopter out to the reef to drop off more beer supplies. However, after working out the logistics of it all, they were content to head back to Baltimore’s for a liquid lunch. A good day had by all!
I recently spent the weekend with my family out at Monduran Dam, staying at the camping grounds. The barra were slow but there were plenty of bass to catch. Unfortunately, some of the angling public are still not aware of in-possession bag limits.
If you’re fishing an area for a couple of days and there’s a possession limit of two fish per person, here’s what it means: at any one time you can have only two of those fish, whether you’re in your boat or in your camp. That means you can’t go out four times in a day, catch your two fish and then put them in your esky – that equals eight fish in your possession. These rules are for everybody from every state, so if you travel interstate please make the effort to learn the rules. As far as the Fisheries Patrol officers are concerned, ignorance is no defence!
On the positive side of the weekend, my two-year-old son Hayden landed his first lure-caught bass. He was wasn’t overly impressed but I certainly was! He was using a Storm Flat R on my Black Diamond Bass Predator spin, and although the bass didn’t do it for him the big catties did.
If you’re heading to the dam, be aware that it has risen to around 46%. This means it’s back to the drawing board! The bass and barra will have moved around to look for new homes and food, but when you do find them they should be on the chew.Reads: 1985