As good as it gets!
  |  First Published: May 2003

AS I write this, the local fishing is brilliant. Since the recent and ongoing rain our creeks and rivers have been firing, as has the reef and inshore pelagic grounds. The prawns have been thick in the creeks, and this gets the predators moving. Mangrove jack and barramundi are being caught regularly, although this will slow as the water temperature drops.

The pelagics have been pushing right up into the tops of our creeks, and this means lots of fun on light tackle. All the trevallies, queenfish and tarpon have been hitting poppers and soft plastics, and when fished around structure there have been plenty of bream, Moses perch, cod and bust-ups.


Around the mouth of the Burnett there have been plenty of mackerel, trevally and big queenfish for the lure fishers. Just out from the leads the northern bluefin have been in plague proportions, and if QFM’s own Trent Butler can get four in an afternoon on fly tackle they must be thick.

Local lad Scott Bromly and his wife Barbara have also had some good sessions on the river, hooking into tuna, mackerel and queenfish. Tim Mulhall from the local tackle shop Salty’s has been nailing some great fish on the new Prawnstar Shrimps, and will be a hot favourite in the bream tournament coming to the Burnett in August.


The Baffle has been running fresh for two months now, and the fishing has been very tide determined. One of the Baffle’s most respected fishing legends, Frank Barnett, gives me weekly rundowns on how the river has been going. According to Frank there are some elbow-slapper whiting midway up the river, biting on the incoming tide up in the shallows. He also mentioned he caught a 63cm mangrove jack on one of his old Nils Masters a couple of months ago, off the bank in front of his property. Frank has lived on and fished the Baffle for over 50 years, so when he says it’ll fish well for the rest of the year I say “yahoo”!

When the weather gets cooler the jacks and barra slow down. They still hang around, but you need to make excellent presentations on the right tides to get into them. Don’t be discouraged though – there are always plenty of other species to eat your lures.


John Fox from Monduran Dam is very happy at the moment, as the current water level (more than 60%) means they can hold their fishing competition to raise valuable funds for MASA – the stocking group for the dam. The WIN TV Monduran Family Classic will be held on October 11-12, and if you’re interested in competing or sponsorship you can contact Cherrel Hochen on (07) 4154 3265.

Other news is Lake Gregory and Lenthalls dams are firing, with the bigger bass starting to feed up for winter. Bett’s Spins loaded with 3” Baby Bass Slider produced plenty of fun for me on a recent trip to Lake Gregory.

Reef Fishing

Rob Wood from Bundaberg Deep Sea Fishing Charters has been getting his clients onto plenty of sweetlip, hussar and cod off the bottom. They’ve also been nailing some great pelagics, including huge Spanish mackerel and monster wahoo. You can contact Rob on (07) 4159 0995.


There has been a steady increase in the number of sportfishers travelling up to Bundaberg. If you’re in Bundaberg for a sportfishing holiday, drop in and say g’day – I’m happy to help out fellow anglers with what’s on the chew and where. If I’m not on the water you’ll find me at Cooper’s Home Hardware on Quay St, opposite the Bundaberg RSL.

1) Scott Bromly caught this queenfish from the mouth of the Burnett.

2) Barbara Bromly with an impoundment bass that measured 50cm to the fork.

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