Now that Autumn has set in, with shorter days and cooler nights, the water temperature is dropping rapidly. This brings on the more temperate species in the region, such as snapper, kingfish, bream and flathead.
I quite like this time of year because the cooling water becomes clearer, making it a good time to have a look in those creeks, estuaries and river mouths that are usually a bit too murky to see in. I recommend checking out the rock bars, gravel beds and snags that fish use for cover in the warmer months. It’s like doing your homework for next summer, and in this era of digital technology it doesn’t take much to snap a few reminder shots to keep in your fishy file.
The cool clear water also sees more and larger pelagics move into the inshore waters chasing the masses of baitfish that move along the coastline.
The Burnett River mouth, which has fished well for the past few months should start to see a few of the larger queenfish and trevally hunting around the wreck on the north wall. Tailor have already moved in and I have been catching them on most types of hard bodied shallow diving lures along with my favourite plastic for the Burnett the Berkley 4” Power Minnow in the pearl/watermelon/scales.
I have been fishing this plastic a lot under the schools of baitfish in the mouth of the river and have caught, tailor, trevally, mackerel and heaps of big flathead. I will be spending plenty more time down the mouth over the next month or so as it was this time of the year last year that huge bait schools moved in and stayed for a few weeks and the fishing was fantastic.
I have fished the Baffle a few times lately and the areas around the mouth have had the best fishing. The weed edges have been holding plenty of bream and flathead hunting prawns (which are plentiful at the moment and well worth a few casts with the cast net). The honey pot Prawnstar has been working the best in the clearer water on the run-in tides and the pink Prawnstar has been working well when the tides stir it up more on the run-out tide.
On a recent trip up there I found a nice prawn stranded in a hole on a sand flat. I put it in the livewell with a few other fish I had in there to keep the kids occupied, but when I went to get it out and put a hook in it, it had disappeared – and the estuary cod in the well had two long feelers poking out of its mouth. It just goes to show how tempting prawns are to fish, even those fish that have just been caught on a prawn imitation.
As we head into winter the Baffle will be just the spot for some great sight fishing action. As the water cools and clears the weed beds are easier to see and the fish in them are easier to target. Small plastics, prawn imitations and even poppers can be quite productive when worked into the pockets of sand between the weeds, and you can see the fish as they dart out and eat your offering.
1) Rob Brough with a flathead from Baffle Creek.
2) Spot the difference! Prawns are plentiful at the moment and Prawnstars have been fooling lots of fish.Reads: 504