Inshore speedsters
  |  First Published: July 2005

The winter westerlies should be well and truly upon us by now, which means, with a bit of luck, we small boat owners can get out to the inshore reefs for a fish.

The mouth of the Burnett River is a great place to start, with big queenfish, trevally and Spanish mackerel all hunting around the north wall. If you’re into a bit of big bait trolling you should be able to jig up plenty of pike and small tailor off the wreck at the mouth. When rigged live, these two baits are deadly on Spaniards.

If you are heading out of the Elliott you can usually pick up a few pike off the rocks on Dr Mays Island. A small steel slug cast into the rocks and worked with a stop start retrieve will do the trick.

We are also lucky enough to get good runs of snapper at this time of the year. With the promise of some light westerlies, a few night sessions on the close-in reefs should see some quality fish caught this year. If you’re heading out during the day take a few 5” soft plastics and give them a jig around the reefs. You will be surprised at what will eat them on our local grounds.

If you are a keen lure fisherman, as I am, you’ll be pleased to know that the mouths of all our systems will hold some crocodile-size flathead over the next few months. On light spin gear these large fish really do perform, and there will also be plenty of trevally and school queenfish. If you want to find out whether there are any of these speedsters in the area, try using surface poppers. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is or whether you have seen any surface action or not. Give them ten minutes, as poppers will generally find any actively hunting fish in the area.

Of course there is also the run of bream. Our local bream luring addicts will probably have the best season yet due to the good couple of freshes we had down the river this year.

Anyway, short and sweet this month as it has been a very busy one for me. Check out my article on the Hinchinbrook catch and release tournament to see what I have been up to.


1) This queenie fell to a saltwater Bass Vampire fly. There are plenty of these fish hunting around the mouth of the Burnett River at the moment.

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