If the past couple of months have been any indication January should be a scorcher. I have been in the Bundaberg area for 20 years and the estuary water temperatures have been the hottest I have seen.
In December I recorded 31ºC in one of our local creeks. On the big tides around the moon the surrounding mud flats where inundated and the water heated up immensely during the hot days. As the tides got smaller after the moon there wasn’t enough movement to pull all of the heated water out of the system.
This meant the fish were looking for deeper, cooler, shaded water which is exactly where we found them. The fish were still hard to temp but we managed to catch few.
This trend should continue through January so if you’re fishing those smaller creeks seek out the shaded snags and deeper holes.
I visited the Baffle recently in between dam barra trips and the system looks good.
In December there still had not been any decent flowing rain so the Baffle was salty nearly to the Essindeen Bridge, which gave anglers a lot of salt water to explore.
This time last year the river was in flood and it was nearly drinkable at the mouth at low tide – it’s amazing what can happen in just 12 months.
Be warned though the upper reaches have a few very shallow spots which have some new snags and rocky bottom exposed.
Over January the Baffle will see a lot of boat traffic mainly at high tide so if you’re keen to lure up a mangrove jack get out early and sneak around on the electric motor to give yourself an edge.
Must haves for the baffle over January will be lots of water in the boat, a radio to listen to the Aussies belt the West Indies in the cricket and a handful of Prawnstar lures.
Again this is also a popular waterway over the Christmas break so get in early or late and use the middle of the day to enjoy holiday outings in our beautiful Bundaberg Region.
In the early morning try trolling a few Halco Scorpions around the deep holes around the mill and up past the ferry crossing. The flat on the other side of the north wall should have some flathead, whiting and bream hunting on it as well.
Late afternoon on the incoming tide will also see a few fingermark biting. Fresh flesh baits and live mullet have been catching the fingermark with the deeper holes and rock ledges around the mouth the best places to look for them.
Barra will also fall to trolled lures and baits but beware they are still in closed season until 1 February.
I get asked a lot for tips on lure and soft plastic fishing and usually my advice is to scale down and slow down. It’s that simple!
Most plastics are scented too, which gives the fish more time to smell the lure and in turn more of a chance to eat it.
When using hardbodied lures if your larger offerings are being followed and ignored sometimes using smaller models can inspire a strike.Reads: 733