The inshore reefs have been producing plenty of action over the past week with the spanish mackerel and grunter being the standout captures. The spanish have been hanging out on most of the inshore reefs with the Artificial off the Elliot being one of the hot spots. Trolling gar and hard-body lures around the wrecks looking for the big shows of bait fish and focusing on that little area should get you into the spanish mackerel action! Remember, early mornings and late afternoons is the best time to target them.
The Artificial has also been a great place to get you into some grunter action! Using soft vibes or 5” soft plastics has been a deadly technique if you are into the lure game. If not, using squid and prawns will surely get you hooked into some quality fish. Definitely don’t forget to take some squid jigs, there’s been some cracking sized squid still getting around. Fingers crossed we get a good little weather window soon which will let us head out in chase of these cracking species.
The offshore fishing out of Bundy over the past week surely has been impressive! By far the standout fish has been coral trout. Plenty of these fish have been over 7kg! The three best techniques have been using live bait such as yakka, prawn imitation lures and whole pilchard. There’s also been some ripper grass sweetlip and some nice sized red emperor being caught with them as well.
Those who are chasing the big reds have done very well using large flesh bait such as mullet fillet or fresh hussar fillet. Finding isolated pinnacles of reef in the middle of nowhere or even small lumps situated away from the main sections of reef will usually hold good numbers of red emperor. Remember to make the most out of the tide changes, the one hour either side of the tide surely can put some fish on your deck!
The Burnett has been producing some top quality fish with big bream and flathead being the standouts! Some of the bream have been nudging the 45cm mark and a lot of flathead over 75cm are being caught as well. This time of year the bream are feeding up to get ready for breeding season, so now is the time to target these fish while they are active. Whole prawns and sprat rigged with a light ball sinker fished along any of the rock walls in the Burnett has got the bite.
For those lure fishing, small prawn imitation lures or grub soft plastics have been getting the bream to bite with by-catch of cod, grunter and flathead as well. The big flathead have been caught on 80-100mm vibes hopped along the bottom, areas with sandy drop-offs or where rocky structures meet sand are great areas to target these bigger flathead. Remember that any dusky flathead 75cm or over needs to be released, so please handle these big breeders with respect and limit the time they are out of the water for.
Well the Elliott River sure has had a spectacular run of summer whiting over the past week! Those pumping yabbies at low tide then fishing the incoming tide over the shallow sand bars and weed beds have absolutely slayed the whiting. Using a running ball sinker rig with 6lb leader and pink/red beads and tubing has been the go to way to get these finicky fish to bite.
Great numbers of flathead have also been caught in the same areas as these whiting, so having some whole sprat drifting out over the sand bars is definitely a good idea to pick up some of the flatties cruising over the flats with the incoming tide. The deeper holes throughout the Elliott River are producing good numbers of grunter and soft vibes such as the Samaki Vibelicious hopped along the bottom have been picking these fish up consistently. Crabs have been on the move in this river, so be sure to throw the pots in this weekend for a tasty feed of mud crab!
The Baffle always fishes really well during this time of year and the past few weeks have certainly been no exception. The flats fishing in this river has been some of the best we have had in a long time and with good sized bream, whiting and flathead being caught, it’s no wonder people keep coming back for more. For the lure enthusiast, a topwater lure retrieved across the surface of a shallow sand flat is some of the most exciting fishing you can do with the light gear. The Jackson EBI Panic Prawn and the MMD Splash Prawns are the two topwater lures slaying the fish on the flats.
If you prefer bait fishing, once again beach worms and fresh yabbies are definitely the bait of choice for most as they always seem to get great results. Similar to the Kolan River, we have seen more mangrove jack being caught – no big ones as yet, however that’s not to say they aren’t feeding. Those using flesh bait or whole poddy mullet have seen more jack encounters than those using lures for now.
The Kolan River has been fishing really well this week, especially with the bigger tides pushing a lot of bait around the river. The predatory fish have been actively feeding and with 2-2.5m of run this weekend, it will definitely be worth fishing any drains and creek mouths as the fish ambush all the bait that is getting pushed towards them. The sand flats and yabbie beds have been producing some cracking fish again this week, yabbies would have to be one of the best fresh bait you can get for a large variety of species.
One of the stand out species that love yabbies is the the humble whiting and there sure has been plenty around in the Kolan at the moment. Dusting off the yabbie pump and pumping for yabbies at the low tide is a great way to secure some fresh bait. If you can’t make the tide to do this, come in and grab some beachworms as they have been dynamite on whiting.
With the bigger tides we have seen those fishing in areas with good current and structure have been doing really well. A lot of grunter, flathead, bream and cod are being caught and with the temperature slowly on the rise, we have seen the odd mangrove jack being caught too. Also don’t forget to throw a pot or two out – there have been good numbers being caught.
Well, the beach fishing is certainly not slowing down yet, with great reports this week coming from those fishing our local beaches. A few tailor have been encountered but the standout fish have got to be the summer whiting, bream and dart! Once again fresh is best when it comes to your bait, especially for these species, so those pumping for fresh yabbies have been getting the best results. Beachworms have been working very well, so definitely take some of them.
Fishing the gutters during an incoming tide has been the go too, as these fish come into the gutter with the tide and bait. Using a running ball sinker rig is ideal because this lets the bait drift naturally in the water column, which will lead to more bites!
Lake Gregory has been fishing great again this week with the bass schooled up in deeper water. These fish have been chewing on a range of lures. If the bass are schooled up close to the bottom, throwing a vibe down would be our first option as this will allow you to stay in the strike zone for as long as possible. If the bass are a bit higher off the bottom, slow rolling a small natural-coloured soft plastic through the school is sure to get one to bite.
Those fishing the edges of the dam and timber have definitely still been catching good numbers of fish – the prime time for this style of fishing has certainly been low light periods such as dawn and dusk. Once again slow rolling soft plastics will get the bite, however a suspending hard-body lure has been far more effective, especially when paired with an erratic retrieve mixing in plenty of twitches and small pauses.
Things are looking up for Lake Monduran with another week of great reports and some big barra landed with the biggest so far measuring 112cm! These big barra are being caught along the points in wind blown bays with the warmer water. Suspending hard-body lures are the go-to lure in the dam at the moment, working a Jackall Squirrel or a Samaki Redic hard-body back to the boat with plenty of long pauses is sure to get eaten sooner or later.
Plenty of smaller fish are still around, which are great fun in between bites from the bigger barra. Being extremely stealthy while fishing the dam has made a huge difference, especially when sounding for barra, as a few loud noises can spook these fish and have them shut down and not willing to feed. Ensuring your electric motor is only on a low speed when cruising around the bay is a good way to keep the noise down and find good numbers of fish using your sounder.
CATCH OF THE WEEK
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From the team at Tackle World Bundaberg
Live the Tackle World L.I.F.E – Local Independent Fishing Experts