This time of year we generally see a lot of bait fish all along our coast. This results in some outstanding pelagic fishing with long tail tuna, mac tuna, queenfish, trevally, school mackerel, spanish mackerel and even grey mackerel all being caught.
These fish are all very bait orientated so finding the bait is key! Fishing the pressure edges has been where most of the action has taken place, but of course keep a close eye out for birds working in the sky and any bust ups along the water. This is a dead giveaway that there is bait and normally predatory fish in this area.
Throwing small metal lures through the schools of tuna has been very effective, as well as this topwater lures especially stickbaits have worked great too. Throwing topwater along the reefs pressure edges has also seen big trevally, and mackerel caught. Trolling whole garfish or floating out whole pilchards whilst fishing the reefs are two methods which have been picking up the mackerel as well.
The Offshore fishing has definitely been turning it on in the short weather windows we have had! Plenty of reefies have been chewing in the Gutters, Herolds and the Warrego’s on whole pilchards and squid.
The key has been to be fishing the pressure edged side of the reef, so whatever face is getting hit with the current. This is because a lot of the bait will be in this area meaning the feeding predatory fish won’t be far away.
Hopping soft plastics along the reef edges has picked up some great quality trout, red throat and sweetlip with the usual cod as well. The nannygai and reds that people have been catching have come from around 40m of water and have been found on isolated structure, these fish have taken big flesh baits like mullet fillet or fresh fish fillets like a slab of hussar. Rigging these big flesh baits on a bait rig like a Buku Snapbait Hybrid Jig has seen great results for converting these big reds.
The Burnett is fishing really well, the rain has definitely stirred this system up and as a result we have not only seen this river fish great but also produce good numbers of crab. With the big tides at the moment we have seen most of the crab being found in the main channels and along deep, steep muddy banks.
Using plenty of bait in your pots has definitely helped especially when there are a few other pots in close proximity. As the tide slows down next week it will be a good idea to place your pots up the creeks and in the shallower locations again.
The jack fishing in the Burnett has been on! Fishing the rock bars is absolutely where it’s at, these jack have been firing during both the run in and the run out tide. Fishing the pressure points along the rock walls has found good numbers of fish and some cracking jack well over 50cm being caught. Slow rolled soft plastics has no doubt been the lures getting most of the bites, other than lures live baits have been killing it as well!
The Kolan has been turning it on for your mangrove jack and flathead over the past week! The mangrove jack have been chewing hard on paddle tail soft plastics with 3” and 5” being the standout sizes.
Slow rolling them over the shallow rock bars on the out going tide seems to be the best bite times. Also hard body lures and prawn imitation lures have been doing the trick as well.
The flathead have been loving small soft vibes hoped over sand bars preferably bars that have yabbie banks on them. The new MMD Flatfish 140’s surely have been getting the bites as well. Make sure you don’t forget to drop the crab pots in with new moon tides we have this weekend.
With the new moon this week the morning tides are quite large which is perfect for your whiting fishing and crabbing. The high tide is around midday so pumping yabbies early in the morning and fishing the incoming tide should get you a nice feed of whiting.
On the crabbing front focusing on the small drains with the bigger tides will be a great idea. Also there’s been plenty of life towards the mouth of this river with queenfish and school mackerel being some of the standout fish caught.
Throwing Flasha spoons and surface lures has been the standout techniques. The best time to chase them is usually early in the mornings or late in the afternoons when the bait is on the move.
The Baffle has been fishing really well, the standout two fish that have been on the chew over the past week has definitely been mangrove jack and flathead. Great numbers of large flathead have been caught at the mouth of the river system, paddle tail soft plastics hopped along the sand bars and the drop offs has worked great.
Pink or chartreuse coloured soft plastics have been the go to colours. The mangrove jack have been smashing paddle tail soft plastic’s and prawn imitation lures worked over shallow rock bars and out of mangrove roots. The run out tide has been the ideal time to be targeting these fish, fishing areas where the tide is hitting are always great places to try for a jack.
If you are more into bait fishing using live or dead poddy mullet and sprat surely is a killer bait to get into the jack action. The crabbing in this river with the rain we have had recently has definitely picked up, placing your pots up the creeks in the deep holes or along a steep bank has worked well. Chicken frames and mullet heads are two great baits to be using in your pots.
Lake Gregory has been fishing well around the edges of the lake, the bass have been up in the shallows and along the drop offs. Fishing small soft plastics and surface lures in the shallows has worked well and hardbody lures twitched down and along the drop offs has got the fish which are sitting deeper to bite.
Daiwa bait Junkie 3.2inch minnows rigged weed-less have been killer when rigged either unweighted or with a small weight when fishing the shallows. Good numbers of saratoga are definitely still feeding along edges of the dam where a lot of the leaf litter from the trees are landing. Small chunks of garfish floated out has worked well and like always topwater lures are a great way to target these toga.
The Lake has definitely fished tougher this week due to a slighter lower barometric pressure which has caused the barra to be more lethargic. This dropping air pressure causes the barra’s swim bladder to expand, resulting in them feeling uncomfortable and sometimes sitting lower in the water column to try and equalize this feeling.
The anglers who have still found success have focused very hard on the bite times throughout the day, and have worked their lures slower to account for these fish being less inclined to feed. When conditions aren’t ideal on the dam it is a good idea to make it as easy as possible for a barra to eat your lure.
This starts with your retrieve, implementing plenty of long pauses when using a hardbody or rolling a soft plastic or swimbait as slow as possible will definitely help. Also, getting your lure right in front of the barra’s face, so working out roughly how deep they are sitting and getting your lure to that depth is key. The Samaki Redic DS80’s and MS90’s along with the Berkley Shimma Pro Rigs have been the lures doing the damage on these barra in the tougher conditions.
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