Saxon Goodchild with a nice red.

Bundaberg – weekly fishing report

Inshore fishing

Although we have not had much of a chance to head out with the unfavourable conditions lately the inshore reefs have still been fishing well in the small weather windows we have had. The standout fish have been the pelagic’s, a lot of tuna, mackerel, queenfish and trevally have been around. The school mackerel have been at times hard to get away from there is that many along the coast.

When targeting these pelagic fish finding the bait has been key, start by looking at the pressure edged side of the reef, wreck or headland you are fishing as this is where the bait should be. For the mackerel trolling whole garfish or hardbody lures has worked great when you are trying to cover plenty of ground. If you have found where the mackerel are then dropping a Flasha spoon to the bottom and ripping it in as fast as you can will get the bite. The schools of tuna have been feeding on tiny bait so matching the hatch has been very important to get these fish to bite.

Trent Wockner with a pair of solid small mouth nannygai.

Offshore fishing

The Offshore fishing has definitely been producing some really great quality fish in the short weather windows we have had! This time of year it is very important to be watching the weather closely as these weather windows usually don’t last long.

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. 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. Some monster cobia have also been found out wide passing through in big schools of fish up to 1.5m long! These cobia love big slabs of mullet fillet or whole squid but also are a sucker for soft plastics and jigs presented to them with small twitches and pauses.

Kolan River

The Kolan is also clearing up nicely with the big tides really helping to flush the fresh out of this system. Some really good sized barra have been found up river around Booyan Bridge and also up Yandaran Creek. Interestingly due to how murky this river is we have heard of some threadfin salmon being found and they have been caught on live bait and lures. These fish are quite a rare capture for our area so it is great to see some quality fish being caught.

Good numbers of grunter and flathead are still being caught at the mouth of the river system in particular on the drop offs during a run out tide. Fresh sprat and prawns have been the ideal bait for these fish, small curl tail soft plastics in a natural bloodworm colour have been very effective lately.

Allan Stephens with a good quality threadfin salmon caught in the Kolan.

Burnett River

The Burnett has bounced back nicely after all the rain, the river is still quite fresh up the top however the huge tides last week definitely got some salt back up river and some good fish are being caught. The mouth of the river along the rock walls is still the go to place to be fishing at the moment with good sized grunter, cod and flathead being caught at the bases of the rock walls. Using whole sprat or prawns as bait has worked well, catching your own live bait is well worth the effort as this has been getting the better quality fish to bite.

Up the top of the river system has seen good sized grunter around town reach and plenty of barra have been getting around this area. These barra have been very hard to tempt a bite from, hopefully with the building tides leading into next Saturday’s full moon we will see some of these fish landed.

Karda Berthelsen with a solid barra.

Elliott River

The Elliott is fishing, prawning and crabbing really well with the recent rain that we have had. For those after a good feed of mud crab pushing right up this system during the run in tide to place your pots in the deep holes up river has been working a treat. Good numbers of prawns have also been in a few of the deep holes so make sure to have a good look at your sounder as you pass through any holes.

Some ripper mangrove jack and cod have been coming from this system, live bait has for sure been the go to method to catch these big fish. Finding bait hanging around structure is what to look for, drifting a live bait or a whole prawn into the structure with the current and a lightly weighted sinker has been doing the damage. The barra have still been found in the deep holes during the run out tide, these fish have only taken live baits so be sure to allow plenty of time to secure bait.

Good areas to look are areas that are getting hit hard with the current, this is where you should be able to find a few good schools of bait. As always there has been plenty of 40 to 50cm flathead being caught along the drop offs and up in the shallows. Try fishing the shallows during the run in tide and the drop offs as the tide runs out, natural coloured soft plastics have definitely been the go to on these flatties.

Richard Jenner with a cracking 75cm dusky flathead.

Baffle Creek

Baffle Creek is still quite dirty and fresh up river however the mouth and sections up river until around Pig Island have cleared up with the big tides and are definitely fishing better each week. Fishing up river during the incoming tide and working your way out to the mouth as the tide runs out will be your best bet at finding some cleaner water.

The grunter have been around in huge numbers with fish up to 60cm being caught during the run out tide on whole sprat and prawns. Allowing plenty of time to gather your own fresh bait and even a few livies is well worth the effort at the moment. Fishing the fallen trees at the mouth of the river during the run out tide is where some of the better sized grunter have been caught, mangrove jack and cod are two other species being caught here regularly as well.

The crabbing in this system was red hot over the weekend due to the huge tides really getting these muddies on the move. Using chicken or mullet as bait seemed to work best in the dirty water.

Reagan Baxter with a shovel nose shark caught in the Baffle.

Lake Gregory

Last weekend saw the Annual Bill Proctor Memorial fishing comp held at Lake Gregory by the Bundaberg Sports Fishing Club. The lake was certainly tough to get good numbers of fish on board with the increase in boat traffic paired with 20 knot wind certainly not helping. Those who fished hard did get some quality fish with the biggest bass measuring 44.5cm which was caught by Nelson Philips.

Targeting the edges of the dam that was getting hit with the wind seemed to be where most of the feeding fish were as the bait was in these areas. Slow rolled soft plastics and aggressively twitched hardbody lures got the bite even during the middle of the day.

Don Patterson with a solid Lake Gregory saratoga.

Lake Monduran

This week has yet again seen Lake Monduran produce some more 1m+ barra! The key has been to be fishing the dam on days where there isn’t too much cloud cover. Focusing on key bite times those being the Kolan River tide change, Moon rises, sets and moon above has also really helped people to plan their day on the water and be sitting on good numbers of fish during these times in case they trigger a small bite window.

Bird Bay has been absolutely loaded with barra, fishing this bay early in the morning or late in the afternoon has been when the majority of bigger fish have been caught. During the middle of the day targeting the shadow lines around the edges of Bird Bay where overhanging branches and lily pads are has seen good numbers of rat barra caught from right up in the shallows. Like we mentioned last week we are seeing good numbers of barra in the main basin again, those trolling big swimbaits like the Berkely Shimma Pro Rigs have managed to get these fish to bite.

Nelson Philips with another Lake Monduran giant coming in at 102cm.



Janessa Goleby managed this solid threadfin salmon out of the Elliott.
Congratulations Janessa. Please call into the store to collect your $50 gift card!


If you would like your catch photos published to be in the running for a $50 gift card every week, email your details and photos of local catches only to

From the team at Tackle World Bundaberg
Live the Tackle World L.I.F.E – Local Independent Fishing Experts

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Bundaberg – weekly fishing report

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