Nelson Phillips with a rare tomato cod caught off Bundy

Bundaberg – weekly report


Our inshore reefs have been full of bait and the pelagic fish have been around in big schools and feeding aggressively. Fishing big bommies or ledges has been a great technique or keeping an eye out for any action along the top of the water. Using 5 inch jerk tail soft plastics either twitched through the school of feeding pelagic fish or hopped along the pressure edged side of reefs has been really effective. Using whole pilchards has also been the go on some big trevally and queenfish whilst they have been hanging around any big bommies that are getting hit hard with the current.

Some big schools of mac tuna have been popping up all along our coast with the odd longtail school around as well. Throwing small metal slugs through these schools of fish has worked well especially if the bait they are feeding on is really small. Plenty of school mackerel are still around and have been smashing deep diving hardbody lures when trolled. Finding schools of bait and trolling lures around the outskirts of them is a great way to target these fish. Whole pilchards and garfish also work really well when trolled so definitely have them on the boat along with plenty of hardbody lures. The spanish are few and far between at the moment but the odd ones are still being caught if the school mackerel don’t beat them to it. These school mackerel are still great fun and are good chewing!

Aaron Lauina getting a feed trolling deep diving hardbodies.


Those fortunate enough to head offshore this week during the few short weather windows we have had were sure rewarded with some cracking fish. The 15 mile, Northern Gutter and Southern Gutter all fished well and same with reefs towards Lady Elliott Island. The bottom fishing has been great and the common reported catches were plenty of coral trout, parrot fish, sweetlip and spangled emperor. These fish have loved whole pilchards or large strips of fillet like mullet and hussar.

Idling around reefs and using your sounder for a few hours is a great way to find isolated patches of reef that aren’t well-known and will give you the best chance at filling your esky. Often times there is some awesome ground situated just off from common areas and the fishing is usually red hot. For the lure fisho’s the go to on our bottom fish have been prawn imitation soft plastics or very vibrant coloured jigs. The Samaki Live Shrimp in the Golden Carrot colour paired with a 7/0 28gram jig head or a Mustad Wingman have been working a treat.

Burnett River

Following on from last weeks report the Burnett River is essentially fishing the same with the conditions not changing much. The upper stretches of the river are still quite fresh so the fishing has been tougher than previous weeks however like we said there has still been some good fish to be found in the murky water if you know where to look. Fishing around very heavy structure has been where most of the better quality fish have been found. Big bream, cod and flathead have all been caught around rock walls or fallen trees on baits like mullet or even a whole sprat has been working well. Some solid jacks have been caught in the murky water with live baits or black/gold hardbody lures working best. Fishing around the mouth of the river has been the go whilst it holds the clean and salty water along with plenty of bait.

Most stretches along the rock walls have produced some good sized bream, cod, flathead, jack, grunter and trevally this week. The key has been to find areas which have a point of difference, such as a fallen tree or a big boulder creating a disturbance in the current. Pitching small flesh baits right onto the rock wall has resulted in some cracking bream, cod and mangrove jack, the flathead, grunter and trevally have been caught in deeper water along the base of the rock wall on similar baits. Although the fresh water in this system isn’t the best for fishing, it has certainly got the crabs on the move and even with the decreasing tides we have still seen some great results. Placing your pots in deeper sections of the river which are in some sort of channel will give you the best results as the crabs travel through in these areas.

Mitchell Hails-Kling with a pair of solid bream caught out of the Burnett River on some whole sprat.

Elliott River

With the hot and humid days we have had the shallow water throughout the Elliot has heated up and has got the flats full of feeding fish. Big flathead, whiting, trevally and queenfish have been caught out of very shallow water this week chasing schools of bait pushed right up into the shallows. The incoming tide has worked great for the whiting however the start of the run out tide has seen most of the flathead, trevally and queenfish being caught. Using fresh yabbies or whole sprat as bait has been a great way to catch these fish, letting your bait drift over the sand flat with the tide keeps your bait looking natural and has worked best.

Flicking small soft plastics or hardbody lures up into the shallows and twitching them off into the deeper water has also worked really well. Venturing up river into the creeks has seen some good sized mangrove jack being caught especially during the run out tide. Flicking either live baits or whole dead baits into the heavy structure has worked well, sections of the creeks which have some decent current pushing past have generally held more fish. With plenty of fresh water in our local rivers at the moment it is no surprise that the Elliott River is also doing quite well on the crabbing front as of late. Using big baits and positioning your pots in deeper channels of the river has worked best.

With all the feeding fish entering the shallows at this time of year having a yabbie pump is a must for any keen fisho’s. Fresh is best when it comes to bait.

Baffle Creek

Baffle Creek has managed to have a great week of fishing with the warmer weather helping the summer species get on the chew. With the holidays starting we have seen Winfield, Rocky Point and Boaga camp grounds become full which has lead to a lot more boat traffic on the water. Although this is the case the fishing has been red hot and there are plenty of places throughout the river to get away from the traffic and have stretches of river to yourself. Like mentioned above the summer species have been on the chew again this week,  the hot and humid days have helped to warm up the water and get these fish more active.

Mangrove jack and big estuary cod have been the target species for a lot of anglers on the water, pushing up creeks and finding sections with good structure for these fish to sit and ambush bait has been the go. Using either live baits or large flesh baits like fillets have been working a treat. Using a light ball sinker when fishing flesh baits has got the bite as the bait can sit more naturally in the water column and float down into the snags without spooking the fish. Around the mouth has continued to see good numbers of flathead and grunter being caught along the sand flats and drop offs as well as some quality whiting being caught. Fishing over the top of sand bars or yabbie beds with the incoming tide has worked great for the whiting. Drifting out a fresh yabbie across these flats is a sure way to pick up a few as they are a whiting’s favorite food. Similar to the Burnett River, the crabs in this system have been caught in great numbers. Placing our pots around the mouth of creeks which have a deep channel leading into them has been producing most of the crabs.

Zander Magin with a cracking 62cm flatty caught in Baffle Creek.

Kolan River

The Kolan has had another week of great fishing especially with a lot more people managing to get out on the water now that the school holidays have started. The Miara Caravan Park has been a hot spot and we have had some good reports of flathead, whiting, bream and cod being caught land based from the park. Freshly pumped yabbies has been a great bait and so has small chunks or strips of mullet. Around the fallen trees at the mouth of the river has held some good mangrove jack, bream and flathead as well as the odd fingermark school. Bigger strips of mullet have been very effective and so has a live bait floated down into the heavy structure.

Further up river has seen some big mangrove jack being caught specifically on live baits along deep sections of the river which have some good structure. Poddy mullet has been the go to bait but a whole sprat has also worked well if you can’t get your hands on any mullet. With the constant flow still entering the upper reaches of the Kolan and the recent rains we have had the crabbing out of this river has been great. Throwing the pots in deeper sections out the front of small creeks has been the ideal spots as these crabs venture out of the skinny creeks via the main channels. Using big baits in the pots has managed to get better numbers of crabs, the whole mullet we stock has been working great. A simple trick to maximise the mullet is to fillet it, use the frame for your pots and the fillets for bait.

Once you mange to catch bait, keeping them alive and fresh is crucial. We stock a variety of quality aerators to keep your bait alive for hours and ready for whatever you’re chasing.

Local Beaches

With the school holidays now upon us a lot more people have been able to head out and onto our local beaches to enjoy the sunshine we have had. With the increase in people on our beaches we have seen a lot more fish being caught however some have found it more difficult especially in highly populated areas. Woodgate beach has still been fishing great with some big flathead, bream and whiting being caught. Fresh yabbies, beach worms or pippies have been the go to bait for these fish. Most of our beaches have seen an increase in people however there are some which certainly don’t get as much. These include of Rules Beach and Norval Park Beach. Both of these beaches have been fishing well with the key to be finding deep gutters close to the shoreline and using fresh bait like pippies, yabbies or beach worms. Flathead, dart and bream have been common catches this week regardless of which beach you are fishing, around the top of the tide has worked best. A lot of families have managed to get a great feed of fish from only a few hours work which isn’t too bad at all.

Tom Webb with a solid flathead he caught last weekend.

Lake Monduran

With this weeks weather being extremely hot and humid but the barometric pressure dropping significantly, the fishing at Lake Monduran has been tough to figure out a pattern. With anglers catching fish sitting in shallow water on jerk baits and others catching fish sitting in deep water on big plastics it seems everyone’s tactics are different. When there isn’t a specific pattern that is working on the dam it is crucial to be fishing with confidence. Although the dam has been tough there has still been plenty of massive fish over that magic metre mark being caught and this is great to see especially because these fish are so healthy.

Tackle World Bundaberg team member Jordan Stoddart proved this by landing 9 big barra from 14 hookups over two sessions on the dam. Using your electronics to find fish throughout the dam is ideal however Bird Bay and the Main Basin have been the hot spots lately and has been where most of the barra are being caught. If you don’t have any electronics, tying up to a tree at a point with the wind at your back is a great start. If you are fishing with a partner it is a good idea to use different lures to start with in order to find out what the barra are going to eat. If someone hooks a few barra it is worth changing to something similar to what they are using as the barra are obviously liking it. It’s not too often that the tougher sessions still result in some metre plus barra being encountered and with the Barometric Pressure likely to spike up in the coming weeks we should see some really good fishing from the Lake.

Jordan Stoddart with a very healthy barra pulled from the dam on one of his favourite lures, the Molix 140 Shad.

Lake Gregory

With the hot and humid days we have been getting lately we have really started to see the water warming up nicely on the dam. Fishing sections of the dam that have been getting plenty of wind pushed into them has been the go as these areas have slightly warmer water and the majority of the bait. Twitching hardbody lures along the weed edges or through the timber has worked really well when mixing in some 5 to 10 second pauses in between twitches.

Low light periods have proved to fire the bass up with anglers catching great numbers of fish in a short period of time. Maximizing your efforts around dawn and dusk has been working great and the topwater enthusiasts have been landing some quality fish off the top with this warmer water firing the bass up. Using lures like the Chase Baits range of Flexi Frogs slow wound over the top of weed beds has been deadly. If you are finding schools of bass hanging in slightly deeper water, try using a small paddle tail soft plastic and slowly wind it directly through the school. This technique has worked great on the schooled fish when they are a little more hesitant to bite.

Nelson Philips with a very healthy bass measuring 50cm! The Rapala Shad Rap Elite 75’s are slaying the big bass as of late.




Callum Rodgers with a 50cm jack caught off the rocks! Congratulations Callum! 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 LIFE – Local Independent Fishing Experts

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