Joel Faint with a ripper of a snapper caught off Elliott Heads.

Bundaberg – weekly fishing report

Inshore/Offshore fishing

Friday and Saturday are both looking like great days to be fishing our inshore reefs with winds predicted around 5 knots both days with only 0.5m of swell in close. Trolling for some mackerel will be a great idea with the big tides pushing plenty of water around and this is an easy way to catch a feed quickly. Deep diving hardbody lures trolled around the leads at Burnett Heads or around big bommies with plenty of current and bait will be a great starting point. Whilst you are along our inshore reefs, be sure to keep an eye on the horizon for any bust ups or birds working in the sky as the mac tuna have been in big schools and smashing bait.

Using small metal lures or soft plastics have been the best way to catch these fish. The bottom fishing in close has been red hot this summer, dropping down whole pilchards has resulted in some very good sized trout, sweetlip, parrot fish and cod all being caught off the same structures. Mixing your bait up with some large flesh baits has occasionally got the bigger fish to bite so it is definitely worth taking some whole mullet out to fillet for bait. Looking for natural structure like rubble patches or bommies has found more fish willing to chew as of late. Further inshore off the rocks has seen heaps of bait being pushed in close and the pelagic’s have been in good numbers. Small metal lures cast off the rocks and wound in quickly has been the best technique. The Arma range of metal lures have been matching the hatch perfectly and they are currently 20% off in our Christmas catalogue.  

Jackson Home with a feed of schoolie mackerel.

Whilst the last few weeks have not been the greatest conditions to head out wide we have still seen small weather windows in which anglers were able to sneak out. During these times we have consistently seen plenty of big bottom fish on the chew. This weekend’s weather is shaping up to be the best we have had in a long time and plenty of people are planning to head out Saturday for a cheeky fish before Christmas Day on Sunday.

The forecast out wide is around 5 to 8 knots knots with the occasional 10 knot gust and 0.9m to 1m of swell. The species on the cards for this weekend should be the usual coral trout, red emperor, sweetlip, cod and parrot fish which have been caught consistently whilst the weather has allowed. Big bommies and steep ledges has been where most of these fish have been found with isolated structure off main sections of reef holding most of the bigger fish. If you are heading out this weekend, the 15 Mile, Northern Gutter and the Southern Gutter will all be great places to be for a lot of the common species. If the weather permits reefs towards Lady Elliott Island have fished great for coral trout, cod and parrot fish. Big flesh baits have been the ideal bait especially when rigged on one of Buku’s Hybrid Bait Rigs.

Kevin Walduck with a ripper 51cm coral trout caught off Woodgate Beach.

Burnett River

The Burnett has had a very good week of fishing with a lot of our summer species being caught throughout the river. Big jacks have been the fish of the week for this system with a lot of them being caught on a range of techniques. The middle stretches of the Burnett has been the place to be for these fish and any submerged rock bars or rock walls is where they have been found. Most live baits have been absolutely smashed by big jacks when floated down along the rocks or prawn imitation soft plastics slow wound over the top of the rocks.

Big fallen trees has also been a great spot to target these fish, ensuring your bait is as close to the structure as possible has been the key to pulling one of these big jacks out. Down river around the mouth has also fished very well this week for flathead, grunter and whiting. Throwing small flesh baits at the base of the rock walls or along sandy drop offs has worked well for these fish. Fresh yabbies have also been a great bait if the water is a little clearer and there isn’t as much current. Some big bream and cod have been caught at the North Wall as well as the occasional big mangrove jack. Small chunks or strips of baitfish have worked best for these fish along with whole sprat drifted down without a sinker. All the fresh water that has entered this system has got the muddies on the move and they have been in great numbers. It is definitely worth throwing the pots in as this is some of the best crabbing we have had in a while.

Steve Davidson with a cracking 65cm grunter he caught in his local honey hole.

Elliott River

Continuing on from last week the water in the Elliott has continued to increase in temperature which has got the shallow flats thriving with fish life. From big summer whiting, flathead, grunter, trevally and queenfish there hasn’t been many fish not caught on the flats this week. The best technique to encounter these fish has been to anchor in the deeper sections around the shallow flats and cast up onto the flat. Freshly pumped yabbies rigged using a running ball sinker rig and a very light sinker has been the best bait.

Throwing some small soft plastics or hardbody lures up into the shallows has also caught some great quality fish. The Zerek Tango Shad’s have been the most effective lures when twitched along the sand flats. Up river has seen some quality grunter caught in the deeper holes and bends of river, using small flesh baits has caught these fish as well as small soft vibes. Around heavy structure such as fallen trees has seen some good sized jacks being caught especially on live baits. A 10 foot bottom pocket cast net is perfect for catching live baits and we currently have some ripper deals across our whole range. Whilst up river it is worth throwing the pots in as the crabs have been on the move with the recent rain our region has had. Big flesh baits along with placing your pots in deeper channels has been the go.

Thomas Webb with a giant herring caught last weekend.

Baffle Creek

This week has seen the baffle continue to fish really well even when a lot of the upper stretches of river are still quite fresh and dirty from the recent rain. Fishing the incoming tide has definitely been the way to go with a lot of fish pushing up river with the cleaner water. Some big queenfish and trevally have been caught during the incoming tide as they feed on schools of bait being pushed up river with the tide.

The mouth of the river has been fishing great for our more bread and butter species such as some big flathead, bream, whiting and some very good sized grunter. The flathead and grunter have been caught along sandy drop offs at the mouth of the river with fresh yabbies or mullet fillet being the ideal baits. The whiting have been in the shallows during the incoming tide and fresh yabbies have been the most effective technique to catch these fish by far. The bream have been caught mainly over rock bars on whole sprat however a lot of cod and the odd mangrove jack have been quick to eat your bait so plenty of people have been busted off when fishing with the light gear.

Up the skinny creeks has seen great numbers of jacks being caught especially on topwater lures in low light periods. Once the sun comes out changing to a 100mm Zerek Cherabin or a live bait around the 100mm has been getting the job done. Skipping these lures right into the heavy structure and letting them drift down slowly has been dynamite, otherwise letting your live bait swim right into the heavy structure will get the bite. With the upper stretches of river still being quite fresh and murky the crabs have been on the move big time! A lot of people have been getting some awesome results when venturing up river and finding deep channels leading directly into a small creek entrance. Big baits have worked great this week, whole mullet frames or other fish frames are ideal.

Brendan Wales with a ripper of a jack caught on a livie.

Kolan River

Some good sized dusky flathead have been caught on shallow sand flats with the incoming tide helping these fish become more confident and feed along yabbie beds as they fill with water. Matching the hatch with fresh yabbies as bait or small lures that imitate a yabbie has been working very well in this shallow water. Although clearing up, the water is still murky compared to usual so using a stronger smelling bait like mullet fillet has worked best especially during the run out tide. Fishing with big chunks or strips cast along drop offs or into heavy structure like rock bars or fallen trees has been the go.

The mangrove jack have been on the chew again this week with the rising barometer seeming to help these fish feed more aggressively. Live baits have still been the best bait however black/gold hardbody lures slow wound over rock bars or twitched out of fallen trees has picked up a few solid jack. The crabs in this system have been on the move with the increasing tides doing anglers plenty of favours. Similar to last week, using large flesh baits or fish frames as bait and throwing them up in creeks has worked best. If you are able to, leaving the pots in overnight has got best results. We currently have some red hot deals on our range of crab pots to suit any anglers budget however these sales won’t be lasting forever. Now is the time to get a few pots whilst they are at some crazy prices.

Abby Donald with a solid 50cm trevally caught in the Kolan River.

Local Beaches

With the school holidays in full force we have seen some awesome fish being caught along most of our Local Beaches especially with the sunshine we have had. Following on from last week we have continued to see great numbers of whiting, dart, tailor, trevally and flathead caught and a lot of these fish have been of quality size. Most of these fish have been found in deep gutters and caught during a run out tide. The best baits to use have been either fresh yabbies or flesh baits rigged on a running ball sinker rig. If you are chasing whiting definitely use whole yabbies on a long shank hook as this is their bait of choice.

Woodgate Beach has continued to fish very well and has held some great sized whiting which are absolutely delicious. Rules Beach has been a bit more populated this week however the fishing has been great with some big flathead and grunter being caught on strips of flesh baits such as mullet, pilchard or sprat. Moore Park Beach has also had a great week of fishing with the mouth of Moore Park Creek being a great spot to park up for a few hours and catch a feed of fish. Some big flathead have been caught during the run out tide here with big flesh baits working best.

We have just received a massive shipment of Samaki Redic DS80’s, get in quick to secure some of these sought after colours.

Lake Monduran

Lake Monduran has had a great week of fishing with almost a week long stretch of consistent winds and a rising barometer really getting these barra on the chew. The majority of the barra have been caught on hardbody lures and have been biting on a very long pause. The Jackall Squirrel 79sp’s and the Samaki Redic DS80’s have proven to be the barra’s favourite lures. Using a much longer pause than usual has been the difference in getting a bite so ensuring that your lure either floats or sinks super slowly is absolutely key.

Some of the larger fish have been getting caught in deeper water sitting in the tops of trees so using an 80lb fluorocarbon leader is going to give you a good chance at landing these fish. If you are fishing sections of the dam with less structure, going down to a 60lb leader has proven to be beneficial especially if you are struggling to get a bite. Ensuring you are fishing around the moon rise and moon set times has been working great as the barra have been responding quite well to these bite times.

Tim Mulhall with a solid barra caught in Lake Monduran on the Samaki Redic DS80.

Lake Gregory

The bass are continuing to feed aggressively in Lake Gregory with the consistent warm weather definitely helping them stay in the shallows. Drifting wind-blown points and banks has worked well and once you find one bass there has been numerous others in close proximity. Using 70mm to 100mm hardbody lures twitched along weed edges or along weedy banks as been the most effective technique. Using very aggressive twitches mixed with long pauses has got these bass to eat even when conditions haven’t been in your favour.

Ensuring your hardbody lure doesn’t sink or float too quickly is crucial as it needs to stay in the strike zone for as long as possible. The Rapala Shad Rap Elite 75 has been working great on the bass and perfectly imitates the baitfish that are in the dam at the moment. Fishing sections of the dam which have had most of the wind exposure over the last few days or even up to a week is ideal as a lot of the bait and warmer water will be in these areas.



Joel Faint with a ripper of a snapper caught off Elliott Heads. Congratulations Joel! 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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