Sam with a solid 9kg red emperor caught off Bundy, how's the colour of it!

Bundaberg – weekly report


Last weekends weather proved to be absolutely stunning and it was great to see plenty of quality fish being caught. Those fortunate enough to head out over the weekend were rewarded with plenty of coral trout, red emperor, tusk fish and grassy sweetlip. Most of these fish were caught on large flesh baits fished on the bottom with squid and mullet fillet getting most of the bites. If you can jig up some fresh yakka on your way out you are definitely in with a shot at some big trout as they have been loving a lively, otherwise filleting them into strips has also worked great. Small patches of reef towards Lady Elliott Island has been the place to be this past week with plenty of fish on offer and a lot of these fish feeding aggressively especially around the tide changes. Some quality red emperor were caught on mullet fillet and whole squid when rigged either using a 2 hook snell rig or a set of 6/0 gang hooks. Isolated pinnacles off the main sections of reef have been where these fish have been caught. Another technique proving to be really effective on sweetlip, tusk fish and trout has been using soft plastics. The lure working best has been the Samaki Ecooda Live Shrimp in Golden Carrot colour when jigged close to the bottom. Drifting over ground is the way to go and making sure your lure is in the strike zone for as long as possible.

Our inshore reefs have fished really well this week with plenty of pelagic fish on offer and even some solid snapper have been found in close. Trolling hardbody lures has been catching plenty of school mackerel however this week has actually seen some solid spanish being caught more regularly. Small patches of reefs off Bargara and Elliott Heads have produced some huge snapper this week, 5inch jerk tail soft plastics have been getting the bite. Plenty of big schools of bait have been pushed into our inshore reefs and some big trevally, queenfish and tuna have not been far away. The majority of the tuna have been mac tuna however some quality longtails are still around. Using small metal lures cast over these schools of bait and wound through quickly has been the go. The great thing about the pelagic’s turning up is even if you don’t have a boat you can catch them from the rocks off Innes Park, Elliott Heads and Burnett Heads. If you want to match the hatch the Arma Anchovy 18g to 25g metal slugs or a Flasha 20g spoon are two great options as they are identical to the bait these big pelagic fish are feeding on.

Charlie Cross with a sweetlip he caught off Burnett Heads.

Burnett River

The Burnett has had a great week of fishing with a lot of our common summer species starting to come on the chew. Fishing the mouth of the river has worked well for a lot of anglers and using a stronger smelling bait such as pilchards and mullet has worked best when fishing the rock walls. Quality fish like cod, flathead, grunter, trevally and some big jacks have been caught and even the odd jewfish. Using big live baits has been getting these jewfish and jacks to bite and large strips of flesh baits has worked well on everything else. Some quality whiting have started to be caught consistently on shallow sandflats away from a lot of boat traffic. A lightly weighted running ball sinker rig with freshly pumped yabbies or worms has been getting the finicky whiting to eat. Further up river around town has also seen people hooking onto some great fish as they start to feed more actively. The odd grunter has been caught at rock walls around town with mullet fillet working really well.

Blake Hutchison with a nice flathead caught in the Burnett River.

Elliott River

The Elliott has been fishing great with a lot of the fish willing to feed all throughout the river. The incoming tide has been when to be on the water with some good sized pelagic fish entering into the river, fishing around the rocks at the mouth of the river has worked well. Reports of some cracker whiting being caught around the mouth of the river is a really good sign, this week has shown them getting caught in more numbers. Most of these fish have been on the shallow sand flats towards the mouth of the river. Freshly pumped yabbies have been working great when rigged on a running ball sinker rig with 6lb to a 10lb leader helping to get the bite. Using a rod that is around 7 foot in length, has a 1-3kg load rating and a really soft tip is ideal for whiting fishing, Ugly Stik has a great range of whiting rods and we have plenty in stock for this ripper whiting season heading our way. If you are wanting to chase these fish on lures, the Daiwa Slippery Dog 65mm has been getting some of the bigger fish to bite either early in the morning or in the late afternoon. Further up river has seen good numbers of mangrove jack being caught, live baits or whole prawns have worked really well when cast deep into structure. Fishing late afternoons and into the night has seen more of these fish come out to play.

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 very fresh. 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 this incoming tide as they feed on schools of bait being pushed up river with the tide. Anchoring up along sections of the river with heavy structure and plenty of current will put you in with a good shot at some of these fish, using whole sprat or small mullet fillets has worked well. Up the skinny creeks has seen some quality mangrove jack being caught. The Lucky Craft 78XD Pointer in black/gold has been dynamite on these fish when slow rolled past heavy structure. Anchoring up on rock bars and throwing out some fresh poddy mullet as live bait has also caught some big jacks, cod and the odd trevally.

Zander Magin with a solid mangrove jack caught in Baffle Creek on a Chasebaits flick prawn.

Kolan River

This week has seen some big flathead coming out of the Kolan with the mouth of the river producing most of the big fish. Quality soft vibes like the Samaki Vibelicious or Zerek Fish Traps have been slaying these big flathead when hopped along the bottom. Fishing drop offs or deep holes around the last of the incoming and start of the run out tide has been working best. For the bait anglers, using large flesh baits rigged on a running ball sinker rig and placed along the drop offs is the go. Strips of mullet fillet has been the best bait this week with some good sized grunter being caught along these same drop offs and deep holes. The jacks have started to be caught more regularly however at this stage big flesh baits or live poddy mullet has worked best whilst they haven’t been as active. Fishing deep rock bars has been where these fish have been caught. Some big bream have been caught along the rock bars on most baits as well as towards the mouth around Miara.

Corey Hanks with a tarpon caught in the Kolan River.

Local Beaches

Our local beaches have had a great week of fishing once again with the majority of anglers hooking up to some solid whiting, dart, bream and flathead. The spot to be has been Coonarr Beach with reports of whiting averaging 30cm being caught in great numbers. Using yabbies or beach worms have been the ideal bait, and using a running ball sinker rig to allow the bait to drift naturally in the water column. Plenty of bream and dart have also been in the gutters with the whiting. Some great quality flathead have been caught on larger baits like strips of mullet or chunks of pilchard, using a running ball sinker rig has also worked a treat. Having a rod or two rigged up with some small metal slugs has been a good idea as some solid tailor and trevally have been caught around the entry/exit of gutters.

Carla Sutton with a dart caught during a hot whiting bite.

Lake Monduran

Lake Monduran has had a great week of fishing with almost a week long stretch of northerly winds really getting these barra feeding. A lot of the barra have been caught on hardbody lures and have been biting on the pause. The Jackall Squirrel has been the standout lure to be using and our Spangled Perch colour has got some absolute monsters on the deck. Using a much longer pause than usual has been the difference in getting a bite.  Having a lure that either floats or sinks super slowly, even to the point where it barely moves at all, is as good as it gets when it comes to hardbodies. The Samaki Redic DS80 has been dynamite lately, and straight out of the packet they sit perfectly in the water column. Some of the larger fish have been getting caught in deeper water sitting in the tops of trees, using an 80lb fluorocarbon leader is going to give you a good chance at landing these fish. If you are fishing weedy banks where there is no timber going down to a 50lb or a 60lb leader can be beneficial if you are struggling to get a bite. Fishing around the tide changes for the Kolan River is worthwhile as the barra have been feeding around these times and anglers have capitalised on this short bite window, landing numerous barra in just a few casts at times.

George Simmonds with a solid Lake Monduran barra caught last weekend.

Lake Gregory

This weeks Northerly winds has got the water temp in the dam on the rise and plenty of big bass have been caught. This increase in water temp has got a lot of the bass feeding aggressively and they have been caught along areas which have plenty of structure. Slow winding soft plastics over the top of the weed banks has been a great technique, or even sinking your soft plastics deep into the weed with a weed less hook and twitching them out. Some anglers have had great success using small hardbody lures cast along steep weed edges/drop offs, using erratic twitches with a long pause in between has got some aggressive bites from these bass. 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. 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. Throwing soft plastics or hardbodies around 3 inches in length has been perfect for matching the baitfish in the dam.



Hannes Bezuidenhout with a monster snapper caught last weekend. Congratulations Hannes! 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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