Libby Graham, 12 years old, nailed this queenfish off Elliott Heads last week.

Offshore conditions improving

Ashton Anderson holds up a quality mud crab from the Bundy area.
Shane Anderson found a few bass out at Lake Gregory recently.


With the weather around the Bundaberg area, not looking too bad for Saturday, it looks like perfect weather to get offshore. We have had good reports coming in from last week of trout, parrot, grass sweetlip and smaller cobia being caught offshore from Bundaberg. If you are wanting to head offshore this weekend, always check your local weather forecast, as the weather can change very quickly.


For the smaller tinnies that want to poke their nose out the front for a feed, we have had good reports of grass sweetlip, grunter, stripeys and the odd snapper being caught. For those bottom bashers try the inshore reefs like the Cochrane Artificial Reef off Elliott Heads, the Two Mile off Bargara or even try Ryan’s off Burnett Heads. Best baits to use are either pilchards or whole squid. For the fishos wanting to cast a lure there are still good reports of pelagic action happening out the front. Tuna, spanish mackerel and school mackerel have been plentiful from the Elliott River to Burnett Heads. Casting Flasha lures and metal slugs will get a feed of schoolies or tuna. For the fishos wanting to get a feed of spanish mackerel, try trolling a larger hard body lure or even trolling dead baits like gar or bonito. Having a floater out the back with a pilchard while bottom bashing may pick you up a spanish mackerel as it cruises through.


Before heading out for a fish, drop the crab pots in for a few hours. There have been good reports of some nice mud crabs being caught. Nothing beats a good mud crab sandwich! Mangrove jacks are one of the most targeted species in rivers and creeks during summer. Using 3” to 4” soft plastics thrown tight around rock bars and mangrove snags will pick up most fish. Targeting mangrove jack using live bait or mullet strips should get a couple of fish in the boat. There have been good reports also of flathead, big bream and whiting caught on the flats using yabbies, prawns and mullet strips. For the fishos that love throwing lures, try using a 2” to 4” soft plastic drifting over the flats. Casting up-current and bouncing off the bottom and retrieving back to the boat should hook you up.


With the amount of traffic these two rivers have had over the Christmas holidays, they are still producing plenty of fish and mud crabs. We have been getting good reports of mud crabs, mangrove jack, grunter, flathead and whiting over the sand flats. Trolling hardbodies around the deeper holes has been producing a few of these species. If using bait, try using prawns, sprat and mullet strips, or pump yabbies and throw the cast net for live bait.


For the average fisho that wants to throw a lure or learn how to lure fish for bass, this dam always produces the goods. Casting spinner baits around the edges has been a standout technique. Find where the weed edge stops and drops, then cast, moving along those areas. Keep moving until you catch a fish and pepper that area. This should produce the goods.  In the same area, try using different lures like soft plastics, crank baits and lipless crank baits, just to mix it up a bit.


With the weather changing from one week to another, where one week it’s blowing north-east and the water temperature is 30 degrees, and the next week it’s blowing south-east and the water temperature is 24 degrees, you will need to fish to the conditions. In previous week’s a lot of fish have been caught out around the deeper trees in those wind-blown areas. After having south-east winds and a bit of rain on top, it definitely has cooled things down and has made it tough.  Move around in the same areas but go a little shallower to find warmer water where barra feel more comfortable and bait moves through. Once the barra are found on your sounder, try suspending the lure a little longer. This can make a difference in landing fish or going home empty handed. Just a few lures to try are the Jackall Squirrell, B52 and the Lucky Craft. For the trollers, Classic lures have been doing well. Some perseverance, patience and persistence will get more fish in the boat.

Keep on casting,

Shane Anderson.

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