LifestyleInshore reef fishing firing up

Inshore reef fishing firing up

Reef fishing
Mitchell Hails-Kling with a cracking spanish mackerel.


With the weather being less favourable than previous weeks we have seen more people fishing our inshore reefs whilst heading out wide isn't an option.

Anglers have been getting stuck into some awesome fishing throughout our inshore reefs and this time of year the variety you can come across is astounding.

With the recent influx of baitfish that have been pushed along our coast the pelagic fishing is firing up once again.

Some cracking longtail tuna, queenfish and trevally have been caught as well as plenty of mac tuna in the mix.

These tuna schools have been feeding on very small bait so matching the hatch is crucial, using small metal lures or soft plastics retrieved erratically through the schools of bait has been getting the bite.

The trevally and queenfish have been feeding hard so topwater lures like big poppers or stickbaits thrown around the pressure edges has definitely worked a treat.

The school mackerel are still in huge numbers and are willing to eat almost anything retrieved quickly through the water column.

Trolling deep diving hard body lures is a great technique as you can cover plenty of ground to find where these fish are.
Trolling baits like garfish is also extremely effective if that is more your style of fishing.

Whilst the weather hasn't exactly played ball this week and this weekend also isn't looking too favourable, it is a great opportunity to get your gear up to scratch.

Having time to prepare yourself for the next trip out is handy especially if you need some reels spooled up, rod guides replaced, new tackle or some cheeky new marks.

In saying that our offshore fishing has been red hot over the last few weeks and last weekend did see some cracking fish caught.

Marks towards lady Elliott Island fished well with reports of some quality red emperor, coral trout, tusk fish and sweetlip being caught.

These fish all loved big flesh baits like mullet fillet and were found to bite around the tide change in the middle of the day.

Burnett River

The Burnett is fishing extremely well at the moment which is so good to see after the flooding this system has copped this year. Quality barra around 80cm to the magic 1m mark are being caught all throughout the river.

Paddle tail soft plastics slow wound through the schools have worked well but knowing where these fish are is key.

Good quality electronics like a sounder and electric motor helps stay on top of these fish so your casts are accurate helping your lure get in the strike zone.

Spending a few hours sounding the river looking for these schools of barra has been paying off.

Some solid jack have been coming off rock bars with the best bait being live poddy mullet or mullet fillet.

Team member Nathan Sutton loves his jack fishing and has been getting some good fish using these exact techniques.

Huge grunter are still getting around with the mouth being the best place to target these fish.

Anglers fishing land based off the rock walls have been encountering these fish regularly and on a range of baits and lures.

Reef fishing
George Simmonds with a pair of solid flathead caught in the Elliott River on the Squidgy Dura Tough soft plastics.

Elliott River

The Elliott has continued to fish really well this week with plenty of great fish caught throughout the whole river.

The main fish being caught have been flathead consistently over the 50cm mark as well as some solid grunter around the same size. The flathead have been caught from the mouth all the way into the skinny stretches of river.

The bigger fish have been towards the mouth with some huge 70cm plus flathead being reported.

These bigger flatties have been chewing on the run out tide with Shimano's Squidgy Dura Tough soft plastics working well.

The grunter have been in slightly deeper sections of river with deep banks and bends of the river being likely spots to find these fish.

Small strips of bait like mullet, pilchard or sprat have been what these grunter have preferred.

Right at the mouth has seen a few scattered schools of tailor and dart enter the river system on the incoming tide, fresh yabbies for the dart and small metal lures for the tailor has been the go.

Reef fishing
Tackle World Bundaberg team member Josh Mortensen with a nice flathead caught in Baffle Creek.

Baffle Creek

Baffle Creek has had a solid week of fishing with some cracking flathead and grunter being caught around the mouth of the river.

These fish have been feeding during the run out tide and have been caught in deeper water off the back of sand bars or along deep banks.

Big soft plastics or vibes have been most effective on these fish but large strips of flesh baits have also got anglers into the action.

The Molix 4.5inch RT Shad seems to match the hatch really well in this river system and team member Josh Mortensen hooked into some quality fish last weekend on these lures.

Quality mangrove jack and barra have been caught up-river in skinny creeks if you know where to look.

Lucky Craft 78XD Pointers have been dynamite on these fish when slow rolled back to the boat.

Anchoring up on rock bars and throwing out some fresh poddy mullet as live bait has also caught some cracking fish with some big cod being a common bycatch.

Kolan River

This week saw the Kolan River continue to fish well for flathead, bream, grunter and cod.

These fish have been caught through all sections of river, the flathead and grunter have been caught along sandflat drop offs and deeper holes throughout the river.

With the cooler weather this week the barra that have been biting have slowed down and not as many have been caught.

Going down to a 4inch soft plastics slow wound through these barra schools or over rock bars have tricked a few but the key has been lighter leader and a slower retrieve.

Some solid jacks have still been encountered on most of the rock bars in the river with strips of mullet or live poddy mullet working really well.

The building tides this weekend will get a few more mud crabs on the move so throwing the pots in is definitely worth a shot as this river has been producing plenty of bucks.

Throwing them in shallower parts of the river and deep in creeks has worked best so be sure to venture a little further than most to get some awesome results.

Reef fishing
Tackle World Bundaberg team member Nathan Sutton with a 52cm jack caught at Skyringville on a small mullet fillet.

From the team at Tackle World Bundaberg