LifestyleBig mangrove Jack on fire in Burnett River

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Big mangrove Jack on fire in Burnett River

Burnett River jack
Karda Berthelsen with a cracker of a jack he caught.

Burnett River

The Burnett River is currently very clean, full of small baitfish and is fishing really well.

All of our common local species are being caught out of this river from jack and whiting to grunter, flathead and queenfish they are all around and willing to eat a well presented bait or lure.

The middle stretches of river around Kirby's Wall and the town reach areas have definitely been the hot spots for those just wanting to catch a few fish and aren't fussed on the species.

Big grunter and flathead have been caught along the base of the rock walls throughout the river and have also been found in any of the holes.

Using whole sprat as bait is definitely the go to at the moment for these fish.

Up in the creeks or along most of our rock walls has seen plenty of big jack being caught as well.

Throwing down a live mullet, garfish or sprat is a must when chasing these fish.

When fishing for jack we recommend using at least a 40lb fluorocarbon leader especially when fishing the rock bars.

Down river towards the mouth has fished extremely well for queenfish, grunter and the humble flathead. Using your sounder to find schools of bait has helped find the predatory fish as they are usually very close.

Trolling a few lures around the mouth of the river has seen trevally, queenfish and some school mackerel being quick to jump on your line.

If you are heading onto the Burnett over the next few days it will be a great opportunity to throw the pots in whilst we have the building tides.

The crabs have been in great numbers and the quality of them is only getting better with these big tides.

Using a large fish frame or whole mullet in the pots has worked best.

Inshore/Offshore

With one to one and a half metre seas predicted for this weekend due to a tropical low out in the pacific the weather is certainly not ideal for the inshore and offshore enthusiasts.

Those anglers who have managed to head out to our inshore reefs over the last week have given us great reports of mackerel, both spanish and schoolie as well as big queenfish, trevally, grunter, trout and sweetlip.

Although this weekend's report isn't too flash we strongly recommend stocking up on any gear, working on the boat and trailer or even getting the old faithful reel serviced so next time you get out it doesn’t let you down.

For those keen anglers who will poke just outside of the mouths this weekend and head along our coast trolling some whole garfish or hardbody lures should result in a feed of mackerel.

Casting poppers into the rocks along the coastline for trevally and queenfish or soft plastics for reef fish like stripe's or the elusive coral trout has also worked well.

The inshore reefs and rivers have seen quite a few grunter being caught and there has been some good sizes amongst them.

Some fish around the 70cm mark have been caught along our inshore reefs so using a bait like fresh sprat, prawns and mullet fillets will put you in with a good chance at these fish.

We have just received a big shipment of cast nets so you are able to have a crack at getting some fresh bait before you head out onto the water, but if not we always have plenty of bait to get you out of trouble.

With the rough sees predicted for this weekend we won't be seeing too many people heading out wide.

We will no doubt see some keen anglers with big boats still trying to head out and catch a feed whilst our reefs are fishing well.

With the new moon this Sunday, and like during every set of big tides, you will need a big lead to stay in contact with your baits.

When the weather has been on the baits working best have been large strips of mullet, whole squid and whole pilchards.

Those using lures the go around the big tides is between an 80gram and 150gram jig depending on the depth of water you are fishing.

Ensuring your jig is heavy enough that you are able to constantly be in contact with your lure to feel any bites is the most important thing to consider.

Burnett River jack
Team member Josh Mortensen with a solid jack he caught on a live bait.

Elliott River

The Elliott has had another week of great fishing despite the rainy and overcast conditions we have had.

The shallow flats at the mouth of the river have held good numbers of flathead, whiting and queenfish.

Throwing fresh yabbies for the whiting and sprat or mullet for the flathead and queenfish has worked very well.

Using a running ball sinker rig with around 1m of light leader has got the bites.

Fishing the shallow flats during the incoming tide has been the ideal time as the fish get up into the shallows and feed on the bait whilst they can.

Further up river has found the jacks still being on the chew!

Live baits or strips of mullet fillet has worked an absolute treat and the size of these fish has been great coming in around the 45cm mark.

For the lure enthusiast's 3inch paddle tail soft plastics or prawn imitation lures are the go to at the moment.

Whilst up river chasing a few jack it is worth dropping the pots in as like all of our local rivers at the moment the crabbing has been red hot.

Burnett River jack
Brett Morgan with a monster jack.

Baffle Creek

Baffle Creek has continued to fish very well for anglers in search of a feed of fish.

The mouth of the river has been full of queenfish ranging from 60cm through to fish over the 1m mark.

Fresh queenfish is actually great eating especially when smoked and they are really fun to catch.

Some solid flathead averaging 50cm have been caught around the mouth of the river as well.

Finding sand flats which have a nice drop off into some deeper water has been the best spots and using either whole sprat, mullet fillet or fresh yabbies will do the trick.

Further up river we have seen some good numbers of jack being caught.

Fishing rock bars or the mangroves and fallen trees around middle channel is a great place to start for these jack.

Plenty of cod have been caught as bycatch but throwing down a live bait has seemed to get the jack's attention quicker.

Most of the deep holes either around the mouth or in the channels has seen quality grunter being caught.

Small soft plastics hopped along the bottom have been slaying these grunter but fresh yabbies has also scored a few cracking fish.

With the building tides leading up to Sunday's new moon we have seen the crabbing in this river becoming red hot once again!

Most stretches of river have held good numbers of crabs but the better quality ones have come either out of creeks or middle channel.

Kolan River

With this week's rainy weather we saw not as many people on the water of the Kolan, however those who braved the rain were definitely rewarded.

Some big mangrove jack were caught over the weekend and early this week as well as flathead, grunter and queenfish.
The jack were tight in the structure and preferred a live bait floated down to them, the queenfish were found close to the bait balls and were often spotted chasing the bait along the top of the water.

Using small soft plastics cast around the schools of bait and in any bends of the river worked very well for these fish.

As usual, the flathead were caught throughout the whole river and on a variety of baits.

One that worked better than the rest was using whole sprat as bait and fishing the drop offs.

Some very large flatties were caught using this method as well as some smaller ones around the 50cm mark which are perfect for a feed.

With the building tides this week leading into the new moon on Sunday, we have had great reports in the way of crabbing.

Plenty of quality sized bucks are around in this river and placing your pots up in creeks has got the best results. Like the rest of our local systems, fish frames such as whole mullet has worked best.

Local beaches

Our local beaches have had a great week of fishing with large grunter, flathead, trevally, queenfish and some good sized whiting being caught.

Strips of mullet fillet has caught just about everything when rigged on a running ball sinker rig and using an appropriate ball sinker.

Fishing gutters or the river mouths where the beach meets the mouth of the river has been a hotspot and some big flathead have been caught here.

During the incoming tide we have seen big schools of trevally and queenfish entering most of our rivers so fishing in these sections has been working very well on our pelagic fish.

If you are after whiting the go to bait has been freshly caught yabbies, beach worms or even small soldier crabs.

Woodgate Beach is still fishing great for these whiting with plenty of legal sized fish being caught consistently.

Burnett River jack
Logan Philips with a cracker of a coral trout caught out from Burnett Heads.

Lake Monduran

After the wind change from Northerly winds to South-Easterly's and the cooler conditions over the weekend we saw the fishing at Lake Monduran become quite tough.

Anglers who were still able to get fish into the boat had a quality sounder, an electric motor and were using hardbody lures with a very long pause in between twitches.

An electric motor and quality sounder are used to locate the barra without spooking them which is at least half the battle when fishing the dam.

With the last two days being sunny and the winds still consistent we have seen a lot more fish on the chew and more anglers are having success.

With the weather looking to be consistent heading into the weekend we should see some great fish being caught.

Fishing sections of the dam which have had the majority of wind blow over the last week of winds should put you in with a great shot at getting a fish or two.

The lures to use this weekend will be the Jackall Squirrel 79sp or the Samaki Redic DS80 especially for those fishing the timber.

If you find yourself fishing weedy points or flats sometimes it is a good idea to switch to a big plastic or a swimbait.

The Molix 120 or 140 Shads have been slaying some big barra in these parts of the dam and it's easy to see why once you see the action of them.

Lake Gregory

With the overcast and rainy weather we had last weekend and early this week we saw the topwater fishing at Lake Gregory doing really well.

Slow rolling and twitching frog imitation topwater lures were extremely effective when cast over shallow weed beds and around the weed towers.

The Chasebaits flexi frogs were the standout lure when the topwater fishing was on and anglers caught bass all throughout the day on topwater lures.

With the sun coming out these last few days we have seen the topwater strikes being once again limited to those low light periods such as dawn and dusk.

Maximizing your efforts around these times has really paid off with multiple bass being caught in a short period of time.

Throughout the middle of the day we have gotten great reports of bass being caught around heavy structure like the weed towers and drop offs.

Twitching hardbody lures has been getting the majority of the bites especially whilst the bass are feeding aggressively with the amount of bait in the dam at the moment.

trout
Trent Wockner with a solid 60cm trout he caught over the holidays.

From the team at Tackle World Bundaberg

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