LifestyleSpanish mackerel closed and barramundi open

Spanish mackerel closed and barramundi open

Leroy Bartlett Spanish mackerel
Catch of the Week: Leroy Bartlett caught this Spanish was last weekend before the Spanish mackerel closure.

In this week's fishing report find out about the Spanish mackerel and barramundi seasons, along with what's been biting on the water.

Inshore / Offshore

The inshore reefs have been fishing really well over the past week!

The schoolie mackerel and grunter have been the biggest standouts. By far the most effective technique with catching schoolies has been fast retrieving 50g flasha spoons vertically off the bottom.

If you're more into bait fishing pilchards are a killer bait for them, slowly floating a whole pilchard either to the bottom or out the back of your boat is the go.

For the grunter, jigging 20g soft vibes and 5” soft plastic’s has been the go to technique to get the bite!

Again, if you're more into bait fishing using prawns and squid is a sure way to catch a few grunter whilst they are on the chew.

We finally got that good weather window last week and the reef fishing was red hot!

The standout fish were red emperor, coral trout and cobia!

The trout were biting mostly on whole pilchards, the reds were loving big flesh baits or live baits and the cobia were smashing cuttle fish as well as 7 inch jerk tail soft plastics.

Those who managed some quality reds were fishing reefs towards the islands and finding small lumps of bottom holding bait.

The cobia have been caught around the wrecks and the trouties have been caught in shallower water with plenty of structure to hold these fish. Remember to always make the most out of that tide change.

The hour either side of the tide can be a proper game changer!

Trent Wockner red emperor
Trent Wockner with a 54cm red emperor which was safely released.

Burnett River

The Burnett has had a ripper week of fishing with most of our common species being caught throughout the river.

The target species for most anglers have definitely been mangrove jack and the monster queenfish we have had in this river.

The jacks have been caught along the rock bars such as Kirby's Wall on live baits or big flesh baits like a simple mullet fillet.

Throwing your baits as close to the structure as you can has worked a treat.

The big queenfish have predominately been caught on small soft plastics flicked in areas of high current and where there is plenty of bait.

A few areas to try would be the bridge pylons and pressure edges along the rock walls.

Some great sized flathead and grunter are being caught with most of the success coming from those who are fishing towards the mouth of the river.

Using small flesh baits or whole sprat has been the go to bait for these fish and anchoring up on a nice drop off is where these fish are feeding.

Some good numbers of prawns are still around but they are moving quite quickly, it really pays to have a good quality sounder to locate these prawns before you go casting the net.

Trying areas down river near the port will be a good place to start but be prepared to do a bit of driving around in order to find the better numbers of these prawns.

Shelly Cvorak
Shelly Cvorak with a ripper of a GT caught in the Burnett River.

Elliott River

Once again the Elliott River has had a great week of fishing especially on our bread and butter species.

Wading the shallow flats around the mouth of this system has seen whiting, flathead and bream being caught on either fresh yabbies, beach worms or small soft plastic and hardbody lures.

The last of the run-in tide and the start of the run out tide has been when most of these fish are being caught.

If you are fishing when the tide is lower, aim to fish deeper sections on the flats or the drop offs as this is where the fish have been pushed into with the run-out tide.

Around the mouth has also seen some great sized queenfish and trevally on the move harassing baitfish.

Around the top of the tide has been the go-to time to chase these fish, similar to the Burnett we have seen most success coming from anglers using natural coloured soft plastics around 100mm in length.

Upriver in the deeper areas has seen some big flathead caught as well as some quality sized grunter.

Throwing out a small live bait or a small flesh bait has got the bites in these deeper sections of river.

Baffle Creek

Baffle Creek has been fishing red hot this week, plenty of anglers have caught some quality fish on a range of techniques.

Big flathead and grunter have been caught around the mouth of the river system with fresh baits working really well.

Freshly pumped yabbies have killed it on the incoming tide and small flesh baits like mullet fillet have got the bites during the run out when the water has been dirtier.

Plenty of big pelagic fish have been around and feeding, the last half of the incoming tide seems to be when most of these fish are being caught.

Fishing the fallen trees at the mouth of the river has caught some cracking trevally and queenfish lately with whole sprat and small soft plastics doing the trick.

Up river in some of the creeks and rock bars has still seen the mangrove jack on the chew.

Live baits is the way to go when chasing these fish and using a quality leader is a must.

Middle Channel has been a great spot for a few jack lately so it is definitely worth a look if you are heading to Baffle this weekend!

Kolan River

Like our other rivers the Kolan has had another solid week of fishing however it has also been crabbing and prawning really well.

We have seen great numbers of small prawns being caught in the shallower water on top of mud banks.

If you are struggling to find them in the shallows a few of the deeper holes have held good numbers, a 10-to-12 foot top pocket cast net is recommended when prawning.

The crabs have been all throughout the creeks but venturing right up into the back of these creeks has been getting the best results.

The flathead and grunter have been on the chew with drop offs either at the edges of sand flats or steep banks being a few great places to start.

Using chunks of mullet or sprat has worked great on these fish, towards the mouth in the clearer water we have seen fresh yabbies doing best when fished in the shallower water.

Shaun Burrage trevally
Shaun Burrage with a trevally caught in the Kolan River

We have seen heaps of big schools of bait being smashed by queenfish and trevally during the incoming tide.

Flicking small soft plastics around the edges of these baits schools or drifting out a whole sprat has worked great.

The rock bars and deep holes in this river have produced some great mangrove jack especially for those using live baits.

Whole poddy mullet and sprat have been very effective however it is definitely worth having some mullet fillet out as well.

Local beaches

With last weekend and early this week hosting a few ripper days of weather we saw plenty of people fishing our beaches.

Finding a nice deep gutter in close to the shoreline seemed to be the go to no matter which beach people were fishing.

Leroy Bartlett bull shark Kinkuna Beach
Leroy Bartlett with a solid bull shark caught off Kinkuna Beach

Fresh yabbies caught just about everything and some quality whiting are still being caught with Woodgate Beach being the standout.

Fresh strips of mullet fillet were absolutely dynamite on the big flathead, trevally and grunter we have seen along our beaches as well.

Fishing around the river mouths off the beaches has also been working a treat especially for our pelagic fish.

A lot of big queenfish and trevally have been caught during the incoming tide as they enter the rivers with the cleaner water in search for bait.

A well presented live bait is definitely the go when chasing these pelagic fish.

We have seen quite a few people shark fishing off our coast lately and Kinkuna Beach is by far the place to go to chase these species.

Rigging up some whole mullet, eel or stingray on one of our pre rigged Shelclay shark fishing rigs is the way to go.

Most people have been paddling the baits out a few hundred meters and are having great success on plenty of small bull sharks, bronze whalers and tiger sharks.

Lake Monduran

Lake Monduran is starting to fish better and better each week with more anglers slowly figuring out the barra in order to get a few on board.

With fish being all over the dam finding them is the easy part at the moment, getting one to bite on the other hand has been tricky especially when the conditions aren't in our favour.

A lot of smaller fish have been caught over the last few weeks with these rats hanging right in tight to the banks in any shady spots.

Twitching hardbody lures in between the structure in close to the bank has caught plenty of these smaller fish.

A lot of the bigger fish have been found passing through windblown points and bays however they have still been very hard to tempt a bite from this week.

Those who managed to hook some big fish have struggled to keep the hooks in them as these bigger barra aren't fully committing to the lures.

logan barramundi
Logan managed this ripper 99cm barra whilst fishing with Sam from Mondy Man Fishing Charters.

Ensuring your hooks are extremely sharp and not rusted will help your hook up rate but most importantly you need to be able to feel the barra bite in order to set the hooks.

A good quality braid along with some razor-sharp hooks will help you keep hooks in one of these big barra.

This weekend we should see some good fish being caught in places such as SDA bay, White Rock and in the south arm of B. Having a few Jackall Squirrel 79SP's and Molix 120 Shads will definitely put you in with a good shot at catching a barra or two.

Lake Gregory

With the hot and humid days we have been getting lately we have really started to see the water warming up on the dam.

Fishing sections of the dam that have been getting plenty of wind pushed into them has been the go as these areas have slightly warmer water and the majority of the bait.

Twitching hardbody lures along the weed edges has worked really well when mixing in some 5 to 10 second pauses in between twitches.

Low light periods have proved to fire the bass up with anglers catching great numbers of fish in a short period of time.

Maximizing your efforts around dawn and dusk has been working great and the topwater enthusiasts have been landing some quality fish off the top as well.

If you are finding schools of bass hanging in slightly deeper water, try using a small paddle tail soft plastic and slowly wind it directly through the school.

This technique has worked great on the schooled fish when they are a little more hesitant to bite.

Spanish mackerel closure

The first of two southern closures for Spanish mackerel began Yesterday on Wednesday 1st of February. The southern closure's for Spanish mackerel run from: 1 February 2023 to 21 February 2023 and 1 March 2023 to 21 March 2023

Closed seasons protect fish at vulnerable times in their life cycle – such as during spawning seasons. For more information about the Spanish mackerel management changes, click here.

Barramundi open

The annual barramundi closed season is now officially over. We look forward to seeing our local rivers producing some cracking fish.

Tackle World Bundaberg