LifestyleCrabbing and prawning red hot in rivers

Crabbing and prawning red hot in rivers

Luke Tinson with a ripper mud crab.
Luke Tinson with a ripper mud crab.


Finally its open season on the Spanish mackerel and the inshore weather should be good enough to get out over the weekend, key word should.

Remember to always check the latest weather forecast before heading out.

Now remember spanish mackerel currently have a bag limit of 3 per person and 6 per boat with 2 or more people on board but as of 1 July 2023 it goes down to 1 per person and 2 per boat with 2 or more people on board.

If you're fishing off Burnett Heads, try getting a livie off one of the leads and putting that under a float or slowly troll for a spanish.

Otherwise, one of my preferred ways to troll is with a dead pilchard or gar and vary your speed; sometimes a slow troll works, other times fast.

This time of year you'll find schools of bait moving along our coast lines and with that you'll get tuna, mackerel, queenfish and trevally on the hunt feeding on them.

This is where metal slugs like a 20g – 50g flasher or a stick bait and popper come into play and prove very successful.

Inshore reefs have been coming alive with your favourite winter species like grunter, snapper and grass emperor.

Crabbing and prawning
Dylan Nay with a cracking red emperor caught off Bundy.

Some of the favourite ways to target them is by jigging soft plastics and 40g slow fall jigs and the old faithful bait dropped down to the opportunistic fish.

With the recent good weather, those anglers who went out wide managed to get some good fish past the sharks such as big red emperors, coral trout, snapper and some grass emperor.

This is where the shark repellent sinker comes into play.

Don’t forget to put an unweighted pilly out the back for a spanish mackerel now that the season is open. One of the ways that has been producing good results is by jigging a Nomad Squidtrex.

Burnett River

Crabbing and prawning
Steven King with a 51cm jack caught in the Burnett River.

The Burnett is still fishing well although last weeks rain has certainly dirtied the upper section of the river.

This has got the crabs on the move and there has been plenty of small river prawns along the shallow muddy banks.

For these smaller prawns a 3/4 inch mesh cast net is ideal as a lot of them escape easily when using a net with one inch mesh.

Around the bridges and the rock bars in the middle section of the river has seen good numbers of jacks, grunter and trevally being caught.

The blue salmon have moved on and seem to be down river in the cleaner water.

These fish are extremely bait orientated so try finding the big schools of bait as this should put you in with a good chance at a few early season blue salmon.

Soft vibes work best on these fish so be sure to have a few in your arsenals ready for when they really start chewing!

There is definitely a few solid barra still being caught however having a sounder is almost necessary at the moment as these fish can be extremely hard to find.

A sounder with good quality side scan can pin point exactly where these fish are so you aren't wasting any casts!

Elliott River

Crabbing and prawning
Tackle World Bundaberg team member Boyd Cronin with a solid jack.

This river has continued to fish very well despite more and more anglers heading to the Elliott due to good reports of fish being caught.

Most of the fisho's have been drifting the sand banks or fishing the rock bars this river has to offer with the usual flathead, grunter and queenfish caught on the sand flats and drop offs.

The rock bars have held good numbers of mangrove jack, cod and the odd barramundi which have ate a well presented live prawn or mullet.

There is currently heaps of bait in this river so catching some for livies or even fresh strip baits is easy and well worth it.

Floating out a few whole sprat either along the sand flats or rock bars has worked well on most of the species for those just after a quick and easy feed of fish.

Up in the creeks has also seen great numbers of crabs and prawns being caught so be sure to try for these guys whilst in the Elliott.

Baffle Creek

Baffle Creek is fishing red hot at the moment with plenty of variety being caught throughout the whole river system!

The rain from last week has definitely got the crabs on the move as well so it is definitely worth throwing a few pots in if you are headed for a fish.

Using whole mullet in the pots or fish frames have worked best.

The majority of anglers have been fishing from around Winfield area and down river towards the mouth.
We have seen good numbers of grunter and flathead caught in slightly deeper water around the sand flats, fresh yabbies and whole sprat have worked well on these fish.

During the incoming tide around the mouth of the river has seen heaps of queenfish enter the river in search for bait.

These fish have been following the bait schools so looking for areas with bait, current and structure is where these queenfish will be.

Flicking some soft plastics around any good looking areas is the way to target these fish.

The rock bars in the river have been producing some quality jacks, we have seen prawn imitation lures work really well so be sure to have a few in your tackle box.

Kolan River

Just like all of our other local rivers the Kolan's fishing, crabbing and prawning is red hot!

Plenty of crabs are being caught whether the pots are up in creeks or along deeper banks, the key however has been to be using a strong smelling bait like whole mullet.

For the prawns there has been plenty of small river prawns in great numbers along the muddy banks up river of Booyan Bridge.

These smaller prawns are best targeted with a 3/4 inch drawstring cast net to ensure as little as possible can escape.

Some of the bigger prawns have been in deeper water and these can be found with a quality sounder, a top pocket cast net is ideal for these deeper water scenarios.

For the fishing side of things the middle to upper section of the Kolan has been fishing great.

Recently we saw the Bundaberg Sportfishing Club's members head out to the Kolan River Retreat and there was some great fish caught.

Barra, jack, flathead, queenfish, trevally and cod were the most common caught with the standout lures being prawn imitation soft plastics!

Crabbing and prawning
Jack and Bryce Munn with a cracking feed of prawns caught in the Burnett.

Local beaches

We have had great reports of plenty of quality whiting being caught along our local beaches this week.

The bait doing the damage on most of these fish have been freshly pumped yabbies or beach worms.

Fishing during the incoming tide in the gutters has been the go to technique.

Rigging your baits on a running ball sinker rig with a very light ball sinker will give you the best shot at landing a few whiting.

Whilst whiting fishing we have seen good numbers of flathead, dart and trevally being caught.

It is a good idea to also have some mullet fillet or sprat out as well in case a few bigger flathead are around.

Woodgate Beach and Coonarr Beach have been the standouts however all of our local beaches have produced quality fish so they are all definitely worth a shot.

Lake Monduran

The barramundi have been on the chew at Lake Monduran.

March and April are two cracking months of the year to fish this impoundment.

The early morning bite seems to be the go at the moment.

Jackall Squirrels and Samaki Redic’s are definitely the go to lure. Fishing the shallow timbers is the place to be to get the bite.

Remember to always fish the bays and points where the wind is blowing into; the wind is blowing a light SE this weekend.

Always fish with confidence, you never know when that 1m+ barramundi will hit your lure!

Lake Monduran barra
Nelson Phillips with a solid barra caught in Lake Monduran.

Lake Gregory

This week has continued to see some cracking bass being caught from Lake Gregory.

The bass are feeding in the shallower water and they have been super aggressive smashing soft plastics, hardbodies and topwater lures.

Small paddle tail soft plastics have been the go throughout the heat of the day along with 70-80mm hardbody lures.

The hardbodies are most effective when twitched aggressively and allowed to sit for up to 10 seconds in between pauses.

Once the sun is on it's way down and shadows start to get cast on the dam, this is when topwater lures have done really well.

The Daiwa Slippery Dog ‘walk the dog' style topwater lures have worked well when the bass are feeding in the shallows.

From the Tackle World Bundaberg team




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