LifestyleFishing report: quality fish in rivers and lakes

Fishing report: quality fish in rivers and lakes

Andrew Chappell with a beautiful barcheek coral trout.
Andrew Chappell with a beautiful barcheek coral trout.

Inshore and Offshore

The last two weekends have certainly been a treat for us fishos to head out wide and chase plenty of our tasty reef species.

The inshore and offshore fishing was red hot with plenty of action all throughout the day especially on patchy and rubbly bottom away from any main reefs or wrecks.

The sharks have definitely been an issue for a lot of anglers, moving away from an area as soon as you encounter a shark is the best way to deal with them.

Some cracking cobia have been around and they have been found on a lot of the common marks in close and along pressure points on the reefs out wide like Herolds Patch, Warregos and in the gutters.

Soft plastics, vibes and jigs are great ways to target cobia but if you are into bait fishing these fish will smash whole squid, cuttlefish and flesh baits like mullet or hussar fillets.

The trout were certainly on the chew over the weekend with whole pilchards being the go to bait on these guys. 

For the smaller boats who managed to get out we saw some great fish caught at common marks like the Bargara 2 mile, Ryan's Patch, the Artificial off Elliott Heads and the 4 mile.

Plenty of school mackerel have been around as well as queenfish and trevally and these fish have been harassing baitfish on the pressure edges.

Some good sized grunter and grass sweetlip were also common captures in close, soft vibes worked really well on these fish. 

Burnett River

The mouth of the Burnett is producing some great quality fish this week.

A lot of pelagic fish have been feeding on bait around the North Wall and at the Lighthouse.

A few solid grey mackerel as well as plenty of school mackerel have also been getting around the mouth and these have been caught on trolled hardbody lures and metal spoons.

For the trevally and queenfish that have been around flicking small soft plastics along the rocks has been really effective.

A lot of people have also had some great quality by-catch being grunter, cod and even some good sized jack which have all been caught along the rocks.

For the bait fishos whole sprat and mullet fillet has been the go to baits when fishing the North Wall and any of the rocky structures at the mouth of the river at the moment.

The crabbing in the Burnett and Skyringville has been on fire, the go to baits has been fish and chicken frames.

Leaving the pots in for an overnight soak has got the best results.

Dylan with a pair of great quality trout caught on a Nomad Squidtrex
Dylan with a pair of great quality trout caught on a Nomad Squidtrex.

Kolan River

The Kolan River has been fishing really well especially for big jack and estuary cod all throughout the river.

Fishing the fallen trees at the mouth of the river, Booyan Bridge up river or any of the rock bars up Yanny Creek has been working great.

Live baits fished into the night have got the best results.

Good numbers of barra are also being found during the run out tide in deep holes or sitting behind structure that is getting hit with current. 

The bream, grunter and flathead have also been on the chew at the mouth of this river system along the shallow flats and drop offs.

Fresh yabbies are worth their weight in gold for this style of fishing but small strips of mullet fillet or chook gut has been working well.

If you are into lure fishing you can't go past a Samaki soft vibe hopped along the drop offs or a small hardbody lure twitched across the flats for these fish.

The crabbing in this river has also been really good with great quality bucks being found up the creeks.

With the big tides this weekend we should see more crabs being flushed out and being found in deep holes and along steep mud banks. 

Elliott River

Some ripper mangrove jack have been coming from this system, live bait has for sure been the go to method to catch these big fish.

Finding bait hanging around structure is what to look for, drifting a live bait or a whole prawn into the structure with the current and a lightly weighted sinker has been doing the damage.

Some big cod have been caught as by-catch however for most they are a welcomed catch especially when they are of legal size.

Towards the mouth of this river system we have seen good sized queenfish around the 70 cm mark feeding on bait during the incoming tide, these fish will follow the bait so once again finding the bait is key.

Good areas to look are areas that are getting hit hard with the current.

Flicking soft plastics or surface lures around these areas has been getting the bites.

As always there has been plenty of 40 to 50 cm flathead being caught along the drop offs and up in the shallows.

Try fishing the shallows during the run in tide and the drop offs as the tide runs out, natural coloured soft plastics have definitely been the go to on these flatties.

Wyatt with a solid grunter
Wyatt with a solid grunter.

Baffle Creek

The standout fish for the Baffle over the past week has definitely been mangrove jack, flathead and grunter although some really good quality cod and barra are being caught as well!

The mangrove jack have been smashing paddle tail soft plastic’s and prawn imitation lures worked over shallow rock bars and out of mangrove roots.

If you are more into bait fishing using live or dead poddy mullet and sprat surely is a killer bait to get into the jack action.

The best bite times for them has been first light in the mornings, last light in the afternoons and into the night.

There has been plenty of flathead and grunter caught all throughout the system but the mouth seems to be the hottest spot.

Slow rolling paddle tail soft plastic’s over the shallow sand bars preferably spots that have yabbies beds or small timber structures on them has worked great.

The first of the runout tide is the preferred tide to chase them but you will definitely get a bite from a flathead or a grunter at any time of the day.

The barra have been found hanging on laydowns and rock bars towards the mouth of the river system.

Having a quality sounder with sidescan will help tremendously at locating these fish.

Once you have found good numbers of fish prawn imitation lures have no doubt been the most effective. Live baits will also work really well especially if you can't get a bite on a lure. 

Nelson Philips with a pristine saratoga caught in Lake Gregory
Nelson Philips with a pristine saratoga caught in Lake Gregory.

Lake Gregory

Lake Gregory has fished quite well over the past week.

Plenty of smaller bass have been feeding consistently around the edges of the dam on small paddle tail soft plastics.

Slow rolling these paddle tail soft plastics has been the most effective way to target these fish.

Ensuring to cover plenty of ground when fishing for these bass will help you to locate where these fish are sitting and then you can focus on this area as you will usually find a few bass in close proximity.

Fishing the Lake in the early mornings and late afternoons is when the fishing has been at it's best.

Topwater lures in these low light periods have been super effective on the bass and some saratoga have even fell victim to this technique. 

From the team at Tackle World Bundaberg.