LifestyleFishing report: cracker fishing offshore

Fishing report: cracker fishing offshore

Luke Ashmore with a good sized rusty buck!
Luke Ashmore with a good sized rusty buck!


The inshore reefs have been producing some very nice fish!

The Spanish mackerel, school mackerel, mac tuna, snapper and grunter have definitely been the standout fish on the chew.

The mackerel have been smashing slowly trolled gar rigged on a set of gang hooks and live baits set under a float while anchored.

The snapper and grunter have been taking a liking to 20g soft vibes and 5” soft plastic’s worked off the bottom.

These fish have been hanging around the big schools of bait so using your sounder to locate the bait will put you in with a good shot at these snapper and grunter.

If you're more into bait fishing try using squid, prawns or pilchards as these have been getting the bite as well.

Remember it is best to be targeting these fish either in the early mornings or late afternoons because they are the best bite times. 


Although the opportunities have been few and far between we have seen the offshore reefs and wrecks producing some insanely good fishing.

Plenty of trophy sized coral trout, cobia and even red emperor have been caught.

The standout techniques for the trout have been to be using prawn imitation lures worked off the bottom and lightly weighting pilchards sent to the bottom in around 20 meters of water.

The reds are being caught using big flesh baits and squid in around 40 meters of water.

Isolated structures surrounded by sand usually hold good reds so keep an eye on the sounder whilst travelling for any small pinnacles.

Always remember to make the most out of the tide changes, that one hour either side of the tide can be the game changer for the day.

The wrecks have held huge numbers of cobia, plenty of smaller fish around 80cm in length are being found but there is still the trophy fish up to the 1.5m mark being caught too.

Hamish Birch with his first ever spanish mackerel
Hamish Birch with his first ever spanish mackerel.

Burnett River

The cooler weather we have had has definitely brought the water temp in the Burnett down and the blue salmon are starting to school up in some better numbers.

This week has seen the salmon found at the Port and some solid fish along Fairymead.

These fish are extremely bait orientated so find the big schools of bait and these salmon shouldn't be far away.

Hopping some soft vibes along the bottom and working them back to the boat with the current has got the bites.

The sand flats around Kirby's wall have fished great for flathead, bream and grunter this week.

Floating out some yabbies or whole sprat have been the baits getting the bites. Hopping some soft plastics along the flats and drop offs has also picked up some quality fish with a few queenfish in the shallows feeding.

The Burnett has also been crabbing and prawning really well, whole mullet in your pots has got the best results. 

Elliott River

The Elliott is still producing some quality fish whilst the flats fishing has been on! Most of the species caught have been found in the shallow water or drop offs and have been on the chew.

The flathead and grunter have been up in the shallows during the incoming tide and on the run out tide they have been along the drop offs.

Throwing some whole sprat or small strips of mullet fillets onto the sand flats or along the drop offs has picked up some quality fish.

Around the mouth of the river has seen some solid dart caught as well as queenfish and trevally.

The deeper holes up the river have seen good numbers of fish schooled up with grunter, trevally and some blue salmon being caught.

Small soft vibes hopped through the holes has got the bites.

Plenty of good sized crabs are also on the move in this system, placing the pots in for an overnight soak has got the best results but even a few hours whilst you are fishing has been working great for a lot of anglers chasing a feed.  

Dylan Taylor with a big bar cod caught on his first deep drop mission
Dylan Taylor with a big bar cod caught on his first deep drop mission.

Baffle Creek 

The Baffle is having a ripper few weeks of fishing and crabbing and although the water temp is cooling down some of the summer species are still on the chew.

Cod and jack are being caught in this system around heavy structures like rock bars or big fallen trees.

Live baits have been working a treat but whole prawns or strips of mullet have also done well.

Using a lighter leader and sinker to get the bait to look more natural has been the key to getting the bites.

The flats fishing in this river has been up there with some of the best it has been all year.

Flathead, grunter, bream, queenfish and trevally are all being caught in the shallows feeding on bait and yabbies.

If you are fishing the run in tide be sure to be casting lures or bait right into the shallows, if you are fishing the run out fish the slightly deeper edges or drop offs.

The crabs have been up the creeks, those who are able to get right up the back have pulled some solid bucks when using plenty of bait in the pots!

Kolan River

The mouth of the Kolan River is fishing really well at the moment!

Queenfish around the 50 to 80cm mark have been in big schools and have smashed a whole sprat floated out past some structure or along the sand flats!

Some big flathead averaging 60cm have also been around and feeding on the shallow flats during the incoming tide and along the drop offs during the run out tide. 

Small hardbody lures either trolled or cast have been doing the damage.

The shallow sand banks have also seen some good numbers of whiting, bream and grunter being caught, fresh yabbies have been the go to bait and fishing during the incoming tide for these fish has worked best.

The crabs have also been on the move with once again placing your pots along the mangrove lined banks and up the skinny creeks being the go to places.

Blair Paul with a solid grunter caught landbased at Burnett Heads
Blair Paul with a solid grunter caught landbased at Burnett Heads.

Lake Gregory

The bass fishing in the lake has been getting better and better as more fish have starting to school up in the open water.

Finding schools of fish using a sounder is handy however looking for bait flickers, birds or any topwater action is a dead giveaway.

Slow rolling soft plastics is a great way to target these bass schooled up in the deeper water.

Slow rolling or twitching hardbody lures which get down to around the 3m mark are also a great option for when these bass are sitting deep.

Lake Monduran

This week has been a tough bite for Lake Monduran with anglers having to work hard for each opportunity.

The water temp has dropped down to around the 22 degree mark with the cooler mornings and due to the rainy and overcast weekend we had. 

The late afternoon has been consistent with some of the bigger barra landed, fishing around the moon bite times and the Kolan River tide changes has been crucial to getting a bite. 

Samaki Redic DS80's twitched slowly with long pauses in between have still been getting the bite.

During the middle of the day the rat barra have been tucked right in close to the banks especially those with plenty of shade from overhanging trees or lily pads.

Working your lure through the gaps in the lily pads has managed to get a few barra around the 50cm mark to chew during the middle of the day.

From the team at Tackle World Bundaberg.



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