LifestyleFishing report: reefs on fire

Fishing report: reefs on fire

Adrian Deanoz with a big spanish mackerel caught on a live bait
Adrian Deanoz with a big spanish mackerel caught on a live bait.


Our inshore reefs are on fire again this week, from pelagic fish to trout, cod, grunter and some snapper they are producing some awesome fishing.

For those chasing mackerel finding the bait has been key, trolling some hardbody lures or whole garfish has worked well to find the schoolies, greys and some of the big spanish that have been in close.

Once you have found the good numbers of mackerel dropping down Flasha spoons and retrieving them back to the boat has been the go. 

Good numbers of longtail tuna have also started to show themselves more, looking for bust ups and birds working above is a dead giveaway that there is tuna in the area.

Casting Arma Anchovy metal lures past the feeding tuna and winding it back through has got the best results. Daiwa Bait Junkie 5inch jerk tail soft plastics in any of the pink colours have worked great when rigged on a 1/2oz to 1oz 5/0 or 6/0 jig head. 

Some cracking grunter and snapper have also moved in close on reefs like the 2 Mile, Artificial off Elliott Heads, Ryans patch off Burnett Heads and any of the other patchy ground that is holding bait.

Soft vibes and 5 inch jerk tail soft plastics hopped along the bottom are deadly on both of these species.

Try fishing for these fish in the early mornings and late afternoons, these fish love feeding around these times and will continue to feed into the night too! 


It's safe to say that offshore fishing has not been a go this week, that South Easterly has been howling and the swell out wide has not been pretty.

Fortunately though, this little break means that by the time we can get out again the fishing should be red hot. 

The trout have been in great numbers in areas like the Northern Gutter, 15 mile Gutter, Warrego's, Herolds and any isolated bommies.

Whole squid and pilchards rigged on a set of gang hooks have been the standout baits to get the trout to bite.

If you are into lure fishing you really can't go past a 127mm Samaki Live Shrimp in the Golden Carrot colour, it is our favorite lure for big trout! 

Great numbers of hussar, venus tusk fish, sweetlip, and spangled emperors have also been caught at most of the common patches of reef on a variety of techniques. 

Plenty of big cobia are still around the wrecks and steep ledges and drop offs in 15-40m of water.

Whole squid and cuttlefish are a big cobia's favourite as well as a soft plastic or metal jig if you want to catch them on lures.

Dominic Rosenberger with his PB flathead measuring 50cm
Dominic Rosenberger with his PB flathead measuring 50cm.

Burnett River

The Burnett River is still fishing red hot! The bream and grunter have absolutely been on the chew over the last week.

Most of these fish are being caught around the bridges in Town but also along the rocks at Kirby's Wall and right at the mouth along the Northern and Southern Walls.

Floating out whole sprat and prawns have got these fish to bite consistently. Small soft plastics hopped around the structure has also worked great with plenty of by-catch as well which has mainly been small cod and trevally.

The blue salmon have definitely started to move in with some smaller fish being caught in Town Reach and Fairymead in the usual spots.

Some good sized jacks are also still on the chew around the rock bars and up the creeks, most of these jack have been caught on live baits. 

The crabbing and prawning is also red hot at the moment so definitely make sure to throw the pots in and have a few throws of the cast net when you can!

Kolan River

Over the last few weeks we have seen the Kolan continually producing for most anglers whether bait fishing, lure fishing or even for those crabbing.

Good sized flathead, bream and grunter are being caught on the sand flats towards the mouth of the river. Drifting the drop offs and sand flats with whole prawns, whole sprat or fresh yabbies have all been getting good results.

Small soft plastics like the Daiwa Baitjunkie 3.2 inch minnow has been working really well for the lure fishos.

Those who love to do a bit of crabbing should be keen to get a few pots in the water as we have heard good reports this week from those giving it a red hot crack.

Tracey Wood with a trevally caught in the Elliot River
Tracey Wood with a trevally caught in the Elliot River.

Elliott River

The Elliott has been fishing very well for whiting, bream and grunter. Pumping yabbies at low tide and fishing the shallow sand bars on the incoming tide has been doing the damage for the whiting with some solid grunter being caught as well.

Hopping curl tail soft plastics over the shallow sand flats and drop offs has got most anglers into some grunter and flathead action as well.

There has also been some solid queenfish cruising around the mouth of this system, floating out whole sprat or casting around some soft plastics and hardbody lures should see some of these fish.

The crabbing in this river has been sensational, be sure to drop the pots in over the weekend for a good chance at a healthy buck or two!

Baffle Creek

The Baffle has been producing some very nice whiting and grunter over the past week! The whiting have been smashing yabbies and beach worms fished in the shallows over yabbie banks.

With the full moon tonight fishing the night time incoming tide will be the ideal time to get a feed of whiting.

The grunter have been taking a liking to 3” soft plastics worked over the gravel beds and a few of these are also being caught up in the shallows when targeting whiting.

If you're more into your bait fishing using mullet fillet or prawns will be a good bait to get the grunter to bite.

With those big night tides this weekend be sure to drop the crab pots in for a tasty feed of mud crab.

Middle channel has been producing some good numbers of crab along with the creeks towards the mouth of the river.

Sam from Mondy Man Fishing Charters with a big barra caught at the lake this week
Sam from Mondy Man Fishing Charters with a big barra caught at the lake this week.

Lake Gregory

Lake Gregory is fishing really well again this week with some absolute stud bass being caught!

The cooler mornings and afternoons has slowed the edge bite down so fishing the schools of fish hanging off the drop offs and in the deep has been working a treat.

Sounding around to find good numbers of fish is a quick way to locate a school of fish. Once you know where they are sitting slow rolling soft plastics through the school of fish is a great starting point.

Switching up your lure with a vibe presentation like a blade, hard vibe or a soft vibe is a good idea too.

Sometimes a simple change of lure is all these bass need to bite so don't be afraid to mix things up.

If you find the bass are out in the deep but are schooled up mid water or only a few meters from the surface, a suspending hardbody lure is usually a great option.

This lure allows you to sit the lure dead in the strike zone right in front of the bass's face and most of the time will get you a bite. 

Lake Monduran

Lake Monduran is fishing well despite the cooler water temp, a lot of barra over the magic metre mark are being landed.

The average size of the barra in the dam is getting out of control, it is pretty cool when the smaller barra are still 70cm and usually play up even more than the bigger fish!

Those getting the results have been fishing shallow points and targeting the fish that are sitting on these points in 2-5m of water.

Suspending jerkbaits have always been a staple when it comes to catching barra at Lake Monduran, and the last few weeks have been no different.

Samaki Redic DS80's are perfectly matching the profile of the bait in the dam at the moment, changing up the colour and your retrieve has been key to figuring out what these barra want however a simple twitch and long 5-10 second pause retrieve has worked great.

Slow rolling a Berkley Shimma Pro Rig or Molix 140 Shad at night has also accounted for many barra hitting the deck.

When fishing for these barra at night be sure to use a darker coloured lure as this creates a larger silhouette in the water making it easier for the barra to target your lure.

Remember to fish with confidence, you never know when that magic metre barra is going to eat!

From the team at Tackle World Bundaberg.



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