Fishing The Mary River With The Brisbane River Boys


By Christopher Thompson


Over the Christmas and New Year break myself and the other members of the Brisbane River Boys completed two separate missions to check out some potential fishing venues over a couple of extended weekends. During the first trip I added another species to my tally in the form of a 35 cm silver perch, which was totally unexpected and a welcome addition to my list of species caught for the year.


He went for a 1/8th TT jighead with a Chartreuse 3.5 inch Zman Grub and size #2 spin attachment. Needless to say I was stoked as this was my first ever fishing trip to the Mary River.


Our second trip involved a 4am start on New Years Day for the drive from Brisbane to Gympie to meet with Luke and Craig, the other members of the BRB who had already setup camp and were in high hopes for some more freshwater action on the Mary River. When I eventually arrived at the camp the boys were already on the water it was a perfect morning and hopes were high for a memorable day on the Mary.


The early morning saw a fair few surface hits but no hook ups. We didn’t travel far that morning before Craig managed to land his first fish in a while, breaking his freshwater curse with a solid little bass. Next to follow was myself by slow rolling a spin jig past a sunken tree, about a metre before it reached the kayak the rod bent and the drag went off. After a short fight I saw my first bass of the trip, breaking an 11 month drought since my last bass. The final fish of that morning was a smaller bass taken on a drop off, a welcome conclusion to the morning session. By now it was lunch time so we headed back to camp to refuel our bodies and pick up another of our friends who had been fishing elsewhere for the last week.


Back at the camp we all took the opportunity to relax and download the footage from the morning session and recharge the batteries in the Go Pro’s. We prepared our gear for the afternoon action and I rigged up my first BRB Lightning Combo with a 1/8th TT jighead and a motor oil Zman grub in 2.5 inch and size #3 spin attachment. The second outfit was rigged with a Jitterbug surface lure in the hopes of hooking up to my first fish on surface.


Late afternoon produced many surface hits but again, no hook ups. We ventured further along the river than we had during the morning session, flicking at every snag we saw but with no result. I was pretty much done for the day thinking it had already been a great session on the water when I decided to throw out my Zman motor oil spin jig one last time. I aimed the jig next to a small sunken tree trunk. It had barely hit the water when something engulfed it. My first thought was a big bass, but then I saw it surface and with excitement yelled out “Cod!” Luke was in disbelief and came straight over to me just as I netted the fish. I was shaking from the sheer excitement of actually landing this magnificent, protected species. The hook was perfectly pinned in the corner of the mouth. I carefully finger gripped the fish while supporting its body weight and snapped a very quick picture before releasing it. This was the high point of the entire trip for me, and I won’t forget it in a hurry. The cod was roughly 50cm thanks to the ruler carefully designed within the mesh of the Bassaction Net I was using.

They were a couple of memorable fishing trips shared with good friends and with eight different freshwater species caught and released to fight again another day. Both Luke and I were happy to tick a mixed bag off the list Including saratoga, silver perch, eel tailed catfish, bass and Mary River cod. The Mary is certainly a healthy waterway.

We all used the BRB Lightning and Thunder rod & reel combos. These combos are comprised of a 7ft, 1-3kg graphite rod with Fuji guides and reel seat, cork grip and EVA foam butt; matched up with a 2000 size spin reel featuring 12+1 stainless ball bearings, sealed composite body, a long cast spool and an anti-vibration system making it very, very smooth. Rigged with 8lb Sunline Super PE braid you can launch a 1/16oz jig head 20m with awesome accuracy. Being a really light setup makes flicking lures all day a breeze.

For further Information about the Brisbane River Boys and our products go to our Facebook page at You can also check out the last two years of videos on Youtube.

The Brisbane River Boys hard at work in 'The Office'
The Brisbane River Boys hard at work in ‘The Office’
The author with his first ever silver perch
The author with his first ever silver perch
Absolutely stoked to encounter this totally protected Mary River Cod
Absolutely stoked to encounter this totally protected Mary River Cod
This Toga just added to the variety of species encountered
This Toga just added to the variety of species encountered