Bribie Island – The old oyster jetty flats – 4 September 2014

Thursday

By Thursday I had time for a morning fishing session. I have been hoping to get down to Fingal Head or Iluka to chase some bream, tailor and mulloway. But I just cannot seem to carve out the time at present, so it was back up to Bribie.

It was another mid-morning low tide at 10.20 am. The moon was about 60% full. Strong southerlies had been blowing for a few days but these were forecast to drop off by lunchtime. It was a bright, sunny morning, when I arrived at about 8.00 am.

I did not really have time for exploring so I waded straight out under the bridge on the mainland side. The tide was already a fair way out and I could see plenty of fresh flathead lies in the sandy area, under the bridge lights. They were not big fish but there were plenty of them. There were also plenty of track marks from cast nets. There must be some prawns or squid around.

The water was very cool but clear. I headed straight for the sandy depressions just north of the old oyster jetty. This area is not as peaceful as it used to be. The new hotel is going up fast just behind the jetty and cement trucks are constantly coming and going.

I decided to start with a small hard body for a change. I selected the DUO Realis Shad MR62. A small diving minnow. After a few casts, something grabbed it, but after a few violent headshakes, it was off. On the next cast I found another fish and this time it stayed connected. It was about 45cm so it went in the keeper bag.

I was feeling confident. I stuck with the hard bodied lure for about another 15 minutes but I could not find any more. I changed to a GULP Jerkshad and then a GULP Shrimp soft plastic, but neither of these got a bite. It was turning into another fairly tough session.

After about an hour, I was using the GULP 3“ Minnow in the Smelt colour on a 1/8th ounce, size 1 hook jighead. I was fishing with about a metre of 10lb fluorocarbon leader tied on to a 10lb braid. I was now about halfway between the old oyster jetty and the green channel marker. I found a few sandy patches amongst the weed and hooked another flathead. This one was a more significant fish at about 55cm – another one for dinner. It was a confidence boost but I had to wait another 30 minutes to find another fish and this time it was just undersize, at about 38 cm.

At about 11.30 am the dolphins came in close and chased a bit of bait around. I had also seen some quite significant squid through the morning. It’s good to see a plentiful food source in the area.But the tide had turned and not much was happening so I made my way back to the bridge.

Just after noon I reached the bridge and stopped to cast around the pylons. This paid off and I caught another small flathead on the 3” Smelt Minnow. It was just under 40cm so I released it. That was it for the day.

Bribie – the old oyster jetty flats – 23 April 2014

Wednesday

It was a late start for me again on Wednesday – juggling work and fishing is hard.  But then most of my readers are probably well aware of that!

I arrived at the Bribie Bridge at about 9.00 am and waded out towards the flats to the south of the old oyster jetty. The sun was shining and there was a light south westerly wind. It is definitely getting cooler and the wind had some bite in it. The moon was 37% full and waning. It would be a 0.6m low tide at about 10.30 am.

I started fishing with a GULP 2” Shrimp soft plastic in the Peppered Prawn colour and this soon found a fish. It was a Flathead – just over 40 cm. I released it and went looking for more.  The water was clear but there were still a lot of black clumps of ‘snot’ weed floating around. There were sand crabs everywhere. Plenty of them seemed to be in romantic embraces.

As the tide slowed, I moved further south. In one of the sandy hollows, I caught another fish. This flathead had the brightest coloured tail I have ever seen. I released it and carried on wading south. I swapped to a GULP Jerkshad in the Peppered Prawn colour and as the tide started to run in, I caught another 45cm flathead.

 

 

I briefly tried fishing with a few small hard bodied lures, but they kept getting clogged with weed. I swapped back to a GULP Jerkshad in the Lime Tiger (orange and green colour) and at about 11.00 am I found a couple more small flathead that were probably just under 40 cm.

This had not been a bad fishing session – especially as the school holidays have just finished and this area has been fished pretty hard. All fish were released today.

Bribie – the oyster jetty to the channel marker – 10 April 2014

Thursday

I only had time to fish the afternoon run-in tide on Thursday. I arrived at the mainland side of the Bribie Island Bridge at about 12.30 pm. It was a hot, humid day.  It had rained again, in the morning and there was a light northerly wind. Low tide had passed at 12.20 pm. It was a hot still afternoon.




Clumps of weed everywhere

I waded south past the oyster jetty. The water was hardly moving but it was very dirty. As the tide started to run in, it became difficult to fish as the jighead caught on clumps of black, rotting weed. I swapped through a few different soft plastic lures and decided to stick with the GULP Jerkshad in the Cajun Chicken (black & pink) colour.

Just one keeper

It was hard work and I waded further south. As the tide picked up pace, I caught a 45 cm flathead, about 50 metres to the south of the jetty. It was now about 1.30 pm. I carried on towards the green channel marker and caught another 30 cm flathead at about 2.00 pm.

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I swapped to the Mad Scientist Optishad paddletail soft plastic and I got a few bites on this but could not stay connected with anything. Just to the north of the big exposed sand bar I felt a bite. I hooked the fish but it was a slurping, spitting spiny puffer fish. This reminded me why I wear waders. I carefully retrieved my lure with the aid of my pliers.

Porcupine puffer

By about 2.30 pm the incoming tide was pushing me off the edge of the weed beds so I gave up and waded back to the car. It had been a tough session in the middle of the day.

Bribie – the old oyster jetty flats and the Seaside Museum drain – 2 April 2014

Wednesday

Wednesday was an almost exact re-run of Tuesday, – except I arrived slightly earlier in the run out tide. It was another bright, sunny day with a light northerly wind. The water is still fairly murky on the bottom of the tide.

I waded around the area to the south of the old oyster jetty and caught fish on the Powerbait Rippleshad in a black and gold sparkle colour, the GULP Jerkshad in Pink Shine, The GULP 2″ Shrimp in the Natural colour and the GULP 3″ Minnow in the Smelt colour. I fished everything on a 1/8th ounce, 1/0 jighead on 12lb fluorocarbon leader. I fished for about three hours and caught eight fish (all flathead), of which only two were over 40cm long.

At about 4.00 I waded back to the car and drove over the bridge to Bongaree to look at the creek drain in front of the Seaside Museum again. I fished along the drop off for an hour, gradually working my way to the south. I caught nothing.

Fishing in the middle of the day, northerly winds and not much bait around may all have been reasons for not finding many keepers. I released  all the fish, as the family will shoot me if I put another flathead on the table.

 

Bribie Island – Bongaree & the oyster jetty flats – 31 January 2014

Friday

I have been away for most of January. I was on a holiday that did not include any fishing – a complete waste of time and money, in my opinion. But the family seemed to enjoy it.

I was therefore dead keen to get back amongst the fish. Unfortunately my return coincided with the weather turning pretty wild. There was the tropical cyclone crossing the coast further north and the wind had been blowing fairly solidly from the east or south east, all week. The change from persistent northerlies also meant the temperature had dropped a bit.

Conditions at Bribie Island did not look great on Friday. There would be a 10 to 15 knot easterly wind and there would be a very low 0.2m tide at 3.17 am. First light would be at about 4.55 am, but it was new moon. The tide would be running in fast, at dawn, but I would be able to reach my favourite spots for about an hour.

I set off from Brisbane at 4.00 am and arrived at Bongaree, outside the Seaside Museum, just before 5.00 am. The place is currently a building site. The council has finally decided to properly rebuild the seawall on either side of the museum drain. They have completed the work on the north side and are currently working on the south side. The stepped sea wall will probably change the way the currents and sandbanks form, at the mouth of the drain. This should give us some new and interesting fishing opportunities.

At 5.00 am all was quiet. The tide had turned in and I arrived during the first of many light showers that continued through the morning. I started fishing with a GULP 5” Jerkshad soft plastic in the Watermelon Pearl colour on a 1/8thounce, 1/0 jighead. I tied it on to some new Gamma 10lb fluorocarbon leader. I popped in to see Nigel from http://www.gatewaybaitandtackle.com.au  a few weeks ago and he suggested I give it a try. It seems like a great leader and almost as important it comes in a great little dispenser. It feels like it is probably tougher than the rated 10lb – I was hoping to give it a good work out and find out.

It was gloomy and I edged my way towards the drop off that runs along this section of beach. The sand banks are always moving around in this location, so I usually poke the ground in front of me with my rod. I have seen more than one keen angler wade boldly over the edge and filled my own waders, a few times.

I found the edge and cast over it. I got a couple of hits on the first cast. A few casts later, I caught a tiny moses perch and then another. I caught about 6 of these on various plastics and also found a ‘Happy Moment’. I moved up and down the ledge for about an hour.

I tried swapping to a small MARIA MS 1 D45 SP hard bodied lure. This is a 3.4g, 45mm, suspending deep diving minnow. It is very light but will get down to about 1 metre, very quickly. As with many of the lures still made in Japan, it is beautifully crafted. I was using an olive green colour. The moses perch and whiting kept attacking it but I did not hook any. I covered the same ground that I had with the soft plastics but did not catch anything.

The incoming tide had pushed me a long way back from the edge and another, heavier shower had started up so I decided to swap locations. I crossed back over the bridge and waded out to the south, under the bridge. The water was already up around the mangrove roots along the shore and coming in fast. It was now just before 7.30 a.m. I waded along the edge of the mangroves, past the old oyster jetty to the drain, which runs around the corner from Sandstone Point. The easterly wind was now picking up and the water was getting choppy.

I was back using the soft plastic lures and had tried a GULP 2” Shrimp in the New Penny colour with no luck. I swapped up to a heavier, 1/6th ounce, 1/0 jighead as the wind, swell and current made it too difficult to fish a 1/8th ounce. I also swapped over to a GULP 4” Minnow in the grey/ black and white Smelt colour.

 

The tide was getting higher and so was the wind and there were not really many places to cast from. I was about to give up when I felt a touch on a slow retrieve. I cast back in approximately the same location and let the lure sink, until I was sure it was on the bottom. I waited about 15 seconds then hopped it off the floor and I felt a solid bite. I dropped the rod tip again and then paused. Then I struck. The rod tip bent over and a little line peeled away and then the tip started wriggling. I finally had a fish.

The current helped the fish and it took a bit of line. I looked for a gap in the mangroves, behind me. The tide had come up and there were not many options. I let the fish play itself out in the open water and then slowly pulled it towards the shore. The big tide and wind had created a floating carpet of loose weed, about a metre deep at the foot of the mangroves. I managed to skid the fish over the top of it and find some firm ground.

It was a fine example of the dusky flathead species, about 50 cm long. It had been hard won and would make a perfect lunch. It was good to be back in business.

Bribie Island – the Seaside Museum drain and Buckleys Hole – 17 July 2013

Wednesday

New look site – hope you like it.

Things looked pretty good for Wednesday – there was a bit of rain forecast but the wind would be light, turning into a northerly. The moon would be about 65% full and low tide would 0.5m at 9.43am. These are ideal conditions to fish at Bribie Island. Arriving before dawn, I could fish the second half of the run out tide.

I arrived on the island side of the bridge at about 5.30 am. The water was running out pretty fast. I put on my waders and clambered down the rock wall to the south of the bridge. The bridge lights often bring the smaller fish or prawns into this area but there was no evidence of their presence. The water was clear, but there was a fair amount of weed floating around. I tried dark and light, big and small soft plastics but did not get a bite. Just after first light at about 6.00 am I decided to move south.

I drove down to the car park in front of the Seaside Museum. Conditions were perfect – I could see where the fresh water drain was pouring over the ledge into the channel and I positioned myself just south of this point.

I was fishing with my light spin rod and running 8lb fluorocarbon leader down to a 1/8th ounce, 1/0 hook, jighead. I started with a GULP 4” Minnow in the Smelt colour. I cast over the ledge, let it sink and bounced it back along the bottom, parallel with the shore. After about three casts, there was a solid bite, then line started peeling. It was slow at first but then it took off, as it realised it was hooked. It took about 10 metres, paused and then took another 10. It was a heavy fish. It turned and swam back towards the ledge. I tried to apply some pressure and lift it over but it put its head down and swam under an overhang. I tightened the drag a little and then slowly dropped the rod tip. As the line slackened, the fish swam out. I put the pressure on again but it went straight back under. I could feel the line rubbing on something and then pffffft – it was gone. When I wound in the line, the jighead and plastic were gone.

I swapped through a few soft plastics and hard bodies as the tide ran out. A small school of Tailor passed through and I lost a couple tails from my lures. I dropped down to a GULP 3” Minnow in the Pearl Watermelon colour on the same size jighead. On the first cast this soft plastic was hit as it sank. There was a quick initial run, towards me. I tightened the drag and started wading backwards. I did not want the fish to swim back over the ledge. I pulled a little too hard and caught site of a good sized Bream swimming away.

I carried on peppering the area with casts. I made sure I gave the soft plastic plenty of time to sink to the bottom. On a couple of casts I felt a faint bite, as I lifted the lure off the bottom. At about 7.35 am I cast out and paused. When I lifted the rod I felt some resistance. Suddenly line was peeling again. This time it was heading out into the channel. I moved closer to the ledge and gradually recovered some line. It was another slow powerful fish. It gradually tired and as I pulled it over the ledge, I could see it was a Jewfish. It made few more runs but I soon had it safely on the sand. It was about 55cm long. Unfortunately it had completely swallowed the jighead, so I left it in, cut the leader and released it, after a few pictures. I could not find anymore, so I moved on.

I waded to the south, casting along the edge of the drop off. Things were uneventful for about 45 minutes. I was now standing in front of the tidal lagoon at Buckley’s Hole. Suddenly, something grabbed the soft plastic as it dropped into the water. It took off and then let go. I continued retrieving the lure, quickly and just before it reached me, the fish grabbed it again. It jumped around and made plenty of lunges and short runs. It was a small Tailor. As it came over the ledge, it had two other fish following it. It was only about 30cm long but nicely hooked. I picked it up and took a few pictures before releasing it.

Things went quiet so I slowly waded back along the shore line to where I had started. It was now almost low tide and the water was getting dirtier and weedier. I was still using the GULP 3” Minnow soft plastic. At about 9.00 am I was ready to give up. As I speeded up my retrieve to pull the lure clear of the ledge, a fish grabbed it and pulled away. It went straight back over the ledge and headed for the bottom. It took a bit of line but soon calmed down and after a minute or two, I had a nice 36cm Bream to finish the session.

As I drove home the heavens opened again.

Bribie Island – Museum drain & oyster jetty flats – 8 July 2013

Monday

Monday was dry and sunny, with not much wind forecast. I could not get out early but I was determined to fish. I drove up to Bribie Island. As I drove over the bridge I could see the wind rustling in the trees – but at least there were no clouds around.

Monday was the new moon and I had arrived just after high tide at about 9.30 am. This was the smaller high tide of the day. I wanted to survey the area around the Seaside Museum drain and fish the run out tide. The mouth of the tidal lagoon that was emptying near the museum drain, has now almost closed up and a lot of sand has moved around.

I waded out to the south of the drain and cast around. I was using the GULP 4” Minnow soft plastic in the Pearl Watermelon on a 1/8th 1/0 jighead and fishing with 8lb fluorocarbon leader. A Dolphin soon appeared and put on a fairly impressive leaping show. It was a great sight but I doubt it did much for the fishing.

After about 45 minutes with no bites and a steadily building south-westerly wind, I decided to give up on this spot. I stopped for a cup of coffee to consider my options. I then drove back over the bridge to the mainland and parked up. The flats on this side of the Pumicestone Passage are a little more sheltered in a strong south-westerly wind.

I did not have much time left so I waded south, past the old oyster jetty and along the exposed sand spit, towards the green channel marker. I planned to wade back towards the bridge casting along the edge of the weed beds.

The tide was now running out very quickly and lifting big clumps of the ‘snot’ weed off the sea grass. I kept catching them which was really annoying, but even more annoying – my drag on the Stella 2500, was only clicking intermittently. At first, I thought the line might be slipping on the spool but I checked and it wasn’t. The clicker seemed to make a noise if I jerked a bit of line off quickly but not if I pulled it off in a slow, smooth motion.

I started fishing with a Gulp 3” Minnow in the Lime Tiger colour. My first customer was decent Pike who grabbed the plastic after about 20 minutes of casting around. The drag was working but not making any noise. It’s surprising how disconcerting this can be. Although you can feel the fish taking line, the noise that the drag usually produces really helps you gauge where you are in the fight.

After a while I swapped to the Zman range of soft plastics and tied on a Minnowz paddle tail in the Houdini colour. After 20 minutes this had not found the fish so I swapped to a GULP 5” Jerkshad in the Cajun Chicken colour (black and pink). After a few casts, I connected with a fish. I knew it was on but the intermittent drag was confusing me.Almost as a reflex, I reached down to tighten the drag and as I pulled the rod tip up, the 8lb leader snapped.

I re-rigged with the same set up and checked the drag was set right. I cast around in the same spot for about 15 minutes before I had another bite. This time I hooked the fish nicely and left the drag alone. It was a flathead, just under 40cm long. I released it.

It was now about 12.30 pm and we were approaching low tide. It was a bright sunny afternoon but the wind was getting stronger and stronger. I slowly waded back to the car, stopping occasionally to cast at the sandy patches on the weedy bottom. I soon felt another bite, but did not hook up. I stayed in the same place and three casts later, I had another 40cm flathead.

By 1.30pm I was just north of the old oyster jetty. I felt a grab at the soft plastic and suddenly there was an angry, head-shaking flathead coming towards me, across the surface. I wound in quickly and the hook stayed in its mouth. After a minute or two, the fish was beaten. It was the best one of the day, well over 50cm.

I had found a few fish but it had been hard work. I was delighted that the rain had moved on, now we just need the wind to calm down.