Flathead Paradise on Bribie Island – 9 June 2011

Thursday

The weather was awful again – but at least it was not raining. There would be a cold westerly all morning, getting up to about 12 knots again. You have to suffer the cold but you do not have to get up in the middle of the night to fish the dawn, at this time of year. I woke up at 4.00 am and reached Bribie just after 5.00 am.

First light would be just after 6.00 am and low tide would be at about 10 am. I started on the Island side – beside the boat hire jetty, under the big light on the walkway. First cast, with 3” Pearl Watermelon Minnow on a 1/8th 1/0 jighead, produced a fish. A 25 cm Flathead – it grabbed the lure right at the base of the rocks. I walked south, along the bank and caught a few more – they were all still too small to keep. I soon found a few Pike and then a couple of Tailor, as I got closer to the bridge lights. I caught a few more Pike, under the bridge and then I heard the familiar sound of dolphins exhaling and the fish went quiet.

It was just before six, so as the horizon started to glow, I drove down to the mouth of the tidal lagoon in front of Buckley’s Hole. The lagoon now drains out close to the new Bribie Island Museum. As the sun came up, I waded out into the mouth of the drain, where it empties into the Pumicestone Passage. The westerly wind had blown plenty of weed on to the shore but my first cast was grabbed and then dropped by something. A couple of cast later, the same thing happened. I was still fishing with the same soft plastic minnow. I slowed down the retrieve and this time I hooked the fish. It took a bit of line and felt pretty decent then it was gone again. Next cast as lure hit the water, bang – zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……………..ptff and I was bitten off. Could have been the Long Tom’s but, from the head shakes, I think it was a Tailor.

I re – rigged with a GULP 4” Jigging Grub in the Peppered Prawn colour on a 1/8th 1/0 jig head. I was using my light, Loomis GL2 with a Shimano Stradic 3000 reel. I had loaded it with 10lb braid and about a metre of 10lb Fluorocarbon leader tied on with a uni knot. It was now just after 7.00 am. After a couple of casts over the sand, I caught another small Flathead. Then 10 minutes later I got the first keeper of the day – another Flathead around 42 cm long.

Well this spot gradually revealed itself as a Flathead paradise. As I moved up and down I caught over 30 Flathead in the next four hours – all over a 200 metre stretch of shore. I tried almost every soft plastic in my bag and they all worked. Of the 30 fish, just over half were legal size. I kept a couple of 50 cm fish for dinner and the rest were released.

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Conditions continued to get worse with the cold south-westerly wind gradually getting colder and stronger and more and more weed washing up – but it did not bother the fish. By just after 11.00 am – my teeth were chattering and I was feeling vaguely hypothermic so I went back to the car, warmed up and headed home. What a morning!

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