Fingal Head and the Tweed South Rockwall – Jewfish/ Dart – 13 September 2011

Tuesday

Tuesday morning looked windy again and the swell would be up. Ideal Jew conditions – if I could find a safe spot to fish. I started on the south rock wall at the Tweed River mouth, just before dawn. The tide was coming in and there was a cold westerly blowing. It would be high at about 8.30 am. I cast all around the end of the wall with soft plastics, slugs and a big hard bodied minnow lure, but did not find any fish.

I decided to move down to Fingal Head. The swell was building up and when I arrived I was in two minds about crossing over on to the causeway, to fish. I watched for half an hour and then finally got across and stashed my gear on some dry rocks. The swell was now crashing in and there was white water all around. I rigged up a 5” GULP Black Shad Crazylegs Jerkshad on a 1/2 oz, 2/0 jighead. I was fishing with my 9’ Daiwa Demon Blood and Shimano Stradic 6000, loaded with 30lb Bionic braid and a rod length of 30lb Fluorocarbon Rock – leader. I had to stay at the back of the promontory as the front was getting a bashing. I cast out and felt a few tugs on the retrieve. On the next cast I had a fish, it was a Dart – just about big enough for the table.

The got the hang of the waves and concentrated on fishing during the calmer period, in between the big sets. There were birds everywhere and I presume there were some Tailor somewhere nearby. After a few more casts, I felt a solid hit as the lure sank. I lifted the rod but did not hook up. I dropped it again and paused. When I lifted it again the rod tip bent over and line started peeling off the reel. This wasn’t a Dart. Fortunately the swell was working for me and pushing the fish in. After a couple of strong runs I saw Jewfish. I pulled it up the rocks, with the aid of a surging wave and got my hand in, under its gills. It was a good fish at around 80cm, in excellent condition. There was nothing in its stomach. It was just after 8.00 am.

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I cast back out in all directions, but I could not find another so, at about 9.00 am I gave up, cleaned the fish and crossed back over the causeway. After too many disappointing sessions recently it was great to be carrying a decent fish back to the esky.

Bribie Island – Whiting & Flathead – 11 Sept 2011

Sunday

The weather was going to be a challenge again. I wanted to fish at Bribie but the tides would be far from perfect. I like to fish my favorite Bribie Island haunts in the 6 hours around low tide. This is because the best land-based fishing spots are most accessible during this period. There are still usually plenty of fish around at high tide but, by then, I cannot reach the structures that form their permanent cover.

On Sunday, low tide would be just after 3.00am and this meant that by first light at about 5.15am, I would probably only have about an hour before I would be forced out of reach of the best areas, by the incoming tide. It also looked like the wind would blow up again soon after dawn.

I decided to fish the area around the old oyster jetty on the mainland side. I soon realized I had made a mistake. The fierce westerly winds from Saturday had obviously stirred up all the weed and sediment and as the water flooded in over the flats it lifted it all up. It was a mucky swamp of weed and mud and I could not cast without catching a large clump of debris.

I went back to the car and drove back across to the mouth of the tidal lagoon, at Bongaree, in front of Buckley’s Hole. The wind was now howling. The tide had moved up and I could only fish above the drop off, on the sand flats. After a couple of hits in the same spot, I pulled up a very ambitious Whiting – which had attacked my GULP 4” Pearl Watermelon Minnow. I moved further along the sand banks to the south. I was fishing with a 1/6th 1/0 jighead and 12lb fluorocarbon leader. Finally, I caught a 44cm Flathead on a GULP 3” Pumpkinseed Jigging Grub. With the wind now up around 20 knots I decided to give up and head for home.