Brooms Head / Sandon River – 20 Sept 2011

Tuesday

I was up early on Tuesday and decided to try the other side of the Brooms Head lagoon. Low tide would be at 6.20 am and I set off just after first light, at about 5.30 am. The wind was blowing at 15 knots, west south westerly, but the main bluff gives this area a bit of cover and so it felt like less.

I waded out through the bottom of the tide and scrambled over the rocks on the northern edge of the lagoon until I reached the series of ridges that form the eastern wall. It gets a bit tricky here -there are deep pools between the ridges so you have to get over them. There are points where you can cross but you need good, non-slip rock boots to avoid ending up in the drink.

This area can be reached and fished only either side of low tide

Eventually I was facing east, on the front rock ridge and casting into very fishy looking water. I had the light set up again but had upgraded to 16lb leader as I was hoping for some bigger fish. I used the GULP 3” Pearl Watermelon Minnow soft plastic but rigged it on a 1/6th 1/0 jighead as there was now a bit of swell building up. A few casts produced a few small Pike and a very small Bream and then bang! Something came and grabbed the lure just as I was about to lift it from the water. I had the drag set reasonably tight because of the proximity of the rocks and the whippy Gary Howard Estuary 9’ bent over and line started peeling. The fish took a couple of metres of line then stopped. Then there was another violent surge as it took off again. The rod jerked bent over and I heard the sickening crunch as it snapped just below the join. I attempted to play the fish with the broken rod but it made short work of the leader and soon bit me off. This session was over.

The north east rock ridge in the Brooms Head Lagoon

I trudged back for a shower and breakfast imagining an enormous Snapper. I needed more, but now the wind was howling so I considered the options and decided to drive down to the Sandon River, which is only about 10 kms away. The Sandon River is a small, pristine, shallow river system that holds plenty of Flathead, Bream, Whiting and Luderick. There are lots of points along its banks where you can fish – many, right next to the road. I stopped close to an informal boat launching area that is near an old oyster lease. The remains of the oyster beds have been covered by weed and form good fish holding structure. I stuck with the same soft plastic that had been working well and decided to rig it on a very light 1/16th oz, 1 hook, jighead. I dropped down to a 10lb fluorocarbon leader and I was now fishing with my Nitro 7’6” 2-4kg Distance Spin rod.

The pristine Sandon River


A 50cm Sandon River Flathead


Another Sandon River Flathead


I walked along the bank casting into the run-in tide and bringing the soft plastic back with the current. The tide was running in fast and I just let the soft plastic sink and bump along the bottom with a few jerks and jumps. After working about ten metres of river bank, a fish swallowed the lure. It took a bit of line and then settled into the current. It was a good Flathead just over 50cm long. I put it in the keeper bag and carried on along the river side. I soon found another, this time just over 40 cm. I peppered the same area with casts and found another, smaller Flathead a few casts later. After an hour of fishing, I had dinner and so I gave up and headed home – it was around 11.00 am

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