Caloundra – Trevally, Flathead and a few more old lures – 17 November 2011

Thursday

Back up to Caloundra for another very early start. The same wind pattern, early morning calm followed by a building northerly. The best thing was that the low tide would be after first light, at about 5.45 am.

I walked down onto Bulcock beach at about 4.15 am as the horizon started to glow. After a few casts with a soft plastic – a GULP 5” Jerkshad in the Lime Tiger colour, I had a 40 cm Flathead. It was lying close to the rocks waiting for breakfast to wash by on the outgoing tide. I carried on in the shallow for a while and then turned my attention to the deeper water in the main channel. I swapped to a heavier 1/6th 1/0 jighead – to get a better cast and faster sink rate in the strong current. I had to keep the retrieve fast, so as not to get snagged in the rocks.

I was back to the 7’6” 2-4kg Nitro rod and fishing with a 12lb fluorocarbon leader – so I would have a little bit more power to play a bigger fish, if I found one. I cast out into the main channel with a GULP 5” Jerkshad in the Pink Shine colour. Not long after it hit the water I felt a bump and then a solid bite. It was not a Flathead out there, so I struck after a short pause. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz – I was on to a fish. After catching only Flathead for a week or two, I was blown away by the pace. It was a Trevally and not a particularly big one, but it charged around, all over the place and I had to tighten the drag several times to subdue it. I towed it back to the beach. It was a Big Eye, a bit less than 40cm long but in the current, it had felt much bigger.

I cast back in the same spot and a few seconds later I was on again. I caught about 8 more over the next 30 minutes, all in the same spot and then as the tide turned, they were gone. They were not fussy about colors and had eaten all of the soft plastics that I threw at them – Pumpkinseed, Pearl Watermelon, Camo, Pink Shine, Vader, Satay Chicken.

I decided to head down to Golden Beach to try out some more hard bodied lures. Inspired by the DUO range I have been trying out, I rummaged through my lure boxes to see what else might catch fish. With these northerly winds I think the Flathead are not feeding very aggressively and the vibes and rattles can stir them into a strike, even when they are not really feeding. I found an old, small shallow diving minnow with a good rattle in it and I decided to give it a try. I walked on to the sand banks in front of Gemini Towers and waded out, casting along the edge of the channels and drains, after 5 minutes, I felt a bite but no hook up and after 10 minutes, I was on. It was a small Flathead, just over 40cm but perhaps my theory was right. I released it and a few minutes later I was on to a much bigger one. Unfortunately, I was now about 80 metres from the nearest sand bar and on the walk back it wriggled free. The problem with a lot of hard bodied lures, is the small, puny treble hooks.

I decided to switch to a Strikepro Vibe lure that looked very like the Herring that were floating around the weed beds. It was a 14g, 70mm bibless sinking lure with a decent rattle and good action. Not as refined as the DUO REALIS that I had lost on Tuesday, but pretty close. The first cast travelled 20 metres and sploshed above the weed, on the edge of the channel. A few metres into the retrieve it was rattling along nicely and I could feel the vibrations in the rod tip. Suddenly, it stopped there was splash and I had another Flathead on the line. This was another fish around 40cm long.

It was now around 11 am and as predicted, the northerly was picking up. I decided to give up for the day. I was impressed that both of the ‘noisy’ hard bodies, I had selected had caught fish. The trouble is, I may be about to swap a soft plastic lure addiction for a much more expensive, hard bodied lure addiction!

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