The Jetty to Diamond Head – Caloundra – 17 January 2012

Tuesday

Finally, time for a fishing session and then the heavens opened. The rain just kept coming on Monday and more was forecast for Tuesday. It had to be Tuesday morning, so I drove up to Caloundra. High tide would be about 4.00 am, so I would have a few hours of fishing in the salty water, around dawn, before the run out tide, mixed with rain run-off, turned the water dirty and fresh.

It would be a big high tide for Caloundra at 1.8m. I decided to head straight for Diamond Head and to try my luck wading on the flats. I arrived, just after 5.00 am and watched the sun rise. The passage was lit up briefly but then the sun disappeared again behind some angry looking clouds.

The water was already a dirty brown colour and pretty murky. I decided to use a hard body, as I thought a soft plastic would be hard to distinguish. I picked out a 14g Strikepro Vibe that looks like a Herring. It’s the loudest lure I own and it is far from subtle but it usually annoys the fish into biting.
The tide was running out so I decided wade from the Jetty back towards Diamond Head, casting into the run out tide and pulling the lure back along the bottom in jumps and jerks. It was hard work as the big tide had picked up plenty of sea grass. It is also harder to know when you get a bite on a hard bodied lure, as the way it sticks in the sea grass feels just like a fish.

After about 40 minutes of slow wading and casting, I caught a Flathead on the Strikepro – just legal at 42cm – so it went in the bag for supper. I have been whacking on the kilos over Christmas – so a diet of steamed fish and vegetables is on the cards for a few weeks. Fortunately, catching them uses plenty of calories when it’s this hard.

I swapped to a 7g Berkly Frenzy Sinking Rattler in the Chrome Black colour. These lures look good but, so far they have not really produced the goods for me. I think their action is a little limited – which is often a problem with cheaper lures. They cast a good distance but seem to take a long time to find their rhythm on the retrieve. After a few casts, I felt a definite hit, so I persisted in the same area, on the edge of a weed bed. After about five casts in the same spot – I had a fish. It felt bigger than it was – a small bream, foul hooked through the back and above the eye. I released it and carried on.

I tried a 3″ Gulp Lime Tiger minnow soft plastic for half an hour and caught an undersized Flathead then switched back to the Strikepro, just as I reached the big drain at the mouth of the creek, by Diamond Head. The water was now a very dirty brown and getting cloudier as the tide got lower. I peppered the area with long, loud casts and eventually, after covering every inch of the area, the rod tip started wiggling. It certainly was not a trophy fish but it felt like it – another Flathead – this time a little bigger at 45cm.

I had dinner but it had been very, very hard work.

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