I could start early on Thursday morning and be fishing on the top of the incoming tide which coincided with dawn, at about 5.30 am at Bribie Island. I started on the mainland side of the Bribie Bridge at about 4.45am.
Just as I waded out into the shallows it started raining. I sheltered under the bridge. The water was not really running in either direction. I started with a 3” Minnow soft plastic in the Pearl Watermelon colour. The fishing had been tough the day before so I stuck with the very light, 8lb fluorocarbon leader. I rigged the plastic on a 1/8th 1/0 jighead. I cast around under the bridge lights for about 15 minutes. There were a few surface bust ups and every so often a Pike would jump out of the water.
The rain stopped and I moved a few metres south of the bridge and cast underneath it. I felt a good solid crunch and paused – then lifted the rod and I had a good Flathead. I walked it back to shore – a 55cm fish – good start.
I waded down toward the old Oyster Jetty, casting all around as I went. I passed under the jetty and just south of it I paused to have a few casts, close to the Mangroves. I have often seen some big Flathead ‘lies’ in this area, surprisingly close to the tree line. They must come up to very shallow water on the bigger high tides. It is tricky to fish this area. There is a big rocky patch next to the jetty, that starts about five metres from the high water mark so you can easily get snagged.
I cast out beyond the rocks and slowly retrieved the soft plastic. It stopped abruptly and felt like it had hit a rock. Then it slowly started moving again, but there was tension on the line. Then zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz pause zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz pause zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I did not have the drag very tight but this was clearly a big fish. I was only fishing 8lb leader so patience would be the key. First I waded out over the rocks, so that they would not pose a problem. Then I tightened the drag a little. There was another long run and by now the fish was about 50 to 60 metres away heading for the rocks, opposite the end of the Oyster Jetty. I tightened the drag again and started winding faster. The fish slowed and I turned its head and started pulling it towards me. I moved south, away from the rocks near the shore and looked for a gap in the Mangroves. There were a few more runs as the fish came into shallow water. I dropped the rod tip down under the water to make sure I did not pull the fishes head up. A couple of headshakes would probably snap the leader at this stage. Then I slowed everything down. I did not want to pull this fish up on to the shore until it was played out. I kept the tension on but I let it cruise around while I found a nice sandy run up to the shore. Then I tightened the drag once more and slowly moved towards the shore. When I was a couple of metres away I reached down and grabbed the leader. With one long slow pull I pulled the fish onto the shore.
The leader snapped as soon as it had to move the whole weight of the fish, but by then she was on the shore. A beautiful Flathead, just on 75 cm long. I released her after a quick measure and a few snaps and she swam away, ok. A great fish.
It started to rain again, I went and had a cup of coffee to settle my shaking hands. When the sun came out again, I drove down Bongaree and decided to fish the mouth of the drain opposite the new museum. The Japanese lure company DUO have sent me another box of goodies to try out and I picked out one that has been very successful on Flathead – the TETRAWORKS BIVI. It is a 3.8g bibless sinking vibe lure with a very tight vibration action. I chose the orange/ bronze colour. I stuck with the 8lb leader and started working the lure over the sand bank that is on the south side of the drain. I work this lure so that it moves along for about a metre then drops to the bottom. Then I pause for a few seconds and do the same again. After a few casts I caught a really tiny Tarwhine ( 10cm). I moved a bit further out and started casting at the area where the drain runs out over the coffe rock ledge, which forms the edge of the main channel. A fish struck just after a pause in the retrieve. It immediately broke the surface and started shaking its head – it was another Flathead. It was safely hooked and I got it to the shore. It was another good sized fish – just under 60cm.
That was enough for one day and I headed home. It had been the best fishing session for some time. If you are interested in knowing more about the DUO range and where you can find them, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.