Bribie Island – The oyster jetty to the channel marker – 23 June 2012

Saturday

Now there are a whole host of reasons why it would be inappropriate to do your tax return at the weekend – so it will just have to wait until Monday.

The weather looked like it might be on the turn and you have to fish when you can. It was not quite so cold on Saturday morning but the wind was forecast to pick up. I drove back up to Bribie Island and arrived on the mainland side of the bridge at around 6.00 am.

It was still dark and the tide was out. I had a few casts by the bridge but could not raise a bite. I walked along the water line until I had passed the old oyster jetty. Low tide had passed just before six. Here at the edge of the Passage, the water was still slowly running out over the exposed seagrass beds.
I was back to the soft plastics and started with a GULP Jerkshad in the Lime Tiger colour on a 1/8th 1/0 jighead. I cast out and slowly retrieved the soft plastic along the bottom with plenty of pauses. I felt a few small bites and lost a bit of the tail on the soft plastic – probably the Pike.

I moved a bit further south, casting along the edge of the weed beds. The sun was trying to get over the horizon but the scattered low cloud ensured a gloomy, cold start to the day. As it gradually got lighter, I could see where I wanted to cast and not long afterwards I had my first fish on the line. I dragged it up to the sand – it was a Flathead just under 50cm long.

I carried on casting in the same area and had a couple of solid bites and then hooked another Flathead who spat the lure just a few feet from me. I carried on south and swapped to the GULP 4” Minnow in the Pearl Watermelon colour. About ten metres further south, I found another Flathead but it was only just 40 cm, so I put it back. On the next cast – in exactly the same spot, I was rewarded with a bigger one, about 45cm so I kept that one.

The fish in the fridge has all been consumed so I needed to re-stock. I think the 45cm to 55cm fish really taste the best. At this size, you get reasonable size fillets and the flesh is still very tender. Flathead is definitely a favorite in our house – which is fortunate!

I kept moving in the direction of the channel marker and over the next hour, I caught 5 more Flathead – only two of which were too small. With my bag full it was now time to experiment.

I tried a small popper – with no luck. I switched to a regular ¼ oz blade lure and this caught a Pike. Then I tied on the DUO Tetraworks Bivi again. Predictably the Pike got stuck in and I caught three or four. I then slowed the retrieve down and shortened the lure hops. I kept pulling up weed but I persisted. I felt a bit of resistance and then the line started peeling – this was a big fish and it was heading for the main channel. But it was moving very slowly and something did not feel right. I tightened the drag and it started to come towards me. After about three or four minutes I saw a great flap come out of the water and realized it was just a big stingray. Eventually the lure pulled free and of it went.

I now turned back towards the bridge. On the way to the car I kept casting the small DUO Bivi. Just short of the jetty I felt a solid bite and saw a Flathead come to the surface, angrily trying to spit the lure out. It may have succeeded because the line went slack for a moment but then came up tight again. I set the hooks hard and let the fish have some line. It was not too big but there was plenty of structure nearby, so I dragged it back towards the muddy shore and away from the rocky patches. I pulled it up on a sandy patch. The DUO Tetraworks Bivi had finally managed to catch a Flathead. I had my five so I removed the trebles (with my pliers) and sent it on its way.

The keeper bag was heavy and I needed a hot drink so at about 8.45 am, I gave up and headed for the car. It had been another good land-based fishing session.

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