Bribie Island – Bongaree & Whitepatch – 29 August 2012

Wednesday

The winds would be from the south – cool and choppy conditions but better, in my humble opinion, for fishing. High tide would be just after 7.00 am at Bribie so I decided to head up there to fish on Wednesday morning.

I started in front of the Seaside Museum again, just after first light, at about 5.50 am. I tried the sand spit at the mouth of the big Buckley’s Hole lagoon drain. I nearly stepped on the biggest ray I have ever encountered wading out. I cast around with a couple of different soft plastics but I could not really land them close enough to the edge of the drop off, where the fish tend to congregate.

At about 6.45 am I walked back up to the clump of Mangroves, next to the small road bridge over the museum drain. It was now almost high tide and I did not need to wade out. I cast a GULP 4 “ Minnow on a 1/8th 1/0 jighead, about 12 metres out. Two hops and the lure was snaffled. I pulled it in and up the sloping rockwall – a 52cm Flathead. I cast around the area a little more and then decided to wade out a bit. I little further out from the point of the first capture I clearly saw a nice Flathead rocket upwards from the bottom to grab the soft plastic. It turned and headed for the ledge. I pulled hard and thought I had set the hook. It made a few runs and I started to tow it back to shore. Then suddenly the line went slack and it was gone. It had sawn through the 10lb leader and taken the lure and jighead with it.

I decided to thaw out with a hot cup of coffee. I then drove up to White Patch and decided to spend the run out tide fishing along the drop off in this area. I started at the northern end of the beach. This spot always produces plenty of Pike and today was no exception. I arrived at about 8.30 am and decided to keep fishing with the GULP 4” minnow in the Smelt colour. I felt plenty of hits but could not hook up so I changed the plastic to the GULP 4” Swimmow in the Peppered Prawn Colour and shortened it slightly at the head end. This did the trick and I soon caught a few Pike. I pulled one from the water with some lacerations on its side and the next one was leaping all over the place, as I wound it in.

After a brief pause for a few casts, I hooked up again, but not for long. There was a big swirl under the Pike and then the line went slack. I reeled in the twitching head of the Pike. Something had bitten through the middle of it. I could see the tail floating out in the water and whatever it was came back, with another splash to swallow that, as well.

Perhaps not surprisingly things went quiet. I waded south, casting as I went. About 40 metres further on I hooked up with a fish, but after a short fight it spat the lure out. I carried on for another hour and I had almost reached the southern end of Whitepatch when I hooked up again, in the shallows. Once again after a few runs, I got a look at a good Flathead before it spat the lure out – not my day!

I decided to wade back to the car. The tide was in the last of its run out. I swapped back to the GULP Smelt Minnow soft plastic and just kept flicking it out, over the ledge. Suddenly, close to the edge I got a hit and the fish took off. It had a bit of weight to it, so I set the hook and hung on. I had the drag quite tight and did not fiddle. It kept trying to swim under the ledge like a cod, but then I saw a long tail and realized it was another good Flathead. Eventually I lifted it over the ledge and pulled it clear of the water – a serious Flathead at about 65cm. After all the mornings losses I was tempted, but decided it was a bit too big for a keeper and so she swam away after a picture.

Caloundra – Gemini Towers sand flats – 27 August 2012

Monday

The forecast was for wind and that’s what we got. I decided to try the flats at Caloundra to avoid the worst of the blow. I arrived just after first light at about 5.45 am. I was struck by an icy blast as soon as I got out of the car. It was a north-westerly wind and probably blowing 10 to 15 knots already.

Cold and breezy on the sand flats


I rugged up and waded into the shallows in front of the Power Boat Club. The water was really cold and felt colder because of the westerly wind chill. I was fishing the run out tide. Low would be at 10.20 am. I started by fishing all around the weed beds with a GULP Jerkshad in the Cajun Chicken colour on a 1/6th 1/0 jighead.

Permanent fixtures


This did not produce anything so I switched to a GULP 4” Minnow in the Smelt colour. I kept fishing with this one and after about 30 minutes I felt a solid bite but did not connect. Next cast I hooked up. Mad head shakes and skittering runs – it was a Tailor. Now I was stuck – I caught sight of the fish it was a decent size – about 45cm, but I was a good 35 metre wade from the sand. I loosened the drag a little but the 10lb fluorocarbon leader was not going to hold and about 10 metres into my walk the leader snapped and the fish was gone.

I changed directions and started wading over the weed beds in front of the Gemini Towers resort. I was seriously cold now but the loss of the fish had annoyed me too much to allow me to give up, just yet.

It took a while


This area was a little more sheltered from the wind and the recent weather has hollowed out a nice area full of weed on the edge of the channel. I was casting over into the channel and pausing just at the weed edge. This eventually produced a 45 cm Flathead. I caught a few more, smaller Flathead, a bit further along. The wind was howling and I was too cold so at about 10.30 am, I gave up.

Hard work

Bribie Island – The Seaside Museum drain – 24 August 2012

Friday

The wind is starting its undecided phase with a big northerly blow predicted for Friday afternoon. Friday morning looked ok, so I decided to revisit my favorite Bream location – Bongaree, on Bribie Island.

In years gone by, the Bream have shown up along the coffee rock ledge that runs along the edge of the Pumicestone Passage. They have often schooled up to spawn in the areas around the mouth of the tidal lagoon, in front of Buckley’s Hole. Typically, the best time to chase them has been either side of the new moons in July and August. Sometimes they are also around in June and September, depending on the water temperature.

The GULP 3” Minnow or 2” Shrimp have always been my favorite soft plastic lures for Bream. I prefer the more natural colours. When I am fishing the rocky headlands, I have caught plenty of big Bream on Jerkshads and other big soft plastics, but in the estuaries these fish can be fussy.

I started just after first light at about 5.45am. I was in front of the Seaside Museum again. The tide was running out and would be low at 7.45 am. This is the perfect time to fish this spot. I stopped about three metres from the drop off and cast over it, to the north. I was fishing with my light spin rig, with 10lb fluorocarbon leader and 1/8th, 1/0 jighead. I thought there might be some Flathead around so I had chosen a compromise soft plastic – the GULP 4“ Minnow in the Smelt colour. Big Bream should still be interested in it and if I passed over any Flathead, they would also go for it.

I counted to ten and let the lure sink. I am not sure how deep it is here but I would guess no more than 2.5 to 4 metres, in most places. The first couple of casts produced nothing and then the dolphins swam buy. It is always a pleasant sight but I presume the fish head for cover. About twenty minutes later there were some surface bust ups and just as I pulled the lure over the top of the ledge, there was a fast snatch and I was on. Playing fish here is tricky. It’s best to get close to the edge and play them out in the open water. If you have to hall them over, you risk sawing off your leader when they lunge back down, close to the edge.

This was a good Bream – 32cm and I pulled it safely onto the sand. I waded back out and cast over the edge again. The lure was hit on the drop but the mad head shakes meant it was not a Bream or Flathead. A few moments later I pulled a 35cm Chopper Tailor onto the sand. I fished for another 30 minutes with a few bites but no hook ups.

The wind, a north westerly, was now picking up. I moved to the south of the lagoon mouth and tried a few different soft plastics. I swapped back to the Smelt Minnow and started casting again in the same spot where I had caught the first Bream. At about 7.30 am, I cast out and let the lure sit on the bottom for a while. When I lifted it, I had a fish on. It was another good Bream just over 30cm long. I landed it and decided to pack up.

I had a coffee then decided to try fishing at Whitepatch, further up the Island. I stuck with the same soft plastic and jighead and walked along the drop off casting and retrieving. There was quite a bit of bait in the water and the birds kept turning up for a dive, but I could not find the fish. I did however, pull up a Stonefish – seriously ugly.

It had been a tough session but I had caught two quality fish and had dinner organized – so no complaints.

Bribie Island – The Oyster Jetty and White Patch – 21 August 2012

Tuesday

Monday’s session had not been very promising – there had been a distinct lack of Flathead in the usual locations at Bribie. Perhaps they were all in 1770.

So, on Tuesday I decided to fish the mainland side of the Passage, by the old oyster jetty. Low tide was around 5.30 am and at 0.3m it was a reasonably low, low tide. It is always good to see the areas you fish on a low tide as all of the fish holding structures, such as; banks, drains, gutters and holes, are revealed. The difficulty is remembering where they are once the tide comes in.

It was a cold morning with an overcast sky, the wind was in the process of switching from a south westerly to a northerly and was forecast to drop to nothing midway through the morning. Conditions were calm and I waded through the mud and exposed weed beds until I reached the water’s edge.

I was using my light rod and reel – G.Loomis GL2 4-8lb Fast Action 6’6” Spin Rod and a Shimano Stella 2500FE reel, 6lb braid, 10lb fluorocarbon leader. This set up has almost become an extension of my arm and I reckon it is difficult to beat as a combination for light fishing. Still, if you are reading this Mr. Loomis, I would be happy to give any of you models a try – just pop them in the post.

It was hard work. The tide had passed low but the water was not really moving yet. There was a fair amount of algae weed floating around that kept clogging the jighead. I started with a big GULP Lime Tiger Jerkshad on a 1/8th 1/0 jighead bit after no hits for 45 minutes I decided to try something different.

As you know I am a sucker for anything new in the Tackle Store and the GULP Swimmow caught my eye the other day. This is a welcome addition to the arsenal and GULP has been missing this profile. It is basically a Fry or Worm shape with a small thumping paddle tail. It is four inches long but unlike the various other shads on offer it is still fairly small and light. I picked up the Pumpkinseed, Peppered Prawn and Emerald Shine colours. I decided to try the Emerald Shine first. I watched the lure in the clear water and it has an excellent action. The paddle tail thumps furiously on the drop and whenever you jerk the lure through the water.

I moved further along the edge of the weed beds towards the green channel marker. About 10 cast after the lure change I felt the unmistakable thump of a Flathead bite just a few metres from my feet. I paused and then struck – I was on. After a few runs I had a dark, speckled, weed dwelling Flathead on the mud flats. Quite a colour contrast to those I had been catching the week before. It was 48cm long. A few casts later I caught another – just under 40 cm. I made it to the channel marker then turned back. The tide was coming in and it soon forced me back from the edge of the weed beds. I felt a few rapid bites and almost hooked something – Bream , Pike – not sure.

I had one good fish but needed at least one more to feed my mob. I decided to try White Patch and drove up there. The water was up to the tree line when I arrived, so I decided to concentrate on a few of the rocky/ sandy drain areas about 10 metres out. I could not cast over the edge of the drop off as it was now too far out. I was still fishing with the GULP Swimmow and the Pike were the first takers – I caught three in quick succession.

I moved along in the shallows, walking south and casting in front of me. It was now just after 11.00am. After about 30 minutes, a fish hit the plastic on the drop and took off. It was hooked straight away and after a few solid runs, I had it in the keeper bag. It was another Flathead, just under 50cm. I spread casts over the whole area and after another ten minutes I had another good bite and though the fish was hooked, but it got off.

Just after noon, with six hours of fishing under my belt, but only two fish in the bag – I gave up.

Bribie Island – Seaside Museum – 20 August 2012

I was back in Brisbane and decided on a quick fish at Bribie. Low tide was about an hour before dawn. I decided to try the drop off in front of the Seaside Museum.

I arrived about 5.30 am and rigged up in the dark. It is just after the new moon and I was hoping to find a few Bream. I started with a small 3 ” Minnow soft plastic in the Rainbow colour. I saw a few surface bust ups close to the drop off.  I decided to swap to a bigger plastic, a Gulp Jerkshad in the Cajun Chicken colour.

This worked and the lure was hit on the drop, on the first cast. I thought I had hooked the fish but after a couple of short runs,  it was gone. After a few more casts, I had another fish on. This time it stayed hooked. It was Bream, just under 30cm long. The next cast produced another, slightly smaller Bream.

Then as the sun came up, properly, the fish just shut down. I fiddled with different lures but could not get a bite.

Soon the tide forced me away from the drop off and the cold water and wind persuaded me to call it quits.

My apologies for the photos. I forgot the camera and had to use the phone.

image

Bribie Bream

1770 – Getaway Beach – Flathead, Dart, Perch – 12 August 2012

Sunday

The wind was persistent and it was another noisy night with debris everywhere in the morning. It was my last day at 1770 so I had to venture out. I chose to walk out of the 1770 Getaway Resort down to the local beach.

The wind was blowing from the south west but this beach has a few rocky coves where I found some sheltered spots. I had my first success of the week with a small hard bodied DUO Tetraworks Bivi sinking vibe lure. I had struggled to fish with this lure, in the wind, all week – it is too light for these conditions. It was hit, close into the rocks by a small Stripey Perch. I caught two more in the same spot and then moved on.

I worked around the rocky coves and after a while I switched back to soft plastics. I was using the light rod and reel again and I had dropped down to a 10lb leader, to see if this improved my catch rate. I had chosen a 1/6th 1/0 jighead and started by fishing around the rocks with a GULP 3” Minnow in the Rainbow colour. After about an hour of casting and moving, casting and moving I was on a north facing rocky outcrop. I dropped the soft plastic about 15 metres out and let it sink for ten seconds. I retrieved it slowly along the bottom. About a metre off the rocks I lifted the plastic and clearly saw a small Flathead shoot up and grab the lure. It ran with the minnow and then spat it out before I could set the hook.

I put in another 5 casts all around the same area. On number 6, I felt a solid thud, on the drop. I set the hook and the fish took off. This was a bigger Flathead. I played it out and brought it in close to a sloping rock. After several attempts I used the swell to get it up the rocks. It was the best fish of the week at just over 65cm. I put it in a pool and looked for more, but could not find any. I caught a few tiny Dart and then decided to pack up. I cleaned the fish and carried it up the hill.

Fishing in this area is not always simple but when you are not catching anything, there is nearly always somewhere else to try, just a few minutes away. You can head for the creeks or try the other side of the headland, if the wind is too strong. It’s a great spot with fantastic scenery and you rarely have to share your beach with anyone. I hope to be back here again, very soon.

1770 – Deepwater National Park – Wreck Rock – 11 August 2012

Saturday

The wind was still threatening 25 Knots south westerly but I went for a dawn fish to see if I could find the Flathead again, at Wreck Rock. Clear skies made for an amazing sunrise and I waded through the shallows and out on to the same rocks where I had encountered the big mother Flathead, a few days earlier. I went for the same set up with a 15lb fluorocarbon leader, 1/6th 1/0 jighead and a GULP 3” Minnow in the Rainbow colour. The tide was a few hours further advanced so there was a little more water over the area and it was crystal clear. The south westerly was ruffling the surface bit it had not yet really picked pace.

I had no luck in the same location so I moved about 5 metres to the south and cast out into the open water beside another big bommie. I was leaving plenty of time for the lure to sink before I started the retrieve. There was a quite a bit of swell and the wind was catching the line, both of these factors would slow the jighead sink rate, quite considerably. I decided to count slowly to ten each time I cast before starting the retrieve. I still had no interest. It was now around 7.45 am and the wind was picking up again.

I swapped to a bigger soft plastic, the GULP Jerkshad in the Cajun Chicken colour – black and pink. The tactic worked and I soon had a fish on. It came up to the surface and shook its head angrily, but after a couple of runs I had it safely in the keeper pool – it was about 45cm long.

In the next twenty minutes, I caught another two fish, about the same size and dropped another. Then things went quiet, so I moved again and swapped to a GULP Jerkshad in the Satay Chicken colour – yellow and pumpkinseed. This produced results and I caught two more, both about 45 cm and one smaller one.

By around 10.00am the tide had turned in and the wind was making it too difficult (and cold) to fish. I cleaned the three fish that I decided to keep and kept an eye out for raiders as I did so. I always prefer to clean the fish in the saltwater; they definitely taste better this way.

I was glad to have found the fish again and it looked like Flathead were going to be the staple catch this week. I then went back to my cabin for a shower and a hot coffee. I had seen no evidence of big bait schools around. There were no Tuna or Tailor passing through. There were no birds working or big surface bust ups, perhaps the cold winds had blown them away?

1770 – Deepwater National Park – Flat Rock – 10 August 2012

Friday

After a couple of weeks of mostly perfect fishing weather, two high pressure fronts were heading up the Queensland coast. Cold south westerly winds to 25 knots were forecast for Friday and I woke to the sound of palm fronds crashing down and a very cool breeze.

I stepped out just on dawn but it was too windy, so I drove down to 1770 for breakfast. I sorted out my gear, re-loaded the fishing vest and added a few drops of oil to the Stella. By lunchtime the wind had dropped a little, so I decided to drive down to Flat Rock beach, in Deepwater National Park, to the south of Agnes Water.

When there is a westerly blow the steep beach provides some shelter from the wind. The tide was about half way in and it was just washing over the long flat rock that gives the beach its name. The westerly wind had flattened the sea but once my legs were wet, the wind chill was nasty. Fortunately it was a bright sunny day.

I started at about noon at the south end of the rock and walked along casting off the seaward edge. As the waves rose over the rock you could see plenty of baitfish hugging the edge. The water was crystal clear. I was fishing with the light rod, a 1/6th 1/0 jighead, 8lb fluorocarbon leader and a 2” GULP Shrimp in the Natural colour. I felt plenty of touches and after about 10 minutes caught a tiny Stripey Perch. I caught a few more, all hiding in close to the edge. None of them were big enough to keep. I moved further along and the lure was hit by a better fish – this time it was a Bream, about 30cm long. I released and carried on.

The waves were now breaking over the rock and I was soaked and pretty cold. I let the soft plastic lie on the bottom for a while and when I lifted it I had another fish on – a flounder – plenty of species along here.There was now too much water washing over the rock and I was too cold so I gave up and went to thaw out in the sun.

I went back to my cabin and after a few hours off, I went down the track to the beach. I walked up on to a slightly sheltered rock and cast a small 3″ Gulp Minnow in the Sardine colour. The wind carried the 1/6th 1/0 jig head a long way and I slowly retrieved it. At the base of the rocks in the foam, a fish took it and made for cover. It took some line then felt like a brick – typical Cod behavior – they turn sideways and try to wedge themselves under an over hang or rock. I only had the 8lb leader in place so I let it swim down and hide and loosened the drag. After a couple of minutes it swam out and I landed it. No monster but a reasonably fat little cod. A few more casts produced nothing and the wind was just too strong to feel anything, so I gave up for the second time.

1770 – Wreck Rock – 9 August 2012

Thursday

The weather was perfect for fishing, so I decided to stop in the town of 1770 for a few days. I love camping here, at Wreck Rock beach, but I did not have my tent this week. It was also a bit too cold. I decided to stay at the 1770 Getaway Resort – http://www.1770getaway.com.au/. It’s a great spot, just out of Agnes Waters. It has its own café with fantastic food and a number of upscale cabins. You can walk 10 minutes to a great fishing beach close to the resort or drive a few kilometers back to 1770. The four wheel drive track to Deepwater National Park is also only a few kilometers to the south.

The most important thing about the resort is that Michael, the owner, is a keen fisherman, so he can give you an excellent update on what is biting. Michael showed me a few pics of some 10kg + Jewfish he has been catching off the local rocks and I could hardly wait to get down there. We went down to the local beach on Wednesday afternoon. The terrain looked perfect for Jewfish with bommies, gutters and overhangs everywhere. I tried some big GULP Jerkshads in some promising locations but did not get a touch. The water was very clear and the moon phase was not ideal for Jew – but the area looks very promising.

On Thursday I was up at about 5.30 am. It was a clear cool morning and low tide would be at about 7.30 am. I drove down the four wheel drive track into Deepwater National Park. I stopped at Middle Rock and fished the rocks through the dawn with my light spin outfit. I tried a number of soft plastics but I only had a few touches. At about 8.30 am I moved down to Wreck Rock.

It was just after low tide and I have always found this is the best time to fish here. You can walk out on to the rocks on the north and south sides of the small bay and cast around the submerged bommies and into the channels between them. I started at the north side. There is always a fair amount of swell here so I opted for a 1/6th 1/0 jighead and tried a few soft plastics. I was flicking a GULP 3” Minnow in the lime tiger colour. I have had a few big bust offs here, so I had 16lb leader in place.

I felt some solid bites, on the bottom close to the edge of the rocks, I slowed everything down and let the plastic float to the bottom. I paused and counted to ten slowly. When I lifted the rod the fish had swallowed the plastic. I pulled it up – a small Flathead around 35cm long. I have caught a few Flathead around these rocks – usually the Flagtailed, sand Flathead. This one was a Dusky with the tell-tale spot on its tail.

The next cast produced a slightly bigger one and then another. They were all Dusky Flathead, just under 40cm. I put on a bigger soft plastic – a GULP Jerkshad in the Cajun Chicken colour. On the second cast, I connected with a bigger fish. This one was over 40cm so it went into the keeper pool. They kept coming, every second or third cast. I caught 12 over the next hour. I put 4 into the keeper pool.

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I was about to stop fishing, as the advancing tide would soon stop me from getting back across the rocks. I cast the Jerkshad back out. A fish grabbed it at the foot of the rocks and, initially it felt like another small Flathead. It took a bit of line and then paused. Then all hell broke loose and the fish charged off towards open water. I tightened the drag and started winding. The whole area is surrounded by barnacle covered rocks so I had to try and subdue this fish quickly. The leader was holding, but the fish was going mad. I caught a glimpse and realized I had found the big mother Flathead that all the others had been hanging out with. She turned sideways in the wave and I could see she was a 70cm + fish. I pulled her round a bommie and miraculously the leader held, but she took off again. I almost had the drag locked up and eventually got her to the base of the rocks at my feet. But as soon as I tried to drag her free of the water, the jighead bent open under the strain and the fish slowly waved goodbye with its tail as it slunk off.

She would have been too big to keep but it would have been nice to have a photo. I kept the two biggest fish in the keeper pool and released the other two. I gutted the fish and washed them out in the salt water and then lay them on their backs on the rocks beside me. I moved about a metre away to rinse my knife and suddenly saw a shadow above me. In the flash of an eye the bird swooped and grabbed one of the fish. It flew off but only just stayed clear of the water and eventually perched on a far off tree to enjoy its free meal. So I ended up with just one.

Yeppoon – Double Head, Emu Park, Rocky Point – 5 August 2012

Sunday

The weather and conditions were perfect once again. Virtually no wind, clear skies and clear water. Unfortunately it was probably a little too clear and a little too calm. I started the day at Double Head, fishing on the north side. I was hoping for another Fingermark but the sun came up and the tide ebbed and nothing much happened. Low tide had passed before dawn, at 5.18 am and now it had just started to come in. I swapped from my heavy rod to my light one. This worked and I caught a small Bream and a very small Trevally.

I decided to move on and try fishing at Emu Park. There are a number of good rocky outcrops along the coast here and I have been told they all hold fish. I had breakfast and by the time I had finished at about 9.00 am, the tide was running in strongly. I walked out on to the rocks in front of the beach boat ramp and looked for a good spot. The problem here is always the tide. It moves so fast that you really need to time you fishing session perfectly. I arrived just as the rocky causeway was getting covered by the incoming water so I only had about half an hour of access to good water.

I found a patch of Pike and caught about 4 but nothing else turned up, so I decided to move on again. I drove down to another set of rocks called – imaginatively – Rocky Point. There was some fishy looking water in front of these so I went to explore. It was now about 11.00 am and we were approaching high tide. I was fishing with the light rod but I had dropped down to 8lb fluorocarbon leader and a 1/8th 1/0 jighead. When the water is so clear I think you have to fish light. I cast around these rocks and again, caught a few Pike. I was now fishing with a GULP 4” Minnow in the Smelt colour. I dropped it close to a bommy and bang, it was hit as it floated down to the bottom. It was another good Bream, who measured 38cm. The next cast I was hit again but did not hook up. It was now high tide and middle of the day so I decided to call it quits.

Unfortunately just as I was beginning to get to know it, it was time to move on from Yeppoon. I will certainly be back.

Yeppoon – Double Head and Bluff Rock – 4 August 2012

Saturday

It was back to Yeppoon for the weekend. The weather was perfect – no breeze, gentle seas, a big tide and it was just after full moon. I decided to start at Double Head again, but this time on the south side. There is a great platform on the south corner and the locals tell me the Mackerel often come past here. Low tide had been at about 5.00am and it was now just after 6.00 am. There was only about a metre of water around the base of the rocks. I started with the big rod and big Jerkshad soft plastics, just after first light.

After 30 minutes the sun was up and I had not had a bite. I swapped to the light rod and dropped down to a GULP 4” Minnow soft plastic in the Pearl Watermelon colour, on a 1/8th oz, 1/0 jighead. I moved along the base of the rocks and hooked a couple of small Pike. I then moved down on to the southern corner and caught a small cod, then a slightly bigger one, then another. Then it wall went quiet.

At about 10.30 am, I decided to move across the bay to the next headland – Bluff Rock and fish the northern side. This is a little more difficult to reach and the bottom is rockier. But on my second cast, with the same soft plastic, I pulled up another Cod. As I moved around the rocks I lost a fair few jigheads, but I kept catching more Cod. After about five more, I felt a decent hit. In true Cod style, it wedged itself under a rock and I could not move it. I loosened the drag and after a couple of minutes it swam out and I landed it. It was the best Cod of the weekend at about 40cm.

I dropped down to a smaller soft plastic minnow, in the same colour and kept casting into the sandy patches, between the rocks. Just after 1.00pm, with the tide now running out, I got a solid bite and I landed a decent Bream – which measured 34cm.

At this point I gave up. I had had fantastic scenery, weather, conditions and plenty of fish. No medals, but a good day!

Yeppoon – Double Head – 31 July 2012

Tuesday

I was up before dawn and headed straight back down to Double Head, beside Rosslyn Bay Harbour to see if I could have a return match, with the fish that robbed me the day before. I started with the heavy rod again. This time I re-tied the leader and checked everything was solid.

Definitely the best time of the day to fish

I tied on a 3/8th 2/0 jighead and loaded a GULP 5” Jerkshad in the Cajun Chicken colour. The horizon was glowing red and the water was calm. High tide would be at about 8.00 am and it was now just after 6.20 am. I cast out and moved the plastic quite quickly, to stop the heavier head getting snagged. About two metres out there was a bite, and then, close to the rocks the fish grabbed it and headed for its hole.

A 40cm Fingermark

This one was not so big, and after a few moments, I got it clear of the rocks and up to my feet. It was a 40 cm Fingermark. It had pulled hard but it was not the monster of the day before. I continued fishing for another two hours, but I could not find anymore. In fact. I did not get another bite.

Fantastic scenery – Double Head

It was time to move on. I was pleased to have a decent fish from such a beautiful spot and hoped to get back again in a few days.

Yeppoon & Emu Park – 30 July 2012

Monday

Once again I had arrived in time for a cold snap. Fortunately there was not much wind and the high tides were falling around dawn so, apart from the sudden temperature drop – conditions looked very good.

I started on the rocks just around from Rosslyn Bay harbour. There are some excellent ledges here and with a big tide there is plenty of water in front of them. I ventured out just after first light at around 6.10 am. I started with the big rod – the 9’6” Daiwa Demon Blood, and a new Stradic 8000 FJ, spooled with 30lb braid and a 30lb fluorocarbon leader. This is my heavy gear and I was hoping to find some big fish. The moon was coming up to full and as I walked across the rocks there was a huge pile of scales and big set of blood stains. I recognized the scales as Jewfish – so things were looking promising.

I walked as far along the rock ledge as I could to the mouth of a cave, which has an inlet in front of it. I rigged up with a 3/8th oz, 2/0 jighead and a GULP 5” Jerkshad in the Satay Chicken colour. I cast out and waited for a while. I let it sink then hopped the lure back across the bottom.

I carried on for 30 minutes without success. Before the sun came cleared the horizon I felt a quick grab about 4 metres out from the shore. I stopped the retrieve, waited – nothing. I slowly wound it back to the base of the rocks – bang. Just as I was lifting the plastic from the water the fish struck.

The drag was set pretty tight but this fish hardly noticed it. It put its head down and went straight down under the rocks. I got right down to the edge of the water and tried to put some pressure on. I thought I was getting somewhere as the fish slowly came out. But it was just looking for a better hiding place and this time it effortlessly took more line and headed further under the rock ledge. I could feel the line rubbing whenever I tried to put more pressure on. Stalemate – I waited hoping it might swim out but it was in control of the encounter and after a few more tugs, the line snapped at the leader to braid join. Not sure what it was – it felt a bit faster than a Jewfish – perhaps a Jack or Cod or some other reef species.

I was left with a pounding heart and shaking hands watching a magnificent sun on the horizon. I re-rigged and carried casting all around these ledges for another 3 hours and did not get another bite. I swapped to slugs for a while and also tried smaller soft plastics on the light rod, but nothing could interest the fish. There did not appear to be any bait around – which might have been a problem or perhaps the cold south westerly breeze had shut things down.

I decided to drive down to Emu Park. I had breakfast and then walked out to survey the rocks. The big tidal variation in this area makes planning where and when to fish essential. There will be four metres of water coming and going with each tide, at this phase of the moon. So you have to follow the shore line out and in, and make sure you don’t get stuck. The big run can be beneficial, as the fast running water creates draining pools and eddies which give the fish ambush spots.

The rocky headland in front of Emu Park has a small bay and it was now almost low tide – around noon. I took the light rod and put on a 1/8th, 1/0 jighead and a 3” Minnow Grub soft plastic in the Peppered Prawn colour. I dropped down to 10lb leader. The grub tail plastic will often entice a strike in shallower water, especially outside of normal fish feeding times.

I found the Pike first, then a few tiny cod, then a passing school of small Trevally came marauding through. All the fish were small. I tried bigger soft plastics but the fish did not get any bigger. It was encouraging that all these fish were here. I would need to come back closer to dawn or dusk or perhaps when there is a little more water.

Just after 12.30 pm I gave up for the day. When fishing in unfamiliar territory you have to expect some tough days. I think I am beginning to work this area out.

Yeppoon – Causeway Lake – 29 July 2012

Sunday

I was heading up to Central Queensland again this week, so I decided to break my journey in Yeppoon. I would stay for a couple of days and try my luck fishing from the rocky headlands along this coast.

On Sunday afternoon I drove down to Causeway Lake to flick a soft plastic lure around at dusk. It had been a beautiful afternoon and everybody in Yeppoon and the surrounding area seemed to have had the same idea. There were lines everywhere along the bank and quite a few boats and kayaks further out.

This looks like a great fishing spot – it is a large lagoon that always has water in it. It fills from the ocean every time there is a high tide over about 3.6 metres. During these tides the water rushes in, and then out, over the rock bar at the entrance to the lake. This big tidal flow often produces some good fish near the rock bar, but there also plenty around the edges of the lake.

I started with a GULP 3” Minnow in the Pearl Watermelon colour, loaded on a 1/8th, size 1 jighead. I was using my light spin rod and reel. I had about 1.5m of fluorocarbon leader tied on to a spool of 4kg braid.

I cast all along the edge of the lake, beside the main road, gradually working my way towards the rock bar. There were too many other anglers at the rock bar itself, so I concentrated on the area close to the bank, where the mangroves start to grow. I felt a few bites and after about 30 minutes I found a small Flathead.

I let it go and switched to a small DUO Tetraworks Bivi, hard bodied vibe lure in a blue/ silver colour. I continued casting until well after sunset but could not persuade any fish to eat this one.

It was not a very impressive performance but on a quiet day I am sure this location would produce good fish!