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.

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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?