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.