I was stuck with my usual problem at Bribie Island. High tide would be an hour or so after dawn at about 6.00 am. I never know where to fish on the first few hours of the run out tide. Once the water comes flooding over the ledge (that runs almost the entire edge of the Pumicestone Passage) it quickly floods on to the sand flats. It brings plenty of hungry fish with it and I have caught big Flathead and other species in this shallow water, but it can sometimes be difficult to know where to start the search. It feels like there is just too much ground to cover.
The low tide was also getting higher and the tidal flow was slowing, as we moved away from the new moon. The wind was swapping around between northerly and south-easterly but it had been a fairly strong south easterly on most early mornings through the week.
By Thursday the wind was forecast to ease off a little around dawn so I started on the flats in front of the creek drain, which comes out under the bridge, by the Seaside Museum. At high tide all of the rocky structure is submerged and the Flathead move right up to the creek mouth to feed on what is being washed out. They like to tuck themselves in in the grooves in the rocks or bury themselves in the sand just beside them.
The wind was a strong south easterly and there where soon a few white caps on the surface. It was a stark contrast to the still waters of the week before. I fished around the rocky ground but did not get any hits so I waded south, to the new opening at the south end of the tidal lagoon. I cast around, but it was very windy. The bait was certainly not so thick and the big schools of Mullet had moved on.
I moved back to the south. Just passed the museum I felt a tug at my soft plastic – a GULP Jerkshad in the Cajun Chicken colour. I paused but there was no fish there when I struck. Two casts later, in the same spot, the fish grabbed it again. I paused again and this time, when I lifted the rod tip, the fish was hooked. It was a good Flathead and it used the run out tide to make some good runs, but after a short fight it was on the beach. You have to be patient and wear them out when you are fishing with 10lb leader. The last drag up on to the sand can often be the point when the leader snaps. Everything held and this was a handsome fish, measuring just over 64cm. It was just after 8.30am.
As the tide ran out, I continued south and found another three Flathead – between 45cm and 50 cm. I caught three on the Cajun Chicken Jerkshad and the last on a bigger Crazylegs Jerkshad in the Pumpkinseed colour. All the fish were caught on a 1/8th 1/0 jighead. I did not get a bite from the Pike or small Tailor so the bait really does seem to have thinned out.