After a trip up to Asia I had eaten plenty of good seafood but now I wanted to catch some. Unfortunately the cyclone and its aftermath had slowed me down a bit.
On Sunday morning I could wait no longer and I decided to drive up to Bribie to have a look at conditions and try some fishing. Things were far from ideal. There was a strong south-easterly blowing and the tide had been high at about 2.00 am. The moon was waning and about 50% full. I would be fishing a not particularly powerful run out tide through to a low of 0.8 m, at about 8.30 am.
After a flood it is best to fish around high tide as this is when the concentration of salty water is highest in the estuaries – unfortunately this was not really an option. I arrived at the west end of the Bribie Island Bridge just after 4.00 am and rigged up. The tide was about half way out.
As I waded out, under the bridge, there was plenty of surface action under the lights and the water, in the shallows at least, was fairly clear. I put on a GULP 3” Minnow in the Pearl Watermelon colour , on a 1/8th 1/0 jighead and cast out. There was a pull as the lure dropped in to the water and then nothing. I let the lure sink and as I lifted it from the bottom the line pulled tight and I wound in a 30cm Flathead. It’s always good to get a fish on your first cast – even a small one.
There were a few prawns skidding across the surface and so after a few more casts, I moved over to the shallows on the south side of the bridge. I cast at the pylons and wherever I saw a splash or a prawn jump. I retrieved the lure with the tide, hopping it over the sand and rubble bottom. Each time I cast in close to the pylons I would get a couple of hits. After a few repeats in the same spot I caught a small Moses Perch.
I decided to match what the fish were eating and swapped to a GULP 2” Shrimp in the natural colour. I was fishing with my light spin rod and reel combination. I had the reel spooled with 2.8kg Fireline and about 1.5m of 10lb fluorocarbon leader. I concentrated on the area around the base of bridge pylons. The water was running out fast and the sun was just coming over the horizon. I let the soft plastic lure bump along the bottom. At about 5.25 am I lifted the rod to cast again and felt a solid tug. I dropped the tip for a few seconds then struck. I had a fish and it turned out to be the only keeper of the day – a flathead, 42cm long.
As the sun came up I moved south to fish around the old oyster jetty. As the tide dropped the water got dirtier and dirtier, especially in the main channel. I tried a few different soft plastics but did not get a touch. I waded from the jetty to the green channel marker and all the way back but did not get any hits. At about 8.00 am the tidal flow dropped off and the Passage was pretty much a brown muddy soup, so I gave up.
It was encouraging to catch a few fish and hopefully by next weekend the water should have cleared considerably. The prawns were a good sign and hopefully they will bring the predators in.