Bribie – Under the bridge and on the flats – 19 March 2013

Tuesday

The wind has now been persistent from the south for some time. This is usually a good sign. Although it can push the swell up, in my experience, it makes fish a little easier to find. The problem on Tuesday was that it was forecast to blow up to about 20 – 30 knots, which would make fishing almost impossible.

So I was limited to fishing in the calmest period – the very early morning and decided to go back to the flats, by the Bribie Island Bridge. There is a bridge survey or cleaning process going on at the moment. Divers are spraying the barnacles/ oysters off all the pylons during the daylight hours. This would either scare the fish off or create a great berley mix to bring them in.

I arrived just before 5.00 am. Low tide would be at 0.9 m at 8.24 am. The moon was about 60% full and so the tide flow would not be very strong. The wind was a south-easterly, blowing about 10 knots.

There was still plenty of water lapping at the mangroves. I stood in the shadows and rigged up with a small GULP Alive split tailed grub, in the Smelt colour. I found a few tubs of these in a NSW fishing shop a couple of years ago, but I can no longer remember what they are called. They are probably about 2” long and have proved pretty useful when the fish are fussy.

I cast to the north, into the darkness and let the lure sink to the bottom. I got a few hits and pulls, but did not hook up. I kept casting and after a while I caught a couple of small Moses Perch. Ten minutes later, the same soft plastic attracted a small Flathead. I was now sure I was fishing in the right place and I think the previous days pylon blasting had created some good berley.

I kept casting around the same area and at about 5.40 am I connected with a solid fish. It took some line and I tightened the drag a little, to keep it away from the pylons and then the mangrove roots. When it was worn out I towed it up, onto the oyster covered area of beach, under the bridge. It was a good-size flathead, about 55cm long.

I fished on and caught a couple of bream (both about 30cm) and a couple more much smaller moses perch. I swapped over to a 2” GULP Shrimp soft plastic in the banana prawn colour. I was still fishing with a 1/8th ounce, 1/0 jighead and 10lb fluorocarbon leader. The thick dark clouds obscured the sunrise and just after 6.00 am, I found another small flathead lying at the base of one of the bridge pylons.

I moved south towards the oyster jetty and got rained on by a passing shower. By 8.15 am I was about half way between the oyster jetty and the channel marker. I had had a few grabs from fish that I thought were long toms, but could have been pike or small tailor.

I was now fishing with a GULP Jerkshad in the Cajun Chicken colour, which has proved effective recently. Suddenly my jighead caught on something. It made a very slow run. It was not very heavy and I slowly pulled it to the surface. It was a very ugly spiny puffer fish, hooked through its eyebrow. It kept spitting jets of water at me, but after a while I shook it free.

Another massive rain cloud was now headed in my direction so I decided to wade back to the car. I had caught a few fish but had only really secured one keeper – the 55cm flathead. Still, on balance I would say the fishing is getting better.

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