I was back in Brisbane and keen to fish at Bribie Island again. I wanted to see if the Flathead were still around, so I drove up, just after dawn on Thursday morning. The wind was light, but cold from the southwest. I had come through lots of fog on the drive up but by the time I reached the Bribie Bridge, the sky was clear.
I started on the island side of the bridge, fishing from the bank, without my waders on. The water was very clear and the tide was slacking off. It was about 6.30am and it would be high tide at 7.32 am. I tried a few plastics here and felt a few bites, then lost a few tails form various soft plastic lures. Small Tailor or Pike are usually the culprits in this location.
At 7.30 am I decided to warm up with a coffee while the tide turned. This period of slack water does not produce many fish for me so I decided to wait 30 minutes. Then, I drove back over the bridge, to the mainland side and pulled on my waders.
It was now about 8.15 am and there was still plenty of water at the mangrove line. As I waded out into the clear water I was shocked at how cold it had turned in just a few weeks. Unfortunately, the bright sunshine and clear days have triggered the algal bloom (snot weed) in the weed beds and this will soon be a pain in the neck.
There was plenty of bait in the shallows and I waded south to the oyster jetty. I started with a GULP 4” Minnow in the Smelt colour. My legs were already cold after ten minutes in the water and I backed out on to the shoreline to warm up.
In the crystal clear water I could see a very fresh looking flathead lie. I paused at the jetty and put in a few casts just south of it in the shallows. On the second cast a fish hit the plastic hard and then dropped it. I dropped the rod tip hoping it would have another go – and it did. It took off but was nicely hooked. When I subdued it and pulled it closer I could see a nice, 60cm flathead in the clear water. I pulled it up on to the shoreline and put it in the bag for supper.
I moved to the south and swapped over to a Zman Minnowz in the Rednone colour and fished around the base of the mangroves, near the drain that empties off the flats. After a few casts I had another good flathead – this on measured just over 50cm.
As the tide receded I moved further south, towards the channel marker. Over the next three hours I fished with both the Zmen and the Gulps and caught another 9 flathead. I kept 3 more, all around 45cm, to fill my bag for a good family fish feed. Of the 9 only two were undersize.
The fish had been quite spread out but they kept coming. It was a couple of days before the full moon and the tide I was fishing had been the smaller of the two on that 24 hour period. This moon and tide combination seems to be proving pretty a pretty successful fishing period for me.