Monday was dry and sunny, with not much wind forecast. I could not get out early but I was determined to fish. I drove up to Bribie Island. As I drove over the bridge I could see the wind rustling in the trees – but at least there were no clouds around.
Monday was the new moon and I had arrived just after high tide at about 9.30 am. This was the smaller high tide of the day. I wanted to survey the area around the Seaside Museum drain and fish the run out tide. The mouth of the tidal lagoon that was emptying near the museum drain, has now almost closed up and a lot of sand has moved around.
I waded out to the south of the drain and cast around. I was using the GULP 4” Minnow soft plastic in the Pearl Watermelon on a 1/8th 1/0 jighead and fishing with 8lb fluorocarbon leader. A Dolphin soon appeared and put on a fairly impressive leaping show. It was a great sight but I doubt it did much for the fishing.
After about 45 minutes with no bites and a steadily building south-westerly wind, I decided to give up on this spot. I stopped for a cup of coffee to consider my options. I then drove back over the bridge to the mainland and parked up. The flats on this side of the Pumicestone Passage are a little more sheltered in a strong south-westerly wind.
I did not have much time left so I waded south, past the old oyster jetty and along the exposed sand spit, towards the green channel marker. I planned to wade back towards the bridge casting along the edge of the weed beds.
The tide was now running out very quickly and lifting big clumps of the ‘snot’ weed off the sea grass. I kept catching them which was really annoying, but even more annoying – my drag on the Stella 2500, was only clicking intermittently. At first, I thought the line might be slipping on the spool but I checked and it wasn’t. The clicker seemed to make a noise if I jerked a bit of line off quickly but not if I pulled it off in a slow, smooth motion.
I started fishing with a Gulp 3” Minnow in the Lime Tiger colour. My first customer was decent Pike who grabbed the plastic after about 20 minutes of casting around. The drag was working but not making any noise. It’s surprising how disconcerting this can be. Although you can feel the fish taking line, the noise that the drag usually produces really helps you gauge where you are in the fight.
After a while I swapped to the Zman range of soft plastics and tied on a Minnowz paddle tail in the Houdini colour. After 20 minutes this had not found the fish so I swapped to a GULP 5” Jerkshad in the Cajun Chicken colour (black and pink). After a few casts, I connected with a fish. I knew it was on but the intermittent drag was confusing me.Almost as a reflex, I reached down to tighten the drag and as I pulled the rod tip up, the 8lb leader snapped.
I re-rigged with the same set up and checked the drag was set right. I cast around in the same spot for about 15 minutes before I had another bite. This time I hooked the fish nicely and left the drag alone. It was a flathead, just under 40cm long. I released it.
It was now about 12.30 pm and we were approaching low tide. It was a bright sunny afternoon but the wind was getting stronger and stronger. I slowly waded back to the car, stopping occasionally to cast at the sandy patches on the weedy bottom. I soon felt another bite, but did not hook up. I stayed in the same place and three casts later, I had another 40cm flathead.
By 1.30pm I was just north of the old oyster jetty. I felt a grab at the soft plastic and suddenly there was an angry, head-shaking flathead coming towards me, across the surface. I wound in quickly and the hook stayed in its mouth. After a minute or two, the fish was beaten. It was the best one of the day, well over 50cm.
I had found a few fish but it had been hard work. I was delighted that the rain had moved on, now we just need the wind to calm down.