Clear skies and 10 knot south-westerly winds – it would be cold but quite reasonable fishing weather. Low tide would be 4.17 am, about an hour before first light and the moon had been full the day before.
I decided I would start on Bribie Island at the Seaside Museum drain at Bongaree, again. I waded out into the shallows at about 5.30 am and the big moon was still high and bright. There was a cold breeze and a bit of chop on the water.
There were some cormorants swimming around and there were a few surface bust ups, as the sky gradually lightened. I started with a big soft plastic – a GULP 5” Jerkshad in the Lime Tiger colour. The water was already running fast – it would be a powerful tide, so close to the full moon. I was back to 8lb fluorocarbon leader, as I genuinely believe fishing light can make a difference when chasing bream – which were the main target.
It did not take long. At 6.15 am I had a solid bite and the fish ran with the lure for about a metre, but then I lost it. A few casts later I hooked another. It must have been sitting just below the edge. It grabbed the lure and ran off to the north, with the current. After a few runs, I got it over the ledge and walked it back to the sand. It was a good bream – over 30 cm. I have not caught large numbers of bream in this spot, this year, but almost all the fish I have caught have been over 30 cm.
The tide was getting too high to fish over the ledge so I opted to switch locations. I grabbed a hot cup of coffee at Scoopys and drove up to White Patch. This time I went up to the north end to fish around the weed beds.
The water was clear and it was well past dawn so I opted for a natural coloured, 2” GULP Minnow in the Banana Prawn colour. I chose a fine wire 1/8th ounce, #1/0 hook jighead and stuck with the 8lb leader. It was now about 8.15 am. I was casting into the incoming tide and hopping the lure back towards me. I would put in about three or four casts from one location, then move a few metres south and repeat the process.
At about 9.00 am I connected with a flathead and got a look at it, but it wriggled off before I could land it. I stayed in the same spot and methodically covered the area with casts. At about 9.15 am I hooked another fish and this time I set the jighead firmly. I pulled it up to the shoreline – it was a keeper flathead at 45 cm. Using the same plastic, same technique, in the same area, I caught another bigger flathead, about 50cm long, ten minutes later.
Five minutes later, I thought I had another small flathead but it was pulling very hard. It put up a tremendous fight and as it came into view I was surprised to see it was a whiting. It was probably the fattest whiting I have ever caught and measured 36cm.
At this point I had the makings of a good fish pie in my bag, so I gave up and went off to clean my catch.