On Saturday I drove back out to Fishing Creek so that I could be fishing as the sun came up. There would be a few hours more water in the creek than the day before and I was sure that would mean some better fish.
I used the same tactics as the day before – light spin rod and reel, light leader, light jigheads and small, natural coloured soft plastic lures. The earlier start paid off and on my first two casts, I caught two small flathead.
As I moved down the creek there were plenty of bait schools moving up and down. I paused at a point where the main channel ran over a sandy drop off. I was now fishing with a GULP 2” Shrimp in the Banana Prawn colour, on a 1/8th ounce, size 1 jighead. I crossed the channel as quietly as I could and cast back up into the tide, which was running out. I caught two small flathead (about 30cm long) and then another one that was just over 40 cm. They were all sitting along this bank. I was convinced there were some bigger ones somewhere here, so I carried on casting.
It was now about 7.20 am and I think it was still a couple of hours off low tide, at this point in the creek. I had now switched to the GULP 4” Minnow soft plastic in the Pearl Watermelon colour. There was good current flow but a 1/8th ounce jighead gave me just the right sink rate. I kept casting as close as I could to the mangrove roots and the deeper water along the edge of the channel. I let the lure get washed along the bottom for about ten seconds on each cast. On one of these casts, I lifted the lure and felt some resistance. I set the hook with a jerk of the rod tip and there was a long, powerful run back up the creek against the current. I had found a decent fish.
Fortunately this one did not seem to want to go back into the roots but it did start to cause problems when it turned and started swimming with the current flow. I just let it run – with a 10lb fluorocarbon leader, I did not have much choice.
It kept its head down but I gradually tired it out. As I brought it into the shallows it created some big swirls and I saw it was a nice flathead. I grabbed the leader and gently pulled it up the sand. It measured about 77cm on my tape and after a few pictures, I let it swim off.
I moved onto the next likely patch of darker water and loaded a new soft plastic in the same pattern. After a couple of casts something ate it. I could feel the fish trying to wedge itself against the terrain on the bottom and knew it was an estuary cod. Eventually a 40cm cod popped up on the surface.
I was now about 3km from the mouth of Fishing Creek and it was just after 9.45 am. I was still using the 4” Minnow soft plastic and something grabbed it and took off. After a tough fight I pulled up a 30cm Trevally which had completely swallowed the lure.
I turned around and headed back to the car. I looked at my legs and realised I had been monstered by sandflies – I would be itching like hell in a few days’ time. On the way back I caught a few more cod and tiny flathead. The fishing had definitely been better than the day before, but I had probably just timed my session better. I’ll be back!