By Monday the weather looked more promising for a fish at Bribie. A few showers but the wind would drop to about a 10 knot south-easterly, early in the morning. Low tide would be just after 5.30 am, with first light at about 5.00 am.
I decided to fish on the flats around the old oyster jetty on the mainland side of the Pumicestone Passage. If the flathead are around, this is usually where they are easiest to find. It rained for almost the whole journey up from Brisbane but it was not very heavy. I waded out into the shallows, under the bridge at about 5.00 am. The tide was still running out but slowing down quickly. I left the area under the bridge alone as I wanted to reach the jetty while the water was still running out.
I was fishing my light rig – G.Loomis TSR series light spin rod, Shimano Stella 2500, 15lb Super PE braid and the new Gamma 10lb fluorocarbon leader. I started with a soft plastic lure – the GULP Jerkshad in the Watermelon Pearl colour. The wind was negligible so I dropped down to a 1/8th ounce, 1/0 jighead. This would hop over the weed on the shallows, if moved fairly quickly.
It was light enough to see but the sun was not yet up. I was covering the area just south of the jetty with casts. After a few minutes I caught the first flathead, lying in wait, behind a clump of weed. It was a little over 45cm. It destroyed the Jerkshad and I did not have another, so I put on a smaller, 3 inch minnow in the same colour. I cast at the same spot and instantly hooked up again. The smaller plastic had produced a bigger fish – this one was about 55cm long.
I carried on prospecting around the rocky bits of reef and weed clumps that dot this area. I connected with something that turned out to be some abandoned braid. I decided to wind it up. It was probably 50 lb breaking strain and there was plenty of it. I waded up and down, pulling it off the rocks and as it loosened, I could feel something moving in the end of the line. I eventually reached the leader that was also pretty substantial – perhaps 60 lb+ breaking strain. Then I saw the source of movement; two mud crabs – one large, one small, were completely tangled up, but both wriggling. I took a few pics and gradually untangled them. One looked big enough for dinner but I am not an experienced crabber – so I could not tell if it was male or female. I was also fairly unsure as to how I would grab it! I cut the last bit of line off and they both slipped away. I wound up the remaining leader and found a very substantial – size 8/0 hook on the end of it.
The sun came over the horizon and the run out tide fizzled out. I moved further south. I kept swapping colours and sizes of soft plastic and caught flathead on the GULP Minnow, Shrimp and Jerkshad shapes. The Watermelon Pearl, New Penny, Lime Tiger, Satay and Cajun Chicken colours all worked. I caught six more fish along the stretch of weed beds that run from the end of the jetty to the green channel marker. They were all between about 35cm and 45cm long.
As the tide turned in I waded back towards the bridge and swapped to my favourite DUO Realis Shad 59MR – suspending hard bodied lure. The loose weed now lifted by the run in tide made fishing with the hard body a bit frustrating. I had a few grabs and snatches which I suspect were Bream or Pike, but I did not catch anything.
At about 8.45 am I could no longer reach the area I wanted to castat and the wind had built up to 20 knots, so I gave up for the day. It looks like a few days of solid south-easterly winds have brought the fish back on the bite.
The area where you fish is littered with heavy line at the moment. Last trip I collected 80lb mono and wire trace on a 2/0 hook. Some scary big bream. It is from the blokes fishing the bridge. I don’t think they fancy hauling up fish on 10lb braid.
I sent an email to your firstname.lastname@example.org check it out.
Thanks, will do
That bigger crab was definitely a male. Look for this > underneath. This ) is close as I can get to female on a keyboard. You certainly had more luck than I did. Need to remember to take fishing gear when I go up there.
Do you think the reason the gulp are out -performing the z-mans is because of the scent attractant? although because Z-mans are a lot more durable and last way longer??
@bob, in short I think it has nothing to do with scent at all. If flathead hunted on scent, they would be catfish. Flathead are visual creatures with big mouths designed to swallow not taste test.
Gulp jerkshad is one of the best jerkshad around. Swims great and has a good profile compared to zman. Never caught anything on zman jerk shads. Zman jerks will deform too much near the head (bunch up) or slip off if you don’t use the tt headlockz. On the other hand the zman paddle tails are great with the headlockz..
Gulp grubs vs zman curly tail thigns; gulps, the tail is just the right thickness to give a flicking action and not stretch out to a little flutter like the zmans do, their tail is too flimsy sometimes.
Jig head selection (as is hooksize) is important with jerkshads compared to something like a paddle tail when using particular techniques. Jerkshads dart about, so you need a head that enhances or compliments that action. Particularly when the bait is dead sticking – a gulp jerky on a nitro or atomic seeker will dead stick and look like whiting feeding on the bottom/moving (perhaps an unintentional consequence of jig head design). Zman jerky on a tt will not do this as well due to the jighead shape. Most of the time it will flop onto its side. You can mix and match jig heads with degrees of success, just some work better than others with certain plastics and fishing methods. Fill your kitchen sink and test it out and think like a cautious hungry fish.
I don’t know about colours and their effect. I know a cat will eat a bird (or a fish) no matter the colour, but a bird is not a fish.
That is a very good analysis of the difference between the two brands. I think the scent is irrelevant for flathead but may have more of an effect on bream, pike and tailor. I think the Gulp texture is probably also just right, especially on the softer formula packs. I think it is often the texture which persuades the fish to come in for a second bite.
The paddle-tail Zman is very effective on flathead, once you find them. But it is the only shape in their range I have had success with. As to colours, I really have no idea, they all catch fish but some do seem to work better than others, in certain situations.
I was down this area on the 6th. Wind and the occasional shower made the morning frustrating. Caught one flathead ~50cm but he broke off just as I was pulling him into the shallows – would have been my first legal flathead at Bribie.