On Friday the wind situation was not promising with a 10-15 knot easterly forecast for mid – morning. But it has been a long time since I wet a line so I had to go for it and I was very glad that I did.
I have been struggling to wake up recently and I managed to sleep through the 4.00 am alarm. I woke at about 4.45 am and rushed up to Bribie, arriving just after 5.30 am. It was very cloudy and I passed through a few showers on my way up from Brisbane. They had cleared by the time I reached the Bribie Bridge. I pulled on my waders and walked out under the bridge towards the old oyster jetty. There was plenty of light but the sun had not yet come over the horizon. The wind was much lighter than forecast – as it often is, for the hour either side of first light.
Low tide would be a fairly high low at 0.8 m, at 7.40 am. The moon was about half way to full. I waded out to the south of the old oyster jetty and loaded up the light spin rod with a GULP Jerkshad on a 1/8th ounce, 1/0 jighead. I was using a 10lb fluorocarbon leader. It was now just before 6.00 am.
On the first cast, I felt the lure drag a little and I thought it was stuck in the weed. I yanked the rod tip up to free it and a small angry flathead (about 35cm long) came flying out of the water towards me. It managed to catapult itself off the jighead so I did not have to release it. The next cast produced another bite but no hook up. On the third cast, I paused and connected with a fish, as soon as I lifted the plastic off the bottom. This was a decent sized flathead so I decided to wade with the fish, back to the beach. It turned out to be about 55cm.
At this point I realised I did not have my camera. This was a shame because it turned into an extraordinary session. I was joined by Lee – another keen plastics fisherman. We had a chat and as we were talking and casting, we realised this was going to be one of those fantastic fishing sessions. Almost every cast produced a fish and the majority of those fish were between 45cm and 55cm long.
As the sun rose and the wind picked up the fish carried on biting and even the tide change did not seem to slow them down. I swapped through various Gulp soft plastics – Minnows, Jerkshads and Shrimps, which all caught fish. I put on a Z Man Minnowz with a paddle tail and this caught a few. Lee was fishing with a Gulp minnow grub in the Banana Prawn colour that was catching a fish on almost every cast.
I decided to experiment with some hard bodies. I started with the DUO Realis Shad 59 MR suspending minnow. This caught a couple of nice flathead but their violent head shakes soon reduced the small trebles to one remaining hook. I took it off and decided to test just how hungry these fish were. I tied on a MARIA MJ Twitch 90mm Suspending hard body. This is a great lure but I would generally consider it a bit of a mouthful for flathead. It has a great action but usually gets clogged in the weed before a fish gets to it. Not today – I cast it into the strike zone and after a couple of twitches, a flathead smashed it. It was a decent fish and the trebles struck home. I waded back to the shore with it and pulled out the trebles. It was about 65cm and one of the best fish of the day.
It was now low tide and the weed was everywhere so I swapped back to soft plastics. Every size and colour caught fish. Lee was equally successful. In three hours, between us we must have caught upwards of 60 flathead. We kept five each and released the rest.
It is difficult to know what fired them up or how long they have been there. There were lots of small squid and prawns around, but no massive bait schools. The terrain of sandy hollows and weed beds is ideal flathead country but I don’t ever remember a session were the fish were so easy to catch. Something must have drawn the fish to this area but it is not immediately obvious what.
At about 9.00 am I decided to take my catch home and Lee also gave up. We are in for some wild weather over the weekend. Let’s hope it does not blow the fish away.