Bribie – the old oyster jetty flats – 18 November 2014


Back home to Brisbane for some work. I have done a fair bit of fishing recently but once again paid work has interfered with writing up my sessions, so these reports are far from fresh.

On Tuesday I had a window to fish in the morning, so I grabbed it. The tide would be running out to low at Bribie and it would be low just after noon.

It had rained overnight and there had been a big downpour a few days earlier. I could not get away for dawn, but I arrived and pulled on my waders at about 8.00 am. That is about four hours after first light, at this time of year. It was not a big tide. It was very humid and overcast and the wind was from the north east.

I started just south of the old oyster jetty on the mainland side of the Pumicestone Passage, close to the mangroves roots, in the shallows. I was fishing with a GULP 4” Minnow in the Pearl Watermelon colour – the perfect small mullet/pilchard imitation. I was using my light spin rod and a 1/8th ounce, size 1/0 hook jighead and 10lb fluorocarbon leader. At about 8.30am I caught a small (about 40 cm flathead). I took a picture and released it. It was sitting only a few feet away from the shore in about 35 cm of water. This is typical flathead behavior. They move up to the mangrove roots on the overnight high tide and just stay put until there is almost no water over the top of them.

I moved further south, following the run out tide as it gradually revealed the sand banks and weed beds. I had enjoyed fishing with the small surface poppers at 1770, so I decided to try one on the flats. I cast the small Rebel as far as I could in front of me and retrieved it slowly with quite a few long pauses. It took a while but as I took up the slack after a pause a fish smashed the popper and took off. It some tired and I could see it was a bream – about 30 cm long. I released and peppered the area with more casts. A few casts later, I caught another much smaller bream.

I carried on towards the green channel marker and swapped back to the soft plastic minnow. I found three more flathead, two of which would have been keepers. It was now just before noon and the run out tide had slowed. I turned and walked north, back towards the car. I caught one smaller flathead on the way and by 12.15 pm, I was back at the bridge.

It had taken a while and there were some long gaps between them, but I had found a few fish. The Christmas holiday fishing should be pretty good.

Rockhampton – Fitzroy River – 27 October 2013

Sunday PM

First stop was the tackle shop in Rockhampton, to find an emergency replacement for my broken light spin rod. The G.Loomis GL2 range has moved on since I bought mine. I found all the available G.Loomis ‘fast’ action rods a little too stiff for my liking. I think this is because the new, higher quality graphite has less give. I decided to look at something cheaper with a little more give. I settled on a 6’6″ Berkley Dropshot, rated 2-4 kg, two piece. It would do, until I could look into a more refined replacement.

With the Barramundi closed season fast approaching I felt I should try another session, land-based fishing in the Fitzroy River, at dusk. The boats were thick and there where plenty of land-based anglers wandering the banks. Everyone was keen to tempt a Barramundi. The tide was running out and had been high at about 4.00 pm. The wind was north-easterly but its was dropping off.

The folks in Barra Jacks ( had loaded me up with traditional hard bodied suspending minnows and 45 lb leader but the reports from the Barra Bounty competition (a few weeks earlier) had suggested many anglers had been successful using small soft plastics. Obviously, I had a few packets of these as well.

Fitzroy Flathead

Fitzroy Flathead

Rocky seasnake

Fitzroy River seasnake

Fitzroy River seasnake

Lures will catch anything

Lures will catch anything



I started fishing at about 5.30 pm behind the bowls club on the north side of the river, with a locally made, timber hard bodied suspending minnow lure in a silver colour. There were a few surface slurps and I could see decent bait schools swimming around. As the sun dropped on the horizon I felt some resistance and wound in. I had something but I could not see what. As I pulled it clear of the water I realised it was a sea snake. Is there no end to the predator list up here!

I managed to shake it loose from the line and it slithered off, back to the water. I decided to swap to soft plastic and put on a GULP 3″ Minnow in the Peppered Prawn colour, on a 1/8th ounce, size 1 hook jighead. It was now almost completely dark. I walked along the bank casting wherever there was an opening in the tall grasses.

Just before seven I felt a fish grab the plastic and I was hopeful. After a couple of small runs I realised it was a flathead. It came to the surface angrily shaking its head. It was about 45cm long. I released it and gave up for the day.

Yeppoon – Fishing Creek – 14 October 2013


Last morning in Yeppoon for a while and yes, of course I was heading for Fishing Creek. I had wanted to fish some of the headlands on this trip but the wind was up to 15 knots everyday by 10.00 am, so it had been out of the question. In hindsight, I was glad I had been forced to explore. I was enjoying fishing in this estuary system.

It was the same basic plan as Monday – walk down the creek from the top end, following the receding tide, casting into the pools and channels. I started at the shallow end with the GULP 3” Minnow in the Peppered Prawn colour. I was using my light spin rig, 2.8kg Fireline, 12lb fluorocarbon leader and 1/8th ounce, size 2 hook, jighead. This is the perfect size jighead for this size soft plastic. The weather was overcast but there had been no rain. There was a light north-easterly wind blowing but it was gradually picking up. I started just before the sun came over the horizon.

It took a while to find some fish, first some small flathead, then one that was big enough to keep, then a couple of small cod. Then I caught a magnificent spotted ray. I was tempted to let him keep my soft plastic but managed to safely remove it.

I swapped up to a GULP 5 inch Jerkshad in the Peppered Prawn colour. After a few casts, this got slammed and I thought I might have another barramundi. Then I realised this fish was too frantic to be a barramundi. After some spirited runs I saw a flash of silver and realised it was a small Trevally – these fish always pull surprisingly hard. I released it and moved on.

I reached the spot where I had caught the barramundi, the day before and decided to try one of my DUO hard bodies. I pulled out a Spearhead Ryuki 70S in a pink silver and black colour. This is really a trout lure but I have found it works well in a shallow estuary situation. The bream like it and so do the flathead. It weighs 9 grams and is effectively a sinking minnow. It is designed to maintain its action in fast flowing water and that is why it was ideal in this situation. I put in a few casts and immediately felt a few bumps. After fifteen minutes of casting, up and down current, I connected with a fish, but it spat the lure out. I cast back in the same spot and this time there was no hesitation – as soon as I took up the slack, the fish was attached.

It pulled pretty hard and the current helped it. After a minute or two it settled down and I pulled it ashore. It was a chunky grunter bream. I released it and continued casting the DUO Spearhead Ryuki 70S. I had a few more touch ups from interested fish before the inevitable happened – I lost the lure to the mangrove roots. Yet another lure to add to the very long shopping list I am collating.

It was now about 11.00 am and the wind had started howling, so I made the long walk/ wade back to the car – keeps you fit this fishing lark!

Yeppoon – Fishing Creek Barramundi – 13 October 2013


The wind was forecast to be a north-easterly that would build through the day and we were 6 days off the full moon. I could not stay away from Fishing Creek – the sandflies were driving me nuts but the good catches of the day before, drew me back to the same spot, just after dawn. The tide was another hour further in, as I waded through the shallows. I stopped at all the usual pools and channels and continued to fish with lightly weighted GULP soft plastics, in the natural Banana Prawn, Peppered Prawn and Watermelon Pearl colors. I caught a couple of small flathead and tried out a new MARIA suspending minnow hard bodied lure, that I have been sent. Sure enough it got the small flathead going and accounted for another two, before I lost it to a mangrove root. I could not find any big mothers but there were some enormous ‘lies’ in the sand, so they were around.

The MARIA lures that I have used so far have been very good. Despite this, they are slightly cheaper than many of the more established, mass produced lures on sale in Australia. Like my favorite DUO lures, they have superb colours and always have a very refined and specific action. I would love to see them in more tackle shops.

I wanted to fish the area where I had found a Trevally the day before. It is a mangrove lined curve in the bank with several fallen trees along it. The water powers round the curve, when the tide is running and the fallen timber offers a good ambush spot for bigger, predator fish.

My hunch proved right. I was now fishing with a 3″ GULP Minnow on a 1/8th ounce, 1/0 jighead. First taker was a 45cm estuary cod. It tried to lodge itself in the mangrove roots but I let it swim out and then pulled it ashore.

Something was smashing bait close to the mangrove roots and I thought it was probably another cod. I lobbed a long cast and it landed inches from the roots in exactly the right spot. I let it sink and thought – it will either be snagged or it will catch a fish. I twitched the rod tip up but there was no resistance. I let it sink again, paused and repeated the process. I did this about four times until the lure must have been on the bottom, in about mid-stream.

I twitched the lure up , off the bottom and it stopped dead, on something solid. Before I could register line was screaming off the reel. The fish was heading up current but in the direction of the mangrove roots. I instinctively started walking backwards and winding against the screaming drag. This had little impact at first but then it turned back towards me.

I tightened the drag a little and the fish seemed to pause in the current, for a few moments. It then lunged off again. It kept making long powerful runs but they gradually got shorter. After what seemed like a lifetime, I caught a glimpse of large silver scales and a big tail slapped the surface – it was a barramundi. I was as patient as I could be and I let it run when it needed to. I was fishing with 12lb fluorocarbon leader, so brute force was not going to land this fish. Fortunately I was on a gently sloping sandy bank so when I was sure it was played out, I gradually eased it out of the water.

It was a beautiful 57cm saltwater barramundi. As it lay on the sand, the jighead just dropped out of its chin. I took a few pics and measured it and after a minute or two, decided it was just too handsome to eat. I took it back to the water and it swam off. It was about 9.15 am.

Now I was excited, but cast as I might, I could not find another barramundi. I swapped to a MARIA MJ Twitch hardbodied, suspending minnow and cast this out. This got whacked on its second try, but it only pulled up an angry estuary cod.

I moved on to larger GULP Jerkshad in the Cajun Chicken colour. After a few casts, something walloped the plastic and took off. It went berserk and started leaping and splashing. I took it for a Tarpon and after a very violent fight, I landed it.

I fished on until about 10.30 am and then decided I had had enough. It had been an excellent mornings fishing in a beautiful location.

1770 – Baffle Creek – Deepwater Creek – 4 September 2013


From Gayndah I drove north to Agnes Waters/ 1770 for the important part of the trip. Unfortunately the weather messed up my plans. No rain this time but a howling south-easterly blow.

I decided to do some exploring around Baffle Creek. I started on Wednesday morning at Flat Rock on Baffle Creek. There are a few submerged rock bars in this area. I walked out onto one in the pre-dawn light and cast a few soft plastics along the edge of the Mangroves.

Just after first light I caught a decent Bream – about 32 cm long, but as the sun came up everything went quiet. I moved down to the flats to the south of the boat ramp and cast around with a GULP 4” Minnow in the Pearl Watermelon colour. I had a few hits in the shallows but I could not hook up. I slowed the retrieve and caught a small flounder.

I carried on for an hour but I could not catch anything more, so I decided to switch locations. I drove into Deepwater National Park and decided to stop and fish along Deepwater Creek. This is a long meandering waterway that works its way out to the sea near Rules Beach. It is fresh at the top end but then flows over a small weir to meet the salty water. It is shallow and tannin stained but there are a few deep holes.

I swapped down to very light gear – 8lb leader and 1/8th, 1 hook jighead and a 3” GULP Crazylegs shad in the smelt colour. After all the rain earlier in the year, there was plenty of water in the system, but it was not running over the weir. I stopped at a few breaks in the vegetation on the bank and put in a few casts – no luck.

I followed a track off the road, down to the weir itself and decided to cast at the snags along the banks. There was plenty of bait close to the bank and something was lunging at it, periodically. I cast in close to the snags and lost a few jig heads.

After about an hour of peppering the area, I had not had a touch. I was about to give up. I cast in, under an overhanging branch, a few inches from the bank. The lure started to sink and there was a tail splash as something engulfed it. It took off hard for mid-stream. Then it leapt out of the water and I could see it was a small Barramundi.

It calmed down and I pulled it up onto the concrete. I was delighted to have my first barramundi. It was sitting on the salty side of the weir and was a golden bronze colour. I did not measure it but it was about 40 cm long. I took a few photos and sent it on its way. It was just before noon.

The wind had forced me to spend time exploring and it had paid off.