Bribie – the old oyster jetty flats – 20 August 2014

Wednesday

Apologies for another long gap between reports – no excuse is adequate for neglecting ones passions, so I wont offer one.

On Wednesday the rain would take a break and it looked like the south westerlies would drop off a little, in the morning. I have not had much time to fish lately, so this small window was good enough for me. Low tide would be at 0.7 m at 11.00 am, so I did not need to rush out too early.

I arrived at the west end of the Bribie bridge just before 9.00 am. I pulled on my waders. The wind was up but the sky was an amazing blue. The sun was out and this took the edge off the cold westerly wind.

It was about a week after full moon. It had been raining fairy constantly over the last week but it had not been very heavy. The water still looked clear. I was expecting the fishing to be pretty tough so I started with an 8lb fluorocarbon leader and a GULP 2” Shrimp soft plastic lure in the Peppered Prawn colour. I waded towards Moreton Bay, casting my soft plastic back towards the bridge.

I felt a few grabs and swipes from what I assume where pike or small Moses perch, but I could not find any flathead to the north of the old oyster jetty. By 9.30 am, I was about 50 metres to the south of the jetty and I felt a bite from a sandy patch in the shallows. I did not hook up so I put the soft plastic back in the same place. On about the 5th cast in the same area, I connected and this time I successfully set the hook. It was a 35cm flathead which I released, after a couple of photos.

After 20 minutes more in this area I decided to move further south and swapped to a 5 inch, GULP Jerkshad in the Cajun Chicken colour. At about 10.10 am, I caught the first keeper size fish of the day. It was lying close to the edge of the large sand bank, which is gradually exposed in this area, on the run out tide. It was about 45cm long and went in the bag for dinner.

I hoped I had now found the fish but it was not to be. In fact, it took almost hour to find another flathead that was big enough to keep. Just after 11.00 am, I had almost reached the green channel marker. The tide had slowed right down and was about to turn. I cast out towards a patch of sandy bottom beyond the weed and let the plastic sink. Just as I hopped it over the edge of the weed, a flathead shot up and grabbed it. After a good initial strike and long run, I was very conscious of the 8lb leader, but I soon had the fish subdued and slid it into the keeper bag. Having caught so few fish of late, it felt much bigger than it was – it measured just 46cm.

That was it for the day I kept casting on the way back to the car, but caught nothing more.

Bribie Island – The old oyster jetty flats – 11 August 2014

Monday

After a disappointing outing on Friday I was up earlier on Monday.  It was full moon. In fact, it was a super moon. That is probably why I could not sleep. I did not have much time, so I drove up to Bribie Island for a quick morning session.

The fish are always out there somewhere, so when they are elusive, it is not a bad idea to go back to basics. I decided to drop the leader down to 8lb fluorocarbon, use the fine wire Bream Pro 1/8th ounce, #1 hook jigheads and start with 2” and 3” GULP soft plastics in natural colours – Peppered Prawn, Banana Prawn, Smelt, Pearl Watermelon, etc. This set up should at least attract a few pike and bream.

I started under the bridge lights, on the mainland side of the Bribie Bridge. There was a very light south-westerly wind blowing and the moon was amazing. It was so bright that the fish would certainly have been confused by it. It was just after 5.00 am and low tide had passed at 3.53 am. It had been one of the years lowest at 0.2 metres. The tide was running in fast but there was no sign of any bait under the bridge lights. I cast around with a GULP 2” Shrimp in the Banana Prawn colour. I felt a couple of grabs and half hooked a couple of pike, but they both wriggled off. I had one solid bite, that might have been a small flathead, but it let go before I could find out.

At about 5.30 am, I decided to swap back to the mainland side of the bridge. I drove back over and waded out into the shallows. I stayed about 10 metres north of the bridge and cast towards it. I soon found the pike hiding in amongst the weed clumps and rocks.

I gradually moved south, under the bridge. The mad moon was creating a fantastic bright orange sky, as dawn was breaking. I think the sunrises on the east coast of Australia are the best in the world and this one was as good as they get. My camera does not do it justice – but I am sure if you are as mad about fishing as I am, you will have seen a few of these.

The tide was moving in quickly and the water coming in from the bay was very cold.  I made my way south to the fast disappearing sand bank and fished around this area. It is tough to fish here when the sun is low in the sky, as you cannot see where the sandy patches and weed beds are. You just have to slowly and methodically cover the ground.

I swapped up to slightly bigger GULP Jerkshad in the Cajun Chicken colour. After just a few casts this produced results with a definite hit. I paused but there was no fish there. It was just about 7.00 am. I did not have much more time in this spot as the tide was running in very quickly. I slowed everything down and tried to put the next cast back in exactly the same spot. I left the lure on the bottom for a good ten seconds. I hopped it slowly back towards me – nothing. I cast about a metre to the left and repeated the process. This time after my second pause on the bottom, whack, another solid flathead bite. This time I dropped the rod tip and counted (fairly quickly) to ten. When I lifted the rod the fish was hooked. It felt much bigger than it was (about 45cm) but it was a relief to finally get one.

As the morning progressed the wind picked up a little. The scenery was fantastic and the weather very good but I just could not find the fish. I swapped from small plastics to big plastics, jerkshads to paddletails to grubtails. I tried my DUO hard bodies but nothing worked.

At about 9.00 am I had to give up. It looks like I am going to have to put in a lot of practice to find my form again!