Bribie – the old oyster jetty flats – 21 December 2013

Saturday

Saturday morning was clear, but hot and humid. I set off for the Bribie sand flats at about 3.30am and was wading out in the pre-dawn light, just after 4.30 am. Low tide was due at 4.58 am. Then it would be another big run in tide – getting up to 2.3 metres.

Pre-dawn there was virtually no breeze but the wind had been a fairly persistent northerly the day before and was forecast to pick up again later. On the still water, at the bottom of the tide there were clumps of seagrass everywhere. The big tides have been lifting it up and spreading it all around. This always makes the fishing tricky. As soon as your lure lands it starts collecting seagrass.

At 4.45 am, I caught my first flathead of the day on a Gulp Orange Tiger 5” Jerkshad soft plastic. Just to the north of the old oyster jetty on the mainland side of the Pumicestone Passage. It must have been lurking in a sandy depression. I could not find any more in this location, so I waded further south, while I waited for the tide to start running in.

The weed got worse as the tidal flow picked up. I was restricted to casting into patches of weed free water, which meant I could not really put my lures where I wanted them to be.

After an hour of frustrating fishing I thought I was attached to another clump of weed, but suddenly it started wriggling. It was another flathead about 50cm long. It had felt much bigger.  I swapped to a smaller GULP 2” Shrimp soft plastic and after another 30 mins I caught another slightly smaller flathead.

I continued to battle the weed but decided to wade back to the bridge. The tide was running in fast and I disturbed a few small flathead in the shallows. The northerly winds had brought the usual herd of blue jellyfish the stingrays were everywhere.

At about 8.00 am I reached the bridge. I fought the weed for a few more casts and then gave up for the day.

Bribie – the old oyster jetty flats – 10 December 2013

Tuesday

I arrived on the mainland side of the Bribie Bridge at 4.30 am, just after first light. I waded straight out to the area just south of the old oyster jetty, where I had done well on the flathead, during my last session.

The tide was on its way out. It had been a 1.8m high, at about 3.30 am. There was not much flow as the moon was in its first quarter. It was a building northerly blowing with a stronger, south-easterly forecast to take over, later in the day.

There was not much weed moving around, so I decided to give one of my DUO hard-bodied lures an outing. My latest favourite is the Realis Shad 59 MR. This is a shallow diving, suspending, 59mm minnow, with a great rattle and the usual superb DUO finish. It is perfect for fishing over the weed beds and I was keen to try it with the new G.Loomis TSR series light spinning rod that I am now using. I picked out a gold/ bronze coloured one and tied it on.

The sun broke over the horizon just before 5.00am. There were a few mullet jumping around and as a few cormorants flew over, they spooked a large school of whiting/ mullet in the shallows. I started casting the Realis Shad 59 MR all around in a semi-circle in front of me.

I felt a few nudges and a couple of real bites. After about ten minutes a fish attacked hard and swam away with it. It too a bit of line but soon settled. It was a nice Bream – about 30cm long that had been cruising above the weed. About 10 minutes later, there were a few more knocks on successive casts and I hooked another smaller one.

I had made my way south, towards the green channel marker. It was just about 6.00 am and I could now cast over the edge of the major weed bank that runs along here. I felt an angry bite and then another. I pulled the trebles home and saw a Pike leap out of the water. I pulled it up close and shook it off the hooks.

The tide was now lifting a lot of sea grass so I decided to switch lures to a soft plastic. I chose the GULP 5” Jerkshad in the Watermelon Pearl colour. I loaded it on to a 1/8th ounce, 2/0 jighead and started fishing it along the edge of the weed.

I waded back towards the bridge but did not get a bite for more than hour. About 60 metres from the end of the old oyster jetty, I felt a grab, but I did not hook up. I cast back in the same spot six more times – slowing my retrieve down to a crawl. On number seven…. thud. I dropped the rod tip and slowly counted to ten. When I lifted it, I felt the hook slide home and I had a flathead on the line. This one was a keeper, about 45cm, but I was releasing everything today. It was just before 8.30 am.

Five minutes later and ten metres closer to the jetty, I found another slightly bigger one. Just before 9.00 am, I cast into the shallows – between me and the mangrove lined shore and the line went tight, immediately. It was the best fish of the day, about 60cm long. It was diminishing returns from then on. I caught two more fish, but both were around 35cm long.

By 10.00 am, the wind was blowing hard and I had Christmas shopping to get on with, so that was it for the day.