Brisbane River – Pinkenba Rockwall – 4 April 2011

Monday

Today I decided to walk along the north bank of the Brisbane River at Pinkenba and fish the rock wall that gradually breaks down, near the Oil refinery at the mouth of Boggy Creek.

There are fishy holes all along this wall but I like to fish on or around high tide, when there is plenty of water. Today I arrived just as the tide started to run out, at about 9.45 am. The wind was getting up but it was still possible to fish. I parked on the bank next to the Queensland Cement Plant and walked along the rockwall, towards the river mouth.

I was fishing with my light spin rod. I had about 1 metre of 10lb breaking strain fluorocarbon leader tied to a spool of 10lb braid. I decided to fish with soft plastics and started with a GULP 3” Minnow in the Smelt colour. I rigged the plastic on a 1/6th 1/0 jighead. The water was quite cloudy but there was plenty of bait in close to the bank. I walked along the wall, casting about 8 to 10 metres out into the river and slowly retrieving the lure.

After ten minutes I felt a tug at the lure, right at the foot of the rock wall. It is always difficult to tell if the lure has just caught on a rock or whether it’s a fish. I cast out in the same spot and as I brought the plastic slowly back to the base of the wall, it was grabbed. The fish made a hard initial run and then I tightened the drag a little and it stopped and just sat in the current. As I tried to get some line back it took off again on another long run. Fortunately, it was heading out into the middle of the river. I let it run and thought of what it could be. It was too fast for a Flathead and too strong for a Tailor or Bream. I tightened the drag again and started to get line back. My light rod has no real power so it would have to be a battle of attrition using the drag. We went back and forth a few times but finally I got the fish to the bank and realised it was a decent Trevally. I wasn’t expecting that and when I got home and checked my diaries and the blog, I realised it was the first I have ever caught in the Brisbane River.

I released the fish and moved along the wall, casting every ten metres or so. As I reached the point where the rockwall forms a promontory, with water on both sides, I swapped to a 3” GULP Lime Tiger Minnow soft plastic and started to cast on either side of the wall. After a few casts into the tidal lagoon on the inside, I caught a small Bream. Again the fish grabbed the lure just as I was about to lift it clear of the water.

I carried on as far as I could and peppered both sides of the rock wall with casts. I swapped plastics again. This time I put on a Gulp 2” Shrimp in the Peppered Prawn colour. By 12.30 pm the wind was really howling and the tide was running out fast. I cast out into the river at a 45 degree angle to the bank, back in the direction of the cement plant. About 20 cm from the base of the rocks, whack – zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. It went straight out into the river but soon turned and started to run along close to the oyster covered rocks. I decided to hop along the rocks with it for a bit but then realised I needed to slow it down. I got some line back and managed to keep it off the oysters. This was a bigger fish and took quite a bit of subduing. Eventually I saw silver and confirmed it was another Trevally. I got it in close and grabbed the leader and successfully pulled it out. It was a 40cm Trevally.

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Now I had found them and after a couple more casts, I was on to another one – but not for long. This one headed straight down to the base of the wall and ping – the line snapped on the oysters. They were obviously cruising up and down and twenty minutes later I got the biggest one of the day at around 45cm. I had to head back so I turned around and kept casting, as I walked. I switched to a – 5” GULP Jerkshad in the curried chicken colour. After three or four casts another Trevally grabbed it. Again the strike was right next to the wall and the fish put up a terrific fight.

I walked back to the car and finished up at about 1.30pm, after another great session fishing the Brisbane River.

Brisbane River in Flood – Jan 13 – 2011

As a Brisbane resident, fishing has been out of the question in the last few days. I have been watching the river which is now more of a mud slurry and wondering where all the fish will end up. It’s difficult to believe that there is anything left alive in there. I have been lucky enough not to get flooded as we live on higher ground. I have included a few pictures of the river and when things calm down I will be off looking for the fish again.

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Brisbane River – Pinkenba Rockwall – 7 Oct 2010


Thursday
I only had time for a short fishing excursion today. I checked the tide and saw we had a pretty high high-tide at around 9.00 am at the mouth of the Brisbane River. I could not start fishing until about 9.30 am so I decided to walk out, along the Pinkenba rock wall in search of some Flathead.
You can get access to the rock wall down a small track that runs down to the river side, behind the Queensland Cement Plant, which is next to the Pinkenba boat ramp. I have caught Flathead, Bream and Tailor all along this wall. When the high tide is over 2 metres, as it was today, I like to walk along the wall until the water is flowing over the top of the broken down sections. The tide forms small drains and channels as it runs out and usually, this is where the fish are lurking.
I walked for about 35 mins until I could walk no further. I then turned around to walk back along the wall, casting out on either side and working my lure back along the bottom beside the wall. The tide was now running out strongly. Unfortunately the big tide had made the water a bit murky. I have always found the more natural coloured lures work well in the Brisbane River so I started fishing with the GULP 3” Minnow soft plastic on a 1/6th 1 jighead. I lost a few jigheads to the oyster covered rocks on the river side of the wall and watched a few tiny Bream follow it in – but after an hour I had nothing to show for my efforts.
I turned my attention to the lagoon side of the rock wall. The lagoon sits between the wall and the BP Refinery Tank Farm. It is less than two metres deep, even on a high tide but it has plenty of weed beds that attract the Flathead. I found a break in the wall where the water was running into the lagoon. I cast in a semi-circle, into the eddy that had formed a few metres behind the opening. I felt a few small hits then hooked a 10cm Whiting. I carried on and after a few more casts the lure was slammed by a Flathead, just at the base of the rock wall. I landed him – took a picture and sent him on his way. He was just over 40cm but there is more than enough Flathead in the fridge at present. I carried on in the same spot, peppering the area with casts and after about 5 more I had another Flathead around the same size. I also released him.
I gradually moved back along the rock wall casting as I went but despite changing colours and even trying a blade lure, I did not get another touch from the fish. I arrived back at the car at about noon.

Brisbane River – Pinkenba Rockwall – 25 Aug 2010

After a great week of fishing down at Iluka I was keen to get back out on my home patch around Brisbane. On Wednesday the weather was not too promising. With limited time and strong westerly winds I decided to try fishing along the Pinkenba rock wall on the north side of the Brisbane River. I usually access this spot by parking next to the QCL Cement Plant and walking around the plant to the river bank. There is a long stretch of rock wall that goes from the plant all the way to the mouth of Boggy Creek. It is fairly shallow all along here so I find it fishes best around high tide. My timing was good as I arrived right on high tide at around 9.45am. All along the rock wall there are areas where it has it has broken down and there is therefore plenty of structure at its base and as you move further out the lower rocks are completely covered in oysters.
My tactics here are to walk along the rock wall casting back up river and letting the soft plastic bump along the bottom with the current, with a few jerks every now and then. I have almost always caught fish right at the foot of this rock wall – I assume this is because the riverbed further out is fairly featureless and the bait stays close in. I walked slowly along the wall towards the river mouth but after an hour of casting, I had nothing to show for my efforts. I had been using my favourite GULP 4” Minnow soft plastic in the Pearl Watermelon colour on a 1/6th 1/0 jighead with a 10lb fluorocarbon leader. I decided to swap it for a ¼ oz blade lure in a silver rainbow colour. Sometimes the blades can be more effective at getting reluctant fish to bite. I think they annoy the fish into an attack. They have a great action and fish will feel their vibration in the water long before they see them.

Buy this time I had reached the spot where the rock wall has water on both sides. The north side is a shallow, tidal inlet next to the refinery tank farm. The bottom is mud and weed beds and as long as there are a couple of feet of water, there are nearly always flathead in here. After a few casts with the blade I finally found my first fish of the morning – a flathead just on 40cm – I took a picture and put him back (we are still finishing the Jewfish from Iluka at home). I carried on in this spot for a while but could not raise anymore. The water was very cloudy after the recent rain. I then put on a smaller, GULP 3” Pearl Watermelon Minnow and decided to walk back along the wall, up river. This is an excellent soft plastic for Bream – especially when lightly weighted. I swapped the jighead down to a 1/8th 1/0. The tide was really running out hard now and I started to get a few touches close into the oyster clad rocks. After another twenty minutes with no hook ups, the lure was slammed by a solid fish. The initial hit was very hard but it was only a 30cm Bream. I put him back assuming there would be more but despite trying a few other weights, plastics and putting the blade back on, I could not find them.

By now it was just past 1.00pm and even though it was warm and sunny, the wind was really blowing and there was less than a foot of water at the base of the rock wall, in places. I decided to stop for the day.

Bribie Island – Oyster Jetty to Sandstone Point – 26 July 2010

On Monday morning I looked at the forecast for the week and realised things were going downhill with showers set to increase as the days went on. I decided to go for a quick mid morning session wading the flats at Bribie, hopefully before the rain set in. I opted for the sand flats and weed beds to the south of the old oyster jetty in the direction of Sandstone Point, on the mainland side of the Pumicestone Passage.

I arrived at around 9.45 am just as the tide was beginning to run out. It was dull and overcast and the wind was getting up from the south west. I walked along the shore as far as the large sand bank to the south of the old oyster jetty. Then I waded out into about a metre of water and started with long casts northwards. With the wind behind me from the south west, I was able to put in long casts and retrieve my plastic with the outgoing tide. There are lots of gaps in the weed beds in that area and this is where the Flathead wait. I was fishing my favourite flathead lure – the GULP 4” Minnow in the Pearl Watermelon colour on a 1/6th 2/0 jighead. I had the rod spooled with 6lb Fireline and 10lb fluoro carbon leader.

The only problem fishing that area is the loose weed and the horrible slimy algae that seem to coat it in places. You have to be persistent as the plastic is constantly getting clogged. After twenty minutes or so of casting, I hooked a small flathead but dropped it as I tried to get it into the keeper bag without towing it all the way back to shore. I cast back in the same place and one of its friends took the plastic. This time I walked it all the way back to the shore – he was just on 42cm. I now had to try and remember where to go back to. When the water is clear you can follow your wader boot marks but the overnight rain had stirred it up a little, so I just had to guess where I had been. I waded back out and carried on moving to the north and just short of the oyster jetty; I got a very solid bite. I dropped the rod tip and counted to five – this is my favourite technique for Flathead – then struck hard. The fish took off and did a couple of good runs, then it calmed down a bit and so I gradually walked it back to the shore. Some wise old fisherman once told me that Flathead often snap at the lure or bait to stun it, then open their mouths and change the angle, to swallow it. If you strike as soon as you feel the bite you might just pull it out of their mouths. Not sure how true this is but my system certainly works. It gave me a few head shakes in the last few metres and then I had it. Once I got it up to the muddy shoreline it measured in at 62cm. Buy now the clouds were looking ominous so I beat a hasty retreat to the car and called it a day. I hope the weather does not ruin the rest of the week.

Brisbane River – Boggy Creek – 23 July 2010

If you have children of school age you will know that most officially classified biological weapons are far less toxic than the coughs and colds they bring home. I succumbed this week and I have been feeling like crap. I missed my usual fishing session on Thursday, so I decided to put in a couple of hours this morning, close to home, at Boggy Creek, on the Brisbane River.
For those of you who don’t know it, Boggy Creek is a small arm off the Brisbane River on the north side of the Pinkenba Shell oil terminal. You can fish all along the northern bank, but I usually start by the small pedestrian bridge that leads across to the refinery. You cannot fish on the bridge as it has a security gate and belongs to the refinery.
I find this creek fishes best for a couple of hours on either side of the high tide and it is a great spot pre-dawn. There is a small rock wall on either side of the bridge and the channel narrows significantly at this point. This has cut a fairly deep channel under the bridge. There is always plenty of bait under the lights and once the tide is running there are large swirls, eddies and sections of slack water where the big fish lurk.
I started around 9.00 am – the wind (from the southwest) was getting up and the run out tide was really moving. The water was fairly clear so I started with a 3” GULP Pearl Watermelon Minnow on a 1/6th 1 jighead on 10lb leader. My strategy was to cast out, upstream and let the plastic float with the current down under the bridge. I would jig it every 5 seconds or so to stop it getting snagged. There is plenty of manmade structure under that bridge ranging from tyres to shopping trolleys. After a few prospecting casts I switched to the GULP Pumpkinseed Minnow Grub. I find the paddle tail pattern is good when there is a strong current. The tail moves realistically even when the plastic is at rest on the bottom and it is almost irresistible as it sinks. Sure enough – second cast a hungry Pike wallops the plastic. This scenario played out a few more times and then I cast over towards the far rock wall. On the retrieve there were a few nudges and tickles and then a solid hit and hook up. As I brought the fish in, a great school of Pike scattered before it. It turned out to be a 28cm Bream with a Mohican fin! I released him after a picture or two and then decided to move up the bank towards the Brisbane River.
There are a number of openings all along the bank from which you can fish. I stopped at each one and did a semicircle of casts in each location. When I reached the mouth of a small drain I was a bit more thorough with my coverage and on about the 6th cast I pulled up a 35cm Flathead. I let him go and got another smaller one from exactly the same spot. The water was getting very shallow now and it was blowing a gale so decided to give up for the day.
It was good to get the rod in the water and find a few fish – even if there was nothing for dinner.

Bribie Island – Buckleys Hole – 15 July 2010

Thursday morning – I got up at 4.15 am and drove from Brisbane up to Bribie looking forward to a good fishing session. Low tide would be around 6.40 am and although the forecast was for moderate West to Southwest wind, it was pretty flat when I arrived.

I decided to start off under the Bridge lights on the island side. I find the bridge lights attract the bait and there is often something waiting to pounce on your lure/ bait from the dark water around the pylons. I loaded a 1/6th ounce, 1/0 jighead with Gulp 3” minnow soft plastic in the pearl watermelon colour and sure enough, first cast I pulled up a Pike and next cast 15cm Tailor. I moved up and down the weed banks, along the edge of the Passage, on either side of the bridge. After about half an hour I picked up a 45cm Flathead about 15 metres north of the bridge., right on the edge of the weed.

The first glow of dawn was showing so I decided to move down to the mouth of the tidal lagoon in front of Buckley’s Hole. This is an excellent Bream spot especially when they are schooling up to spawn. Using the same plastic and weight I cast up into the last of the run out tide and let it sink down along the coffee rock ledge – jigging every 5 seconds or so. After a few casts I caught an undersized Bream, followed by a few Pike and gradually I started to catch a few keeper Bream. Every third fish or so, was legal and after an hour I had 5 keepers between 25cm and 30cm.

At about 8.30am I called it quits and went to find a hot drink.

PASSAGE BREAM ARE BEGINNING TO FIRE
BREAM FROM BUCKLEY’S HOLE – BRIBIE ISLAND

Fishing From the Shore in Queensland and New South Wales

Hello – I am Landangler AKA the Mullet Musketeer – so named because my early attempts at casting were closer to fencing than fishing. I love to fish the estuaries, rocks, beaches and bays of the beautiful Queensland and New South Wales coasts. This is my blog where I will post fishing reports  from time to time. Hopefully my experiences will enable you to learn about great fishing spots and techniques and also quench your thirst for fishy tales when it feels like a long time until the next trip.