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.
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.
Sunday – Not too much wind and a dry, mild morning – I pulled the waders on and at 6.15 am I wandered down the steps onto the beach at White Patch on Bribie Island. It was about half an hour until low tide and I was hopeful that I could tease out a few flathead. Early in the morning they are often sitting in a few feet of water on top of the rock ledge that forms the edge of the Passage. A few well executed casts into the mouths of likely looking drains produced nothing except weed. I carried on casting around through slack water but still couldn’t find the fish. As the tide started to run in, I caught a couple of very small snapper (25cm) on a GULP 3” minnow in the Lime Tiger colour. I was fishing it on 1/8th 1/0 jighead with 12lb leader. The fish did not get any bigger but then I found the voracious Pike again. After pulling up 6 fish in six casts I decided that I would have to settle for Pike for lunch so I put on a GULP 2” shrimp in Peppered Prawn and started casting that around. The Pike were everywhere and each hooked fish was followed to the bank by two of three friends. I selected the five 35cm+ fish to keep for lunch and gave up at about 9.00 am.
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.
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.
It was hard to get out of bed at 4.15 am yesterday but I managed it – just. The outside temp was not too bad but as I put on my waders and wandered out under the Bribie Bridge but I noticed how much the water temp has dropped in the last couple of weeks. I usually find this is good news for estuary fishos like me. Just before dawn I cast around under the bridge, on either side, but only manage a few pike on the Gulp Shrimp (2 inch Banana Prawn). There was plenty of evidence of school holidays with an abandoned cast net, plenty of terminal tackle with 50kg + breaking strain line, sinkers and enormous hooks stuck in the weed and shallow snags. Maybe they were trying for a Dugong!!
I sat out a rain shower and then moved up to White Patch. My first cast produced a tiny Flathead followed by more Pike. I walked up and down the flats flicking various plastics around. I generally target the sandy patches in between the weed. As the plastic comes over the edge of the weed that is when you get the dull thud of the Flathead attack – I then try to count to five (to let the fish get a good mouthful) then strike. The tide was running out and floating weed made things a bit tricky but after covering a bit of ground I got two keepers around 45cm.
As the tide got low enough I fished out over the coffee rock ledge and got a couple more Pike and then a solid hit and run that turned out to be a Trevally – I was using a 10lb leader, 1/6th 2/0 jighead and a 3” Gulp Minnow in Pearl Watermelon. I moved up and down the ledge and after a quiet period the tide started to run out a bit faster and I caught a couple of undersize Snapper on the same rig. I am yet to find a keeper Snapper from the shore this season – but it will happen.
Miserable weather but reasonable fishing and I caught enough to feed the family!!
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.