Brunswick Heads – North wall – 30 July 2021

At the end of July I was back in South Golden Beach. Possibly in lockdown (I can no longer remember) but fortunately the Brunswick River mouth was within easy reach for fishing ‘exercise’.

I set out to fish the north rock wall, which is reached down the unmade section of North Head Road. I walked out on to the wall at about 10.30 am. The tide was coming in and would be high at about 2.00 pm. I was fishing with my light set up and rigged up a GULP 4″ Minnow in the Watermelon Pearl colour on a 1/8th ounce, size 1/0 hook jighead. I was using 12lb fluorocarbon leader. The water was crystal clear and the swell was less than a metre. There was a very light northerly wind blowing.

I put in a few casts on the north side of the wall into the wave break area, close to the beach. Sometimes there are flathead lurking around the base of the rocks, but not today. The first taker was a bream. I threw him back and kept casting. I soon caught another small one.

I moved out to the end of the rock wall and swapped soft plastics to a GULP Pulseworm in the Moebi (beige flecked) colour. After a few casts I found another small bream and then lost the tail of the soft plastic. I put on a GULP 3″ Minnow in my favourite Lime Tiger colour. I thought there might be some dart around and this colour seems to work well on them.

I worked my way around the far end of the rock wall and cast around in the mouth of the river. I had a few nibbles but could not hook anything so I moved back to the north side, I let the soft plastic sit as long as I dared, on the bottom beside the base of the rock wall. At about 11.45 am a fish grabbed my plastic close to the base of the rocks, as I lifted it to recast. It took off quite fast out to sea and then jumped clear of the water. I tightened the drag a little and soon subdued and landed it. It was a juvenile queenfish, about 45 cm long. I snapped it and threw it back. There were no more bites so after about 30 minutes more, I gave up for the day.

Yeppoon – Byfield National Park – 3 June 2013

Monday

Sorry I have not posted a report in a while, but once again paid work has interfered with fishing. It has however, given me the opportunity to fish a few interesting spots.

In early June I found myself back in Rockhampton and decided to spend a few more days fishing in the Byfield National Park – just north of Yeppoon. Last time I was up this way the rain pretty much washed out the fishing. Unfortunately, this trip was not very different. Whilst it was not actually raining, the accumulated downpours had left the creeks and estuaries of Byfield very fresh and muddy.

On Monday it was also very windy with a 15 knot south-easterly forecast. I drove in to the national park across the causeway and along the four-wheel drive sand tracks. There was a big bog on the track in and someone had cut a crude bypass through the forest beside it – but this required the car to get over a few fallen logs and stumps. The car was up to the challenge and got through ok. I carried on over the sand hills and drove down Nine Mile Beach to Corio Bay.

I decide to fish the Corio Bay estuary where there had been a bit of action last time I was here. When I walked around to the inside of the headland the wind was blowing harder than 20 knots and it was coming from the south. This meant there was not much shelter. We were a few days off the new moon but the tide was running in, very strongly.

I started with my medium rod and reel combo – an N.S Black Hole Cabin II – S-862 L Spin Rod 2.59m long (8’6”) and rated 8-14 lb, matched with a Shimano Sustain 4000 reel. I had it spooled with 15lb Super PE Braid in the green colour. This will cast big and small soft plastics, small hard bodies and slugs.

The water was dirty and muddy and full of fresh and there was very little surface action. The water was considerably colder than it had been a month or so ago. I started with big soft plastic jerkshads on light jigheads and gradually swapped through heavier jigheads until I settled on a ¼ oz 2/0 jighead and a GULP 4” Minnow in the Rainbow colour. I cast into the incoming current and let the lure sink as it was carried past the rock bars by the current. I got snagged a few times and re-rigged. I had a couple of quite aggressive bites, but no hook ups. It was about 7.30 am and high tide would be at about 11.00 am. The sun was out but the wind was getting stronger and stronger.

I swapped to a suspending YOZURI Crystal Minnow hard body for about 20 casts, but this did not tempt the fish. I swapped back to the soft plastic minnow in the Rainbow colour and at about 8.10 am I felt a solid bite. On the next cast a fish grabbed the soft plastic as it landed in the water. It was quite powerful but small. After a couple of runs a pulled a very small blue salmon from the muddy water.

I carried on fishing through to the high tide and tried a number of the bays on the inside of the headland but after a few hours, the wind just made it too tough, so I gave up.

That afternoon I followed a very narrow four wheel drive only track down to Five Rocks Beach. This looks like a spectacular fishing spot and I tried a few casts, as I explored it. On the north side of the headland I was sheltered from the 25 knot southerly wind. But the water was now very stirred up and I did not get a bite. It was good fun exploring this area but it would have been better if I had caught something.

Yeppoon – Byfield National Park – Corio Bay – 12 May 2013

Saturday

Paid work had left me in Rockhampton on Friday, so I decided to have a go at fishing in Byfield National Park, over the weekend. I have a new car – an FJ Cruiser – the perfect fishing car. I love it – great clearance, plenty of power and a hose out interior. I needed to give it a workout and to get it dirty and Byfield, with its many creek crossings and sandy hills, looked like the perfect spot. There had been plenty of rain, so there would be water in the creeks, but the sand tracks would have firmed up.

I set out before first light on Saturday and drove from Rockhampton to Byfield. I grabbed a cup of coffee and breakfast in Yeppoon and arrived at the Waterpark Creek causeway, that leads into the park, at about 7.30 am. Water was flooding over the causeway. According to the depth markers it was about 400 mm deep – no problem for the new motor. You have to watch this spot when there are showers around, as a lot of rain runs off into this creek. The water level can rise very quickly and leave you stuck on the wrong side.

I had wanted to visit Five Rocks Beach but due to the recent wet weather, the tracks in that direction were closed. I headed for Nine Mile Beach, instead. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to get to the beach from the causeway. The biggest obstacle is a climb up a big sand hill. The track was a bit churned up towards the top but it was fairly firm. I am not sure that the old Suzuki Grand Vitara would have had the clearance to make it, but the FJ rolled over the top.

Nine Mile Beach is spectacular and looked particularly wild with the grey clouds rolling in. The wind was howling so I decided to drive down the beach to find some shelter and fish in Corio Bay. At the end of the beach there is a small track that leads across the back of the headland. I took this and found some sheltered water. I believe this area is Corio Bay. The rain kept coming over in squally showers.

I took out my light spin rod and reel and wandered along the mangrove fringed banks of a sandy channel. In between the mangroves, rock bars protruded into the channel at regular intervals, forming a couple of small bays. The tidal variation is huge here, often rising 5 metres from low to high. By the time I started fishing it was about 11.15 am – low tide had passed at about 10.30 am. The water was dark grey and very muddy. The area looked very fishy and I heard a few big gulps, in the eddies around the edges of the rock bars – could have been cod or even a barra – who knows?

I started with a Zman Minnowz in the Houdini colour, on 1/8th oz, 1/0 jighead. I was fishing with 10lb fluorocarbon leader. I lost a few soft plastics and jigheads to the rocks. I re-rigged with the same plastic and cast out and suddenly a fish connected, tight against the rocks. It pulled hard and kept taking short determined runs. I thought it might be a cod but it did not stop still, like a cod would. I got some line back, but it was now under an overhanging rock and I could feel the line rubbing. I did not have the power to pull it out with the light rod. I saw a flash of silver but could not identify it and then it must have loosened the jighead against the rocks, and it was gone.

I decided to try something a little more colourful and tied on a GULP Jerkshad in the Satay Chicken colour – a mixture of yellow and pumpkinseed. I stayed with the 1/8th 1/0 jighead and light leader. I cast it into the fast flowing water, in the middle of channel and let it sink. It was hit on the drop by something very fast and powerful. The fish ran with the fast current and took plenty of line very quickly. Then it jumped clear of the water and I could see it was Queenfish. Every time I got it close to shore it took off again, but eventually I pulled it clear of the water. I am sure it would only be considered a baby in local circles – but it was the biggest Queenfish I have ever caught. I took a few pictures and let it go.

I tried more and swapped through hard bodied lures, vibes and a few more soft plastics. I ended up fishing with the Zman Minnowz again. I fished around the rockbars and felt a few bites. I left the lure on the bottom for long pauses. About an hour after the Queenfish capture, I hooked something else. It pulled hard and hugged the rocks. In the end I pulled up another fish I have never caught before. Not sure what it was – see pictures. I released it and decided to give up, as another shower was coming over the headland.

I drove back through the rain, safely crossed the causeway and drove back to Yeppoon. This is a fantastic spot. I will be back!