Bribie – the channel marker to the bridge – 31 March 2014

Monday

With massive downpours all along the Sunshine Coast on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I was concerned that the recent flathead bonanza might come to an end. On Monday, I found myself driving up to Bribie to see how the big flush of freshwater had affected things.

I have been doing well fishing the last few hours of the run out tide, over the last few weeks. But after a major rain event this is not ideal. The water is at its freshest and cloudiest in the estuaries, as the tide runs out. All of the water that is running off the surrounding land changes the salt levels quite dramatically and this can force the fish or what they are eating, out to sea.

The trouble is the best drains and hiding spots around Bribie are hard to reach at high tide. So even though the incoming tide makes the water saltier and more comfortable for the fish, you cannot get at them from the shore.

I decided to fish as close as I could to the mouth of the Passage, next to the green channel marker, on the mainland side. This involved a long walk from the Bribie Bridge. I arrived at the sand spit, beside the channel marker at about 1.30 pm. Low tide would be at 4.00 pm. It would be a very low low tide at 0.3m, as we were only a couple of days off the new moon.

I tried a few GULP soft plastics – the 4” Minnow in Pearl Watermelon and the 2” Shrimp in the Banana Prawn colour, with no luck. The water was running out quickly, but it was very dirty. I swapped to a 5” Powerbait Minnow in the Pumpkinseed colour and started casting close to the green channel marker pole. This worked and just before 2 pm, I got my first flathead of the day. It was a decent 55cm fish.

I slowly moved back towards the bridge, casting into the run out tide and following the fringing weed beds. It took almost an hour to find the next fish. By this time, I had swapped to a GULP 4” Minnow in the Smelt colour. It was another flathead, just over 40cm.

As the tide ran out, the fishing got harder and harder and the water got dirtier and dirtier. I dropped another fish, closer to the old oyster jetty but, by low tide I had really only had three serious bites in 3 hours.

Finally, I picked up a few tiny (under 30cm) flathead near the bridge, but overall it was a disappointing session. It is too soon to say that the fish are gone for good. I suspect that if there is no more rain, we may well see them build up again after the new moon.

 

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Bribie – full moon on the oyster jetty flats – 26 April 2013

Friday

After another terrific fishing session on Wednesday, I had to get back out there, as soon as possible. I had time for a quick morning fish on Friday. Friday was full moon and the tide would be difficult. It would be a 2.2 metre high at 9.36 am. The bigger high (2.6m) is currently at night. We would start with a south westerly breeze, then, a northerly wind was forecast to blow in, in the late morning. Thursday was a great day, weather wise and it was also Anzac Day, so I would expect the area to have been thoroughly fished.

Full moon fishing can be difficult for a number of reasons. It is often the trigger, at spawning time for fish to school up. But the big tidal movement stirs up the weed and debris and can disperse the fish over a very wide area.

I arrived just before dawn and fish around under the bridge. I did not have much success so, as soon as the horizon started to glow, I moved south, past the oyster jetty to try the drain that runs round the corner from Sandstone Point. Unfortunately, there was not yet enough water running through the drain. So, I moved further out in the direction of the green channel marker.

I was fishing with a GULP Jerkshad in the Satay Chicken colour and just before dawn, I caught a small flathead. This one would have been a just under the legal size of 40cm. Once the sun came up, I could see it had been sitting in a sandy patch, amongst the weed beds. I continued in the area and after a few more casts and I soon had another fish on. After brief fight, this one spat the jighead out.

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I was now stuck in the incoming tide conundrum. The tide was coming up fast, pushing me away from the area I wanted to fish – which was the main edge of the weed and sandbanks. This was out of casting reach and there was not yet enough water on the flats for the fish to have moved up.

I swapped to a GULP 4” Minnow in the Watermelon Pearl colour to see if a more ‘natural’ colour would be more effective. I cast around at any area of sand amongst the weed and I caught one more flathead – about the same size as the others, over the next hour.

At about 9.00 am I had to give up. Perhaps the full moon tides had dispersed the fish or maybe they were just schooled up, out of reach. I would be back again soon.