1770 – Flat Rock – Dart, Bream and Cod – 18 May 2016

On Wednesday the wind had settled down a little, so it was back to Flat Rock to fish the last couple of hours of the run out tide. The moon and tides were getting bigger and the fishing seemed to be improving. I had a lie in and set off at about 9.30 am. The swell was light and so was the wind. It was bright with a few clouds and the water was just breaking over the rock.

I started fishing with a GULP 3” Minnow in the Pearl Watermelon colour on a 1/6th ounce, size 2 jighead. I was using the slighty heavier jighead to counter the breeze, that was slowly picking up. I was still fishing with 12lb fluorocarbon leader. I would not be able to stop anything big with this light set up, but I always get far more bites when fishing light.

The first takers were Moses Perch followed by a few small dart. As I moved north along the top of the rock I caught a couple of bream, more dart and a few tiny flathead. There are a few White Breasted Sea Eagles that live along the beach. As soon as you start catching fish they start hovering in the hope of grabbing a free meal. Many a released dart has fallen victim to these predators.

I moved further north and continued to catch dart. I was now fishing with a GULP Fry in the Lime Tiger colour. I reached a break in the rock, where the water was draining out. On about my third cast something grabbed the soft plastic and tried to swim back under the rock. The drag was fairly tight and I stopped it before it got too far under. I slowly levered it out with the aid of the current. I used the incoming surge to pull the fish over the rock and into the gutter beyond. It was a solid cod about 45cm long.

The fight had obviously taken its toll. I released the fish but on the next cast the rod tip snapped and so, reluctantly, I stopped fishing for the day just after 12.45pm.

Yeppoon – Fishing Creek – 12 October 2013

Saturday

On Saturday I drove back out to Fishing Creek so that I could be fishing as the sun came up. There would be a few hours more water in the creek than the day before and I was sure that would mean some better fish.

I used the same tactics as the day before – light spin rod and reel, light leader, light jigheads and small, natural coloured soft plastic lures. The earlier start paid off and on my first two casts, I caught two small flathead.

As I moved down the creek there were plenty of bait schools moving up and down. I paused at a point where the main channel ran over a sandy drop off. I was now fishing with a GULP 2” Shrimp in the Banana Prawn colour, on a 1/8th ounce, size 1 jighead. I crossed the channel as quietly as I could and cast back up into the tide, which was running out. I caught two small flathead (about 30cm long) and then another one that was just over 40 cm. They were all sitting along this bank. I was convinced there were some bigger ones somewhere here, so I carried on casting.

It was now about 7.20 am and I think it was still a couple of hours off low tide, at this point in the creek. I had now switched to the GULP 4” Minnow soft plastic in the Pearl Watermelon colour. There was good current flow but a 1/8th ounce jighead gave me just the right sink rate. I kept casting as close as I could to the mangrove roots and the deeper water along the edge of the channel. I let the lure get washed along the bottom for about ten seconds on each cast. On one of these casts, I lifted the lure and felt some resistance. I set the hook with a jerk of the rod tip and there was a long, powerful run back up the creek against the current. I had found a decent fish.

Fortunately this one did not seem to want to go back into the roots but it did start to cause problems when it turned and started swimming with the current flow. I just let it run – with a 10lb fluorocarbon leader, I did not have much choice.

It kept its head down but I gradually tired it out. As I brought it into the shallows it created some big swirls and I saw it was a nice flathead. I grabbed the leader and gently pulled it up the sand. It measured about 77cm on my tape and after a few pictures, I let it swim off.

I moved onto the next likely patch of darker water and loaded a new soft plastic in the same pattern. After a couple of casts something ate it. I could feel the fish trying to wedge itself against the terrain on the bottom and knew it was an estuary cod. Eventually a 40cm cod popped up on the surface.

I was now about 3km from the mouth of Fishing Creek and it was just after 9.45 am. I was still using the 4” Minnow soft plastic and something grabbed it and took off. After a tough fight I pulled up a 30cm Trevally which had completely swallowed the lure.

I turned around and headed back to the car. I looked at my legs and realised I had been monstered by sandflies – I would be itching like hell in a few days’ time. On the way back I caught a few more cod and tiny flathead. The fishing had definitely been better than the day before, but I had probably just timed my session better. I’ll be back!

1770 – Deepwater National Park – Flat Rock – 10 August 2012

Friday

After a couple of weeks of mostly perfect fishing weather, two high pressure fronts were heading up the Queensland coast. Cold south westerly winds to 25 knots were forecast for Friday and I woke to the sound of palm fronds crashing down and a very cool breeze.

I stepped out just on dawn but it was too windy, so I drove down to 1770 for breakfast. I sorted out my gear, re-loaded the fishing vest and added a few drops of oil to the Stella. By lunchtime the wind had dropped a little, so I decided to drive down to Flat Rock beach, in Deepwater National Park, to the south of Agnes Water.

When there is a westerly blow the steep beach provides some shelter from the wind. The tide was about half way in and it was just washing over the long flat rock that gives the beach its name. The westerly wind had flattened the sea but once my legs were wet, the wind chill was nasty. Fortunately it was a bright sunny day.

I started at about noon at the south end of the rock and walked along casting off the seaward edge. As the waves rose over the rock you could see plenty of baitfish hugging the edge. The water was crystal clear. I was fishing with the light rod, a 1/6th 1/0 jighead, 8lb fluorocarbon leader and a 2” GULP Shrimp in the Natural colour. I felt plenty of touches and after about 10 minutes caught a tiny Stripey Perch. I caught a few more, all hiding in close to the edge. None of them were big enough to keep. I moved further along and the lure was hit by a better fish – this time it was a Bream, about 30cm long. I released and carried on.

The waves were now breaking over the rock and I was soaked and pretty cold. I let the soft plastic lie on the bottom for a while and when I lifted it I had another fish on – a flounder – plenty of species along here.There was now too much water washing over the rock and I was too cold so I gave up and went to thaw out in the sun.

I went back to my cabin and after a few hours off, I went down the track to the beach. I walked up on to a slightly sheltered rock and cast a small 3″ Gulp Minnow in the Sardine colour. The wind carried the 1/6th 1/0 jig head a long way and I slowly retrieved it. At the base of the rocks in the foam, a fish took it and made for cover. It took some line then felt like a brick – typical Cod behavior – they turn sideways and try to wedge themselves under an over hang or rock. I only had the 8lb leader in place so I let it swim down and hide and loosened the drag. After a couple of minutes it swam out and I landed it. No monster but a reasonably fat little cod. A few more casts produced nothing and the wind was just too strong to feel anything, so I gave up for the second time.

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

Bribie Island – White Patch – 9 July 2010

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!!

FLATHEAD & TREVALLY

BRIBIE FLATHEAD & TREVALLY