Bribie – the old oyster jetty flats – 22 March 2014

Saturday

Back to early morning low tides for the weekend. On Saturday it would be at about 7.00 am. There was a bit of rain around. The northerly winds had been coming and going. The temperatures were warm again but the water is continuing to gradually cool down.

I arrived at the Bribie Bridge a little after 5.00 am. First light would be at about 5.30 am and there was no breeze. I had selected a variety of soft plastics lures to run through. I started with a 3“ Zman Minnowz in the Opening Night colour, on a 1/8th ounce, size 1/0 hook Headlockz Jighead. I chose 12lb fluorocarbon leader and started fishing from the shadows cast by the bridge lights.

At 5.18 am I caught the first fish of the day – a 43cm flathead. It was sitting just to the south of the patch of reef near pylon number five. The tide was running pretty quickly. This can work against the Zmen as they are definitely more buoyant than most other soft plastic lures. After five minutes, I caught another, bigger flathead about 10 metres further south.

There were prawns jumping everywhere and a bit of surface feeding going on, so I swapped to a slightly thinner profile 3.75“ Zman Streakz, in the Redbone (glow) colour.  I cast around and got plenty of hits from something a bit more agile than a flathead. I assumed it was the small Moses perch that are often around, or perhaps some bream. Either way, eventually it was a flathead that I caught with it – about 10 minutes later.

The sun was now up and I moved south, past the old oyster jetty. I swapped to a different colour in the 3.75” Zman Streakz  – Shine. I thought I might find a few more bream and I think I had a few bream bites before I caught yet another flathead at 5.47am. I swapped to a 4 inch Zman Streakz Curltailz in the Bloodworm colour and after a few casts, this caught another flathead. This was a very good size fish – somewhere between 65cm and 70 cm. I worked through the Zmans, catching a couple more fish on the 3“ Minnowz in the Redbone colour.

 

 

It was now about 6.30 am and the sky was looking ominous. A soaking looked like a certainty but at least there was still no real wind blowing. I swapped to my last remaining Rio Prawn lure – the biggest one in their range – the 19 gram. I thought the colour I had was the original or ‘Natural’ but I see it’s actually called ‘Night Glow’. This soon did the trick and I pulled in three or four more flathead over the next 30 minutes. The bigger lure seemed to attract some slightly bigger fish, but after a few tussles the worn leader snapped and I lost my lure to a particularly aggressive, headshaking flathead.

Size of lure did not seem to be an issue so I pulled out the DUO Jerkbait 120 SP. This is a suspending, flat sided, hard bodied minnow that seems to drive the tailor nuts. At 120 mm long it is bit larger than the usual flathead favorites but I thought I would give it a try. I did not have to wait long. The first taker was a fairly small flathead – just over 40cm. The next, a few casts later was a very decent fish – nudging 60 cm. The Duo Jerkbait kept catching fish through the bottom of the tide.

As the tide started its run in I decided to switch to a small lure and see if the fish were still interested. I pulled out the DUO Tetra Works Pocopoco sinking popper. This is a light (4.7 gram) popper that can still be worked quickly on the surface. I had it in the Pink Clown colour. It did not take long to find the fish. Unfortunately it did not last long. I had not upgraded the factory treble hooks. These are too soft for wrestling with hard mouthed flathead and so after a few captures one had broken off and the other was all bent out of shape. On to the next lure – the DUO Ebikko hard bodied, sinking shrimp imitation. This time I had it in a pearly white colour. Once more, I did not have to wait long and after three or four casts I found a fish – another 45cm+ flathead.

It was now about 8.00 am. The stormy skies seemed to have fired the fish up even more than usual. I carried on working my way through the tackle bag. Next I offered a Sebile ¼ ounce Spin Shad – I have never caught much with this lure although I think it should catch plenty of fish. It did not have much trouble today and after a couple of hits the treble hook bit and pulled in another flathead. The last hard body in the bag was a tiny orange and purple Japanese-made bug. This performed like all the others and soon caught a fish.

I finished up the session catching a few more flathead on the Powerbait Rippleshad – first the 5” in the Cola colour and then the 3” in the Perch colour. The fish were very aggressive which might have been because of the barometric pressure drop caused by the big storm that was approaching. At 9.00 am I was back at the car after another great session.

Bribie – from the oyster jetty to the channel marker – 17 – 19 March 2014

Monday & Wednesday

As the low tide progressed through the day, I timed my fishing sessions to coincide with it. So on Monday, I found myself driving up to Bribie Island, at lunch time to fish for a few hours, through to the low tide at 1.50 pm.

There had been a big northerly blow on Sunday and temperatures had risen again. As I arrived, just before 1.00 pm, the wind was moving round to blow for the east again. The tide was running out and I went off to fish to the south of the jetty, towards the green channel marker.

The fishing was initially a little tougher than it had been but once I found the flathead, they kept coming.  I only had a few hours but again I caught more than 20 fish, the majority of which were over 40cm long. I stuck with the Gulp Jerkshads in various colours; Pink Shine, Satay Chicken, Lime Tiger and Cajun Chicken – they all caught fish.

On Wednesday I was back to fishing the early morning. I could not resist a return to the same area. I arrived at 5.15 am and waded out, under the bridge. Low tide had passed at 4.55 am. I would be fishing the beginning of the run in tide but the water was more or less still, at first light.

I waded to the south of the jetty and started casting around with a GULP Jerkshad soft plastic in the Cajun Chicken colour. At about 5.30 am I caught a 45cm flathead that was sitting in no more than 20 cm of water. I caught a few more, similar sized fish in this area and then moved south, as the sun came over the horizon.

I decided to try a small DUO hard bodied Shrimp imitation called the DUO Tetra Works Ebikko. I had it in the ‘Terminator’ colour – chrome with a white belly. This is a 47 mm, 3.3 gram sinking lure with a simple fluttering motion. I just hop it along the sandy stretches of bottom, hoping to entice a bite. It is pretty light so you need fairly calm conditions to keep in touch with it.

I had a couple of bites. The first taker was a pike. At present, I am only fishing it with one rear treble as I think the two trebles on such a light lure are overkill.  The pike followed behind the lure, snapping, until it connected with the treble. I had a couple of solid bites which I think where flathead but I could not hook up so I swapped back to soft plastics.

I was now about half way between the end of the oyster jetty and the channel marker and decided to work my way through all the remaining soft plastics to see what did and didn’t work.

 

It was now just after 7.00 am. I pulled out a packet of Japanese soft plastics – an Ikajako 3 ½ “ Powerworm in an orange flecked colour with a twin prong tail. On the first cast, the plastic sank and then a fish grabbed it, as soon as I lifted it off the bottom. I released the fish and swapped to a Slider 3” Bass Grub soft plastic. A couple of casts later this one caught a fish. I swapped to an Atomic Ripperz 2.5” Paddle Tail soft plastic , same thing happened, a Powerbait 3” red tailed  Rippleshad, same again. I ran through eight more different Gulps, Zman and no name soft plastics and they all caught fish within a couple of casts. They are not fussy at the moment.

At about 8.30 am the incoming tide forced me from the main edge of the weed beds and I waded back to the car. I caught a couple more fish by casting at the sandy patches, as I waded back towads the bridge.

It is clear that there are plenty of fish around and once you locate them they will eat just about anything. If you want to catch a flathead now is the time.