Bribie – the old oyster jetty & Bongaree – October 2016

October

In the interests of catching up and giving you a feel for what I have been catching over the last few months, I am just going to post a few monthly summaries, so here goes.

In the rest of October 2016, I fished on four more mornings at Bribie – favouring the run out tide. I put in a total of about 14 hours, mostly on the flats in front of the Sandstone Point Hotel but also in front of the museum at Bongaree. It was hard work and I caught only two keeper size flathead at each session and nothing else. The wind was mostly light around dawn and then building to a stronger north or north-easterly by about lunch time.

I fished with my usual assortment of soft plastics including Gulp Jerkshad and Minnow patterns and sometimes I tried my beloved DUO Realis series hard bodied minnows. I caught everything on a 10lb fluorocarbon leader and used mostly 1/8th ounce, size 1 hook jigheads.

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Bribie Island – The old oyster jetty flats – 4 September 2014

Thursday

By Thursday I had time for a morning fishing session. I have been hoping to get down to Fingal Head or Iluka to chase some bream, tailor and mulloway. But I just cannot seem to carve out the time at present, so it was back up to Bribie.

It was another mid-morning low tide at 10.20 am. The moon was about 60% full. Strong southerlies had been blowing for a few days but these were forecast to drop off by lunchtime. It was a bright, sunny morning, when I arrived at about 8.00 am.

I did not really have time for exploring so I waded straight out under the bridge on the mainland side. The tide was already a fair way out and I could see plenty of fresh flathead lies in the sandy area, under the bridge lights. They were not big fish but there were plenty of them. There were also plenty of track marks from cast nets. There must be some prawns or squid around.

The water was very cool but clear. I headed straight for the sandy depressions just north of the old oyster jetty. This area is not as peaceful as it used to be. The new hotel is going up fast just behind the jetty and cement trucks are constantly coming and going.

I decided to start with a small hard body for a change. I selected the DUO Realis Shad MR62. A small diving minnow. After a few casts, something grabbed it, but after a few violent headshakes, it was off. On the next cast I found another fish and this time it stayed connected. It was about 45cm so it went in the keeper bag.

I was feeling confident. I stuck with the hard bodied lure for about another 15 minutes but I could not find any more. I changed to a GULP Jerkshad and then a GULP Shrimp soft plastic, but neither of these got a bite. It was turning into another fairly tough session.

After about an hour, I was using the GULP 3“ Minnow in the Smelt colour on a 1/8th ounce, size 1 hook jighead. I was fishing with about a metre of 10lb fluorocarbon leader tied on to a 10lb braid. I was now about halfway between the old oyster jetty and the green channel marker. I found a few sandy patches amongst the weed and hooked another flathead. This one was a more significant fish at about 55cm – another one for dinner. It was a confidence boost but I had to wait another 30 minutes to find another fish and this time it was just undersize, at about 38 cm.

At about 11.30 am the dolphins came in close and chased a bit of bait around. I had also seen some quite significant squid through the morning. It’s good to see a plentiful food source in the area.But the tide had turned and not much was happening so I made my way back to the bridge.

Just after noon I reached the bridge and stopped to cast around the pylons. This paid off and I caught another small flathead on the 3” Smelt Minnow. It was just under 40cm so I released it. That was it for the day.

Bribie – the oyster jetty flats – 25 May 2014

Sunday

I could fish for a few hours early on Sunday. So I drove up to Bribie. The tide was not ideal. It would be a 2.1 m high at about 6.30 am – which is just about sunrise, at this time of year. I arrived just after first light, at about 6.10 am and waded out under the bridge. There was no wind and conditions were perfect for boating. There were a few boats out already, collecting live bait under the bridge lights.

I heard a few big splashes and could just make out a dolphin putting on its best ‘Seaworld’ display, out in the middle of the Passage. Miraculously, I caught its silhouette, clear of the water, in a photograph, but there was not enough light to make it a good shot. The boats anchored close to the bridge would have had a fantastic view of the show.

I headed for my usual fishing zone – to the south of the old oyster jetty. But as the tide was in, I would be fishing the shallows, close to the foot of the mangrove roots, rather than the edge of the weed beds, further out.

I started with a GULP Jerkshad soft plastic in the Peppered Prawn colour. Someone asked me what has happened to my favourite – Watermelon Pearl colour. My problem is that I cannot seem to find them anywhere, at the moment. It is still my favourite colour, but a lack of stock in Queensland is forcing me to try different things. So Berkley Australia – http://berkley-fishing.com.au/company/berkley-australia/ – if you are reading, time to re-stock the retailers with the Watermelon Pearl 4” Minnow soft plastic!

 

The Peppered Prawn Jerkshad did not let me down, however. I was slowly hopping it along the bottom, in less than a meter of water, when I felt a fish grab it.  It was a 45cm flathead. I released this one and moved on. About 10 minutes later, I had reached the gap in the mangroves, just before the shoreline turns west, towards Sandstone Point. There is a drain in front of this spot and a few deeper hollows in the sand. I cast towards these and soon found another flathead –  a good size this time – just under 60 cm.

Things went quiet as the tidal run slackened, so I swapped to a small hard bodied lure – the DUO Realis Shad 59 MR. I fished this around the same area and had a couple of grabs and knocks – which could have been bream or the long toms.  At about 8.00 am I caught another 45 cm flathead on this lure.

Then things went quiet. I fished for another 2 hours without a touch. It was a perfect day and so there was a constant flow of boats heading out into the bay, which may have slowed the fishing down a little. Beautiful morning but once again, fishing the high tide had been hard.

Bribie – the bridge and the Seaside Museum creek mouth – 19 May 2014

Monday

It would be low tide at Bribie just after dawn. I could not resist a quick fish before work. With the water getting noticeably colder, I was sure the tailor would be around somewhere.

Small ‘chopper’ tailor often hang around under the bridge, just before dawn. The bait fish and prawns are drawn to the bridge lights and the tailor, pike, bream and flathead can’t resist trying to ambush them. To the north of the bridge there are some established weed beds which are good fish habitat. The bait is also drawn to the light of the big street lamp, near the boat hire spot, a little further up.

Low tide would be at 7.06 am. Unfortunately, this side of the Pumicestone Passage gets a bit more breeze when the wind is coming from the south, south-west, or south-east. Today it was a cool south-westerly, initially and then turned into to a much stronger south-easterly, later in the morning. There had been rain over night, but not much.

I arrived at about 5.00 am and the moon was completely blocked by some ominous looking clouds. It was growing smaller in its waning gibbous phase – a bit less than half way between full and new. The water was very clear but the wind had lifted a lot of weed.

The tide was running out, so I went round to the south side, and waded into the shallows, in the dark. I cast up, towards the circle of sandy bottom, lit up by the bridge light, nearest to the shore. I started with a DUO hard body that is perfect for clear, shallow water. The DUO Realis Minnow 80 SP is a suspending minnow. Because it is fairly long at 80mm and light at 4.7 grams, you need to rig it on a light leader (10lb breaking strain or less). This enables you to cast it over longer distances. You need to do this, as it is a fairly shallow diver and it takes a few metres to get down to its running depth, about 10 cm below the surface. I think this will be a great bream lure.

As always at Bribie, the floating sea grass was a pain in the neck. After a couple of casts, I saw the lure get knocked out of the water by a small fish. A few moments later, something grabbed it and started shaking its head. It was a tiny pike.

 

I carried on casting in the same spot and had obviously found a patch of them. I caught 3 more small pike before they decided to leave the Realis Minnow alone. I swapped to the DUO Realis Shad 59 MR  – another suspending minnow,  but this one dives a little deeper. I moved closer to the bridge and cast into the shadows underneath it. Once more, it did not take long for the Pike to find this lure. There were a couple of casts when nothing hit the lure, then a tiny flathead grabbed it and came to the surface angrily shaking its head.

It started to rain so I moved north in to the shadows, under the bridge. I cast over the shallows, on the south side and soon foul hooked a tiny bream. It was now about 5.30 am but with the clouds and rain, there was no sign of first light. The surface activity increased as the fish sensed dawn was on its way. I felt a few very aggressive knocks and bumps and decided to increase the speed of my retrieve. This produced immediate results and on the next cast, I saw a small tailor grab the back end of the lure, a few feet away from me. It fell off but on the next cast, I landed one. It was only about 25cm but I was delighted that it had been hanging out just where I thought it would be. I then had a frantic twenty minutes with my lure getting bumped and smashed on almost every cast. I connected with about 8 fish, but only 4 stayed on until they reached the shore. They were all small choppers, the largest of which might just have made 30cm long.

At about 6.00 am a grey dawn started to break and I decided to move down to the drain in front of the old seaside museum, to see what has happened to the terrain there. The works to secure the sea wall are continuing but clearly, the finished, stepped, wall is some months off. I waded out on to the patch of coffee rock that sits in front of the seaside museum. With about an hour to go until low tide, the rocky bottom was completely exposed.

I cast the DUO Shad 59 MR around, but it kept picking up weed so I changed it for GULP 2” Shrimp soft plastic in the Peppered Prawn colour and loaded this up on a 1/8th ounce, #1 hook jighead. I moved south, along the edge of the coffee rock, casting into the deeper what beyond. I got a couple of strong hits and then, at about 6.30 am I felt a solid bite and set the hook. The fish tried to run away under the ledge but I had the drag set quite tight and the rod absorbed its lunges. I soon saw a flash of silver. It was a chunky bream that I later measured at 34cm. I tried for more and had a few hits but could not land any.

At 7.30 am, the wind was up and another rain shower threatened. It was time to head back to work. But a day of work is always easier to bear, when you have caught a fish before it starts!

Bribie – the Sandstone Point flats – 27 April 2014

Sunday

I am so far behind with my fishing reports that I will make this one short and sweet.

Early Sunday morning I headed for Bribie Island and arrived at about 5.15 am. I waded out under the bridge, fishing in the shallows, on the mainland side of the Bribie Island Bridge. High tide would be at about 8.00 am. There was a cool south-westerly breeze blowing.

I started with a GULP Peppered Prawn Jerkshad soft plastic lure on a 1/8th ounce, 1/0 jighead and I was fishing with 10lb fluorocarbon leader. A 5.25 am I caught a 45cm flathead, that was feeding under the bridge lights.

It was a big high tide at 2.3 m, so I decided to head past the old oyster jetty and round the corner towards Sandstone Point. This area is great to fish on big tides. The water was very clear so I decided to swap to a Gulp 3” Minnow in the Lime Tiger colour. At about 7.30am my plastic was knocked around a few times by a Long Tom. Then, about 10 minutes later, I caught a 30 cm Bream. It was followed, a few casts later by another, smaller bream.

I swapped to a DUO Realis Shad 59MR suspending, hard bodied lure. This lure will catch just about anything, but the bream love it. After a few casts it connected with another bream. As I waded back towards the bridge, it caught two more bream – both about 25cm long.

I finished my session at about 8.30 am. It is good to see the bream are back in business.

Bribie -still at the oyster jetty flats – 13/14 March 2014

Thursday – Friday

I accept that these reports are getting predictable but it is very hard to stay away when the fish are so prolific. So on both Thursday and Friday, I returned to Bribie to fish the last few hours of the run out tide.

The tides would be low at 1.50 pm on Thursday and 2.36 pm on Friday.  The tides were getting bigger, as we headed for the full moon on Saturday. The water was therefore running in and out faster. It was the same wind pattern – east-south-easterly, building through the day. A northerly change was forecast to raise temperatures and blow up on Sunday.

On Thursday, I started at about 10.15 am. There was plenty of water at the base of the mangrove roots, so I started off by casting in to the shallows, just north of the bridge. There is a nice weed bed here and a few sand banks. I started with the GULP 2” Shrimp in the Peppered Prawn colour. I was fishing with 12lb leader and my light spin rod. After a couple of casts, I found my first flathead at about 10.20 am. It was just about 40cm long. I released it and five minutes later I had a much more aggressive bite. I reeled in a tiny moses perch, which had been hovering close to the first bridge pylon.

I moved south past the old oyster jetty and at about 10.45 am, I caught a bigger flathead – about 50 cm long,  on a Gulp 3” Minnow in the Peppered Prawn colour. It was about three hours from low tide and the band of sandy hollows and weed beds, where I have been catching most of the fish in recent sessions, was now within casting range.

I caught a few more fish on the Gulp 4” Minnow and Jerkshad soft plastics and at about 11.30 am, I decided to give the DUO Tetraworks Toto a work out. This is a 2.8 gram, 42mm sinking minnow. It has a tight rolling action. You just cast it – count to five to let it sink, then start a slow and steady retrieve, hop it along the bottom in short bursts like a soft plastic.

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My first cast with the Toto connected with a fish. This lure caught 5 more flathead over the next 30 minutes. The largest was just over 60 cm. At about noon, I swapped to the DUO Realis Shad 59 MR – a slightly larger, suspending minnow. This really is a great flathead lure and will also catch bream, if they are around. It has a good rattle and the buoyancy balance is perfect. It will suspend in the water column for about 5 seconds, before slowly floating upwards – giving a bottom dwelling predator plenty of time to strike.

First cast with the Realis Shad also produced a fish and over the next hour it produced a fish every 3 or four minutes. On average the hard bodies seemed to attract slightly bigger fish than the soft plastics had done.

Just before 1.00 pm, I was playing a decent flathead that had locked on to the DUO Realis Shad. It was a big fish – well over 60cm, so I decided to pull it in to the shoreline to unhook and photograph. I was a bit impatient and had the drag set a little too tight. When it saw that we were heading for the mangroves, it turned, shook its head and snapped the leader. When you are catching plenty of fish the leader gets worn very quickly, so it pays to keep checking it. At this point I gave up for the day.

On Friday it was a similar story. The fish were a little less plentiful, but the wind was far stronger, which may have made them a little harder to catch. I focused my efforts on an area further to the south of the oyster jetty and again found that the hard bodies – particularly the Rio Prawn lure, found the bigger flathead of the day.

I must go and explore if the fish are everywhere or just clustered over on this side of the Passage. Maybe next time.

Bribie – the oyster jetty flats – 3 February 2014

Monday

By Monday the weather looked more promising for a fish at Bribie. A few showers but the wind would drop to about a 10 knot south-easterly, early in the morning. Low tide would be just after 5.30 am, with first light at about 5.00 am.

I decided to fish on the flats around the old oyster jetty on the mainland side of the Pumicestone Passage. If the flathead are around, this is usually where they are easiest to find. It rained for almost the whole journey up from Brisbane but it was not very heavy. I waded out into the shallows, under the bridge at about 5.00 am. The tide was still running out but slowing down quickly. I left the area under the bridge alone as I wanted to reach the jetty while the water was still running out.

I was fishing my light rig – G.Loomis TSR series light spin rod, Shimano Stella 2500, 15lb Super PE braid and the new Gamma 10lb fluorocarbon leader. I started with a soft plastic lure – the GULP Jerkshad in the Watermelon Pearl colour.  The wind was negligible so I dropped down to a 1/8th ounce, 1/0 jighead. This would hop over the weed on the shallows, if moved fairly quickly.

It was light enough to see but the sun was not yet up. I was covering the area just south of the jetty with casts. After a few minutes I caught the first flathead, lying in wait, behind a clump of weed. It was a little over 45cm. It destroyed the Jerkshad and I did not have another, so I put on a smaller, 3 inch minnow in the same colour. I cast at the same spot and instantly hooked up again. The smaller plastic had produced a bigger fish – this one was about 55cm long.

I carried on prospecting around the rocky bits of reef and weed clumps that dot this area. I connected with something that turned out to be some abandoned braid. I decided to wind it up. It was probably 50 lb breaking strain and there was plenty of it. I waded up and down, pulling it off the rocks and as it loosened, I could feel something moving in the end of the line. I eventually reached the leader that was also pretty substantial – perhaps 60 lb+ breaking strain. Then I saw the source of movement; two mud crabs – one large, one small, were completely tangled up, but both wriggling.  I took a few pics and gradually untangled them. One looked big enough for dinner but I am not an experienced crabber – so I could not tell if it was male or female. I was also fairly unsure as to how I would grab it! I cut the last bit of line off and they both slipped away. I wound up the remaining leader and found a very substantial – size 8/0 hook on the end of it.

The sun came over the horizon and the run out tide fizzled out. I moved further south. I kept swapping colours and sizes of soft plastic and caught flathead on the GULP Minnow, Shrimp and Jerkshad shapes. The Watermelon Pearl, New Penny, Lime Tiger, Satay and Cajun Chicken colours all worked. I caught six more fish along the stretch of weed beds that run from the end of the jetty to the green channel marker. They were all between about 35cm and 45cm long.

As the tide turned in I waded back towards the bridge and swapped to my favourite DUO Realis Shad 59MR – suspending hard bodied lure. The loose weed now lifted by the run in tide made fishing with the hard body a bit frustrating. I had a few grabs and snatches which I suspect were Bream or Pike, but I did not catch anything.

At about 8.45 am I could no longer reach the area I wanted to castat and the wind had built up to 20 knots, so I gave up for the day. It looks like a few days of solid south-easterly winds have brought the fish back on the bite.