Richmond River Mouth – South Ballina 27/29 January 2021

A couple of days later I returned for a dawn fishing session at the mouth of the Richmond River. I started just before dawn on the rockwall I had fished a few days before – just upriver from the ferry. I caught a couple of bream but despite/ or perhaps because of the big moon there seemed to be less fish around.

I decided to move nearer the river mouth. I drove up to the locked gate on the road out to the rockwall. I packed up my gear and decided to make the trek out to the wall, stopping to fish at a few spots along the way.

I was fishing with my ultra light spinning setup. Because of the full moon it would be a very big high tide and the water was much clearer than it had been a few days before. I was not expecting anything big so I was using a 12lb fluorocarbon leader down to a 1/8th ounce, 1/0 hook jighead.

I stopped at a my first spot and put on a GULP 4″ Minnow in the Pearl Watermelon colour and let it sink down in the current, fairly close to the shore. I slowed it down as I pulled it towards the bank and the fish struck. It was a flathead and it must have been resting no more than an a few inches from the base of the rocks. It was around 45 cm long.

I moved a little further along the shoreline and caught a couple of bream – both were over 30cm long. It seemed the fish got bigger as I moved towards the river mouth. I walked all the way out to where the rock wall meets the beach. By now I was fishing with a Gulp 3″ Minnow in the Lime Tiger colour and I caught another bream on the river side of the wall. I cast a little further out and got bitten off. I re-rigged and caught a small chopper tailor on the first cast. At about 11.00 am I gave up for the day.

I came back to the same spot on the 29th (the day after the full moon). This time I started off the casting with a GULP 4 ” Minnow soft plastic lure in the Pearl Watermelon colour. The first taker was a flathead. It was sitting close to the base of the rocks, on the river side of the wall. It measured in a 48 cm. I photographed it and let it go. If there is fish in the fridge, then it’s pretty much catch and release fishing for me.

I made my way out onto the wall past the resident osprey. He/she always seems to be sitting at this spot – which is a very good sign. Ospreys only eat fish. Just before the end of the wall on the open ocean side , I took up position. I was now fishing with a 1/6th ounce, size 1/0 hook jighead and I swapped through three or four different coloured minnow soft plastics. I caught bream on all of them – the biggest was about 34 cm long.

By lunchtime the wind and swell had built up significantly so I gave up for the day.

Caloundra – Golden Beach – 1 July 2012

Sunday

I decided to give Bribie a rest and head up the Pumicestone Passage to Caloundra, to fish on Sunday morning. The weather looked good and it would be a run out tide all morning. High tide was just after dawn at about 6.45am and there was not much wind forecast for the early morning.

I wanted to see if the Flathead would be as thick up here as they have been down at the Bribie Island end of the Passage. I started on the sand flats, in front of the Bribie Island Power Boat Club. The terrain has changed quite a bit in the short time since I last fished here. A few weeks of windy wild weather can change the position of the sandbanks very quickly. I was not the only one surprised by the change. I saw three boats come to a shuddering halt as they ploughed into a sandbank that was not there a month ago. One skipper very nearly ended up thrown out of his boat! So take it easy if you have not been out here for a while.

The sea grass beds are also developing around this area, giving lots of cover for the fish. There was not much bait around which is not usually a good sign. I started with soft plastics and chose the 4” GULP Smelt Minnow, which I loaded onto a 1/8th 1/0 jighead. This is a very natural looking soft plastic that closely resembles a Pilchard. I waded along the edge of the sandbanks casting and slowly retrieving the lure with hops and jumps, across the bottom.

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Well, it was a beautiful morning and a fantastic sunrise but it was hard work, to say the least. I cast and waded, cast and waded. The tide was dropping which gave me access to a lot of area but it took me until 10.00 am to find a patch of fish. I had almost reached the channel markers in the centre of the Passage by the time I discovered them. Just after 10.00 am I caught a 30cm Flathead in about 50cm of water, close in to a weed bed. About 100m further on, I found a few more, of which perhaps 1 was legal size.

At about noon I was knackered and cooked so I gave up and waded back to the car. I expect this area has been fished fairly hard during the school holidays and there was plenty of boat traffic about. I am sure the fish are here somewhere but the ones I found today were not as big or easy to catch, as those at the south end of the Passage.

Landangler’s View – Fishing Forums

I bet they wish they had BFO/ AUSFISH/ NUGGET/ TACKLEBOX in those days

Warning this is not a fishing report or a tackle tip or even a “How to catch Mullet on my Grannies week old banana fritters” article. This is Landangler’s view. My take on something vaguely related to fishing that I have decided to share with you whether you like it or not.
What is it about the keyboard? It removes inhibitions faster than Bundaberg rum. People will happily type things they would not dream of saying. Punctuation goes out the window, correct spelling is optional and text speak creeps in, LOL. It’s so much easier to just blurt out a verbal vomit in an email or a tweet, or on an online forum, which brings me to my topic for today – Fishing Forums.
Over the last few years, prior to starting the Landangler Blog, I have been regularly posting fishing reports in online fishing forums – and overall, I love them. They are a great way to share information and stories. They put like minded people together. They provide solace when you think you are the only sad bugger who fished all day for one undersize Moses Perch and a 23.5cm suicidal blind Bream. But lurking out there in cyberspace are some interesting characters, with fairly fanatical views.
Let’s call our first on-line fishing forum poster – Big Boat Big Esky Bill. Bill loves to catch anything and everything and loves to tell anyone and everyone, all about it. Whatever you have caught, Big Bill has caught a bigger one. However many fish you have caught, Big Bill has caught more. He usually posts to let you know that even though you thought you had a great session, you have used the wrong; bait, line, rod, lure, sinker, leader, hook and were wearing the wrong sunglasses. He also lets you know that he knows all about that spot and used to get more, bigger fish there, when he was nine. Of course back then, he fashioned hooks from old safety pins and used his unravelled old school jumper wrapped around an empty ginger beer bottle, for line. Despite his forthright opinions, Big Bill can rarely string together a fishing report. When he does manage something it reads along the lines of: “Went to super secret spot X, one day last week and caught a massive snapper on my favourite secret lure/bait. It was 25 kg but unfortunately didn’t have the camera.” Thanks Bill.
Next is Newbie. Newbie has just joined the forum and he will do anything to escape his novice status. He logs on every 30 seconds to check if anyone has read his posts. He posts a response to everybody else’s posts. This is usually something highly informative or insightful like: “Nice fish”, “Well done” or “Good on ya”. I can imagine that Newbie has the attention span of a small insect. He is permanently plugged into his iplod whilst constantly texting, Tweeting, Facebooking and probably twitching. After about five hundred posts Newbie finally reaches ‘Gold’ status – then we never hear from him/ her again. Thank goodness for that!
Now onto EcoFish Ed – Yes, you guessed – Ecofish Ed is a committed environmentalist, but you didn’t need to guess that because he is going to tell you all about it. You can almost smell his Birkenstock sandles and see him sitting in his Toyota Prius deciding on which lead free hooks to use. He actually pays the electricity company the extra cash every month for the ‘green’ power. Ed releases every fish he catches – in fact, he rarely catches anything so as not to harm the environment. He never eats fish or anything else – he is a vegan – so he survives on soy sawdust bars and organic vegetables. He vigorously patrols the forums pointing out our environmental failings at every opportunity. He attacks, without mercy, anyone who keeps more than one fish for dinner and if he uses his forensic photoshop techniques to determine your flathead is 39.8cm long – God help you.
One of my favourites is Optmistic Ollie . He makes even the crappiest of us look good by never catching anything – but he has always got something chirpy to say about it and his positive attitude cannot be dented. “Took a run out into Moreton Bay this arvo to look for some Snapper. I crashed the car at the boat ramp, scraped the hull on some shallow reef, the young fella vomited all over the sounder, forgot the bait and we snagged all our lures, didn’t get a touch from the fish all day. Unfortunately a storm came over and the wind whipped up to 25 knots. Got done by the water police on the way back in, because of a hole in a life jacket. Sorry no pics as I dropped the camera over board. Even though we came home empty handed – we all had a great time – what a wonderful day to be out on the water.”
Then there is Inappropriate Ian. Ian uses the forum a bit like the telephone. He does not seem to realise that the whole world can read his posts and is therefore listening in. He responds to every report by his mates in a chummy fashion with a reference to some private joke or shares some totally inane private titbit with us, just to emphasise that he knows the bloke who is posting. “Great bag of Snapper you got there Dave. Saw Marge at Aldi yesterday she was buying some lamb chops, they were on special – How is she going with the piles?” or “Nice Bream Brucie – can’t believe Dazzer did the dirty on Suzie and is now shacked up with the Kinde teacher.”
Finally there is Tedious Tim. He likes to start from the very very very beginning. You get it all from Tim. Which rod, which reel, which line, which lure, when he went fishing, where he went fishing what the tide was doing, what the wind was doing, what the moon was doing, which hat he was wearing , when he put his sunscreen on, which brand of insect repellent he used, which underpants he chose etc. His posts frequently have to be broken into two parts and you are often fast asleep by the time you reach the bit where he catches a fish. He rarely gets to go out fishing as he spends most of his time writing his reports.
Keep up the good work fishing forums – there maybe be a few nutjobs around and we may not all agree on what makes a good days fishing – but the fishing world is a better place for all those posts!