1770 – Flat Rock & Red Rock – Blubber Lip – Deep Water National Park – 16 May 2011

Monday

I woke up at around 5.00 am with the wind rustling in the trees. Out on the beach at Wreck Rock, it was a howling south-easterly, so I drove up the track to 1770. I was hoping to have a fish on the sheltered side of the headland but when I arrived, I realised that even that was too blowy. I watched the sunrise and then had a coffee and some breakfast from the bakery at Agnes Waters. I found a sunny spot and pondered where to fish next.
I decided to head for the northern end of Flat Rock beach. At the end of the beach there is rocky headland known as Red Rock. It’s a long walk – about 2.5 km, but the sun was shining and on the way there, at least, the wind was behind me.

I stopped to cast in a few spots along the way. I had to use a ¼ oz size 1 hook jighead to make an impact on the wind. I was fishing it with the GULP 3” Pearl Watermelon Minnow which resembles the small whitebait that the Tuna have been feeding on. I caught a few Dart and Whiting towards the northern end of the rock, where the water was running out of the long gutter and into the ocean.

Eventually I reached the end of the beach and clambered over the rocks known as Red Rock. There is a small corner in this spot that is sheltered from the south-easterly winds and a couple of hours either side of high water, it is a good fishing spot. I cast the Minnow soft plastic close into the foot of the rocks and immediately got a few bites. Next cast I caught a small Dart and then a Stripy Perch – about 30 cm long. The fish were in close to the rocks in just over a metre of water. After half an hour I was running out of water and I had not caught anything worth keeping.

I headed back over the rocks to Flat Rock and waded out onto the northern tip of the rock. I then walked back south along the top of the rock, casting all along the edge. About 600 metres from the northern end of the beach there is a gig drain through a gap in the rock. I cast out in front of it and a fish grabbed the lure and made a short run. I struck but the fish dropped the lure. I paused and struck again – zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz I was on. The fish swam straight under the rock and soon I could feel my line rubbing every time I tried to put some tension on it. I let it go slack and after 10 seconds or so pulled it tight again. I made a bit of head way but then zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz straight back under the rock. I employed the same procedure 3 or 4 times and eventually the fish swam out. It was a big Blubber Lip Bream around 50 cm long and over 2 kg. I bled and gutted it straight away and decided to keep it for supper. I made the long trek back along the beach – into the wind and decided it was time to head back to Brisbane. I have read a lot of criticism of the taste of the Blubber Lip Bream but my mob scoffed the lot at dinner – the fillets tasted pretty good pan-fried with lime and fish sauce.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


It had been a great week but the fishing had been hard work. I was constantly struggling to find the better fish and the Tailor and better sized Bream, really had not shown up. By the next full moon I would think the Tailor will be more prolific around 1770 – particularly if the Whitebait thicken up their numbers. The water needs to cool a bit more for the winter species, but I think the fishing will get better and better this year, so I hope I am back up here before too long.

Wreck Rock & Middle Rock – Tuna & Trevally – Deepwater National Park – 14 May 2011

Saturday

On Friday evening the keen fisherman camped nearby told me he had hooked up to a freight train Tuna, off the beach, in the early afternoon and unfortunately pulled the treble out. He had spent the rest of the day running up and down the beach trying to get his metal slug back in front of the fish but they just never came close enough. I decided to try the slugs in the morning down at Flat Rock where I had also seen the Tuna working. As the sun came up I cast and cast and cast in the direction of the feeding Tuna – but they just never quite came close enough.

Flat Rock beach - with the rock just covered - just after dawn

After a couple of hours I gave up and went back to camp for breakfast. I was greeted by my neighbour whose persistence had paid off and finally he had a good size Mac Tuna. He had eventually caught up with a school that came into less than 3 metres of water, only about 25 metres from the shore, about 1km south of Wreck Rock, along the beach. He had followed the birds and dead Whitebait that littered the beach until he saw a boil of feeding fish on the surface close in to the beach. He hooked up on his second cast and hung on. I was delighted for him, but he looked almost as tired as the fish. Who said angling is a sedentary sport?

Mac Tuna caught off Wreck Rock Beach on a chrome slug - May 2011

Mac Tuna off the beach - does not happen very often - full marks to this fisho for putting in the hard work

Now I was really fired up but I needed to have a look at some other spots, so that afternoon with a high tide due for about 6.00 pm, I jumped in the car and drove along the track to Middle Rock. Middle Rock, predictably sits between Flat Rock and Wreck Rock. It is a set of three rocky promontories that are almost completely submerged on the bigger high tides. It was approaching high tide when I started fishing there just after 5.00pm.

I was using the light spin rod and was casting out a 1/6th 2/0 jighead loaded with a GULP Jerkshad in the Pumpkinseed colour. I was hopping the plastic over the submerged rocks pretty quickly so that it would not get snagged. Suddenly a fish smashed the soft plastic lure ran with it for a few metres, then dropped it. A few casts later and I was in contact with a fish again. It took off and took plenty of line. The light rod has no real strength so I had to wear this one out with the drag and use the waves to bring it in. It put up a good fight but it was solidly hooked and I soon had a 50cm Trevally at my feet. I think it was a Big Eye – but I am never quite sure as some of the species can look pretty similar. The sun had gone down by now and the south-westerly wind was chilling so I gave up for the day.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.