Bribie – the old oyster jetty flats – 20 December 2013

Friday

I was beginning to get fed up with the Christmas madness. Every time I have dropped into the supermarket in the last fortnight, there have been people stuffing trolleys with food that will surely end up in the bin in ten days – bags of assorted nuts in their shells, icing sugar dusted Stollen logs, massive hams & huge frozen turkeys, those huge square Italian sponge cakes that taste like cardboard and enough mangoes and cherries to sink a battleship.

Big W / Target / Kmart and the rest have crammed aisle upon aisle with cheap, useless crap that nobody wants or needs. Buckets of Margarita mix (without the alcohol), Brut deodorant combined with bonus Brut aftershave in a gift pack (not sure it really is a bonus). There are enough bath salts, crystals, foams, creams, milks, lotions, serums and bombs to make Wivenhoe Dam fizz. In almost every case, the packaging probably cost several times as much as the rubbish inside it. I am half expecting to see the old ‘soap on a rope’ make a comeback.

Only fishing could lift my spirits. I decided to set the alarm and fish the morning low tide at Bribie. The bottom of the tide was 4.24 am, just after first light and just before dawn. There was a slight northerly wind forecast. It was three days after the full moon. I chose the flats on the mainland side of the bridge, as these have been fishing well.

I arrived about 4.15 am and then waded out to the area south of the old oyster jetty, where the flathead have been hiding. I started with the GULP 5” Jerkshad in the Watermelon Pearl colour on a 1/8th ounce, 1/0 jighead and was using my usual 10lb fluorocarbon leader and G.Loomis TSR light spinning rod. The water was still and the sky was cloudy. I was about level with the end of the jetty, where there are a number of sandy hollows, amongst the thick weed.

At about 4.40am, I caught my first flathead. It was just under 40 cm. I released it and then I cast into the same hollow and caught another. This one was bigger – perhaps 45cm. I couple of casts later; I caught another, about the same size. I had another fish on my line from this spot, but it spat my jighead on the surface.

I moved on to the next hollow and decided to change colours. I chose the orange and yellow GULP Orange Tiger Jerkshad. At about 5.30 am this did the trick and I had another flathead. It was also about 45cm.  It had chewed through the plastic, so I replaced it with a GULP Crazylegs Jerkshad in the New Penny colour.

I kept moving towards the south. The tide was starting to run in now. At 5.40am, I caught another small flathead – approximately 35cm long. The sky had turned grey not long after sunrise and now I could see the rain clouds coming towards me. It started spitting and then really raining but it was only a short shower.

I fished along the edge of the weed beds for another hour without a bite. At about 8.00 am another shower was threatening so I gave up. The best action has definitely been around dawn in the last few sessions – not good news if you like sleep!

Bribie Island – Bridge and Oyster Jetty – 5 March 2011

Saturday

After a stinking hot week – but some pretty good fishing Flathead fishing, the rain was back. A south-easterly change and big wind and seas were forecast but it did not look as if it would get up until around lunchtime, so I decided on a quick early morning Saturday session. I headed for Bribie Island and was out under the bridge lights, on the island side by 4.15am.

A word on waders – I use the A S Horne waders which have a tough Blundstone gum boot. With postage, they are around A$ 120/30 but they are definitely worth the price premium. Before I bought them I went through 7 sets of cheap ones; Wilson, Mojiko, Shakespeare, and various other BCF/ Anaconda offerings, in just under two years. I was constantly patching up holes on these cheap ones. I have now had my A S Horne waders for 2 years and they have no leaks, despite lots of run ins with oyster covered rocks. They are pretty hot at this time of year but with so many jelly fish, Wobbegongs and various other creepy crawlies in the water – I am prepared to suffer the heat.

At 4.15 am this morning it was cool and wet. The tide had just started to run in and the rain had made the water even more murky than usual. I decided to started with a GULP 5” Jerkshad in the Satay Chicken colour – yellow on top and pumpkinseed underneath. I was standing in 30cm of water casting in close to the pylons. After a few retrieves I was on to a fish. I brought him to the shore – a Flathead just on 40cm. The family decided they will go on hunger strike if I bring another Flathead to the table – so it was released. I got a few more hits from what I think where Pike, but as the sun came up an hour later I had not landed anymore fish.

I moved across to the Oyster Jetty on the other side of the Passage. It was now around 5.45am and the tide was running in strongly. I waded out beside the jetty to a point about ¾ of the way along and started putting casts out in a semicircle. I was casting into the run in tide and hopping the plastic along the weedy bottom. After two or three casts I was on to something. After a few short runs, I could see it was a small Flathead, again around 40 cm long. I did not want to wade back to the bank with it so I grabbed it with a cloth and released it.

I could not find any more in that area so I moved further south. I fished the drain, just before you turn the corner for Sandstone Point, but apart from a few Long Toms, I did not get another bite. The wind was now beginning to howl and it was spitting rain again so I waded back to the car and headed home.