Bribie – the old oyster jetty flats – March 2017

March saw some wet and humid days on the flats at Bribie. I only managed to fish a few fairly quick sessions when the tides were not ideal.

I fished around the old oyster jetty with soft plastics and managed about 9 keeper sized flathead over three sessions and probably an equal number of undersized fish.

The flounder suddenly appeared and displayed a liking for the GULP Cajun Chicken Jerkshad soft plastic. If you feel the bite you need to pause for at least 10 seconds to get them, as they take a while to swallow the lure.

There were also small groups of squid around and reports of some decent sized jewfish chasing the squid under the bridge lights.

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Bribie – the oyster jetty flats and Bongaree – 10 October 2016

Monday

On Monday it was back up to Bribie to fish the bottom of the tide. Summer had arrived and so had the warm water and northerly winds. September and October are traditionally thought to be good months for flathead fishing. In my experience the cooler months and consistent south easterly winds tend to produce more legal sized fish but it is often around the start of summer that I catch and release a few really big fish.

I could not start really early on Monday and arrived at about 8.30 am. I started off fishing just south of the bridge on the old oyster jetty flats. There was virtually no wind and it was hot and clear. I started to cast a GULP Mantis Shrimp soft plastic (in the peppered prawn colour) in to the shallows. The clear water and bright sun has probably contributed to a thick blanket of snot weed forming over the bottom in this area. It does not seem to bother the fish but makes bouncing a soft plastic along the bottom pretty difficult. I swapped to a GULP 4” Minnow in the Pearl Watermelon colour. I felt a couple of bites and soon hooked a toothy long tom. I carefully released it.

I moved south under the jetty and swapped soft plastics again. This time to the Mad Scientist Optishad. The paddle tail on this one did the trick and a 50 cm flathead snaffled it from a sandy hollow. Ten metres further south I caught another – this time a little smaller and things were looking promising. I kept moving south, towards the green channel marker. By now I had swapped to a GULP Jerkshad soft plastic in the Satay Chicken colour. At about 10.45 am I caught one more 45 cm flathead.

The wind had turned south easterly and the incoming tide forced me back from where I wanted to fish. I waded back to the car and drove across to Bongaree. I just wanted to put in a few casts in the gutter that had formed in front of the Seaside Museum. I was back fishing with the Mad Scientist Optishad soft plastic and after only a couple of casts, I found another 45 cm flathead. It was lying in just 40 cm of water a couple of metres out. They really move up very fast on a rising tide. I peppered the rest of the gutter with casts but could not find another, but I shall certainly be back.

Bribie Island – the Seaside Museum flats – 12 August 2013

Monday

Sunday had been a disappointment I had fished for three hours and caught nothing. Had my fishing mojo deserted me? There was only one way to find out – get straight back out there. So, on Monday, I was up early, to beat the forecast building south-westerly winds.
I decided to head for Bongaree on Bribie. I would go back to a familiar spot where I felt confident that I would catch something. I was heading for the freshwater drain in front of the seaside museum.

It would be low tide at 6.28 am and at this stage there was no wind. I arrived at about 5.45 am. I put on my waders and walked out in front of the drain down to within a couple of metres of the drop off into the main channel. After a disappointing day on Sunday, I decided to fish very light with 8lb fluorocarbon leader. I chose to stick with natural coloured small soft plastic lures. These were most likely to tempt the bream.

I started with the 2” GULP Shrimp in the Banana Prawn colour. After a few casts, in the pre-dawn light, I felt a tug and then the pressure was gone and so was the jighead. Something sharp toothed had swallowed the lot. I re-rigged, and upgraded to 12lb fluorocarbon leader. I was out of shrimps so I tied on a 3” GULP Minnow in the Banana Prawn colour.

I cast into the running tide and hopped the lure along the bottom back towards me. At about 6.20 am I broke my duck with a decent bream, about 30cm long. About 15 minutes later, I caught another – a little smaller. Then things went quiet.

The cormorants and the dolphins like to fish in this area which suggests there are plenty of bait fish around but I could not see them in the water. I swapped through a few soft plastics and tried a small hard body vibe lure for a while.

By about 7.00 am I was back with the 3” GULP Minnow in the banana prawn colour. In an effort to get something going I was leaving the lure on the bottom for as long as possible between rod lifts. This can sometimes entice bored fish to strike. It did the trick and the rod bent over and something powerful took 3 metres of line and disappeared under the ledge.

I presumed it was a cod by the tactics. Brute force was not going to pull it out, I only had my light rod and 12lb leader. I tried a few angles but there was no movement. I decided my only option was to loosen the drag and see if it swam out. This requires the patience of a saint. You cannot put the tension back on until you are sure the fish is clear of the overhang. I waited about two minutes and then the line very slowly started to float out and away on the current. I waded along with it for about another 20 seconds then tightened the drag and pulled the fish over the ledge and slowly back to the beach.

It was a nice estuary cod – it measured up at 49cm and proved how good these fish are at ambush attacks. I decided it had earned its freedom and released it after a few pictures. The wind was up and although it had not been an easy session I had caught fish – so I went home happy.

Bribie Island – The Seaside Museum flats – 26 July 2013

My apologies for taking so long to post this report but standing waist deep in cold water finally took its toll last week and I caught a miserable man cold. At least 50% or more of my readers will be aware that this is, typically, far more serious than the milder colds that women contract. Frankly, I was surprised at my own courage and resilience. I battled my way out of bed to the sofa each morning and kept operating the remote control with no fuss at all. After about four days I had run out of fishing videos to watch and I realised I was better.

Cold and grey again

The weather has been very poor through to the end of July but the fish have been around if you can brave the elements. Hopefully things will settle down soon.

On the Friday in question, I decided to see if there were anymore bream or jewfish lurking around the mouth of the freshwater creek drain, at Bongaree, on Bribie Island. I arrived just before dawn. Unfortunately, there was another fairly strong cold south-westerly breeze blowing. Once more, nothing happened until the horizon started to glow behind me.

I was looking for bream so I started with a GULP 3″ Minnow in the pearl watermelon colour on a 1/8th ounce, 1/0 jighead. I was fishing with my Loomis GL2 light spin rod and using 12lb fluorocarbon leader, in case the jewfish were around.

As the sun came up I felt couple of hits but could not hook a fish. At about 6.30 am, a fish grabbed the lure, as I pulled it over the edge of the drop off that runs parallel with the shoreline. It was a good one – over 30 cm long. I released it and went looking for more.

Found the first Bream at about 6.30 am

Found the first Bream at about 6.30 am

Should be plenty of bream around at the moment

Should be plenty of bream around at the moment

The wind was bitterly cold from the south west and it was building up. Low tide had passed at 6.03 am and the tide was running in slowly. I fished for another 2 hours, but all I managed was one more small flathead and at about 9.00 am I gave up.

Too cold and windy!

A small flathead could not resist the GULP Shrimp A small flathead could not resist the GULP Shrimp[/caption

Bribie Island – the Seaside Museum drain – Big Flathead – 26 October 2012

Friday

Back to Bribie Island on Friday morning, but I decided I would miss dawn and arrive closer to the bottom half of the run out tide. It was a perfect morning with a light northerly wind and a clear blue sky. High tide had passed at 7.00 am and I arrived at about 8.30 am.

I waded out just south of the main Jetty and cast around in the sand flats. As I drew level with the Seaside Museum a solid fish grabbed my soft plastic lure. I was fishing with a GULP 4” Minnow in the Smelt colour, on a 1/8th 1/0 jighead with about 1.5m of 10lb fluorocarbon leader. The fish made a couple of runs but was soon safe on the sand. It was a good size – just under 60cm. I released it and cast out again and, after a few hops I felt another solid fish bite. I brought it in and even got a look at it, but when it realised it was headed for the shore it shook itself free.

I carried on casting in the same area and after about 15 minutes, I felt a good hit and I had another Flathead. This one was a little smaller, about 48cm. I photographed it and released it. Things went quiet for a while so I waded to the south. I caught two more undersized Flathead and one keeper (about 45cm), as I waded along, casting over the ledge. Each time, the fish were sitting on the sand above the ledge.

After about an hour and a half, I had walked down to the south end of the tidal lagoon and back up to where I had started catching fish in the morning, by the museum. It was now about 11.30 am and the tide was much lower. This made it easier to see the ledge and cast the plastic just over it and hop it back in. I was now using a GULP Crazylegs Jerkshad soft plastic in the Pumpkinseed colour.

I was about to give up for the day when I felt a tug, paused and then struck. There was plenty of weight and at first I thought I was snagged on the edge. The rod tip started wiggling and there was a slow steady run. I tightened the drag a little and tried to pull it over the ledge. At this point the fish woke up and put in three blistering runs out towards the middle of the Passage. I slowly got my line back and then tightened the drag some more to make sure I could get the fish over the ledge. I pulled it over and got my first look at a very big Flathead.

By now the fish was pretty tired but it still tried to change direction several times before I grabbed the leader and pulled it gently up onto the sand. It was a Monster. I have a 40, 50, 60 and 70 cm marked on my rod and it was much bigger than these – somewhere between 70 and 80 cm. It was also an unlucky fish because it had my jighead through the left side of its mouth and recent hook wound from what must have been a much bigger hook, on the right side of its mouth. I took a few photos and then released it. It paused in the shallows for a while and then took off at a healthy speed, when I waded closer.

That was it for the day. It has been a while since I have tangled with a really big Flathead and it had been another very successful fishing session. If you want to catch a Flathead on soft plastics, now is the time!

Bribie Island – The Oyster Jetty and White Patch – 21 August 2012

Tuesday

Monday’s session had not been very promising – there had been a distinct lack of Flathead in the usual locations at Bribie. Perhaps they were all in 1770.

So, on Tuesday I decided to fish the mainland side of the Passage, by the old oyster jetty. Low tide was around 5.30 am and at 0.3m it was a reasonably low, low tide. It is always good to see the areas you fish on a low tide as all of the fish holding structures, such as; banks, drains, gutters and holes, are revealed. The difficulty is remembering where they are once the tide comes in.

It was a cold morning with an overcast sky, the wind was in the process of switching from a south westerly to a northerly and was forecast to drop to nothing midway through the morning. Conditions were calm and I waded through the mud and exposed weed beds until I reached the water’s edge.

I was using my light rod and reel – G.Loomis GL2 4-8lb Fast Action 6’6” Spin Rod and a Shimano Stella 2500FE reel, 6lb braid, 10lb fluorocarbon leader. This set up has almost become an extension of my arm and I reckon it is difficult to beat as a combination for light fishing. Still, if you are reading this Mr. Loomis, I would be happy to give any of you models a try – just pop them in the post.

It was hard work. The tide had passed low but the water was not really moving yet. There was a fair amount of algae weed floating around that kept clogging the jighead. I started with a big GULP Lime Tiger Jerkshad on a 1/8th 1/0 jighead bit after no hits for 45 minutes I decided to try something different.

As you know I am a sucker for anything new in the Tackle Store and the GULP Swimmow caught my eye the other day. This is a welcome addition to the arsenal and GULP has been missing this profile. It is basically a Fry or Worm shape with a small thumping paddle tail. It is four inches long but unlike the various other shads on offer it is still fairly small and light. I picked up the Pumpkinseed, Peppered Prawn and Emerald Shine colours. I decided to try the Emerald Shine first. I watched the lure in the clear water and it has an excellent action. The paddle tail thumps furiously on the drop and whenever you jerk the lure through the water.

I moved further along the edge of the weed beds towards the green channel marker. About 10 cast after the lure change I felt the unmistakable thump of a Flathead bite just a few metres from my feet. I paused and then struck – I was on. After a few runs I had a dark, speckled, weed dwelling Flathead on the mud flats. Quite a colour contrast to those I had been catching the week before. It was 48cm long. A few casts later I caught another – just under 40 cm. I made it to the channel marker then turned back. The tide was coming in and it soon forced me back from the edge of the weed beds. I felt a few rapid bites and almost hooked something – Bream , Pike – not sure.

I had one good fish but needed at least one more to feed my mob. I decided to try White Patch and drove up there. The water was up to the tree line when I arrived, so I decided to concentrate on a few of the rocky/ sandy drain areas about 10 metres out. I could not cast over the edge of the drop off as it was now too far out. I was still fishing with the GULP Swimmow and the Pike were the first takers – I caught three in quick succession.

I moved along in the shallows, walking south and casting in front of me. It was now just after 11.00am. After about 30 minutes, a fish hit the plastic on the drop and took off. It was hooked straight away and after a few solid runs, I had it in the keeper bag. It was another Flathead, just under 50cm. I spread casts over the whole area and after another ten minutes I had another good bite and though the fish was hooked, but it got off.

Just after noon, with six hours of fishing under my belt, but only two fish in the bag – I gave up.

Bribie Island – The Seaside Museum Drain – 30 June 2012

Saturday

On Saturday morning everything had calmed down and the weather looked perfect again. The fish were singing to me in my sleep and I woke up at about 4.00am. It was a cool morning but not as cold as forecast. There was a slight breeze from the west.

I decided on Bribie Island again and started under the bridge on the island side at about 5.30 am. I could not find anything here so just before first light I moved down to Bongaree, in front of the old seaside museum. It was just about on the 1.9m high tide and I waded out along the sand bank beside the mouth of the drain. The water here was still slowly running in.

I started with the GULP 4” Minnow in the Smelt colour, on a 1/8th oz 1/0 jighead and 12lb fluorocarbon leader. I cast all around but I could not yet reach over the edge of the drop off that runs along here. The water slowed down. There were a few bust ups at the edge of the main channel and there was a large flock of birds following a school of something around. I could not find anything. I tried a few other plastics then reverted to the Smelt Minnow again.

It was now about 7.30 am and the tide was really running out, I cast nearer to the edge of the drop off and felt a bite. I paused then struck. It was a Flathead about 35cm long. It was nothing spectacular but it was good to get started. I released it and cast back in the same spot. After a few more casts I was on to another fish. This time it was about 40cm long. I let it go and then things wnet quiet. There was still too much water to fish where I wanted too so I went and bought a cup of coffee. I came back to the water and sat on the sloping rockwall, just in front of where I had been fishing. The water was clear and as I sipped my coffee, I looked down to see a couple of big swirls right at my feet. The water was less than a metre deep and cruising slowly along the bottom of the wall was a large (80cm plus) Jewfish. I was stunned and by the time I got the rod, it was long gone.

Recharged, I grabbed my rod and waded across to the sand bar, to the south. I stuck with the GULP Smelt Minnow and after a few casts and slow retrieves to the north, I felt a solid bite. I paused and set the hook. This time it was a bigger Flathead at about 45cm. I waded back out and on the next cast, in the same spot, the lure was hit on the drop. It was another Flathead, 50cm long. Things were now going in the right direction.

I tried for more but could not find any, so at about 10.00 am I moved across to the mainland side, to fish the sand/ mud flats, by the Oyster Jetty. I decided to try out another of the DUO hard bodied lures I have in the tackle bag. It is another beautifully crafted fish tempter called the DUO Tetraworks Toto 42. It is a 42mm long, 2.8 g sinking, bibbed lure with a tight rolling action. As with all of the DUO range it has a great action and finds its rhythm as soon as it hits the water. It comes in a range of hues but I was using a bronze backed, orange bellied TS03 colour. It is a very light lure and therefore it suspends in the water column quite effectively.

I cast along the edge of the weed beds and predictably, as we approached the bottom of the tide, the water turned murky. I kept picking up weed, but you need to be close to the weed to find the fish. After about 30 minutes of wading and casting, and a few Pike, I found my target. I felt a whack on the lure and then an angry head came shaking out of the water as the trebles bit. It was another good Flathead – just over 50 cm long. DUO strikes again!

It had been another perfect fishing day – plenty of fish and fantastic weather – get out and catch them while you can!