Brisbane River – Boggy Creek – 29 February 2016

Monday

Wind, wind, wind – this is why you do not want to buy a boat. Throughout the end of February the wild weather continued. The forecast was for a 30 knot southerly on Monday. Still, every cloud has a silver lining – less boat traffic means more undisturbed fish and remember it’s never windy under the water.

But I could not face another day of being blown around at Bribie so I decided to fish closer to home. I have not fished the Brisbane River for a while, so to avoid the wind I drove out to spend a few hours fishing Boggy Creek, at Pinkenba. The big advantage with this spot is that it is only about 20 minutes from the Brisbane CBD. The hum of the BP refinery and the trucks roaring by makes it slightly less picturesque than Bribie, but there are still good fish to be caught here.

I started after first light, a bit before sun rise, at about 5.45 am. It was a few days after full moon and low tide would be at 7.22 am. I parked by the bridge across to the oil refinery and started by casting a GULP 3“Minnow in the Pearl Watermelon colour on a 1/8th ounce, size 1 hook jighead. I was fishing with 10lb fluorocarbon leader.

The tide was running out quickly and there was plenty of surface action at the base of the rocks, on the far side of the creek. A big school of herring was sitting just off the current and every now and then, something would race in to it and send it flying.

At about 6.15 am, the sun poked its head over the mangroves and things began to slow down under the bridge. I moved towards the mouth of the creek and tried a few different soft plastics. I saw a few schools of bait swim buy and had a couple of hits. I could see some small bream in the shallows and I was sure there must be a flathead around somewhere.

I changed up to the GULP 4” Minnow in the Pearl Watermelon colour and moved back up the creek, past the bridge. Low tide came and went and the water started to run in again. It was very murky and it was difficult to know where to cast. I saw a strange black shape wriggling along in the shallows and as it swam closer, I realised it was a tightly packed school of tiny yellow and black fish. I have no idea what they were. They were staying close to the shoreline, herding and then hoovering up tiny jelly prawns that were hovering in the shallows.

I carried on casting and finally at about 8.30 am I felt a nice solid bite. I could not see anything in the murky water but I knew from the thud it was a flathead. I pause and then lifted the rod tip. After a short fight I had a nice 50cm flathead on the bank.

I let it go and fished around for more but could not find any. I packed up at about 9.00 am and reminded myself to come back here a bit more often. Land based fishing just 20 minutes from the Brisbane CBD can be a lot of fun.

Brisbane River – Pinkenba Rockwall – More Trevally – 7 April 2011

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Thursday

Everywhere I looked the wind was blowing 20 knots – add a few showers and things did not look promising. I decided that the Brisbane River was the best option so I drove down to Pinkenba around 9.30 am and walked along the rock wall.

The tide was running in and the water was still very cloudy – I am not sure if it is the wind, the recent rain or left over silt from the floods. I was still using my light spin rod – the Loomis GL2 – but I had upgraded my leader to 14lb. I tied on a 1/6th 1/0 jighead and loaded it with a GULP Crazylegs Jerkshad in the Pink Shine colour.

I was hoping for a few more Trevally and it was not long before I ran into them. I was walking along the shore towards the river mouth, putting out fairly short casts, straight from the bank. I had started beside the cement plant and walked about 500 metres without any bites. Just before I crossed the oil pipeline, the lure was snatched right at the bank and the fish took off. It was a nice junior Trevally and I soon had it under control. I put it back and moved on.

The first Trevally of the day - close to the pipeline

After another half an hour or so, the wind got really gusty and a rain squall came over. I sheltered under some trees and switched to a small GULP 2” Shrimp soft plastic in the Pepper Prawn colour. I cast it out under the tree branches and just as I got it back to the bank, I felt a few tugs and then I was losing line at a blistering pace. I bumbled through the tree branches following the fish along the bank. I tightened the drag but initially, it did not make much difference. It kept pulling line but eventually I got some back and after a few more runs I grabbed the leader and pulled a good size Trevally up the rocks. It would have been around the 45cm mark. I put it back and carried on towards the river mouth looking for more.

Second Trevally - around 45cm


The tide was now running out strongly and the wind was probably blowing well over twenty knots. It was a challenge to cast. I reached a spot where water was running over the rockwall and I cast around on either side. I switched back to the GULP Crazylegs Jerkshad in the Pink Shine colour and after a couple of casts; it was snaffled at my feet. It was another blistering initial run. I made a mental note that the GL2 light spin rod is not the right rod for these fish, and hung on. This was another good fish and I was very concerned it would rub me off on the oyster covered rocks. It took a while and I must have scrambled up and down about 10 metres of shoreline but eventually the fish surrendered and I grabbed the leader. I lifted it out of the water and the leader broke just as I did. Luckily it fell into a little depression in the rocks and I got a couple of pictures before I released it. It was another solid Trevally that measured approximately 50 cm.

The biggest Trevally of the day at 50cm


I walked until I could walk no further – because the rockwall was submerged and cast around on both sides. It was now about 1.15pm and the tide was running out, strongly. Again the lure was grabbed right next to the rocks on the river side of the wall. This fish was tough and it decided to cross over the partially submerged rockwall and try to escape on the other side. I watched as it swam in between the oyster covered rocks and somehow did not manage to bust me off. It was a smaller Trevally and I released it.

At around 1.30pm I got drenched in another rain squall and decided the make the long walk back to the car. It had been another great session fishing with soft plastics on the Brisbane River.

Brisbane River – Pinkenba Rockwall – 4 April 2011

Monday

Today I decided to walk along the north bank of the Brisbane River at Pinkenba and fish the rock wall that gradually breaks down, near the Oil refinery at the mouth of Boggy Creek.

There are fishy holes all along this wall but I like to fish on or around high tide, when there is plenty of water. Today I arrived just as the tide started to run out, at about 9.45 am. The wind was getting up but it was still possible to fish. I parked on the bank next to the Queensland Cement Plant and walked along the rockwall, towards the river mouth.

I was fishing with my light spin rod. I had about 1 metre of 10lb breaking strain fluorocarbon leader tied to a spool of 10lb braid. I decided to fish with soft plastics and started with a GULP 3” Minnow in the Smelt colour. I rigged the plastic on a 1/6th 1/0 jighead. The water was quite cloudy but there was plenty of bait in close to the bank. I walked along the wall, casting about 8 to 10 metres out into the river and slowly retrieving the lure.

After ten minutes I felt a tug at the lure, right at the foot of the rock wall. It is always difficult to tell if the lure has just caught on a rock or whether it’s a fish. I cast out in the same spot and as I brought the plastic slowly back to the base of the wall, it was grabbed. The fish made a hard initial run and then I tightened the drag a little and it stopped and just sat in the current. As I tried to get some line back it took off again on another long run. Fortunately, it was heading out into the middle of the river. I let it run and thought of what it could be. It was too fast for a Flathead and too strong for a Tailor or Bream. I tightened the drag again and started to get line back. My light rod has no real power so it would have to be a battle of attrition using the drag. We went back and forth a few times but finally I got the fish to the bank and realised it was a decent Trevally. I wasn’t expecting that and when I got home and checked my diaries and the blog, I realised it was the first I have ever caught in the Brisbane River.

I released the fish and moved along the wall, casting every ten metres or so. As I reached the point where the rockwall forms a promontory, with water on both sides, I swapped to a 3” GULP Lime Tiger Minnow soft plastic and started to cast on either side of the wall. After a few casts into the tidal lagoon on the inside, I caught a small Bream. Again the fish grabbed the lure just as I was about to lift it clear of the water.

I carried on as far as I could and peppered both sides of the rock wall with casts. I swapped plastics again. This time I put on a Gulp 2” Shrimp in the Peppered Prawn colour. By 12.30 pm the wind was really howling and the tide was running out fast. I cast out into the river at a 45 degree angle to the bank, back in the direction of the cement plant. About 20 cm from the base of the rocks, whack – zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. It went straight out into the river but soon turned and started to run along close to the oyster covered rocks. I decided to hop along the rocks with it for a bit but then realised I needed to slow it down. I got some line back and managed to keep it off the oysters. This was a bigger fish and took quite a bit of subduing. Eventually I saw silver and confirmed it was another Trevally. I got it in close and grabbed the leader and successfully pulled it out. It was a 40cm Trevally.

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Now I had found them and after a couple more casts, I was on to another one – but not for long. This one headed straight down to the base of the wall and ping – the line snapped on the oysters. They were obviously cruising up and down and twenty minutes later I got the biggest one of the day at around 45cm. I had to head back so I turned around and kept casting, as I walked. I switched to a – 5” GULP Jerkshad in the curried chicken colour. After three or four casts another Trevally grabbed it. Again the strike was right next to the wall and the fish put up a terrific fight.

I walked back to the car and finished up at about 1.30pm, after another great session fishing the Brisbane River.

Brisbane River – Boggy Creek – 28 March 2011

A trip away, a cold and car trouble have all conspired to keep me away from fishing for a few weeks. To those of you who have been checking in to see what is biting – I apologise.

I managed to sneek out yesterday morning for a quick fix. I only had a couple of hours, so I headed down to Boggy Creek. A small swampy tributary on the north side of the Brisbane River, only a few kms from where it opens into Moreton Bay. I parked up by the foot bridge that crosses the creek and leads to the oil refinery. I arrived around 10 am and the tide would be low around midday. I would be fishing the last few hours of the run out. This is not a great time to fish, as there is very little water – but beggars cant be choosers.

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I have not fished in the River since the floods and I was delighted to see so much bait in the water. There were jelly prawns in close to the shore and lots of roving schools of small mullet. I decided to fish the soft plastic lures and went for a natural colour – a 2″ GULP Shrimp in the Peppered Prawn colour. I rigged it on a 1/6th 1/0 jighead. I was fishing a light spin rod with a 10lb Fluorocarbon leader. I moved along the bank, casting my lure into the middle of the main channel and bouncing it along the bottom with the run out tide, until it reached my feet.

I cast around on each side of the bridge and got a few bites but no hook ups. I moved east, in the direction of the creek mouth and switched to a lighter, 1/8th 1 jighead. I changed the plastic to a 2″ Minnow pattern, in the same colour. I was putting in a couple of casts at each break in the Mangroves when, at the third spot, a small bream grabbed it. I took a picture and let it go – my first fish for three weeks – a trifle small but very satisfying.

I carried on moving east, casting into the channel as the water got shallower and shallower. At the mouth of a drain, about 60 metres from the bridge, I felt a light thud. I paused, then lifted the rod tip. The line came up taught and there were a few head shakes. I had a 30cm Flathead.

At noon I gave up, just as the tide was starting to run in again. With the smell and noise of the refinery, this is not the prettiest environment to fish in. But after a three weeks off I was glad to get out there and see that there are plenty of fish around.

Brisbane River in Flood – Jan 13 – 2011

As a Brisbane resident, fishing has been out of the question in the last few days. I have been watching the river which is now more of a mud slurry and wondering where all the fish will end up. It’s difficult to believe that there is anything left alive in there. I have been lucky enough not to get flooded as we live on higher ground. I have included a few pictures of the river and when things calm down I will be off looking for the fish again.

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Brisbane River – Pinkenba Rockwall – 7 Oct 2010


Thursday
I only had time for a short fishing excursion today. I checked the tide and saw we had a pretty high high-tide at around 9.00 am at the mouth of the Brisbane River. I could not start fishing until about 9.30 am so I decided to walk out, along the Pinkenba rock wall in search of some Flathead.
You can get access to the rock wall down a small track that runs down to the river side, behind the Queensland Cement Plant, which is next to the Pinkenba boat ramp. I have caught Flathead, Bream and Tailor all along this wall. When the high tide is over 2 metres, as it was today, I like to walk along the wall until the water is flowing over the top of the broken down sections. The tide forms small drains and channels as it runs out and usually, this is where the fish are lurking.
I walked for about 35 mins until I could walk no further. I then turned around to walk back along the wall, casting out on either side and working my lure back along the bottom beside the wall. The tide was now running out strongly. Unfortunately the big tide had made the water a bit murky. I have always found the more natural coloured lures work well in the Brisbane River so I started fishing with the GULP 3” Minnow soft plastic on a 1/6th 1 jighead. I lost a few jigheads to the oyster covered rocks on the river side of the wall and watched a few tiny Bream follow it in – but after an hour I had nothing to show for my efforts.
I turned my attention to the lagoon side of the rock wall. The lagoon sits between the wall and the BP Refinery Tank Farm. It is less than two metres deep, even on a high tide but it has plenty of weed beds that attract the Flathead. I found a break in the wall where the water was running into the lagoon. I cast in a semi-circle, into the eddy that had formed a few metres behind the opening. I felt a few small hits then hooked a 10cm Whiting. I carried on and after a few more casts the lure was slammed by a Flathead, just at the base of the rock wall. I landed him – took a picture and sent him on his way. He was just over 40cm but there is more than enough Flathead in the fridge at present. I carried on in the same spot, peppering the area with casts and after about 5 more I had another Flathead around the same size. I also released him.
I gradually moved back along the rock wall casting as I went but despite changing colours and even trying a blade lure, I did not get another touch from the fish. I arrived back at the car at about noon.

Brisbane River – Pinkenba Rockwall – 25 Aug 2010

After a great week of fishing down at Iluka I was keen to get back out on my home patch around Brisbane. On Wednesday the weather was not too promising. With limited time and strong westerly winds I decided to try fishing along the Pinkenba rock wall on the north side of the Brisbane River. I usually access this spot by parking next to the QCL Cement Plant and walking around the plant to the river bank. There is a long stretch of rock wall that goes from the plant all the way to the mouth of Boggy Creek. It is fairly shallow all along here so I find it fishes best around high tide. My timing was good as I arrived right on high tide at around 9.45am. All along the rock wall there are areas where it has it has broken down and there is therefore plenty of structure at its base and as you move further out the lower rocks are completely covered in oysters.
My tactics here are to walk along the rock wall casting back up river and letting the soft plastic bump along the bottom with the current, with a few jerks every now and then. I have almost always caught fish right at the foot of this rock wall – I assume this is because the riverbed further out is fairly featureless and the bait stays close in. I walked slowly along the wall towards the river mouth but after an hour of casting, I had nothing to show for my efforts. I had been using my favourite GULP 4” Minnow soft plastic in the Pearl Watermelon colour on a 1/6th 1/0 jighead with a 10lb fluorocarbon leader. I decided to swap it for a ¼ oz blade lure in a silver rainbow colour. Sometimes the blades can be more effective at getting reluctant fish to bite. I think they annoy the fish into an attack. They have a great action and fish will feel their vibration in the water long before they see them.

Buy this time I had reached the spot where the rock wall has water on both sides. The north side is a shallow, tidal inlet next to the refinery tank farm. The bottom is mud and weed beds and as long as there are a couple of feet of water, there are nearly always flathead in here. After a few casts with the blade I finally found my first fish of the morning – a flathead just on 40cm – I took a picture and put him back (we are still finishing the Jewfish from Iluka at home). I carried on in this spot for a while but could not raise anymore. The water was very cloudy after the recent rain. I then put on a smaller, GULP 3” Pearl Watermelon Minnow and decided to walk back along the wall, up river. This is an excellent soft plastic for Bream – especially when lightly weighted. I swapped the jighead down to a 1/8th 1/0. The tide was really running out hard now and I started to get a few touches close into the oyster clad rocks. After another twenty minutes with no hook ups, the lure was slammed by a solid fish. The initial hit was very hard but it was only a 30cm Bream. I put him back assuming there would be more but despite trying a few other weights, plastics and putting the blade back on, I could not find them.

By now it was just past 1.00pm and even though it was warm and sunny, the wind was really blowing and there was less than a foot of water at the base of the rock wall, in places. I decided to stop for the day.