1770 – Flat Rock – Dart, Bream and Cod – 18 May 2016

On Wednesday the wind had settled down a little, so it was back to Flat Rock to fish the last couple of hours of the run out tide. The moon and tides were getting bigger and the fishing seemed to be improving. I had a lie in and set off at about 9.30 am. The swell was light and so was the wind. It was bright with a few clouds and the water was just breaking over the rock.

I started fishing with a GULP 3” Minnow in the Pearl Watermelon colour on a 1/6th ounce, size 2 jighead. I was using the slighty heavier jighead to counter the breeze, that was slowly picking up. I was still fishing with 12lb fluorocarbon leader. I would not be able to stop anything big with this light set up, but I always get far more bites when fishing light.

The first takers were Moses Perch followed by a few small dart. As I moved north along the top of the rock I caught a couple of bream, more dart and a few tiny flathead. There are a few White Breasted Sea Eagles that live along the beach. As soon as you start catching fish they start hovering in the hope of grabbing a free meal. Many a released dart has fallen victim to these predators.

I moved further north and continued to catch dart. I was now fishing with a GULP Fry in the Lime Tiger colour. I reached a break in the rock, where the water was draining out. On about my third cast something grabbed the soft plastic and tried to swim back under the rock. The drag was fairly tight and I stopped it before it got too far under. I slowly levered it out with the aid of the current. I used the incoming surge to pull the fish over the rock and into the gutter beyond. It was a solid cod about 45cm long.

The fight had obviously taken its toll. I released the fish but on the next cast the rod tip snapped and so, reluctantly, I stopped fishing for the day just after 12.45pm.

Bribie – the Sandstone Point flats – 27 April 2014

Sunday

I am so far behind with my fishing reports that I will make this one short and sweet.

Early Sunday morning I headed for Bribie Island and arrived at about 5.15 am. I waded out under the bridge, fishing in the shallows, on the mainland side of the Bribie Island Bridge. High tide would be at about 8.00 am. There was a cool south-westerly breeze blowing.

I started with a GULP Peppered Prawn Jerkshad soft plastic lure on a 1/8th ounce, 1/0 jighead and I was fishing with 10lb fluorocarbon leader. A 5.25 am I caught a 45cm flathead, that was feeding under the bridge lights.

It was a big high tide at 2.3 m, so I decided to head past the old oyster jetty and round the corner towards Sandstone Point. This area is great to fish on big tides. The water was very clear so I decided to swap to a Gulp 3” Minnow in the Lime Tiger colour. At about 7.30am my plastic was knocked around a few times by a Long Tom. Then, about 10 minutes later, I caught a 30 cm Bream. It was followed, a few casts later by another, smaller bream.

I swapped to a DUO Realis Shad 59MR suspending, hard bodied lure. This lure will catch just about anything, but the bream love it. After a few casts it connected with another bream. As I waded back towards the bridge, it caught two more bream – both about 25cm long.

I finished my session at about 8.30 am. It is good to see the bream are back in business.

Bribie – the old oyster jetty flats – 23 April 2014

Wednesday

It was a late start for me again on Wednesday – juggling work and fishing is hard.  But then most of my readers are probably well aware of that!

I arrived at the Bribie Bridge at about 9.00 am and waded out towards the flats to the south of the old oyster jetty. The sun was shining and there was a light south westerly wind. It is definitely getting cooler and the wind had some bite in it. The moon was 37% full and waning. It would be a 0.6m low tide at about 10.30 am.

I started fishing with a GULP 2” Shrimp soft plastic in the Peppered Prawn colour and this soon found a fish. It was a Flathead – just over 40 cm. I released it and went looking for more.  The water was clear but there were still a lot of black clumps of ‘snot’ weed floating around. There were sand crabs everywhere. Plenty of them seemed to be in romantic embraces.

As the tide slowed, I moved further south. In one of the sandy hollows, I caught another fish. This flathead had the brightest coloured tail I have ever seen. I released it and carried on wading south. I swapped to a GULP Jerkshad in the Peppered Prawn colour and as the tide started to run in, I caught another 45cm flathead.

 

 

I briefly tried fishing with a few small hard bodied lures, but they kept getting clogged with weed. I swapped back to a GULP Jerkshad in the Lime Tiger (orange and green colour) and at about 11.00 am I found a couple more small flathead that were probably just under 40 cm.

This had not been a bad fishing session – especially as the school holidays have just finished and this area has been fished pretty hard. All fish were released today.

Bribie Island – old oyster jetty flats – 6 January 2012

Sunday

Between the wind and the increased traffic, finding the fish has been far from easy over the Christmas period at Bribie. All you can do is keep trying your favourite spots, on your favourite tides and hope things improve. As I look back over the blog and my dairies, which precede it – I see that December and January have been my toughest fishing months in the Pumicestone Passage for the last few years. Partly because if this, I have often run away to fish the rocks at Iluka or elsewhere, at this time of year.

The only spot that has been consistently producing fish for me is the area to the south of the old oyster jetty on the mainland side of the Passage, so this is where I started on Sunday morning. To add to the challenge high tide was just on dawn (3.57 am at 1.9m) and there would be a fairly strong south-easterly blowing at about 10 to 15 knots. This had the advantage of frightening off the boat traffic but would make casting less simple.

I started with a hard bodied lure as there was not much weed around. I love the DUO Realis Shad 59 MR. It is another of DUO’s finesse range, probably designed with bass in mind, but it annoys the hell out the flathead. It is 59mm long and weighs a little less than 5 grams. This is rapidly becoming my favourite suspending lure. It casts a mile and it seems to be able to just hang for ages in the water column. It’s great in this terrain, where you want to stay off the bottom. I was using an olive coloured model.

I was fishing a stretch of sandy bottom about 6 metres out from the edge of the mangroves. It was covered in about 80cm of water. I was retrieving the lure over the edge of a weed bed when suddenly something grabbed it. First it ran away from me and then it changed direction and hurtled back towards me. This must have left some slack in the line and as it came tight again, the drag screamed and the lure pulled free. Not sure what it was but it seemed a bit fast for a flathead – who knows?

I carried on working the same area and about 10 minutes later, there was a tug and a splash and an angry flathead appeared, shaking its head on the surface. After a brief fight I had it subdued and pulled it over to a gap in the Mangroves. It was about 55cm with a small open wound on its back and a pattern on its scales that looked as if it had been mauled by something with a broad mouth. Perhaps a wobbegong had had a go at it. I have seen some big ones cruising these flats.

I let the fish go and carried on peppering the area with casts. I felt another tug and lunge but again the hook pulled after a brief fight. The weed was starting to become a nuisance so I decided to swap to a soft plastic lure. I picked out a GULP jerkshad in the lime tiger colour, which has been doing quite well lately. I was fishing with a 1/8th 1/0 jighead. On the first cast I saw a flathead appear from the weed, grab the lure and immediately roll over, flashing its white belly, to release itself. I kept going and soon hooked it again. This time I kept it on the line. It was another nice fish, about the same size as the first.

As the tide started to run out strongly I gradually followed it, casting over the weed and sand banks. The gradually increasing high tides and big south-easterly blow had lifted a lot of sea grass and this was now clogging almost every cast. I reached the green channel marker and walked slowly back towards the oyster jetty. About half way along I connected with another fish, but it shook out the hook. I carried on casting in the same area for about 10 minutes until I felt another solid thud. I paused and then lifted the rod. It was another flathead about 45cm. I released it and battled the wind and weed for a further 30 minutes before giving up. I had found a few fish but also lost a few – not a bad session.

Bribie Island – Dawn & Dusk – 22 November 2012

Thursday evening and Friday morning

I decided to look for some Flathead at Bribie Island. I was able to fish through dusk on Thursday and dawn on Friday.

Only one fish south of the Oyster jetty at dusk

Only one fish south of the Oyster jetty at dusk

On Thursday I drove up from Brisbane at about 4.30pm with a huge storm cloud blackening the sky to the west. I waded around the area just to the south of the old oyster jetty, on the top of the tide. I fished with a GULP 4“ minnow and various other shapes, but it was tough to find the fish. I hooked and then lost a fish at about 5.00pm, which felt like a small flathead. A little later, and a bit further to the south, I tangled with a Long Tom and saw it thrashing around but it bit through my 10 lb leader.

But a really spectacular sunset

But a really spectacular sunset

At about 5.30pm I finally hooked up with a 30cm flathead on a GULP 4” minnow in the Lime Tiger colour. That was it for the fishing but I did witness a fantastic sunset behind the oyster shed as I waded back to the car.
The next morning I tried the sand flats at Bongaree, on the island side of the Pumicestone Passage. As usual I was a bit stuck for ideas as I would be fishing the top of the tide. I know the flathead move up very quickly with the rising tide but I find it much easier to predict where they might be, on a falling tide. When the tide is high there is just too much ground to cover.

I started at about 4.40 am, just south of the jetty, with a GULP 3” Minnow in the Lime Tiger colour. The water was clear and still and high tide would be at 5.40 am. My plan was to move south from the jetty casting soft plastic lures over the exposed rocks and sand between it and the creek mouth that drains in front of the Seaside Museum.

I could not find anything under, or around the jetty. I hooked my first fish just after 5.00 am, little to the south of it. It was a flathead. I carried on casting all around the same spot but could not find another one.

I moved a little further south and swapped plastics to a GULP 4” minnow in the pearl watermelon colour. I was using a 1/8th 1/0 jighead and 10lb fluorocarbon leader. The water was still and it was hard works. I moved slowly south casting all around the creek/ drain mouth. Eventually, just after 7.00 am I caught another Flathead – about 40cm long.

I persevered and found just one more flathead at about 8.30am. This one was smaller, at about 35cm. At this point I gave up. I had found a few fish, but it had been another tough high tide fishing session. I had not seen much bait in the water and wind had been solid from the north for a few days. The moon was about half way to full. I think we may have reached the point in the year where the flathead get harder to find!