New Brighton, South Golden Beach, Bribie – Bream – August 2017

In August the bream where still around in numbers at Bribie and I also started to explore the beaches near the mouth of the Brunswick River in New South Wales. I am planning a move in that direction, so I need to get to know where to fish.

Sticking with mainly Gulp soft plastics, I had success with various coloured 3 inch minnows on the bream at Bribie. Fishing in front of the drain that empties into the Pumicestone Passage, over the coffee rock ledge, in front of the seaside museum at Bongaree was very successful. A light, 10lb fluorocarbon leader and 1/8th or 1/12th ounce jigheads seemed to do the trick.

Down on the beach at New Brighton the same size plastics found dart, flathead and a few good bream.

 

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Bribie – the old oyster jetty flats – 15 July 2015

Wednesday

By Wednesday I was back in Brisbane, but I had a few hours for a fish in the middle of the day, that would coincide with the run out tide at Bribie.

I drove up and arrived at about 11.00 am. I had swapped back to my NS Blackhole 6′ SGII 602L trout rod as I wanted to put in some bigger casts on the flats. My new short Loomis ultra-light rod is great in tight terrain, when there are lots of overhanging branches, but it is not necessary at Bribie.

I waded out under the bridge on the mainland side. Low tide would be at 2.54 pm. There was a very light cold south-westerly wind blowing. It was the day before the new moon. The water was very clear and running out fast.

After about 30 minutes of casting and wading to the south, I caught the first flathead of the day. I was using my usual 1/8th ounce, 1/0 hook jighead and a GULP Jerkshad soft plastic lure in the Satay Chicken colour. I had decided to use a 12lb leader to give myself a little more protection against the toothy winter species. I then quickly caught a few pike on the same plastic.

I was now a fair way to the south of the old oyster jetty. I swapped to GULP 4” Minnow soft plastic in the Pearl Watermelon colour and caught more big pike. I kept a couple of the bigger ones for my cat’s supper. One came in with a nice mouth shaped bite mark on its belly. There are few better live baits for mulloway, tailor or big flathead, than large double hooked pike.

I managed to move away from the pike patch and caught another legal sized flathead. The pattern of pike then flathead, continued as I moved out along the sand bar towards the green channel marker. I caught fish all the way along, on a number of different soft plastics including the GULP Smelt and Lime Tiger coloured 4” minnows and the GULP Cajun Chicken 5” jerkshads.

As I reached the slighty deeper water around the green channel marker something fast and furious grabbed the Smelt colour minnow and took off. It was a 40 cm tailor and it gave my light trout rod a good work out. I released it and set off back for the bridge.

I caught fish all the way back to the car. They were mainly Pike and I had a couple of bite offs that could have been the passing tailor. In between I caught approximately 8 more flathead, only three of which were under the legal size limit of 40cm.

I finished in the dirty water at the bottom of the tide at about 3.15 pm. Unfortunately I forgot the camera today so I have posted a few pics from my phone and a couple of the home fish filleting area.

Iluka – Shark Bay – 11 June 2015

Thursday

As is so often the case in Iluka – the weather was not easy to deal with. The week before it had looked good with light winds and no rain forecast. I woke up early on Thursday to a howling south-easterly wind and intermittent rain, so I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. That did not really work so I got up, had breakfast and then thought about where to fish in a powerful south-easterly. The northern edge of the rock platform at Shark Bay, at low tide was the only option, so I set off.

The mullet fisherman were waiting at the corner of Shark Bay looking out for some late season schools. Apparently it has been a terrible season. With the big rain events last month flushing out all the fish. One keen fisherman was on his way back from the rocks with a 40 cm tailor in his bag. He had spun it up on an 85 g Raider metal slug, just after dawn.

I spun an 85 g Raider for about 25 casts but could not raise another tailor so I swapped to the light rod and tied on a 1/6th ounce, size 1 hook jighead and GULP Mantis Shrimp soft plastic in the Lime Tiger colour. I was using 16lb fluorocarbon leader. In this area there is a kelp covered drop off about 10 metres out from the edge of the rock platform at low tide. This is where the bream sit. I felt a couple of solid bites as I pulled the soft plastic over the ledge, but did not hook up.

I swapped to 3“Minnow soft plastic in the Smelt colour and kept casting. In exactly the same spot a small bream grabbed it and I had my first fish of the day. It was now about 9.45 am and I was soaked and cold.

The wind had dropped a little so I moved south across the rock platform to fish on the southern edge. This area is full of kelp covered rocks but there are some deep, sandy bottomed holes and I have caught good bream here in the past.

I swapped plastics to a GULP Swimmow in the dark green Emerald Shine colour. This was getting hit on the first cast but it took a while to actually connect with a fish. At about 11.00 am after slowing everything down I connected with another bream. This was a good one – well over 35 cm long. I continued with the Swimmow soft plastic for another 20 mins and was rewarded with another, about the same size.

I swapped back down to a 3“Minnow soft plastic in the Smelt colour and  this produced another big bream, at about 11.30 am.  The rain started again and I decided to give up. It had been a tough session but there had been constant action and I had caught three excellent fish –  the largest of which later measured 38 cm.

Bribie Island – Jan to March 2015 – Catch Up – 24 March 2015

I am ashamed to admit that January to March 2015 has been a fishing black hole as far as the Landangler Blog is concerned. I apologise to those of you who check back here regularly for a fishing fix.

Once more the irrational requirements of modern society – funding for food, clothing and shelter – have diverted me from the most noble of pursuits. I have fished a few sessions at Bribie since returning from 1770 in December, but I have largely been overseas working.

As usual, when you increase the time between fishing sessions it gets much harder. You lose track of which tides work best and where and when the fish are feeding.  You lose your touch with the rod and start to forget what a snag feels like and what a fish feels like. Fishing is often a process of elimination. If you fish in one general location for three or four sessions in a row, in a short time frame, you get a far more accurate idea of what works and what does not. So the moral of this story is fish as often as you can!

In late December 2014 I had a couple of session on the flats beside the old oyster jetty at Bribie and caught a few flathead on each occasion. There were always flathead lies under the bridge after the big night time high tides and because there had not been much rain, up to that point, the water was fairly clear. The GULP 4” Minnow in the New Penny colour proved successful as did the 4” Minnow in the Pearl Watermelon colour. I rigged both on 1/8th ounce, 1/0 jigheads with a 10lb fluorocarbon leader and I was using my light spinning rod and reel combination.

My next session was a beautiful morning in early February. Conditions were good with an early morning run out tide and a light south easterly wind, but I fished the same area for dismal results. There was no evidence of bait around and no lies under the bridge lights. I fished from pre-dawn to low tide with all sorts of soft plastics and hard bodies. The only thing I caught was a tiny foul hooked whiting. At low tide it was very clear that the consistent summer wind pattern of early morning south easterly followed by afternoon northerly had flattened out the terrain quite considerably. This could also be a result of the cleared area where the new resort is being built creating a wind tunnel.

My next session was early March on Red Beach at Skirmish Point, on the southern tip of Bribie Island. I fished the last of the low tide on a beautiful hot morning. I did not start until after 9.00 am and stuck with a light leader and 1/8th ounce, size 1 jighead. I was using the ‘dart slayer’ soft plastic – the GULP 3” Minnow in the Lime Tiger colour. This plastic seems to really work well off the beach. After a few casts I hooked, then dropped, a small flathead. I found the point where the current flows from either side of the island meet and started casting in to it. I could see plenty of small garfish schools and every now and then something would send the schools of smaller bait flying in all directions. The soft plastic lure was getting bumped and snapped at and I soon caught a small dart and then a bigger dart. The next taker was a tiny chopper tailor. They continued to nibble but I did not get any more and left when the tide turned.

In late March I returned to the same spot at about the same time of day with almost identical results. My cousin was visiting from the UK and I was keen to put him onto a fish or two. A great gutter had formed along the beach at Skirmish Point. At its mouth there was constant activity with garfish and other small bait schooling up. There was virtually no breeze, but the tide was coming in this time. I caught a small dart and half an hour later I was delighted to see cousin Joe land a feisty bigger dart. That was it for the day.

Cousin Dangler

Hooked up on a Skirmish Point dart

 

That’s a quick round up of the story so far this year. I hope to be posting more regularly now – sharks permitting.

Bribie – the old oyster jetty flats – 21 December 2013

Saturday

Saturday morning was clear, but hot and humid. I set off for the Bribie sand flats at about 3.30am and was wading out in the pre-dawn light, just after 4.30 am. Low tide was due at 4.58 am. Then it would be another big run in tide – getting up to 2.3 metres.

Pre-dawn there was virtually no breeze but the wind had been a fairly persistent northerly the day before and was forecast to pick up again later. On the still water, at the bottom of the tide there were clumps of seagrass everywhere. The big tides have been lifting it up and spreading it all around. This always makes the fishing tricky. As soon as your lure lands it starts collecting seagrass.

At 4.45 am, I caught my first flathead of the day on a Gulp Orange Tiger 5” Jerkshad soft plastic. Just to the north of the old oyster jetty on the mainland side of the Pumicestone Passage. It must have been lurking in a sandy depression. I could not find any more in this location, so I waded further south, while I waited for the tide to start running in.

The weed got worse as the tidal flow picked up. I was restricted to casting into patches of weed free water, which meant I could not really put my lures where I wanted them to be.

After an hour of frustrating fishing I thought I was attached to another clump of weed, but suddenly it started wriggling. It was another flathead about 50cm long. It had felt much bigger.  I swapped to a smaller GULP 2” Shrimp soft plastic and after another 30 mins I caught another slightly smaller flathead.

I continued to battle the weed but decided to wade back to the bridge. The tide was running in fast and I disturbed a few small flathead in the shallows. The northerly winds had brought the usual herd of blue jellyfish the stingrays were everywhere.

At about 8.00 am I reached the bridge. I fought the weed for a few more casts and then gave up for the day.

Iluka – Middle Bluff and Shark Bay – 11 February 2013

Monday

The wind started a little cool from the south west but was forecast to move round to the east and north east. The tide would be too full to fish the dawn at Woody Head, so I decided to give Middle Bluff a try again. I arrived in the pre-dawn light, just before 6.00 am and immediately set to work with the heavy rig. I started with 3/8th oz, 3/0 jighead and a Gulp Jerkshad in the Pumpkinseed colour. The bommie, beside which the jewfish lurk, was covered in wash and the sweep took a few of my lures in quick succession. I had done too much of this the day before, so I changed tactics.

The sun was up and I moved right to the north end of Middle Bluff. I switched to the light rod with 16lb leader and put on a 1/6th oz, 3/0 jighead. I started with a GULP Crazylegs Jerkshad, in the Lime Tiger colour. I could just about cast the lure out, over the edge of the fringing reef and leave it there for a few seconds. Then I would have to quickly retrieve it with a wave, that was breaking over the reef. After a couple of casts, I lost the tail of the soft plastic, so I put on another. Each time I retrieved, small baitfish leapt ahead of the lure, as it approached the reef edge. After about three casts, a fish grabbed the lure right at the edge of the reef. I let it have some line and looked for a wave to bring it over the reef.

I had not caught much in the few days previously and I was a bit too eager. As the next wave washed over the edge, I pulled a bit too hard and the hook came out. I did not get a good look at it, but I would say it was more likely to have been a tailor or trevally, than jewfish.

I threw a lot of lures at this spot over the next hour, with both the light and heavy rod. After about twenty minutes one of my GULP 2” Smelt Minnows was bitten off right next to the edge, but that was it, I did not hook anything else. By about 10 am the water was surging over the rocks too often and I had to move off. The fish were definitely there, but they had again proved hard to get at.

By late afternoon the north-easterly breeze had picked up. I decided to try fishing at Shark Bay, to the north of Woody Head. This is another spot that is only really accessible around low tide. The rock platform at the southern end of the bay is exposed for a few hours either side of low. There is a large patch of reef just north of the main platform and the channel between is often a good target area.

The sea was fairly flat here. I decided to start with the light rod. I tied on 12lb leader and a 1/6th oz, 2/0 jighead and loaded a GULP 2” Minnow in the Banana Prawn colour. I cast north and waited for the lure to sink. As it did so,…….bang, it was hit on the drop. The Shimano Catana Coastline bent over and took the lunges. After a few runs I reeled in another good size bream.

A few casts later I pulled in a tiny Moses Perch and then I started to lose tails to some rapid hit and run attacks. I decided to put a bigger lure on and loaded a GULP Crazylegs Jerkshad. On the first retrieve it was slammed. I knew it was a tailor from the mad head shakes. I wound in steadily and soon had it by my feet. It was about 40 cm long. Over the next hour I had several more plastics mangled, but could not hook up. At one point I saw a couple of long toms following the lure in. At about 7.00 pm, exhausted, I gave up for the day.

Bribie Island – The Museum Drain – 4 March 2012

Sunday

I am still working, and slowly getting used to just fishing at the weekend. It’s not much fun is it? Still I can’t complain – I have nearly finished my work project and will be back fishing, full time, in a few weeks.

This morning I drove up to Bribie Island for an early start. It would be a 2.1m high tide at about 6.30 am. I arrived a bit before 5.00 am and started fishing under the bridge on the Island side of the Passage. The tide was running in strongly and was approaching high. The session started with a soaking from an early morning shower. I fished around under the bridge with a soft plastic minnow and had a few bites but could not hook anything. The tide had lifted the weed and, as usual it was floating around in the eddies and clogging up the lure. After 20 minutes, I decided to move on.

I drove down to the drain in front of the new museum. I walked down the rockwall and out, along the sand bank, that runs along the southern edge of the drain. As dawn broke there was a bout of surface feeding, just at the mouth of the fresh water drain. I put on a GULP 3” Minnow in the Banana Prawn colour on a 1/8th 1/0 jighead and positioned myself just to the north of the drain, about 10 metres from the shoreline. I then cast back towards the drain mouth. When there is a 2m high tide the drain mouth is covered by about 1.2m of water. The predators move up in to this area on the rising tide, very quickly, to feed on the fish, crabs, worms and grubs that are washed out through the mouth of the drain. Once the sun was up I could clearly see where the tea- tree stained, run off meets the sea water coming up the Passage. This is a good area to concentrate on. I cast up, under the bridge over the drain and slowly bumped the lure along the bottom. I lost a couple of tails to small fish and changed for a new plastic, each time.

The surface attacks continued, something was feeding on the bait schools that were siting just out of the current, close to the shore. A few more casts and I felt a bite. I struck a bit too soon and pulled the lure out of the fish’s mouth. I dropped the rod tip again and paused for a count of five, then struck. This time it was on and it took off. Fortunately it swam away from the clump of mangroves. I played it out and when it seemed tired enough I pulled it slowly up the rock wall for a few photos. It was a Flathead just over 50cm long. I let it go and went looking for more.


A few more casts in the same spot and I had another fish on. It was a smaller Flathead this time – just over 45cm. I measured, photographed and released it. I cast around closer to the bank and felt a few bites, close to the bridge structure. Then the line went tight on a smaller fish. It was a Moses Perch and I suspect these were what had been causing the commotion on the surface earlier.

I only had a few hours so I had to stop at about 7.00 am. The water was fairly clear and although the midges were buzzing around everywhere, conditions were pretty much perfect. I am looking forward to getting back out again soon.