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 – 10 December 2013

Tuesday

I arrived on the mainland side of the Bribie Bridge at 4.30 am, just after first light. I waded straight out to the area just south of the old oyster jetty, where I had done well on the flathead, during my last session.

The tide was on its way out. It had been a 1.8m high, at about 3.30 am. There was not much flow as the moon was in its first quarter. It was a building northerly blowing with a stronger, south-easterly forecast to take over, later in the day.

There was not much weed moving around, so I decided to give one of my DUO hard-bodied lures an outing. My latest favourite is the Realis Shad 59 MR. This is a shallow diving, suspending, 59mm minnow, with a great rattle and the usual superb DUO finish. It is perfect for fishing over the weed beds and I was keen to try it with the new G.Loomis TSR series light spinning rod that I am now using. I picked out a gold/ bronze coloured one and tied it on.

The sun broke over the horizon just before 5.00am. There were a few mullet jumping around and as a few cormorants flew over, they spooked a large school of whiting/ mullet in the shallows. I started casting the Realis Shad 59 MR all around in a semi-circle in front of me.

I felt a few nudges and a couple of real bites. After about ten minutes a fish attacked hard and swam away with it. It too a bit of line but soon settled. It was a nice Bream – about 30cm long that had been cruising above the weed. About 10 minutes later, there were a few more knocks on successive casts and I hooked another smaller one.

I had made my way south, towards the green channel marker. It was just about 6.00 am and I could now cast over the edge of the major weed bank that runs along here. I felt an angry bite and then another. I pulled the trebles home and saw a Pike leap out of the water. I pulled it up close and shook it off the hooks.

The tide was now lifting a lot of sea grass so I decided to switch lures to a soft plastic. I chose the GULP 5” Jerkshad in the Watermelon Pearl colour. I loaded it on to a 1/8th ounce, 2/0 jighead and started fishing it along the edge of the weed.

I waded back towards the bridge but did not get a bite for more than hour. About 60 metres from the end of the old oyster jetty, I felt a grab, but I did not hook up. I cast back in the same spot six more times – slowing my retrieve down to a crawl. On number seven…. thud. I dropped the rod tip and slowly counted to ten. When I lifted it, I felt the hook slide home and I had a flathead on the line. This one was a keeper, about 45cm, but I was releasing everything today. It was just before 8.30 am.

Five minutes later and ten metres closer to the jetty, I found another slightly bigger one. Just before 9.00 am, I cast into the shallows – between me and the mangrove lined shore and the line went tight, immediately. It was the best fish of the day, about 60cm long. It was diminishing returns from then on. I caught two more fish, but both were around 35cm long.

By 10.00 am, the wind was blowing hard and I had Christmas shopping to get on with, so that was it for the day.

Caloundra – Dirty water, a big tide & elusive fish – 27 November 2011

Saturday

After a rubbish session at Bribie Island on Thursday morning, I decided to go back to Caloundra again on Saturday. It would be the usual wind pattern – virtually no breeze pre-dawn, building to a solid 15 to 20 knot north-easterly by about 11.00 am.

The view from Bulcock Beach - just after dawn


The new moon had risen on Friday, so it would be a big, fast running tide. High was due at 8.40 am and would be 2.1 metres. I arrived at Bulcock Beach at about 4.00 am to find the water just starting the run in, with some force. The blowy weather and rain of the previous few days has stirred the water up and visibility is very poor. There is also a bit of sediment and floating around. I started off fishing with a GULP 4” Minnow in the Pearl Watermelon colour, on a 1/8th 1/0 jighead. I was walking along the shore, under the board walk, casting close in to the shore. Just on first light, I caught a small Flathead – about 35 cm long. I carried on up to the rocks at the mouth of the Passage and caught nothing else.

Bulcock Beach - Small Flathead by the boardwalk


I moved down to the flats and weed beds in front of the Power Boat Club, just south of Golden Beach. The water was flooding over the flats when I arrived. I tried a Strikepro hard bodied, bibless vibe lure for a while, but there was a lot of sea grass floating around and the lure was getting fouled up on every cast, so I switched back to a soft plastic lure. I chose the GULP Crazylegs Jerkshad in the Lime Tiger colour. I hoped the fluttering tail might draw a strike.

I moved further north across the flats in ankle deep water. I cast along the edge of the channel, bouncing the soft plastic along the bottom. The water was still very murky, with the strong tidal flow washing around a lot of debris as it approached high.

Flathead grabs a Crazylegs soft plastic - Caloundra

After about an hour of fishing this area with the hard bodied lure, I had not found a fish. Three casts with the soft plastic – and I had one. It was no monster – a Flathead, about 45cm long. I released it and spent the next few hours trying, in vain, to find another.

A bit of a frustrating session – but the fish are there.