Brunswick River – Brunswick Heads – 3/4/6 May 2021

Having found plenty of flathead in the Brunswick River in March and April, 2021, I decided to continue fishing the river through May. I wanted to see if my catch fluctuated with the moon, tides and wind direction. In March and April the flathead had been easiest to catch, when large amounts of bait came into the river. They were slightly more numerous in the run up to the new moons than the full moons.

My first few sessions in May were on the 3rd, 4th and the 6th. On the 3rd I fished at the mouth of the river between about 2 and 4 pm. We were a week away from the New Moon and there was a light south-easterly wind blowing.  There were a few showers around. High tide was at 2.15 pm, so I was fishing the top of the tide and the run out.

I started  with a 4″ GULP Minnow soft plastic in the Watermelon Pearl colour. I was using a 1/8th ounce, size 1 hook jighead and about 1.5 metres of 10lb fluorocarbon leader. I flicked the soft plastic lure around on the bottom, keeping it stationary for a few seconds and then hopping it along the bottom before another pause. I felt a few bream hits and then the unmistakable thud of a flathead bite. I dropped the rod tip, paused and slowly counted to ten. When I lifted the rod tip I had the fish hooked. I landed it, photographed it and let it go.

I carried on casting and moved slowly up river. After a few casts and bites the jighead came up missing the soft plastic. A bream had most likely pulled it off. I put on another minnow soft plastic, this time in the bright yellow and white Chartreuse colour. The water was clear but still a little tannin stained from the recent rain.  Four or five casts later I caught another flathead  – about 40 cm long. 

I moved down to the river mouth and out onto the rockwall. I cast into the ocean side from the rockwall. I was aiming my soft plastic to land in the surf wash, just a couple of metres away from the rocky beach area. This worked. The first fish was a small bream. A few casts later I hooked another flathead that looked just over 40 cm.

On the 4th May, the weather was overcast and I fished from about 1.00pm to 4.00 pm. It was much harder to find the fish. What success I had was on the big GULP Crazylegs Jerkshad soft plastic, which I was fishing with a 1/8th ounce, size 1/0 hook jighead. There were a few schools of whiting cruising the sand banks. I caught one very small (15cm) flathead and then a bigger but still not legal size unit in the river. I tried the beach area again and caught a 32 cm bream.

On the 6th May I fished from about 10.30 am through to about 12.30 pm. It was still cloudy but the wind has eased off and the sun was shining through a few clouds. I was now fishing the run in tide and the water was fairly clear. It was just stirred up a little from some rain we had had overnight. This time I decided to fish further up the river on the north bank. I started a little up river from the highway bridge. I was using a 3″ GULP Minnow soft plastic in the Lime Tiger colour. After about five minutes of casting around I caught a decent bream.

I lost a jighead to the rocks and re-rigged with the same colour soft plastic lure. In this area the water drains off the oyster lease through some weed beds and it always looks very fishy. At about 10.50 am I watched a flathead follow the plastic right to my feet before turning away at the last minute. I re-cast and slowed everything right down. I did this a couple of times and then felt the thud. I paused and then set the hook. It was a flathead or perhaps the same flathead. It was just about 36cm long. I released and cast out again. It kept things slow. This seemed to work and 5 minutes later I had another flathead this time a little over 40cm.

Things went quiet so I decided to move further down the river to fish in the mouth of Marshalls Creek. This also always looks like a fishy spot. I arrived and put on a GULP 4 Pulseworm in the Moebi colour. I cast this around in the mouth of the creek and I felt a small fish attack. It was a tiny flathead. I swapped back to fishing the main arm of the Brunswick River and cast around on the edge of the main channel. At about 12.15 pm I hooked a small flathead that was just under 35cm.

I released all the fish I caught in these three sessions, so they are still out there for you to catch.

Bribie – The Bridge and from the old Oyster Jetty to the channel marker – 21 June 2011

Tuesday

I managed to persuade myself to brave the cold on Tuesday for another morning of Flathead fishing. As usual I arrived in the dark around 5.30 am, at Bribie Island. I started by fishing soft plastic lures under the bridge lights on the mainland side. The tide would be running out until low at about 8.00 am. There was virtually no wind but it was forecast to become south-westerly at 10 knots, later. I soon found a few small Tailor and numerous Pike. It was a fish a cast, with the Pike, for about the last ten minutes before first light. I could not find any keeper size fish, so I moved back across the bridge and waded out beside the old oyster jetty, just after dawn.

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I waded along the sand banks, casting along the edge of the weed. I fished right through the bottom of the tide with only some monster Pike to show for my efforts. Finally, well into the run in tide I caught a 30 cm Flathead on a GULP 4″ Minnow, in the Pearl Watermelon colour. I caught another, similar sized fish, from the same spot a minute later. After what seemed like several more hours of wading, I ended up with two legal sized Flathead – at 42cm and 51cm – I caught them using the 5″ Jerkshad in the Pumpkinseed colour rigged on a 1/8th 1/0 jighead.

After some great sessions recently, the fishing was tough. I presume the Flathead have now moved further up the Passage – they must be around somewhere – so get out there and catch a few.