Brooms Head – 3 October 2015

Saturday

On Saturday we were heading back to Brisbane. The looming thought of returning to work forced a right turn at Brooms Head. This coastal area in the Yuraygir National Park is a land-based fisherman’s paradise. There are plenty of estuaries, rocky headlands and beaches to choose from. You can catch all the common species; tailor, kingfish, mulloway, trevally, dart, bream, whiting and flathead.

We drove up to the Brooms Head lookout. It was a beautiful day and just as we arrived a whale and its calf swam by, stopping for a brief tail slapping session.

Brooms HeadBrooms Head fishingMagnificent view from the lookout

It was just about lunch time but I could not resist getting the fishing rod out and clambering down the rocks for a quick cast. I put on a small soft plastic and felt a few small bream bites, close to the foot of the rocks. After about twenty minutes, I pulled up a tiny wriggling tusk fish of some kind.

The sun was out, the water was crystal clear and I could have stayed here another week – but unfortunately there are bills to pay.

Advertisements

Brooms Head Tailor – 29 September 2012

Thursday / Friday / Saturday

On Thursday I was still at Brooms Head and the northerly wind was forecast to blow hard. This had the advantage of flattening out the sea and, on the southern tip of the headland, you could still fish in the morning.

I started at about 5.15 am, just after first light. I had a look at the Bream spot. The water was not washing over it but with high tide just after dawn it was a bit too dangerous – a rogue wave could easily turn up and leave me soaked, if not worse. I cast a few soft plastics on the inside of the razor back but and lost a few tails but did not hook up with a fish.

The difference however, was the bait. Everytime the lure hit the water, in close to the rocks, bait would go flying everywhere. I thought there might be some Tailor around and another guy confirmed it by catching a 40cm Tailor, on a 65g Raider, on his first cast of the day.

I quickly swapped over to a DUO Tide Minnow in the purple colour, which has caught plenty of fish for me. After a few casts, I came up tight on a small Tailor – around 40 cm. I brought it into the rocks, but I was too keen, with the Catana light rod and I pulled the treble out of its mouth, just as I was about to lift it up.

I carried on casting and the bait kept scattering. A couple of times I even speared a baitfish with the DUO Tide Minnow. I carried on until about 8.30 am when I lost my beloved purple Tide Minnow to a rock. I gave up and vowed to come back the next day.

The northerly had been blowing powerfully all night on Thursday and it was still going on Friday morning but the south side of the Brooms Head platform remained sheltered and if anything, the swell had eased a little. I put on a GULP 4” Minnow soft plastic in the Smelt colour and cast out next to the ‘razorback’. There was still plenty of push around the rocks so I swapped from a 1/8th 1/0 jighead to a 1/6th 1/0 jighead and cast out again. This did the trick and I soon had another good 32cm+ Bream at my feet. The tide was coming in so I decided to retreat and try casting a few slugs around. I had heard that someone had caught a couple of Kingfish the day before so I was keen to try for one.

I cast a few forty gram slugs and hard bodies and felt a few hits but I could not hook up. The bait was still there, but it was more patchy, hanging around close to the bommies. I think a forty gram slug is about the limit of the Catana’s casting capability and I doubt it would be able to subdue a Tailor or Salmon over about 45cm.

Saturday was my last morning and I was hopeful that the bait would bring in some bigger predators. I decided to try bigger slugs and use the heavy rig, 9’6” the Daiwa Demon Blood with the Shimano Stradic 8000. I found the Tailor but unfortunately they were all about 25cm long. I caught fish after fish on a whole range of slugs but they never got any bigger. Finally I threw out a GULP Jerkshad on a 1/6th 1/0 jighead and it was monstered close to the rocks. The fish took off on a solid run but then suddenly it was gone – it had spat the hook. That was it for the day.

I feel I am gradually getting to know this spot. Who knows, in 20 years I may have mastered it.

Brooms Head – The Razorback – 24 September 2012

Monday

Sunday had been pretty breezy so I spent the day with the family – after all, that is what family holidays are about – I suppose. By Monday I had had enough of them and the wind had eased off in the early morning, so I decided to try fishing the rocks on the southern side of the headland.

I started out on a prominent rock that juts out into the water, just north of Back Beach. I fished with the Catana Coastline rig again, using a 10lb leader and various soft plastics. I did not raise any bites but first the dolphins came through and then a magnificent black back appeared out of the water. It was a big humpback and the dolphins played around it for a while.

I watched the show and then decided to head back to the rocks, known locally as the ‘Razorback’ on the southern edge of the headland. This is a very dangerous spot to fish but, if the sea is flattened by a north westerly, as it was this morning, and there is not much swell – it can be approached, safely. Every now and then a big wave comes over the top of these rocks and I have witnessed several people get washed down the barnacles and leave plenty of skin on them. If you see/hear a big wave coming over, it is best to hunker down and hang on, rather than trying to out run it. Your clothes will dry out quicker than the grazes will heal!

I had watched the swell from my other fishing spot for about an hour before I deemed it safe to go out onto these rocks. I had rock boots and a small automatic inflating life vest on. I stuck with the 10lb leader and a 1/8th 1/0 jighead. I chose a brightly coloured GULP 4” Minnow in the Lime Tiger colour, for my first cast. The wind was now negligible but there was a slight ruffle on the surface of the clear water. I watched the lure sink and counted to five. As I lifted the rod tip I felt a solid hit and run. The fish took some line but the Catana and drag absorbed the lunges and soon I had a healthy 34cm Bream at my feet.

I lost the jighead on the next cast – snagged tight, as the current wafted it into the rocks. I re-rigged with the same weight jighead and leader but swapped to a GULP 2” Shrimp in the Molting colour. I cast this one along the inside of the ‘Razorback’ and it was slammed in close to an opening in the rocks. It was another solid Bream and it was easier to subdue and land on this side. When I got it to my feet I realized it was a monster – pushing 40cm.

I carried on for another 30 minutes and the Bream kept coming. They took all types of small soft plastic – the GULP, 3” Minnow in Smelt, Emerald Shine, Rainbow, Lime Tiger and Pearl Watermelon and the GULP 2” Shrimp in the Banana Prawn and Molting colours. I caught about twelve fish and kept the best four. They were all between 32cm and 40cm. These fish were not fussy.

At about 8.30 am I stopped and cleaned my catch in the rock pools. As I looked down, I could see why the Whales were around. The water was full of tiny see through Krill. There were small shrimp like shapes fluttering around everywhere. I thought this was what the Bream could have been eating, but when I opened their stomachs, I found them all empty. I still could not see any bait in the water but at least now I had found a fishy spot.

Brooms Head – the Lagoon ridge – 22 September 2012

Saturday

It was on to Brooms Head in Northern New South Wales for our family holiday. Fortunately this represented another fishing opportunity. I have fished here a few times and never found it very easy. The terrain looks incredibly fishy but it often fails to deliver. It is also a very exposed stretch of coast, so the swell can make things tough.

Now September can be particularly tricky when fishing from the rocks. The wind keeps changing around and the water can be cool and clear or brown and dirty (if it has rained a lot). Fortunately it was cool and clear at Brooms Head. But it was so crystal clear that it would be difficult to fool the fish.

I started on Saturday morning trying to fish the mouth of the lagoon on the north side of the headland. I say trying because the north easterly was producing enough chop to give me a good soaking every 10 minutes or so. I was fishing with the Shimano Catana Coastline light rod with the Shimano Stella 2500. I soon swapped from hard bodies to soft plastics and from 20lb to 10lb leader.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I was fishing with a 1/8th 1/0 jighead and a GULP 2” Shrimp when I caught the first fish. It was sitting right in the mouth of the lagoon – a Pike – followed by another, on the next cast. I threw them back and then cast out a bit further. I lost a few jigheads to the rocks and then re-rigged with a GULP 3” Minnow in the Lime Tiger colour. I cast close into a bommie and let the lure sink. It was hit hard by a small angry Bream. It was about 25cm but would not be much of a meal so I threw it back.

At about 8.00 am I was soaked through, cold and no longer getting any bites so I gave up. A few fish, but not a very promising start.

Brooms Head – Lagoon Drain – 19 Sept 2011

Monday

The weather was good again. There was a light breeze from the south west. It was sunny and clear and the wind still had some chill in it. The last few sessions, fishing at Brooms Head in Northern New South Wales had suggested light tackle was probably the best option. I decided to fish the drain at the western side of the Brooms Head lagoon. The lagoon sits just north west of the main Bluff and is deepest by the rock ridge at its mouth, to the east. As the tide rises and falls, the water enters and exits close to the beach via a big sandy drain. The drain never fills to more than about waist deep. If you walk across it your reach rocky/ weedy covered bottom that forms the north wall of the lagoon. Further north, where this wall drops off to a sandy bottom is a great fish holding area. They sit here waiting for food to be washed in and out of the lagoon on the rising and falling tides. The area is highlighted in the aerial photo.

Fishing area just north of the Brooms Head lagoon


I was using the Gary Howard 9’ Estuary rod again. I had loaded a very light 1/16th oz 1 hook jighead. I wanted to avoid getting snagged on the rocky weedy bottom. I used about 1.5 m of 10lb breaking strain fluorocarbon leader. I used the soft plastic lure that had been successful the day before – the GULP 3” Minnow in the Pearl Watermelon colour. I waded out into the water, which was surprisingly warm. I put in long casts out over the rocks to the sandy areas to the north. Every time I lifted the lure over the edge of the rocks there would be a small bite or nudge from a fish. The tide was running in and had been low at about 5.30 am. The incoming tide had also produced the fish the day before.

Looking back from the mouth of the lagoon at low tide - Brooms Head


After a bit of wading around up and down the rocky bottom I was onto a fish. It was a good Bream around 30 cm long. I cast back out in the same spot, and the plastic was slammed as soon as it hit the water. The fish pulled hard and took a bit of line. It felt much stronger than the Bream. It kept turning to run as I waded back into the beach, to land it. I saw the stripes in the water and realized it was a small Trevally. It really had pulled hard on the light rod. I released it and headed back out. It was about 8.30 am and the tide was running in strongly.

Lagoon Bream


Lagoon Trevally

Over the next hour I caught two more small Bream, a Tarwhine, three more Trevally and a couple of Pike. The cold southerly breeze eventually made me too cold to carry on but I was delighted to find a few fish. At around 9.45 am I went back to our cabin for a hot shower. Fishing with lighter gear had paid off.