Bribie Island – the Seaside Museum drain and Buckleys Hole – 17 July 2013

Wednesday

New look site – hope you like it.

Things looked pretty good for Wednesday – there was a bit of rain forecast but the wind would be light, turning into a northerly. The moon would be about 65% full and low tide would 0.5m at 9.43am. These are ideal conditions to fish at Bribie Island. Arriving before dawn, I could fish the second half of the run out tide.

I arrived on the island side of the bridge at about 5.30 am. The water was running out pretty fast. I put on my waders and clambered down the rock wall to the south of the bridge. The bridge lights often bring the smaller fish or prawns into this area but there was no evidence of their presence. The water was clear, but there was a fair amount of weed floating around. I tried dark and light, big and small soft plastics but did not get a bite. Just after first light at about 6.00 am I decided to move south.

I drove down to the car park in front of the Seaside Museum. Conditions were perfect – I could see where the fresh water drain was pouring over the ledge into the channel and I positioned myself just south of this point.

I was fishing with my light spin rod and running 8lb fluorocarbon leader down to a 1/8th ounce, 1/0 hook, jighead. I started with a GULP 4” Minnow in the Smelt colour. I cast over the ledge, let it sink and bounced it back along the bottom, parallel with the shore. After about three casts, there was a solid bite, then line started peeling. It was slow at first but then it took off, as it realised it was hooked. It took about 10 metres, paused and then took another 10. It was a heavy fish. It turned and swam back towards the ledge. I tried to apply some pressure and lift it over but it put its head down and swam under an overhang. I tightened the drag a little and then slowly dropped the rod tip. As the line slackened, the fish swam out. I put the pressure on again but it went straight back under. I could feel the line rubbing on something and then pffffft – it was gone. When I wound in the line, the jighead and plastic were gone.

I swapped through a few soft plastics and hard bodies as the tide ran out. A small school of Tailor passed through and I lost a couple tails from my lures. I dropped down to a GULP 3” Minnow in the Pearl Watermelon colour on the same size jighead. On the first cast this soft plastic was hit as it sank. There was a quick initial run, towards me. I tightened the drag and started wading backwards. I did not want the fish to swim back over the ledge. I pulled a little too hard and caught site of a good sized Bream swimming away.

I carried on peppering the area with casts. I made sure I gave the soft plastic plenty of time to sink to the bottom. On a couple of casts I felt a faint bite, as I lifted the lure off the bottom. At about 7.35 am I cast out and paused. When I lifted the rod I felt some resistance. Suddenly line was peeling again. This time it was heading out into the channel. I moved closer to the ledge and gradually recovered some line. It was another slow powerful fish. It gradually tired and as I pulled it over the ledge, I could see it was a Jewfish. It made few more runs but I soon had it safely on the sand. It was about 55cm long. Unfortunately it had completely swallowed the jighead, so I left it in, cut the leader and released it, after a few pictures. I could not find anymore, so I moved on.

I waded to the south, casting along the edge of the drop off. Things were uneventful for about 45 minutes. I was now standing in front of the tidal lagoon at Buckley’s Hole. Suddenly, something grabbed the soft plastic as it dropped into the water. It took off and then let go. I continued retrieving the lure, quickly and just before it reached me, the fish grabbed it again. It jumped around and made plenty of lunges and short runs. It was a small Tailor. As it came over the ledge, it had two other fish following it. It was only about 30cm long but nicely hooked. I picked it up and took a few pictures before releasing it.

Things went quiet so I slowly waded back along the shore line to where I had started. It was now almost low tide and the water was getting dirtier and weedier. I was still using the GULP 3” Minnow soft plastic. At about 9.00 am I was ready to give up. As I speeded up my retrieve to pull the lure clear of the ledge, a fish grabbed it and pulled away. It went straight back over the ledge and headed for the bottom. It took a bit of line but soon calmed down and after a minute or two, I had a nice 36cm Bream to finish the session.

As I drove home the heavens opened again.

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Bribie Island – Buckley’s Hole Flats – Whitepatch – 17 October 2012

Wednesday

Whilst fishing definitely delivers the joy in my life, unfortunately, it can’t seem to deliver the cash. Paid work has many evil consequences – less fishing and no time for a midday hammock session, to name a couple. But perhaps the most evil is the exquisite torture devised by the ATO – the tax return.

I have been fortunate to live in a few countries over the years and unfortunate enough to pay tax in most of them. Nowhere is the process more excruciating than Oz. I admit I have not tried North Korea – which is about the only place where I think they could make it more painful. I like the idea of the Greek tax system where 95% of doctors reported an annual income of less than A$ 9,000, last year – but then again, their economy has ended up a few chickpeas short of a bowl of Hummus. When I was in Indonesia we had to pay our income tax, in person, every year, with a sack load of cash. It seemed the tax collectors did not trust the banks to honor cheques, but it did not seem a particularly good idea from a corruption prevention point of view. In Hong Kong – I thought I had earned a fortune one year and was dreading the bill. I filled in the two page return (yes – just two pages) and got a letter back about three days later explaining that my paltry income did not exceed the tax free threshold and there was no need to submit further annual returns, until it did. You could almost sense their pity!

My other problem was that I took so long to do last year’s tax return that, in the blink of an eye, I received a ‘friendly’ e-mail reminder that this year’s is due. No wonder the unemployment rate is rising – much easier to pop down to the community bank – known as Centrelink and collect your ‘pay’. They will even do the tax return for you.

Spleen vented – on to fishing. I decided on Bribie Island on Wednesday morning. New moon had been on Tuesday and it would be a very low tide (0.1m) at about 4.00 am. These really low tides are great as they enable you to see the terrain you have been fishing, when there is more water around.

I started at the mouth of the drain, in front of the sea side museum at Bongaree. It was just after first light at about 5.00 am. Having seen the marauding Tuna on Monday I decided to start with a big DUO Beachwalker hard bodied lure on my heavy rod. I soon got worn out by that process and there was no sign of marauders, so I swapped back to my Loomis light spin combination.

I put a GULP 2” Minnow in the Smelt colour on a 1/8th, 1/0 jighead. I was fishing with about 1.5m of 10lb fluorocarbon leader. There was a school of mullet finning around on the surface, right by the edge of the drop off. I cast in to it and it was so thick that I jagged one through the eye. I threw it back and continued to walk south along the edge, casting parallel with the shore into the tide, that was now racing in.

It walked and then waded for an hour and caught a couple of Pike. By now I had reached the flats at the south end of the tidal lagoon in front of Buckley’s Hole. I was now fishing with a GULP 3” Minnow in the Lime Tiger colour. The incoming tide had pushed me away from the drop off. As I was about to lift the plastic for another cast something grabbed it. I struck a bit too hard and pulled the fish quickly up to the surface, where it shook its head maniacally and spat the lure out. It was a keeper size Flathead.

I swapped to a bigger soft plastic – a GULP Jerkshad in the Cajun Chicken colour – black and pink. There is now a new opening in the sand bank at this end of the lagoon – which means there is a new drain as the tide runs out. I was right in front of this opening, standing in about 30cm of water, when I felt another solid thud. This time I was more gentle – but the fish was smaller – another Flathead just on 40cm. I took it to the sand, photographed and released it.

There was now too much water over the ledge so I decided to drive up to Whitepatch and fish the high tide. I drove down to the north end of the beach and waded back, to the south, casting in to the last of the incoming current. I caught a few more Pike.

As I reached the point where the black coffee rock is visible along the shore line I paused and concentrated a few casts in close to edge. On high tides the Flathead will sometimes move up close to these rocks. I was now fishing with the GULP Jerkshad in the Satay Chicken colour – yellow and pumpkinseed. After a few casts I found a fish – another Flathead that was just over 40cm. I took a few snaps and flicked it off the hook.

It was now 11.00 am and time to give up. I had only caught two keeper fish but I had surveyed a lot of ground. There is still plenty of bait around so prospects look pretty good for the next week or so.