Bribie Island – Buckley’s Hole – Tailor, Flathead, Bream – 24 July 2011

Unfortunately paid employment has limited my fishing opportunities of late. The weather has also made things tricky with some windy mornings. Sunday was not ideal but I had to get my fix. I arrived at Bribie Island about 5.45 am and conditions were better than I expected. The tide was running out and would be low at around 9.00 am. The wind was from the south at less than 10 knots, but it was building.

Bribie Island Bridge - just before dawn


I started under the bridge on the island side. After a few casts I could see there was a lot less of the clinging ‘snot’ weed floating around. There was no surface action under the bridge lights. I decided to cast a soft plastic around just to the north of the bridge. After five or six casts with a GULP 4″ Minnow in the Pearl Watermelon colour, I felt a couple of bites. Next cast and the rod tip went mad. It was a Tailor just under 30cm. I caught a few more around the same size and then decided to move down to the mouth of the tidal lagoon, in front of Buckley’s Hole.

A 30cm Tailor - under the Bribie Bridge

I waded out just to the south of the new Bribie Island Seaside Museum. Looks very flash – but I would have preferred to see my tax dollar spent on something a little more essential! Like more gutting tables, hot showers and massages for tired fisherman, etc.

There is a small drain here, just to the south of the main island jetty, and on a run-out tide there are often fish around. After a few casts I had a Tailor – about the same size as the previous ones. I had switched to a GULP 5″ Jerkshad in the Lime Tiger colour. I let it go and carried on casting over the coffee rock drop off, that forms the edge of the Pumicestone Passage. I have not caught a Pike for a few weeks – I can only assume the marauding Tailor have either eaten them or scared them off.

Flathead love the Lime Tiger colour

A few casts later a fish grabbed the plastic, just on the top of the ledge. It was slower and heavier than the Tailor, as I dragged it back to the sand I could see it was a Flathead. It was around 45cm – things were looking up.

I started to head south, casting out of over the ledge and gradually skipping my soft plastic in close to the edge. There were small ‘hardy heads’ all along the drop off and every now and then they would scatter as something smashed into them from below. I switched to a 3″ Minnow in the Lime Tiger colour. After a couple of casts, a fish grabbed it and tried to hide down under the ledge. I gave it a bit of line then tightened the drag and pulled it up and over. It was a decent Bream around 30 cm long. A few more casts produced another fish, about the same size.

A 30cm Bribie Island Bream


I carried on moving up and down the ledge for another hour. A couple of times I was bitten off by what I assume were Tailor, but I did not land any more fish. I was fishing with 10lb leader which is no match for their teeth, but necessary to tempt the Bream. Overall, it had been a better session than last week.

Bribie Island – the Oyster Jetty to the Channel Marker – 19 June 2011

Sunday

I managed a quick dawn session at Bribie on Sunday. I arrived at around 6.00 am. Dawn and low tide were at about the same time. I was fishing the area of sand banks and muddy weed beds south of the old oyster jetty, on the mainland side of the Pumicestone Passage.

I started with a GULP Crazylegs Jerkshad soft plastic in the Pink Shine colour, rigged on a 1/8th 1/0 jighead. I have now upgraded to a 12lb fluorocarbon leader as I have been getting bitten off by the Tailor that are around in the estuaries at the moment.

As I waded out I noted how cold the water has become in the last couple of weeks. I presume this is down to the consistent westerly winds. It was a westerly again this morning but not the predicted 10 to 12 knots. The first hour, through the slack water period on low tide, was a bit slow, but as the sun started to really light up the water, I started to catch fish. I had now switched to the GULP 5” Jerkshad in the Satay Chicken colour – basically, yellow on top of pumpkinseed.

I opened the account with a monster Pike – at just over 45cm I think it’s the biggest I have ever caught. Around 7.00 am I caught the first Flathead. It was about 35cm long. I then put in about ten more casts in a radius of a few metres of where I caught it. After slowing my retrieve and pausing longer, I hooked up to another – this was a much better fish. I dragged it on to the sand, photographed and released it. It was just over 50cm.

I fished on until 8.00am and caught another six Flathead between 30cm and 58cm. They seemed to feed more aggressively once the sun was a little higher over the water and the tide started to run in, solidly. There are plenty of fish in our fridge at present, so I released all the Flathead I caught today. I kept the monster Pike for the cat.

If you want to try land-based fishing with soft plastic lures, now is the time in southern Queensland. I expect they are sitting on sandbanks and weed beds in all the major estuaries at present. You will need to wrap up warm though!

Iluka – Woody Head – 11 April 2011

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Monday – pm

After a good start earlier in the day, I could not resist an afternoon fish. We were staying in a cabin at Woody Head – so I was ideally placed to fish off the rocks, on the afternoon low tide. I walked out on the rock ledges, directly in front of the camp site, at about 5.00 pm. Low tide would be at about 7.30 pm.

There was a strong north easterly breeze and a few small rain squalls were coming over. I started around 5.00 pm with a 3/8oz 3/0 hook jighead and a GULP Crazylegs Jerkshad in the Lime Tiger colour. I was using a 30lb fluorocarbon leader again.
It is always difficult to avoid losing tackle in this location. The fish tend to bite just at the edge of the rock ledges and very close in. If you pull your lure to safety to fast, you will miss them. If you leave it too long, you get snagged. After a couple of casts I was stuck firm in the rocks, so I snapped off the jighead and plastic and re-rigged with the same set up.

I sent out five or six casts in a semi – circle, from my position on the edge of the rocks. Every now and then I would carefully retreat in the face of a big wave but only my feet were getting wet. The rocks are incredibly slippery so you need good rock fishing boots and you need to move slowly – running away from a wave is a recipe for disaster as you will almost certainly fall over. It is better to duck down and hang on if you see a big one coming – you may get wet, but hopefully you will not break your neck! Remember rock fishing is a dangerous activity, stay safe and if in doubt – don’t go out.

I moved along the rocks and just on 5.15 pm I hooked a fish. I let it run until I could see a good wave that would bring it up the rocks. I then tightened the drag and lifted the fish clear. The wave pushed it up and broke over the ledge. It was a school Jewfish/ Mulloway, just under 50cm. I unhooked it and cast out into the same spot. Before the lure had hit the bottom it was grabbed again. This time it was a much faster and more powerful fish. It headed out to see and then turned and ran along the edge of the rock ledge. I tightened the drag to slow it down as I could see it was going to try and bury itself in the rocks. The leader got stuck between the sea squirts that line the rocks, but a big wave lifted it clear and up came the fish. I was soaked but I had a good sized (45cm +) Trevally at my feet.

These two would be dinner and as another rain squall came over I decided to head back to the cabin for a warm shower. It had been another great land based session fishing with soft plastics from the rocks.

Bribie Island – Bridge, White Patch & Oyster Jetty – 8 March 2011

Tuesday

Up early and back to Bribie Island. I arrived at the mainland side of the bridge at around 4.00 am and started by casting soft plastics in amongst the pylons. The tide was in the last hour of running out and the rain showers overnight had again stirred things up. There is also a storm water drain under the bridge that empties out from time to time, further clouding the water.

I had rigged up a GULP 5” Jerkshad soft plastic in the Satay Chicken colour on a 1/8th 1/0 jighead. I was fishing with 10lb braid and a 12lb fluorocarbon leader, on my light spin combo – a Loomis GL2 rod with a Shimano Stradic 3000 reel.

I started just to the north of the bridge and got no bites for a while. I moved quietly, round to the north and cast into the area where the light and bridge shadows meet. Thud – a solid hit, I dropped the rod tip, paused and then struck. The fish took some line then settled into the current. I gradually eased it up on to the sandy area at the foot of the rocks. It was a nice, 46cm Flathead. I let it go, straightened the plastic on the jighead and peppered the area with more casts. It was about 4.20 am. A few retrieves later there was a smaller bite, in about the same spot and I caught another Flathead. This time it was just on 40 cm. I released it and moved all around the bridge area and down to the street light beside the boat hire outlet, but I could not find any more.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As dawn broke, I drove up to White Patch to look for some more fish. I walked down on to the beach and out towards the drop off, that runs all the way along the edge of the Pumicestone Passage. It was just after low tide and I waded along casting in all directions, out over the drop off and on top of it, in the shallow water. I did not get a bite on the soft plastic lures. I swapped to a 1/6thoz weight, Berkley Big Eye vibration blade, but this did not find any fish either. After an hour of wading up and down, I decided to change locations again.

I drove across the bridge to the Oyster Jetty and waded out beside it, on the south side. The tide was now running in solidly and the water was much cleaner than it had been up at White Patch. However, the wind was really getting up and there were some very nasty clouds on the horizon. I hooked a decent fish but was disappointed when it leapt out of the water – a huge Long Tom. I got rid of it and waded south for about 60 metres, casting in front of me, into the run in tide. I swapped to a GULP 4” Pearl Watermelon Minnow soft plastic and rigged it on a 1/8th 1 jighead. After a few casts in this area, the line came up taught and I had another fish. There was a bit of weight to it, so I decided to wade back the shoreline. It was a good size Flathead at 49cm.

I carried on for another 45 minutes but then a couple of monster rain squalls gave me a good soaking and the cooler southerly wind was really getting up. At about 9.45 am I headed home.