Rockhampton – Fitzroy River – 25 October 2013

Friday

I arrived in Rockhampton late in the afternoon and decided to go fishing on the banks of the Fitzroy River, right in town. I drove over to the Bowls Club and worked my way down to the shoreline just as the sun was dropping, at about 5.00pm. Low tide would be a few hours later. This area, below the ‘new’ bridge, across the river, has lots of rocky channels and drains with muddy/sandy bottom in between.

I could see the fish rising to slurp up bait or perhaps small prawns. The locals prefer to fish this area with large hard bodied minnows. I had no idea what the pattern of the rocks beneath the water, so I started with soft plastics. I decided to initially fish with a 3” Gulp Minnow in the Peppered Prawn colour with a 1/8th ounce, 1/0 jighead.

I had a few touches and as the tide receded and the sun fell, I got a better view of the terrain. This far up the river is obvious fish territory. About 800 metres further upriver, the salt water is stopped when it meets the Fitzroy River Barrage. Presumably the fish follow their natural impulse to swim upriver to spawn and then get stuck in this area (unless they work out how to climb a fish ladder – which seems unlikely!). I concentrated on casting next to the rock bars and into the channels and lost a bit of tackle in the process.

Dusk on the Fitzroy River at Rockhampton

Dusk on the Fitzroy River at Rockhampton

Caught just after sunset on a run out tide

Caught just after sunset on a run out tide

A baby - but still a barra

A baby – but still a barra

At about 6.30 pm, when it was almost too dark to fish, I felt something grab the soft plastic and drop it. I had now swapped to a 2” GULP Shrimp in the Banana Prawn colour on the same light , 1/8th ounce, 1/0 jighead. I carried on peppering the area with casts and a few minutes later I connected again. It was a very small saltwater barramundi, I photographed and released it.

It was now too dark to fish and so I retraced my steps back to the car. Only a baby – but I had found a Fitzroy River barramundi.

Yeppoon – Double Head, Emu Park, Rocky Point – 5 August 2012

Sunday

The weather and conditions were perfect once again. Virtually no wind, clear skies and clear water. Unfortunately it was probably a little too clear and a little too calm. I started the day at Double Head, fishing on the north side. I was hoping for another Fingermark but the sun came up and the tide ebbed and nothing much happened. Low tide had passed before dawn, at 5.18 am and now it had just started to come in. I swapped from my heavy rod to my light one. This worked and I caught a small Bream and a very small Trevally.

I decided to move on and try fishing at Emu Park. There are a number of good rocky outcrops along the coast here and I have been told they all hold fish. I had breakfast and by the time I had finished at about 9.00 am, the tide was running in strongly. I walked out on to the rocks in front of the beach boat ramp and looked for a good spot. The problem here is always the tide. It moves so fast that you really need to time you fishing session perfectly. I arrived just as the rocky causeway was getting covered by the incoming water so I only had about half an hour of access to good water.

I found a patch of Pike and caught about 4 but nothing else turned up, so I decided to move on again. I drove down to another set of rocks called – imaginatively – Rocky Point. There was some fishy looking water in front of these so I went to explore. It was now about 11.00 am and we were approaching high tide. I was fishing with the light rod but I had dropped down to 8lb fluorocarbon leader and a 1/8th 1/0 jighead. When the water is so clear I think you have to fish light. I cast around these rocks and again, caught a few Pike. I was now fishing with a GULP 4” Minnow in the Smelt colour. I dropped it close to a bommy and bang, it was hit as it floated down to the bottom. It was another good Bream, who measured 38cm. The next cast I was hit again but did not hook up. It was now high tide and middle of the day so I decided to call it quits.

Unfortunately just as I was beginning to get to know it, it was time to move on from Yeppoon. I will certainly be back.

Yeppoon – Causeway Lake – 29 July 2012

Sunday

I was heading up to Central Queensland again this week, so I decided to break my journey in Yeppoon. I would stay for a couple of days and try my luck fishing from the rocky headlands along this coast.

On Sunday afternoon I drove down to Causeway Lake to flick a soft plastic lure around at dusk. It had been a beautiful afternoon and everybody in Yeppoon and the surrounding area seemed to have had the same idea. There were lines everywhere along the bank and quite a few boats and kayaks further out.

This looks like a great fishing spot – it is a large lagoon that always has water in it. It fills from the ocean every time there is a high tide over about 3.6 metres. During these tides the water rushes in, and then out, over the rock bar at the entrance to the lake. This big tidal flow often produces some good fish near the rock bar, but there also plenty around the edges of the lake.

I started with a GULP 3” Minnow in the Pearl Watermelon colour, loaded on a 1/8th, size 1 jighead. I was using my light spin rod and reel. I had about 1.5m of fluorocarbon leader tied on to a spool of 4kg braid.

I cast all along the edge of the lake, beside the main road, gradually working my way towards the rock bar. There were too many other anglers at the rock bar itself, so I concentrated on the area close to the bank, where the mangroves start to grow. I felt a few bites and after about 30 minutes I found a small Flathead.

I let it go and switched to a small DUO Tetraworks Bivi, hard bodied vibe lure in a blue/ silver colour. I continued casting until well after sunset but could not persuade any fish to eat this one.

It was not a very impressive performance but on a quiet day I am sure this location would produce good fish!