Bribie Island – The bridge and surrounds – 5 June 2012

Tuesday

I was back on local turf and although the wind did not look promising at least the rain was holding off. At 4.30 am I set off for Bribie Island to see if I could find some Flathead. Looking back over the blog and my fishing diaries, May to October have produced by far the best catches of Flathead for me. I have been busy with other things this year, so I hardly fished in April and May and I am planning to make up for it in June / July.

I started under the bridge on the mainland side with my light spin rod and reel: Loomis GL2 and Shimano Stella 2500. I was using 6lb braid and a 12lb fluorocarbon leader. I started with a 1/8th 1/0 jighead and a GULP 4” Minnow soft plastic in the Smelt colour.

It was about 5.15 am and the tide was just starting to build up momentum for the run out. There were a few jumps on the surface under the lights. I cast at them and felt the odd bump and grab, as the smaller fish made their inquiries. I caught a small pike that jumped clear of the water to grab the plastic. Then I got snagged on the small piece of reef just south of the bridge, so I decided to give the small DUO Tetraworks Bivi vibe lure a try. I picked an orange coloured model and tied it on. I love this lure. It has a great action at low speed and a good profile. Fish will often grab it as it is paused on the bottom. In this terrain I had to keep it moving or I would lose it to the rocks. After a few casts, it did the trick – a tiny Flathead grabbed it, just to the north of the bridge. I got rid of the fish and carried on. I caught a few more Pike but could not find a better fish.

After about 30 minutes of peppering the area with casts, I moved across to the other side of the bridge and had a fish around the lights. The tide was running in now but the wind was blowing all the weed and debris across into this area, so it was difficult to fish with the Bivi lure. There is now a nice ridge in the sandbank along here and some good weedy patches. There are nearly always Pike along here and I caught a couple. Then a small Whiting grabbed the Bivi lure – there was no shortage of variety.

As the sun came up I moved down to the sandy drain in front of the Seaside Museum, towards Bongaree. I fished along the edge of the tea tree stained water that was running out of the drain. I had been monstered by a big fish here, a few weeks ago. It had grabbed a big plastic (Jerkshad) and taken off. I only had the light rod and could not subdue it. Today, I started with the DUO Tetraworks Bivi and, after a few casts it produced another fish. Unfortunately, it was another tiny Flathead. I swapped back to a GULP Jerkshad soft plastic in the Satay Chicken colour. I cast around, gradually moving to the south, along the drop off. I felt a few bites and lost the tail from the Jerkshad. I swapped down to a GULP3” Minnow in the Nuclear Chicken colour and something grabbed it on the first cast. It was another small fish and I could tell by the mad headshakes it was a Tailor.

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The water was now too deep to fish along here. I stopped for a chat with Colin – who always has his finger on the Bribie fishing pulse and he brought me up to date on what is biting where. It is good to know someone is keeping the Flathead on their toes. There have also been a few bigger Tailor and the occasional Jewfish around. As the water temperature drops there should be a few more Tailor.

By now, the wind was up but I was too cold. I went off to find a hot cup of coffee. It was a beautiful, if breezy day and the massive full moon had been clearly visible all morning. Nothing for dinner though! I think I am paying the price for not putting in the hours – fishing can be a hard taskmaster.

Bribie Island – Buckley’s Hole and the old Oyster Jetty – 20 October 2011

Tuesday and Thursday

Back in Brisbane and time to zip up to Bribie Island for some local land-based fishing. But the wind had other ideas. I arrived at around 4.30 am on Tuesday and it was blowing hard from the south-east. It was only about 15 knots on dawn but it soon picked up to about 25 knots.

I started fishing at the mouth of the Buckley’s Hole tidal lagoon. The water from this ever changing land mark now comes out almost level with the new Bribie Island seaside museum. Low tide was around 6.00 am and I started fishing here just after first light, at around 5.00 am. I was using my Loomis GL2 light spin rod, Shimano Stradic 3000 reel, 10lb braid, 12lb fluorocarbon leader, a 1/6th oz 1/0 jighead loaded with a GULP 5” Jerkshad soft plastic in the Pumpkinseed colour.

I moved along the edge of the drop off casting up, into the falling tide and jerking the plastic slowly along the bottom, back towards me. The jighead kept slowing and as it got lighter, I realized there were large blue jellyfish everywhere. I was casting the plastic on top of the ledge in no more than 30cm of water. Suddenly I felt a tug and then saw a swirl in the water, then I had a fish on. I played it for a while and after a couple of runs, I started to pull it slowly back towards the sand. But the fish had other ideas and with a couple of furious headshakes it dislodged the jighead and swam slowly back towards the deeper water.

As I stood wondering what went wrong, I was surprised to see a couple of good sized Tuna leap clear of the water right at the edge of the drop off. I cast all around but they were gone in seconds. I am not sure how I would have subdued one if I had hooked up! Back to the Flathead – I cast in every direction but as the sun rose, so did the wind and by about 9.00am it was just too hard.

On Thursday I was back in the same spot just after dawn. The wind had dropped considerably and low tide would be around 8.00 am this time. I started with the same soft plastic – the 5” Pumpkinseed Jerkshad. I waded out to the same area where I had lost the fish on Tuesday and after 20 minutes of peppering the terrain with casts, I was onto a fish. It was a Flattie, I played it very carefully back to the sand and where it measured in at around 55cm. I waded back out and caught another 35 cm Flathead about ten minutes later.

I then decided to move south along the beach towards the southern tip of the island. As a walked across the mouth of the big drain, I caught another undersize Flathead, but spooked a much bigger one, that took off across the sand.

I walked down the beach casting as I went. I swapped through a few different soft plastics but did not get a touch. Finally just as I reached Beach Flag No.1, I sent a large Flathead skittering off across the sandy bottom. I was in ankle deep water and there was absolutely no structure around at all. It was right on low tide. I stopped and cast all around. I swapped down to a 3” Minnow in the Pearl Watermelon colour, still nothing. I turned and walked back towards Buckley’s Hole. I cast inland, in to the shallower water. Infuriatingly, I almost stepped on another three Flathead, who went flying off passed me into the depths. I could see them, but I could not seem to catch them.

I found myself back where I had started and decided to dump the subtle approach. The tide had now just started to run in. I put on a GULP 5” Crazylegs Jerkshad in the Curry Chicken colour. After three or four casts it paid off and I had another fish on. I safely steered it back to land – it was a 42 cm Flathead.

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I decided it was time to try the other side of the Pumicestone Passage. I drove over to the old oyster jetty and waded out onto the muddy flats. The sea grass is now growing quickly and most of the ‘snot’ weed seems to have died off. I stuck with the GULP 5” Crazylegs Jerkshad and after a few casts, just south of the jetty, I saw a decent Flathead roll over onto the lure just after it hit the water. I paused, then struck. I had it on for a bit and then it spat the lure out. I moved south and after wading for about 50 meters, I cast out and hooked up with another. This time I dragged it carefully, all the way back to the sand. It was a 45cm Flathead.

By now the water was getting to high to fish the edge of the weed banks so I decided to call it quits. I had only landed three fish but encountered many more. There are obviously plenty of Flathead around – but I need to get better at catching them!!

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.