Caloundra – Bulcock Beach and the Power Boat Club flats – 5 August 2013

Monday

As we were approaching the new moon I wanted to have a fish, pre- dawn. I was hoping to find some bream, which should, by now be schooling up to spawn, around the estuary mouths. I have not found many at Bribie, so I decided to try Caloundra.

I like to fish the rocky area, right at the mouth of the northern end of the Pumicestone Passage, off Bulcock Beach. There is always good tidal flow here and lots of structure. At night, the street lights bring the bait in and the predators follow.

I started about 5.30 am, in my waders on Bulcock Beach. I rigged up with the GULP 2” Shrimp in the Banana Prawn colour – which is gold with a black fleck. I put it on a 1/8th ounce, size 1 jighead. I was fishing with my 6’6” Loomis GL2 light spin rod. I opted for 8lb fluorocarbon leader as the water was very clear. High tide would be at 7.02 am, there was no real wind at this stage. It was forecast to pick up from the south west later in the morning. There would be a new moon in a couple of days’ time.

It was very dark and there were a few prawns skipping around on the surface. I cast the soft plastic into the fast moving water in the middle of the channel and let it sink. After about ten seconds, it was on the bottom, so I started hopping it back towards me. I paused for few seconds close to the shore line and when I picked up the rod tip I had a fish. My first customer of the day was a small pike.

I continued fishing, slowly moving towards the sea and soon picked up a bream about 28cm. I was hopeful I had found a patch of them, as my next few casts were all hit on the drop. I could not hook whatever was biting the soft plastic and so I moved on towards the mouth of the Passage.

Now the sun was up and the tide was running in. I decided to swap locations and drove down to the Caloundra Power Boat Club to fish the flats and weed beds. I generally find flathead in this area, so I rigged up a larger GULP 5 “ Jerkshad in the Satay Chicken colour – which is a mix of pumpkinseed and yellow. I found the edge of the weed beds that line the edge of the main channel and focused on leaving the soft plastic on the bottom, just where the sandy slope drops away to deeper water.

I took a while but at about 7.45am, I felt a solid bite and after a pause, I lifted the rod tip and set the hook. After a brief tussle I subdued a just legal 40cm flathead. I took some pictures and let it go, hoping I would find a better one. I covered the same area in casts but I could not find another one, so waded further along the edge of the channel.

I had no luck for about an hour and the wind was really picking up and making casting difficult. At about 8.45 am I felt another solid bite. Again the fish was less than a meter from the edge of the weed and was waiting to ambush anything that came its way. It was another flathead, about the same size as the previous one, so I released it.

I had not secured a fish supper but I had connected with a few fish and enjoyed a beautiful morning.

Bribie Island – The Seaside Museum Drain – 30 June 2012

Saturday

On Saturday morning everything had calmed down and the weather looked perfect again. The fish were singing to me in my sleep and I woke up at about 4.00am. It was a cool morning but not as cold as forecast. There was a slight breeze from the west.

I decided on Bribie Island again and started under the bridge on the island side at about 5.30 am. I could not find anything here so just before first light I moved down to Bongaree, in front of the old seaside museum. It was just about on the 1.9m high tide and I waded out along the sand bank beside the mouth of the drain. The water here was still slowly running in.

I started with the GULP 4” Minnow in the Smelt colour, on a 1/8th oz 1/0 jighead and 12lb fluorocarbon leader. I cast all around but I could not yet reach over the edge of the drop off that runs along here. The water slowed down. There were a few bust ups at the edge of the main channel and there was a large flock of birds following a school of something around. I could not find anything. I tried a few other plastics then reverted to the Smelt Minnow again.

It was now about 7.30 am and the tide was really running out, I cast nearer to the edge of the drop off and felt a bite. I paused then struck. It was a Flathead about 35cm long. It was nothing spectacular but it was good to get started. I released it and cast back in the same spot. After a few more casts I was on to another fish. This time it was about 40cm long. I let it go and then things wnet quiet. There was still too much water to fish where I wanted too so I went and bought a cup of coffee. I came back to the water and sat on the sloping rockwall, just in front of where I had been fishing. The water was clear and as I sipped my coffee, I looked down to see a couple of big swirls right at my feet. The water was less than a metre deep and cruising slowly along the bottom of the wall was a large (80cm plus) Jewfish. I was stunned and by the time I got the rod, it was long gone.

Recharged, I grabbed my rod and waded across to the sand bar, to the south. I stuck with the GULP Smelt Minnow and after a few casts and slow retrieves to the north, I felt a solid bite. I paused and set the hook. This time it was a bigger Flathead at about 45cm. I waded back out and on the next cast, in the same spot, the lure was hit on the drop. It was another Flathead, 50cm long. Things were now going in the right direction.

I tried for more but could not find any, so at about 10.00 am I moved across to the mainland side, to fish the sand/ mud flats, by the Oyster Jetty. I decided to try out another of the DUO hard bodied lures I have in the tackle bag. It is another beautifully crafted fish tempter called the DUO Tetraworks Toto 42. It is a 42mm long, 2.8 g sinking, bibbed lure with a tight rolling action. As with all of the DUO range it has a great action and finds its rhythm as soon as it hits the water. It comes in a range of hues but I was using a bronze backed, orange bellied TS03 colour. It is a very light lure and therefore it suspends in the water column quite effectively.

I cast along the edge of the weed beds and predictably, as we approached the bottom of the tide, the water turned murky. I kept picking up weed, but you need to be close to the weed to find the fish. After about 30 minutes of wading and casting, and a few Pike, I found my target. I felt a whack on the lure and then an angry head came shaking out of the water as the trebles bit. It was another good Flathead – just over 50 cm long. DUO strikes again!

It had been another perfect fishing day – plenty of fish and fantastic weather – get out and catch them while you can!

Fingal Head – Salmon, Tailor, Bream – 11 August 2011

Thursday

Tuesday was a fishing disaster but somehow I just could not believe that the Tweed Rockwalls could ‘shut down’. So on Thursday, I found myself driving back down across the New South Wales border for another session. When I arrived at the north rock wall there was no swell and a slight breeze from the south-west. I started about 5.30 am. It was cloudy and very overcast and it looked like it would rain.

I started fishing with a GULP 5” Jerkshad in the Lime Tiger colour, rigged on a ½ oz 2/0 jighead. The heavy skies seemed to have completely flattened the water. The cloud blocked out the sunrise. As I cast all around the front of the rock wall the south-westerly breeze started to lift and it was very cold.

By 7.00 am I had not had a bite so I decided I had to switch locations. I drove down to Fingal Head. I walked out across the small causeway on to the rocky promontory. I decided to make the first cast count. It is so often the first cast in a new location that produces a fish. I checked and double checked my knots and decided on a GULP 7” Jerkshad in the Lime Tiger colour, rigged on ½ oz 5/0 jighead. The south-westerly wind was picking up and the tide was running out. I cast straight out in front of the promontory and let the lure sink. Before it hit the bottom I felt a solid bite. I dropped the rod head and then struck hard. I was on to a good fish – it was not frenetic, like a Tailor but felt a bit too lively to be a Jewfish. It took plenty of line but I gradually tightened the drag until I had it at the foot of the rocks. It was only as I lifted it clear of the water, on a helpful surge, that I saw it was an Australian Salmon. It was a good size fish – just under 70cm long. I photographed it and then released it. I will eat almost any fish but I have never been able to make one of these taste good.

I thought there would be more, so I re-rigged the same soft plastic and cast back in to the same area. Nothing – I tried up and down the rock ledge and after a while switched to a smaller 5” Jerkshad in the Peppered Prawn colour. I covered the whole area with casts but they had moved on.

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I moved round to the north side of the ledge and cast out into the corner of the Fingal Head beach. The water is crystal clear but I could not see much bait around. After another 30 minutes, I hooked a small Tailor – around 30cm which I quickly released. I then switched to a Gulp Jigging Grub in the Pink Shine colour and swapped down to a 9 gram 2/0 jighead. After a couple of casts, I caught a small Bream , very close to the base of the rocks.

It was now around 10.00 am. I had caught a few fish and it had been a better session than Tuesday but I still had nothing for dinner. Maybe it is time to get back up to Bribie Island and see if the Flathead are biting again.