It would be low tide at Bribie just after dawn. I could not resist a quick fish before work. With the water getting noticeably colder, I was sure the tailor would be around somewhere.
Small ‘chopper’ tailor often hang around under the bridge, just before dawn. The bait fish and prawns are drawn to the bridge lights and the tailor, pike, bream and flathead can’t resist trying to ambush them. To the north of the bridge there are some established weed beds which are good fish habitat. The bait is also drawn to the light of the big street lamp, near the boat hire spot, a little further up.
Low tide would be at 7.06 am. Unfortunately, this side of the Pumicestone Passage gets a bit more breeze when the wind is coming from the south, south-west, or south-east. Today it was a cool south-westerly, initially and then turned into to a much stronger south-easterly, later in the morning. There had been rain over night, but not much.
I arrived at about 5.00 am and the moon was completely blocked by some ominous looking clouds. It was growing smaller in its waning gibbous phase – a bit less than half way between full and new. The water was very clear but the wind had lifted a lot of weed.
The tide was running out, so I went round to the south side, and waded into the shallows, in the dark. I cast up, towards the circle of sandy bottom, lit up by the bridge light, nearest to the shore. I started with a DUO hard body that is perfect for clear, shallow water. The DUO Realis Minnow 80 SP is a suspending minnow. Because it is fairly long at 80mm and light at 4.7 grams, you need to rig it on a light leader (10lb breaking strain or less). This enables you to cast it over longer distances. You need to do this, as it is a fairly shallow diver and it takes a few metres to get down to its running depth, about 10 cm below the surface. I think this will be a great bream lure.
As always at Bribie, the floating sea grass was a pain in the neck. After a couple of casts, I saw the lure get knocked out of the water by a small fish. A few moments later, something grabbed it and started shaking its head. It was a tiny pike.
I carried on casting in the same spot and had obviously found a patch of them. I caught 3 more small pike before they decided to leave the Realis Minnow alone. I swapped to the DUO Realis Shad 59 MR – another suspending minnow, but this one dives a little deeper. I moved closer to the bridge and cast into the shadows underneath it. Once more, it did not take long for the Pike to find this lure. There were a couple of casts when nothing hit the lure, then a tiny flathead grabbed it and came to the surface angrily shaking its head.
It started to rain so I moved north in to the shadows, under the bridge. I cast over the shallows, on the south side and soon foul hooked a tiny bream. It was now about 5.30 am but with the clouds and rain, there was no sign of first light. The surface activity increased as the fish sensed dawn was on its way. I felt a few very aggressive knocks and bumps and decided to increase the speed of my retrieve. This produced immediate results and on the next cast, I saw a small tailor grab the back end of the lure, a few feet away from me. It fell off but on the next cast, I landed one. It was only about 25cm but I was delighted that it had been hanging out just where I thought it would be. I then had a frantic twenty minutes with my lure getting bumped and smashed on almost every cast. I connected with about 8 fish, but only 4 stayed on until they reached the shore. They were all small choppers, the largest of which might just have made 30cm long.
At about 6.00 am a grey dawn started to break and I decided to move down to the drain in front of the old seaside museum, to see what has happened to the terrain there. The works to secure the sea wall are continuing but clearly, the finished, stepped, wall is some months off. I waded out on to the patch of coffee rock that sits in front of the seaside museum. With about an hour to go until low tide, the rocky bottom was completely exposed.
I cast the DUO Shad 59 MR around, but it kept picking up weed so I changed it for GULP 2” Shrimp soft plastic in the Peppered Prawn colour and loaded this up on a 1/8th ounce, #1 hook jighead. I moved south, along the edge of the coffee rock, casting into the deeper what beyond. I got a couple of strong hits and then, at about 6.30 am I felt a solid bite and set the hook. The fish tried to run away under the ledge but I had the drag set quite tight and the rod absorbed its lunges. I soon saw a flash of silver. It was a chunky bream that I later measured at 34cm. I tried for more and had a few hits but could not land any.
At 7.30 am, the wind was up and another rain shower threatened. It was time to head back to work. But a day of work is always easier to bear, when you have caught a fish before it starts!