Bribie Island – White Patch – Unexpected Jewfish – 23 August 2013

Friday

Another cold fine morning and I decided to try Whit Patch on Bribie Island again. As you will see from recent reports fishing can be hit and miss here. The coffee rock ledge structure that appears at various points all along either side of the Pumicestone Passage creates several holes and submerged mini rock bars along this stretch of shore.

I started early in the cold at White Patch

I started early in the cold at White Patch

There is a lot more sediment around after two years of floods, followed by a very wet period at the beginning of winter. This means that water clarity is not very good at the bottom of the tide. It also means that the weed/ sea grass beds that clump on the sand above the ledge, are taking longer than usual to spring up. But there must be something to eat in the area, as the first thing I saw, as I walked out in the pre-dawn light at the north end of White Patch beach, was the bristly snout of a Dugong. It was cruising along the ledge surfacing every now and then, to blow.

Great minds think alike and Bribie Island local – Colin was already out flicking some soft plastics further up the beach. I saw him pull up a legal Flathead, so I was enthused. I rigged up with a GULP 2” Shrimp in the Banana Prawn colour, on a 1/8th ounce, #1 hook jighead. I was sticking with the 8lb fluorocarbon leader.

An ambitious pike was my first customer

An ambitious pike was my first customer

Low tide was at about 5.30 am – just on first light. There was no wind to speak off and I was starting fishing in the slack water just on low – which is not ideal. The first half an hour was uneventful – apart from the Dugong sighting. At about 6.15 am an ambitious pike grabbed the soft plastic but it was only about 15cm long. I wandered up and down casting diligently, but I had to wait another hour for a decent bite. I connected with the fish, which felt like a Flathead, but after a few moments it was gone.

At about 7.15 am, I caught a Flathead that was not much bigger than the pike and was sitting in only about 10 cm of water. I always forget just how quickly these fish will move up the beach with the tide. I decided to swap to the Zman range and put on a Minnowz paddle tail shape soft plastic, in the Houdini colour. I cast in all directions but this did not produce anything.

This one was only 20cm long

This one was only 20cm long

At about 7.30 am I swapped to a GULP 4” Minnow in the flecked New Penny colour. I cast it over the ledge and let it sink. I paused until I was sure it was on the bottom then hopped it up and paused again. On the second lift the rod bent over and then line started peeling – something decent had eaten the soft plastic. It mad a solid and long initial run. My drag was not very tight and I need to re-spool this reel, so I quickly found myself down to the backing line. Patience is the key at moments like this. I left the drag alone and wound every time the fish paused. I kept the rod tip up and maintained the fairly light pressure. I gradually covered the backing line with braid and felt more comfortable.

The fish did not have very much power left after that first initial long run and so I had an inkling it was a jewfish/ mulloway. Now I tightened the drag just a little so that I could pull the fish cleanly over the ledge. As I did so I saw the silvery blue spots along its lateral line and confirmed it was a Jewie. A gentle stroll backwards and I had it up on the sand.

I measured it – 68cm – still not legal in Queensland, but a cracking fish nonetheless. I took a few photos in the shallows then sent it on its way. I fished on for a while but I could not find anymore. I looked back through my archives and realise this is the farthest up the Pumicestone Passage that I have caught a Jewfish/ Mulloway – it’s a very encouraging sign and more evidence of a healthy fishery.

68cm - still not a legal Jewfish - it is taking a while to find one at Bribie this year

68cm – still not a legal Jewfish – it is taking a while to find one at Bribie this year


I had not expected to find a Jewfish at White Patch

I had not expected to find a Jewfish at White Patch

I stopped for a coffee at Scoopys and ran into an old friend – local Brisbane children’s author – Julie Fison. Her Hazard River series of adventure stories are a great tool for engaging both reluctant and accomplished young readers. She has also just launched a series for teenage girls. I should warn my readership to check their pacemakers before they delve into these! Its book week in Queensland, so she was spreading the word about the wonder of reading, at the Bribie library. I would think there are some sections of our community where children don’t know what a book looks like! So full marks to Julie for taking this on. For more about the books visit http://www.hazardriver.com/. or Julie Fison visit http://juliefison.wordpress.com/. She also has an amazing and painful tale related to a Garfish encounter – but that is for another time.

Bribie Island – Sandstone Point Flats – 20 June 2012

Wednesday

Unfortunately, the tax return has had to be re-prioritized again. I am sure the ATO will understand. On Wednesday, the weather was just too good and after a great session on Monday, I had to get out there again. I could not start early, so I arrived at Bribie at about 8.45 am and decided to head out to the same general area I had fished on Monday.

High tide was at 9.45 am. I had done well on Monday for the first few hours of the run out tide. I decided to head round the corner from the old oyster jetty, on the mainland side of the Pumicestone Passage, towards Sandstone Point and fish the areas around the mangrove islands. This is quite a good spot if there is enough water over it.

I slowly waded across the flats, casting as I went. I tried a few plastics without success. This couple of hours around the tide change can be a bit slow with the Flathead. I certainly think they are more likely to feed when the tide is running over them with a bit of pace. I switched to the DUO Bivi Tetraworks hard body vibe lure, in a red/ purple colour, to see if I could stir things up. This worked almost immediately – but it was the Pike again. I caught some small ones and then there was pause and a selection of bigger ones arrived. The last one was well over 40cm long. I decided I could not get this lure passed them to the Flathead, down below, so I swapped back to a GULP Jerkshad in the Satay Chicken colour.

It was about 10.15 am and the tide was just beginning to get going. I was beside the mangrove island (see picture). I found some sea grass beds and started casting along the edges. Suddenly I felt the solid thud of a Flathead bite. I paused and then struck, the fish did not do much – in fact, I thought I was snagged. After a few seconds, it woke up and took off. There was nowhere to land it, and I have plenty of fish in the fridge, so I pulled it in and took a couple of pictures and released it. It was a Flathead, a bit over 50cm long. I moved further around the island and caught a few more, all about the same size.
Then I hit a quiet spell and I swapped to the GULP 4” Minnow soft plastic in the Pearl Watermelon colour. I had been fishing with the 1/8th 1/0 jighead all morning. Not sure if it was the change of soft plastic or just changing my position, but as I turned back out towards the green channel marker, I found more fish. Over the next couple of hours, I caught four more, all between 45cm and 55cm and released them all.

At about 12.30 pm I headed back, past the oyster jetty, to the car. It had been another great session in perfect weather.

Bribie Island – Oyster Jetty Flats – 3 Sept 2011

Saturday

I have been catching fish but not catching dinner. A few trips to unfamiliar fishing locations and my inability to land anything decent , closer to home, has left the fridge empty. I decided to head up to Bribie Island for a land based fishing session on Saturday.

Unfortunately the weather was not kind. I arrived around first light to be greeted by a 20 knot southerly wind which showed no signs of easing off. I tried to fish the mouth of the lagoon in front of Buckley’s Hole but the wind made it too hard.

I crossed back over to the mainland to fish on the flats around the old oyster jetty. You get a bit of shelter from the southerly wind here. Low tide was around 6.30 am and the water was slowing, as I waded along the exposed flats. The sea grass beds are just beginning to grow up through the ‘snot ‘weed. Hopefully in a few weeks it should start to disappear.

I waded south casting along the edge of the weed banks. I fished for an hour or so, with only a couple of bites, which I think were Pike. I stopped for a chat with a fellow fisherman, who was also not having much luck casting soft plastics. Around 8.00 am, just as the tide started to run in properly I felt a good bite and dropped the rod tip. A few seconds later I lifted it and had a fish hooked. It was a small Flathead that was just about legal size. I decided to let it go.

I was fishing with the GULP 4” minnow soft plastic in the pearl watermelon colour. This lure is about as close as you can get to a replica of a small mullet or pilchard and often seems to produce a fish when nothing else can. I was fishing with a 1/6th 1/0 jighead and 10lb fluorocarbon leader. I fished on for another hour but I could not find anymore. The fridge remains empty of fish!