Brooms Head – 3 October 2015

Saturday

On Saturday we were heading back to Brisbane. The looming thought of returning to work forced a right turn at Brooms Head. This coastal area in the Yuraygir National Park is a land-based fisherman’s paradise. There are plenty of estuaries, rocky headlands and beaches to choose from. You can catch all the common species; tailor, kingfish, mulloway, trevally, dart, bream, whiting and flathead.

We drove up to the Brooms Head lookout. It was a beautiful day and just as we arrived a whale and its calf swam by, stopping for a brief tail slapping session.

Brooms HeadBrooms Head fishingMagnificent view from the lookout

It was just about lunch time but I could not resist getting the fishing rod out and clambering down the rocks for a quick cast. I put on a small soft plastic and felt a few small bream bites, close to the foot of the rocks. After about twenty minutes, I pulled up a tiny wriggling tusk fish of some kind.

The sun was out, the water was crystal clear and I could have stayed here another week – but unfortunately there are bills to pay.

Woody Head – “The Barnacles’ – Bream – 27 June 2011

Monday

Monday morning was my last session, land-based fishing at Woody Head. The weather had improved and we had clear skies and no swell. I started fishing around 9.30 am at ‘the Barnacles’ area, again. Low tide would be around 11.30 am.

The first cast produced a small Trevally, who fell for the GULP 4” Minnow soft plastic in the Lime Tiger colour. I then caught a few snags and then a small Bream. Over the next hour or so I caught six or seven more Bream – all between 25 and 35cm.

I moved all along the front of the rock platform, casting at any fishy looking water. There were plenty of people around – taking advantage of the excellent conditions. One guy had caught a nice looking 50cm Tailor on a slug. It was the only Tailor I had seen caught in the whole weekend. Further along I saw another fisherman with a 50cm school jewfish, which he caught on some fresh mullet strips.

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I caught more Bream as I walked along the rocks, down to the area at the southern end of the platform, known as ‘Mossies’. I caught more fish on the smaller 3” GULP minnows on light jigheads – 1/6th and 1/8th oz. Another fisherman was catching plenty of Bream on unweighted squid pieces.

By about 12.30pm it was time to go. It had been another great few days of land-based fishing, from the rocks in Northern New South Wales. The big Jewfish had been the highlight but there were plenty of Trevally and Bream, as well. I had not been fishing at dawn, but I was a little surprised by the lack of Tailor – maybe next time.

Iluka – Woody Head – Trevally at ‘the Barnacles’ – 25 June 2011

Saturday

Saturday morning was dull, grey and cold. The wind was still from the south west and there had been some early showers. Low tide would be around 10.45 am. There was a light swell off the rocks in front of Woody Head.

I arrived about 9.00 am and I started with a GULP Crazylegs Jerkshad soft plastic in the Pink Shine colour. I had it rigged on 3/8 oz 3/0 jighead. On my first cast a fish grabbed it, just at the edge of the rock shelf. It ran up and down the ledge and then I lifted it over the edge, with the swell. It was a decent Trevally, around 55 cm long. I bled it and went back for more.

I cast out and a fish hit the lure as it sank – but there was no hook up. On the next cast as a fish grabbed it as I jigged it up off the bottom. After a few runs I calmed it down and lifted it over the rocks, with the swell. It was another Trevally – about 50cm long. I carried on for a while and caught a couple of Bream and a smaller Trevally, which I released.

Iluka – Woody Head – 11 April 2011

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Monday – pm

After a good start earlier in the day, I could not resist an afternoon fish. We were staying in a cabin at Woody Head – so I was ideally placed to fish off the rocks, on the afternoon low tide. I walked out on the rock ledges, directly in front of the camp site, at about 5.00 pm. Low tide would be at about 7.30 pm.

There was a strong north easterly breeze and a few small rain squalls were coming over. I started around 5.00 pm with a 3/8oz 3/0 hook jighead and a GULP Crazylegs Jerkshad in the Lime Tiger colour. I was using a 30lb fluorocarbon leader again.
It is always difficult to avoid losing tackle in this location. The fish tend to bite just at the edge of the rock ledges and very close in. If you pull your lure to safety to fast, you will miss them. If you leave it too long, you get snagged. After a couple of casts I was stuck firm in the rocks, so I snapped off the jighead and plastic and re-rigged with the same set up.

I sent out five or six casts in a semi – circle, from my position on the edge of the rocks. Every now and then I would carefully retreat in the face of a big wave but only my feet were getting wet. The rocks are incredibly slippery so you need good rock fishing boots and you need to move slowly – running away from a wave is a recipe for disaster as you will almost certainly fall over. It is better to duck down and hang on if you see a big one coming – you may get wet, but hopefully you will not break your neck! Remember rock fishing is a dangerous activity, stay safe and if in doubt – don’t go out.

I moved along the rocks and just on 5.15 pm I hooked a fish. I let it run until I could see a good wave that would bring it up the rocks. I then tightened the drag and lifted the fish clear. The wave pushed it up and broke over the ledge. It was a school Jewfish/ Mulloway, just under 50cm. I unhooked it and cast out into the same spot. Before the lure had hit the bottom it was grabbed again. This time it was a much faster and more powerful fish. It headed out to see and then turned and ran along the edge of the rock ledge. I tightened the drag to slow it down as I could see it was going to try and bury itself in the rocks. The leader got stuck between the sea squirts that line the rocks, but a big wave lifted it clear and up came the fish. I was soaked but I had a good sized (45cm +) Trevally at my feet.

These two would be dinner and as another rain squall came over I decided to head back to the cabin for a warm shower. It had been another great land based session fishing with soft plastics from the rocks.

Brisbane River – Pinkenba Rockwall – 4 April 2011

Monday

Today I decided to walk along the north bank of the Brisbane River at Pinkenba and fish the rock wall that gradually breaks down, near the Oil refinery at the mouth of Boggy Creek.

There are fishy holes all along this wall but I like to fish on or around high tide, when there is plenty of water. Today I arrived just as the tide started to run out, at about 9.45 am. The wind was getting up but it was still possible to fish. I parked on the bank next to the Queensland Cement Plant and walked along the rockwall, towards the river mouth.

I was fishing with my light spin rod. I had about 1 metre of 10lb breaking strain fluorocarbon leader tied to a spool of 10lb braid. I decided to fish with soft plastics and started with a GULP 3” Minnow in the Smelt colour. I rigged the plastic on a 1/6th 1/0 jighead. The water was quite cloudy but there was plenty of bait in close to the bank. I walked along the wall, casting about 8 to 10 metres out into the river and slowly retrieving the lure.

After ten minutes I felt a tug at the lure, right at the foot of the rock wall. It is always difficult to tell if the lure has just caught on a rock or whether it’s a fish. I cast out in the same spot and as I brought the plastic slowly back to the base of the wall, it was grabbed. The fish made a hard initial run and then I tightened the drag a little and it stopped and just sat in the current. As I tried to get some line back it took off again on another long run. Fortunately, it was heading out into the middle of the river. I let it run and thought of what it could be. It was too fast for a Flathead and too strong for a Tailor or Bream. I tightened the drag again and started to get line back. My light rod has no real power so it would have to be a battle of attrition using the drag. We went back and forth a few times but finally I got the fish to the bank and realised it was a decent Trevally. I wasn’t expecting that and when I got home and checked my diaries and the blog, I realised it was the first I have ever caught in the Brisbane River.

I released the fish and moved along the wall, casting every ten metres or so. As I reached the point where the rockwall forms a promontory, with water on both sides, I swapped to a 3” GULP Lime Tiger Minnow soft plastic and started to cast on either side of the wall. After a few casts into the tidal lagoon on the inside, I caught a small Bream. Again the fish grabbed the lure just as I was about to lift it clear of the water.

I carried on as far as I could and peppered both sides of the rock wall with casts. I swapped plastics again. This time I put on a Gulp 2” Shrimp in the Peppered Prawn colour. By 12.30 pm the wind was really howling and the tide was running out fast. I cast out into the river at a 45 degree angle to the bank, back in the direction of the cement plant. About 20 cm from the base of the rocks, whack – zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. It went straight out into the river but soon turned and started to run along close to the oyster covered rocks. I decided to hop along the rocks with it for a bit but then realised I needed to slow it down. I got some line back and managed to keep it off the oysters. This was a bigger fish and took quite a bit of subduing. Eventually I saw silver and confirmed it was another Trevally. I got it in close and grabbed the leader and successfully pulled it out. It was a 40cm Trevally.

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Now I had found them and after a couple more casts, I was on to another one – but not for long. This one headed straight down to the base of the wall and ping – the line snapped on the oysters. They were obviously cruising up and down and twenty minutes later I got the biggest one of the day at around 45cm. I had to head back so I turned around and kept casting, as I walked. I switched to a – 5” GULP Jerkshad in the curried chicken colour. After three or four casts another Trevally grabbed it. Again the strike was right next to the wall and the fish put up a terrific fight.

I walked back to the car and finished up at about 1.30pm, after another great session fishing the Brisbane River.