The night before any fishing trip usually involves a quick trip to the local tackle shop, in this case Anaconda at Everton Park.
The plan was to grab a few more hardbodies and also some soft plastics. The target species for the trip was Flathead and Bream, with the possibility of trevally, whiting and the elusive mangrove jack (as always). I was pleased to see a special on Gulp Soft plastics so grabbed 3 packs, and also picked up a few of my current go to lure the Berkely 3B Fat Dog Deep Divers – always handy to stock up on them especially for the price ($9) – it makes losing them in snags much more bearable as opposed to $25 Ecogears.
The highlight of the quick tackle shop trip was scoring a Humminbird PiranhaMax 197 Fish Finder on special for only $50. I have been wanting to get a fish finder for quite some time for the kayak, but have just not got around to it. Not knowing much about the PiranhaMax Fish Finder didn’t phase me, as $50 seemed like a bargain for a dual beam colour fish finder. Now all I have to do is install the fish finder – but not for this trip, I’ll leave that for another time, and be sure to document how to install a fish finder on a kayak.
So the car was packed the night before and everything ready for an early start the following day.
At 4am the alarm went off and I stumbled out of bed, grabbed my clothes whilst avoiding to wake the Mrs and small child that crawled into our bed during the night. A quick inspection of the fridge and a few pieces of fruit were claimed for breakfast and off I went to fire up the car and make my way to the launch spot. A quick trip up the highway and 25 minutes later I arrived at Brighton Park, just under the Hornibrook Bridge ready to catch some fish. I met my mate there and we quickly unloaded the kayaks and rigged them up. The sun started to make its way up from the horizon as we dragged our kayaks across the sand to the waters edge. The tide was just starting to make its way in, which allowed us to start the drift upstream.
I had 2 rods rigged ready to go, one with a small hardbody, the other a 3.5” Wriggly tail grub in white colour. As the tide was running quite fast, I sent the hardbody out the back to be trolled along and cast the soft plastic out into the edge of the channel. As soon as it hit the bottom I jigged it up slightly and bammm, I was on straight away. After a quick little fight I managed to land the first fish of the day, a healthy Bream of about 26cms. This was a great start and hopefully set the scene for the rest of the day.
A few more casts in the same direction also received more bumps but no hook-ups. The hook size was quite large and I imagine the fish were just grabbing the tail of the soft plastic. We both kept casting as we drifted along the shallows. I noticed a lot of prawns jumping and got the idea of chasing them into the shallows and up on to the bank. This worked well and I managed to catch myself about 5 healthy sized prawns. After hiding under some mangroves while a quick storm passed over, I rigged a few prawns onto the soft plastic jig head and sent it out. A few good hits and the prawns were quickly gone without a hookup – small bream I presume.
As we drifted further upstream we encountered a great looking creek mouth. The water was rushing fast into the creek and the bait were plentiful. I ventured out into the middle of the mouth and cast my plastic out into the mouth and drifted back into the creek. After a few jigs I was one! A few minutes of careful retrieving and I landed a nice 45cm flathead. I was pretty happy to land what I was targeting for the day. I continued to work the same spot and managed to hook up again but this time something much bigger. I assumed a flathead also, but definitely 60cm+. I was way too enthusiastic and didn’t spent too much time trying to get another rod out of the way and before I knew it the fish had spat the hook and was lost.
It was this at this point I decided to drift the small creek casting the hardbody lure up close around the mangroves. It wasn’t long before I got smashed by something big! For a quick moment I thought JACK! But alas, it was not to be, but instead a good quality 34cm Bream! It put up a great fight so I was pretty happy still. A quick photo and the Bream was released to grow even bigger. With lots of prawns jumping and bait getting hit on the surface I put on a little Surface lure and had a go at walking the dog in amongst the sticks. With lots of hits and follows, I was unsuccessful at any hook-ups – was fun though watching the fish smash at the lure. A few more small bream were landed on the hardbodies, but other than that it got very quiet once the sun was fully up and the temp started soaring.
Overall a great morning and a location I shall definitely hit up again, this time either spending more time on the flats chasing flathead or head further up the creek casting softplastics amongst the structure chasing jacks.
Till next time, tight lines.