After looking on Google maps all week for a new estuary to explore, I located a small boat ramp only 15 minutes from home providing access to the South Pine River just north of Brisbane.
A quick search for reviews was made and a look at the tides proved Saturday morning to be perfect for a prospect. Online reviews suggest the chance of bream, flathead, cod and even the sought after Mangrove Jack are all on offer in the small but healthy river system. The plan was to head downstream towards the mouth whilst the tide was slowly on the way in, then drift back with the tide on the opposite side of the river. So the kayak was loaded onto the car the night before and the fishing gear all packed ready for an early start come Saturday morning.
The alarm rang and up I jumped and hit the road ready to launch at sunrise for hopefully a good session fishing some new water. It wasn’t long before I hooked up to my first fish on my first cast of a small Atomic Hardbody crank lure. I was fishing a rocky wall, with a steady retrieve when the lure was hit hard only a few metres from the kayak. The strong hit had me thinking a Jack straight away, but alas, it was not to be as I pulled up a decent Cod. Whilst not a Jack, I was still happy to get off the mark and land a fish within only minutes of being on the water. I continued along the rocky bank casting ahead and retrieving slowly past the rocks and logs. A few more casts later and I was on again to another cod, although a lot smaller, was still a good sign. So far so good, as I continued to paddle downstream against the steadily increasing incoming tide.
The river itself is quite small in this region, but has pretty impressive structure along the banks. Fallen trees, undercut banks, rock walls with mangrove sections and sandy flats it definitely looks like a great place for a variety of fish species. Due to not having a fish finder I was unable to determine the water depth, but there are many shallow flat, with deep sections on the bends and corners.
I continued downstream and managed to land a nice medium sized bream from a section of fallen trees. At this point the heavens opened and it started bucketing down with rain. Normally I would fish on, but the rain was extremely heavy and starting to fill my kayak up. I managed to find a large undercut on the side of the river and hide out there for what seemed like close to 30 minutes until the storm had passed over. Soaked but not discouraged, I pressed on, this time trolling a small hardbody along the banks. As I passed a sandy section I was hoping for a flathead but instead hooked a small whiting, and I mean SMALL. Been a while since I have landed a whiting on a hardbody lure, so it was great to see whiting calling the river home also.
At this point I decided to turn the kayak around and head back upstream with the tide. The rain had started again, so I didn’t both trolling and just quickly paddled with the tide as it was getting close to hometime. As I progressed upstream I came to a large section of still water with a lot of trees and more importantly a lot of surface action. I entered the wooded area and flicked a small lure towards the surface action close to the bank and bam, as soon as it hit the water I was on! A healthy mid 20s bream. I quickly returned to the bream to the water and threw another lure up amongst the trees, BAM I was on again. This was turning out to be a fun little area with another bream landed. I ventured further into the wooded area, casting towards each sign of surface action and each time rewarded with a bream. There were signs of prawns jumping and being chased, but after several bream landed, the action seemed to all but disappear. As the sun was well and truly up, it was time to make my way back to the boat ramp and home. Overall a successful trip to new territory and I shall definitely return again.