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Australia Day - Slow morning in Brisbane Waters


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I went out early yesterday thinking I could fish the run in tide and get back in before all the holiday pleasure craft crowd started crowding up the best drifts.:P

The wind was forecast to come up a bit so I opted to stay inside and drift for flatties.  In Ettalong channel the wind was blowing with the current, so the direction of the drift was good, but it was too fast.  I deployed a drogue and that did slow it down a bit but it was still quite a quick drift.  I had to up the sinker size get the baits down and could not get softies down there at all.  After several drifts I had only managed one small flathead - maybe 33ish.  Not far off legal but small enough to release without measuring anyway.  I also had a bit of excitement when I hooked what felt like a bit of better fish only to have it bust off at the swivel and I have to say I think it was my knot that failed.  It felt like a better fish - but not that good.  That would come later.

I decided to head further inside in the hope that I could find somewhere less affected by the wind.  I drifted up past Hardy's Bay and along the way I caught a fish that I only could identify thanks to this fine forum - my first Grinner.  Funny looking bugger went back into the drink.

As I continued my drift towards Rip Bridge - still several hundred metres from it though I had two rods go off at once.  I lifted the one in the rod holder and it felt smaller than the one that was on the rod that I was holding so I put it back down and concentrated on landing that one.  I managed to get that one in and found it to be a slightly bigger flathead.  I measured it at 38.  Often I will let that size go and hold out for a bigger fish (not too big) but it had been usually slow so I dispatched it and put it in the slurry.  I contemplated drifting over that bit again but decided against it.  By this time there was a fair bit of boat traffic around and I was heading in the general direction of a couple of my less trafficed spots to I continued with that. 

I motored under Rip Bridge and started drifting on the other side.  Again to sea anchor kept my drift speed in check.  A couple hundred metres on the other side of Rip Bridge I got hit again and the first thought that went through my head was that's not a flathead.  Sure enough it was a little snapper ~25cms.  Back he went. 

I carried on drifting and picked up another couple of undersized snapper so I moved a bit further away from the bridge to try and find the flatties again.  As I was drifting past the entrance to a channel that goes around one of the small islands I dropped down half a pillie on one of the rods and bang - it was hit.  Big headshakes.  It definitely felt like a flathead but a whole lot more of it than usual. Could this be my biggest flattie yet? I'll never know.  See I had dropped the bait straight down behind the transom.  As I put pressure on the fish and was marvelling about how big it was - PING!  The canny begger had shot off on a 45 degree angle under the boat and sheared my braid off on the bottom of the outboard.  It was a short fight and I got owned - but I guess that fish get big by being smarter than anglers.  I did another drift over the same spot after re-rigging but didn't get a touch.

I was sick of getting bounced around by the wake of every Aussie Flag draped cruiser that powered past so I decided to get out of the main channel to one of my quieter drifts.  I was getting plagued by undersize snapper and they kept taking my baits so I decided to call it a day and head in.  As I started to wind in the last rod I felt a bit of weight on it.  I brought it up slowly and felt a definite wiggle so kept winding slowly with a fair idea of what was going in.  Sure enough it was a blue swimmer clutching onto my bait.  I opened the bail arm and handlined him to the boat to net him.  

Certainly not the best session I have had but went home and had flathead and crab for lunch with the wife.  My seafood hating kids were quite happy there was not enough for dinner for all of us.  They were happy to have sandwiches and not be forced to eat fish.

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Nice report! It's a shame we can't have the waterways to ourselves all the time, isn't it? Haha!

Good day out and coming home with something is much better than nothing!

Well done on the crab. I've hooked some stonkers but never managed to get them into the bucket!

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