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Upper Brisbane River Recce Trip


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After much research and digging for information and sifting through various information/misinformation that had been provided, I finally got down to packing for a trip up the upper brisbane river yesterday. Sat down and looked at google earth and decided on a launching spot, plotted a course upriver, gave angus a last minute call to double check on some information and all was ready.

Anyway, 315am on saturday morning, loaded my yak and my mate Richard's on the trailer and started heading out to colleges crossing. Reached there at 0400 to find the gate locked till 0600. -_-. anyway, parked up at the opposite side of the road beside the river and had some brekkie. Another dude rocked up at 0500 and started casting with a popper. Pop pop pop...Smash! FIsh on! The angler fought it in to find a 30cm catfish on his line.. ROFL..

0600 and the gate was opened. Drove straight in and started launching the kayaks. The weather was still very overcast, and there was an intermittent drizzle, but that didnt dampen our spirits. Went through last minute checklist - drybag, sounder battery, lipgrip, lure retriever, rope, food supplies, first aid kit and it was all systems go.

Paddled 1k upriver and started casting at various snags on either side of the river. The tide was still only slightly more than half full at that stage, so I was pretty hopeful for some fish. Anyway, after about half an hour of casting, the first bass jumped on the line, smashing an sx-48 as soon as it hit the water. The bass only went about 18cm, but put up a decent fight for its size on 2lb line. Continued fishing snags upriver (there were soo many everywhere, and every one looked very very fishy, but noone was at home in any of them :S). crankbaits, topwaters, minnows, spinnerbaits - all the works, but no fish from any snag at all.

Continued upriver, and went past a large campsite with a few families set up having their brekkie. Didnt see any access road to the area, so it must have been a dirt track to get there. anyone know where this could have been? Paddled up another half k or so, then took a break at a set of rapids, where we hooked up a succession of spangled perch (one fish every 2 casts, with groups of 5 rushing in to smash the lure). Sudddenly my mate was on to a screamer that was pulling heaps of drag, rushing off downriver. After slowing it down we managed to see a flash of silver. Bass? Tarpon? The fish eluded us for another minute or so till he managed to bring it into the shallows. Mullet on sx-40. A first for Richard, and he was pretty pumped to have landed a mullet on lure. Rough estimate of its length was maybe 45cm++?

Anyway, continued upriver again to a very fishy set of rapids that had a large set of snags in the middle of the river. I marked quite a few large fish sitting near the bottom of these snags, but only managed to entice one missed strike from them. bummer. Continued upriver again to the next set of rapids where we had a short break on the bank.

When we decided to continue, I found that the depth of the river had increased by 3ft, and the current was considerably faster than it was before. We decided to push on anyway, but found that it was impossible to paddle upriver against the current. Richard in his Hobie didnt fare too well either. I found myself pushed by the current to the opposite side of the river downstream, where I got out, but just as I was getting my footing on the bank, the bank collapsed into the river, and I found myself being swept downstream holding onto my yak -_-. Got smashed into some snags that cut my leg quite bad, and nearly flipped the yak in the process. Some quick thinking and manouvering saved my yak from being tipped over. Managed to drift onto a shallow rockbar in the middle of the rapids and grab a quick breather there. Richard got onto the far bank and tossed me a rope. Tied the rope to the yak for Richard to tow over while I made my way over to the bank from a shallower part of the river.

We re-assessed the situation and decided that it was too risky to continue as it the constant rain upriver could result in some dangerous flash floods in the river. Deciding to call it a day, we tied everything down and headed back downriver. Fished a few more snags near the launch site for a few more spangled perch and pulled hooks from a suspected bass, but it was raining heavily by then, so we decided to call it a day.

In conclusion, yes, we will be back. The scenery was beautiful, and I'd say the fish were a plus. Camping is an option we are considering in the future to increase our range.

Credit goes to mickfillet and angus for the helpful info.

lessons learnt - head upriver during high tide to reduce fatigue :P.

- do not fish the upper brissie after or during periods of heavy rain.

Not many pictures due to the constant drizzle that we experienced during the trip upriver, wasnt too keen on risking the camera on scenery shots.

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Looks like a great adventure there mate, well done on the catches. Not being a prude, but be careful holding fish by the 'line' for photos, can stress the jaw and back structure.


Not raining on your parade, as I said well done again mate

no worries mate, in my opinion it only applies to big fish where their body weight is soo great that it causes damage due to the effects of gravity. I believe that with small fish, the effects are negligible.

it is a can of worms, coz look at the Basspro tournaments in USA and the JB Top tournaments in Japan where all the fish are hoisted by their jaws for the victory shots.

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