kiwicraig

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About kiwicraig

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    WHITING

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    Male
  • Location
    Blackwall

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  1. I've not been out for ages as I need to replace my trailer and do renos and the two don't play well together. After a manic week a work though I was dying for some time on the water, so I pulled the yak out of the shed for the first time since last autumn and headed out. I launched at Blackwall and did the hard yards paddling under and beyond rip bridge against the incoming tide both so I could get some exercise and so I could do some drifts as I worked my way back. I will be feeling that tomorrow! Fishing was relaxing. Beautiful conditions. I mostly left one rod in the holder with a bit of pillie on it and worked a SP on the other, both looking for flatties. I was getting baited a bit around the bridge but I would say by squires. I moved back to the channel that runs back towards Blackwall and had been working the plastic around some jetties without so much as a touch when I decided to wind in and reposition into the middle of the channel. The bait rod had been in for ages and I was expecting an empty hook. But when I lifted the rod I felt weight, so I stuck. I thought it might have been a lazy flattie on the end but it did not feel like a flattie. Pleasantly St to try to surprised to pull in a 31cm flounder with nice thick shoulders on it. Tried a few more drifts as I made my way back, but pretty quiet. Headed back feeling much more relaxed and bloody exhausted 😁
  2. Some mates and I hired a houseboat for a weekend and parked up Friday and Saturday nights in Little Pinta to try for some hairtail. Spent a lot of hours fishing but it was pretty quite over all and not a single hairtail - though we did get some bites that felt like hairtail. Friday night was the better of the two. Picked up a couple of nice trevs, both taken on some garlicy chicken breast off Shark Rock Point at dusk. We then went back to the houseboat for some dinner and went out to chase that elusive hairtail. Two of my mates had pillies down and I took a fillet off one of the trevs and put a strip of that down on ganged hooks. Somehow my mates managed to get their lines tangled so I put my rod in the holder and I had just managed to free up the two lines when my rod bucked in the holder. I threw my mates rod at him and struck my rod. I was on, but I knew it was not a hairy because I could feel tail beats. I wasn't sure what it was on, but when it came up and I saw the sheen of silver I knew I had my first jew. It was only a tiddler at about 40cm but a first is a first so we snapped a quick photo and returned it to get a bit bigger. Saturday was a bit of a wash. Picked up a few yakkas for bait that we kept for bait and lots of small tailor well short of 30cms that we threw back. Then I got my anchor snagged and we could not free it. After trying for ages we had to cut the rope. This was a problem as we were wanting to fish for hairtail that night so I motored into Pittwater and grabbed an Uber into Mona Vale to get a new anchor, some chain and the associated fixtures. We then motored back to the houseboat and had to splice in the thimble eye. All up several hours of fishing time lost. Mind you some of my mates were in another boat and spent most of that time fishing with precious little to show for it. We went out again that night and fished through dusk and well into dark. The sounder was awash with activity and we had a mix of baits down between the two boats we tried trev strips, yakka fillets, a live yakka, a live squid, salted pilchards, prawns, tailor strips and mullet strips. Not a single bite - except the cold. Once that started to bite we went back to home base for dinner. Due to the lack of activity none of us were too keen to head out again so we had a few quiets instead. Sunday morning I needed to get back fairly early so I helped clean up the house boat, popped into Cottage Point for a bit of extra fuel and then motored back round to Blackwall. A disappointing showing from the fish but we all had a great time and the weather was as spectacular as the fishing wasn't
  3. My friends and I have booked a house boat for 7-9 July. Anyone keen for an Antisocial pm me and we can see if we can meet up.
  4. my mates and I are trying to nail down a weekend. I expect to know this in the next week or two and will post our plans when we do.
  5. Thanks all for the tips and advice. Very helpful as always!
  6. Hi Raiders, I’m looking to learn a bit from your experiences with different types of trailers. I have a 5.1m Mustang half cab – an older fibreglass hull with a 120HP Tohatsu on the back, so I would say a reasonably heavy boat for its size. When I brought the boat I knew that the trailer was in fairly average condition and would need to be replaced at some point. I’m at that point now. A few weeks ago I noticed that it has actually rusted through the bottom of one of the rectangular sections on the left side in front of the axel and the sides of the section have started to bulge out. While it has not actually let go, given where it is this point will probably be fine with the boat on the trailer, but would be loaded up as the boat is pushed back or pulled onto the trailer so I am simply not going to risk it. It’s got one more launch in it and that will be to swap the trailer over. I’m not even going to bother with renewing the rego as there is no way it would pass a safety check. The trailer I have is a traditional roller type, single axel and braked. It is a Marlin and I have been fairly happy with it as it was really good at centreing the boat as I often retrieve solo. I’ve been doing a lot of research an @antonywardle also sent me a useful article from Fisho that had some interesting points. I have a few specific questions I would like some thoughts on. 1) I have no idea how much my boat weighs. I have a tare weight for the trailer so in theory I could tow it to a vehicle weigh station and work it out but for obvious reasons would rather not. Does anyone have an idea of the range for the weight of the hull itself? (I can get the weight of the motor from the manual). 2) Skids vs Rollers? The article that I mentioned earlier seemed to favour Skids over Rollers largely because there were less moving parts to maintain. I had always assumed that skids were only suitable for smaller, lighter boats but is that the case? Is it possible to use a Skid type trailer for a heavy fiberglass boat and should I be considering it? 3) Aluminium vs Steel? All of the trailers I have looked at have been hot dipped steel – the article I read also talked about aluminium trailers. The obvious benefit would be that they don’t rust, but are there down sides? I’ve not looked into this option yet, but given what I know of aluminium I am guessing it would be more expensive and aluminium can get brittle at joins with age so could be prone to cracking/stress fractures. 4) One of the brands of trailers I have looked at seemed to have the axel a little further back and less of the trailer protruding behind the axel. Could just be a deceptive photo but this appeals as it would mean that I could get the trailer further into the water which would make drive on/off easier and (I would think) put less stress on the trailer due to the shorter lever. Any thoughts on this? Any downsides? 5) Old vs. New? My thinking at the moment is that I am going to buy a new trailer so that I can get into good maintenance habits from day 1, thinking that prevention is better than a cure. From what I have seen 2nd hand trailers seem to run at around 1/3 to 1/2 of the price of a new trailer anyway and you’re never going to get one in great condition. Thoughts? 6) Any vendors that I should avoid? PM me if you have had a bad experience with someone. Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for your help.
  7. @flatheadluke that would be the way for you to do it 😊
  8. Sadly I would have to say yes. But on the bright side you have some great trips to look forward to.
  9. Sad news, but not unexpected. Some friends of mine and I had already decided if this was the case we are still going to pick a weekend, get a houseboat and chase hairtail. I'll advise when we have a date and any Raiders wanting to join would be most welcome. The Antisocial if you will...
  10. Hi Jeff, There is an excellent article with all you need to know here on Fishraider. I read that and did my first hairtail social last year and managed to pick up 4 hairies. That said I was a good half a meter off winning the comp. Definitely a great trip out regardless. Definitely try to make it if you can. Craig
  11. I went out for a kayak session yesterday as I had not done that for a while and it was a lovely day. My plan was simple - drift along the edge of a sandbank and work the top of the bank with soft plastics, while dragging a bait along the bottom from one of the rod holders just over the drop-off. That was the theory anyway. Even though on the shore there seemed to be almost no wind there was a very inconvenient breeze out on the water that was pushing me up over the top of the still submerged sandbank. This would not be the end of the world, but with the swell coming in the heads and boat wakes coming from all angles going over the edge of the sandbank was not a great place to be as it was very washy and the angles the wave were coming form were very hard to predict. I did get a solid hit on the soft plastic right up on top of the bank but it didn't hook up. After a while and not much activity I decided to reposition into some deeper water that I thought would be a bit more out of the wind. I put away the SP rod and worked a prawn along the bottom. I still had a the other bait rod out the back as well with a whole pillie on a gang and enough of a sinker to keep it down the bottom on the drift. The prawn started to get hits straight away. A couple of the bites were fairly aggressive and were probably small flatties, but more often it was the rat-a-tat-tat bites of the small bream picking my prawns off. I was rebaiting that rod again when the big one bent over and started pulling line. My first thought was it was snagged and the current was pulling the line out because it was not screaming, just coming off in a steady pull. Once I managed get it out of the rod holder I did a big lift and was surprised to feel something come up off the bottom. There was no fight, no tail beat, no headshakes. At this stage I am thinking I have either snagged something like a waterlogged branch that is moving when I lift or a big stingray - as they are often around in Ettalong Channel. We'll never no because the next lift the line relaxed and I wound in to find my gang still there, but the pillie gone. I repositioned for another drift over the same patch and rebaited with a fresh pillie. This was hit fairly quickly and it felt like the target species, though I could tell it was no monster. I got it up and confirmed that it was a little flattie - clearly undersized at about 33cm. This is the point I made a decision that provided much amusement to the tinnie full of teens that was about 10m away when I got the fish to the surface. Seeing it was just a little tacker I did what I would do when fishing from the boat. I didn't bother with the net, I just lifted it in to unhook it. The problem was that as soon as it hit the deck between my legs, it spat the hooks and tried to escape. I just could not get a grip on the little bugger and with no net and no line attached to his lip I certainly was not the one in control of the situation! He flopped over my right leg and made a dash towards my foot. I tried to grab him, he spiked me and reversed direction and wiggled all the way along my leg and retreated behind the seat. Not wanting to hurt him I lift my bum up and grab him. He spikes me again and shimmies all the way down my other leg right up to the hatch on the front of the yak. Finally he opens his mouth! I stick my thumb in and lip grip him. Now that I have him I measure him and confirm he's undersized (was bang on my guess at 33cm) and let him go. One of the kids in the tinnie says something like "whoa what a monster". His mate says "shut up - he's caught more than us". I just smiled. The humble flathead never ceases to amaze me. 33cm fish taking a whole pillie that must be about 1/3 of its body length. These guys can eat. I continued for a while longer and managed to land one more fish that was slightly better, but not good enough. I netted this one which was SO much easier to deal with, did a quick measure - 35cm. The current was really starting to run now and I had drifted fair way from the beach I launched from. It was a fair slog back against the current - hence the sore shoulders today! Frustrating to not get a feed but it was - as always - great to be out on the water and I'll take catching small fish over no fish any day.
  12. @antonywardle We do? Who is this sponsor? I had a look and could not see one offering trailers. Can you point me to them? I'm in the market for a new trailer, too and I would check out a sponsor first... BTW we need to get out for a fish again soon.
  13. I'm keen for sure and will bring along a house boat full of reprobates as well. I just need to know a date so I can get our head brewer on the case! I am pretty sure I saw somewhere in the Fishraider is saved thread that there will be a Hairtail Social - bring it on!
  14. Great news that the site is going to continue. I fully support this great forum. I could go through my shed and boat and find a raft of things that I have added less value to my fishing than Fishraider has. I'd hate to think about how much has been sent on those things. Frankly if I have to forgo a lure or two to get access to all the great info that is on this site then it will probably be my smartest fishing related purchase this year!
  15. Reading tonight that DPI have released a Code of Practice for the handling of big flatties. Here's the article I was reading. Sounds all very sensible to me though I will usually release flathead over about 60cm personally.