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Found 6 results

  1. The rivers close this weekend! Finally got around to making a vid from our visit in May. Or if you prefer a thousand words, here's the original report. Tight lines
  2. Had a few sessions in the last month at our usual spot around Hen and Chicken. Gotta say, the fishing still feels like summer. Not a heap of action on surface (we rarely have much success on surface lures here), but you couldn't stop them from smashing our plastics. As usual, Zman Grubz in Motor Oil, Gudgeon & Bloodwoorm with a smidge of S-Factor on a light head did the trick. Had some love on the hardbodies, but the plastics were far and away the winners on every occasion. Overall the fish have been small, with only a handful of legals caught per outing, though we're not complaining. We have even started trying to crack the place on fly. So far Nick's dropped a flattie and I've managed a chopper tailor on a gold crazy charlie. I had another go on the fly today after we had to pull the pin on a fly fishing charter. We hit the bay again and after I'd secured a strong lead on the fish tally using our usual methods, I switched to the wand with some home made charlies to no avail. After Nick hit a patch that gifted him half a dozen fish in matter of minutes, parity on the score board was restored and I went back to the spin which immediately got me onto more undersized flathead and bream. Is it cheating if I use a lightly weighted plastic on the fly rod?
  3. Hi all, I'm just getting into fly fishing and live in Cronulla. Was planning on going out this Friday - any good land-based areas around the Hacking? Was thinking of trying the sand flats around Maianbar or even the Basin. Based on what I've read, looks like flatties might be good to target first around there. Any advice or good places for a beginner to start? Cheers
  4. Hey guys, A few days ago a mate and I headed out to Pittwater to try and get amongst some winter kings. We left the boat ramp, heading north and hugging the eastern shoreline. We motored up to Clareville, where we saw a tight flock of birds hovering over the surface. Under them was a small school of kings, feeding on eyes. Using my 9 weight, I threw in a squid fly, and on the second cast hooked up. After a 5 minute fight I had a 66 cm king in the boat, my first since december last year! It was a good reward for the freezing weather! The kings went down during the fight, so I couldn't have another go at the school. We motored north, heading for Lion Island, where we hoped to find salmon at the last of the lowering tide. No cigar, but immense amounts of bait and mutton birds. We then headed to Barrenjoey Headland, armed with 6 weights and weed flies to catch my first blackfish on fly. After 20 minutes of casting and on the brink of low tide, I hooked up to a blackfish I'd estimate it to be in the mid to high 30s, buy you guys be the judge. On the run home, we found a school of kings, which looked more akin to the hectare sized schools of salmon off north head. All between approximately 60 cm and perhaps 90 cm long, they were feeding off the smallest of bait and after a few tries with the squid fly that had worked in the morning, I downsized to a much smaller surf candy. Due to the size and weight of the calamari fly, I had a heavy and short leader, with a 20 lb tippet. As I didn't want to spook the kingfish, a lighter 12 lb tippet was tied onto the previous tippet giving a longer, lighter leader. The hook of the surf candy was also very small. We chased the school for 30 minutes, but the kings had a serious case of lockjaw. Eventually, I threw in a cast where the fly was headed to the most intense part of the boil, and I knew, before it even landed that it was the one. I hooked up to a king, and bearing in mind the light tackle, had to keep him off the bottom, yet still keep my light leader intact. After a 10 minute fight, up came a 70 cm king, which was also a new pb. It was a great day out and broke a month long drought for me.
  5. It has been said that you could give 1000 monkeys, 1000 typewriters and in 1000 years one of them would come up with the complete works of Shakespeare. Well, the same is apparently true of Gorillas. Give 2 Gorillas, 2 fishing rods and in 1000 casts one of them will actually land a lure in the water! Such is the strange behaviour of the nocturnal bass-fishing Southern Lowland Bass Gorilla. To have any chance of seeing one of these elusive creatures, you have to be prepared to become sleep deprived... preferably hungover. It is important to journey into their natural habitat. Areas of the Tweed River Valley in Northern NSW are known areas for observing them. The best time to find them is 1-2 hours before first light and in the hour or so once light has touched the sky. As can be seen from the accomanying photo-essay, the Southern Lowland Bass Gorilla is elusive and shy, preferring mornings when their rivers are shrouded by mist and on nights with no moon. This can make their feeding challenging... although one wouldn't know it from the specimens observed today... both having put on solid condition through the cooler months. Preferred hunting conditions for the Southern Lowland Bass Gorilla A particular challenge for the Bass Gorilla is determining the location of snags in the misty pitch darkness. Many of their feeding 'casts' end not with a splashy 'plop' but with a stony 'kerthunk!' or less commonly a woody 'crash'. At these times, they often vocalise and one could be forgiven for thinking that they perhaps almost have a language (although the meaning behind the raucous laughter, sledging and curse words is hard to decipher). One of the Southern Lowland Bass Gorillas this morning actually spent 15 minutes fanning casts in all directions in the dark, being constantly frustrated in his attempts to find prey (and water). Eventually the large silverback realised that in the inky dark he was in fact in a cove 10cm deep, surrounded on 3 sides by rocky beach... a most unlikely place to find the Australian Bass... the Gorilla's preferred prey. The troublesome cove as seen in daylight His companion in trying to move past a large fallen tree was equally confounded for some minutes by the same beach until realising that the river was around 10m wide by going the other way around the tree. More raucous cries in the dark. And the equally troublesome fallen tree... a different proposition for Gorillas in the mist At this point, the Bass Gorillas began to hunt successfully. Despite being completely unable to see what they were casting at, an occasional hopeful cast actually managed to land on the water. It should be noted that the Southern Lowland Bass Gorilla is adept at using a limited range of tools. Apart from 375mL beverage containers, they also have the dexterity needed to use conventional spin tackle with poppers and Jitterbugs. Such is there ability with these tools that a succession of fit, though skinny Bass started to be collected by the pair. As you may see, conditions and the need for stealth made photographing the hunting behaviour challenging. Southern Lowland Bass Gorillas during a successful hunt Older silverbacks like one of this pair, sometimes develop the more advanced behaviour of seeking Bass with fly fishing tackle. Only one dominant male in any group usually has the aptitude for this form of hunting. Those observing this pair this morning would have been lucky enough to see this territory's largest male successfully employing this technique. A younger Gorilla obseved beyond the fly rod of a more experienced male The younger and perhaps more showy of the 2 Bass Gorillas at one stage had been slightly more successful in the early hunting, having captured 3 Bass to the old Silverback's 1. But a large male will always try to see off an ambitious rival and with with experience of years, the silverback just waited until the sledging was at its peak before fighting back. With the coming of the sun, while the Southern Lowland Bass Gorillas become easier to observe, they like their prey also become skittish and nervous. With the hunt slowing down as the sun climbed, the 2 Bass Gorillas began migrating back towards their home range. The old silverback as if to emphasise his strength, finished with 2 very fat, fit bass while the younger male looked on, frustrated. Attempting to assert dominance, the old Silverback fights back A series of photographs of the preferred habitat of the Southern Lowland Bass Gorilla Both males successfully captured 6 Bass each on this particular morning ensuring that they will continue to frequent this particular habitat. It's uncertain how long the old Silverback will be able to maintain his position in the group as his ailing fitness was evident as he struggled inelegantly out of the water. But there is an undeniably majesty and grace displayed by both these Southern Lowland Bass Gorillas in their natural habitat... Once in your life you should try to observe these elusivce Gorillas in the mist Gorilla in the mist and extremely rare film footage of the Southern Lowland Bass Gorilla's natural behaviour in daylight Prof. S.L. Inky
  6. It's been a long time between drinks for Jewhunter and Slink Bass attacks. It's also been a long time between buying and finally using my Jackson Coosa Kayak. Well finally this morning, I dragged my sorry backside out of bed at 1.30 am to head across the border into NSW for a pre-dawn bass raid. After a bit of firgging around, I managed to get me kayak on the roof and with all the rest of the gear dumped in the back before heading south for the hour drive. Reports of big bass being caught in some of our favourite haunts had us both keen. So keen that JH was actually waiting for me at the door when I rolled into his place at about 3am. We hoofed it up to our launching spot and got the yaks into the water. It was surprisingly easy getting sorted and out onto the water... a combination of keeping it simple and good head torches (big fan of my new Lenser H7). What isn't easy is snag bashing with lures in the pitch dark. Grant knows the bit of water we were on like the back of his hand. So do I... but since I don't know the back of his hand very well it left me at a disadvantage. Needless to say he was keen to show off (probably trying to cheer me up for leaving me behind while he fished Weipa)... his very first cast with a jointed Jitterbug got smashed and after a short tussle and lots of yahoos, a 35cm'ish Bassamundi came to hand. I made the mistake of taking a light baitcast outfit with me. Awesome outfit in daylight... truly stupid in the dark. While Grant picked up a couple more fish and was getting regular hits, I was getting practice unpicking birdsnests. Finally, with just enough light in the sky to be able to make out the snags, I found a suicidal bass in the mid 30's that grabbed my little Jitterbug. My first ever fish from a Yak so I was pretty chuffed. Then I decided to break out the magic wand (Reddington 6wt flyrod!!). Grant had given me a couple of poppers he'd found at a local market and they swam like champions. Short little strips had the fly popping loudly while barely moving. With the fly making so much noise while staying in the strike zone, I immediately started getting hits. In fact the first good snag I fished to had a fish that hit my fly on 4 consecutive casts before finally coming up tight on the 5th. A nice 37cm Bass for my first on fly from the yak. Grant meanwhile was getting steady action on his big 'Cod Botherer' sized Jitterbug and for a while just on first light the river was ringing with the sound of boofing bass and yahoohing fishraiders. Give me surface fishing every time!! Eventually we decided to start heading back towards the cars which were now about 1km behind us. The action had slowed but there were a couple of really big laydown snags that we'd passed in the dark on the way down. I nosed my yak into one of them and got absolutley hammered on the first bloop of my fly. In the still conditions, the sound of the take was awesome... and so was the fight in this fish. I quickly learned how hard it is to deal with a fish that was towing me and my yak into the snags. I used all of my 9' fly rod's length to monouver the fish under my yak and out to the other side away from the snag but he had some serious horsepower. Finally in the boat he went 40cm... my PB Bass on fly. Before heading back to the cars, Grant called for a quick diversion into another snag filled section of river away from the wind that was starting to pick up. Not far into the area and I heard a yell from behind me. Grant had managed to pull a solid bass nudging 40cm off the edge of some lillies. Like all the fish we caught today it was in great condition... clean and green with big shoulders and a bad attitude. After grabbing some snaps we continued on. Some of the snags in this section are insane. With the light well and truly in the sky now it was a lot quieter so we were throwing suicide casts right into the middle of snag-riddle ugliness. It's a bit like a car accident that you can't look away from... you see a great pocket surrounded by timber and sticks and you just know there is no way to get a fish out of there... but you throw the cast anyway because getting smashed and smoked is an awsome rush regardless. On one particular snag I almost had my baitcaster pulled out of hand after switching to a small spinnerbait and getting blown away moments into the retrieve. I'd love to see the fish that hit me because he popped my 10lb leader on the hit like cotton. Finally we decided it was 'ass o'clock'... the very special time of day when one's posterior insists that it's had enough kayaking for the day. Back to the car, an inelegent dismount after realising that my legs no longer worked properly, egg and bacon sambos in Murwillumbah, and another awesome fun session came to an end. Cheers, Slinky