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  1. G’day raiders, Firstly, for all you good people in lockdown. Thank you for doing the right thing and I hope everything goes in the right direction soon. For me, I’m blessed to live where I do and today I got out with @back cruncher for a bit of a snapper flick. We’ve been spending some time doing a few different things and fishing a few different areas. It has been fairly quiet of late and today seemed to be no exception but we kept working hard and were rewarded with a couple of beauties! As I always say “just keep casting” cheers scratchie!!!
    26 points
  2. Spent the morning fishing a wreck on the western side of Lake Macquarie today. Fished the early low tide change and managed a handful of nice dusky flathead in an hour. water was 15 degrees and when the water drops to those kinds of temperatures the flathead move to deeper water and hang around wrecks and reefs making them (in my opinion) much easier to find and catch than during the summer months. use a 3/8 ounce jig head with a 3/0 to 5/0 hook and any 4 to 5 inch paddle tail plastic. Work the lures with short hops along the bottom around the wreck/reef and you should come up tight to a few. A tide change early is prime but isn’t necessary as I have caught good fish on all stages of the tide. if you spend time sounding around the lake it won’t take you long to find a few wrecks but I’ll put a secret out there… there’s an old RAAF base on the shores of the lake and years ago they discarded some unwanted machinery by chucking it in the lake 😉 Here’s a specimen from this morning tight lines.
    25 points
  3. G'day Raiders, Given many of us are experiencing lockdown keeping us from our favourite pass time, I thought I'd put up this report to keep the fires stoked. Some of you may know that Maria has arthritis issues in her hands and has already had one surgery, so getting her to even contemplate the prospect of fishing in 50-60m grounds on cold winter days is somewhat challenging. So a few months back I hatched a plan that for her birthday I would equip her with a small electric reel+rod combo that would ease her struggles. Here's the gear: the electric reel and 10-15kg rod weigh in at just over 700g .... compared with 980g for just the Penn 950SSM reel she struggled with previously. So the next step to getting a YES, was to propose we do gentlemen's hours for winter's days. So the Thursday 8th July session was a very respectable 8.30am departure from home, heading to Parsley Bay and then out to Barrenjoey Wide (strictly observing all of the COVID regulations current at that time). She was so stoked with the new fishing arrangement she even took the helm as we left Parsley Bay leaving me free to set up all the rods, bait and gear. 10am saw us out at our favourite 50m drift, the conditions were mildly bumpy but settling by the minute. Good bait and fish readings on the sounder so in went the lines...we'll in went Maria's electric as that was the first one baited up ... and before I could get a bait on mine let alone get it in the water this happens: So first fish in the boat, a barracoutta ... excellent, plenty of fresh bait, should be a great day .... But then along comes a run of whales, many humpbacks, a southern wright and several false killers. Two hump backs swimming side by side, each back easily bigger than my BARRYCUDA heading straight for us, 3 boat lengths out they dive, luckily all lines were in, Maria and I grab the rocket launcher rails and brace.... nothing... wait ... nothing...breathe... still nothing... they're gone. Phew. Back to fishing. Nope.... more whales .... here's the cheeky bugger that hung around for 15min ... tail slapping the full time... apologies for poor camera just using the iphone here. Anyway, back to fishing, cause I guess you all want the fishing report ...so fishing 10.00am -1.30pm we caught 6 flathead (45-57cm), 3 x tailor (35cm), 1 pike (50cm), 1 barracutta, 1 squire (released), a 4ft mako shark (bitten off at boat - took snapper lead, plastic and hook), a 4ft Port Jackson (released), and 1 horse yakka. ...and before anyone asks Maria caught 5 out of the 6 flatties, the mako, the pike 😳 ... YES the electric is a hit ! Raced back to the ramp to clean the fish and we were done and dusted heading home by 3.00pm. Kept fillets off the pike, yakka, tailor and barracutta to salt down for future bait. Here was todays flathead fillet lunch Hope this keeps the passion alive. Tight lines raiders. Cheers Zoran the mako, the pike
    19 points
  4. Been a while since writing a report .. Like most , usual offshore fishing has slowed due to COVID. Living on the Central Coast and lucky to have water at the backyard, I've previously tried a few times fishing without much success. Last Thursday, I decided to have a break in the sun by the water at around 3pm, so yes also grabbed the rod and some bait, but not expecting much. Tide was full and about to turn, with no wind. Bait consisted of frozen Flathead guts from the freezer which was going to be for making up some berley .. nothing special. Also grabbed some remains of cooked mud crab just to clean out the freezer. After thawing the bait and throwing in the mud crab remains, rigged up with some fish roe, cast in, and just placed rod with bail open, whilst I sat down. Took 5-10 minutes for the line to take off, and in came a nice bream (approx 40cm). Biggest bream Id seen for some time. After removing the hook (still with bait in tact), another cast with same bait, and to my surprise, before I could sit, the line went and a bream of similar size was brought in. What can I say ... Looks like going forward I have to keep the berley a regular activity, and throw in a line at the right time 🙂 Everyone stay safe in these challenging time ...
    18 points
  5. I haven’t been out into the harbour chasing the winter run of big Kingies for 2 weeks (been training a new gun dog and a few comps and trials coming up) and with COVID restrictions meaning “ boat ramp closest to where you live in your municipal area” , so decided last week that the unseasonable run of warm winter days would mean water temp in the Hawkesbury should mean Jewies and Flatties might be on the menu. My wife agreed to drive / accompany me so we set Tuesday as a day for fisherman’s basket tea. It was a cold and frosty start to the day, so made a late start - leaving the ramp at 7am. The day proved to be productive with a feed of Flatties and 9 sub-legal Jewies and this nice one to Julie (I always let her catch the biggest). All the bream have migrated down stream to the mouth (caught some stockers there a few weeks back). The water temp was only 13.5, but even so we got a good feed, but not much fight in them. All fish were caught on 15lb braid with 15lb fluro on Paternoster Rig as this allows a change in sinkers as the tidal flow changes. I use an “easy rig” above the swivel to mainline allowing line to runout freely. For Jewies and bream I use a 2/0or 3/0 “shiner” hook and always Hawkesbury prawns (which I get direct from trawlers -$17 a kg). In summer I also use herring, which are easy to catch on the turn of the tide, but disappear once the flow starts. Interestingly and unlike the popular opinion, I usually get the Jewies before or after the slack water and usually in very shallow water. Commonly the bigger models (80-110) in 3-4m off the banks where the Flatties hang out and not in deep holes.
    18 points
  6. After enjoying Scratchie's post about our most memorable fishing experiences, I started thinking about the significant factor that lead to me becoming as "mad-keen" on fishing as I am. In my case it wasn't the catching of a fish, but in fact the losing of one. I was on holidays at Coffs Harbour with my Mum and brother, staying with relatives and we'd gone fishing a few times, mostly to Coffs Jetty, catching mostly tiny sized fish like Yellowtail, Sweep, Mado's and Leatherjackets, all fun but nothing big enough to eat. It was all hand-line fishing at the jetty and I was comfortable using hand-lines, but had just been given my first rod and was keen to try using it. We were staying pretty close to Coffs Creek and had heard from the next door neighbour that there were a "few Flathead down at the swimming spot in the creek", Mum asked me if I wanted to go and try down there for something bigger than the fish at the wharf. I was about 8 years old at the time and had caught plenty of keeping sized fish, but they'd all been caught on hand-lines and mostly from the family boat down at Windang, which is on the northern shore of the entrance to Lake Illawarra. So down to the fish shop -which was only just up from the pathway down to the swimming spot- to buy some more green prawns for bait. My family had relied on only two baits wherever we'd fished, Squirt Worms were number one bait, but good old green prawns were number two and you could get them literally anywhere. I remember the man at the fish shop asking where we were going to go and laughing when Mum replied that we were just going down to the creek, where the swimming spot was. He said there were better spots to go than down there, but undeterred, down we went. The swimming spot consisted of a simple boarded section along the shore, complete with diving board and a narrow bit of wharf at each end, that protruded out about 15 or so meters on each side. These two narrow ends were about a meter wide and sat just above the water at high tide, each one had a small ladder attached about 2/3rd's of the way out and the only purpose of these mini wharves was to allow swimmers back up- they were just too narrow for anything else. We picked the left hand side one and went out to the end, it wasn't wide enough to fish two people side by side and I remember having to be careful getting anything out of the old cane creel we kept all our fishing gear in, as there were no sides on the tiny wharf and there were plenty of gaps between the wooden boards- anything dropped was lost to the creek. My rod and reel had belonged to my Grandfather and were now pretty old. The rod was a Jarvis Walker "Burnie-deluxe" a two piece solid fibreglass rod with a cork butt and black plastic-like foregrip, about five feet long, simple chromed guides and what would be described these days as a "medium-slow taper"- originally designed by Jarvis Walker as a Bream and general purpose model. The reel was one that many older fishers would have either owned or indeed seen- a "Steelite" centrepin- still used by many for Luderick fishing. To cast the line, the only way I could figure out was to pull some line off the reel and then make the throw, hoping the line didn't get caught on anything like the wharf, gear or myself. The rig was the same one I used for everything, anywhere I fished; a bug sinker which sat on half a match stick, about 7 or 8 inches above the hook. Swivels were not commonly used and it seemed that most fishers used a match stick tied on to stop the sinker sitting on the hook. There were only about 3 types of hook I'd ever seen, Suicide (called Octopus pattern these days) Long Shank (bronzed) and "Limerick" which were tinned and known as "Tailor hooks". Our long shanks came in different sizes in a pack and on the back of the packet there was a description of how many of each size and what they were used for. Mine had "Garfish hooks", "Whiting hooks" and "Flathead hooks" in it, the Flathead hooks were the largest and I chose the second largest one and tied it on. After fishing out of the boat at Windang for a few years, my idea of a prawn bait was to peel the prawn, throw away the head and break the prawn into about 3 or 4 bits, each bit was a bait and only needed to cover the bend of the hook and the point- using an entire prawn was just not even a consideration! The fish always took the whole bait and pretty much you'd strike as soon as you felt something there- well that's how I did it anyway. Rigged up, bait on and cast made- probably went about 15 feet, if that, let out a bit of line so it would sink as far out as possible. Take up the little bit of slack after it hit the bottom and a bite straight away! Pulling back against the bite and the rod starts bending- there's a fish hooked and kicking on the other end! Excitedly I wind the fish in, not giving it any line and up comes a small Flathead, I lift it onto the wharf and Mum covers it with the "fishing towel" before putting it in the creel to unhook. Thrilled at catching the fish on rod and reel, I remember just sitting there looking at it as it kicked around in the big creel, it was big enough to keep and I was over the moon. "Come on, catch another one" says Mum and I take the second piece of prawn I've lined up and put it on the hook. Pull some line off the reel and cast again, probably didn't go as far as the first one though as I out-threw the piled up line and it jerked back towards me. Down it goes and another bite straight away- hooked up again and this one's pulling harder. Another Flathead about the same size as the first gets lifted onto the wharf and straight into the creel for unhooking. I love this rod fishing! Fish unhooked and bait on, another cast, another bite, but missed him this time. Mum suggests trying a bigger bit of prawn "for a bigger fish"- makes sense, so out goes half a prawn and pretty well straight away in comes another Flattie. I'm thinking this is a great fishing spot and it was really nice of the neighbour to send us to his secret place. Then it happened, I cast out again expecting another Flathead and I hooked onto something huge! The little rod was bending over and Mum's yelling "play it, play it"- I didn't know what play it meant until she said "let it run- just let go of the reel and put your hand underneath the reel" which I did. The fish would run out a fair way, then seem to stop and I'd reel it back in, only to have it take off again. This went on for ages until the fish was tired and then suddenly it came all the way in and revealed itself- an absolutely giant Flathead. Now how to land it? There was nowhere to beach it- the wooden surrounds of the spot prevented this and the huge fish had pretty much stopped swimming, the only thing to do was try to slide it up onto the wharf. We got it about halfway on and the line broke- it had finally been sawed off by the fish's teeth and it slipped back off the wharf and was gone. We looked at each other and both kept staring at the water for a minute, but off course, it was gone for good. Mum offered the encouragement of "quick, put another hook on, there might be another one!", so I tied on another hook, re-baited and cast again, almost expecting another giant to take hold, but that was it, not another bite and we decided to go home, with the promise of coming back down the next morning. When we got back to the house where we were staying, my cousins were there, including two a bit older than me, no amount of convincing from me mattered, nobody believed how big the Flathead that got away was. "Typical fisherman's story" and the like were the responses and I remember being both frustrated and angry that nobody believed me, even with Mum as witness. The next day we went back there to fish again, but there were heaps of people swimming and didn't get a bite. The day after 6 of us boys made a raft and sailed Coffs Creek, which took us quite a few hours to do the 1km stretch and I kept looking over the side the whole way, hoping to see "my" Flathead. Something triggered in me that day and just like Scratchie with his huge Bream, I was hooked for life, except he got to keep his fish and mine got away. Over the years I've seen some giant Flathead caught, mostly by others, but I've never seen one like that one ever again. I did see the "lay" of an absolute giant up at Wooli when we were there while the Sydney Olympics were on and although you can't tell the weight of one from a sand impression, it was bigger I reckon than the one I fought and it made me smile to see where it had been, knowing there still are giants out there to be caught. I have a few more stories of lost giants, but I'd love to hear of other folks experiences, albeit losses, and to see if losing something has motivated others to get more involved (addicted even!) with fishing.
    16 points
  7. So I managed to get out a few times locally and off Swansea before lockdown hit! (We actually got the news later that day we were going into a lockdown at 6:00pm here on the Coast!). Now I’m just twiddling my thumbs, so I thought I’d write something up to pass the time and for the memory bank – Warning: By no means big fish or anything exciting! 😆 I had recently made some new kayak racks for my canopy so I was super keen to try these out. I loaded and packed the yak the afternoon before with no issues and was set up bright and early on the water’s edge at Patonga Creek. Gotta love the smell of fire wafting by a few people that were camping upstream (Will have to try this sometime!). Boy does it stay cold in the valley! The plan was to head up to the main sand flat to pump for nippers and try catch a feed of flathead or whiting. I decided to chuck in the little cooker in case there was somewhere I could pull up and cook some fresh fillets! It was also the first time taking my new little mate on the yak, so it was always going to be interesting! (He decided it was better in the water than onboard in the first 10 metres we pedaled). 😅😂 During the Summer months the channel always produces a lot of flathead. It’d been quite a while since I’ve last fished this area, and hesitant with the water temperature so cold but was keen to give it a red hot crack. Like we used to always do, some of the first nippers we got went straight back out with a long shank as jewelry while I continued to pump enough for a few hour session. This accounted for 2 very small flathead – At least we were on the board with the target species! I decided to try drifting the channel instead to cover a bit of ground, I was instantly rewarded by a Flattie that was just over legal length. Thinking it was going to be a productive session, I let him swim away hoping to upgrade – No such luck! The next hour or so I spent drifting the same spot as the tide was rising for only small Flattie and micro Bream. I have never explored too far up the creek but looked at it a few times on Google Maps. I thought it was time to see how far we could get up and find somewhere to stretch the legs and cook a feed (Lucky I also had bacon and eggs in the esky). By now the wind had picked up and was getting a bit too much for the patience levels fighting this and an ADHD puppy wanting to clamber over everything. 🤪 I found another fishy looking location and quickly pulled a just legal Whiting off the flats. I was tossing up whether to keep him for later but decided on a quick happy snap before releasing, a few more smaller models came on board but not the size I was after for a feed! I decided to call it a day after finding nowhere decent to pull up upstream and started pedaling back to the ute. Not to be beaten, but almost back to the launch area, I flicked a small grub into the edge of the mangroves that looked like they were holding small bait and was rewarded with another just legal fish. This time a Bream! It’s been too long since I got one of these on plastic so it was great to tick this off in a day. Wish I kept something for a feed but that’s fishing. It was a great day on the water and I hope to try this area again come Summer as the scenery is just too amazing, and hoping for some better sized fish. Cheers, Brendo
    15 points
  8. You don't need me to tell you that this new strain of Covid is presenting additional concerns to the Australian public. It is extremely dangerous and I want to ask each and every one of you to be ultra careful. To the best of my knowledge we haven't had any Fishraiders succumb to it, please do everything possible to keep it that way. Hopefully we will all come through this and get back into doing what we enjoy most...FISHING. Take care, bn
    14 points
  9. Headed out early this morning up from Lilli Pilli. Caught the tailor early on salted mackeral. It put up a good fight on a handline. The reddies were caught on squid strips much later. Plenty of small reddies taking the squid, mackeral and pillies, the jackets were not there this morning - Bruce must have caught them all last week. 😂 Only a few spots of rain and not much wind, however, the wind will be picking up later. No surface action to be seen until I returned back to Gunnamatta Bay. A few tailor buzzing about, a few follow ups with a small metal lure but no hook-ups. (# within the 10km limit from home)
    13 points
  10. Amy and I have been planning a Darwin trip since November 2020, we thought Covid was going to put a stop to it but after consultation with the relevant authorities literally the day before we were fine to go. With the trip going ahead we were all but frothing at the mouth for our guided day on corroborree, with a 5am pick-up from our accomodation I was awake from 4 waiting to go. I have wanted to come to the top end for as long as I can remember so this was a dream coming true, and of course the number 1 spot on my bucket list, a saratoga. The dawn drive out was impressive seeing plenty of wildlife including buffalo. When we rolled up to the billabong it felt wild and we didn't waste time getting on the water. the sunrise was truly impressive, we were hoping to see a croc, we saw atleast 6 within 100m of the ramp, the guide basically said "don't fall in". I still can't comrehend the beauty of ths place, no matter how many pictures you see, it just doesn't prepare you. We started out chasing barra on hardbodies, apart from Amy and i there was another customer on the boat John the guide looked pretty happy when he realised we could all fish and work lures with basically no instruction. it didn't take long for me to put a fish in the boat only a small barra but I didn't care, the hits came thick and fast with a few small feisty barra hooked and dropped, and then a short while after I had a serious take and miss next twitch the lure is nailed and a much better barra flies into the air, the barra really played up making some serious jumps and runs, I could sense Simon our guide really wanted this fish on the boat, it was a hell of a fight but managed to get the fish in the net A beautiful 65cm barra apparently a quality fish for a billabong, such a gorgeous golden fish, the mood on the boat was high and shortly after Amy put her first on the board for the day not long after John follwed suit not long after landing his first ever barra, the mood was high. When the bite slowed we headed to a spot our guide called national geographic where there is a gutter filled with crocs, fish and birds truly an incredible sight apparently 2 weeks before they were pulling 100 fish sessions from this spot, I managed to drop a presumed massive barra, who cares with scenery like this. With the barra bite time slowed down we turned our attention to my number 1 bucket lister the saratoga, we started casting spinnerbaits, which after awhile I got sick of and switched to casting weedless plastics in the lillies, Amy persisted with the spinnerbait and before you now it she's on and of course my dream fish in Amy's line an absolutely magnificant fish and despite feeling a level of jealously reserved only for the criminially insane I was happy for her. Probably should mention Amy and I get a little competative and the sledging often starts, so my ego took a blow. I continued casting my weedless plastics the hits came but I couldn't eep one stuck, could you imagine my pride if Amy landed another this one was even bigger, I was feeling the pressure and there was plenty of sledging aimed at me from all other occupants on the boat, not to mention feelimgs of jealousy so extreme I felt the need to be medicated, I was finding with the weedless plastics the further back in the lillies they went the more hits they recieved and finally after what felt like hit number 7487 a fish finally stuck I dared to dream toga and was given tarpon, still a cool fish and a new species, It got to a frustrating point where I couldn't catch a break and I heard swear words may have started to arise (allegidly) then with all hope lost a toga hooked up and I somehow managed to put it in the net before the hooks fell out I have dreamed of this fish for years although not a big one, it was still respectable and a bucket lister, with that we stopped for lunch, our guide had said under "lunch tree" big sooty grunter often show up but they ony eat ham, me being me I put a slab of ham on my jighead and lobbed it out whils eating lunch, and sure enough it was eaten as the guide commented I never stop fishing We spent the arvo casting weedless plastics because our guide was so impressive with the effectiveness (I brought my own and he stopped at the tackle store in the way back and got some) we were getting hit pretty much every cast although th hook up rate wasn't fanatstic. Whilst casting a massive croc comes past heading into the liiles we could hear him smashing birds and after whne we got to far in he started roaring at us as a warning, truly incredible, The fish slowed a bit in the arvo we all landed a few small barra and I landed a small but very colourful saratoga Our day at Corroborree has to be one of the best days fishing I've ever had, it was more than just the fishing it was the whole experience of the wildlife and just the impressive billabong itself, it's a must for anyone that visits the NT. cheers for reading Dave
    13 points
  11. Hey Raiders, I bet the title got a raise from a few ! ... so I'll try to keep it true to subject. Ok, so several of the raiders I respect have in the past week mentioned how they enjoy smoking fish - hmmmm - now I enjoy smoked food and have eaten smoked salmon, wahoo etc - but I have never smoked a fish in my life. So with lockdown-itis in full swing I embarked on the adventure. First - I needed a smoker ! An hour or so of googling and youtube gave me plenty of ideas to work with and off I went to the workshop armed with a few broken kitchen items and created my own POT SMOKER ! Started with a pot missing a handle and with a damaged lid and scrounged a damaged ally pot lid already lying around in the workshop... hmmm could be a good drip tray with a simple mod: Couple the drip tray with two cake cooling racks cut down and bent to fit the pot - should do nicely. It all came together like this: Drip tray and first rack fitted: Both racks: With the Pot Smoker created, it was time to put it o the test. The only fish we had in the freezer were flattie fillets. Probably not ideal, but worth an experimental shot. So some more googling gave me a simple starter brine recipe: 2cups water, 1/4cup salt, 1/4cup brown sugar. Into the fridge they went to party overnight. So to prepare today's luch, out came the brined fillets placed on paper towels and patted down to dry.... So while they were resting, I prepped a salad of chopped fennel, green apple, shallots with a mayonaise + wasabi + dill dressing. (Also put some sweet potato in the air fryer). Then it was time to do some POT SMOKING ! Turned the gas on and waited for the smoke to start then placed the fillets on the racks, put the lid on and kept the temp around 72C .... Some 20min later ..... checked .. the fish was flaking easily DONE .... And VOILA ... lunch is served .... warm smoked flattie salad Maria gave me 10/10 😛 .... this meal is definitely on the repeat. Now can't wait to try some fish species more disposed to receiving the smoking treatment - tailor etc. Hope this inspires others to give it a go and thanks to the raiders that peaked my interest. Cheers Zoran
    13 points
  12. Headed out early this morning to the deep water near Lilli Pilli. Fishing within the 10km radius from home. Motored against the breeze, temp was 6 degrees, with wind chill factor probably around zero. The breeze stayed up most of the time I was out. The fish were caught on pillies, the squid getting chewed of quickly, probably small jackets, and the fish strips produced some small reddies. Nothing else to report, at least something for the plate.
    13 points
  13. Headed out early this morning. No contact with anyone so Covid safe. Fished Gunnamata Bay from first light, anchored on the edge of the deeper water. Pulled out the trev and tailor on salted mackerel strips, also a 60cm salmon, all on hand lines. The salmon took some time to the net, then released. Bites were slow. After the tide had risen a bit, I headed to Maianbar flats, pumped some nippers and waded about. The water is cold up river. It took some time to hook up the whiting, baits getting chewed by toads and little whiting. The biggest whiting was just past the 41cm mark when landed, shows how much fish shrink in the cold ice water of the esky. Weighed just over the pound and a quarter mark, the smallest a pound even. That was enough for me, so I headed home. At the mouth of Gunnamatta Bay, many birds working the surface so tossed in a metal. Salmon. Moving around very quickly, there one second then gone. Over the hour I pulled out 5, all released, around the 45 to 50 mark. Several times I had salmon following the lure to the boat, head butting each other out of the way, but not taking the lure, just having a look. Some days the salmon are slow and lazy, today, swimming about like rockets.
    13 points
  14. Tried a new spot within a few minutes ride from my house today with some plastics. Rode down to the trail and hid my bike in the bush, then walked down the trail to the spot. "Looks good" I thought to myself. Nice steep rocky drop off and a bit of structure to flick at with a lot of current pushing through. First cast, nothing. Second cast, couple hops off the bottom and then a solid hit. I struck, feeling the heavy, head shaking fish trying to wrap me around the kalona, but managed to keep it away before getting a first glimpse of fish. Backed the drag off as I lead the fish around onto the beach where I was able to land him. Stoked to land my first EP after only my second time targeting them and wow, they're fun! Got a couple quick photos and measured him, coming in at 41cm before releasing it, where it swam off strongly.
    13 points
  15. Here are the rules for Greater Sydney https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/greater-sydney This is a very dangerous situation we are in. I have a young family friend and her husband and their 4 year old daughter who had to be hospitalised with Covid-19. One became symptomatic with cold like symptoms and the other within 24 hrs. The little girl luckily has only mild symptoms. This couple are in their 30’s and fit. They are not elderly or health compromised. Today I saw vision of the protesters march in Sydney. Tens of thousands of people with no masks protesting for their freedom. I can’t even find the words to comment on this. I really feel for the police who try to do what they can to keep order. I have stopped following fishing groups on Facebook. There are so many that are posting and boasting how they “got around” the rules to go fishing. If I am honest fishing pales into insignificance when we see what this pandemic is doing to our lifestyle. Every time we leave our home we are at risk. Good on you guys that are reading, doing stuff around the house and so forth. You are showing your young folk how to do the right thing. Embrace the family time. I have 2 daughters one is in UK with the first grandchild who turns 1 soon. The other daughter is a registered nurse who is fully frontline. I can’t see either of them 😢 So swordie and I are staying in until we can safely move around the community. Swordie is making soft plastics with his Plastisol, glitter and colouring in his 70ml squigie wriggler mould! I am doing crafts and jigsaws. Look forward to some fishing when we can. The Olympic Games is on and we are excited about the swimming tonight. STAY AT HOME GET TESTED GET VACCINATED Wear a mask, wash your hands and sanitise, socially distance. STAY SAFE RAIDERS
    12 points
  16. Like all forms of fishing, part of being a rock fisherman is to always try to keep in touch with what is going on fish-wise. That includes having an idea of what's biting, where they are biting (and on what), what's "due" next and in particular, what the ocean conditions are like. With communication technology being what it is these days, a few clicks of the mouse can show live footage of the ocean to reveal conditions in general and a few more clicks to the right sites can also show the fish people are catching, albeit the "mystery" location or the commonly used term "spot X" leaving something for the viewer to work out. A far cry from early rock fishing days, when the only genuine way to see the conditions was to actually go and look for yourself before making a decision as to whether it was safe enough/suitable to venture to your actual fishing position. The only available data then was the boating weather forecast, which was very sketchy for land based fishers. There were only two parts to the sea report, the first was the "sea" description and that used wording like "slight seas" or "slight to moderate seas" or "moderate seas" or "rough seas", followed by the swell report which used the same descriptive wording and a typical "good" forecast was something like "slight seas on a low swell"- from experience, if the report stated something like "slight to moderate seas on a low to moderate swell", that meant there was a chance it wouldn't be safe and the long trip from Sydney's western suburbs might not be worth it. An alternative safe plan is always necessary if you are a rock hopper. In the days before this type of media were available, without actually going out fishing, the great sources of information were "word of mouth". Limited newspaper coverage- including the old weekly fishing paper Fishing News-, fishing clubs, pubs, large workplaces (like big factories) and of course bait and tackle shops. Information from tackle shops was probably the most reliable, especially if they sold bait (and if they liked you!) and the least reliable (for details at least) was the local pub, due mainly to the chain of stories often varying from teller to "tell-ee" etc etc. Fishing clubs were also the other great source of information, as like-minded members are usually only too happy to help with information, tips and techniques. We heard through the fishing grapevine (a tackle shop owned and operated by one of our club members) that "they" were getting decent numbers of Snapper off the rocks at the entrance to Botany Bay near the spot known as "Shaky"- which derives it's name from the big rock adjacent the spot moving when the swell came in from a particular angle. Having ventured out to Cape Banks a fair few times and always keen to chase the action of something like some Snapper, we decided to head there for a change from our usual eastern suburbs rocks spots. A rough map was drawn for us and the trip hastily planned. Although we'd fished many of the ledges on Cape Banks, like High Jolong, Dr's Rock, Donkey's, The Trap and so on, none of us had gone right to the entrance where "Shaky" was. Shouldn't be too hard to find though, being right on the tip of the cape and there are tracks everywhere out there. We had a mate who was a member of the Sydney Pistol Club, which had it's shooting range out on the cape behind the NSW Golf Club and he had a key that was needed for the locked gateway out to the pistol club car park, which saved leaving the car in an area known for break-ins. The area was pretty wild, with only the gated fire trail that lead out to the pistol range, which is due east of the golf club, and there were only about 3 or 4 houses before you got to the club. Once past the club, it was fairly easy to walk due east to the cliff tops and then just follow them south towards Botany Bay's entrance. Much of the area was overgrown with thick scrub and there were small and narrow "trails" heading in different directions, with a fair amount of scrub-free sandstone along the water side edge of the cliffs. The first and most well known fishing spot you come to is the platform known as "Jolong", it was a popular ledge with washes either side and fairly easy access down a chain, with easy to climb step-holes cut into the cliffside. Due to the easy access and the fact it is one of the only large low platforms in the entire area, it always attracted plenty of fishers. Sadly though, by the very geography of the platform, it is also known as a death trap, due to the way the swell hits the platform, sweeps down and the large volume of water floods off each side at the back, carrying everything with it as it pours back into the sea. Plenty of fishers perished there until the access to the ledge was taken away, pegs cut, chain removed and warning sign placed- I don't know if the access is still blocked, but it's not a safe place to fish- never was and genuinely not much of a spot at any rate, it's only attraction being one of the few locations close to the water. As you move along the cliffs from Jolong, numerous other cliff-top spots are passed, but that form of fishing never really interested any of us, as it's all heavier line, bobby cork type fishing, with any hooked fish needing to be winched up or cliff-gaffed. There are a couple of other small locations that are closer to the water as you head south, but again, not really as appealing as other coastal rock fishing areas. Along the cliff tops there was plenty of scrub to get past as you moved south and some of the "tracks" were nothing more than water runs that became either dead ends or finished on the cliff edge. As with most rock fishing trips, the pre-dawn time is generally the most productive, so you need to be travelling to the location while it's dark, especially if after Snapper. Sea unseen until you arrive on the actual spot, often leads to danger, due to all the effort required just getting there and the idea of "we'll just have a few casts because it's pretty bumpy" should be reinterpreted to "it's no good today-too rough, there's always next week, have to go to plan B". Using this philosophy will save your own and your mates lives. After accessing the gate, parking the car near the pistol range and walking east towards the ocean, then passing the Jolong platform we found what we thought was the right way. A narrow, but definite track going south towards the mouth of Botany Bay. We could see the ocean, dark and not too noisy, with no visible white foam, which was encouraging. Initially, the "track" was along the cliffs, quite close to the edge, but after a few minutes, it moved away from the cliff-side a bit and into the thick vegetation. When walking with 12 and 13 ft one piece rods and navigating narrow trails through ceiling height scrub, there's no way to walk with your rods pointing up, rather, you have them pointing along the track by your side. This of course means staying a reasonable distance apart while walking, so you don't bump into your companions rod tips in the darkness. We walked for about 10 minutes, Ross D in front, myself next, then Tim W and Fraser L and our progress wasn't exactly speedy. Head torches back in the late 70's early 80's were cumbersome and had battery packs that were worn on your belt. Most of the better ones were powered by 4 "D" sized batteries and were pretty heavy also, if you weren't wearing a belt they'd drag your shorts down pretty quickly and weren't popular with my fishing mates, I however had one and was wearing it. Ross in the front had a pretty small hand torch, as did Tim and Fraser, and we wound our way slowly through the overgrown vegetation, which had started to enclose around us and covered the track completely. The footing under us had become a mass of tangled roots and the "track" was no longer straight. Progress slowed to a crawl, as you had to maneuver your rods through the thickening bush, being careful to prevent your rod tips from becoming entangled. Then, suddenly, without warning, Ross crashed down through the ground underneath him and disappeared from sight, only about 1/3rd of his rods were visible. I couldn't see him but heard him cursing, so knew he was OK, albeit shocked. He'd broken through the roots we were walking over and there was nothing underneath him! Instead of solid ground, there was a crevasse-like gully going down towards the sea. It was lucky we weren't any further east, as the crevasse dropped sharply and there were plenty of nasty bits to land on only a few steps away from where we were. Both Ross and I had nothing solid under us and I was pretty lucky I hadn't gone through the "ground" as well and wasn't really in much of a position to render any help other than pull the rods back up. Tim and Fraser had stopped a few yards back and weren't sure whether to keep coming or not. Ross had a heap of scratches, a couple bleeding, but was otherwise just stuck in the hole about 7 or 8 feet down and we had to work out how he could get back up without using the new hole he'd created to come back through. It was still really dark, about 3/4's of an hour until sun up, so a bit of searching with the lights was needed to find Ross a way back up, but he managed to climb up the other side of the crevasse and was out. Of course when a "safe" accident happens- one that doesn't cause any serious injury, the natural thing for Aussies to do is laugh- and we did. In fact on recall, it was one of the funniest things ever- would have been a completely different story if it had happened a few yards to the left, as that probably would have done a decent type of injury, but luckily, he was OK. No mobile phones to call for help back in those days. What to do next? We weren't lost, as we knew roughly where we were and where we were heading. Obviously our "track" wasn't actually a track at all, but after crashing through the scrub and undergrowth for a while, we were reluctant to head back the same way, so it was decided to move on slowly and take any way we could to go further to the right and find the higher ground, regardless it was further away from the ocean. This strategy worked and within a few minutes were all standing on a large open patch with views opening up of Botany Heads. Probably should have turned right and come a bit inland earlier on, but that wasn't on the map we'd been given and it was part of the adventure until Ross went through the hole. From where we came out of the scrub, to the open ground we were now on was really only about 50 or so yards and it made all the difference, in only a couple more minutes we were on the coastal fire trail, which lead down towards where the land finished and the water was. Success at last. The rest of the way out to Shaky was uneventful and we arrived just as the darkness was starting to recede, finding ourselves at the spot we'd been told to fish. Unfortunately though, regardless that the sea had looked quite OK on the way there, the small southerly swell made it a bit dicey and very splashy and after only having a single cast each, were sent running for safety when a bigger swell rolled in. Sadly, time to enact a plan B and go into the more protected waters of the first bay inside. No Snapper would be in any danger on this trip. We found a spot that although comfortable, produced only 2 Bream and we went home with nothing to talk about, bar the adventure and the "disappearing" fisherman
    12 points
  17. As the title says the saltwater part of our trip wasn't as successful fishing wise (see freshwater report section). Our first afternoon in Darwin we wasted no time in getting unpacked and heading down to the water, for us the adventure truly starts when the lure first hits the water. Our first spot was Stokes hill wharf only minutes drive from our accomodation. even has a purpose built fishing platform we were just excited to be in the NT, the first arvo was pretty exciting on the fishing front although no fish were landed we had queenies busting up and plenty of follows and hits. We started talking to a local who turns out had only just moved to Darwin and was quite new to fishing naturally I gave him a few pointers and in no time he had a solid fish which turned out to be a solid cod, I felt privelaged to be part of what he said was the by far his biggest fish. We returned to the wharf just after dark there was life evrywhere, I hear a big barra boof, I cast a softvibe right where it was and made a smat comment about how hardcore I'd look if I caught it............... The soft vibe was taken by an unstoppable beast that taught me some humility when it ran back up into the pylons, a couple of locals said it was almost certainly a big barra. After our Corroborree success on day 2 we were booming with confidance hoping to tangle with some pelagics, we made the drive around Cox peninsula our destination Mandorah jetty and Waigat beach. The drive itself was amazing, one of the highlights being the massive termite mounds the fishing at Mandorah and Waigat was slow to say the least the apparently the queenies had been aound during the arvo's Waiget beach was a beautiful place to fish we did have a couple of hits but when your in a spectacular place like this doesn't seem to matter so much, we started making our way back towards Darwin fishing a few spots on the way and being very croc wise this spot on the Blackmore river looked pretty popular, heading a different route back we pulled up at a culvert on channel island I found on google earth before out trip I had to do a quick run back to the car for spray as the sandflies were a bit vicious, the tide was dead low I was thinking this spot was another bust and out if nowhere a fish only a small barra but I was happy especially when it's my first barra without a guide and on a spot I found myself. Day 4 we headed to the Northern end of Darwin hitting places like East Point again looking for pelagics even the locals were struggling and apparently conditions and tides were perfect just no fish, I'll give Darwin fishos credit for how friendly and helpful they are we were pointed to an area for a hopeful barra a beautiful spot, no fish but we enjoyed watching a group of indigenous youth being taught traditional spear fishing skills, Our final day we were up before dawn and back up to East point looing for our pelagic fish the picture doesn't do the territory sunrise justice, truly breath taking We put plenty of casts in but there was a lack of bait and life so we headed to a different area called deckchair cinema a local suggested was worth a go The fish were busting everywhere at deckchair unfortunetly they were just out of cast range we had a good session practicing our casting but the pelagices evaded us, for a last ditch effort we headed back to stokes hill wharf right as the tide turned it was like a switch was flicked and i had a fish on, which I called for a cod turned out to be a crocodile fish, another new species, I was getting a hit a cast off the wharf including what I presumed was another solid barra just couldn't pin the hooks and then my last softvibe was destroyed by a what I assume was a small mackeral. With that we finished up with fishing and finished our day doing somrthing touristy the croc jumping croc tour was a truly awesome way to end our trip the crocs were massive Despite the tough fishing in the salt which is just how fishing goes sometimes we'll definetly be back for another trip to Darwin it's hard to beat 30 degree weather in July cheers for reading Dave
    12 points
  18. Gday Raiders Have been spending a bit of time going through old photos and cleaning up my computer with all this extra spare time during lockdown. This really sucks............im dying to get out for a fish. Ive posted many reports over the years, but below are a few photos from fishing trips over the years. Heres looking forward to the next report !
    12 points
  19. Hi raiders Headed out on the hacking yesterday morning to try get a couple of fish for the neighbours. They are in their 70's and love their fish as it keeps them healthy! Headed to Gooseberry bay for a while and picked up some small pinkies but nothing else. Tried multiple spots at the entrance of Gunnamatta bay and in the bay itself for nothing. After a while of nothing we headed back to the south lilli pilli drop-off which started to produce some legal pinkies but all released. Ended up keep a 36cm trevally caught on peeled prawns after a struggle for fish. All fishos reading this just keep trying and the fish will come. I spent 3 hours catching nothing and kept persisting to end up with some fish for the neighbors. Cheers Isaac CT
    11 points
  20. I had a 3 hour gap between Zoom calls yesterday, so I put the kayak in the water with a plan to fish the tide change. Ended up catching 10 Trevally but just kept 1. I forgot my measuring stick and quite a few were about 30cm so the only one I kept was clearly over 30. I caught them at the end of Chowder Head in the main Harbour with Navionics telling me I was 1.5km from home, so well within the 10km rule and definitely within my local Government area. I used prawns for bait purchased while refueling the car and a burley bomb full of old bread I pulled out of the freezer. In my 30 minute kayak from Sirius Cove around Bradleys Head to Chowder Head it was like being on a remote lake. Other than empty ferries, I only saw 2 boats out in 3 hours. I wouldn't normally share such a mundane venture but the experience of having Sydney Harbour all to myself was amazing. The fishing was pretty fast and furious as well. I used a small 3 way swivel onto the main line with 2 hooks (size 4) off the swivel. Very light trace. I was using 6 pound yesterday but even lighter can make it interesting if the Trevally are over 35cm. No weight but that only works if you fish an hour before and an hour after the tide change, which is what I normally do. The burley is more effective at the tide change too as it stays close to the kayak. I went out in the first week of lockdown on the Friday and caught 15 Trevally (kept 4) a bit further North but there were hundreds of boats everywhere. Lockdown sure has changed a bit since week one. Cheers, Tony
    11 points
  21. Headed out before sunrise to Bate Bay this morning. Still within the 10 km rule. Stacks of boats heading out, some going north, others to the south. One numbnut headed close to me at warp speed, no care about anyone else, from Botany Bay and I last saw him in the distance to the far south - certainly outside the 10 km rule. About 3 hours for this lot, plenty of spikies in places, other times probably small jackets chewing up the baits. A few whales about, some heading north and others just lazing about on their sides, slapping fins on the surface. A lot of dolphins in places, rounding up some fish. I pulled out a few slimies, so assume the dolphins were into them. Very little wind and swell, so a pleasant day out, though not big fish.
    10 points
  22. DPI Fisheries Fisheries Officers crack down on illegal fishing during the COVID-19 lockdown Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Fisheries Officers are cracking down on illegal fishing during the COVID-19 lockdown, after tips were received from the public through the Fishers Watch Phoneline. NSW Police assisted DPI Fisheries who attended Fingal Island sanctuary zone, part of Port Stephens - Great Lakes Marine Park on Saturday July 3. There they found that four people had travelled from Sydney to fish at that location in breach of COVID-19 regulations that were put in place by NSW Health. Three of them were also interviewed by fisheries officers regarding the harming or attempting to harm fish and, were in possession of fishing equipment in a sanctuary zone of the marine park. Following these interviews, the officers seized their fishing equipment (rods, reels and catch bags), together with their catch that had been unlawfully taken. Both the COVID-19 and sanctuary zone breaches are serious offences and significant penalties apply, with a number of infringement notices to be issued to each of the offenders. Only 3 of the people were found to be fishing in the sanctuary zone and each will receive $1000 in fines relating to the fisheries offences. All four of the group will receive $1000 fines from NSW Police Port Stephens Marine Area Command for their breach of COVID-19 Public Health Orders. The public are encouraged to report illegal fishing activity to the NSW Fishers Hotline on 1800 043 536 or via the online Report Illegal Activity Form https://fal.cn/3gJWh
    10 points
  23. It must be very difficult for the people living in the major cities but there is no excuse for people to take to the streets in protest. There is an element of society that feel that they are victims and feel obligated to challenge authority at every opportunity. We are ALL impacted by this pandemic. It is here for a long time, possibly for ever. The way to minimise the timeline has been clearly spelled out for us. Follow the directives, get vaccinated asap... ABOVE ALL: STOP WITH THE VICTIM MENTALITY AND CONSIDER OTHERS. You live in the greatest country on earth, WAKE UP TO REALITY! bn
    9 points
  24. Hi raiders, Went out on the hacking yesterday hoping to actually catch something as I had a fat donut about a week ago. Launched from Yowie Bay at about 10:30 and headed straight over to mainbar to collect some bait. once we had about 50 or so nippers we headed over to our usual spot on the south lilli pilli drop-off, nothing for 30min so moved to Gooseberry bay were it was a little more sheltered. First drop my dad pulled up a 40cm Gurnard. Was going to put him in the esky but my rod went off so back he went. My fish ended up being a pinkie. We couldn't believe it! Blasted pinkie saved the Gurnard and got rid of our dinner😐. A couple of more little pinkie's and a nice 29cm whiting from my dad. After that the fish stopped playing and we moved about 100m north into the deep water of the entrance to the arm. Started a drift and pulled up a nice flattie. Nothing after that. Went over to lilli pilli and dropped my dad of and picked my sister up. Got one little gurnard that went back. Pulled lines in after we ran out of nippers and headed home with a meal nonetheless.
    9 points
  25. Well time has dragged on and with restrictions in force I decided it was time to pick up my boat and bring it home from the workshop after having engine service done and blue slip for trailer. It's been in the work shop for over 3 weeks and has been ready the past 2 weeks. I have been scared to travel to pick it up but assured by a police officer that I would be allowed to pick it up providing I done it by myself and wore a mask at all times. Now I can at least do a bit of work on it to get it ready for when restrictions are lifted. Need to make rocket launcher, live bait tank, rear cutting board with tackle storage, fit 27 mgs radio ( remove am/fm radio ) , modified glove boxes, need to modify trailer to suit my needs but have to register boat and trailer before I can take it and put boat in water to work on trailer. Fitting Electric motor will be quiet a task and will need some planning , buy and fit sounder/GPS , new fire extinguisher 1.1/2 kg, re-do all wiring, as well as a heap of other little jobs around the boat so it will be ready for my style of fishing. I will show pictures of what I make as I make them, first up probably Bait board,. With all things I do , it won't be done in any rush, so patience will be needed. Frank
    9 points
  26. Hey Guys, First report in a little bit. Have headed out front of Port Stephens 3 times in the last week chasing snapper at a close in easily accessible reef. Won’t share it out of respect for the guy who showed it to me! Soft Plastics is what I am really trying to use at the moment and have had relative success with 1 day of zero fish and 3 fish spread over the other 2 sessions. love the blue pepper neon gulps! I am just casting ahead of my drift and slow retrieving the lure. have really struggled getting a drift going and unsure if it is my boat or just conditions not allowing it, but I’m sure once I figure it out my results will improve. Here is the smallest snapper of the few, tonight’s catch, not the best quality but you get the idea!
    9 points
  27. G’day raiders, I know a lot of you are in lockdown and are busting to get out there fishing. Whilst for most that’s not feasible at the moment, it can’t stop us talking about fishing. So in the meantime, I’d love you to show me and hear about your most memorable catch! Doesn’t have to be a giant fish but something that you’ll never ever forget and explain why! I’ll start......... For me, you’ll all be thinking snapper. Yes there has been some very special catches that I will never forget. Although, the fish that remains my most memorable was the first fish I caught in Narrabeen lakes when I was 11 yo. I was casting a handline with prawn as bait and after about 5 minutes of fishing I got a bite that changed my world. This fish hit it hard and took me up and down the lake at will. After a good 10 minute battle on the handline, I managed to land this fish. A bream of 46cm which is still a personal best to this date! The hook was not only set in this fish but also in a little boy called scratchie that changed his life forever! That’s my story, what’s yours???? cheers scratchie!!!
    9 points
  28. Hi Scratchie my most memorable is definitely a Kingfish that I foul hooked at the Peak off Sydney. We hadn't planned on going there, but after catching a nice box of Flathead and because it was just a magic flat day we decided to troll out towards the Peak from where we'd been fishing off Dover Heights, with the plan to get some Striped Tuna for bait for the next trip. You could almost always pick up some Stripey's trolling either side of the Peak. We ended up trolling all the way out and when we got there, every boat there was hooked up to Kingfish. Only one jig in the tackle box and it was only 4oz- not heavy enough to get down out there. I did drop it over, but it wasn't heavy enough. We then watched a commercial guy with a tiller steer and heavy handlines, pull fish after fish, not one under 20lb and plenty over 30lb, he was absolutely awesome to watch. Desperate to try to get the jig down, I put a really big ball sinker straight on top of the jig and dropped again, down it went and about the tenth up-stroke I hooked up. After hanging onto it for about 15 minutes, I called it for an absolute monster, and after 30 minutes my wrist was getting really sore from holding the locked up rod- no bucket, harness or anything with us as we'd only planned to get some Flatties. After 50 minutes we'd drifted almost out of sight of all the boats at the Peak and I could hold the rod in my usual left hand, but wasn't able to pump the fish up unless I swapped to my right. Took about 10 minutes of these awkward pumps to get it up and it finally stopped fighting as it came to the boat. By this stage I was leaning back against the bait board and not looking over the side. As it got close, my mate Ross was ready to gaff it and he said "go easy go easy" and I eased off a bit, then the bend was gone in the rod and I thought the fish was lost, not so, Ross had gaffed it, but the jig had come off the fish. It had been hooked about 1 inch from it's anal vent and there was a strip of the underside skin pulled down but still connected, but it left a "hole" as big as a tennis ball where one point of the treble had been. I finally had it after an hour long, full on physical battle and it went 27lb and caught on 25lb mono. That was the end of my day as I was too exhausted to have another go and my left wrist was wrecked for a couple of weeks. Just as memorable as catching that fish was watching the commercial guy, who was really slightly built, catch really great sized Kings with relative ease and he pulled them in one after another with the boat moving quite quickly in a tight circle. After catching "rat" sized Kings the same way plenty of times, 40 years on I'm still in awe of how he could pull such large fish with such ease
    9 points
  29. Gday Raiders, Headed out with the kids on Saturday to try and get a feed of flatties. The weather was looking marginal, with a decent northerly predicted, but not much swell. The Bayview boat ramp was pleasantly empty. Met a nice guy heading out for a solo squid session in Pittwater. Headed straight out, slightly SE from Barrenjoey. At around the 40m mark, a couple of NM offshore, the wind really picked up and basically stayed that way all morning. We battled hard with the minn kota to keep our baits on the bottom. Whilst we took out some vacuum sealed yakkas and pillies we were lucky enough to pick up a couple of coutta early on. These were dispatched and made excellent bait, getting hammered when the baits hit the bottom. Picked up some really nice fish, 3 over 50 with the biggest 54cm (ish) and the rest in the 40s. A couple of throwbacks but not many. After about 3 hours we were done with the bouncing and the wind so headed in. Surprisingly the weather was beautiful once we were back close to Palmy. Overall a challenging but rewarding day on the water. Cheers D
    8 points
  30. Howdy Raiders. I hope that you are all keeping well. Won't be easy being in lockdown for this next extended period but hopefully we'll all stay safe and come out of the other end ok. Yesterday we had some clearing weather and today there was a nice crisp frost on the ground as the sun made its way up from the Eastern horizon. I headed out to a local canal which runs out of the main Murrumbidgee River at a place called Gogelderie. Arriving about 8.30 am the temp on my new phone read 0c. I set up 2 rods with double paternoster rigs and used corn, bread and worms on the 4 hooks. This is how I find out if the fish are fancying one bait above another. About 15 minutes in I got a nice bite and brought in a 55cm Carp which was in excellent condition (though not for long). That was the only bite I had so I tried another spot in one of the irrigation channels. Alas no joy there and I headed home to get some lunch. At least I managed to get out and have a little fish. I'll probably check the river next week to see if there's any chance of using the boat. Here are some photos of the local area...
    8 points
  31. If you have a passion for fishing and boating, then you have probably already heard of the online community forum Fishraider. Since Deckee acquired Fishraider in January 2020, the site has seen a huge increase in membership and guest users posting for the first time who are keen to get involved. Fishraider has over 30,000 members and is the go-to site for anything related to fishing and boating in Australia. Fishraider community manager Donna Barton has been at the helm of the forum since 2004, and her journey started when she sought to share her fishing experiences with like-minded anglers. Deckee chats with Donna about the passionate group of fishos on Fishraider, her own love of fishing and how the Deckee app has become an ideal resource for the boating community. How did you first discover your passion for fishing? I started really getting into fishing when I met my husband, and he knew everything about equipment and lures. I started out fishing with soft plastics. A lot of fishermen say they struggle to catch anything with them, but I'm pretty good at being able to catch different types of fish. I started catching fish, and I posted one of the very first fish I had caught on a fishing forum. I got no response. I knew from there that it was a bit of a boys club. I remember thinking to myself, ‘I really have to get stuck in here to represent all the women out there who love to fish’. That is how I found Fishraider. Why is Fishraider so popular amongst anglers in Australia? I joined Fishraider very early on, It was a very welcoming community. When the original owner had to move on, I decided to take over running the site. That was in 2004, and I have been managing the forums ever since. We have managed to work it up into a really great space for fishing enthusiasts. Over the years Fishraider has hosted a lot of educational sessions, and has helped members obtain boat licenses and enrol in Radio Operators Certification. Fishraider has a wide range of discussion boards, articles, forecasts and guides for water lovers to access and contribute to. A number of Deckee ambassadors are active on the forums providing invaluable tips and advice from their local areas. What is the best part of being out on the water? What is the best part of being out on the water? Variety is the spice of life. I really enjoy exploring different places and trying to find new species to catch. We have a caravan now, so we travel up to the Gulf of Carpentaria and into the Northern Territory to fish in some of the most remote places in the country. It is quite exciting. The goal is to always catch lots of fish. Being able to catch a new species I haven't caught before, snap a picture then release it back into the water is an excellent way to spend a day on the water. I like to write up a report for Fishraider right there on the boat. What advice can you give to first-time boaters? A great way to start out is to join the Fishraider forums and download the Deckee app on your phone. Education is key. Providing people with the resources to educate themselves on fishing is important. Deckee does a great job of making information readily available in a convenient way. When you first buy a boat, it is important to have some knowledge on how to operate and look after it. What are some common mistakes first-time boaters encounter regarding safety? The most common mistake I see first-time boaters make is how to launch a boat off the ramp. That is important to know how to do properly, not just for your safety but also for those around you. Another important thing to remember is to check that all your safety equipment is in working order before you plan to head out on the water. I see things like this happen all the time because the owner or skipper is inexperienced. How can fishos reduce their risk of incident? When it comes to fishing, people need to take extra care when fishing off rocks. Wearing a lifejacket increases your chances of survival if you are washed off a big wave, but some fishermen still don’t feel the need to wear them. Being prepared before you go out fishing goes a long way to ensuring you have a successful day. Experienced fishos will spend half a day re-rigging lines and checking knots, making sure all the equipment needed is on board. Safety webinars are a great way to inform fishos on what they can do to reduce the risk of incidents out on the water. Fishraider covers a range of topics including how to set off flares in an emergency, how to use an EPIRB and information on changes to fishing restrictions and laws. Join fishraider.com.au, Australia's #1 community of fishing enthusiasts, to see the latest fishing reports from anglers and stay updated with fishing news.
    8 points
  32. Hi raiders, Went out in the hacking this morning for a quick fish around Gooseberry bay. Pulled up some nice size reddies and a nice whiting, all released. After while I did a little troll over the flats and pulled out a nice flattie. Pretty good session for a morning. Cheers Isaac CT
    8 points
  33. Fished inside Port Hacking yesterday morning. 10 km from home wouldn't get me very far into the ocean so stayed in the river, used fuel already in the boat and bait from the freezer so no interaction with anyone. First boat trip for a month. Have enough for few more trips yet. Fished a few of my usual spots, few small reddies , the ones just under 30cm had me thinking I had dinner, couple undersized flathead and trevs all went back. Eventually came across school of yellow chinaman jackets, they weren't big but are quite tasty so kept a feed of them. Harvesting them might even save someone from losing rigs in the future. Had a few short (2 hours) landbased blackfish trips to the Georges which is only couple km from home, walk in and have the spot to myself. Fish are patchy most days 2 or 3, other days a dozen or two. Fish the same tides just depends if a school is swimming past.
    8 points
  34. Reading fishing magazines is something many of us do. From the articles within, often, there'll be one or two that really get our interest. Sometimes they have an influence on our fishing by seeding us with techniques and ideas that look so good we just have to try them. Articles on locations too, lay the same seeds, leaving spots that go onto our "bucket-list" of places to go to, of course with fishing these spots being the goal. After reading one such article in the old "Anglers Digest" magazine about fishing Yamba's famous Middle Wall, it was on my bucket list of places to go and fish. Might not seem like a typical bucket-list location, with no huge fish, speedsters or tropical water, however as a keen Luderick fisherman, it is one of the places you just have to get to over your Luderick fishing lifetime. Reason? Being NSW's largest and most powerful saltwater river, the Clarence (known as 'the big river' up north) sees huge migrations of spawning fish move through the lower part of the estuary during Autumn and Winter. The Bream run comes during May, followed by the Luderick in June and most years there are thousands of fish moving into the lower part of the river on their way to their spawning destination of Wooloweyah Lagoon. The fish congregate along the beaches and rocks just outside the river entrance and large schools are seen sitting close in to the shore, waiting for whatever their internal trigger is to get them on the move inside. Once inside the river mouth, the majority head for the middle wall, which is a narrow old stone wall that sits out in the middle of the river and is only just above the waterline when the tides are at their largest. The wall stretches out from the uninhabited Freeburn Island on it's upriver side to about 300 meters out off the back-inside of the river's southern break-wall, a distance of around 2km and is only accessible by boat. After schooling all along the middle wall, the fish then head through one of two purpose-made breaks in the wall (broken for boat traffic accessibility) and head via either Romiaka Channel or Oyster Channel up to the lagoon to do their thing and spawn. The interesting thing is that the fish only sit on the northern side of the wall in big numbers, until they get well along it, fishing for Luderick in particular would be pretty much a waste of time on the southern side lower section. So with this information in mind, Frank T and I borrowed a 12ft car topper aluminium boat with a 6hp Johnson outboard and the basic safety gear- you weren't required to carry that much in the early eighties if you were fishing inside- and planned a trip to coincide with the June spawning run of the Luderick. From what was in the article from the magazine, the best time was from new moon up until a day or two before the full moon, provided that the moon was full near the end of the month- a later moon would have meant going in July to be "certain" the fish would be running. In years of high rainfall/floods, this is a variable condition. OK, boat sorted and accommodation booked in at the Blue Dolphin Caravan Park, where we booked the last on-site van that was available- which was a bit of a shock, considering it wasn't school holidays and the middle of a cold winter. Fishing tackle was 2 x 12ft Luderick rods- the trusty Butterworth GP3145's and 2 x 'back-up' rods- Shakespeare 10ft Luderick specials, these were to be fitted with Avon Golden Eagle centrepins with Alvey side-cast Luderick reels as spares. A light spin rod each with small spin reels from Shakespeare- which were close to top of the range reels back in the late 70's early 80's (Blue Series 2410's)- a few hand-lines and a net with screw on head and interchangeable gaff head. We had plenty of Luderick and Bream gear and I took my entire float collection as we weren't sure exactly what floats we'd be using. Gear sorted and packed in 50 litre boxes. Bait was also an unknown factor for us, so we spent a couple of days sourcing weed from both the Parramatta River and off the ocean rocks and grabbed both ocean cabbage and also some big sheets of the soft river cabbage for variety. We'd read about the 'black magic' weed that was revered up the north coast, but as it's mainly found in either sugar cane drains or agricultural ponds locally, we thought we'd get some up there if our offerings failed to produce. We left Sydney on a Sunday night, drove most of the night and arrived at the van park early in the morning. The van we got was a 6 berth and came complete with annexe. After unpacking and taking the boat off the roof, we went for a wander around the park and down to the park's wharf and cleaning table area for a look. Great facilities, with a large stainless steel cleaning table complete with about 4 taps and a 'pontoon' barge to put all the waste on, we found out later that this pontoon was taken out and emptied a couple of times every day. As we were pretty tired from travel and were there for ten days, instead of going fishing we went up to have a look at the town, grab some groceries and also check out the coast and river mouth. Wow! From up high above the water, you could see dense schools of fish just milling around off the beach and they were all Luderick! A quick drop in at the tackle shop also revealed fresh 'black magic' weed for sale but no green weed anywhere locally- it had all been picked by fishers. We then went to the obvious other good source of info- the pub and got an early counter lunch, a beer and a chat with some friendly locals. The walls were all producing good numbers of fish, but the middle wall was always the standout, as long as there was water movement, the fish were biting, regardless of which tide it was. By the time we'd got back to the van mid afternoon, our next door neighbours were back from fishing and these two blokes were revered as "the best of the best" Luderick fishers. Bill Brown and his mate Bob (they were mistakenly known as the Brown brothers) hailed from Swansea and had fished the middle wall every year for the spawning run for as long as they could remember. They were top blokes and invited us over for a cuppa straight away and answered question after question from us as to what the go was. In our mid twenties, we were by far the youngest blokes there it seemed and quickly became known as "the young blokes". There were no bag limits in those days and they had caught their 'usual lot' of 2 keepnets full of fish, which they did most days. In fact it seemed everyone fishing the wall was getting plenty of fish and they told us the pulse spot was right at the ocean end to the wall. They told us to get up early for a good spot, but you could catch fish virtually anywhere along the northern side. Hopes were high and we rigged everything up before launching the boat and hiring a mooring berth from the park, which enabled us to be fully ready for the morning, including making 2 big buckets of burley. We then decided to go to the RSL for dinner and a few beers, but ended up winning a jackpot on the pokies and having more beers than we should have and overslept by a couple of hours, hitting the water at gentleman's hour of about 8am. From the park's mooring berths to the wall is only about a 15 minute run around the outside of Dart Island and excitement levels were high as we approached the wall break we were told to go through in the boat. Once through and on the northern side of the wall, we started the run up towards the ocean end where the Brown's had told us to head, but couldn't believe our eyes, regardless that the wall was about 2km long, after we'd travelled about a quarter of the way to the entrance, it was obvious that every position was occupied. There was a boat moored up, nose in to the wall, about every 20-30 meters, the entire length! I had no idea there were that many Luderick fishers in NSW and they must have all been here! Literally hundreds of small boats, many with someone hooked up to a fish, were stationed along the middle wall. We decided to go all the way to the end for a look, but there wasn't one spot we could sneak into. The Browns were in their usual spot, right at the end adjacent a small "island" that looked like the last bit of wall had collapsed, leaving it standing alone. There were 4 blokes out of their boat and fishing from this separated section and there were bulging keepnets everywhere. We waved to them and then went right back up river to where the line of boats finished and we anchored up. The tide was going out and the river fairly swift, so the anchoring technique was to drop your back anchor well back and out in the river and then shoot straight in to the wall and drop your front anchor virtually on the wall. The boat is moored cross current with the nose only out about 2-3 meters from the wall, which drops off quite sharply. We took a couple of goes to get the boat where we wanted it, before finally getting a line in the water. Fishing our nicest looking weed at a depth of about 10 feet, we each got a fish first drift, before the burley had much of a chance to do anything- there were heaps of fish and they were great sized, straight in from the ocean, big bronzed mouth fish, great fun on our 6lb lines. Netting them while sitting down in the small boat was more of a challenge though and it became pretty apparent that using our normal style of fixed float wasn't going to work very well. As we'd had a look at the Brown's floats on their still rigged rods, we'd taken a selection of similar ones out in the boat and left the rest back in the van, including all the running floats heavy enough for the conditions, so we had to make do that first day, but still got about 30 good fish before deciding we'd head in. We bled the fish and put them back in the keepnets to swim the blood out and then headed in. On arrival back at the mooring, we left the gear in the boat and just grabbed knives and scalers and a box to put the fish in, but had to line up to use the cleaning tables, as there were stacks of people with big catches of Luderick. We ended up having to wait about a half hour, just to get a spot to clean the fish and the 'fish pontoon' was piled high with frames. Interestingly, there wasn't one bit of Luderick gut there to be seen and the reason was soon revealed- there were a heap of blokes lurking around with containers and more than once we were asked did we want the gut from our fish. The gut is really highly prized as Bream bait and many of the non-Luderick fishers were there every day trying to scrounge whatever gut they could get. When we finally finished cleaning our fish, we took them to the park office as instructed and were allocated a spot in the freezer room to keep them. That room had boxes and containers everywhere, fish in whole or filleted form by the hundred, apparently we'd picked both a great year and prime time of the season to come. After showering and washing down the gear (they had told us not to leave anything valuable in the boat due to thieves sneaking over from the opposite side of the river at Iluka) we popped in to the Browns van next door. They gave us heaps for sleeping in and said if we wanted a great possie we'd have to be out there while it was dark and we decided that the next morning we'd be out there early. We had to put some float runners on some our normal fixed floats to make running floats out of them, then back to the club for another feed (no pokie jackpot this time) a few beers and a couple of games of snooker and then the 20 minute walk back to the van to prepare for the morning. Next morning we left as soon as it was light enough to see, but couldn't get in close to the front as there were already about 10 boats anchored up. This wasn't a big problem though as the fish were really thick down the ocean end and they were biting their heads off. They loved our Parramatta weed and we got about 40 fish and were back at the cleaning tables before lunch. Before leaving Sydney, one of our mates had told us he had a mate now living in Yamba and he'd love to get out to the middle wall for a fish, but hadn't got back to us with his details before we'd left. We again went to the RSL for lunch and were sitting in the Snooker room having a pre-lunch beer and there was a young bloke (younger than us) there having lunch with a girl. Frank and the girl both left the room at the same time and I started chatting with the young guy about the town, just usual banter and then thought I'd ask him if he knew the guy I was looking for. When I asked him if he knew Paul T he started laughing and said "yep, that's me" I nearly fell over, imagine the odds of that! He was actually working at the club and he and the young lady were both on lunch, and we made plans to take him fishing later in the week. Next morning another good bag of fish caught quickly saw us back in even earlier, which was great, as the cleaning table queue got ridiculous later in the day, it really did seem like every retired Luderick fisherman from anywhere all converged on Yamba at the end of June. The one thing that was in short supply was decent weed, as the local black magic wasn't working (usually it's the best they told us) and we saw frozen green weed being sold- which was a first for me. We had brought plenty of bait from Sydney though and could give a little to some of the older blokes who were searching for it. The Brown's didn't use weed, they used the soft sheet cabbage from Lake Macquarrie and had a few sacks of it submerged on their mooring. This cabbage intrigued us because it was so soft we wondered how it stayed on, but they showed us and it was great to learn a new technique that worked so well. The fish had just come in from outside and cabbage their 'everyday food' After the first 3 Luderick trips we'd caught our target of 100 fish and we still had nearly a week left, so we thought we might give the Bream a go instead, but that's another story in itself and we caught heaps more Bream than Luderick. Other than learning a lot of invaluable information and new techniques, much of the time that we weren't out fishing was spent either at the pub or club and it was a great trip. We did end up with about 120 Luderick to bring back, but as we stayed with friends at Crescent Head and then Stockton on the way back, we left a few dozen with them. We returned the next year and had a great time again, if you enjoy caravan-type holidays and Luderick and Bream fishing, give Yamba a go
    8 points
  35. Lastly one of my favourite reflections, shot with a Canon 5D III and a Canon 100-400 zoom.
    8 points
  36. Ok...seek and ye shall find. Very pleased with myself for stumbling onto some of the pics I was seeking. bn
    8 points
  37. Everybody has favourite places that they've been to, whether it's a fishing area, holiday destination or just somewhere that brings a smile to the face when thinking of it. Growing up in Sydney, if you loved bushwalking, camping and fishing, it was pretty hard to beat going down to the Royal National Park. Prior to the park being closed to camping, there were heaps of great coastal spots for both camping and fishing. Marley and Little Marley, Garie and Little Garie, Curracurang, Wattamolla, North and South Era, Burning Palms and Werrong were all good camp grounds, right on the water and offered some excellent rock and beach fishing. While we were still at school, long before anyone was old enough to own a car, our "go-to" spot for camping was Burning Palms, just south of Garie Beach in the Royal. To get there a train to Central, then another to Sutherland, where you'd change and wait for the old "rail motor"- a two or maximum four carriage diesel powered train- because the electrified railway line ended at Sutherland in those days and the only train servicing the coast was the "motorail", which would wind it's way through the valleys beyond the suburb of Waterfall. You had two choices of Station to alight from to access the coast of the Park; the first being the concrete platform of Lilyvale, (which was removed during the 80's) and the second and most popular, Otford Railway Station. Once up the really steep hill from Otford station, a few minutes walking and you were at the southern extremity of the National Park and the start of what's now known as the Otford to Bundeena coast track, a very popular and scenic walk, that travels mainly on the high escarpment along the coast. To get to Burning Palms, the walk from Otford with a full pack takes about two hours and takes you through some really interesting country, including an area known as The Palm Jungle, which is a coastal rainforest and great to walk through, nothing like it I know of anywhere close to Sydney. After you exit the jungle, with it's enclosing canopy above, you suddenly find yourself out in the open on dry grassland and you pass above the famous Figure Eight Pools, which lie on a really large rock platform down below. These pools have become a major tourist attraction for hikers and are unique, interesting and large enough to have a dip in if the sea isn't too rough. The pools are a "must" when going to the area. Alternatively, by car, you drive through the park, take the Garie Beach turn-off and about 50 meters in there's a road that takes you to Garrawarra farm and car park, where the walk in is considerably shorter- around 35 minutes down (3km against about 8+km from Otford) On arrival at the Palms, our favourite campsite was tucked up in the most south-eastern corner about 200 meters away from the beach, not far from the Park Rangers Hut. The ranger's hut is usually only occupied on weekends, mainly during summer and for over 40 years the same ranger would be roaming the area, checking on camping permits and the like. He was a very knowledgeable man and very friendly, loved a chat and filled us in on a lot of the early history of the area, including telling us that our tent site used to be known as "Hotel Depression" and had permanent residents many years earlier. There is still a concrete slab, now covered by grass, up in the corner and was occupied by the permanent residents for some time. Depending on rainfall, there's a small trickling creek between Hotel Depression and the rangers hut and freshwater yabbies are often present also. After the second world war and previously during the depression, many people that were down on their luck moved into different parts of the park and the "hut communities" were born. Initially, some simple huts were erected, some surviving to this day and all building materials including cement for the floor slabs and glass for the windows had to be carried in on people's backs the 3km from the car park up top, no easy feat. The huts have been modernised and communities have been allowed to remain, I believe until the existing owners pass, then they'll be removed. They were allowed to remain as they had formed a land-care group and are involved with both preservation and maintenance of the area. Having had the pleasure of staying in one of the huts on two occasions, I can vouch for people living there in the serenity of such a magic location. Back to camping! Once your campsite had been formed, tents up and fireplace organised (fires no longer permitted) it was straight down for a swim at the beach, often followed by either a beach worming session then a beach fish or alternatively a fish off the southern end's rock platform, known as "Oyster"- as the name implies, plenty of very small but tasty (if you like them that is!) oysters grow naturally on the platform. The platform at Oyster, although about 3-4 meters above sea level, is very flat and only comfortably fished when the sea is calm. There are 3 main fishing areas- 1) the very front which is the furthest out section and known as "little blowhole" because of a tiny blowhole about the size of saucer. This hole periodically almost closes over with growth, until a few days of bigger seas pressurise water from below, up the hole and clear it. This is a great Luderick spot, drifting your float over the visible dark patches of reef that sit atop a sand bottom. Burley is pushed into the blowhole which ensures it is distributed under the surface, rather than kicking burley in which fails to sink as close. As the drift is quite slow at this spot, side-cast Luderick reels are used in preference to centrepins, as a decent cast out over the dark reef patches is needed for quickest results. Depth under the float is the standard 3-3.5 meters and plenty of cabbage bait is on site. From the same spot, Bream, Trevally, Groper and Black Drummer are caught and it is also a location known for XOS sized Tailor, which patrol the breaking wave area to the south of the position. If I was chasing a really large Tailor around Sydney, this would be my number one choice of spots, not for numbers, but for size. Spinning with either large poppers or Garfish is the method to use and you need to use 10kg line as the fish need to be lifted- there isn't anywhere to wash them up. 2) To the right hand extremity of the ledge there is a larger blowhole about a meter in diameter, which is a top Luderick spot also, with land-able sized Black Drummer often taking the cabbage baits. Same idea putting burley in the hole for close-in distribution. There is a catch to fishing this spot though- you need a net about 3.5-5 meters long as again, there's no place to wash fish out on the light line. 3) To the left hand side of the platform there is an excellent gutter between the platform and a rock islet (known as "The Tablet") this is a really excellent fishing gutter, with plenty of small Black Drummer during the day and Luderick and Bream in the afternoons when the sun is behind you and going over the high escarpment.. Of all the places I've fished, it's my favourite for catching nice eating sized Drummer (called Rock Blackfish these days)- not generally real big fish, but in the 1kg+/- size range. This gutter is only safe to fish on calm days and the last half of the outgoing tide, first part of the incoming, due to a natural and continuous wave-break adjacent the rock outcrop- when the tide is half out and sea calm, there is enough height to fish safely. The way to fish the gutter for the Drummer is to use a running bobby cork about the size of a small egg, with appropriate sized sinker to weight it down, which sits on a swivel and about 45-60cm of leader and then hook. As the top bait is cunje and it can be collected both on-site and in amongst the boulders between the beach and the platform, the obvious hook pattern to use is the Mustad "Big Red" suicide (octopus) pattern and either a 1/0 or 2/0 is fine. These hooks are "extra strong" and the same colour as the cunje. The depth you fish is generally governed by the height of the tide, but 3 to 4 meters is about right and the pulse spot is as close as you can place your cork to the centre of the outcrop opposite where you stand. If you start catching Kelpfish you are fishing too deep, so adjust your depth a bit shallower. There's a small but visible water "drain" on the outcrop (which is also covered with cunje) and with water flowing over it, is a natural place for hungry Drummer to be looking for a feed. As the majority of fish caught at this spot are usually under 1.5kg, line strength in the 6-8kg range is fine and if you use a leader minimally less than your main line, say 5-7kg, in the event of any bust-offs or snagged fish, you only lose your hook or leader at worst. I've found that although there are some good Bream present in the gutter, when using cunje at this spot, they don't usually get to the bait before the Drummer do, however, if you take the time to catch a few crabs, they always seem to bite freely on them. Bread, cooked or peeled green prawns and cut crab will also catch fish in this great spot and I've hooked a couple of large "unstoppable" fish in there that I assume were big Snapper, that bolted way out of the gutter at speed and busted me off on the reef outside. Just remember that this location is only realistic when the sea is really calm, like when the westerlies are blowing hard. The Figure Eight Pools About 15 minutes walk further around from Oyster, the Eight's are situated on an extremely large platform that can accommodate plenty of fishers. The bottom here has a lot of sand patches and throwing a bait like a Pilchard or Garfish with a large sinker accounts for some good fish on the bottom. Alternatively, the standard Sydney rock hopper's rig of a small ball sinker running between swivel and hook, with prawn or Pilchard tails as bait. Tailor, Salmon, Snapper, Bream, Trevally and Mulloway are all caught off the Eights and in summer it's a great spot for spinning with metals or drifting out a live bait. This was the first place I saw someone using a live Rock Cale for bait and the result was a large Mulloway. We used to take Rabbit pellets here for burley and the fish we caught usually had the red pellet in their gut, showing they are effective burley. Luderick are fished for down in the southern corner, where all the ledge's water runs off. Between Oyster and The Eights, there is another small ledge that is an excellent Bream and Drummer spot, but again, only realistic towards low tide on calm seas, as there is another natural wave break there and a spray-jacket is also a must as the water splashes up high and showers down on you. The method here is to again use a bobby cork and fish over the dark reef patches with the cork set about a meter deep and unlike the gutter, cunje is really good here for Bream. Burning Palms Beach The beach turns on some good fishing at times, with all the usual beach species. There are a couple of patches of boulders close in to the middle of the beach and they are good places for Bream and at times Luderick, fishing on the bottom instead of traditional float rigs. On bigger high tides, there is often a good gutter up at the north end of the beach and there are beach worms present for bait. The beach is patrolled on weekends in summer also. When going to the Palms to fish, the best time is when the sea is flat and the westerly winds blowing. It's a beautiful and scenic location, with abundant wildlife, including small wallabies, bandicoots, possums and many bird species. There are also plenty of introduced species frequenting the area, including rabbits, foxes and at times quite a lot of deer (there have been several deer culls but they never get them all). When around the hut areas, many of the animals are quite used to people, as they often get a feed and I've shared a really small patch of grass with a wallaby, bandicoot, possum, rabbit, deer and an owl all at the same time, which was really awesome for myself and my good mate Fraser L. I hope this inspires folks to have a trip down there for a fish or just a walk and swim, it really is a magical place- just remember to take plenty of water as although there are several small trickling creeks, they can never be relied upon for clean drinking water.
    8 points
  38. While on leave I have been getting out with a new soft vibe and picking up a few fish. With an eye on the weather I have been fishing close to Patonga boat ramp and surprisingly finding a few fish on the new vibe. First fish was a flathead then a Bream from the rocks and then another flathead. Great way to fish and very active style of fishing plus fresh fish for dinner.....who needs to travell ! tight lines Cap N Mac
    8 points
  39. Flashback to 15th January 1983 and for 12 months prior I'd been busting my guts catching and carrying live baits into many of the deep water platforms around the Beecroft Peninsula in hope of catching something big for nil result until this day. The nor'easter had come in hard,our yakkas were being blown in to rockshelf and we'd decided to call it a day. While packing the spin gear away, still rigged with a bait in the water, my Penn International started to slowly spew line at a slow pace. Checking things out I could still see my bobby cork heading south along the surface in close to the rocks and thinking my bait had been grabbed by a cuttlefish or something similar, I slid the lever up, struck hard and all hell broke loose. The water turned to foam before a marlin stuck its thrashing head above the surface trying to shed the hook before motoring off seawards spending more time out of the water than in. After settling down, it swam in a large arc right up into a ravine just to the north and luckily, with a bit of fancy rod work and freespooling, I managed to turn the fish and lead it back out the front. After a bit of to and froing I had it in close enough for a gaff shot where my mate had a couple of goes before getting to hook to stick. Lifting it up the rockface the fish managed to free itself and fell back into the water. Luckily I had backed the drag off and it wasn't long before it was back in range for another gaff shot, better this time and we had the fish on the rocks at our feet. Staring at the marlin, I had mixed the emotions of euphoria having caught such a beast to the sadness and guilt of watching the lit up colours fade as the fish slowly died. It ended up weighing in at 28kg. Either way, no fish I've ever caught before or since has left me shaking with adrenaline like that one did. Needless to say, four days later I backed the marlin up with a 14.7kg king and the rest is history.
    8 points
  40. After a few successful Luderick sessions fishing Yamba's famous middle wall, we decided to give the Bream fishing a go. Based on the amount of guys hanging around the cleaning tables scrounging anyone's unwanted Luderick gut, there must have been some Bream around, but different to the Luderick mob, they seemed to be a secretive lot these Bream fishers, as not once in quite a few days had we seen anyone cleaning any Bream at all. Still, the 'word' getting around the caravan park was that 'they' were getting some good ones of a night. From reading an article on how the wall was commonly fished for Bream, we knew that the most favoured method was to fish the usual 'ball on the hook' rig and cast forward of your boat as you drifted the wall. This rig is very familiar to anyone who fishes the Sydney rock scene, as it's used almost exclusively to catch all manner of species, so we were well versed with the feel of a lightly weighted bait moving in the flow. Bait for the Bream should have been the obvious choice of Luderick gut, however we'd given all ours away each day and didn't have a bit to try without going for another Luderick session. We did have a Striped Tuna, a Bonito and a few Pilchards that we'd brought frozen, to which we added some local prawns and a few live worms from the tackle shop. Burley wasn't really a thing of consideration, due to the constantly moving boat and never being in the same spot for more than a few seconds each drift down the 2km long wall. As 'they' had been getting the Bream of a night, we had a lazy day and prepared everything we thought we'd need for a night session. When fishing in a small 'sit-down' sized boat, both the gear you decide on and placement of said gear is really important, as you just don't have much room and only necessary items are included on board. First items put in were of course our two 7ft spin rods with Shakespeare 2410 spin reels loaded with six and a half pound Tortue mono, these outfits were our go-to set ups for Bream fishing around Sydney from a boat. Next in were a 10lb and a 15lb handline each, small tackle box, torches, a lifejacket each to sit on, the bait and a large fish box for the catch. We had an early dinner and headed off about an hour before it got dark, making our way out to the northern side of the wall via one of the two purpose-made breaks in the old stone wall. The wall itself is pretty narrow and only just above the waterline during the highest of tides. You can get out of the boat and fish from the wall itself if you like, but it's far more comfortable to stay in the boat, as much of the wall is made up of smaller stones up top and footing isn't that good- especially after dark, besides, keeping moving was the technique with the lightly weighted bait. As we approached the lower section of the wall towards the ocean end, there were two other boats both employing the same cast forward of the boat technique as we were going to try, but the water flow during the last part of the outgoing tide was making them really fly along and it became obvious to us, without even putting a bait in, that it wasn't the place to be on this tide. The boat furthest down started up and cruised over close to us, offering the advice that it was "too quick, you're better off going up closer to the island- where the wall joins the land"- good and friendly advice, so back up the wall before darkness descended. After travelling back up the wall until we got to the second break, which isn't too far down from the uninhabited Freeburn Island and the end of the southern side of the wall, we decided to go back on the inside to get out of the strong tidal flow. In my previous post I said that the majority of Luderick stay on the northern side of the wall, in the main part of the river, however, their access to the spawning destination of Wooloweyah Lagoon is via the Oyster Channel- which is like a large creek-is only possible if the fish come through the break and travel across, bringing them close to where the wall meets the island. We hoped the Bream would also follow this type of upriver route and there'd at least be some up in the out-of-current corner of island and wall. The old fishing article which inspired the trip in the first place, had a couple of hand drawn, simple maps, like the ones you see in some boating/fishing magazines. These were the type of maps that used a circled symbol to illustrate where species were likely to be found and our map had both a circled "BL" and "BR" indicating both Blackfish (as they were called before Luderick) and Bream found in the very corner we were heading to. We found out later that the spot is known locally as "learners corner" and is where many novice Luderick fishers go to try their luck in the less flowing waters of the corner. On our map there was also a marking denoting 'old coal wharf', but all that was left of it that we could see were a few pylons and a couple of large beams on water level; still it looked a likely spot for Bream and time was against us scouting around anywhere else, so we anchored up, using an anchor each end. As we were now out of the main tidal flow, we started fishing with the rigs we already had on our rods- small ball sinker about the size of a pea running freely between swivel and 1/0 suicide hook, on about a 45cm leader. In the days before new leader materials were invented, it was common practice to just use your main line as leader also, especially when fishing lighter lines, so our 'leader' was initially just a piece of our 6lb line. In the event of a snag or break-off, generally you only lose your hook (and sinker of course) and at worst add 45cm of line and very occasionally your swivel. Baits on and cast parallel to the wall, we waited for the first bites. There's a decent sized eddy up in the corner of the wall and there were heaps of good sized Mullet milling around on the surface, swirling tails and some noisy splashes as every now and then they were spooked by something big. Straight away we suspected a big Mulloway- the whole area is famous for both the number and size of it's Mulloway population- but when you're sitting in a small boat, only really able to stand safely to stretch your legs, the last thing you do is stand up to have a look. A few splashes in quick succession and then the unmistakable "chomp" noise of whatever the large unseen fish was, as it launched into the tightly packed Mullet school and probably grabbed a victim. I say probably because after that "chomp" everything went quiet and the Mullet although still milling around, certainly stopped their flighty splashing, so predator fed and gone. We suspected that the big fish had spooked everything, but decided to wait until the tide started to flow back in before calling it a night, at this stage we hadn't lost a bait. As the tides were really big near the approaching full moon, it wasn't too long before there was water movement again, but still no bites, so we decided to use the old fisherman's trick of getting out our only food for the trip- a single sandwich each. Over the years it's never ceased to amaze me how often, when things have been really quiet, has the sandwich 'trick' worked and action has happened before you manage to finish whatever it is you've started eating. Don't know if it should be called "Murphy's Law" as that applies to things going wrong and action when fishing is pretty much the opposite. Whatever it is, I'm sure it happens to all fishers at some time or other and once again it happened- before the sandwich was even half eaten the bites came. We landed a few of nice fish in the pound and a quarter- pound and a half range, but were busted off plenty of times by good fish that we couldn't stop with the 6lb line, they just headed straight into the wall and cut us off on the oysters- I should have mentioned that the majority of the wall in encrusted with oysters and not a friendly environment for anyone thinking 'sports-fishing'. The next approach was to go to the handlines and we both opted for the 15lb as we needed to stop the fish making it back into the wall and freedom, besides, the other handlines were only 10lb- good for quieter fishing and fish biting timidly, but a bit thin for the heavy handed approach that presented itself. The heavy handlines did the trick and we started getting virtually every fish that ran off with the bait. I've actually always loved handline fishing, probably a legacy of childhood, fishing out of the family boat on Lake Illawarra. You can simply feed the line to the fish with them feeling next to nothing and Bream lend themselves perfectly to this style of fishing. A few of these Bream were getting close to the magic 3lb mark and they pull like mad on the handlines without a rod to cushion the fish's lunges. As the tide got stronger, so did the bite and we were putting plenty in the box- no bag limits in those days. Then suddenly the Mullet in the corner went showering everywhere, the big 'thing' was obviously back again. Bream bites stopped and only the sound of the spooked fish splashing nervously on the surface could be heard. As happened earlier the "chomp" sound again and all quiet. This time it seemed like everything had taken fright, not another bite for over half an hour, but as happened earlier, all of a sudden the Bream were back and we started getting them again. After not having fished with handlines for a long time, other than for John Dory in Sydney Harbour, both of us were getting our hands cut and roughed up, add to this we'd both been spiked plenty of times by fish fins and we came to the conclusion we'd need a day or two off fishing to give our hands a break, so we may as well catch plenty of fish this night and then have a couple of nights off, regardless of how good the fishing was. Towards the top of the tide, a cold breeze started blowing from the east, changing the position of the little boat considerably and we had to throw our handlines towards the beams of the old coal wharf, which was slightly shallower water. There were beams hidden under the water also and we got snagged on them a few times, it seemed the little ball sinkers were rolling into the timber and getting stuck, so we ended up changing to just a hook and a small piece of pinched-on sheet lead for weight. This rig worked out really well, if we did get a snag, we could just leave it there and a fish would come along and take it off the beam anyway. When the box was nearly full of fish, the big predator came back and spooked everything again, but this time revealing itself to us- it was a big dolphin and it seemed to be able to come and take a fish with ease, whenever it wanted to. The air being expelled from the dolphin's blow-hole actually frightened hell out of me when it surfaced really close to the back of the boat, as I had my back turned to it and the rest of the river was almost silent barring the Mullet some 15 yards away from us. Always a bit disconcerting when something big surfaces close to a small boat in the dark. We decided to stay until dawn, as cleaning a heap of fish in the darker area of the caravan park cleaning tables wasn't appealing. As it began to get light and we could see down into the water, the Bream were clearly visible milling around in their hundreds, a sight I'll never forget. Before we left, the dolphin came back yet again and we were able to see it in the early morning light, it was massive, still the biggest one either of us has ever seen up close, that of course signalled time to go and we made our way slowly back to the van park. On arrival back at the cleaning tables, the task of gutting and scaling a full box of Bream looked pretty tiresome indeed, however as luck would have it, a couple of the early morning walkers, who were non-fishing retirees offered to lend a hand for a couple of fish each- great! When the job was done, we gave the two helpers half a dozen each and they were more than happy and offered to help us clean any more we got during the rest of the week. After a few days off from fishing we took our new mate Paul T from the RSL out for a Bream session and it was pretty much a repeat of the first night, except we didn't go out quite as early, same spot, same huge school of Bream there on light in the morning and same two helpers to clean all the fish. While at the cleaning tables, we got chatting to plenty more fishers and were happy to tell anyone interested where to go and try for the Bream. Two blokes asked us why we hadn't had a go for the Flathead that were also around in numbers, but a bit further up the river near Maclean, however after revealing the size of our little boat, they said it was probably too far to go by water. They'd been getting big bags of good sized Flathead using Whitebait and "yo-yoing" and interestingly, the big schools of Flatties only moved around 100-200 yards each day. These guys were also retirees from Walgett and they said they did the same trip every year, but their focus was on the Flathead. So if estuary species like Luderick, Bream and Flathead are on your list of fish to chase, you would find it hard to beat a fishing holiday at Yamba and that's without mentioning the Mulloway there either!
    7 points
  41. I'll always remember my Auntie and Uncle living right on the water at Illawong, just upstream of where the car ferry used too land back in the 1960's. They always had a cork handline deployed through the kitchen window and left the cork in the sink. As soon as a fish ran with the bait, the cork would rattle around in the sink raising the alarm. I always fished with line wound onto a coke bottle as a kid. The good thing was I could keep spare hooks and sinkers in the bottle with a small cork plug and it was compact. I used to travel to school by boat and would fish off the wharf waiting to be picked up. The bottle would fit neatly in my bag and the teacher would let me leave my bait in the fridge while I attended class.
    7 points
  42. After our Darwin adventure, Amy and I still had a couple of days off and with the deckee app showing some perfect conditions it was a no brainer to get out for a quick session. We launched on the Hastings looking like glass and headed upstream looking for the rlusive jewie. We focused on fishing bridge pylons with softvibes, it didn't take long for me to boat a couple of small tailor, followed by a couple of flathead that found their way into the esky. I was getting hits fairly regularly but Amy couldn't turn a trick at this stage. I had a good take on the pause and straight away I called a better fish, when I saw tye silver I got excited about to call a small jewie, but instead it was a bream An absolute beast, measured up at 44cm, was thick set and absolutely inhaled thr fishtrap (that's a 95mm lure in his gob). This fish smashed my previous pb, I have wanted that bream for a long time, he was released to get even bigger. We kept hopping pylons and with a few technique fine tunes Amy started getting hit and then she's onto a solid fish, it gave a solid fight and a quality flathead was in the net Measured up at 60cm, a good quality fish and a new pb for Amy, this one was also released. After a couple more small flatties we finished the session, can't beat smashing a couple of pb's in a single session, I'm loving my new home system. Hopefully a jewie will come soon. Cheers for reading Dave
    7 points
  43. Nth side of broughton island southerly buster approaching hit at 50knots
    7 points
  44. Great idea Derek…. So to kick off here’s my daughter’s submission (a bit tongue in cheek) 1. Black and White - well nearly the subject is mostly white 2. Dusk or Dawn - nearly it’s late arvo 3. Wildlife - nearly - I swear at times he’s not domesticated …. And to boot it’s also… 4. ACTION Blueys Beach. 31.3.2019. iPhone camera. cheers Zoran
    7 points
  45. Like NoelM I prefer Kingies done as cubes, about 50mm square and lightly fried in batter Or bread crumbs , not the healthiest way to eat fish but with kingfish I find large thick fillets 2nd rate although eatable. I used to go out to the Peak and catch up to 100 kg of Kingies at a time, anything over that was just sport. ( won't say what I done with that much fish ) but catching Kingies was that easy back in late 60 through the 70's and into the 80's around 86 or so they started to become harder to get in big numbers. That's when I started to venture down to Bermagui for my main fishing area. These days the Peak is very hit and miss, though you still get some good bottom fish there like Longfin Pearch and Tassie trumpiter . Starting to ramble on about old times, sorry. Frank
    7 points
  46. For the first time since the pandemic, Greater Sydney residents have been ordered to stay within a radius of their homes to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As part of tightened lockdown restrictions to “turn the tide” of growing cases, Sydneysiders must now stay within 10km of their residence for exercise or outdoor recreation. If it’s not for exercise, residents are expected to stay within their Local Government Area (LGA). Raiders before you post a fishing report or any other report that may breach public health orders please ensure that you are within 10km of your home if in the Greater Sydney area. Members of the public are sending in photos and other evidence to Crime Stoppers and local police to alert them to persons not doing the right thing. Fishing for fun and moving out of your area is not a reason to leave your house. We have all been asked to only go out of our house for 4 reasons and to ask yourself if in fact you actually need to go out at all. Anytime you move out of your house you are risking being around potentially Covid-19 positive persons/areas of concern. You may be going to fish somewhere and you may go to get bait at a tackle shop, get petrol etc, have an accident or require emergency services, break down on the water and require assistance or retrieval. There could be opportunity to become close contacts whenever you go outside your home. Think carefully raiders. STAY AT HOME, HAVE NO VISITORS TO YOUR HOME, GET TESTED IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS, GET VACCINATED Here is a site that might help you to see distances from your home. It is a quick radius checker. You can put in 10 kms or 50 kms or any other distance and drop a pin where your house is. When asked select choose my location. Of course you can always use your online maps to get distance measures too. https://2kmfromhome.com/10km Plenty of time for us all to get back to fishing raiders when we are allowed. Look forward to some great fishing reports from Greater Sydneyites when our restrictions are lifted Thanks to all the raiders who have put up some good stay at home reads/posts Stay safe all
    7 points
  47. I managed to snag a couple of days of work with my daughter on school holidays. She chose to go fishing and target flathead, so who was I to argue? We kicked off from Swallow rock around 8 headed down south in nice conditions to our flathead grounds. The conditions were pretty good with the day warming nicely, plenty of whales still about a decent drift and the fish joining in, it really doesn't get much better. After a few nice hours on the water we had our feed and headed home. I was surprised how warm the water was at around 19 degrees outside the hacking with a much more chilly 14 up river. The flatties ranged from 37-48 cm. One of the bigger ones had a fat belly with a recently consumed red spot whiting. Mostly blue spots with the one Tiger flathead.
    7 points
  48. When I was 7 I headed up to Queensland to my friends house. They live on the estuaries of the Gold Coast. One arvo I was fishing with dough of their jetty and something huge almost pulled me in as I was holding onto the rod with one hand and standing on the edge of the jetty. My friend pulled my back as I reeled up the fish.... It was a 50cm Blackfish! At the time I thought it was a drummer but about 3 weeks ago I looked at the picture again and realised what it really was! Thanks for bringing back some awesome memories scratchie!
    7 points
  49. It really wasn't anything special, but getting a tailor on Fraser Island is the one that sticks in my mind as the most satisfying and memorable fish. Being a family holiday and staying on the western side of the island (amazing fishing in its own right), I hadn't yet had the chance to fish the surf beach. But it had always been on my bucket list to catch a tailor off the beach on Fraser Island. On our final day of our stay I got my chance. My daughter wanted to have a play in one of the creeks on the beach so I got a rod out and had a cast with a whole pilly. Eventually my wife and daughter joined me and while we were waiting, we got to watch a massive stringray surfing about in the waves, which was incredible in itself. Then I hooked up. I knew it was a reasonable fish straight away and after a few nervous moments on my travel rod, a 53cm tailor washed up on the beach, to the sound of passing 4WDs tooting their horns. It couldn't have come a moment later - after that it was time to drive back to the ferry and head back to the mainland. The fish wasn't in good shape so we kept it for lunch the next day. For me, that fish was more special than others because since the age of five, I pored over library books with pictures of the Alvey brigade crowding alongside a gutter, all hooked up to tailor. I dreamed of going there one day and more than 30 years later, I was finally there, doing what they were doing!
    7 points
  50. first time I heard of a jungle perch I was 10 and saw a picture in a fishing book I was given for Christmas, they were the coolest looking fish I'd ever seen and were the first "bucket list" fish I had. Many times over the years I watched fishing shows and read articles with people catching JP's always hoping one day I'd get my turn and finally almost 27 years later on my first trip to FNQ I got my JP, a fish I'll never forget.
    7 points
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