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  1. 35 points
    G'day raiders, As many of you are aware one of my favourite forms of fishing is chasing snapper on soft plastics. This type of fishing is a very active way to target a species and can be very rewarding. The beauty of this angling is obviously acquiring the target of snapper but with very little by-catch and of course the absence of bait and associated mess that comes with it. Whilst this art of angling has taken me many years to become consistent with catching the said species, hopefully I can explain enough to anyone that is interested getting started. Setup: Many people have differing views on what rod and reel to use, but this is the set up that works for me. Rod: 7ft min 4-7kg Reel: 4000 sized standard or even 5000 in areas known for big snapper Braid and Leader: 20lb braid and 20lb flurocarbon leader or 30lb flurocarbon leader depending on terrain. Jighead: This will depend on the depths and areas you fish, the currents, the structure and terrain. But a quick breakdown for jig size, this is what I use: 1/4 5/0: 6-20 meters of water 3/8 5/0: 20-35 meters of water NOTES: These pairings of rod, reel and braid do not have to be the top of the range or the most expensive set up you can find to achieve results. In fact, I have caught 80cm models on the cheapest shimano combo you can get. The most important thing about your setup is the braid and leader you use. After all, this is what is connecting you to the fish. Without bias or preference I use either Ocea or Power Pro braid and Black Magic leader. Why??? because this works for me and after many different trials, I've found I don't lose as many fish. What soft plastic do I use? This is often a difficult one and many people have differing opinions because it is something they have caught fish on in the past or something they may have been recommended by a mate or a tackle store . It is also a critical component in reaching your target and can mean the difference in success and not so successful. The reason I don't say failure is because if your out there having a go, your not failing, your learning. From my experience, the color of soft plastics change with the seasons. During the winter months, the bait that is present determines the colors that I use. Once you start to see cuttlefish husks in the water in numbers it is time to start using whiter and lighter colors. During the summer months with the abundance of bait fish such as gars, yakka and slimies, I generally go for the more nature tones. As a rule, I always start out using a 7 inch soft plastic until the sun appears high in the sky and then drop this down to a 5 inch. Why?? As the saying goes, you can catch a big fish on a small hook but can't catch a small fish on a big hook. The same goes for soft plastics. The bigger fish are usually dominant in the early morning and late arvo's but remember your target is snapper and can be caught anytime of the day! Some of my favourite types of plastics, once again without bias, Z-man: coconut ice, pilchard, pearl Gulp: yakka, camo pearl, garlicker Knots and Drag settings: I use an improved Albright (12 turns up 6 down and 3 through the loop) and my leader length is the tip of the rod until the first guide closest to the reel. The reason for the knot, it’s easy to tie, I can do it well and I’ve never had an issue with losing fish to it. I can also recommend the PR or FG but they take some practise. Leader: I’ve been working on this length for some time now and have settled with this summation as it’s not too long or too short and gets results! The beauty of this length is that you can retrieve your lure until 6 inches of the knot, lift and cast again without it passing through the guides! And because your knot doesn’t pass through the guides your cast is longer!  As for drag settings, I have not measured this in kilos or poundage but a very firm tight drag is required for this method of fishing. This is because you need to turn the snappers head ASAP and control the fight. Once you have achieved this, DO NOT touch your drag. You have already set the tone for the battle so play it out. What area do I look to target snapper? This is a very simple response, structure, structure and structure. Snapper are prolific on the east coast of NSW and you are able to fish for them year round. Whilst they are more commonly a winter target, some of my better catches have been around the spring and autumn months. The structure that I look for is a good reef system that is surrounded by a weedy or sandy bottom. When this reef/structure has a predominant drop in it's face or is the only pinnacle structure in the area, then you'll find snapper. The presence of bait is also another major factor. You hear the saying "find the bait, find the fish". This is the absolute truth when fishing for snapper. Snapper are an opportunistic species and will often prey on the reminence of schools of bait being hammered by other pelagics. They can also be a very dominant species. So, your sft plastic wafting down the water column is a perfect meal once it's travelled through either the bait school above or the surrounding school they are following. Once again, refer to the depths that you are targeting this species. When you have your intended area: Drifting is the only real way to target snapper whilst using soft plastics. The ideal way to approach your intended target is to pull up 200m or so from it and record your drift. Your drift is the most important part of achieving your goal of catching a snapper on sps. Once you have indentified your drift and intened area. Start your drift approximately 50m before it and begin to cast ahead of the boat as far as you can. Now, this is another very key component to this type of fishing. Long casts and allow the soft plastic to WAFT down the water column. By this I mean you don't need to impart very little action into the lure. All you need to do is maintain contact with the jig by slowly winding in the slack line so you don't have a spaghetti affect on the line. This is so you can feel any touch that you might have. Once you feel that you have reached the bottom of the ocean, lift the rod and perform big long loops back towards the boat. This is because snapper inhibit all parts of the water column and will nearly always take the sp on the drop. Don't be surprised if you get a hit in the first 3m as that's where the big ones are generally stalking. Once you have cast and played out your sp and its nearing the boat, wind up fast and repeated the process. why??? This is because I have had many of by-catch including kings, bonito, sampsonfish etc following the lure and all they need is some action. Not only that, if you cast again quicker, your back in the game. The second part to drifting which is paramount...….NEVER DRIVE OVER YOUR DRIFT!!! Snapper spook very easy and once you have driven over the area, you will very rarely catch something on that same drift. Instead, complete your drift, take a big circle around the area you are working and approach your next intended drift 20-30m away from your last one. This will allow you to work a small or productive area for some time. The other thing to mention is when you do get a bite! As soon as you feel a take on your line, strike for the fish and strike hard. Sometimes fishing with soft plastics you may have to try and set the hook hard up to 3 times! Often the fish may pick up the lure and swim towards you! At this stage, you need to wind and strike hard. They have solid mouths and take a fair bit to set the hook. Although, the bigger fish will generally hook themselves and take you for a ride! Just always maintain a bend in the rod and take your time. There is no rush to success! Overview: Choose the right setup, indentify your target area, big long casts, allow the sp to waft, work it back to the boat! Repeat the process!!! And as my motto goes "JUST KEEP CASTING" Now that is the key to snapper fishing with soft plastics. Cheers scratchie!!!
  2. 26 points
    G’day raiders, This post is a little inspiration for those wanting to head up to Port Stephens for a meet and greet. Headed out with a mate this morning to some sloppy and blowy conditions. It’s been a real struggle of late and you pretty much need to get your fish at first light or there gone. Didn’t stop for bait and pulled up to our first mark and did two drifts without a touch. Moved around the corner and I finally come up tight to a nice 50. A few more casts for nothing so we move again to a more promising spot. My mate was technically ok with plastics but a little tweaking and soon he gets hammered a line peels off. A good fight and into the net goes a just on 70 model. Yesssssssss! I “just kept casting” and soon had another 55 to the box as my mate played with some rat kings. Move again and this time it was my turn for the rats. Had enough there so we hit the next mark which was devoid of bait and any sign of good fish. Then we move to an area I’ve fished many times for decent pannies and I cast out, whack!!!! This thing is pulling line and screaming just under the surface, oh finally a decent king I think. Then I managed to stop its progress and then I can feel the signs of a huge snapper. The heart started to beat a little faster but I could feel I had a solid hook up. I started winning some line and then it started to get some back which went on for quite some time until I finally see colour. With sore arms and the knees now knocking, my mate reaches out with the net and boom! Another cracking 95cm of Broughton Island caught snapper! After a few high 5’s, giggles and wow moments, we composed ourselves and started casting again. A few more were added to the box but then we called it a day just before midday! Another cracking day in Port Stephens!!! Time: 9:40 Tide: two hours after low Gear: shimano ultegra 5000 with 20lb fins braid and 20lb black magic fluro leader, 1/4 5/0 tt jig and a 7 inch gulp garlicker. Location: Broughton Island cheers scratchie!!!
  3. 26 points
    With all the things going on lately from fires to con artist boat sales and now covid 19 I haven't had many opportunities to fish the beach. My sons Xmas beach outfit had yet to catch a fish untill we hit the beach at lunch time today. With relatively flat conditions and an almost low falling tide we almost didn't bother taking his rod but he was keen, so why not. first cast he hooked into a good salmon which after a few jumps and headshakes soon flicked the 40g halco twisty. Second cast he hooked into what we assumed to be a good sized salmon, which after holding in a deep gutter close to the beach we realised this was a far better fish. He couldn't believe it when he eventually managed to get it onto the sand with some help from a wave. First fish landed on his new rod turned out to be a fat well conditioned tailor. Next couple of casts turned out two more before we lost the school which was moving north at a fair pace. For someone who wasn't really bothered about beach fishing he's now a changed lad, amazing the difference owning his own gear that can belt a lure far enough to reach fish can make. Smallest fish was over 60cm and the biggest just shy of 74cm.
  4. 24 points
    Headed up with a mate from Sydney to my brothers place at Port Stephens to see if we could find some Yellowfin Tuna We tried to work out what days would be best and decided on Sunday Interesting start to the day with torrential showers first thing in the morning while we loaded boat We could have almost cancelled - and as we headed up the bay from soldiers point the rain kept coming Conditions outside the heads were a bit all over the place but we thought we’d push through and see if it improved We got about 10kms out and things did improve- rain was behind us now and we felt the slop was decreasing so we pushed on - water around 17 degrees About 20kms and lots of birds showing up Some were concentrated and diving in so we thought we would put a spread out and work the area With no luck we decided to keep going We saw a marlin free jump for a bit so the lures go in again No luck 30kms more birds concentrated and diving in one area Again, lures out and we picked up a striped tuna about 7kg We push on - water now 18.9 and we are about 50kms offshore Then we see what we didn’t think we would ever see- small schools of YF jumping and chasing bait - we couldn’t believe our eyes! The shotgun rod goes off And screaming run- after only a twenty minute battle the fish is boat side and we see colour We trade the big net for a gaff when it gets closer Approximately 45kg YF into the boat!! A first for all of us!! Big celebrations to say the least We put the lures out again 15 min later another hit on the shot gun lure! Drops the lure after a screaming run 15 mins later same rod goes off And a longer run and what seems a bigger fish After 25 mins we get the fish boat side only to have it look at our ugly heads and take off again before we could get the gaff near it My friend on the rod is now sweating on whether we will boat this one (The first fish we got the hooks were only just in) Now the fish is deeper again and another 15 mins using the current and the wind we work him back up After some nervous pep talks on being patient and making our gaff hits count we manage to boat this fish!! Approximately 60kg fish!! We are so happy!! One more of the crew- the captain- my brother hasn’t fought one yet so we make it our aim to get another Fish are still jumping but not so much bird activity We troll for another 30 mins No takers- it’s now about 2pm and we have about a two hour trip back so the captain calls it time- I say come on give it ten more minutes 5 mins later two rods are hit and lines are screaming- this time it’s the rods closest to the boat! We get the captain on one rod and I grab the other one Line is peeling and the spools are emptying - my bro manages to slow his fish up but mine doesn’t stop He has his fish close to boat sickles showing in about 10 mins!! We check the drag and it’s like it’s been set for pulling big kings off the bottom! Anyway we get the fish boat side and I have now put my rod with fish on in holder as I got to help with leader and gaffing Just as I’m leading the fish up to gaff it takes off thrashing the hook pulls! But my other mate has just sunk the gaff in!! Rescued! But he’s loses his grip as it’s thrashing and his hand slips down the gaff He’s losing the gaff and the fish as it’s thrashing- and yells out help I’m right there so take a grab at the gaff too and now we both heave the fish in More sheer delight for the crew of 3!! Then it dawns on me- the other rod, the other fish is still on!! This fish has all but spooled me- (I think I have 400m of line out)I cant move it - 50lb braid won’t budge it We decide to gain some line and work the boat back toward the fish This feels much bigger than the previous one We gain half the line- then a couple of big runs and the line breaks - this one will haunt me forever unfortunately. But time will heal We caught most fish in the profidgie lures- but two fish at the end hit a heavy 9inch bullethead pink skirt and a large purple Halco maxi hard body Water blue green 18.9 First fish 45kg Second 60kg Third 50kg We are so stoked to have all caught our first Yellowfin together - not sure we will ever see another day like it We’ve so many trips with nothing and now they have been removed with better memories! Golden memories!! Thanks for reading - get amongst it!!!
  5. 24 points
    Gday Fishraiders, With recent happenings of world events, there is certainly going to be members here on this site that are adversely affected by this pandemic of Coronavirus. Whilst the majority of us will not be directly affected ourselves by the virus, there will be plenty that will be indirectly affected via, loss of income, isolation, family members being ill, Members businesses affected etc etc. For such reasons I would asked that any posting related to this virus, either in jest or specific not be posted. This site can be used as a very good escape from the chaotic scenes of late and let’s try and keep it that way. Stay safe and best of luck to all fishraider members. Regards scratchie mod team
  6. 24 points
    Managed 15 reds up to 63cm this arvo sat out 3hrs of 45knot westerly then 45mins 25 knot noreaster then it settled down and was great 5 knots from east came home at dark runnin on 28knots got dusted up by one very large red and pulled hook on one didnt go to whiskers hangout maybe next trip
  7. 23 points
    No jewy but non stop action packed, maybe if we stayed later than 6.30 we may of hit the holy grail but a 92 cm 9.7 kg tailor had us pumped enough to leave satisfied.
  8. 23 points
    As I did chores at home and on the boat my daughter ( The obsessed one ) headed off chasing tuna for the day. For the last week yellowfin seem to of been in good numbers along most of the coast. Today was no exception and it wasn't long before they spotted tuna smashing the surface. It wasn't long before my daughters wish all came together as a hefty yellowfin smashed her lure. After a 30 minute battle and almost getting spooled a couple of times the fight was won and one very happy little girl.
  9. 22 points
    Gday raiders, Got out today with fellow raider @back cruncher with the hope of a few snapper and some longtail. The snapper didn’t really want to play ball due to a lack of current. Although we did manage 4 decent ones to almost 70cm. We worked different areas pretty hard but was starting to become deflating, so we tried for some longtail. Didn’t take long and the first livie was ripped out of my hands. Solid 12kg plus longy on deck. Then went back to the anchor and the next pretty much did the same thing. Another solid fish on deck. Two was more than enough, so at midday we called it quits and headed home! Just love it when a plan comes together! cheers scratchie!!!
  10. 22 points
    As we strained our backs on megladon sharks from the shore yesterday, my daughter was out stick baiting again. This time foul hooking the fish in the eye ended in a two hour battle. My son is keen to do battle from the shore again this evening and my daughter is put there flicking stick baits again!!!!!....obsessed
  11. 22 points
    Gday raiders, Left the beauty of Port Stephens this morning and headed north with my good mate Dom for a weeks fishing in Wooli. Arrived at 11am, and headed straight out to the breakwall to check the bar. Not much water so we checked in, got our gear ready and waited a while. With pretty sloppy seas and breezy conditions we pushed on and gave the bar a crack! This is not for the faint hearted nor the inexperienced but once we got out we were hoping the seas would settle down. This was not the case and we slowly made our way north to target snapper, all the while drifting a livey behind us! Anyway, put in two and half solid hours and managed 2 Mac tuna, I got a solid snapper, Dom managed a screaming longtail and we got dusted a few times by what we think were Spanish! Keep your eye for day 2 tomorrow! Cheers scratchie!!!
  12. 21 points
    Good afternoon raiders, havent been active or posted in a couple of years and yes I am @Scratchie son so I’m looking to start being active and making more posts in the future... while the girlfriend was catching up on some sleep the other afternoon I thought would be the perfect time to throw a couple plastics for 30mins! Found a little spot down corlette and first cast very unexpectedly landed a very nice 50 - 60cm flatty! thinking beatiful that’s dinner but I’ll have a couple more casts and deadset second cast bang another 45 - 50cm flatty, wasn’t a bad arvo got another 3 flatty around 35 - 45cm, until the tailor moved in then I couldn’t get past the things so yeah! Thanks for reading!
  13. 21 points
    Gday raiders, Just a quick report from up here today. My first time out fishing for a very long time and the weather wasn’t the best to say the least. Hit Broughton before first light in 2m southerly swell and 15 knot winds. You definitely wouldn’t have went if you didn’t like fishing. Hit our mark and with one eye on the lure and the other behind us we begin to cast. Landed one in the first area but as we turned to motor off we took a small wave over the side. Looked for a more protected area and started getting a few hits. Managed a few good sized ones and changed location. Our drift was fast but we kept casting. Every time we got a hit, you’d have to wind like crazy and set the hook hard because the combination of the fast drift and the fish swimming towards you resulted in a lot of dropped fish. Anyway, we worked it out and collected 8 decent snapper and two mid 70cm kings. All fish caught on soft plastics. A pretty nautical ride home into the southerly. It was great to be back on the water again and nice to bring home a feed for the family. Cheers scratchie!!!
  14. 21 points
    I went out Friday morning on Sydney Harbour to both chase the schools of Salmon that were meant to be around plus put a few more hours on the new Suzuki 50 4 stroke purchased at the Sydney Boat show. First stop was a trip to wreck off Quarantine Point to get some livies but could only manage small trevally - all thrown back in. Headed off to try my luck on squid and managed a PB Squid for Sydney Harbour. Drovd then up towards the bridge from the heads and located some schools of surface feeding fish, but with the wind up it was nigh impossible to cast to any of them. So off for a morning coffee at Chowder Bay before heading to try my luck on kings with the Squid. After driving to a spot I know I put down the Squid head on one rod and a large strip on the other and then waited. And waited. I threw some plastics. Slow jigged. And waited. Just I was about to pack up and head back to Manly the 10000 Saragosa went off with the rod bent over and the tip in the water. I reach down to pick it up and am struggling to hold it when the 8000 Baitrunner goes off on the other side of the boat. I manage to reach over, rod in one hand and turn the handle to click it into gear. It’s now hooked up solid. Back to fish no 1 - I manage to eventually get it to the boat and gaff it, lay the fish and rod down behind me , then pick up the other rod and bring in fish no2 which I also landed. Result... 1 PB Squid turned into 2 * PB 90cm kings! Happy with that, I drove back to Manly ramp one happy fisherman! The Rev
  15. 21 points
    Set off midweek from Apple Tree Bay , before sunrise and with picturesque tendrils of 'sea smoke' on the water. It's a 12 km paddle from the ramp to the Hawkesbury River proper and it takes me the best part of 3 hours to make the journey and catch some live mullet in the Bays for bait on route. I use a copy of chart AUS204 to identify the holes and likely jewfish haunts and slow drift the areas with a heavy sinker close to the bottom and a long trace line to a circle hook. On this occasion the unfortunate mullet was around 15cm long and nose hooked. Got the strike 1 hour before high water slack and the beast dragged me around for 15 minutes before I could use my short gaff on him.It is hard work in a skinny kayak to put the rod in the holder, grab the fish by the gills, cut the line and put the fish in the hatch but I did it without going for a swim and with no one around to see me make a mess of the operation. My last good jewfish was way back in May and I was beginning to think the fish had all left for the Winter.
  16. 21 points
    G’day raiders, Just a quick report from this arvo. Had the opportunity to get out with Woodsy for a couple of hours after work today! The champ had already caught a heap of livies before he picked me up so we headed straight for Broughton! Drifted the sisters with plenty of bait present but no fish so we moved on! Hit our next mark and the bait was present again but no real takers! We persisted and I managed a couple of pannies which were returned and Woodsy had a couple of enquiries. There was only enough time for a couple of more drifts before the southerly hit and a change of sp was all that was needed. Cast out and got nailed, this thing used every bit of the current and put up a good fight until it was well netted by Woodsy! A couple of pics and time to cast again! Next cast, I barely had time to put the bail arm over and was absolutely hammered by another red that nearly ripped the rod out my hand. Tried to wind and set the hook but unfortunately this brut got the better of me! By now the wind had kicked up strong and it was time to pack up! Great couple of hours on the water with Woodsy that was very much needed to clear the soul. I gave Woodsy the fish as he supplied me plenty on my dry spell last year! 😝 Thanks for reading...... Cheers scratchie!!!
  17. 21 points
    G’day raiders, Well all I can say is yewwwww!!! As most of you know, I enjoy a bit of snapper fishing. Haha! So today, I planned to head out with Son no1 and hit Broughton for some snapper! Today is my only day off before 7 days of work, then holidays. So we were going rain, hail or shine! Left little beach at 445 and arrive at the sisters at first light. A strong southerly swell was getting up and a moderate westerly wind set our drift. First drift I land a nice 55cm snaps but that was it. Couple more drifts, donuts! Then we headed to north rock and my son comes up tight. A nice 50cm model to add to the esky! After that nothing!!! Probably put another 100-150 casts on many drifts for not a touch! Time to move! Went to an area with a bit more turbulent water for two drifts and 50 casts nothing! I said to the boy, one more long drift and we are out of here! By this stage, he had pretty much given up and let his sp drift behind the boat but I kept casting. Knowing we were soon going to hit the wall where I’d seen the bait pushed up before. One long cast and I let it waft, next minute bang, this thing hits it with so much force that I nearly lost the rod but then pops off! Devastated I wind in the slack and give it a twitch. Then boy did I load up! Zzzzzzzzzzz this first run was probably 100m plus and heading for structure! Those that have fished with me know that I set a tight drag but this fish didn’t care. So much so that I thought it was a shark until I felt telltale tail beats! Good fish good fish I call to the boy! I played this fish out for a good 15 minutes and then we get sight of it! OMG, it’s huge! Very calmly and collectively we worked together and got it in the net! Then in the boat and I’m sure you Sydney folk heard our cheers! My pb anyway and 95cm of soft plastics caught Broughton Island snapper! Yewwwww! After that we decided to call it a day and headed for Home! It’s amazing how one turn of a reel can change your day and to never have a defeatist attitude! Well that’s my day and record I’ve wanted for ages! Goal met! Location: Broughton Island Gear: shimano ultegra 4000 Sahara 7,2 4-7kg rod, 20lb power pro braid, 20lb black magic fc leader, nitro tt 1/4 5/0xh jig and 7inch camp pearl gulp Time: 9:30am Tide: falling mid swell & wind: 1.4m south and 10knot wsw cheers scratchie!!!
  18. 20 points
    Stopped catching at 25, biggest 94cm (on 20lb), kept 6 between 3 (Fishraider dlvbw and Stephen) all others released. Cuttlefish and live yakkas Did the damage Sweet little livies hanging around Balmoral
  19. 20 points
    20/5/2020 Hairtail are here Finally I got to go out in my own boat (waited in line long enough)!!! Seat warmers all of you heh heh. Swordie picked a day that was half decent and we took off early for Bobbin Head. The conditions were perfect and we launched at Apple Tree Bay. There were plenty of other boats coming and going and swordie found it difficult to wait till the ramp was clear . We eased out through the 4 knot zone and hammered the Yammie up to 5000 rpm all the way to Jerusalem Bay. During the 20 minute trip we discussed the fishraider hairtail socials of the past and the great people we had met over the years. @Scratchie@Jnr Scratchie Excited we pulled up and anchored and saw a boat pulling up hairtail. They turned out to be raiders and we chatted and introduced ourselves. After 5 minutes of Stewy glaring at them hauling fish in he said to me "pull up your gear and we will tie up to their #$%&^& boat. He wanted to get out the Jolly Roger and grappling hooks and board their vessel argggggh Rods out again and nothing really but the other boat was still catching so we decided to stop and discuss tactics over a cuppa and a bacon and egg roll cooked by Stewy. He was fart arsing around cooking and I decided to fish again while waiting. Next minute I was poling them over the starboard side one after the other. He was screaming over my shoulder "the %^&%$# bacon is burning" and "get your own fish off" . More expletives and so I stopped fishing and ate my roll . Lucky for him the egg was runny and soft. All jokes aside we had a great fun night and my biggest was 1.3 m ANDDDDDD I outfished swordie We left at 7.30pm and headed home. Waratah Bay was lit up like a Christmas tree and we think we picked the right bay this time. Thanks @teddybear and his deckie for the laughs and the fun time. It was lovely to meet you both. We will be back when the weather picks up again.
  20. 20 points
    G’day raiders, I’ve recently done a few upgrades to the boat and a few things I’m still working on but it has made me more keen than ever to take every opportunity I get to hit the water. So yesterday, I finished work early. Had a quick sleep and hooked the boat up. I decided to take the three youngest out for a troll around the islands. The seas were calm so we decided to catch some live bait first and give them a troll before we switched to deep divers. You kind of forget how much fun it is for kids to catch bait fish, especially a good slimie! Well, put the slimies to good use and after only a short while the line starts peeling off. The eldest at the time Brandon was running the deck and grabs the rod and brings in a huge bonito. Sweet! The bonito are around, so we switch to deep divers. Didn’t take long to hear another one screaming and the girl was up! Great fun watching their faces tangle with a tuna. Landed that one and then time for the youngest to have a go! Well he thought he’d hooked a whale but just another bonito! Gave them a few turns each then it was time to head home and watch the footy! I didn’t touch a rod or reel all day and I didn’t drive either as the second eldest now has his boat licence! 👍 So today, was the eldest boys @Jnr Scratchie turn after he became a father last week and made me feel older than ever by becoming a poppy! The plan was to go south and fish a few areas we haven’t tried before. But someone forgot to tell scratchie (boat) and she just turned left out the heads like usual and headed for Broughton Island. We didn’t stop for bait so we could get up there before first light and start casting. The seas were more than placid and no current to be seen although there was a little wind to help out drift. We both managed a few pannies and then the boy comes up tight. I set his drag and when I start to hear it sing I know he has a good fish. Well this fish kept singing and I thought it was whiskers until up comes a decent mid 70’s king. Nice! A few more drifts and a lot more casts, he comes up tight again And this time there is the telltale signs of a good snaps! Soon it was into the net and hi 5’s all round. Managed a few more at different spots and called it a day around 11. Cracking day on the water and we obviously did better than most as all the boats that came to the ramp, just hooked up and drove home! Thanks for reading, Cheers scratchie!!! The best catch ever......... I hope she likes fishing 🤔
  21. 20 points
    Me and my son have been chasing a jew for a while now and last night it all came together. A good high tide was at 8:45pm so we planned to be on the beach at 7pm, collected fresh Yakkas from Kiama harbour and headed up to the beach. Using 30 pound fluorocarbon leader with 2 snelled hook rig, we threw a whole yakka out and boom first cast my son nailed his first jew, great fight too. This will be a night we will never forget, we have both spent many nights chasing a jew coming home empty handed, but now all feels worth it.
  22. 20 points
    G’day raiders, Well today was one of those special days. I got a text from the very first fishraider I ever took out fishing 8 year’s ago @Spearer1. Since that initial fish we haven’t caught up but have messaged each other etc on various platforms. Anyway, today we finally managed to get out after Adam messages me and said he was keen to get amongst some snapper. So today was a bit different as I worked early and we didn’t leave until midday. Conditions looked good but the curse of the full moon hung over our head. Well, we well and truly put pave to that myth. Every area we fish we hit up on a good fish. Might not have landed them all, ay Adam (dropped 2 screamers rookie error) but we just kept finding them with some real decent ones amongst the lot. It was just awesome to catch up with Adam again and we had as much fun today as we did the first time we met! I’m sure we’ll be back out there to do it again soon! Thanks again champion! cheers scratchie!!!
  23. 20 points
    G’day raiders, Where do I start???? Ok, so Monday. Woodsy and I were going to head out so I went and checked the weather. Conditions were forecast fishable but I looked at the ocean and it wasn’t right, so we canned it. Made plans to look at Friday! I had another mate and raider @tyrone07 keen as well. So we plan to get out today but Tyrone decides to bring up his boat with a mate and thought we could have a little Comp to keep us focused. The only problem is he only made it half way due to a collapsed wheel bearing! Poor bastard! 😫 Well that’s not stopping me and woodsy from going, so off we went. Collected a few livies that were very picky. Great conditions and we hit our mark. A few drifts nothing! Plenty of bait showing, good water (maybe to clear) good drift but no takers! Reset the drift and finally woodsy comes up tight! A nice panny for the box. Another boat turns up and anchors on our drift so time to move. Well, we pull up and there’s a stack of kings under our boat. Great fun on the snapper gear but all rats and basically just wasting our time. So we venture on closer to structure and get a good drift going. Plenty of bait on the sounder and then showering the surface. To be honest, I can’t recall every fish in order but they started chewing and chewing hard! We both lost some really really good fish and landed some nice takers too! Although I did manage to catch whiskers but a few of his brothers were to good for us! Packed up by 1030 and left them biting! Another great day out in Port Stephens! Cheers scratchie!!!
  24. 20 points
    My son (aged 32) went to North Head this morning planning on a dawn spin off the rocks. He recounted this story to me later today. When he arrived half hour or so before dawn he realised the swell had not dropped as much as forecast and while not extremely high there was a long wave period i.e. a lot of power behind each wave. Instead of setting up to fish on the rock platform he decided to wait up higher and watch the swell for a while. Four other fishermen walked straight past and onto the platform. They asked why he wasn't going down and he explained he thought it looked a bit dodgy and he wanted to check it for a while. They said it's fine and started fishing straight away. Within a minute of that conversation a large set of three waves hit in succession, the first brought well over a meter of green water over the platform which is only about four meters front to back then the rock wall behind - so nowhere to go apart from the scramble track down on one side. All four were knocked off the feet and my son expected to see them in the ocean when the white water cleared. Miraculously they had all managed to cling to the rock surface and despite plenty of missing skin were OK. Two of them managed to hang onto their rods , the other two didn't . They both had two rods each including 2 Saltiga reels and one Stella and one saltiga rod. Both their bags were in the ocean, one of which had his tackle and a new phone worth $1000. That pair were now down about $4000 worth of gear (including the phone) and one of them was preparing to dive in to retrieve one of the bags which was still afloat. My son argued with him almost to the point of physically restraining him from jumping in. My son said they were extremely powerful waves and this guy didn't look like a strong swimmer. Even if he could swim against those waves he'd have been smashed trying to get back onto the rocks. He clearly was not thinking straight and panicked. They were able to flag down a passing boat that retrieved the floating bag and went into the next quieter bay and were able to thrown it onto the rocks . It contained their car keys amongst other stuff. I'm recounting this as I know there's a lot of newer fishermen on this fishing site and I wanted to tell them of the dangers of underestimating the swell when rock fishing. My son has lived his whole 32 years on the coast and is a surfer, fisherman and strong swimmer so he knew what to look for when checking the ocean. If you aren't sure, check with other fishermen and if there aren't any around sit and watch the sea for at least 10 minutes where you plan to fish - your life may depend on it. Stay safe guys Fil
  25. 20 points
    I’m in awe of the majestic beast who towed my packraft from pool to pool for several minutes before I was finally able to land her. I was on a family camping trip and with young kids, fishing windows were short, up before dawn 2 days in a row, and back to the tent by 7 or 8am. Not a hit the first morning, then I convinced my wife and kids to come out paddling and trolling in the packrafts for an hour or so during the day, hoping to get my son onto something, but still no interest. The 2nd day I decided I needed to hike further to find less pressured water, so I set off in the cold, well before dawn, hiking, paddling, wading and general boulder scrambling, stopping briefly to cast surface lures along the way. I found some nice water but I still wasn’t confident it had enough depth for natives to hold up during the day so I continued on. I covered a fair bit of ground and after a long shallow stretch and a more major rapid, experience told me a deeper pool wouldn’t be too far away. A bit further and there it was, I decided I shouldn’t waste the premium bite period on surface lures, given my limited time and no interest the day before, so I opted for a sub surface offering, Into the raft and after about 5 casts I was thinking how good the water looked and it was only a matter of time, but there was still doubt in the back of my mind. I saw a big tree right on the edge of the river with some rock at the base and possible undercut bank so I cast at it, 2nd cast having just clicked the reel into gear I got hit on the drop and all hell broke loose, the fish immediately took off across the pool and came to the surface with an enormous boil and tail slap that had me thinking oh F$#% this is the one! Over the next several minutes I was towed through 3 pools and the narrow channel connecting them, doing my best to cushion the lunges and powerful runs as she pulled line with ease. She was in control, I was just along for the ride! I was just hoping everything would hold and she wouldn’t find any timber, at one stage the line made a guitar string like sound, but I had her on a short leash and was able to apply some pressure and she swam clear. I spotted a sandy beach and did my best to slowly paddle towards it one handed whilst maintaining pressure. Eventually making it to the beach I jumped out and started to get things ready, but she wasn’t quite done, I maintained patience and didn’t rush, it was a massive relief to finally get the lip grips in and I had quick celebration. Careful handling, a few quick pics and holding in the water as much as possible in between and she swam off strong! A memorable encounter I won’t be forgetting! cheers, Gus
  26. 19 points
    Gday Raiders Headed down south to Bellambi today chasing snaps. Was joined by dad who was itching to get out too. Arrival at the ramp we were met with a very low tide with some cross wash. Luckily for us we were one of the first ones there so we managed to unload quickly before the ramp gets blocked up. Conditions this morning were better than forecast, which made for good irony because from 10am onwards the conditions were far worse than forecast. Steep stiff waves of 1.5m high about 5 seconds apart mixed with a gusty breeze which i estimate between 15 to 20 knots made for uncomfortable fishing. But we slogged it out and managed a nice feed of reds. Some just legals and a few just under 50cm. Managed a nice calamari too which ordinarily would have been stripped for bait but he came aboard very late in the day so i decided to keep him for the table. Baits used were whole pillies and fresh caught slimey mackeral strips. Also managed to witness a few whales jumping a little too close for comfort. But with two sea anchors and 6 rods in the water there was no time to tuck tail and run🤣 Thanks for reading Sam
  27. 19 points
    Gday raiders, Headed out today with Backcruncher and his mate and we hit the island. Hopes were high for a few good snapper especially with the sudden drop of the east coast low we’ve been enduring. First drift at first light and Micks line is screaming. Set the hook, set the hook. Well he did and after a good tussle up comes a 70 model, nice! Not in the net yet it takes a roll and pop! Gooooooooone! Oh well, at least we found something. Ended up changing locations and we managed a good size bonito on a livie and kept casting sps! Then I load up and boy did this thing pull string. After a decent scrap and a bit of manoeuvring I get a decent look at it boatside (80 plus) and can feel the crunching on the jig and with one more crunch, boom.... the leader gave way! Damn! We moved a few spots due to either, a lack of bait or lack of current, then decided to try for longtail. Hit our mark and set the livies out! They looked good swimming perfectly. So much so that we couldn’t get away from the tuna birds diving on them at will. After hour we called it quits but managed to land two birds!! 🤔 Headed home at a leisurely pace with a beer in hand and a good day had by all. cheers scratchie!!!
  28. 19 points
    @swordfisherman and I have been targeting the enigmatic hairtail this past week. It has been for two purposes, fun and fresh air and assisting a young raider who is doing a PhD studying Blue Marlin. Due to COVID-19 he has been unable to go offshore and decided to do some research. He chose hairtail. @Tag117 aka Tristan had posted a request for hairtail samples here in Fishing Chat a few days ago. As luck had it we were able to provide him with samples. I have decided to write this report in a different style as we have many new anglers on board lately. I hope it is helpful to those unfamiliar with this style of fishing. To the experienced raiders enjoy the pics 😊 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- DATE - 27/5/2020 Arrived at 11am and returned around 7pm LOCATION – Cowan Creek Hawksbury NSW Several spots available Waratah Bay, Jerusalem Bay, Smiths Creek, Coal and Candle Creek, Akuna Bay during hairtail season (late April to September). These areas become very busy during the season – density of other anglers can be at a high level. Parking at Apple Tree Bay to launch at the wharf will cost $12 for park entry. You can check wharf details in our Boat Ramp section. Pensioners and concession card holders can get an annual free pass from NSW Parks and Wildlife which gives free entry to over 45 parks. WEATHER – I had a look on our Deckee boating app and found the current conditions. @Mike McKiernan and the team have done a great job building this. I located Jerusalem Bay see attached pics of the current conditions including relative humidity, wind, temperature, air pressure, rain (chance of), swell, tides, moon phases and outlook for the week. Raiders make sure you get this goldmine of info onto your smartphones, tablets and laptops. WATER CONDITION – Very clear and temperature preferably under 20 degrees Celsius -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- THE JUICY DETAILS The conditions were perfect no wind, sunny and clear and no-one else around …….. ahhhhh the life of the retiree. Launched at Apple Tree Bay and had a pleasant ride up to Jerusalem Bay. One boat only in the distance and we chose the best possie. Down with the sand anchor as the bottom is fairly muddy. Swordie had been making some whizz bang new rigs and we were keen to see what they produced. We started fishing for small yellowtail with a Sabiki jig in size 10 and a small snap on sinker baited with tiny pieces of peeled prawn. This is the only way Stewy can catch livies apparently!!!!!! This worked fine and they were kept in the water in a collapsible wire keeper net for use later, either live or filleted (a hardy bait). We had 2 rods baited up with half pilchards on two 3/0s ganged and 30 cms of single strand 60lb wire and then swordie attaches the new “secret weapons” – FLASHING DEEP DROP LED LIGHTS! First drop and we are on and it was only midday in the brilliant sunshine. We are very excited at this point and feel that we will bag out (10 per person). The bites came thick and fast most of the afternoon. We had two double hooks ups and we were laughing and yahooing as we poled them over the side. We had plenty of war wounds to our hands and legs particularly on the double hook ups. I was fighting mine and Stewy had his boated and it was flapping around furiously whipping at my leg. We both ended up with little paper like cuts from the razor like teeth. It was a bit comical when Stewy yelled “quick get the *##$% pliers”. I turned and saw a hairtail latched onto his track suit pants by the ganged hooks. I did think for a fleeting moment I should just leave it there but resisted and cut the hook with surgical precision to release him from certain death. Harden up you sook! Most fish were hooked at about 3 to 4 meters depth and some even shallower. We dropped as many as we landed at least. They were very aggressive and Stewy got busted off twice. Around 4pm a few boats started to creep into the bay with plenty catching fish. The sun was going down and I cooked us a bacon and egg sandwich. We tidied up and headed back to the ramp. All bays were full and lit up like Christmas and we were glad we arrived and fished during the daylight hours. We pulled up at the wharf and I heard “Donna is that you?” It was Tristan and we spent the next hour chatting and filleting our catch. Tristan was able to explain some interesting facts about the anatomy of hairtail. He also told us that there was only one academic paper on his search about hairtail. It just happened to be the paper written by the NSW DPI scientists that we assisted at one of our fishraider 3 day socials several years ago. It is being reviewed and ready to be published. Fishraider was always known for the legendary assault on hairtail at Cowan each year and it was even reported on annually in the Sydney Morning Herald by fishing and boating journalist David Lockwood (now deceased 2018) Raiders ALWAYS catch hairtail. Here's hoping we can have a social in 2021. Hope you have enjoyed this report THE SCIENTIFIC DETAIL Targeted Species - Hairtail INFO FROM NSW DPI – https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/fish-species/species-list/hairtail Scientific name Trichiurus lepturus Characteristics Has a silver, ribbon-like body that ends in a thin whip-like tail. Hairtail have large, slashing teeth that should be avoided. They lack both caudal and ventral fins. Hairtail can be caught all year round though they are more commonly taken during winter months. Size Hairtail grow to a maximum length of 2.5 m and approximately 5 kg in weight. Distribution Large schools are infrequently found in coastal bays and estuaries on Australia's east and west coast. Recreational fishers in NSW have traditionally caught this fish in Cowan Creek in the Hawkesbury River system just north of Sydney, with catches also recorded in Sydney Harbour and Botany Bay. Bag limit is 10
  29. 19 points
    G’day raiders, Well the title says it all. Show us the best fish you ever caught and tell us why! It doesn’t have to be a monster, nor a game fish (It can be) but just a fish you’ve always wanted to catch and what effort you put in to catch it!!! I’ll start....... As you know I love chasing snapper! On this very day I took my son out and we caught a couple of nice pannies! The wind started to kick up and it had been a long morning and the boy wanted to go home! I made the call for one more drift and made it a long one. The boy just cast out and let his soft plastic drift behind the boat. But I “just kept casting“. We were soon in zone after a fast drift. Then I get a hit that nearly rips the rod out my hand! Boom...... but no hook up, damn so I thought to tea bag the lure! Next minute, zzzzzzzz I was on, and on hard! After a good fight and landed in 6-8m of water up cones my PB snapper at 95cms! I could have given up and gone home but no, I “just kept casting”. I’ve had some very special moments when fishing from GT’s, Spanish Mackeral to Marlin but this is truly one I will never forget!!! So what’s your best capture???? cheers scratchie!!!
  30. 19 points
    Gday raiders, Headed out with the young fella this morning after @tyrone07 pulled the pin due to work. Got to the ramp and pulled up next to @Berleyguts. Quick chat and off we went. Loaded up with a few slimies and headed for the island. Hit our mark and first cast I’m on to a decent fish. Two casts later the boy loads up! Another respectable Broughton snapper. Worked the area for a while and I lost a ripper after a short fight. Changed locations and could see Baz a few hundred meters away. Set the drift and after a few casts get a screaming run. Fight the fish for 5 minutes and not far from the boat, pop!!! There goes another one! In the meantime the boy has landed a few just legal ones that are returned. We do a few more drifts in the area and landed a couple more for the box. Waved bye to baz and changed locations again to which we land a few more just legals. Then we thought we’d try one last location at the sisters to which there were bait balls everywhere! I cast in an area we call “whiskers” and sure enough I load up hard and fight this fish for sometime until it chews through the leader! Damn, I’m positive it’s whiskers! Same area, same fight and he’s done me 5 times now. Grrrr. Kept working the bait schools for a few more pannies, some bonito and another lost brut! Decided to call it quits and headed home at 30 knots. What another great day in the beautiful Port Stephens! Cheers scratchie!!!
  31. 19 points
    G’day raiders, Just a quick report. Headed out today with @back cruncher and started early around 4am. A bit sketchy heading out in the pitch dark, with smoke filled sky but we took our time and filled up on slimies! Got up to the island and began our drift. Nothing really happening and many casts and I finally managed a pannie! Do a few more drifts for no result except those bloody mutton birds trying to pick up everything we cast. So we move on and finally find a patch of fish. I loaded up to a few nice ones and Mick made a rookie error and didn’t set the hook on his chance! Moved a few more times for no result. Then on the last few drifts, Mick loads up to a screamer and doesn’t forget to set the hook this time. The lines singing and without a chance to turn its head, crunch!!! Leader on the teeth and gone! We were both pretty devastated but it was good to see Mick load up on a decent fish on soft plastics. Next step is to land the bastard! Left not long after that. Great morning out there and thanks for the day Mick! cheers scratchie!!!
  32. 19 points
    G’day raiders, I managed to sneak out this morning with the boy and headed straight to Broughton Island. Knowing the wind was going to kick up at midday, the plan was to put on as many casts as we could before 1030. Anyway, weneeded some wind for a drift and had a nice gust to push us along. I landed the first at a respectable 50cm and then the boy came up tight on a 40 model and then another. The wind kept taking us on different drifts but we kept on working and Brando came up tight again but this time out did me with a nice 55cm snaps. I decided to change sps and put on a 7inch gulp called a garlicker. Now, the last time I used one I got smoked by a monster snapper and these lures only catch big fish. As I was explaining this to my son, I pause on the line and bang zzzzzzz. This thing gave me some real stick but with a bit of teamwork onboard comes a nice 80cm plus snaps for our efforts! Called it a day after that and headed for home to beat the wind!!! A cold beer with lunch and the day just doesn’t get better than that! Cheers scratchie!!!
  33. 18 points
    Can't get much better, a grandson, early morning high tide, over cast sky, some bread for bait/burley, one hook, no sinkers or swivels, one bucket and a walk across the road to fish just after daylight, the end result, 3 nice Bream for tonight's dinner, then back home for breakfast.
  34. 18 points
    Hi Fishradiers, Been a while since i've posted. Went out wide off Sydney on Saturday with a close mate of mine, first time i've ever fished for Marlin and i managed to hook and land my first fish on my first outing. Length 2.2m - weight approx 80kg-90kg. Caught with Stella 18000 and Saltiga popping rod Kept the fish and it's getting moulded and hung in my man cave. We also caught few dollies, many were undersize but had a few keepers. All credit goes to my mate, without him i wouldn't have caught. Till next time, tight lines. Cheers, Ivan
  35. 18 points
    With a little break in the weather I scored an invite with Backcruncher and scratchie to tag along and chuck some lures around Port Stephens/ Broughton Island. From previous experiences we all knew it was going to be tough fishing with the full moon the previous evening. The first three drifts at a spot scratchie had scored fish on Friday with multiple lure changes drew a blank, couple of hits that did not feel like our target species. We moved to a spot where Mick had scored a nice red previously and we found a couple of very small rat kings but again no reds. We moved to a spot where I would consider my favourite, threw on my confidence lure a seven inch motor oil jerk shad and first drift Jeff and I both missed fish that were definitely reds. We lined up the drift again and by this stage the wind/current had shifted and could not line the boat up to where the fish seemed to be holding. Things were looking grim when Jeff made the call to do a short drift inside where we had begun. Just as we were nearing the end of the drift I got my lure in the perfect zone and it was crunched mid water with the fish peeling drag, I played it out with the tell tale signs of a good red getting its nose down in the current and using those solid tail beats after a few nervous moments I had my Pb in the boat 78cm!!!!, we were all stoked. After this we could not get the drift right so moved to one more spot where Jeff got chewed off by a solid red that had swallowed his gulp live, spewing. I would say it’s the toughest day I have had out the island but the scenery and company was world class.
  36. 18 points
    G’day raiders, Well I’m sure your all getting sick of me putting up many snapper reports but for me, it is the best time of year for them and my favourite type of angling! Today was no exception! Headed out with fellow raider @tyrone07 after @Woodsy1 pulled the pin last night due to illness.(get well champ) Anyway, conditions look promising and we headed off. Collected some live bait really easily and zoomed off to our first mark. Didn’t take long to find a few pannies and find some string pullers. Trouble was I couldn’t stop the bastards! They were taking livies, sps, bait and anything we could throw at them! Although, as soon as the wind died off, so did the bite! Had to move around several locations but I had faith I’d find them again and I sure did. Switched back to plastics with a good drift and was hitting up one after the other! Tyrone had a good tangle with a shark but I kept smacking some good fish! Started to feel a bit sorry for Tyrone as two good fish he worked hard for all day got the better of him! But to his credit he “just kept casting” except for when he was required on the net which was fairly often! The seas calmed to a glass off and the fish went to sleep! A few whales were breaching around us and it was time to head home at 30 plus knots! Overall we landed 26 legal fish, best one in the 70’s. Cracking day out and thanks for the netting Tyrone! Cheers scratchie!!!
  37. 18 points
    G’day raiders, Well, where do I start??? Firstly I spent the weekend with two of my boys on the Hawkesbury and had a ball (report to come) Then I managed to swing it with the mrs to head out with Woodsy today. (What a woman). Also got to take Jnr with us. (Thanks woodsy) Anyway, we left, I mean we left a few things. Maybe like the bungs out, maybe like jnr leaving our lunch and food at home. (One job) but we eventually left and loaded up with a few fat slimies and headed north. Got there early and began to cast. Woodsy up first and a nice 55-60 model on board. A couple of drifts and a few more fish. Moved spots and couldn’t get a good drift so went back to a different area. Well after that it was all a blur!!! Multiple hooks, singles, doubles, triples, livies going off, absolute MAGIC! Without exaggeration we would have caught over a 100 snapper between us with 90% of them legal size! A huge spangled emperor and a few Sampsonfish in the mix. Hard to call a fish of the day, Either woodsys 80cm+ snaps, Brandon’s PB snaps just short of 80 and his PB or my spango that went like the clappers! So yeah, to say it was a magic day is probably an understatement! Good on ya woodsy “beats working” Thanks for reading, cheers scratchie!!!
  38. 17 points
    Hit the mouth of Botany Bay in the yak yesterday afternoon in search of a feed of calamari. Conditions were pleasant, almost a glass out and overcast. Had a good feeling as in July they are pretty aggressive and spawning. Had three hits in 15 minutes and they were all 30cm+ hoods then things went quiet for an hour. trolled around and found a few more and two more bigger models just on dusk. Calamari on the menu over the weekend!
  39. 17 points
    Hi all, This is a fly report but there is also a bit of history. Many years ago as a birthday present I was given a beautiful NZ made 4 piece 7 weight 9 foot freshwater fly rod with a gorgeous reel (and floating line) to match. This one in fact. It was from a very good friend who was in NZ and one of my bucket list items is trout on fly rod in New Zealand. When I got back I wanted to learn about fly fishing techniques and how to properly use the rod so I booked a one day lesson with one of the Sydney based trout guides (who has passed away in the last few years). Wasn't cheap but it was a really good introduction. In the morning he went through the background and theory. A short history of fly fishing gear. Older rods to modern rods. Line weights. Knots. Leaders. Very informative. In the afternoon we went through casting basics. The roll cast. Single hauling. Double hauling. Laying the line out. Loops. All in all it was a worthwhile day and shortened the learning process dramatically. I was still pretty uncoordinated (it is very like pat head circle stomach when starting out) but I'd learned enough to practice, practice, practice. My first fish on fly (black woolly bugger) was a bass in Manly dam. I've also had nice carp in the Hunter Valley. As it was a freshwater rod I wasn't keen to use it in saltwater. Even with a good clean I'm afraid of missing a bit of salt and damaging the rod long term. I invested in a 2 piece 9 weight saltwater rod from the same NZ manufacturer - a bit of a broomstick but I like the stiffness of the rod. I found a couple of Scientific Angler reels online and got set up. Over the years I've had salmon, bonito, tailor and a few other species. I'm also looking forward to the day I hook a king on it. This outfit is a bit overgunned for some of the smaller saltwater species we have in Sydney harbour so this year I decided to invest in a 7 weight 4 piece 9 foot saltwater (stainless guides) outfit. Matched it with an excellent value ($170) reel with an insane drag and some intermediate (slow sinking) line. All up probably the most expensive outfit I own but with care it is something I could use for the rest of my life. On the odd occasion I've been chasing Luderick (Blackfish) with @Mike89. He has gone to the dark side and acquired a centrepin reel and super long rod and has also been getting very good at it due to the time he has put in to it and the assistance of other Fishraiders. I'm quite capable of catching luderick but I use a spinning outfit as it is crossover fishing for me. This winter one of my goals has been to start catching luderick on fly rod. There has been a bit of a learning curve to work out how to approach it most effectively. The flies were easy as my local tackle shop ties them and does a mixed pack (light green or dark green - see photo) but it turns out they are either floating or sinking (tied with lead line). I've also included a wet fly in the photo so you can see how well it imitates green weed. Next step was the strike indicator. I am aware of the stick on foam ones but wasn't sure how well you could move them along the line once stuck. I found some waterproof indicator line which you can tie on the line but wasn't happy with the bend it puts in the leader. Online I found some ones with an O-ring attached (green, orange, red and yellow ones in photo below). These worked pretty well. I then hopped online and found some 5mm O-rings through which I passed the indicator yarn and fastened it with braid. This is what I am currently trialing. I pass a double through the O-ring and loop it over the yarn. When I pull the line tight the O-ring doubles on itself and creates a friction lock - the strike indicator sits where it is when casting but the position of it can be easily moved by sliding it up or down the line. One of the earlier trips out with Mike to one of his secret spots where he has been consistently been catching and releasing good luderick showed me the limitations of the intermediate line as it would drag down the strike indicator after a while. I had a few touches but no conversions. At this stage I was more interested in the learning curve than results. I fortunately had a spare spool with floating line so that problem was easily solved. This weekend I picked up some cabbage weed after work as I was going to introduce another friend to the joys of chasing luderick. @Mike89 was also free to fish the lower north shore with us. So with a goal in mind and company on Saturday we all headed down to the water. I cut up the weed and Mike made up the burley. We couldn't see too many luderick in the water but had seen them in the area on earlier trips. My friend Floris had an early down but was so in the zone he missed reacting to it in time. Mike then put a few on the board. Once I was confident my friend understood the concept I set up the fly rod and started fishing. I had a strike and set the hook. A luderick of about 20cm came up out of the depths. My first luderick on fly. I hand lined it up. The hook had caught near the eye which I carefully removed and then released the fish without worrying about a photo. A little while later the strike indicator disappeared under the surface and once I struck I ended up with a really nice bend in the rod. The fish was darting back to the weeds (6lb fluoro tippet) but I managed to keep it out. I saw the fish and thought it was average but was impressed at the fight it put up. Now in my defence I had acquired some polarised, prescription, sunglasses for my topwater bream fishing with @Niall over the summer and these throw my depth perception out pretty badly although they are as sharp as. Mike and Floris were telling me it was a good fish and it wasn't till Mike netted it that I realised how good it actually was. You judge. For the record it was 43cm on fly and a personal best (bait and lure). Out of curiosity I looked at the lure records on Fishraider and this one would put me in equal second place behind the record 47cm luderick on lure. I'm looking forward to doing more of this style of fishing over the winter. On a side note Mike has seen multiple times how effective it is to fish the weed flies even on the centrepin and spinning outfits. You still burley up but it saves the hassle of rebaiting the hook every time the luderick nibbles away at the weed on your hook. You can combine two flies by having a weighted fly at the bottom and a floating fly a little further up the line. He has also been using very small split shot sinkers to get the weed flies down into the water column. Thanks for reading. Derek
  40. 17 points
    One of our fishraider members nominated our well known moderator Scratchie to become a guest on a podcast. Jeff jumped at the chance to help others (as usual) and the episode was recorded last week and posted up this morning. The interviewer is Greg "Doc Lures" Vinall aquatic scientist and PhD and he was delighted to interview Jeff on Broughton Island Snapper Introducing The Australian Lure Fishing Podcast episodes ......... OBJECTIVES Find and interview a seriously talented Aussie lure fisherman about how to fish for a sport fishing species they’ve mastered Extract from each of our guests the essence of their success on that species and where they think other fishermen go wrong in their quest Provide a refreshing new way to get your fill of fishing info whilst you’re in the car, at the gym, on a plane, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts Doc did not have to look very far to find a seriously talented lure fisherman who has mastered snapper fishing. Here is a fantastic podcast from our own @Scratchie CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO SCRATCHIE'S INTERVIEW Thanks very much for 35 mins of your wisdom and the great shout out to fishraider at the end
  41. 17 points
    Two thumbs up (more if I had them) to wazathefisherman for his extreme generosity. Its no secret on here that I've been searching for an Alvey, cedar spooled blackfish reel for some time to add to my collection and not only did waza come up with this reel, but he gave it to me from his own personal collection. When I say gave, I mean GAVE. I offered to pay or trade and he'd have nothing of it. Its so good to see what a tight community we have here on Raider. Thanks again Waza, you're a true legend.
  42. 17 points
    Having taken a young lad out over the weekend new to fishing who I took through the basics, flathead, bonito's and a bit of reef fishing. This had made my daughter reminisce the old days before she became so hardcore on the offshore scene, so both herself and my young lad headed out for a fun session on small fish. Soon found a patch of very hungry salmon at the back of the surf which resulted in hookup after hookup which I struggled to keep up with releasing!!! From there on we tried a few spots for squid but no luck there, possibly due to the water temp drop to 17'c inshore. We always seem to find a few dolphins along the shore line which are fun to watch for a while. Headed out to 60m water where the snapper used to be a few years ago before the jackets took over the local reefs. I dropped a micro jig, my son a baited rig and my daughter a soft plastic. The sneaky girl hooked a nice little snapper first drop, which had us all pretty excited as we haven't had much luck on them for the last 5 years. Unfortunately that was the only snapper before the jackets took everything we dropped. We moved and moved for two hours to only to find jackets ready to snip us off on our first drop. The funny thing (or not so funny really) is that these reefs no longer show signs of the marine growth on them they used to have. I wonder if the jackets have had such an effect on other species that the reefs have changed in themselves. I don't think I will waste fuel heading up that way for snapper again this year.
  43. 17 points
    bit of a belated post, caught weeks ago with all the goings on forgot to post it After 25+ years of bass fishing finally cracked the 50 went 52cm on a jig spinner and a 2.5 inch grub
  44. 17 points
    To all fishraiders, Whilst fishing is the passion that we all share, albeit a pass time, an activity or for the hunter gatherer inside us etc etc! We are currently in the middle of a global pandemic of the likes we have never seen before. I can tell you now, there are so many frustrations that we all share and for us fishos the inability to go fishing is high on the list. Although, just because the State Government has said we can still fish as a “passive exercise”. Does not mean you are entitled to hook up your boat and travel to your usual ramp to go fishing! You must stay local to your area, you must not leave your home for non essential travel and you can’t go to your holiday house! These rules are there to protect us all. Please, stay at home, look after your family, practise social distancing, use clean hygiene and just wait until we have been given the all clear and the fish will be waiting for you! Personally, I’m bored and can not wait to go fishing again BUT I look at my family and think is that the one extra trip that I take that may have a significant impact on my family???? Kind Regards, Mod team, Community Manager and all responsible fishraiders!!!
  45. 17 points
    I could never overcome seasickness, so in my younger days it was all about landbased game for me. I couldn't decide which was my most memorable between these two, a 28kg black marlin and a 70.5kg yellowfin. The marlin was the most spectacular fight I've ever had and the 'fin was the biggest fish I've ever caught from the rocks. Both were taken on 15kg line. Sorry for the crappy photos, but the pics have degraded since they taken in the mid 1980's.
  46. 17 points
    I might just have to buy a lottery ticket! All the planets must have aligned for me, there were no health issues at home and no dramas and I actually managed a fishing trip for the first time in many months... and to top it off, all went smoothly on the water and the boat and motor performed extremely well. 😂 Launched at Little Beach ramp with the wind blowing a tad more than I’d been expecting - makes for a battle launching solo. 🤔 I was out of the heads by 6am and stopped at Cabbage Tree Island to get livies. Filled the tank with slimies quite quickly then headed for Broughton Island. It was a slow run as the swells, although not big, were close together with a bit of wind chop. I tried the Sisters first, fishing with plastics and drifting a bridled slimey out the back. Tried about 3 drifts but the direction wasn’t too good, so I moved north of the island and got a better drift. Had a couple of little hits on the plastic but it was a lot of fruitless casts. I dropped a paternoster rig out the back and got a few undersized snapper. The slimey was going crazy, so there was something about. I caught a rat king on the paternoster so it might have been that. On the second drift, as I dropped the paternoster rig, something hit the bait on the way down and line screamed off. I flipped the bail arm over and line kept screaming off. It was quite a tussle but I could feel that head thump and I thought I might be onto a decent snapper, finally! As I got the fish to the boat, I realised I had a triple hookup... an undersized snapper on the top hook, a thumper on the second hook and a big assed sergeant baker on the bottom jig! The snapper went 57cm, my PB for NSW. and I was stoked! I did a few more drifts and managed one pannie but mostly undersized snapper and lost two live baits, one to a bonito and one to a small shark. I fished an inshore reef on the way home, hoping for a beakie. I found a huge school of bait and worked the area thoroughly with livies but couldn’t raise anything and turned the boat south for a bumpy ride home. Stopped for a quick flathead drift and got a nice blue spot (44cm) but mostly small ones and back to the ramp about 1. Geez, it was good to finally get out again after so long!
  47. 17 points
    G’day all, after blowing a bearing heading up to chase reds with @Scratchie @Woodsy1 and not being able to fish I finally got the boat back Monday after getting the trailer redone. Had a short shift Tuesday at work so thought I would go and chase some lizards in the local. Fishing was tough but managed approximately 8 flattys with this croc measuring in at 85cms, 1cm shy of my pb. Found we had to move to a few different spots due to wind, which we used to our advantage drifting against the tide. Big girl was released after a quick photo, caught on a 3/8tt jighead and 5 inch Berkeley paddle tail in bloodworm colour.
  48. 17 points
    At boughton with an update 85cm and 95cm and half dozen maktuna
  49. 17 points
    Left Brooklyn at 6am this morning and headed out to west head to get some live bait but no joy.... headed in further near flint and steel but no live bait anywhere.... decided to give it a miss and headed out to to sea approx 1km off the tip of box head using some cut bait bought from store and managed to catch a a decent flat head..... then head over to Barrenjoey head and got lots of flatheads but all undersize... as we drifted back towards the mouth of Hawkesbury we managed to pickup a few big slimies and with no luck out to sea we decided to try Juno point and managed to pick up a few decent flathead on the drift..... then finnaly we struck gold with a nice jewy off one of the slimy mackerels filleted Juno point... not a bad end to the day!
  50. 17 points
    G’day raiders, After a few texts back and forth for a while with @quintrex52 (Jeremy) today was the day we finally got it together and managed to get out to Broughton Island. Left little beach at 5am and hit the sisters for the first spot. First drift a couple of touch’s but no solid hook ups, so I reset the drift and not long after I came up tight to nice 55cm snaps. After a little tuition for Jeremy he was in the swing of things but no takers. I was hoping I could get him onto something in the first area but it wasn’t to be! The lack of wind wasn’t helping our cause neither was the calm ocean and lack of current but we persisted. We moved areas and begin another drift. I scored a just legal and then another that both went back. Reset the drift a little wider, found some bait and boom........ Jeremy is onto a good fish, a few words of encouragement (and don’t touch that drag) and the reel was singing! After a good tussle we see some colour and into the net it goes! A good fish going 65cm. Hi 5’s all round and another added to the esky! Well done champ, you played it well. A pb at 65cm on soft plastics at your first attempt is an awesome effort! After that, conditions got calmer and the fishing quieter so after some whale demonstrations it was time to head home! Thanks for the day mate, it was nice to meet you and I’m glad you met your goal ✅ cheers scratchie!!!
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