fragmeister

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Everything posted by fragmeister

  1. Nor worries @kingie chaser- I am sure you are a very experienced chef but I guess it all boils down ( or is that fries down!) to individual preference. If someone gave me the best thick, soft chips in the world I probably wouldn't like them! There are so many ways to make chips and my method only works for people who want a no fuss thin and crunchy chip that stays crunchy for a long time. Happy for you to make me some chips one day and put them to the test! Cheers Jim
  2. Tried all that @kingie chaser but it is still hit or miss in my experience. I think the secret is the fozen chips. It stops the inside overcooking so you can get enough crisp of the outside of the chip. Give it a try ... its a 6 - 8 minute job straight out of the deep freezer and its as good a result ( and more consistent) as I have ever got using a blancing/double fry method. Cheers Jim
  3. Hi Raiders, It has been so long since I posted, so long since I have been fishing. The whole COVID thing has meant that I have to be more involved in my business at a time when I was hoping to retire. Ah well. $H1t Happens! What I wanted to share with you may well not be any big secret, but it sure is news to this little black duck! It's not a monumental discovery... but it matters to me and I suspect for many of you, it does too. So here it is... I have struggled with getting a good chip for many years. I've tried all the techniques... Super fresh potatoes, soaking them in salty water to draw out the moisture, double frying them, tripple frying them, using diffrent oils, different temperatures ,drying them out in my air fryer before frying, blah blah, fricken' blah. But the results were always inconsistent. Sometimes they were great, sometimes they were soggy ( some like them like that but I don't!), sometimes they were nice and crisp but only for a few minutes. Really, should it be this difficult! All I want is a decent chip! But then , I stumbled on a consistent approach to producing my perfect and long lasting crunchy chip... My local chicken shop serves great chips so I asked them for help. They sold me a 3 kg bag of pre cut frozed chips for $15 bucks and told me to chuck them in the fryer frozen and fry them in canola oil at maximum temperature until they were golden brown. ( they said my choice of peanut oil was good but too expensive for them). In their industrial fryer, that was only 4 minutes of cooking time but in my home fryer it was more like 8 minutes and you have to do it in small batches otherwise the frozen chips just drag the temerature down too much and that mucks up the final result. The result is a cripsy golden brown chip that stays crispy even until it gets cold. Every single time! No more sourcing the right potato, no more peeling, soaking, drying out and molly codling the bloody things. I'm in heaven! I hope this helps others in the quest for a great chip to go with the fish you are hopefully catching. Cheers Jim
  4. 8 Days! thast pretty quick Frank! Looking forward to some interesting projects. Cheers Jim
  5. Thanks for the post Wazza, Brings back memories from my land based days in Coal & Candle Creek- certainly not as challenging as your experience... The car was close by for shelter from the rain and you could watch your glow sticks from the relative comfort of the front seat with the heater on! They are a great fish and reading your account just makes me keen to go out and catch one again. Cheers Jim
  6. Good response. If you are mainly talking about deeper water.... If you picture a running sinker rig on the way straight down to the bottom in say 30 meters or more of water, the sinker will be leading the show and the baits will be swirling around fouling up the whole rig. Your running sinker wont be a running sinker any more. Running sinkers are best for static baits where the fish can take some line out through the sinker to give them time to swallow the bait. This is not to say that some don't fish quite successfully using running sinkers but I suspect they cast back a long way to reduce the effect of the deep water. Its a little awkward I think casting heavy sinker back 30 meters from a boat. Paternoster is the go for my money. Cheers Jim
  7. Hi Raiders, My wife's original qualification was a microbiologist. Most biologists , for those who are unaware, process endless amounts of urine, blood and faeces samples looking for signs of things that shouldn't be there. Some of this is under a microscope and others using some medium or other indicator. This earlier part of her life taught her some things about personal hygiene that have stuck with her all her life with the effect that she virtually never gets sick in spite of many occasions where our entire family had a cold or flu or what ever. Her time in the lab taught her to wash her hands regularly with soap and water singing happy birthday twice as she does it, she doesn't absent mindedly touch her face or for that matter any surface like hand rails or toilet seats or door handles if she can avoid it. If she does, she washes her hands immediately. She is by no means paranoid. I don't think she gives it much thought at all, its just that the early training made it all second nature to do it because in the lab you could come in contact with some nasty stuff. My nurse daughter is much the same now (after her training) but was much more likely to get sick before. The message for me is that washing your hands and not touching your face or any surface you can avoid is the is the most important thing you can do. The problem is that it is not second nature to most of us so social distancing rules have to be applied to limit exposure. This social distancing is effective not because the 1.5 meters stops transmission through the air as some would think. Unless someone is coughing or sneezing in your face it is not likely that you will get infected through the air. Social distancing works because if we are apart we can't touch each other or the surfaces we may both touch and pick up the virus that way. I went through the mental process of going a boat trip to see how many surfaces I would touch after leaving home and here is the list. The petrol pump, The coffee cups, the coffee machine buttons, the fridge door, the hot food doors, pay for the food, ice machine door, the hand rails at the boat ramp wharf where I tie the boat off, the same rails when I come back after a fish, the toilet door at the ramp, the fish cleaning hose and tap , the garbage bin lid. I could prepare better I guess but it does demonstrate how many things you touch even on a simple boat trip. Stay safe. Jim
  8. This is my favourite catch mainly because it involved a few challenges. It was caught while slow trolling a live yakka at 12 mile reef. My 5.8 meter Quintrex is only really suitable for going outside on good days so to get out there is a rare enough event anyway. This fish was quite a challenge and of course you are never sure who well they are hooked so I played the fish for perhaps 15 minutes as it stayed down deep. When it came to the surface it made a few jumps and lit up iridescent blue with its fins raised... very spectacular and the fish in the photo doesn't do it justice. Getting a gaff in the fish single handed was a challenge so it was a great relief when I had it boated. By far the best dollie I have caught and it fed the family for a few months Cheers Jim
  9. My Dad taught me to fish when I was very about 5. I recall pulling a chair on to the verandah on Saturdays when he worked up until lunch so I could see when he got home because that meant we would be off to Gunnamatta Bay wharf for a fish into the early evening. I think I sat there for hours impatiently waiting and the excitement never wore off. He had a German mate who paid me a penny for the yakkas or slimies I caught at the wharf. Get paid to catch fish.. bargain! I remember him catching jewies from that wharf that were longer than me at the time! I remember being bitterly disappointed when they went on night fishing trips and I couldn't go. I think I told mum I had to go because they needed me to catch the live baits! She didn't buy it ... and not the sulking 5 year old either! When I was still only 12 or 13 dad often left me overnight at the Lugaro Street Wharf to fish until the morning ( not sure what mum thought about that! You certainly wouldn't do that these days! That wharf ( gone now) was an absolute gem in those days. Right on a narrow channel with weed beds in close and a sand bank over the channel in casting distance you could catch the limit of squid and bream in a session plus the odd John Dory, jewie and flathead in between. From time to time schools of tailor would appear and a frantic session would follow. I think many of my pb's came from that wharf. I had three brothers and in some way we all connected with dad but my thing with him was a love of fishing. Great memories. Cheers Jim
  10. That's a nice touch Jeff. You set a great example. Cheers Jim
  11. I have a few including a cedar spool job but here is the latest Christmas present... ... I ordered this when I though Alvey were going under but now it seems the rush of orders and a little restructuring has revived them indefinitely. Cheers Jim
  12. fragmeister

    Rose bay

    I bit late since you are probably already well into the trip but drifting in 30 - 40 meters of water off Rose Bay will almost always get you a feed of Bluespots as my son can testify to.
  13. Thanks Scratchie. I don’t know how I survived this last 6 months without the stress relief! my wife reckons I have been easy to get on with though (not!) Cheers Jim
  14. Thanks all. It was great to be back on the water but I am certainly out of condition for a 3 am start after 3 hours sleep! The drift was north to south Blaxland. Correct Yowie, they were red spots. The foot was a little tender - all that lateral movement I guess, keeping balance in the swell. I settled down last night for a feed of deep-fried flathead and double cooked chips... bloody beautiful! Oh, and a few quiet ales. Funny thing, I didn't seem to feel any pain after that! BTW, I didn't mention earlier that I have changed my flathead bottom bouncing strategy a little. Through the entire drift, I will be getting bites. I believe most of those bites are either Red Spot Whiting or small Flathead. With one rod in the rod holder further out back and the other in my hand in closer, I will feel every bite in the handheld rod and strike at many bites which of course are often too small to hook up. Eventually, I will strike at a more serious bite and it will be a decent Bluespot. Almost immediately I would hook up on the rod in the rod holder which ofcourse arrives at the patch of fish a little later. So, basically, my strategy is that as long as I don't start the drift too far away from the patch of Blue Spots I leave both rods in the rod holders and stop interfering. There will be plenty of bait still on the hook by the time I am over the right patch of fish and the Bluespots will hook themselves. This saves the effort of striking at small fish, winding up a little way to see if the fish is on, letting it back down again and effectively taking it out of the bite zone. Not a lot of finesse but I think it is more effective to let the fish do the work for you. I am sure this will be a familiar strategy for many but for those who like me can tend to over-manage the rods this may be of value. It is certainly true that I will catch more fish with a rod held in the hand but they will be species and sizes I don't want. We have had a few discussions on bottom bouncing in this forum... So I am interested in how many of you would use a less managed rod holder approach and how many want to keep the rod in hand? Cheers Jim
  15. Hi Raiders, It was my first trip since the foot surgery and I didn't want to overdo it so I decided to hit the Blue Spotted Flathead off Rosa Gully, hoping to get a feed in a few hours. The swell and the wind were not as predicted and the combination of the two plus the reflected waves off the shore made it a little bumpy. I started a drift in about 35 meters of water straight off Rosa Gully and I had a lot of small bites for the first part of the drift. I later discovered (by jagging a few by accident) that they were whiting. After a while, I hit a patch of flathead and hooked up two on the paternoster rig. The baits went straight back down and up came another two. I repeated the drift a couple of time more and reached my bag limit. I spent a few hours exploring and went home early. Good to be back on the water!
  16. Great photos Frank. The middle one of the fireworks is a cracker ( if you'll excuse the pun)
  17. Geat post and great fish. The small head of these fish makes me wonder what evolutionary advantage they exploited. Cavernous mouth Murray Cod have their strategy but obviously, Golden Perch have a different one in mind. Cheers Jim
  18. That's the strategy! Pity about the rod. I love the feel and weight of graphite but I am way too clumsy to make them last. Cheers Jim
  19. Nice in depth report - I enjoyed reading it. Cheers Jim
  20. That's a great Gemmie Basil,
  21. I'd be taking the 113 cm measurement Basil! Great fish BTW Cheers Jim
  22. I guess I haven't been paying enough attention! For the best part of 3 years I have been riding the bike track on that section of the river to and from work and never spotted a boil... I am at a loss to explain it... perhaps the ferry traffic kills the activity during the week. Thanks for the replies boys. Cheers Jim
  23. Hi Raiders, I was at the Armory Wharf Cafe on Sunday and I saw a flock of Shags flying in formation heading upriver. There were about 50 of them. I don't recall ever seeing Shags in flocks before or at least none that big. I thought that was very unusual and wondered where they might be going. 5 minutes later they were back drifting on the outgoing tide and feeding on either baitfish or the leftovers of whatever pelagics were creating all the surface activity. My best guess would be a school of tailor or perhaps salmon. Not overly large based on the surface splashes. This was a long way upriver ( arrow on map below) and I have never seen surface action this far up . I have a seen a little action just east of the Gladesville bridge in recent years ( crosses on map) but in hundreds of boat trips from and to the Ermington Boat ramp I have never seen anything in that stretch between Gladesville and Silverwater bridges. Funny thing was the Shags seemed to know about it... not sure how they did that from 2 meters above the water a few kilometres away. Anyway, probably a good sign. Anyone seen any serious activity up the river this time of year? Cheers Jim
  24. Never tired of seeing these reports Jeff. You certainly are the gun snapper man. keep the reports coming. cheers jim