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Niall last won the day on January 5

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About Niall

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  • Birthday 10/16/1985

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  1. Niall

    Port Hacking

    Shame they don't appreciate the bones mate. Fish cooked one the bone beats a fillet any day of the week for me - especially as you get to hunt around for all the bits in the heads and collars. Whiting are especially good cooked whole.
  2. Hey mate. I'm no bait caster expert but a mate of mine has recently become obsessed with the BFS (Bait Finesse System) style reels and rods. This is apparently a style imported from Japan that allows you to cast extremely light lures with a bait caster. Might be worth having a look into that as well.
  3. HAHA! This scenario is all too familiar for me. The other day I was sat on the edge of the water with my legs dangling while I picked apart a giant wind-knot. Ended up giving up and cutting about 10m of braid off my spool. Dropped my braid scissors in the drink by accident, the proceeded to try and use my rod (with sugapen still attached) to retrieve the scissors. Ended up getting the lure stuck and losing it amongst the oyster covered rocks. Felt like an absolute Desmond all day until I went back at low tide the next morning and (miraculously) my lure and scissors were still there. There's a couple of trees with my sugapens still stuck in them around Blackwattle Bay as well. I guess Sugapens are so good even the trees love 'em. Glad you got something out of my post mate. Not sure how you can tell the difference between the whiting and bream hits as I've only ever caught one whiting on topwater and he nailed it first try (maybe this is common). In my experience bream will have a couple of swipes before committing 9 times out of 10. Never hurts to throw a pause in though - as far as I've heard the whiting will hit a lure on the pause no problem. Welcome to the topwater bream club mate. You'll be chasing those boils behind your lure for good now - hopefully sugapens get cheaper over time. Cheers!
  4. I'd heard from a few people that if you fish the inner west storm water drains and canals during or after a big rain you could have some fun catching bream on plastics etc. Turns out they were dead right. Headed down to Johnstons Creek this arvo right in the middle of the heaviest rain we had today. Johnstons Creek is dry at low tide and barely has any water in it unless the tide is over 1.5-1.6m. Today though, the water was pumping out of the storm water drains into the canal and the bream were feeding where the storm water met the incoming tide. I'd had some success in the past casting surface lures in the same water over the past few weeks but I'd never found the fish in this creek to be as fired up as they were today. With a small Pro Lure Yabby SP on a 1/32oz jig head I was getting bocked multiple times per cast. Mostly little baby bream but once every few casts the lure got nailed by a decent sized fish. The best I got was probably early 30's - a good fight in close quarters on 4lb line. Interesting to note that when I changed up to 6lb and a heavier jig head (the storm water was running so much it was dragging my plastics all over the place) the bream shut down. As soon as I changed back to 4lb I was getting smashed. Discerning little buggers aren't they? I didn't try that many lures as the yabbies were proving so successful, but when I (briefly) tried a gulp crabby, they shut down again. Anyway, I must have caught over a dozen bream over a 2 or so hour period. Also pretty sure I briefly jag-hooked a big mullet that ran me around a bit before getting off. I still had a big mullet size scale on my hook when I got it back in. Pretty decent arvo I reckon. Beats work. Have a crack yourselves next time it rains heavily and there's a high tide.
  5. Nice work Derek. Great to see you down there again this evening. I was probably one of the ones doing more talking than fishing 🤣 It was definitely tough fishing down there today but you've got that retrieve dialled in nicely and it's showing with the fish you're catching. Just gotta get you onto a nice 40+ model now. They're out there!
  6. Hey Dave, I don't know much about boating but I reckon if you timed your visit with the right tide and wind you could set up to drift by the right spot. If you're facing the shore you'd wanna drift along the wall to the right of the Boathouse restaurant. Otherwise it's a pretty much ideal shore based spot.
  7. Great to meet you last night Derek. Picking up a couple of new retrieves and having a good chat definitely made up for the lack of fish. I'm still wondering what smoked me just before I bumped into you guys. Apologies for the lack of hat - don't know about you but I struggle to walk past any fisho without saying hello and finding out what they're catching. Never had anyone react negatively to that. Definitely keen to be shown to ropes re: Kings from shore. Cheers!
  8. That's awesome to hear mate. Bumped into a couple of other fish raiders down at Blackwattle this arvo. It seems I've struck a chord!
  9. Thanks for reading everyone. Got this one yesterday - Was the biggest of three that I caught before I basically melted. Middle of the day, stinking hot, people everywhere and this one still couldn't resist. They're not a shy species as far as I'm concerned. Hope everyone gets onto one soon!
  10. Hi All, I've learnt a lot from this forum over the years so thought I'd share a few tips on what's been working for me when targeting Sydney Harbour bream on topwater lures. It's an extremely addictive and accessible way to fish if you live in the city. Once you've cracked the code you'll be hesitant to throw much else for bream when targeting them with lures. Most of my experience is based on my local waterway which is Blackwattle Bay / Rozelle Bay. I also have no boat or kayak so fish exclusively from the shore. The same bream rules apply for where to find them - look for structure, bait and current (pretty sure this works for all fish FYI). The foreshore along BW Bay is full of bream at all times of the tide - don't be discouraged by what time of day either. I've caught them at all times, but in a place that gets as much foot traffic as BW Bay, you'd probably be best to start on early morning / late arvo. Obviously fish when you can, don't wait for the right conditions. You'll learn stuff even when you're collecting donuts 😉 The lure I've had most success on is the classic Bassday Sugapen. I use the 58mm and the 70mm - less hits on the bigger models but they work as well. Try to stick with the clear colour ways but a darker silhouette would go well on an overcast day. Also got them on the Berkley Scumdog (cheaper) and the MMD Splash Prawn but neither of these get the same nibs as the Bassday. Whatever you choose USE SCENT! It works. I don't care what anyone says. Also beware of touching the lure after you've applied sunscreen. Bream hate sunscreen. You can change out the rear trebles for some assist hooks (make your own or get the Atomic or the Ecogear ones). Bear in mind if you change to assists on the 58mm it'll sink a bit and go sub surface more often. Keeping your rod tip up on the retrieve alleviates this mostly. Still works but it's better with a smaller no.10 Treble. The 70mm handles the assist hooks just fine but if you wanna save a couple of bucks just change down to smaller trebles. You'll want to have a light setup for this - I fish 4lb braid and 4lb leader on a 6.5 to 7.5ft 1-3kg rod and a 2500 sized reel. I don't think the fish care what brand your fishing gear is. To nail the retrieve you need a really soft tipped rod. As wippy as you can get. The retrieve seems to be the key for getting them to bite. The slow and steady method is NOT what you want. I'm finding a really erratic walk the dog retrieve with lots of pauses is what gets them interested. Wind steadily and shake your other hand until you see the lure flipping side to side really fast. Retrieve for about 2-3ft then stop suddenly. A lot of the time you'll have a boil behind the lure or a hit straight away. If the fish just has a swipe then keep twitching until he hits it. I've had bream come up 5-6 times before they smack the lure - gets the heart pumping way more than it should for a bream 😂 Another invaluable nugget of info came from this vid. Don't bother casting to the same fish or in the same spot over and over. If a fish has a look and then leaves the lure, he ain't coming back. Move another 10m away and cast somewhere else. This is part of the advantage of BW Bay and Rozelle Bay. You can walk for a good km or two along the water and cast the whole way. Keeps it interesting casting in new territory and structure all the time. Trust me 99 times out of a 100 that bream that boiled behind your lure 10 casts ago is not coming back for another enquiry. Move on. Anyway hopefully that gets a few folks started. I'd been fishing the same area with plastics for ages without a lot of success until I started doing the above. I've caught more bream in the past month on topwater than I did in the past year on plastics. Whether that says more about my fishing ability than anything else remains to be seen. Have fun ladies and gents. Seeya on the water! If you're down by the bay and see a bloke fishing with a red baseball cap it's probably me. Say hi! Niall
  11. Thanks for all the thoughtful responses fellas. It's definitely a tricky prospect getting these fish to fall for a lure. I'd imagine they've all seen a fair few Zman grubs in their time. If I go many more donuts at Blackwattle I may well resort to the bread bait option - not to disparage my bait fishing brethren 😉. Bait is just generally not my thing. I've nicked an idea for a rig off the Windsor Bait and Tackle guy on Youtube ( where I'm running an unweighted yabbie or prawn plastic on a No 1 worm hook. Casting it parallel to the wall over the rocks. I've yet to do a proper session with it but if I can be patient enough to let it sink and drift about I reckon it'll be killer - The Pro Lure yabbies look really realistic on the sink. I had a little sesh at Darling Harbour this morning and managed to pull a couple of decent ones out from under the boardwalk next to the aquarium - so much fun battling them out from all the pylons. It's a real shame you're not allowed to fish freely in the Darling Harbour (though I can understand why they won't allow it). There are some truly monstrous bream cruising around all that structure - one of the fish caught this morning had a larger one follow it that would've easily been in the late 40's possibly 50's. I understand the waters of Darling Harbour and Cockle Bay are open to fish from a boat. If anyone on here ever heads in there for a light tackle bream session from their boat, I'll happily pay for lunch and buy all the beers if I can tag along. Thanks again lads, Niall
  12. I've recently moved to the Forest Lodge area and am within walking distance on Blackwattle Bay - Been trying to fish the bay for a few trips now without much success. It seems the bream down there are plentiful but extremely wary and I'm having a fair bit of difficulty cracking the code to getting them on lures. The past week of very high tides has seen them grouped up in large numbers all along the wall from Bridge Road up to the point where the bay turns toward Rozelle. I've been mainly fishing with plastics - ultralight leader (6lb max), Zman curlytails, Slimswimz and some unweighted Pro Lure yabbies. Mostly casting parallel to the wall and just past it where the oyster-covered rocks meet the weed and mud. I've managed a few little guys but haven't picked up much of a pattern yet. Anyone got any advice on how to crack this code? Apart from "get a boat" and "use bait?"
  13. Thanks for the replies everyone. I guess it's a style/culture thing as well as a practical thing. Seems like it would take a little bit of the enjoyment out of it though. Cheers
  14. So I've been watching a bit of American bass fishing on youtube lately and I've never been able to figure out why they - 1. Strike soooooo hard on the fish 2. Fish seemingly full-locked drag at all times and water-ski every fish in as quick as possible Do large-mouth bass have concrete mouths? I suspect the strike might be something to do with how they rig plastics on a weedless hook with the hook-tip buried in the plastic. You'd need a fair old strike on that rig. Any Americans on here? What's the deal guys?
  15. Hey Mate, I stayed at Mungo Brush Campground / Bombay Broadwater with my mrs a few weeks ago and had a great session one day catching nothing but big fish over the course of about an hour or so. Two big flathead over 60 and three big bream all over 30. On the first day I'd struck out throwing blades and soft vibes around - I'd spent most of the session cleaning grass and weed off the lures. These were pretty small lures as well - I figured that was my best shot at the time. That night though, just on last few minutes of light, I convinced the mrs to let me have a couple of throws to see if my gold Double Clutch would manage in the grassy bottom. Second cast and HWABAM! Something massive grabs the lure and takes a big run. I fought it for a few more seconds and POP - lure and fish gone. I didn't sleep much that night. Next day I tied on the only other gold lure I had - a shallow diving trout sort of pattern and profile with mainly gold and some white. It was also about 1200mm with big hooks. This didn't deter the fish at all and, if anything, I think they were chasing it down. I found ripping the lure through the water really fast between 1-2 second pauses worked best. I've been wondering ever since if it was a fluke because all other reports say it's extremely average. See if you can prove it wasn't mate. They're in there. In short my advice would be - 1. Big Lures, preferably gold 2. Long casts - aided by the bigger, heavier lure. 3. Fast retrieve 4. Stay off the bottom. Go for shallow diving lures. Good luck, Bro! PM me if it's worth a trip back!