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Everything posted by drc2076

  1. Thanks for the company mate. Was a cracker of a morning and nice to see the lake producing some quality fish. Cheers. D.
  2. With a break in the weather (no torrential rain at least) and spousal dispensation I decided to head to my usual Pittwater location on Sunday to fish the run in tide from 4pm towards sunset and see what was around. A trip a few weeks ago suggested that things were starting to liven up in the estuaries and I was keen to see if warmer conditions together with recent rains had helped to stir things up. For the gear junkies I was fishing with my usual setup for bait fishing from a jetty: 9ft Shimano raider 7kg rod, Daiwa TD Sol III 3000D, 12lb power pro braid, 8lb leader. Bait was salted pillies and endeavour prawns. Casting unweighted with a strong southerly at my back I was getting better than usual cast distance. Second cast and I was into the trevally with a good 33cm specimen in the bucket (this was a catch your dinner session btw). A few pinkies later (as always) and I’m onto another nice trevally. I’m steering it in taking care to keep the rod out in case it makes a run for the pylons and just as I’m about to lift it out a large flathead emerges from the depths beneath the jetty and takes a swipe at the trevally. A bit ambitious considering the trev would have been around 30cm. I leave the trev in the water to watch the flattie keep swiping and then somehow like a bizarre aquatic magic trick the trevally is off the hook (only a small No 4 mustad baitholder) and the flattie is on. But it must have engulfed the hook as it takes a run for the bottom and one headshake later I’m busted off. Disappointing but not unexpected. Oh well. Re-rig and back out. About 15 minutes later I’m on to another trevally. Again as I’m bringing it in the same flattie emerges and takes a swipe at it. This time I land the trev and decide that if the flattie is hanging around under the wharf I’m going to go after it. I change up to 12lb leader and throw out the bait with a slow retrieve into the zone the flattie keeps coming out of. First cast, nothing. Second cast and the flattie jumps on! After a few runs I have him close to the jetty and the net in the water when it dives and again busts me off. Re-rig, this time with a long shank hook, and go again. After half an hour of working the flattie zone there are no more touches. I decide my chance to land the flattie is gone so I start casting out further again. More pinkies and trevs. By 6:30 I’ve got a feed of trevally in the bucket. I’m feeling only moderately pleased. The thought of that big flattie that got away twice is still on my mind. I finally run out of prawns and switch over to pillies. Cast out and something jumps on. Something heavy. Not running like a trevally. Get it a bit closer and I spy it in the water and bugger me it’s that flathead again. This time pinned through the lip with a long shank hook. No escape this time. After a few heavy runs he’s into the net and up onto the wharf. 61cm. Very nice. I release a couple of the trevs because the flattie is now going to be my special guest at dinner. But here’s the question: was it the same flattie each time or was I just into a school of big ones? I saw it three times before I landed it and each time it looked about the same size in the water. Either way, it made for a great ending to the day and hopefully a good omen for the season to come. Tight lines.
  3. Last month I told the story of a kayak trip to Narrabeen lake, fishing for flatties on hardbodies and soft plastics. On that occasion I’d forgotten my landing net and this oversight came back to haunt me when I hooked a significant croc and tried to bring him/her up onto the yak. The minute the head breached the surface massive head shakes saw the flathead wear through the 12lb leader and escape to the depths. My stupidity served as a great lesson and a number of raiders offered their suggestions for what I should have done differently, specifically I should have paddled to the shallows and beached the flathead. Fast forward to yesterday, fishing a jetty in Pittwater around sunset on the run in tide. Chasing bream with pillies suspended under an iso float I hooked a large flattie, this time on 8lb leader. Once again no landing net and the jetty was a good metre above the water line. This time I resisted the rush of blood to try and lift the fish out of the water and instead walked slowly back along the length of the jetty to the beach. The flathead meekly came along until we reached the shallows only a few feet from shore. In the shallow water it figured out what was going on and started thrashing its head. A quick final tug on the line brought the fish far enough onto the beach just as the leader finally parted. The fish was now only in a couple of inches of water and with a swipe with my foot (wearing shoes fortunately) I flicked it further up on to the sand so I could subdue it without getting spiked. Not the whopper I lost in Narrabeen but at 54cm a respectable substitute. Lesson learned. Thanks to all the raiders whose advice made landing this fish possible. Tight lines.
  4. Cheers BN. Keen to get back out there but the weather forecast this week isn’t looking promising for a return engagement too soon.
  5. Great report. An underrated spot under that bridge. Spent many hours fishing from the old bridge (years prior to demolition) as a kid. Great memories. Cheers.
  6. Back of the lake works best for me. Anywhere west of pipe clay point or Bilarong Reserve. Look for sand flats with adjacent weed beds. Google earth is a great way to pinpoint target areas in advance. Plastics and hard bodies both work well, though the later can be a pain if the zone you’re fishing is especially weedy.
  7. That’s fishing. Will load up on some more sugar deeps and head back tp try again.
  8. Cheers Oldfella. You’re right. If I hadn’t had the blood rush to the head I should have thought of that. Tricky terrain but a better option than what I tried. Live and learn.
  9. Beautiful afternoon yesterday so decided to take the kayak out to Narrabeen lake and see what might be around. Halfway there I realised I’d left my landing net at home. Debated whether to turn around and decided against it. Didn’t expect to meet anything I couldn’t skull drag into the yak. Big mistake. Launched at the back of the lake and headed off to some sand flats where I’d had success in the past. As it can be a weedy environment I started out with a gulp nemesis on a 1/8 oz jig head. On the third cast the plastic was near the surface on the retrieve. About to lift it out of the water to recast. A croc followed it up and grabbed it at the surface and took off. The damn thing actually started to pull the freaking kayak! Took about 5 minutes to subdue. Got him/her to the surface. Well hooked. Wasn’t going to shake it. Without a net I waited for it to tire out a bit. Finally I went to lift it out by grabbing the leader. The leader must have rubbed against its mouth and the line gave way just above the jig head. What followed was language unfit for women and children. My stupid mistake with the landing net had almost certainly cost me a PB flathead. A few minutes later a second big one did me as well. I’d switched to a sugar deep 70F. Never got to see this one. Massive head shakes and pulled a fair bit of drag. But it must have swallowed the lure and the leader parted again. $25 gone. A while later a third one followed the lure up again. Took a swipe and missed. Massive bow wave. After all that (and a second lost sugar deep) I hooked a baby flattie, so at least no donut. A frustrating day but I’m itching to get back to that spot with my landing net and get after them again! Tight lines.
  10. Sydney really is the most amazing estuary system. It’s huge! Urban sprawl and massive tracts of bushland side by side. So much to explore if you have the time and inclination. This spot was a product of deductive reasoning, google earth and good old fashioned shoe leather.
  11. Needed a pick me up this afternoon so decided to visit a spot that a mate had scoped out a while back and recommended unreservedly. I knew it was a serious bush walk in so decided to pack as light as possible and carry only as much as I’d be comfortable carrying back out again. So it was my light bream outfit and half a pack of salted pillies. Mental note, also bring water next time. Arrived just after 3pm and with the exception of a couple of curious bush walkers had the place to myself. Bliss. 12lb braid and leader, unweighted pillie cube onto a number 4 long shank bait holder hook and wait. As always, the first fish on the scene were baby snapper. Then came the baby bream. And then all hell broke loose. Over the next 30 minutes landed 4 bream all over 30cm and had another bigger one bust me off around an oyster encrusted pylon. It was a catch and release day for me so all went back into the drink. After 5pm things had quietened down. The baby snapper were back, along with baby tailor and a few yakkas into the bargain. By 6pm I was thinking about calling it a day, and a good day at that. And then the big boys arrived. Something picked up the pillie and took off like a bat out of hell. Managed to get it close to the jetty and saw it was a rat king. Once near the jetty the bastard took off straight under it and I was doomed. Ran around a pylon and the line parted. Holy crap! First time ever for me hooking a king. Round about now bait starting busting up about 20 metres in front of me. Threw my trusty pillie as close as I could get it. Hit! Another powerful run. Got the fish close again. This time a good size bonito. Under the damn jetty again and the inevitable. I was starting to come to the conclusion that my outfit just didn’t have the horsepower to get these buggers under control. It was starting to get dark, but undaunted I decided to stick with it until I’d exhausted my rapidly diminishing pillie supply. And you wouldn’t believe it, another big run. Another rat king. Another bust off. Well, by now it was pretty clear I’d brought a knife to a gun fight. By 7:30 the pillies were finished. Packed it up and the long hike out began. A fantastic afternoon. I’ll be returning soon with some heavier artillery for the big boys. Tight lines.
  12. Best of luck! I've certainly had more success with plastics than with hard bodies but nothing in the 1m range! I'm liking hard bodies at the moment as they cast like a bullet and it gives me the opportunity to wade sand flat shallows on a run out tide which is a pretty relaxing and enjoyable way to fish.
  13. Cheers. Will definitely look at Wimbledon Ave as an alternate spot. Currently saving up for a sounder. One thing at a time though, have pretty much exhausted my fishing gear budget for the year! I hope to see you on the lake. Also keen to get into Pittwater (any launching tips) but waiting for this heatwave to pass by before I tackle it.
  14. Sadly true. That and a 30 minute drive to my nearest beach. ☹️
  15. Split ring pincette arrived in the post today. Thanks all! Life is now so much easier!
  16. Great advice. Sourced and ordered. Many thanks.
  17. Fantastic. You've just single handedly saved my eyesight and sanity. Many thanks!
  18. Haha. The problem is I haven't lived in the council area for 20 years!
  19. The split ring is too small for regular split ring pliers. Need some sort of micro tool. Does such a thing exist?
  20. Changed out the trebles this morning. There's got to be an easier way! Between fat thumbs and old eyes it was quite the ordeal. Finally got the last treble replaced and felt like running around the house looking for someone to high five. No takers. ? Might just go to a tackle shop in future and ask them to do it. Happy to pay. Life's too short to experience that degree of frustration on a regular basis.
  21. Undertook my first serious attempt to catch flathead on hardbody lures this afternoon. Thought I spied a break in the weather and decided to hit the sand flats at the southern end of Pittwater. My weapon of choice was a 90mm Daiwa double clutch. Overall it turned out to be a productive session. Started quite slowly, mainly pulling in weed. Hard bodies do seem more prone to weed collection than SPs. Soon I was getting amongst baby snapper. No keepers but fun to hook up and know that I wasn't on a donut for the trip. My weather forecasting skills proved to be rubbish and soon the heavens opened. It seemed to bring the fish on. A big hit near my feet (dropped) followed by a 37cm and a 49cm flathead over the next 30mins. Released the little one and kept the big one for dinner. With no end in sight to the rain decided to clean the fish (happy pelicans) and head home. A good little session. Can recommend the lure. My one criticism would be that the trebles are a little on the weak side. I had read this and it proved to be true with the larger flattie bending the hooks a little. Will replace them in due course with some owner trebles I have stored away someplace. Tight lines.
  22. As a land based guy I’ve long watched kayak fisherman with a degree of longing bordering on unhealthy. Other family expenses and circumstances have meant this was likely to remain an unfulfilled dream for the foreseeable future. On the Central Coast visiting family about a month ago I found myself with a few hours free and on a whim went browsing in a nearby kayak shop with my wife. When I eye off new toys I can usually interpret her body language pretty accurately and on this day I wasn’t getting the “you must be joking” vibe. When the salesman introduced me to a factory second Cobra Marauder that had been knocked down to well under $1000 she turned to me and said, “you’ve always wanted one, why don’t you just buy it.” I can usually take a hint and I decided to take this one with both hands. Before the end of the afternoon we were headed back down the freeway with a 4.3m fishing kayak strapped to the roof racks. I soon discovered that owning a kayak and having the time and conditions to facilitate getting it out on the water are two entirely different things. One car, two teenage kids, busy weekends and rubbish weather all conspired to keep my kayak in the backyard awaiting the moment. Finally, last Sunday it arrived. Benign weather conditions were forecast for the morning so I strapped the kayak onto the racks late Saturday night, loaded my gear into the back and waited for the moment. I was actually a little nervous. I’d built this up in my mind over such a long time it’d be crushing if the whole experience sucked. My goal was modest for the first outing and my primary purpose for the day was really a glorified gear test. I'd never been in a kayak before in my life so everything was new to me. First test was loading and unloading the kayak solo. It's a heavy bugger so this was a key obstacle I needed to solve. I’d bought a kayak loader with a frame and wheels which attaches to roof racks and extends at the rear of the car to enable one man loading and unloading. Success. Hurdle one overcome. Test location was Middle Creek Reserve at the rear of Narrabeen lake. I arrived around 6:30am and the place was already filling up. Joggers, paddlers, walkers and other kayakers. Reminded me how much summer on the northern beaches can be a pain for fishing, not to mention getting gouged by Northern Beaches Council for parking. I really need to find myself one of those damn stickers! Anyway, got the kayak off the roof and loaded the gear. I rigged two rods. One for flicking plastics the other for trolling a larger plastic swimbait. Took me until nearly 7am to get on the water. It's a heavy kayak and took a while to find the rhythm of paddling. Already the NE breeze was puffing up. The yak didn’t cut through the water super smoothly and it was hard going at first for an old geezer like me! Sent out the trolling swimbait and headed over towards Deep Creek where there was already a tinny and another kayak fishing. Figured they might know something I didn't. No touches on the troll so started flicking a squidgee on my light outfit. A few casts and then a hit. It was a fairly soft hit. Thought maybe a small flattie or bream. As I started bringing it in the fish woke up and suddenly realised I had something decent. Got him alongside the yak for a first look. Very murky water. First guess around 50cm. Every time I had him near the net he'd take another run. Took a good 5 minutes to get him under control and get the net under him. Netted him. Too big for the net. Jeez. Made a mental note to bring my bigger net next time. Finally got the lip grips on and took him out. Now I'm thinking mid 50s. Into the keeper net he went. Kept paddling, trolling and flicking SPs for another couple of hours. The wind had really started to gust and the lake was getting packed with kayaks, SUPs, and people racing noisy little model speed boats. Decided to head in around 9:45am and call it a successful morning. Measured the fish on the beach and he came in at 57cm. A new PB for me. Also discovered it's a lot more involved than land based when you decide to call it a day. Get all the gear off the kayak and into the car, clean the fish, load the kayak, strap it down, etc. Exhausted, sweaty and borderline dehydrated, you still couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I won't get selected for any Olympic tryouts for kayaking that's for sure, but it only has to give me access to spots I couldn't get to otherwise and on that score it succeeded. Looking forward to free time over the upcoming Xmas break and to adventures farther afield. Tight lines.
  23. Grew up on the central coast so I get around a bit to a few old land based haunts when time and family visits permit. Love it all really. In the summer Wamberal and North Entrance would be my go to beaches. Putty and Tallow can also be good. In the cooler months I'd enjoy wash fishing for drummer at Norah Head and Avoca (though usually too crowded these days) or chasing luderick around the Entrance. I'll also happily wade the sand flats at the Entrance, Saratoga, Hardys Bay, Umina and Patonga in search of flatties. If I'm feeling lucky I've known the sailing club, the Gosford railway bridge and the Punt bridge at East Gosford to produce decent fish on occasion. Makes me feel a bit nostalgic! Being a bit time poor I don't get up as much as I'd like so the northern beaches and Pittwater are my more usual locations these days.
  24. Cheers Coastie. As the weather warms and the beach crowds in Sydney grow I'll be relocating my beach fishing to central coast beaches. Always enjoy the extra elbow room.