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Found 10 results

  1. Went out very early this morning to try and get a session in before work and before the wind came up. I launched about 5am and the wind was already about 10 knots at the Blackwall boat ramp. I hightailed it out past Box Head - the forecast swell was very low so I wanted to see if I could drift for flatties or if the wind was going to be too much. Swell was indeed negligible. The wind was not, however. Because it was an offshore wind and West Reef is on my way to the mark I was heading for I cut the motor just short of West Reef with a view to letting the wind drift me over it. I put a couple of baits rods down. I landed a Sgt Baker and had a squid follow the bait up on the other rod. Normally I would have had a squid jig rigged up already on another rod, but not today. In a pre-work session I always try to avoid re-rigging as it just eats into fishing time. I hooked into something else as well. It did not feel big but it was crafty and it managed to cut me off on the reef. Not bad for one drift over the reef, but I wanted to stick to my plan so I headed further out to a bit past the 40m mark to a spot that has produced good flatties recently. I changed up the sinker and dropped baits down. Even with the drogue out I was drifting quite quickly so I decided to just fish one rod, keep it in hand and open the bail arm if it was coming off the bottom. This paid off as I quickly hooked up and could tell it was a decent fish. I worked it up and and netted a flattie around the low 50s mark. Unfortuantely the wind was just picking up though and I sensed this was going to be a hiding to nothing so I decided to change tactics. I headed in a bit to around the 30m mark and dropped on a spot I had marked in the sounder. I managed to land and release a small squire and undersized flattie, but the drift was still too quick to keep the baits down. I wound up and headed even closer in. Because the wind was offshore I decided to nose in just outside Box Head and let it drift be back out over the drop off. This proved a good tactic as it was a bit sheltered so the drift was slower. I not only could keep baits down, but I could even downsize the sinker. Then the rod loaded up and I struck and had a solid hookup. And it ran - peeling line off my fairly light gear I use for flatties. I could feel definite head shakes and was wondering - could this be the big snapper that had been eluding me? It was not a bad fight, but of line lost, regained and lost again. But then I saw colour and knew it was not a snapper, but a gummy shark! Not what I was after, but I'll take that any day of the week! By now it was time to head in so I dispatched the gummy, wound up and headed for home. Glad I did, too because by the time I got back to the ramp the wind had picked up even further. Only a couple of hours on the water and came home with a nice flattie and a gummy for the table. The Gummy was a first for me and measured in just under 97cm. Great way to start the day.
  2. I headed out early this morning with @antonywardle to chase some flatties off shore. When we had the central coast Fish Raider lunch the other day ant was telling me that he had gotten pretty good at the flatties offshore. He was not kidding! We launched just after 6am from Woy Woy and made our way out of the heads and into Broken Bay. We started drifting in about 50-55m of water. First 10 mins or so were fairly quiet. Then mayhem! After I pulled in the first couple on pilles we hit a patch of flatties. We were both using two rods and went through a period where we could barely rebait one rod without the other going off. By nine we had 12 keepers between us and had both several undersize or just legal fish go. Ant also pulled up a few whiting as well - I think about 5 all told through the morning. By this time we were running out of "the good pillies" and were into some prawns and some very manky pillies that had been refrozen and were pretty awful. But we were still catching fish but it took a bit longer to get the remaining ones. We repositioned and worked through the remaining bait and I even tried out my worst ever lures just for a laugh. I was picking they would catch nothing. Ant thought I might get a jacket. Surprisingly we were both wrong with my two biggest flatties (both over 40cm) falling to my $5 squid lures! Having said that Ant landed the two biggest fish of the day. Mine ranged from about 35 to 45 cm. But we both bagged out - with me pulling up my 10th just as the bait ran out. This was my first time I've ever bagged out so was pretty happy. We headed in about noon and on the way back in I spotted a whale breaching and Ant killed the motor. As we slowed it arched gracefully, flicked its tail up and disappeared. What a great finish to a top session. Everyone one at home was dying for fish tacos - so we had a good feed and could give some fillets to the elderly couple across the street. And there was still enough left to vac pac some for later. A great day.
  3. I went out yesterday with a friend of mine Edgar who came up from Sydney. He wanted to try the off-shore flathead fishing I've been doing a bit of lately. Conditions were ok but not great but we decided to give it a try. We headed out not too early at about 7. We stopped for a drop over the bottles on the way out the flathead grounds, but there was not much on the sonar and we did not get a touch so we moved on. When we got out to about 46m we dropped the lines down for flatties and were quickly rewarded with miniature versions of them. I also pulled in a slimy mackerel that went back down as a livie. After an hour or so we'd only landed undersized flathead and had reached the end of our drift. The swell was coming up so we decided to duck inside the heads and change tactics. We pulled in behind one on the rocky headlands inside Box Head and dropped anchor. I had decided that we might be able to get some fun happening if we stopped drifting for flatties and got a good burly trail going. I was thinking it should bring in yakkas, bream and trevs and there was always a chance of a small snapper. It worked too, because in minutes we had yakka surrounding the boat. Rather than re-rig rods I kept the same paternosters we had been using off shore. On two of the rods I dropped the hook size and reduced the sinker weight and we actively fished these rods. On a third rod I left bigger hooks and a slightly heavier sinker - to run as a heave and leave with big, fresh baits on it in case anything substantial came up the burly trail . We had a blast pulling in yakkas and a couple of small bream (returned) on almost every drop. Then Edgar managed to get his line tangled with the heave and leave rod. I just about had it untangled when I felt something hit the line in my hand. I cut Edgar's line just below the swivel and pulled the braid free and quickly untangled his leader so he could re-tie it, while I pulled in exactly what we had stopped trying to catch - flathead. It was only just legal and not really big enough to get decent fillets off so we liberated it. It had not even managed to pull off the yakka fillet so I dropped it back down again. Then rebaited my other rod and dropped that down as well. It never made it to the bottom. I pulled up another slightly bigger flathead and that one went into the ice box. We pulled in a few more yakkas and then Edgar yelped with surprise when something a bit more substantial grabbed his line. He was pretty happy when a good sized flattie came into view. He bravely (or naively) lifted it in before I could grab the net but it was well hooked. I measured in at 55cm. I had pulled the heave and leave line in while Edgar was bringing in his fish, so I rebaited and dropped it again. And again it was hit straight away and I pulled in another - slightly bigger - flathead that had also swum up the burly trail. With three good fish and some future baits in the esky we decided to head in and have some lunch and a couple of cold ones. Had nothing to do with me wanting to call it while I was ahead! A great morning on the water. Funny how we caught some great flatties after we stopped trying to catch flatties - but that is fishing sometimes!
  4. Went out early today with @antonywardle in his boat. We launched at 6am to beat the holiday crowds with a plan to head outside to the flathead grounds and drift for bluespotted flatties. On the way out as we passed Box Head we saw a few fish boiling up the water so we decided to troll a couple of lures until we were past the head. We didn't get so much as a nudge and to be honest neither of us have a clue what we are doing when it comes to trolled lures so after a short pass of the heads we wound in and headed on the way. Next stop was a small reef called The Bottles that I had marked on a previous trip that is more or less on the way to the flathead grounds. We did a couple of drifts over that and picked up some yakkas, a slimey mackrel and a couple of small flatties once we crossed the reef. We kept the yakkas and slimey for some fresh cut baits and headed on to the flathead grounds. We started drifting in about 45-46m of water and were quickly rewarded with bites. We caught a heap of flatties pretty much one after the other - but unfortunately all well short of legal. They ranged in size from large mud skipper to about 30cm. Honestly we stopped counting the fish. We pulled one up on almost every drop and once I came up with a double, but all small. We made the call to move out a bit deeper. Just as I reached for my second rod to wind it in it was hit by what felt like a much better fish. Unfortunately about half way up it busted off the hook from the bottom dropper on my paternoster rig. We motored out a bit deeper - around the 52m mark. We started a long drift and for a while there was nothing. Then there were a few smaller flatties. Then I brought up a legal fish - finally we were on the board. Not long after @antonywardle went one better with a couple of really good flatties measuring about 45 and 50cm respectively. We motored up about halfway up our long drift because all the action was in the second half and tried again. We picked up a couple more legal flatties and let one go that was legal, but only just and needed to fatten up a bit more in my opinion. Along the way we also pulled in a heap more small flatties including one that came up with one of the legal flatties and another double header as well. I also pulled in what felt like a huge fish, but turned out to be a 27cm trev foul hooked and coming up sideways (went back). I was fairly surprised as well when I pulled in a 25cm whiting from about 48m of water a couple of kms offshore. Didn't think they would be that far outside and actively feeding. I released that as well, but he did not look too healthy. I suspect they don't handle barotrauma well. I've got a release weight rigged on a handline in my boat, but we weren't in my boat. I could of sworn I caught a tailor as well at about 31 cms which I kept to use as cut bait on a future trip, but no idea where that went as we could not find it when it came time to divide the catch. There was a big yakka that neither of us remembered catching - but I distinctly remember a tailor with its rows of sharp teeth... (did you find that later ant?) At the top of the tide the bite dropped off and we were getting pretty hot and had a very good haul so decided to head back in. All up we had 7 legal flathead and some leftover yakkas for future bait. Because we both stopped counting the small fish we were throwing back I can't be sure, but I reckon we must have landed and released about 30 small fish between us. We also had another 3 or 4 where it felt like a better fish but it got off half way up, plus one around 40cms fish that I lost at the boat when I snagged the end of my rod on my lifejacket as I turned to grab the net off Antony. Still - we had a ball and I took home the 4 smaller fish (one of which Antony caught and kindly gave me) and Anthony took home 3 really nice flatties. All up a great morning out on the water with a fellow raider. Fish tacos were had tonight so my ever patient wife and kids were happy too. Thanks for the company Antony - till next time!
  5. Grug85

    FADS

    Anyone been out to the Terrigal or Broken Bay FAD's yet? Thinking about having a look on Saturday. Wondering if there have been any reports of dollies out at the fads yet yet or any action out wider? Any recent updates on water temp, currents etc out there would be much appreciated! Cheers, Craig
  6. OK - so a Squid Doughnut does not sound all that appealing and I have to say that it's not my favourite. One of the challenges with improving as a fisherman is foregoing the more reliable techniques that you have spent hours on and can usually produce a feed with to spend time on somethign you are not good at. I am not very good at targeting squid - but I have made it my goal for the summer to focus on these tasty morsels and improve that. I've read everything I can find on squid fishing and I decided to spend a whole session today trying to put a few different things into practice. I rigged up 4 rods with different coloured jigs in the 2.5-3.5 range and planned a few places that I have read about producing squid and a few others that I think fit the descriptions I have read on where to find squid. Some of these places I have caught squid before, though usually by accident (hooked on a bait rigged for other species) or small numbers. My thinking today was that it is early summer so squid should be coming inshore to spawn. The time I had to fish was in the middle of the day and stradling the top of the tide. There has not been a lot of rain so I figured they may come a little way into Brisbane Water as the water is clear and not very brackish. For this reason the first place I tried was the ocean side of Rip Bridge on the Hardy Bay side. I drifted along the shore in about 5 - 8m of water casting over the weed beds. I counted down and then tried a few different retrieve styles. These included just a slow wind, mixing in gentle lifts with pauses and the more aggressive douple lifts. I tried 6-12 casts with each jig and experimented. Hooked a little weed so I know I was getting the jig down to the right level, but did not get a touch at all on the jig. I moved on to my next spot. I was going to try the weed beds by half tide rocks, but there was a lot of boat traffic there today and it did not seem like a good idea to drift there, so I moved out to the Ladders, which is the first big bay past Lobster Beach on the way to box head. I had high hopes for this bay as it seems to tick most of the boxes for a squid holding spot (from what I have read). Mix of reef, sand and weed. Known bait ground. It is even one of the spots I have picked up a couple of squid in the past. The wind was coming up and whiping round the bay so it made drifting a bit challenging. I dropped the anchor so that the wind would push me towards the rocks and weed beds and put a lot of casts out in a fan around the back of the boat with all 4 jigs. I snagged up one of them (stupidly I had put one of my more expensive jigs onto one of my lighter rods. Guess which one I snagged!) After a while I decided that if there were squid there they were not interested so I moved on to the next spot. I drifted down the north side of Lion Island. Again the bottom ranged from 6-8m and was a mix of weed beds, sandy bottom and the odd bit of reef. The wind was blowing me on a pretty good line, though possibly a bit fast. I need to invest in a sea anchor. I again tried my remaining 3 jigs with a variety of retrieves, but could not scare up a touch. I then tried a bit closer into the rocks between Pearl Beach and the point that leads to Patonga. Yet more casts and I think I got a touch here - but the wind was blowing me a bit too close into shore and I it was time for me to head back so I headed in empty handed. Clearly going to need to do a bit more trial and error - but if there are any squidding guns out that that have a few more tips I'd be happy to hear them.
  7. I had a frustrating day yesterday. I put in nice and early, launching just after 5 am. The launch was flawless - not much worked after that. Plan was to try to gather a bit of bait, head out to a reef called the bottles to drift the reef, then move on to the flathead grounds. First up I ducked across to an area I'm told is a reliable place to gather squid. Put in a lot of casts - but no sign of any squid in the area. I had some bait on board so I decided to give up on the fresh squid and head out. When I got to the reef there were lots of fish marking on the sounder. I grabbed a rod and reached for the snapper leads I had bought the night before and put in the boat... But they are not there. I had three packets of various sizes of snapper leads in a plastic bag that I had bought the night before. I put the plastic bag in the back of the boat, but the whole bag was gone now. Even with my driving I don't see they could have bounced out so I am guessing that someone must have pinched them out of the boat. I suppose I should be grateful that they did not grab the tackle bag or rods tucked away in the cabin - but I'm not. I tried to make do with the sinkers I had but they just were not heavy enough to keep the bait down. Whenever the bait pulled back at a shallow angle I tried opening the bail aim to drop it down a bit. This even drew some bites, but I could not get a hookup. Conditions were pretty lumpy and I was getting a bit green, so I didn't fancy trying to re-rig for a different style of fishing. Without the heavier leads as well the offshore flathead grounds were not going to work either. I decided to change plans and see if I could get better results. I moved in a bit to where there is a bit of a shelf on the chart and drifted across it, but the sounder did not have a lot on it. I was drifting slower and could get the bait down, but there was nothing there to eat it. Still feeling a bit green I decided to head in and try a few different spots on the way in. First up I tried the first big bay inside box head. There was a bit of bait on the sounder, but I could not get them to take anything. Even the bait spike bait jig was not working. The bigger baits on a dropper below the bait school were not touched. After a while I decided it was time to change tack again. I moved into Ettalong channel to try a few drifts for dusty flathead. I did pick a couple of tiny ones here, but put them back to get to legal size. Running out of time before I needed to go home I decided to head in with one more quick stop on the way. 300 meters from the ramp I grabbed a much lighter rod and drifted over a sandbank that can sometimes hold whiting. Last time I tried this I caught 14 whiting from a kayak, but they were all in the 20-23 cm range so went back. This time was a different story. First drift across I picked up legal whiting. I motored up for another drift and hooked another fish. Shortly after I landed another whiting. I though he was under but was pleasantly surprised when I measure him at just over legal. I was out of time as I needed to be back before my wife needed to head out. Shame - could have been onto a hot bite! 5.5 hours of fishing and saved from a doughnut 300m from the ramp with 2 keepers in 10 minutes. Not a great session - but better than not getting out or coming back with no fish at all.
  8. It has seemed lately that the only times I've had available to go for a fish it has been blowing a gale. It's been ages since I could line up free time with good conditions. Yesterday @antonywardle pinged me saying that today looked like it would be good to go outside. At the time I have to admit I was a little doubtful because it was pretty windy on Saturday as well, but sure enough the forecast suggested it would drop for Sunday morning. We met at Blackwall boat ramp at 5:30am and headed outside to an area that Antony said we could drift for flatties. I had not tried drifting offshore for flathead so was keen to give it a go. We got our first baits in the water and it was not too long before I was on. Right species - wrong size. This was a start of a pattern of the morning - we never needed to measure the fish we caught. They were either too small by far or well over legal size. After returning my mudskipper impersonator to the ocean I fished on while Ant re-rigged one of his rods. Not long after I got a second flattie even smaller than the first. It went quiet for a while and out baits were getting picked apart so we thought we had leatherjackets in the area and decided to move on. Or not - I somehow flooded the engine and just after I gave up trying to start it Anthony hooked into a better class of fish. Shortly after I netted a nice flathead for him. Unfortunately the hook had gone into a gill so it was a fairly messy end and into the icebox. I went to try the motor again but gave up when my rod buckled. I started winding and there was definitely more weight on the line this time. I thought I had a better flathead, but I was wrong. I pulled in a common octopus. Amazing little creatures - and good bait too, so he went into the icebox as well. This time we got the motor started and motor out a little further and started another drift. I pulled in another couple of mudskipper sized flathead and Anthony started catching some too to make me feel better. Anthony had gotten his better flathead on smaller hooks, so when we moved I re-rigged one of my rods with smaller suicide hooks as well. Then finally I hooked into a better fish. A short fight later Anthony deftly netted nice flattie in the mid to high 40 cm range. Sure enough on the rod with the smaller hooks. We were getting plenty of bites on pilchard and I put an occi tenticle onto one of the hooks so that if the bottom hook was baited there would still be something on the other hook. And it paid off. I hooked into another fish that was taking a bit of line off my relatively light gear. I eventually got it to the surface and thought I had my biggest flathead ever. Until we got it in the net. It was a good fish, but nowhere near as big as it had looked. Measured at 56cm - but with really solid shoulders. Nice fish. We thought we would do something different tried a drop by Lion Island. Had a couple of bites and Ant pulled a smallish red rock cod that he sent back. Then all the rods snagged at the same time and we lost a bit of tackle. We were drifting towards a few other boats so decided to try a drift in Ettalong channel on the way in. Unfortunately the wind was going to push us onto the sandbank in Ettalong so we called it a day and went in. Good company and a few fish boated for a feed on a gorgeous morning on the water. Can't complain.
  9. Hi All, Been a long time between posts but thought I'd share this beauty caught yesterday in Broken Bay. Not much else to report, got out a bit too late for Kings so anchored and started the burley trail... pretty quiet then 2 good size fatties, I mean flatties in quick succession, 1st by my mate, not to be outdone, I pulled up the bigger model 1 minute later. The bigger one went 83cm, equaling my previous PB. Nice to get a day in before the craziness starts...
  10. Raiders, Had a great day out on Josh’s Boat Devil Ray on Sunday. We fished the Central Coast (Broken Bay/Barrenjoey) and picked up - 3 Flathead 3 Jewfish (59cm PB for me) 2 Bonito 1 Snapper 1 Tailor Here is a short video with some of the results. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ioHI4jiKj4