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Benzeenees

Montague Island 14/6

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We had heard that the kings were finally on at Montague. So the brothers and I headed down to Narooma from near Batemans Bay. The word was that the fish came on the bite at the tide change and in the afternoon. And it was low tide around 12 o'clock - perfect. We were able to collect about 10-15 yakkas before heading to the island and arriving around 9 am in close to perfect conditions. We counted over 30 boats at the north eastern end. That got the blood flowing. We parked just off the edge of the ruck to see which way we would drift. There were lots of individual fish symbols showing on the Lowrance - not the usual solid mass of colour. Neither of the brothers had ever caught a legal king or used live bait. I helped them rig up and as soon as Paul dropped in it was "bang" - I'm on! And soon a nice 80cm king was in the net. Then we had another hit - but this time it was a big bonito. And then several more. Gerry had fought a nice bonito up to the boat and Paul was about to net it when a huge grey mass came rocketing out of the depths. Whack! A big seal hit the bonito. After a short run the seal had the bonito and Gerry had a very nice bonito head! I caught a couple of 70 cm kings before we ran out of livies and switched to some nice squid heads we had collected in Whyalla in April. Eventually Gerry ceased to be a kingfish virgin and I collected a few more 70cm kings. The final tally was 8 kingfish and about 10 bonito. That night we had beer battered kingfish and bonito. While you could tell the difference in taste and colour, both were excellent to eat with some nice home fries.

The kings and bonito were at the NE end, but were out quite a way in between 85m and 100m about 1km from the island. When we left at about 3pm there were still about 20 boats looking for fish. Everyone was well behaved and there were no problems despite boats being very close together.

Sadly the next day was too windy for us to go to the island, so we tried for flathead off Broulee and bagged out. And further south Gerry picked up a huge giant cuttlefish. In a large bucket, with a bit of water and lots of ink, it weighed in at 18 kg. So the cuttlefish itself must have been around 15 kg. Gerry claims its an unofficial world record!

When we got up on day three the wind was blowing a gale at Montague so we slept in and played golf later in the day. When we checked the weather later we found the wind had dropped to around 12 knots around 7 am! So on day 4, despite a forecast of wind and rain we headed for Narooma. Conditions were good at the bar and soon after we had a heap of livies in the tank. But Marine Rescue advised us the wind was 20 knots at the island. Being optimists we headed out hoping the wind would drop. But about 3 km out we decided it would be too rough for a 5m side console boat. So we tried for some more flathead and bagged out once again off Kianga. The best was a monster of over 55 cm.

Edited by Benzeenees

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Now that sounds like a good trip, what depths were you getting the flathead? Been lot of mixed reports of varying depths different days.

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Very nice report mate glad you found the fish :)

Would love to see a shot of that cuttlefish!

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Now that sounds like a good trip, what depths were you getting the flathead? Been lot of mixed reports of varying depths different days.

40-45m off Broulee, just north of Broulee reef. 35-40m off Kianga. Broulee has been very consistent at that depth over the last couple of months.

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Some nice fish down your way, good work.

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Very nice report mate glad you found the fish :)

Would love to see a shot of that cuttlefish!

The one lying down is the cuttlefish!

mms_img674102265_zpspk98brc6.jpgmms_img-107441163_zpsm61vlihk.jpg

My hand is just on 15cm long where you see the glove. So the mantle is probably over 50 cm. Total length, excluding the testicles :18: , would be over a metre.

Edited by Benzeenees

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Great report but where are the photos mate

One of the brothers has a photo of the bonito head! But the photos of the kings had a big blob of water in the middle of the pictures. I'll see what I can do.

Edited by Benzeenees

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Any cooking report on the cuttle,or was it just for bait?What beauty

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Any cooking report on the cuttle,or was it just for bait?What beauty

We cut off the tentacles and candles for bait and the flesh around the mantle for cooking. From experience the mantle flesh doesn't seem to go that well as bait - maybe it has to be rotten before fish like it.

Last year I cut some of the mantle flesh very thin - like the wall of a squid tube - and cooked it with some squid as salt and pepper calamari. Delicious - you couldn't pick the cuttlefish from the squid. Just coated in plain flour with lots of salt and black pepper added. Then into hot canola oil for about 1 minute.

Edited by Benzeenees

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Holy jesus!!!!! That thing is a monster!!! Awesome report mate and congrats on some awesome catches.

Sent from my SM-G900I using Tapatalk

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What do you mean by candles? Are they the long white things that look like elephant tusks? Are they soft or hard? That thing came straight out of jurassic park.

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That thing is huge, I bet it could pump out some ink. Great report.

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The candles are the long tentacles they use to grab their prey. Similar to, but bigger than, the ones on squid. They feel very tender and are probably great to eat. But fish think so too. So they are bait.

Ink. You haven't seen ink until you've seen what a giant cuttlefish produces. The first time I caught one and cut it up I released the ink all over the cleaning table. It took heaps and heaps of water and time to clean up the mess! And if you do catch one, make sure you have a sharp knife. The skin on these things is slippery and tough.

Edited by Benzeenees

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Thanks for the great report.The candles are very tender and cook easily but the stomach sheet is different,good to know you cut it thin because we don't always succeed with the tenderising attempts.Cheers.

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