Pauafritta

Holiday in Forster - Mahi Mahi and Kingfish

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We are regular visitors to Forster and were recently up there for 2 weeks. The weather was not the best with large swells and annoying wind as a result from the Cyclone in Queensland. We did however manage to get some fishing in and a number of “firsts”. With bad weather we were confined to the lake so I took my 4 year old out to look for dolphins. I had just purchased 2 crab traps on special a day earlier and we dropped them further up the lake while we went Dolphin hunting. Having found and followed the dolphins for a while he soon got bored and we dropped a line over. He caught 2 small flathead in 10 minutes and we were done for the day. They were his first ever fish and he was super excited to get 2 fish to Dads 0. We went back to check the crab traps which were only in the water for 2 hours so expectations were low. We were very surprised to find our first ever Blue Swimmer Crab and a large Bream. We let the Bream go and kept the crab for dinner.

 

I had a few goes at throwing lures off the breakwall and managed to get my first breakwall Kingie. Without a net or gaff I was very lucky to land it. I think it was a legal fish but wasn’t totally sure as I had left the brag mat on the boat, so it was released back to grow a bit.

 

With 1 day to go the weather had improved I took the opportunity to head out past the bar. I stopped to pick up some livies and every time I put 3 hooks down I would pull up 3 slimies. With 15 livies on board I headed off for my solo mission out to the FAD 16km offshore. It was a bit bumpy in my 5m bowrider but it felt safe. After a long slow trip I arrived at the FAD to find 1 other boat and discovered half of my live baits had perished. I assume due to the fact the water stops pumping if the boat is moving. I quickly setup up a live bait and within 30 seconds was taken by a good size Mahi Mahi, which was the first ever off my boat. It was great fun, even on my heavier 50lb setup. I used all the livebaits and had landed 3 legal Mahi Mahi, with the biggest at 82cm. I released a number of smaller fish as well. I even put some of the dead baits down and these were smashed off the surface by the smaller Mahi Mahi. With the livebaits all gone and having created a burly trail with my breakfast in the swell I headed home. If I wasn’t so sick I would have stayed to throw a few lures, but was happy with the fish I had in the boat and was back at the ramp about 9am. Even though there was not a lot of fishing done it was great to get a few.

fish1.jpg

fish2.jpg

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Good on you for making the most out of the bad weather & congrats on all the firsts, sounds like you’ve got a new fishing buddy in the making, great report, photos & colours on the dollies 

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Great report and photos.

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Nice report. Well done. 15 slimies in the tank is a fair few. I find if I put too many in, they will soon be belly up, although yakkas tend to last longer. (Accidentally bumping the pump switch doesn’t help either! 😂). Next trip, I’m going to try just putting 6 in the tank and others straight into an ice slurry for skip baits. I can always pick up more livies out there as there are plenty around at the moment.

”Having created a burley trail with my breakfast in the swell”... a man after my own stomach! 😂😂 🤢 

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How good is that ticking off all those firsts dispose average conditions.

Sounds like you need to change the pickup on the live bait tank.   I agree 15 slimies is a lot if it’s the standard size tank but good water flow would certainly help.

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Good tips. Next time I wont overload the tank as it is fairly small.

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Do you have a bilge pump set up to pump water thru it

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The live bait tank was plumbed in at the quintrex factory. The pickup is very low on the stern. I had assumed it didn't pump as forward momentum would create an air pocket at the intake. 

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17 minutes ago, Pauafritta said:

The live bait tank was plumbed in at the quintrex factory. The pickup is very low on the stern. I had assumed it didn't pump as forward momentum would create an air pocket at the intake. 

My tank was plumbed in by Stacer (same factory). It’s probably a similar size and setup. Mine seems to get plenty of circulation. I suspect it was just overcrowded.

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Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, Pauafritta said:

The live bait tank was plumbed in at the quintrex factory. The pickup is very low on the stern. I had assumed it didn't pump as forward momentum would create an air pocket at the intake. 

This could easily be the case, ours has the same problem so we stop/slow down periodically to refresh the water in the tank. You can install pickups to gather the water as you drive but be mindful of how you do this so as not to create a situation that might break part of the pump or rip a hole in the back of you boat to let water in if you run over something.

I would say the tank was overcrowded in this case even if the pump was working.

Edited by Captain Spanner

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