zmk1962

Tenacious Tuesday 24.09.2019 Barrenjoey Wide

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Howdy Raiders,

With the recent rains and winds and generally crap weather around Sydney (although the rain was much needed everywhere), it was fantastic to see a small break in the forecast for Tuesday....  so Maria (best fisho buddy) and I decided to have a go at restocking our empty fish larder and to head to the usual flathead grounds off Barrenjoey - these  have been consistent performers for us and we were just after a fishy feed.

We had not been out fishing together for a while ... so with a bit of excitement, and an early rise we were first at the Parsley Bay ramp .... 5.20am all looking good !

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But although the BOM had a great forecast, they somehow forgot to send the memo to the wind and sea gods !!!!!!  

Off shore it was a friggin' washing machine chop.  Way choppier than expected. 

We had salted pillies and salted tailor fillets from a previous trip as bait, as well as a selection of SPs - main target species was flatties.

Arrived a the 50m spot to immediately lose heaps of gear to jackets. Hooked something huge and heavy that took me under a ledge or around whatever is left of the wreck there and broke me off. Got two solid strikes with weight, the drag started to sing then nothing ... cleanly bitten off  - shark?  Finally hook a solid lump only to pull up a 5ft port jackson. 

Disappointed we shifted to 60m spot only to find the same crap.  Every SP was chewed up on touching bottom. All the baits destroyed. So much lead and gear gone. It was only 8.30am what to do? 

By this time we were about 12km out from Barrenjoey.  I had brought along my new toy (the electric deep drop rig) just to have a test and  fiddle with the setting, so after scanning the navionics charts I remembered I had marked an interesting spot several months ago - where the depth dropped from 100-120m - it was just another 10-15km out !  Surprising Maria agreed (she must have been really sick of the jacket - anything is better than another lost rig !).

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So out we went ... and first drop of the electric ...what do I get .... a JACKET !!!!  Seriously 25km out could not get away from them.  Both Maria and I experimented with the electric but all the baits were coming up picked to pieces.

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However, by this time the BOM's memo had arrived and the conditions finally calmed down. It was actually pleasant. Maria did the 120 drop using the Penn rod/reel and pulled up the interesting fish of the day - a latchet.

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Well with the conditions now calm and sunny we decided to make our way back home stopping at the 50m grounds for one last go.

Saw dolphins, a big school of kings or salmon boiling the ocean with birds overhead- got a spin stick out and tried to edge close but they would just disappear and surface 200-300m away. No luck there, but interesting to observe nature at work.

Back at 50m we decided not to do our drift and drop with the anchor, but just to drift. We had concluded that more than two drops in the same place attracted the jackets. It was a fast 2-3kmh westerly drift so lotsa lead (16oz) was required to stay connected with bottom.

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Well finally that approach produced a 65cm flattie, then a 60cm and the remaining 4 around 50cm. Maria again caught an oddball - a baby barracuta that went back in the drink. 

By 3.30pm we had drifted to within 2km off Palmbeach for 6 keeper fish - they were few and far between for sure. We called it stumps and raced back to the ramp. We were the only ones at the cleaning table, and there was a fish head left there from a previous patron ... you guessed it ... a leather jacket head !  

Man it was hard work to get a feed but we were tenacious to the end - making this Tenacious Tuesday ! 

We ended up with 1.84kg of flattie fillets and another 300gm of latchet filets ... and I was adamant I was going to eat a JACKET as well  !

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Anyway, the bonus for me now is Maria has experienced being 25kms out, has experienced the electric reel deep drop set up and today suggested she's now keen to try Brown's ... maybe it should have been called "Turn-around Tuesday" instead!

Cheers Zoran

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Great detailed report Zoran.

Those Jackets make it hard and frustrating.

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Great report Zoran those Jackets are killers the lost gear really adds up.   You both worked hard for that feed. 

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Well written and structured report, pleasure to read 

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Some beautiful looking flathead fillets there Zoran!

 

Hahah i liked the whole leatherjacket head piking, if only fishos would target and catch them, then there would be less of them out there stealing our gear!! 

Edited by Oz98
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1 hour ago, Oz98 said:

Some beautiful looking flathead fillets there Zoran!

 

Hahah i liked the whole leatherjacket head piking, if only fishos would target and catch them, then there would be less of them out there stealing our gear!! 

Mate of mine goes round to Clifton Gardens and basically lowers a crab net with Burley in it. He get 5-6 in one hit. He bags out in less than an hour on those sods

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Hey thanks for all the comments amigos ! ... I didn't realise my writing skills were going to be analysed as well (reading through it felt a bit like I was back at school) ... but it seems I got a pass !   😂

Cheers Z

PS - here's the only video we took on the day ... the first electric retrieve featuring the JACKET !   

 

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A well-constructed story of persistence Zoran interlaced with some appropriate pics. Very well done on sticking it out and getting a feed. I don't fish saltwater very often and am bemused by all the comments about leatherjackets being an unwanted nuisance fish to encounter. Does nobody else in Australia (apart from me) eat them? I actually think they are a good target species and quality on the plate. Maybe I am easily pleased, then again I wouldn't eat Carp. Not knowingly anyway. Cheers, bn

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all the typical trails of a day out on the water ! Excitement, frustration, failure, success and of course, some bad unexpected weather.

Overall you persisted and did well. great report  & well done on the feed

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2 hours ago, big Neil said:

Does nobody else in Australia (apart from me) eat them? I actually think they are a good target species and quality on the plate.

Yes I eat them and they are good on the chew, but I don't really target them due to the associated gear cost. They are mostly by catch for me.  Nevertheless once we knew they were there, especially at the 120m depth I did go down to an all wire paternoster with the smallest long shank hooks I had onboard.  They were still picking the bait off and leaving the hooks clean without getting hooked. Must have been tiny tiny but still pests  .....

Cheers Z

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A good result for a difficult day.

Maybe try a bit shallower to see if you can avoid the jackets, however, the flatties are usually smaller.

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3 hours ago, Yowie said:

A good result for a difficult day.

Maybe try a bit shallower to see if you can avoid the jackets, however, the flatties are usually smaller.

Thanks @Yowie .  Frankly I was concerned about the impact of all the fresh water in the Hawkesbury - it usually brings on the catfish and eels. So the plan was to go wide and salty. Going wide also helped testing the electric. So there was a bit of an agenda that I was working. 

But you are correct gotta keep trying something different. 

Cheers Z

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On 9/25/2019 at 10:05 PM, motiondave said:

Mate of mine goes round to Clifton Gardens and basically lowers a crab net with Burley in it. He get 5-6 in one hit. He bags out in less than an hour on those sods

Nice! yeah i saw a young boy use a crab pot in one of my local harbours, got a few leathers, don't know what else he was trying to catch but he threw them back in.. 

Edited by Oz98

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On 9/26/2019 at 12:21 PM, big Neil said:

A well-constructed story of persistence Zoran interlaced with some appropriate pics. Very well done on sticking it out and getting a feed. I don't fish saltwater very often and am bemused by all the comments about leatherjackets being an unwanted nuisance fish to encounter. Does nobody else in Australia (apart from me) eat them? I actually think they are a good target species and quality on the plate. Maybe I am easily pleased, then again I wouldn't eat Carp. Not knowingly anyway. Cheers, bn

I eat them an encourage many fishos to do the same, they are a good eating fish and sustainable with plenty of numbers out there. 

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5 hours ago, Oz98 said:

I eat them an encourage many fishos to do the same, they are a good eating fish and sustainable with plenty of numbers out there. 

Couldn’t agree more. They taste great and are easy - probably easiest - to clean and dress.  But they cost a lot of gear ! 

Cheers Z

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