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Huge school of fish


wazatherfisherman
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5 hours ago, 61 crusher said:

 school of baitfish mouths wide open moving along the surface,

I have seen that many times in Bate Bay, but not the large schools mentioned. The fish were either slimies or yakkas. I have thrown small lures into the school and hooked both types in different schools.

Last year I bought some jigs, and when a school of slimies turned up, I dropped a jig underneath them, but all I caught were the slimies, even 2 on the one jig when using 2 single hooks.

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26 minutes ago, noelm said:

We used to spend a day trolling for Stripies for Snapper bait, a couple of hours trolling Bass Point near the gravel loader would see your bait supply well and truly replenished, most would fillet them, but I used to freeze them whole and cut baits off as I needed them, the left over flesh on the backbone was burley, great days indeed.

yes Noel certainly used to have a "kill stripey "" day once a year, , mainly spun them up , in the mid 80's used our rock spin rods-used the 10 foot rods to get the stripies head out of the water on the bite and skip them into the boat, if they got their head down then you actually had to fight them. Later when i joined ANSA took a much more sporting approach but usually by the middle of September we had a couple of chest freezers full of tuna which gave my mates and i enough bait for the next 12 months.

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24 minutes ago, Yowie said:

Several times over the years, I have seen salmon in Port Hacking grubbing on the bottom for nippers or worms. I though they were mullet but then had a good look as the fish were in shallow water. Usually only single fish doing it.

I have also caught a couple of salmon in the shallow water on nippers and a whiting rod, and those salmon really take off when hooked. One was just over 6 pound, on 6 pound line and I started the motor and followed it. I would have been spooled if I did not.

yeah thats an interesting one as well- i can confess that i didnt actually catch a salmon until i was 22- Id only seen them twice before that-once when i was about 15 off the rocks at Avoca and i pulled the hooks on one and another time when i was 17 just off Broken Bay- they were not a commonplace capture around Sydney then, i then went to the south coast and caught a few in my 20's, moved to Brissie for a few years but when i came back in 1999 they were everywhere (and still are), i avoid the buggers in general now

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17 minutes ago, PaddyT said:

Several times over the years, I have seen salmon in Port Hacking grubbing on the bottom for nippers or worms. I though they were mullet but then had a good look as the fish were in shallow water. Usually only single fish doing it.

I have also caught a couple of salmon in the shallow water on nippers

Years ago I caught the odd one on prawn or pilly tale around fig tree bridge on the lane cove river in quite shallow water 

 

22 minutes ago, PaddyT said:
51 minutes ago, Yowie said:

 

yeah thats an interesting one as well- i can confess that i didnt actually catch a salmon until i was 22- Id only seen them twice before that-once when i was about 15 off the rocks at Avoca and i pulled the hooks on one and another time when i was 17 just off Broken Bay- they were not a commonplace capture around Sydney then, i then went to the south coast and caught a few in my 20's, moved to Brissie for a few years but when i came back in 1999 they were everywhere (and still are), i avoid the buggers in general now

When  the cannery down south first closed up they weren’t that common off Sydney but overtime they’ve become quite prolific & some fishos reckon a bait stealing pest but then again they give you a great workout on bream gear & go hard

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19 hours ago, wazatherfisherman said:

Hi Noelm spending time on the water you do see awesome sights, I reckon they might have been spawning but will never know. You never hear much about Cowanyoung these days

 

On 4/15/2020 at 7:13 AM, Yowie said:

Many many years ago, I caught some cowanyoung in Yowie Bay. They were around the 40cm mark, caught on a little rod with 3 pound line, and they fought rather hard. There were never many of them.

Last year in Jerusalem bay while fishing for hairtail (only got 2 on pillys) the yellowtail were around but not in great numbers, come twilight they had disappeared but the Cowanyoung replaced them & were thick but no hairtail around, it might have been to do with the big morning high tide. Out of curiosity Waza have you seen a hairtail caught on a Cowanyoung if so I reckon it would’ve been a big one?

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3 hours ago, 61 crusher said:

 

Last year in Jerusalem bay while fishing for hairtail (only got 2 on pillys) the yellowtail were around but not in great numbers, come twilight they had disappeared but the Cowanyoung replaced them & were thick but no hairtail around, it might have been to do with the big morning high tide. Out of curiosity Waza have you seen a hairtail caught on a Cowanyoung if so I reckon it would’ve been a big one?

Hi Dieter not on a Cowanyoung, never really tried them. Yakka's, Herring, Mullet, Gars, Squid and Tailor as livey's and of course pilly's as dead bait.

Also caught a couple off the old zoo wharf on whitebait one night after being bitten off a few times. There were heaps there that night but they used to move you off the wharf at 7.30 pm and lock the gates. Walked to Clifton Gardens from there that night and got a few more on live Yakka's off the back of the pool. That was 40+ years ago

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1 hour ago, wazatherfisherman said:

Also caught a couple off the old zoo wharf on whitebait one night after being bitten off a few times. There were heaps there that night but they used to move you off the wharf at 7.30 pm and lock the gates. Walked to Clifton Gardens from there that night and got a few more on live Yakka's off the back of the pool. That was 40+ years ago

Hi Waza around that time you’ve mentioned  I managed a couple during the day as by catch chasing tailor during the day in the hole around Clifton Gardens in a 12 foot tinny, an old bloke told me back then he used to occasionally bag them in the hole near concord hospital just up from the Ryde bridge in the parramatta river  One night I scooped up about 20 odd prawns & jumped on my pushbike & got to Valentia st wharf (Hunters Hill) just before dawn & with my new 2 piece green butter worth beach rod, first & second cast got a 36 & 38cm bream, next cast picked up a 65cm+ jewie, next cast picked up a hairtail over a meter & next was a big blue swimmer it went quiet after that, best land based session I’d had as a 14 year old

Edited by 61 crusher
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One of my fondest fishing memories of huge schools of fish include one particularly special afternoon on our way home from a day chasing yellowfin that took us from JB canyons all the way up the shelf line to the kiama canyons with little more than the odd stripey to show for our efforts. It wasnt until we were on our way home late in the afternoon and were about 6 miles east of shoalhaven heads probably somewhere around nowra hill that we come across the biggest patch of yellowfin tuna ive ever seen in my life still. Fish between around 15kg to what i would have estimated at 60kg were leaping clear of the water. We spent so long trying to get these fish to bite. The only lure they were overly keen in was an old pearl and red headed bullet xmas tree that was probably older than i am now. Unfortunately for us the hook had seen better days and while it was hit more than any other from the rigger we couldnt stat connected. We also lost a number of fish on metals casting at the school and only finished the day with two fish of 25kg and around 23 if memory serves correctly. I was only about 9 or 10 at the time but i remember it like it was yesterday.

 

The other huge school i remember was in close at Blackhead/Gerroa where there were literally football fields of stripies around the 3kg mark with the odd fish closer to 7kg. After my previous experience with the yellowfin above i was a wake up to the fact they were feeding on a mixture of white bait and tony slimey mackeral about the same size as the whiting. I grabbed a little pink squid skirt around 2inches long and stuck it over a matching white skirt before tying a loose long shank bottom bashing hook into it with a 30 pound trace. Was followed was stripey after stripey taken for the bait freezer. The next day was a similar event only i was a little more prepared and had three of the quickly thrown together lures on the go.

I've never seen the huge schools of stripeys like that again which i put down to the netting of them. In these days they were poled by boats like the Anne-Marie, Wendy Bell and Ajax but that was about it

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Hi New Signing great story, can relate to the pearl headed trees. When I worked for a mail order tackle company we sold a lot of those and also the old bullet-headed feathers. Customers from the pacific islands always stipulated that they only wanted the pearl heads or pearl eyes if heads unavailable, saying they were 10 times better than polished or the red eyes. 

Would have been a great sight to see that many fin, as others have said you don't even see the Stripey's in those huge schools any more and extremely rare to hear of even one caught off the rocks nowadays

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2 hours ago, 61 crusher said:

Hi Waza around that time you’ve mentioned  I managed a couple during the day as by catch chasing tailor during the day in the hole around Clifton Gardens in a 12 foot tinny, an old bloke told me back then he used to occasionally bag them in the hole near concord hospital just up from the Ryde bridge in the parramatta river  One night I scooped up about 20 odd prawns & jumped on my pushbike & got to Valentia st wharf (Hunters Hill) just before dawn & with my new 2 piece green butter worth beach rod, first & second cast got a 36 & 38cm bream, next cast picked up a 65cm+ jewie, next cast picked up a hairtail over a meter & next was a big blue swimmer it went quiet after that, best land based session I’d had as a 14 year old

Hi Dieter had a few big sessions on them during the day in the hole off Clifton. One year the guy in the next street to me (he's a Raider member) was consistently getting a few at high tide at night from both Birkinhead Wharf and Drummoyne  wharf. 

One of my longtime mates has fished Valencia St for over 40 years, but reckons the starfish are really thick there these days.

One of my first rods was a green Butterworth beach rod I bought from Jim Mitchell's tackle that was either at Rockdale or Hurstville. Fond memories

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39 minutes ago, wazatherfisherman said:

One of my longtime mates has fished Valencia St for over 40 years, but reckons the starfish are really thick there these days.

One of my first rods was a green Butterworth beach rod I bought from Jim Mitchell's tackle that was either at Rockdale or Hurstville. Fond memories

I don’t live in Sydney anymore but do remember at valentia st hooking starfish on more than one occasion, also on two separate occasions had caught prawn killers or mantis shrimp but never anywhere else in Sydney & a weird looking creature that I’ve hooked else where (looks like a bit of intestine firm to touch with a stick like appendage at one end & pinkish in colour) probably came from the bilges of the ships that dock at berry island. I’d say I would’ve met your mate as I fished there quite a bit over the years 

My two piece butterworth was my 14th birthday present & came with an Olympic high speed reel, bought from a tackle shop in Chatswood, loved that outfit & remember being able to cast from one side of fig tree bridge & hit the guard rail on the opposite bank, like you fond memories 

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5 minutes ago, 61 crusher said:

I don’t live in Sydney anymore but do remember at valentia st hooking starfish on more than one occasion, also on two separate occasions had caught prawn killers or mantis shrimp but never anywhere else in Sydney & a weird looking creature that I’ve hooked else where (looks like a bit of intestine firm to touch with a stick like appendage at one end & pinkish in colour) probably came from the bilges of the ships that dock at berry island. I’d say I would’ve met your mate as I fished there quite a bit over the years 

My two piece butterworth was my 14th birthday present & came with an Olympic high speed reel, bought from a tackle shop in Chatswood, loved that outfit & remember being able to cast from one side of fig tree bridge & hit the guard rail on the opposite bank, like you fond memories 

You and I are the only people I know to have caught 2 mantis shrimps in the harbour, both mine at the zoo wharf, where I also saw them swimming a few more times. Remember there was an article that was either on the front page or just inside on "New species discovered in Sydney Harbour" and they carried on like it was something alien. Con that used to own Drummoyne Bait n Tackle gave me and my mate Jonno about 50 small ones once for live bait when he ran out of prawns. 

Bought some giant ones from the old fish shop that used to be next to the railway bridge at Burwood and took them up to Murwillumbah for one of the "Greenback" comps but friends up there decided they were too good looking for bait and we barbecued them- really tasty!

Those pink things sound like mangrove worms

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If they were mangrove worms they were as fat as your thumb & up to 150mm long & didn’t move much Tried scampi at a restaurant once which might be similar to mantis shrimp, I think they had seen better days & were over cooked & tasted a bit like a ripe prawn smells 🤮

I wonder if Con’s Dream of building a mother ship & taking clients to remote reefs & atolls came true, I hope so but somehow I think his health might’ve got in the way, during quiet periods of work I’d spend many an hour chatting to him & his brother, like you very knowledgeable about all things related to fishing 

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29 minutes ago, 61 crusher said:

If they were mangrove worms they were as fat as your thumb & up to 150mm long & didn’t move much Tried scampi at a restaurant once which might be similar to mantis shrimp, I think they had seen better days & were over cooked & tasted a bit like a ripe prawn smells 🤮

I wonder if Con’s Dream of building a mother ship & taking clients to remote reefs & atolls came true, I hope so but somehow I think his health might’ve got in the way, during quiet periods of work I’d spend many an hour chatting to him & his brother, like you very knowledgeable about all things related to fishing 

The things I was told were mangrove worms were about 6-8 inches long, as thick as a pen, coloured like a blood worm, with a "nipple-looking" bit at one end that was probably twice as fat and about an inch long. Just tried finding them on the net but things that came up looked nothing like them. Never seen them anywhere in fishing books/references, might not even be a worm but sure look like them. An old Aboriginal fisherman up at Hastings Point told us they were mangrove worms and they were edible as well. We got them while pumping nippers. Great bait too

Last I heard Con was pretty crook, top bloke though, hope he fulfilled his dream.

There was a fair population of Scampi-like "rock prawns" in Queenscliff lagoon, twice as fat as a prawn and small clawed arms. They live on rocks as opposed to sand and are pretty common up the north coast on inner harbour walls like Coffs Harbour trawler harbour where there were stacks of them.

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Yeah definitely a top bloke but I don’t think you’d want to cross him even though he was a gentle giant, I do remember him having issues with bladder stones & had a top notch surgeon friend trying to help him  but he might’ve just been scared of going under because of complications of being a big guy

i did try googling but couldn’t find anything it kind of reminded me of a soft deformed coral that was kind of firm to touch with a thin bone covered in a membrane protruding out one end that hardly moved, couldn’t find it in any books & think I hooked something similar one night in South Australia when the only thing eating my bait was sea lice

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14 hours ago, wazatherfisherman said:

Hi New Signing great story, can relate to the pearl headed trees. When I worked for a mail order tackle company we sold a lot of those and also the old bullet-headed feathers. Customers from the pacific islands always stipulated that they only wanted the pearl heads or pearl eyes if heads unavailable, saying they were 10 times better than polished or the red eyes. 

Would have been a great sight to see that many fin, as others have said you don't even see the Stripey's in those huge schools any more and extremely rare to hear of even one caught off the rocks nowadays

I've still got one or two left. I actually paid overs for one that came up on facebook recently. It had another name brad lure with it but what i was really after was that little pearl headed piece just in case lol

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These big schools of traveling cowanyoung used to be fairly common. 

Biggest school of fish I have seen was when spinning off the rocks south of Jervis Bay in the 70s.  There was a school of fish about 30 metres wide about 50 m out and when you brought a lure through them you would see the panic boil run north and south until out of sight and the school must have been miles long.  We would jag one occasionally and to our surprise they were big blackfish/luderick.  Ron

 

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On 4/17/2020 at 7:59 AM, New Signing said:

I've still got one or two left. I actually paid overs for one that came up on facebook recently. It had another name brad lure with it but what i was really after was that little pearl headed piece just in case lol

Hi New Signing I also bought some recently on ebay from USA, same deal it was a package deal of about 10 lures only really wanted the pearl heads

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1 hour ago, campr said:

These big schools of traveling cowanyoung used to be fairly common. 

Biggest school of fish I have seen was when spinning off the rocks south of Jervis Bay in the 70s.  There was a school of fish about 30 metres wide about 50 m out and when you brought a lure through them you would see the panic boil run north and south until out of sight and the school must have been miles long.  We would jag one occasionally and to our surprise they were big blackfish/luderick.  Ron

 

Hi Ron as an old Luderick fisher that would have been a great sight to see. Rarely hear of Cowanyoung any more, PaddyT gave a great explanation as to most likely reason on the previous page of this post

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