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Port Stephens- The Struggle Is Real


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G’day raiders, 

Well this is a bit of a mixed report from different journeys to Broughton Island. 
After the cancellation of the Port Stephens meet up, there was still a few raiders that managed to get up here over the last few weeks and we found a chance to hit the water. 

Starting with @the skipper a couple of weeks ago and a few mates. We hit the water early and made our way up to the island. Got to our spot and found there were 5 boats in the area. (I hate fishing weekends) Anyway, we worked hard all day trying many locations but to no avail. The fish just weren’t there. 
 

The next week I got out with a local mate and we stuck to the same plan. It was looking promising after the first drift my mate comes up tight to a good fish that was giving him a workout but unfortunately pulled the hook. With spirits high we pushed on and after a million casts we found a small patch and picked up 4 keepers but only to 55cm. 
 

Then I teed up a trip with @Welster and his father. We were greeted to a beautiful morning. Tried a little while for livies but no much bait present. The same seemed to repeat itself at the island. So we begin to cast and cast and cast and cast. Many changes in location but the results were pretty much the same as the previous 6-8 weeks of fishing. Well we tried! But Welster did manage his first snapper on sps at 48cm. 💪
 

After receiving a text from @mrsswordfishermanthat her and Stewy were headed up for a few days, it was time to clear the calendar and make way for a catch-up! We had a lovely dinner, coffee, then a bbq breakfast and a plan was hatched to take @swordfisherman up to the island. His anticipation was high of getting a decent snapper but the realist in me was knowing it would be a struggle. 
And unfortunately once again the struggle was real. But testament to the true fisherman we are, we “just kept casting” all day and I managed one embarrassing snapper at 35cm. But in all honestly it was just good to get out on the water with a good mate I haven’t seen or fished with in ages! We also ran into @quintrex52 who I’ve fished with plenty times and he was struggling too! 
Thanks also to Donna for a wonderful dinner and weekend and it was so good to see you too! it’s been too long. 😘

So now to working out why the struggle?????

After talking with a few well respected local fishos,  we surmise that there are a few reasons for the lack of fish in the inshore reefs.   
First is to do with water temperature. We never seen the low temps that we usually do over winter and in fact had a warm patch that would have induced early spawning and the big fellas move on. The lack of current, does not sustain the food chain so there is a depletion of quality bait. No bait no fish! Add all that to the clearest water I’ve ever seen with visibility up to 20-25m and there’s the most excuses I can find. Put simple, the fish ain’t there! 😢😢

So the boats in the garage until things improve or I feel like punishing myself next week! Lol 😝 

But a big thanks to the many raiders that I’ve had the pleasure to meet and fish with. As I say, I never guarantee that we’ll catch fish but I’m always happy to show you my spots and techniques if that helps. And I swear there are some really good snapper up here, just not at the moment!!! 
Tight lines all, 

cheers scratchie!!! 
 

19CB351D-9141-4147-8020-1CB50EF396EE.thumb.jpeg.a8044449cfb623f4c7672a14e6143f77.jpeg

And finally, a big shoutout to a mate that is recovering from life changing surgery @back cruncher. Get well soon champ! You must have taken all the fish with ya bastard! Hurry back so we can start putting up some decent reports! 

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Awesome write up Scratchie. Your a champion for making the time to get out with the guys and sharing your spots and knowledge. Fishing is just as much about the company as it is the catching.

I have heard a few times that when the shallows are too clear that its worth giving the deeper water a try.

Or......the more likely explanation which i hinted at in a separate report.....you have caught them all Jeff...theres simply none left !!! 🤣🤣

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Thanks for the report Scratchie. I reckon those £$%^&* Leatherjackets ate all your fish (ie. you're absolved from any possible blame/responsibilty). Most of the joy of a fishing trip is the planning & spending time with other fishos (mates etc).

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1 hour ago, Scratchie said:

G’day raiders, 

Well this is a bit of a mixed report from different journeys to Broughton Island. 
After the cancellation of the Port Stephens meet up, there was still a few raiders that managed to get up here over the last few weeks and we found a chance to hit the water. 

Starting with @the skipper a couple of weeks ago and a few mates. We hit the water early and made our way up to the island. Got to our spot and found there were 5 boats in the area. (I hate fishing weekends) Anyway, we worked hard all day trying many locations but to no avail. The fish just weren’t there. 
 

The next week I got out with a local mate and we stuck to the same plan. It was looking promising after the first drift my mate comes up tight to a good fish that was giving him a workout but unfortunately pulled the hook. With spirits high we pushed on and after a million casts we found a small patch and picked up 4 keepers but only to 55cm. 
 

Then I teed up a trip with @Welster and his father. We were greeted to a beautiful morning. Tried a little while for livies but no much bait present. The same seemed to repeat itself at the island. So we begin to cast and cast and cast and cast. Many changes in location but the results were pretty much the same as the previous 6-8 weeks of fishing. Well we tried! But Welster did manage his first snapper on sps at 48cm. 💪
 

After receiving a text from @mrsswordfishermanthat her and Stewy were headed up for a few days, it was time to clear the calendar and make way for a catch-up! We had a lovely dinner, coffee, then a bbq breakfast and a plan was hatched to take @swordfisherman up to the island. His anticipation was high of getting a decent snapper but the realist in me was knowing it would be a struggle. 
And unfortunately once again the struggle was real. But testament to the true fisherman we are, we “just kept casting” all day and I managed one embarrassing snapper at 35cm. But in all honestly it was just good to get out on the water with a good mate I haven’t seen or fished with in ages! We also ran into @quintrex52 who I’ve fished with plenty times and he was struggling too! 
Thanks also to Donna for a wonderful dinner and weekend and it was so good to see you too! it’s been too long. 😘

So now to working out why the struggle?????

After talking with a few well respected local fishos,  we surmise that there are a few reasons for the lack of fish in the inshore reefs.   
First is to do with water temperature. We never seen the low temps that we usually do over winter and in fact had a warm patch that would have induced early spawning and the big fellas move on. The lack of current, does not sustain the food chain so there is a depletion of quality bait. No bait no fish! Add all that to the clearest water I’ve ever seen with visibility up to 20-25m and there’s the most excuses I can find. Put simple, the fish ain’t there! 😢😢

So the boats in the garage until things improve or I feel like punishing myself next week! Lol 😝 

But a big thanks to the many raiders that I’ve had the pleasure to meet and fish with. As I say, I never guarantee that we’ll catch fish but I’m always happy to show you my spots and techniques if that helps. And I swear there are some really good snapper up here, just not at the moment!!! 
Tight lines all, 

cheers scratchie!!! 
 

19CB351D-9141-4147-8020-1CB50EF396EE.thumb.jpeg.a8044449cfb623f4c7672a14e6143f77.jpeg

And finally, a big shoutout to a mate that is recovering from life changing surgery @back cruncher. Get well soon champ! You must have taken all the fish with ya bastard! Hurry back so we can start putting up some decent reports! 

It was a real struggle.. Not just with the snapper.. Couldn't find a squid, lost a good jew and pulled the hooks on biggest snapper of the trip. But that's fishing.. Always good to bump into a few raiders though @ Stew, Donna and Jeff 

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We might not of caught much but I really enjoyed you skippering us around that day.    Well maybe not so much that bit where my rod was broken before the first cast 🤣. You really sped up the learning curve which will be put to use on future trips and I got my first soft plastic snapper.  

I thought about changing tactics and going deeper on the follow up trip but we decided to persist as that was the aim of the trip and you never know.  Hopefully we get out again some time. 

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Ah it's not just here on the south that things are tough. My daughter managed to put the charter clients on the sweep again today, even managed a couple of wrasse!!!!

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Never mind Scratchie, it just goes that way at times. I have taken blokes out for a fish before, bugger all caught, they give me the funny look (he's taken us to a shit spot  🤣) then returned a few days later by myself to bag out.

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I think they have just spread the word to the others that they should aviod the island & this guy called scratchie who pulled whiskers from the drink 😂 

 

In all seriousness if you look at Pickles last post from up there it sounds like they are out wide & yet to move back it??

Also could be attributed to overfishing, sounds like it gets hit on a daily basis??

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2 months ago i fished solo at the island  and two mates were in a milligan  they got 4 small reds for fri arvo sat morn  both good fishos and fishing spots close to me  i moved around and scraped up my limit of 10 with a king and some odds n ends  i went to mungo sat morn and couldnt lose a bait  i picked up my best couple in mid morn at nth rock   i thought it was hard goin then but it sounds worse now

20200711_110511.jpg

Edited by rickmarlin62
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1 hour ago, rickmarlin62 said:

2 months ago i fished solo at the island  and two mates were in a milligan  they got 4 small reds for fri arvo sat morn  both good fishos and fishing spots close to me  i moved around and scraped up my limit of 10 with a king and some odds n ends  i went to mungo sat morn and couldnt lose a bait  i picked up my best couple in mid morn at nth rock   i thought it was hard goin then but it sounds worse now

20200711_110511.jpg

 

There still have been odd days where Monty and the Bermi reefs have turned up a few fish. Unfortunately the once productive area around Tuross hasn't faired so well. 

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Great write up and summary @Scratchie.  If you with your skills are also struggling up there, it makes our misses down here a little more palatable. 

I pulled a doughnut on Monday taking @kingie chaser and @61 crusher out to the shelf and put it down to an upwelling of some very cold water.  But who knows.

Maybe its time to put that shine on the Haines ...eh?

Cheers Zoran

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15 hours ago, GoingFishing said:

Awesome write up Scratchie. Your a champion for making the time to get out with the guys and sharing your spots and knowledge. Fishing is just as much about the company as it is the catching.

I have heard a few times that when the shallows are too clear that its worth giving the deeper water a try.

Or......the more likely explanation which i hinted at in a separate report.....you have caught them all Jeff...theres simply none left !!! 🤣🤣

100% spot on Sam! Fishing is always about the company, fish are sometimes a bonus. I know I should go fish the deeper water but it just doesn’t excite me! 

15 hours ago, rickmarlin62 said:

glad i didnt go up on wknd   heard a few sob stories from others  only glimmer was a good catch at edith  but thats all   hI pefully a bit of current migjt statt pushin soon jeff

Yeah Rick, not many good stories from Port S at the moment! 

15 hours ago, Hoods said:

Thanks for the report Scratchie. I reckon those £$%^&* Leatherjackets ate all your fish (ie. you're absolved from any possible blame/responsibilty). Most of the joy of a fishing trip is the planning & spending time with other fishos (mates etc).

Agree Hoods. I take pride putting people onto fish but if there not there, then there’s nothing I can do! 

14 hours ago, quintrex52 said:

It was a real struggle.. Not just with the snapper.. Couldn't find a squid, lost a good jew and pulled the hooks on biggest snapper of the trip. But that's fishing.. Always good to bump into a few raiders though @ Stew, Donna and Jeff 

Yeah bro! I’d hate to think how many casts we put in between us! 😩😩

14 hours ago, Welster said:

We might not of caught much but I really enjoyed you skippering us around that day.    Well maybe not so much that bit where my rod was broken before the first cast 🤣. You really sped up the learning curve which will be put to use on future trips and I got my first soft plastic snapper.  

I thought about changing tactics and going deeper on the follow up trip but we decided to persist as that was the aim of the trip and you never know.  Hopefully we get out again some time. 

Cheers mate! I’m glad you got one at least. And not a bad one too! But you stuck to it and kept casting which is a real key to fishing with soft plastics! 👍

14 hours ago, JonD said:

Ah it's not just here on the south that things are tough. My daughter managed to put the charter clients on the sweep again today, even managed a couple of wrasse!!!!

Haha 😂 the wrasse are so thick up here. I also seen your daughter made a trip up here but didn’t see any fish from her either! Except some lobsters 🦞 Pretty sure I seen her doing that other kind of fishing 🤔

12 hours ago, Yowie said:

Never mind Scratchie, it just goes that way at times. I have taken blokes out for a fish before, bugger all caught, they give me the funny look (he's taken us to a shit spot  🤣) then returned a few days later by myself to bag out.

I’m hearing you Yowie! Mate, I take anyone I fish with to the spots I catch all my fish. I doesn’t bother me at all. The technique is the key WHEN they are THERE! 

5 hours ago, kingie chaser said:

I think they have just spread the word to the others that they should aviod the island & this guy called scratchie who pulled whiskers from the drink 😂 

 

In all seriousness if you look at Pickles last post from up there it sounds like they are out wide & yet to move back it??

Also could be attributed to overfishing, sounds like it gets hit on a daily basis??

Not over fishing. My points are very valid. I really don’t like fishing deep. A bait on a paternoster rig just doesn’t do it for me. 

2 hours ago, zmk1962 said:

Great write up and summary @Scratchie.  If you with your skills are also struggling up there, it makes our misses down here a little more palatable. 

I pulled a doughnut on Monday taking @kingie chaser and @61 crusher out to the shelf and put it down to an upwelling of some very cold water.  But who knows.

Maybe its time to put that shine on the Haines ...eh?

Cheers Zoran

Cheers Zoran! Always frustrating pulling a donut but it happens. Yep time for that shine I reckon!

2 hours ago, Rebel said:

Great read. Thank you.

Cheers 

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Got to love how you & some well respected fishos come up with some great theories & then they end up being excuses, yet it all makes sense.
Seems to have been generally lean along most of the coast with a few fishy periods throughout this winter

Good on you for getting out with so many raiders & sharing 
Great read 👍

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2 hours ago, 61 crusher said:

 

Got to love how you & some well respected fishos come up with some great theories & then they end up being excuses, yet it all makes sense.
Seems to have been generally lean along most of the coast with a few fishy periods throughout this winter

Good on you for getting out with so many raiders & sharing 
Great read 👍

Oh Dieter, I’ve got some of the best excuses ever. Lol 😝 But not catching many fish in 8 weeks there’s definitely something wrong 🤔

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Hi all...scratchie,this time last year we were catching quality snapper.somethings different that for sure.

isnt the weather into a La Niña phase ?.could that also be a factor ?.
 

another month and I should be back in action...fish bitting or not,I’m going fishing once a week minimum.

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58 minutes ago, Scratchie said:

I’ve got some of the best excuses ever. Lol 😝 But not catching many fish in 8 weeks there’s definitely something wrong 🤔

Here’s another, maybe “Mother Nature” has gone into shock from COVID through lack of people travelling or possibly La Niña 🤔

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Yeah Jeff it was a tough day but I really want to thank you for taking the time out to show me your spots and the awesome waterway we are lucky to have in this country.

There is always another day to fish and the experience has made me keener than ever to tackle the amazing fishing grounds around Port Stephens.

Cheers mate I will be back soon.

The Skipper

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14 hours ago, back cruncher said:

Hi all...scratchie,this time last year we were catching quality snapper.somethings different that for sure.

isnt the weather into a La Niña phase ?.could that also be a factor ?.
 

another month and I should be back in action...fish bitting or not,I’m going fishing once a week minimum.

Rest up mate hope to see you out on the water again soon.

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4 hours ago, the skipper said:

Yeah Jeff it was a tough day but I really want to thank you for taking the time out to show me your spots and the awesome waterway we are lucky to have in this country.

There is always another day to fish and the experience has made me keener than ever to tackle the amazing fishing grounds around Port Stephens.

Cheers mate I will be back soon.

The Skipper

Thanks Skipper! It’s a beautiful place and even better when the fish are on! See you again soon! 

3 hours ago, tyrone07 said:

Told ya mate ten years you would be targeting the sweep, may have to start now. 3lb mainline and leaders, little pink kmart rod

Haha 😂 At least the gear will be cheaper! 😂

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15 hours ago, back cruncher said:

Hi all...scratchie,this time last year we were catching quality snapper.somethings different that for sure.

isnt the weather into a La Niña phase ?.could that also be a factor ?.
 

another month and I should be back in action...fish bitting or not,I’m going fishing once a week minimum.

Good to hear your on the mend. Just make it every Monday and we’re on! 👍

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