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Looks like the Bonnie's have started showing up, or at least one did


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Over the holidays we  drove the boat up to ettalong from Sydney and had to leave it at its mooring at the marina until yesterday due to mechanical issues making it unsafe to cross back to the harbour. Anyway we had a mechanic take a look at the boat, a mustang 2800 with a Volvo 5.0 v8 and it looks like exhaust flaps failed, hydrolocking the engine. The boat was still having issues starting but we couldn't extend our mooring as it was being filled the next day, after about 15 minutes we got the engine running and we're making our way out of the bay.

The trip back to Sydney began with issues with my dad getting me to drive us out of Brisbane waters and broken bay and I, being too impatient and not knowing the waterway very well decided to take a shortcut away from the channel markers and straight onto a sandbar. I could see on the sounder that the water was 2.5m and slowly getting more shallow but the deeper water of the channel was only 20 meters away and thought I was in the clear, that's when I felt us hit sand and my dad runs up from below deck absolutely fuming that I didn't stay between the markers. At this point I'm thinking I've stranded us and to make matters worse I couldn't get reception to check what stage the tide was at. luckily the wind turned us around and with the props cutting through sand we made it back to deeper water. After we both calmed down my dad told me a story about him doing the exact same thing when he was younger with his brothers boat only he got really stuck and had to get in the water and push the boat free.

Lesson learned, markers are there for a reason

The ride back was pretty calm so we decided to troll some lures in close to the headlands, we didn't plan on doing any fishing so we just used a couple live baiting outfits and 2 lures we had lying around the boat, almost as soon as we let out the first line the drag starts going and I pick up the rod while my dad drives, after I tighten up the drag I notice a massive birdsnest in the reel and try fixing it quickly before landing the fish, my dad sees me struggling and takes over while I drive, as soon as I take the wheel I see we're heading straight for the rocks and are at the most 4 boatlengths away from the crashing waves, I quickly give it some throttle and stear us away and into a set of big waves which were taller than the boat which freaked me out but I got us into calmer water while my dad brought what turned out to be a bonito into the boat. We set the lures back and trolled until we passed longreef where we saw a paddleboarder riding over the massive breaking waves while maintaining perfect balance which was pretty impressive. After longreef we brought in our lines and floored it back to Sydney wanting to get back to the marina on cockatoo Island before it got dark.

My family had covid over the holidays (were all hood now) so this was only our second session of the season with our first being me and my dad getting hyped up for some big kingies setting out with some really good sized yakkas and one giant slimey then giving up after after less than an hour when we both started feeling sick  not knowing yet that we had covid.

Anyway this is my first report  I know there's not a whole lot of fishing but I still enjoyed it and it turned the boring job of bringing our boat back home into a day to remember.


Edited by Ken_Oath
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I was spewing I didn't bring my new 20lb lure setup, I bet that would have been a more interesting fight than winching it to the boat with the 24kg live bait setups, but now that I know the bonito are in town and hanging out close to the rocks I plan to target them from the shore on light gear for some proper sport fishing.

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An interesting read. It's a fine line between an 'adventure' and an 'ordeal'.

The entrance to Brisbane Waters has claimed plenty of boats and a few lives, especially on the run out tide and a southerly swell. Give it respect.

Glad to hear you got through it ok and of at least one bonnie showing up. 

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Great report Ken. Bonnie’s are so much fun on light gear. There are heaps of frigate Mackerel around t the moment in Sydney harbour and Pittwater, as well, with Tailor and sambo’s mixed in with them and taking small metals flicked at them.

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