We went out this morning to catch some nice big ones and try some new spots . There are plenty of channels amongst the flats in Lake Macquarie so you don’t have to go far . the tide was just starting to run out so things looked good . First channel a small flathead , throw back . Next channel a nice one for the fridge . At the next channel in comes a great 72 cm beauty . Some fast photos , see below and back she went . We thought there might be some males hanging around but not one more touch . So the morning of about two and half hours saw three fish caught , two thrown back and one kept . Not a lot of fish but the big one made up for it . See photo
The wind was high so we went flats fishing again in the protected bay . Now flats fishing is great fun but you need to have two scenarios .
1. A protected bay with weed and sand patches . The weed has to be light , don’t go if the weed is thick and heavy , especially if there are no sand patches . The fish will often hit in the sand patches , they are either there or just hiding next to it in the weed . Fish light and cast with the wind and drift with the wind .
2. Go where there is clear water and you can see the sandy flats amongst darker water . If the sand has ridges where the water is slightly deeper , that is where the fish are . Even better if there is some rocks or weedy patches around . Stick to the slightly deeper water and cast to the shallow water and bring the lure back to you hitting the bottom at all times . If the flats are clear and not weedy you can use five inch soft plastics and heavier jig heads to cast further .
we chose the first option here as it was windy . Light gear as mentioned in previous blogs . Two hits and both of us missed them . Then on he next drift one small flathead , sent back only forty cm . Next drift in comes a beaut fish , 57 cm long , just one cm short of me throwing it back . The fight with this flathead on 8 lb leader and 1000 reel was terrific . This is fishing . It ran and ran , four or five times when it saw the net . Keeping the rod tip down near the water and pressure on the fish got the job done . With light gear and flats fishing keep the drag at 1/3 rd of the breaking strain of the leader and you will have no trouble landing it eventually . See the photos .next time I will get a video . The fishing went quiet so we ventured out into the channel behind an island to get out of the wind . First drift another good flathead 53 cm , and that was it . Nothing else after that . Three nice flathead , two let go .
Today was very windy so it was a matter of keeping out of the wind . So I went to a bay where it was protected to fish the flats and small drop offs . The bay I found was 1.5 ft -2 ft on average and had small drop offs to 3 ft and 3 1/2 ft . I could see most was short weed with a lot of sandy patches in between . Looked good . The wind was still coming in strongly so the drift was quite fast . I spent an hour and a bit there . Using bream gear , 6 lb leader , # 2 hook on 1/16 th oz jig head . 1000 reel and 2-4 kg rod . Nice and light . I used the 2.5 ” Berkley shrimp in new Penny result – two nice flathead 53 cm and 48 cm . Both came home for the table . My technique here was to cast with the wind as this is the direction of the drift , let the lure sink and leave it there for two seconds then twitch it to make the prawn look alive , then let it sit again for a couple of seconds . Repeat . You do pick up weed on the hooks but you minimise it with the slow movement and twitches . See photos
Today was a beautiful morning with only a light breeze so out we went at 6 am . Today it was a run out tide , an hour till low . Three of us as we had a guest . All using 5″ soft plastics jerk shads , one white , one pink and one pilchard . Second cast and in comes a 65 cm beauty on the pink colour . A few photos and off she went to give someone else a thrill . We fished for 2 1/2 hours for 7 first one was the biggest but all were good eating size . We kept 3 and 4 went back . See photos
Weather is good angain today so out we went with three of us chasing more flathead . Today we wanted a few to feed all the family tonight , 9 of us , so the goal was 5 edible flathead . No sooner had we reached the channel , as this is where we wanted to fish today , did Adam hook a 54 cm flattie . One in the boat ! . A run out tide for two hours before low so we thought we would be in with a chance of 5 . For the next hour , nothing so we went to a new channel to fish the final hour before low tide . Same gear as yesterday . Suddenly we hit a patch and three came in the boat quickly . Then it went quiet until the turn of the tide and another 3 came in . So we had 7 so two can go back and we kept 5 for dinner .
The others wanted to go for a fish so we had caught two squid on the soft plastics so we thought let’s have a calamari entree for dinner . So off 4 of us went squidding . We were right , they were around now and we went home after an hour and a half with 20 squid . That was enough for a Thai calamari noodle dish entree before the fish and salad . Can’t get fresher seafood than that .
Today is the last day of the holiday so our goal was to catch 6 flathead , one of which was to be a big one so it could go on the video .
The wind was north east and not too strong so we set off for the channels with fast running water and the drop offs .
First cast into the first channel and I hook up a nice 53 cm flattie . What a start . We are using the normal gear but today I am using pilchard colour . For the next hour we got nothing so off to the next channel . The tide was running out and we had 3 hours to low tide .
Second drift another nice one 47 cm . Next one was under 40 cm so back it went . Then the Next drift another 45 cm flattie . John then catches a small one which was sent home . The tide started to slow and the fish went off so we decided to wait till the tide turned and fish it for half an hour more . As the tide turned I hooked another nice flathead around the same size as the others .
So far no big girl . Just on last cast before going home , john hooks up s beauty . We knew this was big as the rod bent over and stayed there . After about 5 minutes in came this 87 cm giant . The fish we came for . It is on video and I will post it shortly . Below is the photo . Then she was sent back to the bottom to give another fisherman a thrill .
It shows you that you can catch big fish on light gear . This was on 8 lb leader and 1/4 oz jig head ,3/0 hook .
So we came in with 8 fish caught 5 released and three for dinner . A great way to finish .
Over in New Zealand for a few days , the three of us managed to get out for a fish on one day . We went out from Waiheke island , just off Auckland for snapper and a king fish if possible .
The wind was up and it was very choppy but the 6 metre boat handled it well . On our way to a reef we saw the birds working so after them we went . Never go past birds working ! Well it was the right decision . For the next 3 1/2 hours we caught fish after fish . Paul was on bait , Chris on soft plastics and I was on a micro jig 40 gram . All of us had light gear ,1-3 PE rods and 2500 reels with either 10 lb or 15 lb leader .
Just about every cast we each pulled up a Kawai ( don’t know the spelling but it is the same as an Australian salmon ) . We must have caught over 60 of these . They were making it hard to get to the bottom to hit the snapper but who’s complaining . It was a lot of fun .
In amongst that we did catch a lot of small snapper , but some ice size ones for the table also were boated . The micro jig caught the biggest one . Just as we were about to change spots I hooked a great fish thinking it was s big snapper . The fight was too great for the snapper and in came a niece big kingie on the 40 g micro jig . On my little 1-3 rod and 2500 reel this was a great fight . The fish of the day .
All in all we must have caught and released more than 100 fish . Worth the effort , a lot of fun . Then back to land and off to the wineries for the afternoon . See the photos below .
Had the opportunity to go out for a couple of hours this afternoon , mainly to fuel the boat for tomorrow , but who can pass up a fish when on the wind was blowing and I had half an hour before low tide so I thought I would fish a 5″ soft plastic for a jewie . Give it an hour I said to myself . Just on dead low I hooked a nice school Jewish in Pittwater . It was amongst the boats in some deep water . No other bites at all . So off I went to get out of the wind . I drifted the northern side of Scotland island and I hooked the biggest whiting I have seen in Pittwater . It was 43 cm . I counted it even though I hooked it in the belly . Then I hooked a small baby snapper on the 5″ soft plastic as I drifted over a drop off . Not a bad two hours fishing ! There is a video on each of the catches below . All fish were released . There are plenty of fish at the moment . Flathead , bream , snapper , kingies, etc . Use my tips and you will catch them in Pittwater .
First day of four days fishing . The wind is howling but we decide to go out to the fads for yellowfin .it is not really a fishing trip as we have our wives with us so half days are going to be the norm . Once we get to the fad its micro jigs out to get some skipjack for bait . First drop all four of us hook up to rainbow runners . These fish are cousins to the kingfish . Next drop all four hook up again , this time two rainbow runners and two skipjack . Then it went off so we started trolling and using our poppers out the back . I also put out a 7″ soft plastic in white to see if they preferred this . Over the next hour the soft plastic worked and in came 4 nice yellow fin tuna . A few more skip jacks and at 11 am we headed for calm water as the swell was causing us havoc .
Back for lunch at the resort with the girls and they were not keen for the boat two of us went out into calm water chasing dogtooth tuna .
The next two hours gave us no joy , only a shark and a couple of small fish . See the video below of the shark and the days catch between two boats .