Looking back on 2011
So as we come to the end of another year its time to look back and see what the seaway yielded this year. The weather was alot better this year with only a few rainy days and lots of low wind days especially on the weekends. Some exceptional fish were caught this year and most trips yielded a few fish.
Early in the year saw big schools of GT's and Bigeyes around the seaway and good sized Mack Tuna offshore. Big Yellowtail Kingfish showed up in the broadwater and occasionally in the seaway during Feb, March and April. Large schools of white pilchards entered the broadwater early in June and brang with them big schools of Giant Trevally. The tarpon showed up in the seaway as the temps begin to cool and some awesome sessions were had during the cooler months. The salmon arrived at around the same time but spent most of the time in the broadwater and only a few stragglers were caught in the seaway. Winter was characterised by very clear water and very hard fishing in the seaway during the daylight hours, some decent mulloway were taken at night though. We even saw some mack tuna during winter this year though they disappeared after August and have yet to return. As we entered spring the big tailor arrived and some excellent sessions were had on poppers and minnows. The bigeyes showed up again but not until december, some good size fish amongst them but 60cm+ fish were rare. Sharks were very active in the seaway this year and I lost a dozen or so fish to them. At this time the mackerel have not shown in any of the offshore spots in numbers.
My top fish of the year were as follows....
- Best Tailor 65cm
- Best Mulloway 118cm
- Best Giant Trevally 68cm
- Best Bigeye Trevally 65cm
- Best Tarpon 65cm
- Best Yellowtail Kingfish 101cm
Still looking for that 80cm Tailor, 70cm Tarpon and 70cm Bigeye Trevally.
There's going to be a few changes to my fishing during 2012 due to changing circumstances, reports may be a bit lean during the first couple of months of the year but hopefully I'll be able to sort something out that gives an idea of whats around. Thanks to all those who have submitted reports during the year, all the info provided helps make fishing easier for everyone.
Just a reminder.. From January 1st 2012, the seaway is now a designated bar and lifejackets are required to be worn by the occupants of any boats under 4.8m that go out past the walls. It doesn't matter if the bar is flat as a tack, you need to be wearing a lifejacket in a small boat. You can bet fisheries and water police will be policing this hard in the next few months.
Seaway Combined Report Tues/Wed/Thursday 20-22 December 2011
3 reports in the one post this week. Good morning run in tides had me fishing for 3 days in a row. No more fishing for me until after chrissie. Anyway on with the reports...
Tuesday 20th December 2011
5-10kts NNW 0.5m NE swell
Into the seaway at 2.30am, spent some time scouting various locations for active fish but found none which is fairly typical for the seaway during summer. Sounding around the north wall at first light I saw some good showings of fish near the dropoff so dropped down a 3" gulp chartpearl on a 1/2oz head. That had me hooked to a a decent bigeye within a few minutes. As the sky began to lighten I started seeing some surface hits and soon landed a couple of bigeye trevally on poppers. More schools of feeding fish came up and I was soon surrounded by feeding bigeyes, mostly smaller fish around 35-40cm but the occasional larger 50cm+ fish as well. I landed about 10 bigeyes in varying sizes before they went down, mostly on twisties. Chased some fish on the flats and picked up some small bonito around 25-30cm in size. Went back to the wall and threw some poppers at it, had one very big Tailor get airborne on the strike and cut me off seconds later. Caught another 5 tailor on poppers 3 of the fish were in the low 60's the others mid 40's. Moved offshore after that looking for tuna and wasn't until I was headed back that I found a big school of striped tuna, they stayed up and for the first half hour were quite happy to hit anything, I got them on 20g twisties, 15g gillies baitfish and 14 gram blue sea rocks. Landed 5 and lost a few others. Once they went down I called it a day.
Wednesday 21st December 2011
5-10kts S, 1m NE Swell
Into the seaway at 3.45am started off trolling an xr10 as I wanted to spend some time trying to figure out some decent trolling runs along current lines. Found a good location straight away with multiple hits on every pass. They were bigeyes in the 40-50cm range and I landed 6 over the next hour, plus I got one casting into the wash. Some bonito popped up on the surface and weren't fussy hitting a trolled xr10 as well as metals. Probably landed a dozen or so. No surface feeding by other fish. Switched to poppers and landed 5 tailor, all small fish around 40-45cm. Moved offshore to look for tuna but found none. Coming back to the wall after the tide had turned I was working a popper through the wash when it was hit by something neon green which turned out to be a 41cm Surge Wrasse(i think) a very odd catch for the seaway and especially on a popper. That was it for the day.
Thursday 22nd December 2011
10-15kts SE, 1.5m ESE Swell
Moved into the seaway at 3.45am and started trolling dad picked up a nice bigeye straight away and I hooked and lost a good fish as well. Found some bigeyes feeding on surface around the pipeline and we landed another 3 fish on twisties and poppers. Fished the edges for a while and dad landed one more bigeye on poppers. Big seas made the ends of the walls unfishable and offshore was also out. Spent the rest of the time in the broadwater, found some yellowtail kingfish feeding on the surface and had them make a couple of hits on poppers but no hookups. Rained alot.
Seaway Combined Report Tuesday/Wednesday 13th/14th December 2011
A bit busy at the moment with work so I'll just be putting up quick reports for a while. Fished Tuesday and Wednesday of last week.
Tuesday I went out with Wade and we caught a few small bigeyes and tailor around the north wall on first light, moved offshore to look for tuna. Found some small frigates and bonito down around burleigh and palm beach reef. Really fussy but we managed a few on 7 gram sea rocks and 5 gram gold twisties. No big stuff around. Came back to the broadwater and caught more tailor and bigeyes. Nothing big, all under 45cm. Nice weather though.
Wednesday I went out in the afternoon from 4pm. With the wind at a fresh 20-25kts from the south east the broadwater was lumpy in places and fishing was a challenge. Had a look in the broadwater first but the constant wakes of the cruisers and jet boats were making it difficult to fish. So I moved out to the seaway, at the bottom of the runout tide it was extra lumpy in the seaway itself but quite fishable around the front and to the north of the north wall. First few casts yielded a couple of tailor but that was all. A few fish were feeding sporadically on the surface I think they were small frigates, never did hook one though. There was tons of bait and fish arches on the sounder and I thought the fish might start feeding as the sun went down so we waited.
Right as the sky began to darken I hooked a fish on a slug, a short but spirited fight and I had him near the boat when all of a sudden he took off and suddenly had alot of weight to it. A few angry headshakes later and I wound in half a bigeye trevally, the bullsharks of the north wall strike again! About 10 minutes later the place went berserk with bigeyes chopping the surface all around us, we hooked a couple of good fish both of which were lost through the hooks pulling. Then about 5 minutes after we they started they shut down. We had a couple more strikes on poppers but no more hookups.. disappointing they did not feed for very long. As darkness fell we moved into the broadwater trolled a bit, cast around a few locations, got one bigeye on a popper and as the wind and rain increased decided to call it a night. Not exactly a stellar trip but an interesting one nonetheless.
From what I can tell it looks like the big Tailor have moved on, there's plenty still around in the 30-45cm bracket but the last couple of weeks has seen no big fish. There's probably a few straggler's still around, this coming week might yield a couple of decent fish with the morning run in tides from Tuesday onwards.
Seaway Quick Report Friday 9th December 2011
Got one mid size bigeye on a popper over the pipeline just on first light, some GT's surface feeding for about 5 mins near the pipeline just after sunup, got a couple of those high 40's, lost a couple of others. Lots of Bigeyes (from 30-55cm)and the occasional tailor feeding on surface in the wash along the north wall from first light til about 6am, weren't interested in poppers but were happy to hit 20 & 30 gram twisties. Heaps of small bigeyes feeding on surface in the broadwater, got about 20 of those. Also had a quick troll in the broadwater, got one GT and a couple of tailor, lost a couple of other good fish. Busy morning, plenty of surface feeding but you had to be in there quick. Swell was massive 2-3m easy, but the wall was fishable.. just. Saw some striped tuna feeding just north of wavebreak but couldn't get a cast into them.
Seaway Quick Report Wednesday 7th December 2011
Quick Seaway summary from this morning, 7 bigeyes 53cm to 65cm on poppers, top fun seeing them explode all over the poppers. A few tailor 40cm to 56cm on poppers and minnows, striped tuna up to 55cm feeding in the middle near the front of the walls and inside the seaway but a bit flighty, landed a couple, lost a few more. Other than that some sporadic surface feeding by other fish, not sure what they were. Plenty of bait around and fish on the sounder but I reckon the wind and rain is making them sulk a bit, most of the bait was down deep. First morning the wind drops I reckon the fish will be all over it. A bit lumpy and windy but very fishable. Water temps between 22.3 & 23.8 degrees. Full report later on in the week.