Lumpy Easterly swell requiring constant readjusting of boat positioning. Lots of floating weed around the north wall. No Moon.
On the water at 04.30am , I moved straight into the seaway to see what was around. Conditions were good to start with a light SW and a strong tidal flow with well defined current lines. As part of my ongoing test of the effectiveness of XOS lures I decided on using a System Minnow 15F to start with, at 15cm long its easily my biggest minnow and at around $35.00 each one of my most expensive, not something you want to lose. Its only a shallow runner so fairly safe to be throwing around rock walls while its still dark. After the first couple of throws I had a decent hit but it didn't connect, next cast it got smashed and the fish went airborne a couple of times which had me thinking big tailor then slugged it out down deep doing multiple runs. To my surprise it ended up being a quality tarpon at 60cm, they obviously aren't shy at hitting large lures on occasion. I had a few more hits on that lure that didn't connect so I switched to conventional tarpon tackle with a small plastic. First cast with that and I was hooked into another tarpon this one throwing the lure on its third jump. Next cast I hooked up once again this time landing another 60cm tarpon, great fighters at that size. By the time I had dealt with that fish dawn was upon me so I switched back to the big minnow in the hopes of tempting a big greenback. Wasn't long before I hooked a decent tailor at around 50cm, poor fella looked like he had been in the wars with a ragged tail and lots of scars. A bit more casting with that for no result and I switched to a zipvib 90 and quickly pulled another 2 tailor around mid 40's. Changed to a popper to see if I could get some more fish on surface but all I could manage was a couple of mid 30's bigeyes which was a bit disappointing, the water looked perfect for it. Changed to plastics and caught another 2 tailor and a bigeye all average size. Moved down to the pipeline, had one cast with a 30gram gold twistie, let it sink then ripped it back at speed, about halfway back to the boat it got smashed by something with alot of power, it took off on multiple short runs but I had it under control after about 5 minutes or so I thought. As it came up to the boat I saw it was a nice yellowtail king around 80cm, but as soon as it saw the boat it took off again this time with a purpose.. despite being about 50m away from the pipeline it made it back there in about 10 seconds flat shredding my line as it went. Nice. Not the first time that has happened though. No chance of stopping a fish like that on 10lb braid unfortunately. No more fish were interested after that so I moved to a new spot, the tide was slowing so I chucked out the big plastics in the hope for a jewie and It wasn't long before it got eaten. They were hungry today and I managed 6 jewies all between 58 & 63cm, so all standard undersize fish. Good fishing anyway, some of them actually put up a decent tussle on 6lb braid. I had to skedaddle at 9am so I left them biting.
So that was it, not huge numbers landed but some quality fish in amongst them and a good range of species. It was tough staying in position once that wind got up and I copped a number of waves over the stern but it was good to see a bit of wave action there today. Oh and if you look carefully at the open mouth of that jewie you can see another hook and about a metre of trace that it had stuck in there, I removed that one as well before release.
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