Some clouds mainly sunny. Water quality was excellent in all areas even at the bottom of the tide. Lots of sharks around. Lots of bait holding in the seaway. Lots of trevally around the pipeline.
We moved into the seaway at 3.30am and straight away found some active bigeye trevally, they weren't really going for it just hitting the surface every now and again. We used poppers and 30gram twisties and landed 4 bigeyes from 57 -62cm before they shut down. We moved up to the north wall for dawn and started off with shallow minnows(megabass vision 110) around the edges, wasn't long before we started landing some small bigeyes up to 45cm and a lone tailor at 47cm.
We fished for about an hour with lures before deciding to go and get some livies, half an hour later we were back and from then on it was action packed fishing at its finest. Big fish were hooked, some landed, some eaten, many lost though we think some of the ones lost were sharks going by the abraded traces they left behind. The fish we did land though were excellent quality. 2 Gt's 59 & 61cm, 2 jewies 57& 63cm, 3 tailor 48-55cm with a couple of good fish escaping close to the boat, one of which was a 60cm+ tailor.
After a while we ran out of livies but I had kept 1 dead pike for a very special reason. I rigged up with a 40lb wire trace, butterflied him and sent him down. Minutes later he was eaten and the fish took off, unfortunately right in the direction of the breaking swells across the seaway entrance . An epic fight ensued and about 30 minutes and 1km later we had a 2m+ whaler shark at the boat. Just goes to show the size of the sharks that have been stealing the fish and livies, and its certainly big enough to take a chunk out of a surfer or two. I wasn't going to bring a shark that big into the boat to take the hook out so I let him go by cutting the trace. We gave it away after that, quite happy with the days catch.
So overall another top day with some quality fish and my personal best GT and my biggest whaler shark yet. The SE winds continue to bring lots of bait and good fish into the seaway. Livies continue to impress with the quality of fish caught.
Well after testing out the modified rig, it works and works well. The clip allows easy changes of traces once they get damaged (and they do get damaged alot). The addition of wire between the hooks didn't seem to bother the fish at all but I am going to increase the strength of that wire to 30lb. As you can see from the pic of the tailor below, they have a nasty habit of chopping off livebaits behind the head and in a dual hook rig, the only way you'll stay connected is with wire. I'm going to go with 5/0 Gamakatsu octopus black as my standard hook size as it matches the pike size nicely, but I'll keep a few in the 3/0 size for herring. Pike is definitely a favoured livebait, as they were generally eaten within minutes of being put down there, some were even taken before they reached the bottom, but I'm sure slimies and yellowtail would work as well. Hookup rate was excellent, around 90% of all hits resulted in a hookup which is why I prefer the dual hook rig.
I'm going to be throwing around some unweighted pike into the washes over the next couple of months, just to see if there are any big tailor or trevally skulking around that are ignoring lures, it should be an interesting experiment.
Some showers and rain, occasional sunny patches. Too rough to go offshore. Water quality was good but the north wall had alot of suspened sand early, which cleaned up towards the top of the tide. Too rough to fish the north wall during the runout.
Went for a fish on thursday morning, more of a test fish to try out some livebaiting and see if the modified rig I put together worked or not. Its been 4 years since I've livebaited the seaway so wasn't sure if the whole system of catching livebait, storing livebait and fishing livebait worked ok.
We started off with lures though, conditions were once again very rough but we persisted catching some nice bigeyes around the 50-55cm mark and a few nice dart which surprisingly weren't shy about hitting a 11cm minnow. Water around the north wall had alot of suspended sand initially but it cleared up as the tide rose.
Once the fish went off the bite we moved off to try and locate some livebaits, that didn't take long and we soon had 10 pike ranging from 20cm up to 45cm monsters. First problem was that there was a short on the pump system somewhere and I ended up getting shocks every time I put my hand in the water so we took that out and just changed the water every so often. Second problem was because it was so rough the livewell(big plastic box) ended up leaking half its water into the boat, had to use the bilge pump a few times. I'll be out looking for a better livewell and aeration system today.
Anyway onto the fishing, I'd modified the rig i used to use to make it a bit more flexible and I sent down the first pike, took about 5 seconds before he got eaten by a good fish, which unfortunately cut through the trace between the first and second hook. I had made up some rigs I wanted to test just for that eventuality, as they have light wire just between the first and second hook. Second pike I sent down got eaten straight away and after a short tussle had a nice tailor to the boat, as you can see in the pic they do have a tendency to chop baits in half. Anyway over the next 20 minutes we landed 2 jewies 57 & 64cm, 1 GT at 48cm & 1 Bigeye at 55cm. The smaller pike were eaten instantly but the larger ones were left untouched, I'm thinking I might restrict the use of the larger ones to night time and first light when the bigger fish are on the hunt. We soon ran out of livies and went back for some more, about 20 minutes later we were back with another 10 pike. It was too rough to fish the north wall so we tried around the pipeline and I soon hooked up on another fish, this one was big and had the drag screaming unfortunately about 10 minutes into the fight he cut me off on the pipeline, probably a kingfish. Hooked up another fish soon after which also busted me off on the pipeline..grrrr. We did see another boat land a kingie of around 65cm so they were definitely there. Next fish I hooked wasn't anywhere near as strong and up popped another bigeye around 55cm. Lost the next two fish as well and our time was up so we gave it away for the day.
So a pretty good day overall, a few problems with the livewell system but that should soon be fixed. Plenty of fish around with live baits getting eaten within minutes. The bad midweek conditions continue to frustrate though.
I have decided to try a bit of livebaiting the seaway after a long absence so I thought I'd take a look at the rig I use and see if it can be improved.
The old rig consists of a standard 2 hook rig(Gamakatsu Octopus Black 3/0 - 7/0) on a metre long 30-50lb trace this is tied to a swivel then I place a 5mm bead on the upside of the swivel then its tied to a 5 m long shock leader of 40lb then tied onto 50lb braid. Next part is a sinker(1-4 oz) on a 1.5m long trace of 12lb mono tied to a clip. This clip is then attached above the bead.
First up I'm adding a high quality clip (shogun size 3 rated to 80lb) just below the bead, this will enable me to change traces easily as the traces are already premade. So if the trace gets abraded or the bottom hook gets cut off I'll just unclip it and add a new trace in about 10 seconds. Secondly related to the problem of getting cut off which is quite common due to the large tailor that frequent the area, I'll be adding a short wire trace between the first and second hook, this will be a limited trial to see if it has any effect on the hookup and retention rate. If it scares off the big jews then I may discontinue its use.
I'll be using two outfits. first one is a heavy outfit designed for use with 40cm+ livebaits and targeting sharks. Reel is a Daiwa Sealine LD50H loaded with 500m of 50lb Bionic Braid, Rod is a Shimano Backbone Rod rated to 20kg. Second outfit is a 7" Team Daiwa Advantage Medium Heavy rod rated to 8kg with 300m 20lb Bionic Braid, this one will be for small live baits, herring, small pike and small mullet.
Some showers and rain, occasional sunny patches. Too rough to go offshore. Water quality was excellent in all areas even at the bottom of the tide. Lots of sharks around. Lots of bait holding in the seaway.
On the water at 3.30am we checked out a few spots looking for active fish but found none, the constant rain didn't help. We moved into the seaway for dawn and conditions were marginal with quite a strong SE wind and a decent swell. With waves breaking across the entrance going offshore was not an option. We tried around the pipeline for a while before moving over to fish the edge of the north wall. We managed a few hits on minnows but no hookups until we reached the northern side of the wall. Conditions here were quite rough and needed constant repositioning of the boat. Dad hooked up on a nice fish which made a few nice runs before the sharks caught up with him. What was a nice bigeye around 60cm came to the boat missing half his body. We hooked up on some more fish that were again chased by sharks. We did manage to land a couple more bigeyes up to 45cm and about half a dozen tailor up to 45cm on twisties. We switched to plastics, because of the minimal tidal run we used 3/8th oz jigheads on a 5" gulp minnow. We hooked one more tailor at 48cm and 5 jewies up to 60cm fishing on the bottom. We also got a few more dart casting twisties at the end of the wall. Saw the guy from coastal sports fishing land a 84cm Tailor which is a monster, the sharks had a go at him too but he managed to get him up mostly intact. Thats the best Tailor I've seen landed in the seaway and it was taken on a live pike.
So another day down, not a bad fishing day with some reasonable fish landed, nothing huge but good consistent fishing nonetheless. I'm going to try livebaiting again soon for larger fish, lures certainly catch fish and are alot of fun to use but they are a poor imitation of the real thing.
Some showers before sunup, mainly sunny after. Alot of Suspended sand around the north wall even at the top of the tide, cleaner water on the south wall & rest of seaway. Lots of bait offshore in 10-15m between the seaway and narrowneck arti. Some bird activity but no fish sighted.
On the water at 3.30am we had a look in the seaway tried a few spots but got nothing. Moved up to the north wall for dawn fished with slugs, minnows and vibs but water quality was quite poor with alot of suspended sand. Tried a few other spots for zip then came back to the north wall after the sun was up. Using twisties we fished along the inside edge and started to catch good size swallowtail dart between 40 & 44cm, picked up one tailor at around 45cm as well. Headed offshore to look for tuna covered the area from the seaway down to mermaid but saw no fish, plenty of birds around and lots of bait close inshore but no fish. Back into the seaway for the top of the tide, tried plastics on the bottom but only managed one jewie around 50cm but picked up a few more dart on twisties. Gave it away at 9am.
So we managed a few fish this trip but dirty water continues to plague the north wall zone, no bait in the seaway area either. The pelagics are proving tough to catch consistently and there have been none of the usual bonito or frigate mackerel that usually show up this time of year. The mackerel seem to have disappeared as well.