I wanted to dedicate a trip to livebaiting to see what was around, catching fish on lures in the seaway has been a bit tough lately so I wanted to see if the fish were there but only interested in livebaits. Arrived at around 11am, swell was less than a metre and the wind was light from the NW. Went straight out to the baitgrounds to see what I could find. I spent about 2 hours out there and only managed 4 yellowtail, a pike and 2 bullseyes. Came back in and had a look at the north wall and found mullet schooling in near the rocks. I managed to get 4 of those on a 15gram gillies and a Watsons Leaping Bonito as well.
As the tide began to slow around 3pm I deployed my first yellowtail around the north wall. Did a few drifts for nothing so I went down to the pipeline and sent him down again and he was promptly swallowed by a jewie around 85cm who I'll call stumpy on account of his shortened tail section which made him look like a cross between a barramundi and a jewfish. I released him and put down another yellowtail, it got hit but the fish spat the hooks. The next 2 yellowtail died on the hook without a looker. I put down the pike and as usual it got eaten within seconds, I got a solid hookup and fought the fish for about a minute before the hooks pulled. I've never used bullseyes as a livebait before but they looked good to me so put down the bullseyes one on each hook and they got eaten within a minute, but it was only a jewie around 65cm. Still I'll be using bullseyes as a livebait again, it wouldn't surprise me if they turn out to be quite a good one. So I was down to mullet as a livie, I've never been a big fan of mullet as a livebait and always seen them as a last resort bait but it was all I had left so I put him down. By 5am he was still untouched so I decided to take a break from that and do a bit of trolling as the sun set.
I only had 2 outfits with me suitable for that, a 6lb outfit and a 20lb outfit. I decided on the 6lb outfit( big mistake) after all I'm not likely to hook anything big.... right? Out went a Rapala ST XRD10 in Glass ghost and I trolled over to the canyon, as soon as I passed the dropoff the lure got hit and this thing went into overdrive. With the line melting off the spool at a blindingly fast rate I tried to follow the fish with the boat but it was swimming away(against the current mind you) faster than I could drive and hold the rod. With the bottom of the spool now clearly in sight the fish found some structures and busted me off. I was left to wind in nearly 200 metres of line. Nice. Switched to the 20lb outfit, put a new lure on but of course nothing wanted that. Had a quick fish around the north wall as the sun set for zip.
Once it was dark I headed back out to the bait grounds to try and get some pike, but all I managed was about a million small tailor. Gave that away and came back in for the top of the tide, deployed the mullet again and drifted around the north wall, south wall, deep hole, pipeline and canyon for not even a touch. Had enough by 11pm, anchored up deployed the mullet and had a kip. Woke at 4am for the change of tide, mullet was still swimming around untouched. Tried again around the north wall, south wall, pipeline etc. Zip. Tossed him out and the other mullet as well and headed offshore to get some yellowtail just on dawn.
That worked a bit better and I soon had 20 or so in the tank, plus two bullseyes and 1 cowanyoung. Came back to the seaway and the run in tide pushing around the north wall just screamed tailor. Deployed my first yellowtail on the edge of the eddy and he was promptly eaten by a tailor around 45cm. Over the next hour or so I landed a dozen tailor all in the 45-50cm range, good fun. As the tide began to slow I moved down to the pipe and drifted a yellowtail over the pipe, that was eaten straight away and I was in a battle with a fish that clearly wanted to get back down to the pipe. I was only using 20lb line but I did hold him off it for a minute or so before he made it back down and busted me off. Next up was the cowanyoung, same story drifted it over the pipe but this time the 78cm jewfish was no match for my no holds barred approach. Sent down the bullseyes and they got eaten as well but pulled the hooks. That was the last of my livies and by this time I was low on fuel so called it a day around 9.30.
So an interesting overnighter, though I didn't get any fish while it was dark. I didn't see anyone else get a fish on lures or fly the whole time I was there. The tailor were sitting on the bottom between 14 & 17 metres down which is typical winter behaviour, there were reasonbale numbers as a couple of times the hooked fish were followed up by half a dozen of his mates. Mullet continue to be a last resort bait with pike still maintaning the top spot and yellowtail coming second. Everyone I have talked to in the last week or so has said how tough it is with lures at the moment, the fish are there but they want livies. There is some bait coming through at night but nothing during the day. I sent the camera down off the front of the north wall and there was a big school of Watsons Bonito down there so you might see them pop up in the mornings. The bigeyes were near the Wavebreak cardinal mark at night but not feeding.
|Tuesday 6th August||11.00am - 11.00pm||0201 0.21 0750 1.13 1332 0.13 2012 1.58|
|Wednesday 7th August||4.00am - 9.30am||0232 0.17 0824 1.17 1408 0.11 2045 1.59|
Just as something interesting, I have for some time now known about some schools of fish that have been holding about 200m out from the south wall on the runout tides. I've seen them on the sounder numerous times, put down lures, plastics, even bait jigs but had no interest. Well today I put the camera down and found out what they were. Turns out they were big schools of winter whiting, not something I would have guessed.
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And the winner for August is Craig.
Great report Craig as usual.
Just while were talking pipelines, where north/south on the pipe do you find most fish?