Target mack, nab a jack, but grinners aren't winners

So who's been offshore recently? How did you go?

Target mack, nab a jack, but grinners aren't winners

Postby Ads22 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:57 pm

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So, this is effectively an offshore-come-estuary report.

Last Saturday I headed out off Bangalee. I still had the taste of mackerel on my mind after my previous visit. This time I had my Sandtrakz wheels to help the launch, which went like a charm for this one. Launched at dawn for a beautiful sunrise on a flat ocean. I worked hard for 4 hours nabbing only a couple of grinner and a couple of yakkas. There were several huge schools of herring but not much chasing them. There was no love on the live yakkas either! At least I can see the bait jigs work - all part of the learning curve.

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Thankfully, a couple of whales came through to brighten my view, and although from a bit of a distance, it was an impressive sight to see. The local dolphins were also moving around but didn't appear to be feeding heavily either.

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Returning up the beach and up the ramp to the carpark was a whole load easier with the Sandtrakz wheels, but the steep ramp was still a bit of a challenge. I was home quite early, which surprised my wife as often I'm gone all day when I take the yak out. I had stopped at Ross Creek in Yeppoon for a look, but decided it looked like too much hassle to launch at such a low tide and gave it a miss.

This week I repeated the dose, hoping that the mackerel had made their way in again following the bait. There was a little more wind than forecast at launch, but the sunrise was still pretty as a picture.

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I headed a little deeper then worked back up to my previous mark. Shortly after launch, I picked up my first Grinner of the day on a lure that nearly matched it for size. I changed through soft vibes, hard bodies, flashers and soft plastics. All I could score for the morning were half a dozen grinner, and if grinners were cool, I'd be a winner. I managed one herring on the live bait jig and promptly sent him back out. He swam with me for a good two hours before he disappeared into the unknown.

Grinner GP_M.jpg


Sunny dolphin 2_M.jpg


I headed back south and ventured further offshore looking for more ground to head to next time, but nothing really showed up. Hopefully this will be easier once I sort out a sidescan unit. Feeling awfully fishless, I headed back in. Off the water at about 11:30, I removed the tacklepod this time and tripped it up to the car from the base of the 4WD access ramp, then transported the yak up. This made the journey much easier for me, until I get the desire to drive up the beach again, at least!

On the water I had hatched a plan to head to Ross Creek this time and check it out. The tide was hitting a high as I headed back in, so did a quick switch of rods and lures, grabbed a feed at the bakery and launched into a green Ross Creek. The Reload is certainly a bit of overkill in here, but I wasn't bringing two yaks with me. I flicked and trolled along the rock wall briefly for a couple of follows, but that was all. A cheeky bank fisher thought it might be funny to launch a sinker my way, and he's probably lucky that I'm a pretty peaceful guy.

I worked a few boat hulls heading up and under the bridge, but was really keen to get further up. This area bottoms out with a narrow channel remaining at low tide and I was really here to explore for later journeys in the Fish Bandit. It was good to see the water at 2m depth for much of the trip up the creek with one corner in particular hitting about 4m. It appeared to hold a few fish on the sound, nothing large but at least something was up there. I worked through a variety of plastics, soft vibes, ZX blades and hard bodies. Eventually I picked up a nice flathead of 43cm on a black ZX30 blade. A photo, tag and release and I kept working edges and the deep corner. As the water shallowed out again, I picked up another 43cm flathead on a small soft vibe and this one went into the keep for a peace offering! :wink:

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I explored further up the overhanging mangroves, working ahead of me as I went at drains and structure on the sides and under the water. A few bumps here or there but nothing solid. Reaching a corner where I could see the water swirl with a creek on one side, the main creek the other with a rapid just further upstream, it looked like a good little target and hole to fish. I cast a number of different lures in here, feeling them hit snags below the surface then eventually hooked up on the white/orange/red soft vibe. A brief but explosive little fight revealed a healthy Mangrove Jack. This was a great reward for persisting so long and put a bigger smile on my face (it was still a great day so far just being on the water). A few photos and a tag and Jack was back home.

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I worked this eddy for some time and got a few shakes, but only little toads I suspect. It was time to think about heading home, so I moved back downstream as the tide was getting close to bottoming out. Working a Z-Man Minnowz in Glow Chartreuse along the edges hoping for another Jack, I hooked a feisty fish that was hell bent on dragging the whole Reload back into its snag. My initial thought was that it must be a Jack, but after finally pulling him clear, it turned out to be a cheeky little 24cm pikey bream. I was on the board for the bream challenge! I got a couple of grabs from the GoPro, but as I was photographing for the comp, the little beggar flipped at the opportune moment and slipped over the side. An entry gone begging, all I have is a GoPro shot of the camera screen, which is not clear enough to be useful. Bugger!

Bream pic GP_M.jpg


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Oh well, so I kept moving along, a but quicker than I'd have liked, but after effectively being on the water from 6am until about 4:30pm, I thought it was about time to test the landing at close to low tide. Thankfully, despite there being plenty of run out of the full moon, there was enough water to drift down the shallow channel right to the corner of the creek with the ramp. From there it was a brief portage up a shallow channel and over a sand bar to the base of the ramp. The joy of kayaks is the ability to launch and land in such conditions.

At the car, I bumped into an old bloke from Lake Macquarie and got talking. He had been a yak fisher for some time, but now with shoulder troubles, uses a canoe with a motor as he doesn't like the pedal yaks. I think I'd been on the pedals, myself. After the exercise I got today, despite hammering some solid food in the yak and my eyes getting big at the bakery, I was still hungry. The ramp is located at Merv Anderson Park, and holds a playground and toilets. Tonight there was a Pizza van on site. So again, my eyes got big and a pizza came home. Another peace offering, and I was home just in time to deliver dinner then rinse my gear!

While there was more fishing than catching, it was nice to be afforded the time to be on the water for so long. Ross Creek certainly looks like it could be a fun place to explore again, and perhaps further upstream on the right tides, although it really gets skinny up there. Off to cook some flatty fillets for a late Sunday breakfast. :grin:

Well - since I held this off to add photos, the flatty was awesome with chips, boiled eggs and salad with a greek yoghurt, lime and pepper sauce on the side. Now off to finish cooking dinner!

Happy Fishing!

Adam
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Yak PBs
Estuary Cod 50cm; Mangrove Jack 49cm; Barra 106cm/11.5kg; Flathead - dusky 62cm; Flathead - bartail 51cm; Flounder 28cm; Forktail Catfish 60cm; Bream 32cm, Sand whiting 30cm; Striped Butterfish/Scat 20cm; Barred Javelin 47cm; Bull Shark 80cm; Queenfish 45cm; Tarpon 60cm; Golden Perch 47cm; Estuary Perch 33cm; Saratoga 72cm; Leathery Grunter 43cm.
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Re: Target mack, nab a jack, but grinners aren't winners

Postby arpie » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:40 pm

Great session, Adam - and terrific pics! That sunrise is awesome!

hey! I reckon that flattie is 44cm (to me!) not 43cm!! :wink:

Bummer about your pikey bream doing a backflip ....... you should have used the 'seat belt' on your Brag Paddle! :cry: Add a couple more notches for the smaller fish .... viewtopic.php?f=7&t=18015&start=15

Having said THAT ..... I have the odd shot of an empty hand, as I've held a fish up for a pic & it flipped! :lol:

Nice Jack! :lek:

cheers

Roberta
Last edited by arpie on Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Target mack, nab a jack, but grinners aren't winners

Postby muzza111 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:26 pm

That was a good read, thanks for taking the time to write that up. I wonder if those tagged flathead and Jack will be recaptured one day??
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Re: Target mack, nab a jack, but grinners aren't winners

Postby rocky » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:35 pm

Great report and pics Ads, sorry I couldn't get out there with you but Saturdays are a bit hard. Would of loved seeing the whales. Did the chap from Lake Macquarie tell you his name?
Will try and get on the water again soon.

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Re: Target mack, nab a jack, but grinners aren't winners

Postby NorthSIKer » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:54 pm

Can't ever have a bad day on the water with conditions like that,

I wonder about those grinners - has anyone tried to make a meal of one? They related to the famous Bombay Duck apparently.
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Re: Target mack, nab a jack, but grinners aren't winners

Postby rocketV » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:21 pm

Jacks are just cool fish regardless of size, very nice :cool:
Fresh is best, but I don't mind some salt every now and then!


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Re: Target mack, nab a jack, but grinners aren't winners

Postby Ads22 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:23 pm

NorthSIKer wrote:Can't ever have a bad day on the water with conditions like that,

I wonder about those grinners - has anyone tried to make a meal of one? They related to the famous Bombay Duck apparently.


Pretty true NorthSIKer, really was nice. I thought about the idea of trying some grinner. I think next time I might even try and keep a few. Could at least make some fish cakes!

rocky wrote:sorry I couldn't get out there with you but Saturdays are a bit hard.


Life gets busy sometimes, even when retired! :lol: :lol: Will get out again soon. See how the back pulls up after touch tonight (very innocuous movement and back has seized for first time ever) and if all good, perhaps next Sunday somewhere.

muzza111 wrote:I wonder if those tagged flathead and Jack will be recaptured one day??


I'm hoping so muzza. It's pretty interesting to see the life cycle of some of these animals and see what eventuates. Hopefully the jack will be caught in a few years on some reef somewhere!

arpie wrote: That sunrise is awesome!

hey! I reckon that flattie is 44cm (to me!) not 43cm!! :wink:

you should have used the 'seat belt' on your Brag Paddle! :cry: Add a couple more notches for the smaller fish .... viewtopic.php?f=7&t=18015&start=15

Having said THAT ..... I have the odd shot of an empty hand, as I've held a fish up for a pic & it flipped! :lol:



Yeah, I thought about the seat belt, was just lazy, so my fault! And the flatty was definitely 43cm. That's the one I tagged so made sure of it. The extra 1cm would be parallax error I reckon.

Ha ha, the sunrise was the best picture of that day, which said a lot for the fishing last weekend! :roll:
Yak PBs
Estuary Cod 50cm; Mangrove Jack 49cm; Barra 106cm/11.5kg; Flathead - dusky 62cm; Flathead - bartail 51cm; Flounder 28cm; Forktail Catfish 60cm; Bream 32cm, Sand whiting 30cm; Striped Butterfish/Scat 20cm; Barred Javelin 47cm; Bull Shark 80cm; Queenfish 45cm; Tarpon 60cm; Golden Perch 47cm; Estuary Perch 33cm; Saratoga 72cm; Leathery Grunter 43cm.
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Re: Target mack, nab a jack, but grinners aren't winners

Postby Ads22 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:24 pm

rocketV wrote:Jacks are just cool fish regardless of size, very nice :cool:


They certainly are. Would be interested to try some surface lures in that particular area I reckon with some underwater structure. Try and get some takes on video! And as for size, they all start little!
Yak PBs
Estuary Cod 50cm; Mangrove Jack 49cm; Barra 106cm/11.5kg; Flathead - dusky 62cm; Flathead - bartail 51cm; Flounder 28cm; Forktail Catfish 60cm; Bream 32cm, Sand whiting 30cm; Striped Butterfish/Scat 20cm; Barred Javelin 47cm; Bull Shark 80cm; Queenfish 45cm; Tarpon 60cm; Golden Perch 47cm; Estuary Perch 33cm; Saratoga 72cm; Leathery Grunter 43cm.
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Re: Target mack, nab a jack, but grinners aren't winners

Postby Leper » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:50 pm

A nice report Ads and yes I included your poor photo of the Pikey bream. It's over 20cm and I am pretty sure it won't be your last bream in the next 11 months so I threw it in. Nice Jack to kick off the Jack Comp but you'll need bigger to beat some of the monsters down this way!
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Re: Target mack, nab a jack, but grinners aren't winners

Postby WayneD » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:39 pm

Thanks for taking the time to write up the report. Good to see a few fish get caught eventually. Jack season is getting close down here. I'm getting a bit excited :grin: Soon I'll be fishing before and after work. It's 30 degrees today so I think I might have a crack this arvo!
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Re: Target mack, nab a jack, but grinners aren't winners

Postby Snapperpaddy » Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:40 pm

Keen for feedback on the reload, strengths & possible weaknesses

they seem to sit real low in the water from Vids that have had a look at, have you noticed offshore that the chop might role in to the kayak at all
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Re: Target mack, nab a jack, but grinners aren't winners

Postby Ads22 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:24 am

Snapperpaddy wrote:Keen for feedback on the reload, strengths & possible weaknesses

they seem to sit real low in the water from Vids that have had a look at, have you noticed offshore that the chop might role in to the kayak at all


I really like the Reload, it's a bloody comfortable ride. I pretty much don't use a seat and go for pretty long sessions. I can stand up (provided not too windy) in Estuaries, have also done so from time to time on ocean in low swell conditions. I can cast net from it. I think you're right, they sit pretty low, and in sloppy conditions you'll get a little wet, but I don't think any worse than other yaks in the same conditions. If I'm in the ocean, I expect to get wet, I certainly don't expect a dry ride. You are also not sitting on a raised seat, so expect a wet backside. That doesn't phase me in central Qld, though.

It's worth talking to paddleguyjas, he's usually very responsive through his facebook page (Paddle Guy) or through Viking Kayaks Australia page. Keep in mind he works for Viking, but he is out in their various yaks every other day.
Yak PBs
Estuary Cod 50cm; Mangrove Jack 49cm; Barra 106cm/11.5kg; Flathead - dusky 62cm; Flathead - bartail 51cm; Flounder 28cm; Forktail Catfish 60cm; Bream 32cm, Sand whiting 30cm; Striped Butterfish/Scat 20cm; Barred Javelin 47cm; Bull Shark 80cm; Queenfish 45cm; Tarpon 60cm; Golden Perch 47cm; Estuary Perch 33cm; Saratoga 72cm; Leathery Grunter 43cm.
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