Chasing the dream - Rocky to Warrnambool and back!

Been fishing the estuaries? Let us know how you went.
Message
Author
User avatar
Ads22
KFDU 500 Club
Posts: 950
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:50 pm
Local Fishing Region: Rockhampton/Capricornia
Kayaks: Extreme Kayaks Fish Bandit; Viking Profish Reload

Chasing the dream - Rocky to Warrnambool and back!

#1 Post by Ads22 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:55 pm

This Summer I headed with my family to Victoria to spend time with my Mum and brothers and sisters. The trip from Rockhampton was a big one, and was done over about 5 weeks, so a few sessions on the water were in order! I will include the trip reports under this one heading to reduce amounts of posts. Stay tuned for additions as I get to them.

Hopkins River - Thursday 27/12/18

As fisherfolk, we all have a list of fish we would love to encounter, preferably on the end of our own line, and not that of our mates! Recently, I set my sights on a couple of these fish and had mixed results. I was heading south for Christmas with the family, a trip we make every second year or so to visit my own family. On the roof was my Viking Profish GT, my mid-sized kayak, to accommodate for the variety of places I was heading. The trip down was a quick trip, with overnight stops only, allowing enough respite to drive a full day the following day, especially since I was doing all of the driving myself with my wife recovering from her broken ankle. The night at Moree was, well, let's say interesting. I'll be bypassing it next trip. Wagga Wagga, on the other hand, was a pretty nice spot. I stayed on the Murrumbidgee and would have loved to spend some time on the water - this may be on the cards in the future, even if it's just to say I've paddled on it!

We spent a hot Christmas near Ballarat, and while I was keen to spend some time on the water, it wasn’t possible. So, I had to make do practicing with my new Daiwa Tatula Type R 100H reel. I had purchased this reel with the aim of targeting Barramundi and Mangrove Jack and learning to skip cast using a baitcaster up into the mangroves and under branches.

We arrived in Warrnambool on Boxing Day and settled for a little over a week. The weather was quite reasonable and the following day I was able to get an afternoon/evening session in on the Hopkins River. I launched from Deakin University with my brother (Clint), leaving our Mum’s partner to fish from the bank. The session started reasonably as I paddled upstream a short way trolling a couple of hardbodies. I pulled up at a bank of pylons on a flat and flicked the Strike Pro Smelta in close to the reeds. After a few casts I hooked up and netted a nice little 25cm Bream. First fish for the trip only 15 minutes in! I continued casting in this fashion but with nothing further in the next 15 minutes, I switched to the steeper, rocky side of the river. The water was still quite shallow at some points, but with abundant structure, surely there were fish hanging about!
Bream1-smelta_L.jpg
The water was absolutely flat, as flat as I’ve ever seen it and as the light slowly faded into evening, I worked downstream on the rocky edge of the river searching in vain for a fish. I could see arches showing up in deeper pockets on the sounder and would switch to vibes, blades and the like, but still no love. Finally, as I needed a battery change on the GoPro, I was hit on the troll and retrieved a little 26cm Estuary Perch. I continued to mix up the trolling and casting, as Clint landed a few fish trolling. With daylight savings in effect, the light was still fading slowly and I switched to an Ecogear SX40 in black. Finally, I got onto a fish after casting among the rocks, another little Bream that hit hard. A short while later I was on again in the same fashion, the black SX40 scoring again.
EPtroll26_L.jpg
Bream2_L.jpg
Bream3_L.jpg
The light finally disappeared, by which stage we had been on the water for a few hours. 3 Bream and an EP so far, I was reasonably happy, but it wasn’t a world beating session. Clint had found a school of fish feeding on the flats where I had landed my first fish. I joined him here and set about trying to keep up. My first cast with the black SX40 was hit hard and a good fight ensued. It was over all too soon, though, as the hooks pulled and my foe swam free. After nothing for the next 5 minutes and Clint receiving tap after tap, then hooking up again, I briefly switched to top water, to no avail. Switching back as it finally got too dark for the video, I hooked up again, a Bream going 26cm.
Clint-on_L.jpg
Bream4-26_L.jpg
I was on again the very next cast as the drag screamed off. I had lightened the drag a fraction after pulling the hooks previously, but not ridiculously so. After a solid tussle, I netted the fish, another Bream and an size increase that went 29cm.
Bream 5-29_L.jpg
From this point, it was headlight territory and we continued to cast the flats well into the night, pulling in fish after fish. I lost track of the amount the I caught, but it was certainly fewer than my brother. By the time he left before midnight, he had me for numbers, but I had landed a 34cm. I switched over to the rocky bank again and things went even more nuts. The fish were hitting the lure almost as it landed. Some casts would strike the rock then hit the water and be hit before I could take up the slack. I continued to land a fish every 5 minutes or so and they were getting bigger and tougher. I landed a couple of 34cm models, a 35cm and a 36cm model.
20181227_220040_L.jpg
20181227_223758_L.jpg
20181227_225850_L.jpg
The conditions continued to be calm and I just couldn’t take myself away from it! I picked up a three more Estuary Perch in the process. I finally got home well after midnight, with my wife concerned as to what was happening. Nothing dramatic, I was just having fun catching fish! Hard body lures were the standout (mind you I didn’t have any small soft plastics with me), especially the SX40 and the Atomic Shad 50.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Yak PBs
Estuary Cod 50cm; Mangrove Jack 49cm; Barra 108cm; 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 103cm; Tarpon 60cm; Golden Perch 47cm; Estuary Perch 33cm; Saratoga 72cm; Leathery Grunter 43cm.

User avatar
Ads22
KFDU 500 Club
Posts: 950
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:50 pm
Local Fishing Region: Rockhampton/Capricornia
Kayaks: Extreme Kayaks Fish Bandit; Viking Profish Reload

Re: Chasing the dream - Rocky to Warrnambool and back!

#2 Post by Ads22 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:03 pm

Hopkins River Session 2 – New Year's Eve

After the success of the first Hopkins River session, it was hard not to go back and have another go. I seriously considered other places to try but ended up settling on a sparrows launch on the Hopkins, this time from Jubilee Park. Upon arrival, I found my sounder not working, but after a little fiddling and cleaning of one terminal, I managed to revive it and away we went.

Immediately, there were fish showing on the sounder, right at the pontoon and we flicked hard bodies and vibes around for a while. A calm and mildly overcast Summer morning, we were hoping the fish were as keen to be awake as we were. It didn’t seem to flow this way, and the fishing was tough. After working the deeper holes for a bit, I drifted slowly downstream targeting the edges. Half an hour in, I couldn’t entice any hits, so I trolled a little further downstream and found a hay bale partially submerged on a flat. First cast of the black SX40 to the downstream side saw me hook up only to drop it moments later. I tried the area for a few more casts then moved on back upstream.
Haybale_L.jpg
Sun-up_L.jpg
Tree1_L.jpg
I worked between diving and surface lures for the next half hour before changing to a blade on a drop off I had already observed to be holding fish on the sounder. It only took a few casts of the black ZX30 to hook up to a little Bream, finally opening the account for the day. I continued to fish deep for the next hour over a couple of spots that sounded up well, but couldn’t get any further action. It was now time to push right upstream to Tooram Stones, fishing some magnificent looking structure along the way.
H2Bream1ZX_L.jpg
Bovinefriends_L.jpg
Sounder_L.jpg
Rockyedges_L.jpg
A little further upstream, I passed my Clint who was on a trolling run back downstream. He had been trolling slowly up and back without luck. No sooner had I passed him and the trolled black SX40 hooked up. A typical Bream fight ensued and another mid 20’s Bream came aboard for just my second fish of the session.
H2Bream2Clint_L.jpg
Still further upstream, I fished the flats around the drain from Lake Gillear and received a few bumps but no hook-ups. Nearby lies a little shed and a series of pylons that surely holds good fish at times. It may have held them today, but it wasn’t giving them up! The wind started to pick up and was making things a little more difficult on this open stretch of river. Just one hundred metres up from the shed structure I was flicking the SX40 along the edge when I sent a cast close to the reeds. The lure was half way back to the kayak when it was hit by another small Bream.
Shed_L.jpg
H2Bream3_L.jpg
As I released this fish, the wind pushed me further upstream. I paddled back and repeated the process on the bank, fishing the area I had been pushed past by the wind. I put a cast close to a rock dividing two stretches of reeds. A few turns of the handle and I was finally on to fish number four!
H2Bream4_L.jpg
The wind pushed me quickly up to the stones and I tried to fish the deep hole at the front but found the going tough. After some frustration, I raised my transducer and sat on top of the rocks and cast a surface lure trying to tempt a fish. I could see some mid 20’s fish getting around amongst the rocks but they were too spooky at the time of day to go near my offering.

Coming back off the rocks, Clint had made his way upstream and was flicking a soft plastic around. I had just spotted a decent sized Mullet break the surface when he hooked and landed one. With the time since my last fish growing, I headed back downstream. It was quite a while before I hooked up again, a cast into a shady rock edge coming up tight on another small fish, this one on a natural coloured SX40.
Goodluck_L.jpg
Betterluck_L.jpg
H2Bream5_L.jpg
The fishing continued to be tough as I drifted downstream and after hitting structure, edges and drop offs, I tried a submerged rocky hazard. As I straightened my kayak toward the end of a retrieve, I sat my rod in my lap and the lure was hammered. Luckily the reel was tucked under me knee and stayed in my possession, but the fish missed the hooks. Next cast I hooked up briefly, then I continued to see Mullet chasing the lure. It was three or four minutes later as I described the hit to Clint that I finally scored another fish, a tiny Bream on a prawn coloured Atomic Shad 50.
Hit_L.jpg
H2Bream6_L.jpg
It was getting late, and Clint headed for home. I trolled further downstream then tethered myself mid-stream on another hazard. I received a number of hits before I finally hooked another fish, this one was probably my smallest for the day!
H2Bream7_L.jpg
With family commitments for the evening, I was already pushing it, so headed for home. The fishing had been tough and those I did land were small. The wind had also made things quite difficult, but I managed to get some fish and time on the water on holidays is always a blessing!
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Yak PBs
Estuary Cod 50cm; Mangrove Jack 49cm; Barra 108cm; 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 103cm; Tarpon 60cm; Golden Perch 47cm; Estuary Perch 33cm; Saratoga 72cm; Leathery Grunter 43cm.

User avatar
Ads22
KFDU 500 Club
Posts: 950
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:50 pm
Local Fishing Region: Rockhampton/Capricornia
Kayaks: Extreme Kayaks Fish Bandit; Viking Profish Reload

Re: Chasing the dream - Rocky to Warrnambool and back!

#3 Post by Ads22 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:03 pm

Merri River Warrnambool - fresh, below Bromfield St Weir

I hadn’t ever fished this section of river and decided to have a short session in the yak. It was pretty calm and overcast and, although some water was flowing over the weir, the water was barely moving. There was plenty of weed built up making fishing a bit tricky, but I had a go. Some nice deep holes are present just below the weir and at the first corner. It was at the first corner that I found some fish on the sounder and went deep with a blade. I was flicking a ZX30 for a little when I briefly hooked up. This would be my only encounter with a fish on my line for the day, other than a tiny bump or two.

I paddled further downstream to explore and found another access point at the end of Woodend Road. The was a lot of weed in the stretch, interspersed with holes of 2-3 metres. I also observed some nice snags that would be better fished with less weed to clog them up, and a couple of recently added ‘fish hotels’.

This stretch of river is known to hold some good Trout in the appropriate season, e.g. when there is some run. On the way back to the car, I watched a 30cm-ish Bream swim out from under an overhang near the weir, but couldn’t entice any hits. The fish are around, but I didn’t have the tact or tactics required on this day.

Hopkins River ‘Blue Hole’ and Merri River – January 3

My brother Dom has a yak, but his back doesn’t do so well these days, and he was keen to go for a fish. On this occasion we fished from the bank at the mouth of the Hopkins River at the ‘Blue Hole’. It was a beautiful and calm morning and would have been a ripper to be in the yak. We fish hard for a couple of hours but could barely even see a fish other than small mullet, nor much bait. It had fished well the previous evening on ‘clickers’ or Bass Yabbies and the mouth was now open to the sea.
20190103_064231_L.jpg
20190103_064234_L.jpg
20190103_065610_L.jpg
With no luck here, we pushed on to the Merri River in South Warrnambool, near the old Woollen Mill. Downstream of the footbridge, there were some large schools of mullet pushing up and back over the shallow length of river, and I feel that unweighted Pippies and pieces of prawns would go brilliantly here!

Closer to the footbridge where there is more structure and some slightly deeper water, I watched reasonably-sized Bream follow my lure on several occasions. After fishing this area without more than a look, we headed upstream to the other side of the road bridge for one last ditch effort. Again, I watched as multiple Bream would follow my lure back to the bank and swim off happily. It was as though they were toying with me. It had been nice to be out and fishing, but having not had a touch, we headed home. This would be my last session before the return journey of my trip, during which I had scheduled a chance to fish at each stopover.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by Ads22 on Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Yak PBs
Estuary Cod 50cm; Mangrove Jack 49cm; Barra 108cm; 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 103cm; Tarpon 60cm; Golden Perch 47cm; Estuary Perch 33cm; Saratoga 72cm; Leathery Grunter 43cm.

User avatar
Ads22
KFDU 500 Club
Posts: 950
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:50 pm
Local Fishing Region: Rockhampton/Capricornia
Kayaks: Extreme Kayaks Fish Bandit; Viking Profish Reload

Re: Chasing the dream - Rocky to Warrnambool and back!

#4 Post by Ads22 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:03 pm

So, this was fresh water, but in the interests of keeping it all together...

Goulburn River – Stewart’s Bridge, near Echuca Sunday 06/01/19

I have long wished to see a Murray Cod in person, let alone catch one myself. For this reason, I scheduled in a stop at the Murray River in Echuca. We stayed at the NRMA Echuca Holiday Park and found it a pretty good spot for the family. There were plenty of younger folk on holiday, and it was obvious they had spent plenty of time on the water for the day. There was also the fair share of families, with a nice pool set being well utilised in the 44°C heat.

Thankfully the cool change came through around dark and it was bearable to sleep. On Saturday I scouted the fishing shops, then we had a trip on the Emmy Lou paddlesteamer including a three course meal – well worth the effort I reckon! The river had a fair bit of current and while I could have drifted and fished it ok, I felt another area might have a little less boat traffic. It was almost like Bourke Street out there!
20190105_134808_S.jpg
I set up for the Sunday for a fish and headed to a quieter section, electing the Goulburn River and launching from Stewart’s Bridge and heading upstream. It's common for kayaks and canoes to launch here, but maybe I chose the wrong side of the bridge to launch, as it was a steep bank to go down. Thankfully I'm fit and strong enough to manage carrying the yak down the embankment.This turned out to be a nice and quiet section of river, and I only encountered a couple of other people fishing from the bank. One had landed a small Murray Cod on bait shortly before I came through, but otherwise had been quiet.
Snaggy_L.jpg
Sunrise_L.jpg
Sunrise2_L.jpg
20190106_070201_L.jpg
UteBank_L.jpg
Treecast_L.jpg
I fished high, I fished low, I fished structure, I caught structure. I fished vibes, I fished blades, I fished surface lures, I fished divers, I fished spinnerbaits and chatterbaits. At one point, I was using a nice black/red chatterbait from Hell Yeah, shortly after I had tied it on and caught a solid bit of branch. I could see the leader knot just above the surface, and being a 5’6” baitcaster (meaning short leader) I knew the lure wasn’t too far below the surface. Unfortunately, it was still in about 3-4 metres of water, beyond the structure. I tethered myself to the visible tree, rolled on my belly and set about trying to dislodge the lure. Each time I would lift, the branch would lift, then I’d lower the line and the branch would lower. I had to reach to the lure at full arms reach without tipping the kayak. With some maneuvering and care, I found the hook had not embedded in the wood but simply had hooked around the limb. A little more stretching and I had free it. While not the most expensive lure, I was keen to still try it on some big dam Barra some day!
WorkingitOut_L.jpg
Dicey1_L.jpg
SnagRetriever_L.jpg
LureIntact_L.jpg
I continued fishing until around midday without so little as a touch. And, while the scenery really was something to behold, I felt a little empty at the end of the session. It was nice to view some video footage and reflect on the launch, the anticipation and the sunrise! I guess that’s Cod fishing, a little like Barra. A lot of hard work for no fish sometimes. It was my first effort, and I had received plenty of advice and practiced most of it, but just couldn’t entice a hit. With my tail between my legs, I headed home.
StewartsBridge_L.jpg
Silhouette_L.jpg
20190105_175202_L.jpg
20190105_194007_L.jpg
After a bit of necessary rest, I jumped in a canoe with the wife and kids and paddled on the Murray itself for a little. Going upstream entailed a bit of work, my kayak would have done a much better job! I was now happy to say, though, that I had paddled on the Murray River, although still hadn’t caught a Murray Cod.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by Ads22 on Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Yak PBs
Estuary Cod 50cm; Mangrove Jack 49cm; Barra 108cm; 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 103cm; Tarpon 60cm; Golden Perch 47cm; Estuary Perch 33cm; Saratoga 72cm; Leathery Grunter 43cm.

User avatar
Ads22
KFDU 500 Club
Posts: 950
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:50 pm
Local Fishing Region: Rockhampton/Capricornia
Kayaks: Extreme Kayaks Fish Bandit; Viking Profish Reload

Re: Chasing the dream - Rocky to Warrnambool and back!

#5 Post by Ads22 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:03 pm

More fresh, and perhaps the pièce de résistance of the trip...

Macquarie River, Geurie, near Dubbo – 09/01/19

The next stop on the return journey was Dubbo. I had scheduled a day at the Dubbo Zoo for the family, and was hoping for some water time to find that elusive Murray Cod. We stayed at the Big 4 Caravan Park near the zoo and the facilities were pretty good. They even had a coffee van present each morning, with some top quality coffee! After a great day at the zoo, I set up for a fish on the Macquarie River. I had been scoping areas of river that might have required a little more effort to get to but didn’t want to go too remote not knowing the area and not wanting to end up in a cesspool with little to no water. The sections I had considered for launch were upstream of Dubbo at Peach Trees Reserve, Ponto Falls Reserve, or the road bridge between these spots on Arthurville Rd (near Geurie); or downstream at somewhere like Terramungamine Reserve. Having had a chat with the lad at Outback Angler, he said they were letting water from the dam, but it had reduced and suggested upstream of town and to seriously consider spinnerbaits.

I launched in the dark under the road bridge at Arthurville Road. This was a more adventurous launch than most of my recent trips but was manageable. It was a reasonably steep, heavily grassed bank. Once launched, I fished the overhanging willows and other structure heading toward a rapid, then pushed upstream away from the rapid. The water was quite clean and I was hoping like crazy that I would find a fish.
SunriseJitterbug_L.jpg
I continued fishing my way upstream, passing one rapid, then coming to a second rapid. The water moved quickly across a flat, leaving an eddy on the inside corner in the grassy shallows. I had flicked my lure into the rapid and retrieve numerous times and had not had a touch. Choosing to paddle through the rapid, I stuck close to the edge in the calm water, only 40cm deep. As I edged closer to the corner I spooked a fish sitting right up in the grass. With the water being so clear, I was certain it was a Cod in the 50cm range. What the hell was he doing up there? Only 10-20 metres further up, I found another, this one with the dorsal fins out of the water. The gap now between myself on the edge of the water was perhaps 3 feet. As I approached, it spooked and swam virtually under my hand, in 20cm of water. I hadn’t thought quickly enough but I could have netted it!

While it was a little deflating to spook them, this got my spirits up a little, because I now KNEW they were around! ** Note, later in the morning I saw a large Carp clear as day, and having reviewed some video, I can see the Carp scale pattern in one or two frames of the second spooked fish.** This made more sense than a Cod in the grassy shallows!

With the confidence gleamed from my misidentification, I pushed on further upstream and switched away from surface to a freshly purchased red and black Secret Creek spinnerbait. I really liked the look of this spinner and was getting it working nicely when after only 20 minutes I lost it to a snag. How frustrating! It was at this point that my battery had gone flat and in the commotion of trying to retrieve the lure, I had missed the camera off signal. Having lost the lure, I tied on a Hell Yeah Finesse Chatterbait in black/purple colour and rolled on, without the camera rolling.

About twenty minutes after losing the previous lure, I felt a bump, followed by a grab and run on the lure, the line arced around the bow of the kayak, and then the fish had gone, the hooks missed their mark! Thinking my head camera was still on, and buoyed by actually knowing a fish had been keen on the lure; having actually seen the rod bend for a fish, I sent a cast straight back into the same snag. This one stuck! I thumbed the spool for a moment to help steer the fish clear of structure then let the drag do its thing. On 30lb braid and 30lb leader, the fight was over as soon as it had begun and I had my first Murray Cod in the net. To say I was relieved is an understatement! I was equally excited! I had been on the water almost two hours here, and perhaps 8 hours on the Goulburn but finally, finally had a Murray Cod in the yak!
Hooked up_L.jpg
Relief_L.jpg
Cod celebrate2_L.jpg
Cod selfie 3_L.jpg
Lowselfie_L.jpg
Cod measure_L.jpg
Cod measure 2_L.jpg
Cod release_L.jpg
After a few moments of exultation and absorbing the moment, I realised my head camera was off. Oh no! At least the front on camera was on and caught the whole fight, albeit looking at my ugly mug. If nothing else, it caught the elation.
The Cod went 54cm and received a sneaky tag before going back. I was now torn between just heading home and fishing on. It was just before 7:00am, so I had some time to spare and tried to prove it was no fluke. I fished further upstream and did more of the same, hitting the snags with the chatterbait. After a little more pushing upstream, I turned and set about drifting for home. There was plenty of current with the dam release and I was back in short time, spotting a fat Carp along the way, but was unable to repeat my efforts on the cod. I had fished on for another couple of hours with no more fish. I was still stoked to have achieved one of my dream captures, and a goal for the trip.

Packing up and heading back in to town, I made a few stops in town, including at Outback Angler to thank them for the advice, then headed on a tour of the Old Dubbo Gaol with the family and dinner at the RSL with my wife’s aunt.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Yak PBs
Estuary Cod 50cm; Mangrove Jack 49cm; Barra 108cm; 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 103cm; Tarpon 60cm; Golden Perch 47cm; Estuary Perch 33cm; Saratoga 72cm; Leathery Grunter 43cm.

User avatar
Pollycraft
KFDU Angler
Posts: 275
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:33 pm
Local Fishing Region: Armidale, New England and Coffs
Kayaks: Adventure Island

Re: Chasing the dream - Rocky to Warrnambool and back!

#6 Post by Pollycraft » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:04 pm

Happy days :) well done.
Cheers,
Brad

User avatar
Ads22
KFDU 500 Club
Posts: 950
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:50 pm
Local Fishing Region: Rockhampton/Capricornia
Kayaks: Extreme Kayaks Fish Bandit; Viking Profish Reload

Re: Chasing the dream - Rocky to Warrnambool and back!

#7 Post by Ads22 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:22 pm

Back to the salt, we moved on to Coffs Harbour.

Arrawarra, near Coffs Harbour – 12/01/19

After so much fresh water, I was keen to get into the salt and I was hoping to find myself a Spanish Mackerel or Snapper. Two different styles of fishing, but I wasn’t going to be too fussy with which wanted to show pity on me. Having done all of the driving, and having early mornings and some late nights, I was starting to feel the effects a bit. Especially after a big afternoon at the Big Banana the previous day. I had also snuck in to Mo Tackle for a look, as we were staying across the road next to the showgrounds. This was going to be a test in itself, with a MotoX event on!

I had teed up with Pazz to fish off Arrawarra for an easy launch. After not being able to sleep (nothing to do with MotoX crew to be fair), I met Pazz at first light and he talked me through the launch and his plans – try and find some livies, send one back out, find some marks and start flicking while the bait was doing its thing.
PazzLaunch_L.jpg
PazzSunrise2_L.jpg
We got onto some bait and got a couple of yakkas. In the GT I had no livewell, but did have a little soft esky, so put that to use. It worked quite well, keeping one alive for a bit over an hour while the other live bait was out swimming around.
It didn’t take long for me to feel the exhaustion, so I didn’t fish as hard as I would have liked.
PazzYakkaSunrise_L.jpg
PazzPearly_L.jpg
PazzPearly2_L.jpg
I pulled in one tiny nothing fish on a microjig, a livebait got off somewhere along the line and the second live bait didn’t get touched. I drifted around for a while flicking plastics and jigs and was contemplating changing to a soft vibe when the exhaustion took over and I needed to head for home.
Nothingfish_L.jpg
Pazz had scored a little shark on a pillie, and later managed a double hookup on Pearl Perch, then after I left a nice Snapper. He certainly had his plan and put it into action. It appeared the dead baits were doing better than the live baits, so I was on the wrong track today!

I was happy that Pazz had scored himself a nice feed of fish and am keen to have another go down Coffs way some time. I obviously have plenty to learn about offshore fishing. Having more energy (and sleep) would have helped the staying power! Thankfully, the landing was an absolute breeze! It was great to meet you Pazz, hope to see you again down the track!

I spent the afternoon back at the Big Banana ice skating with the kids - for some reason my wife wasn’t keen to get out on the skates in her moon boot!
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Yak PBs
Estuary Cod 50cm; Mangrove Jack 49cm; Barra 108cm; 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 103cm; Tarpon 60cm; Golden Perch 47cm; Estuary Perch 33cm; Saratoga 72cm; Leathery Grunter 43cm.

User avatar
Ads22
KFDU 500 Club
Posts: 950
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:50 pm
Local Fishing Region: Rockhampton/Capricornia
Kayaks: Extreme Kayaks Fish Bandit; Viking Profish Reload

Re: Chasing the dream - Rocky to Warrnambool and back!

#8 Post by Ads22 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:00 pm

The Sunshine Coast Leg

Maroochy River 15/01/19

I hadn’t had any really outstanding kayak sessions on the Sunshine Coast, and I was hoping that this trip I could change that. For my first outing I had pawed over Google Maps for a long time before deciding to head to Lake Dunethin and launch at the boat ramp into the Maroochy River. This was a new spot to me, like much of the Sunny Coast. I elected to leave the smaller spots for another time, with a plan for Bass fishing later in the week with Rod (rocketV).

Launching at about first light onto a beautifully calm Maroochy River was very pleasing. I knew the wind had been about prior to me getting to the coast, so was stoked to see it so calm. My target for the day would be Mangrove Jack, but expecting some Bream and Flathead, and maybe a Jew if I found some marks on the deeper holes.
20190115_044826_L.jpg
20190115_045018_L.jpg
There was a lot of surface activity in the twilight and I started with gusto trying to tempt a fish on the corner of the lake entrance. It appeared to be only Mullet and after a short while without any follows or hits, I moved downstream flicking to structure. There is a rocky hazard in the middle, and I turned my attention to this as I approached and it didn’t take long to get a hit, landing a small Flathead from the drop off on an Atomic Shad 50 in Muddy Prawn.
Flatty1_L.jpg
MaroochySun_L.jpg
It was time to shift upstream and I set up two lines to troll. I was only a short distance beyond the hazard when I hooked up, landing a small Bream on a UV green Rapala Jack Deep. Continuing upstream, I kept on with the surface lure at the bank, trying to tempt a Jack with the LiveTarget Drunken Mullet. These things work a pretty cool pattern but I couldn’t tempt anything on this occasion. Eventually I gave away the surface effort and switched to subsurface with a small LiveTarget Mullet Swimbait. I focused on the structure, including the pontoons. When this failed to raise a fish, I switched to small hardbodies, vibes and blades and even a swimbait.
BreamJackDeep_L.jpg
I came across a really nice looking snag that just had to hold fish. I couldn’t tempt anything on diver or soft vibe, so switched to an Ecogear ZX30 in black/orange and flicked around the end of the submerged tree that had sounded up some bait and fish. After about 5 minutes of hopping the blade I was on. This was a better fish and swam for space. I had to work to keep the 5lb/6lb combo away from structure and after succeeding with this a nice Jack came to the surface. It measured in at 35.5cm. I tagged the fish, took a few snaps and released it to go home and terrorise more baitfish.
FirstSCJack_L.jpg
Jack1Lure1_L.jpg
Jack1Selfie_L.jpg
Trying to repeat the effort, I stayed on this snag for a while then pushed a little further upstream before drifting back on the current. I focused some attention on the private pontoons and had a hit miss the hooks on the SX40 cast into the back corner of a pontoon. As I pushed downstream, I trolled a lure behind me and soon hooked another little 38cm Flathead on the black SX40.

As I neared the corner I switched sides of the river near Ashton’s Wharf, which looks to have a nice and easy kayak launching spot and a little jetty.
Ashtons wharf_L.jpg
The edge is reasonably shallow here, then hits a steep drop off along the bank near some houses. I fished this edge and as I hit a little point, where the trees were overhanging with some solid subsurface structure, I landed a cast almost on a log as it entered the water. Turning my head to check my surroundings, the line took off and I was in trouble with the 6lb leader in close proximity to so much structure. Knowing I was in strife, I palmed the spool and managed to bring the fish to the surface, revealing a flash of red. With plenty of luck, I was able to drag the fish into open water and soon had a larger model Jack in the net. The hit of these things continues to impress me! This one went 37cm, and also received a tag and release. This was now my best yak session on the Sunny Coast by far and I continued trying to tempt another Jack.
Jack2Hit_L.jpg
Jack2Lure_L.jpg
Jack2Selfie_L.jpg
Jack2SideSelfie_L.jpg
20190115_091601_L.jpg
20190115_091629_L.jpg
I worked back along the edges. Reaching the launch site, I focused on the point of the lake entrance casting along an obvious drop off when the green Jack Deep was smashed. Again, it missed the hooks and I was left licking my lips at the possibilities. I kept casting using a variety of lures into the area but couldn’t find another taker. This was a pretty cool looking section and I would certainly have another handful of casts in this spot next time I venture there!

I decided then that I hadn’t quite had enough, so I continued on past the lake entrance and trolled my way downstream for a bit, picking up another crazy looking Bream missing half of its dorsal fin, then headed back up to the mid-stream hazard. Here I was hit by a fish bumping the lure across the shallow rocks and managed to pull the lure from its mouth. Flicking around the rocks a bit more landed me my smallest Bream for the day.
Bream-dorsal_L.jpg
Trolling back towards the launch while chewing on a banana, the Jack Deep was hit by another Bream. This one had a little more size about him.
BananaBream1_L.jpg
BananaBream_L.jpg
I decided to have one more go at the drop off edge with no luck so headed for home. At the ramp, I flicked a few casts and managed to drop another fish. Boat ramps, always worth a cast!
BoatRampdropped_L.jpg
While the action wasn’t hot, there was certainly enough to keep me interested and getting my first Sunny Coast Mangrove Jack, then doubling up, was an enjoyable experience.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Yak PBs
Estuary Cod 50cm; Mangrove Jack 49cm; Barra 108cm; 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 103cm; Tarpon 60cm; Golden Perch 47cm; Estuary Perch 33cm; Saratoga 72cm; Leathery Grunter 43cm.

User avatar
Ads22
KFDU 500 Club
Posts: 950
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:50 pm
Local Fishing Region: Rockhampton/Capricornia
Kayaks: Extreme Kayaks Fish Bandit; Viking Profish Reload

Re: Chasing the dream - Rocky to Warrnambool and back!

#9 Post by Ads22 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:07 pm

North Pine Dam (Lake Samsonvale) 17/01/19 – with rocket and mouse

I had been in touch with rocketV a few times leading up to the trip, and as the SE Qld leg came closer, it was decided to try for a bass at NPD. As many of us are aware, Rod loves his Bass fishing, especially in small creeks. However, he had found the going a bit tough recently and to assist me onto my first feisty Aussie native, he suggested hitting NPD. It had been fishing well with the recent allowance for kayaks from Forgan Cove.

It was an early start for me heading down from Maroochydore, but it seemed to fly by (after all, I had done over 5000km on the trip by now). Winding my way off the Bruce Highway, the signage directing me to the lake was good and I was there in no time, beating rocketV and mouse there. As I passed Bullocky Rest I saw a young yakker wheeling his fishing kayak toward the water. As I understand it, kayak fishing is not permitted in this region and as a reminder to anyone keen to fish NPD/Lake Samsonvale, abide by the rules and launch only from Forgan Cove, unless you possess a PRFMA permit, in which case, you probably know where you are permitted to launch/fish.

The carpark and launch site are great, although the parking is pretty limited. A couple of toilets are available and a washdown facility is available at the waters edge to limit transfer of weeds, etc. In all, the set up is quite good. I’m a bit dubious about the river stones at the end of the path leading to the water, and it seems the grass has had much more traffic!
20190117_053920_L.jpg
Having arrived earlier than the rest of the party, I started unloading and setting up my kayak. There was no wind and the water was flat, perfect for paddling and fishing! Mouse arrived next and it was great to meet another KFDU member. Thus far, I have enjoyed meeting each KFDU member and this was much the same. As we chatted and set up our gear, Rod pulled up and after a quick set up, we were away on the water. RocketV led the way and with only a short distance paddled, and mouse and I still getting into our yaks, he was onto his first Bass for the day.
20190117_060534_L.jpg
This pattern continued as we pushed along the first bank and around the corner. Rod would hook up, and we’d look on enviously. We fished the right-hand bank (immediately NE of the launch) using surface lures trying to tempt a Bass or Saratoga out of the sticks, as mouse pushed ahead a bit. With no action, we adjusted the plan a little and headed around the corner. I stuck to my guns, failing dismally to raise a fish as Rod elected to troll again, and in quick time he was on again, picking up a beast of a Bass! Now, I hadn’t seen a Bass in real life before today, but from my position I could see this was big, and it only grew as I got closer.
20190117_070957_L.jpg
As Rod and mouse get some photos, I flicked around at the shadows on my sounder with no success, then eventually decided to do a troll of my own. Clipping on a purple One Cast Lures ‘Tazer’, I trolled toward the edge of Zone 2, then back again, and I was onto my first Bass nearing the point. As is lore, the fish put in a decent fight, a little surprising to me being a virgin of the Bass. But soon I had my quarry in the net and I was chuffed. My first Bass and it measured in at a reasonable 30cm to the fork. This was on the same lure that I had previously caught Barra in the Fitzroy in Rockhampton.
Bass 1 Hookup_L.jpg
Bass 1 Tazer2_L.jpg
FirstBass_L.jpg
I trolled the same pattern a couple of times but was unable to raise another one and soon unwillingly donated the Tazer to the fish Gods. At this point, with the lake looking so good, I began a troll toward to far bank and the water seriously deepened with quite a sudden drop off. Along the way I saw some solid marks come up, but I was chasing a cast Bass or Toga, so was keen to hit the sticks on the other side. I tossed out a purple Poltergeist XDD and trolled, picking up speed across the middle impatiently aiming for the other side when the rod again buckled in the forward rod holder. In 23m of water, a substantially stronger fight ensued, and I soon had my second Bass in the net. This on went about 37cm (35.5cm FL).
Bass 2 Polt_L.jpg
20190117_084024_L.jpg
NPD Glass_L.jpg
As I finished with the fish, Kym (mouse) had made his way across, with Rod trailing way behind. We continued on to the far bank aiming for some fish and chatted as we went. I trolled until we hit the edge, then switched to the spinnerbait and began to throw casts amongst the trees, looking for my first cast Bass, and still hoping I’d fool a Toga. I gradually got the hang of casting the TT Vortex spinnerbait on the longer 6’4”, 2-4kg Pflueger Trion rod. It was only perhaps 10 or 15 casts in I took a little hit, then only a few casts later I put a cast close to the base of a tree. Giving the lure a moment to sink as I checked my drift, I jerked the spinner into action then started the slow retrieve and the lure was whacked. I was on! This was one of the more fun fish for the day, feeling the hit in the hand. The stinger hook had settled nicely in the corner and I was thankful for having added it some time ago for Saratoga up home. This healthy fish went 33cm.
MouseOnGlass_L.jpg
Bass 3 Spinner_L.jpg
Bass 3 Selfie_L.jpg
Looking back across the lake, Rod still didn’t seem to have made any distance toward us and I wondered if he had hit some imaginary forcefield that we had missed! It turns out that he was just proving himself quite the fish whisperer, landing fish after fish on the troll.

Mouse and I peppered the water with our casts and continued to have trouble raising fish. Lo and behold, Rod comes across and yanks another to the surface, OK, so he finessed it, having trolled it up. He had found the recipe for the day, right lure depth, speed, water depth and so on. I tried to cotton on to his magic, but they just wouldn’t be sucked in by my mediocre offerings.

As the wind picked up, mouse elected to head for home. Rod and I pushed on into a little cove and yet again, he was hooking up to fish, as I trolled and cast seemingly aimlessly. His recipe continued to work as the wind picked up further, and picked up another beast of a fish. This man was on fire!
20190117_111316_L.jpg
Thinking it was about time I thought about heading home (enough ifs and maybes in case the fish perhaps decided to eat my offerings again?) we headed back across to locate a peak that Rod had discovered on our first crossing. With the aid of our sounders, and some cool showings on my sidescan, we located a school and both hooked up to fish passing over it on the troll. Quickly releasing this fish, I switched to a blade, then to a small Jem Lures soft vibe and soon picked up another fish, followed by a second in quick succession. Rod, too, had switched to casting and picked up a few more Bass before the school thinned out.
Bass 4 Selfie_L.jpg
Bass 5 Hookup S4_L.jpg
Bass 5 Jem_L.jpg
20190117_140119_L.jpg
Having persisted for another half hour with no fish, I switched back to trolling and searching for the school and turned to find Rod onto yet another fish on his trolling pass over the same school. By now, my tiredness was kicking in, as well as my awareness of my need to drive back to the coast still. I turned and headed for the launch site, trolling as I went, snagging and losing a lure in the process. I quickly tied on a black Tilsan Bass that I had in my cupboard for a few years for the last portion of the trip. As I approached the shallows near the launch, I hooked up to a feisty fish that felt like it had me in some weed or a snag. Thankfully it released easily and I landed my second 37cm (tip) Bass for the morning. Thick and healthy, I toyed with the idea of trying them out in the pan, but decided to release it instead.
Bass 7 Hookup Launch_L.jpg
Bass 7 Tilsan-2_L.jpg
Reaching the launch beside Rod, I was pretty happy with my first effort on a dam chasing Bass. No doubts this is largely in part to the stocking efforts at NPD. And, while I couldn’t match Rod in fishing prowess, it was an extremely enjoyable trip seeing him land some dream sized fish. Unfortunately, Kym had to leave early and didn’t find any fish, but I look forward to running into him again along our travels!
NPD Washdown 2_L.jpg
A few things came to mind from this trip. Bass are certainly an impressive little fish, and some of them even get big! And the members from KFDU are indeed a friendly and welcoming crew. If you’re ever travelling and have time for a flick, don’t be afraid to seek out a fellow KFDU member, and try to return the favour if they’re in your neck of the woods. It’s a great country with so many opportunities for us all to try something different!
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Yak PBs
Estuary Cod 50cm; Mangrove Jack 49cm; Barra 108cm; 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 103cm; Tarpon 60cm; Golden Perch 47cm; Estuary Perch 33cm; Saratoga 72cm; Leathery Grunter 43cm.

User avatar
Mackayak
KFDU 1000 Club
Posts: 1369
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:15 am
Local Fishing Region: Far North Coast NSW, Ballina
Kayaks: Revolution 13 Revolution 11
Location: Far North Coast NSW

Re: Chasing the dream - Rocky to Warrnambool and back!

#10 Post by Mackayak » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:31 am

Looks like a good trip congrats on the cod they are a great fish. Great report looking forward to fishing some of them spots as we start to travel more. :wink:
PB's From yak:
Fresh Water: Saratoga 51cm YES; Barra 110cm; Murray Cod 78cm; Golden Perch 45cm; Bass 44cm;EP 38cm
Salt Water: Snapper 62cm; Jew 83cm; Flathead 71cm; Mangrove Jack 37cm; Whiting 35cm; Bream 37cm; Trevally 38cm; Tailor 34cm;

User avatar
ronaldo
KFDU 500 Club
Posts: 904
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:52 am
Local Fishing Region: coffs coast & beyond.....
Kayaks: WS Tarpon 120 - Mantra Noa - Hobie Revo 13

Re: Chasing the dream - Rocky to Warrnambool and back!

#11 Post by ronaldo » Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:06 pm

what a memorable trip.....congrats on your first cod and bass

that's a great report Ads
thanks for sharing

cheers
Ron
Image
YOU ONLY NEED TWO TOOLS IN LIFE - WD-40 AND DUCT TAPE.
IF IT DOESN'T MOVE AND SHOULD, USE THE WD-40. IF IT SHOULDN'T MOVE AND DOES, USE THE DUCT TAPE.

User avatar
Ads22
KFDU 500 Club
Posts: 950
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:50 pm
Local Fishing Region: Rockhampton/Capricornia
Kayaks: Extreme Kayaks Fish Bandit; Viking Profish Reload

Re: Chasing the dream - Rocky to Warrnambool and back!

#12 Post by Ads22 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:35 pm

Offshore – Moffats Beach, Caloundra – Saturday 19/01/18
Still on my wish list for this trip were Spanish Mackerel and Tuna and I was hoping a trip offshore at the Sunny Coast would help this happen. I had seen some captures coming in from the interweb and figured that I might stand a chance. Having the Reload still at home, I hoped the GT would get me onto my target. I had a choice between Moffat Beach and Noosa, electing to go to Moffat having been there before and having the easier launch/landing for the GT. My previous trip at Moffat’s wasn’t hugely successful, but I also saw a huge GT come to shore whilst there, so I was hopeful something would be hungry enough to take one of my offerings.

I arrived around first light and as I unloaded, another yakker came back from the beach having pulled the pin. I was a little concerned about it being conditions based until he said he’d injured his shoulder unloading his yak. I continued preparing my gear then helped him load his yak onto the ute before making my way to the water’s edge, where I met another yakker ready to launch. He was travelling in more style than I, with a Stealth unit ready to go.

My plan was to head out around the headland and try and find some bait and hopefully bring up a livebait, in the meantime, drifting a pilchard. I would then head toward Bray Rock and try my luck for whatever might be around, be it bottom fish, or pelagics. I found some bait quickly but couldn’t raise any. The swell was quite criss-crossed and whilst it wasn’t large, it was a little uncomfortable for me.

I moved out toward Brays and trolled a pillie as I went, then set about flicking plastics down to any marks, hoping to find something hungry. As time wore on and the sun rose higher, the conditions were lovely, other than the crossed swell. Other yakkers seemed to be awfully quiet, too. I saw some bird activity out toward the shipping channel and as I headed in that direction a boat arrived, then disappeared almost as quickly. I persisted and after 5 minutes got close enough to send a cast in the direction. I had loaded a Flasha lure onto my Barra rod and launched it over the skipping bait and let it sink for a moment before a quick retrieve through the school. Nothing. I repeated the effort a few times with some pauses in the middle but soon the bait disappeared. It rose again nearby, and I had switched to a white Z-Man Streakz and tried again. The school came straight toward me and passed under me. I couldn’t see what was corralling them against the surface, but either way, they didn’t touch my lure.

Beginning to feel the tiredness of the long days and early starts, I slowly headed back toward the shore. Thinking it wasn’t my day, I retrieved my drifted pillie to find it had been bitten off clean against the stinger treble. It certainly wasn’t my day. I trolled another pillie and a plastic back in to shore and thankfully, there was still no surf present for a pretty simple landing.

An early start and early finish on a nice morning but couldn’t find any fish. It’s obvious my offshore fishing needs some practice, as do my sea legs. I’ll persist a bit longer yet.

Paynter Creek, Diddillibah (Sunshine Coast) – 20/01/18

Having thought I’d had my last session of the trip the previous day filled with a doughnut, I woke early again to calm conditions. With everyone asleep, I quickly decided to head to a new spot at Paynter Creek in search of a Jack. I launched near the bus stop on Diddillibah Rd and immediately started peppering the edges with an unweighted plastic. I decided to explore up the creek instead of heading into Petrie Creek and worked the snags hard. Eventually I managed to find a hit, but the weedless hook didn’t find the mark. I continued up the creek and worked a rock wall, followed by more handy looking snags.

Coming to a house situated on a little creek mouth, I flicked into the mouth and bumped the lure over the rocky corner and was hit, repeating the effort on multiple casts. I changed to a hardbody and tried to repeat the effort with more exposed hooks but couldn’t entice the same activity.

With the aim of taking the kids to the beach, I headed toward home without a fish as the tide began to rise. It looks to be a shallow creek at low tide but must hold some good fish at times. It’d be interesting to see how it fishes with regular sessions here.
Yak PBs
Estuary Cod 50cm; Mangrove Jack 49cm; Barra 108cm; 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 103cm; Tarpon 60cm; Golden Perch 47cm; Estuary Perch 33cm; Saratoga 72cm; Leathery Grunter 43cm.

User avatar
Ads22
KFDU 500 Club
Posts: 950
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:50 pm
Local Fishing Region: Rockhampton/Capricornia
Kayaks: Extreme Kayaks Fish Bandit; Viking Profish Reload

Re: Chasing the dream - Rocky to Warrnambool and back!

#13 Post by Ads22 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:25 pm

Maroochy River, Maroochydore – 21/01/18

One last ditch effort to find a fish and having not caught a Jewfish in the kayak, I decided a quick session on the Maroochy around the motorway bridge would be worth a little try. Not being familiar to Jew fishing, I was sure the tides and so on didn't necessarily match. But as the saying goes, it's hard to catch fish without a line in the water. It was another early start and I began by trolling hardbodies toward the bridge from the Bradman Ave boat ramp. Half way along, some marks came up on the sounder and I stopped for a flick with some soft vibes but no dice. Pressing on, I headed toward the bridge and fished several of the pylons as the tide worked its way in, switching between different sized lures to fish different depths. It wasn’t until I hit the shallowest pylon that I found some good marks on the sounder, but I still couldn’t find any luck.
MaroochySun_L.jpg
As the sun continued to rise, with 90 minutes on the water, I decided to change tact and drift upstream flicking the edges for some Flathead or Bream. I just needed to feel a fish on the line! It was less than ten minutes and I had a small Flathead from the shallows on the black/orange SX40. My first fish in a few sessions went 33cm.
Flatty1_L.jpg
A few minutes later and I was hooked up again, only to drop it before it could reach the net. It took a little while before my next fish, but persistence and getting the casts up into the shallows along the mangrove edges drew another hit from another Flathead. This one was tiny and I didn’t bother measuring it. The drift was becoming quick and I’m sure I missed plenty of spots worth a cast, however, I continued the drift along the northern bank, hitting the rock wall, before heading across to a shallow mangrove lined bay.
HookPull_L.jpg
The wind had picked up and was pushing me up into the mangroves, while the current was pushing against my direction of travel. This made the fishing quite tricky, so I pushed into the current and drifted back along the mangrove bank with it. Coming to the first decent snag, I flicked a cast into the back side of the snag and hooked up. A nice little fight followed and just as I felt I had it ready to net I pulled the hooks. Another Flathead went begging, this one close to legal.
I struggled along with the wind and current for the next fifteen minutes before deciding I should head toward home. I clipped on a Lively Lures Micro Mullet, along with the black and orange SX40 and trolled my way back along the drift line. I hooked up within a minute or so and, having backed off on the drag, I babied a legal Flatty into the net.
HookPull2_L.jpg
Flatty40_L.jpg
I next drifted across the mouth of Eudlo Creek and onto the next flat, picking up a small fish that managed to tangle both of my lines. That was enough for me for the morning, and for my trip. It wasn't a stellar session, missing my intended target, but I was happy to get onto a fish after the couple of empty sessions.
StripeyNothing_L.jpg
It’s cool to say that I have now paddled on the Murray (canoe), Goulburn and Macquarie Rivers. Adding to that a couple of new fish, meeting some KFDU members for the first time and some cool experiences with the family and the fishing rod, it was quite a satisfying trip! There are still fish on my wish list, which just means I will have to make another trip - such a shame! The family seemed to enjoy this trip and coped really well with the travel, even my injured wife!

Thanks for joining me for my recollection of the journey and hopefully I can get some more time on the water soon!

Cheers and happy fishing!

Adam
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Yak PBs
Estuary Cod 50cm; Mangrove Jack 49cm; Barra 108cm; 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 103cm; Tarpon 60cm; Golden Perch 47cm; Estuary Perch 33cm; Saratoga 72cm; Leathery Grunter 43cm.

User avatar
Rory222
KFDU 500 Club
Posts: 670
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:07 am
Local Fishing Region: Riverina, NE Vic & Wallis Lake
Kayaks: Hobie Outback (Dune), Hobie Sport (Blue), Hobie PA14 (Dune)
Location: NE Vic & Great Lakes NSW

Re: Chasing the dream - Rocky to Warrnambool and back!

#14 Post by Rory222 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:49 pm

Good stuff Ads. Congrats on the first cod!!! :grin:
Yak PB's
Murray Cod - 68cm
Trout Cod - 58cm
Yellowbelly - 53cm
Flathead - 91cm
Bream - 43cm
Whiting - 40cm
Tailor - 45cm
Trevally - 43cm
Redfin - 25cm
Blackfish - 34cm
Tarwhine - 36cm
Carp - 74cm
River Blackfish - 15cm

allane
KFDU 500 Club
Posts: 643
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:33 pm
Local Fishing Region: Woolgoolga
Kayaks: Hobie Sport, Feelfree Nomad, Feelfree Move.

Re: Chasing the dream - Rocky to Warrnambool and back!

#15 Post by allane » Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:04 pm

What a great trip. Well done on the Murray Cod. Certainly a good variety as well. Sad Arrawarra didn't turn it on for you. Water has finally begun to warm up here and Spanish are around. Thanks for sharing
Yak PBs: Bream 38cm FL, Bass 46cm FL, Estuary Perch 36cm FL, Flathead 61cm, Whiting 43cm, Luderick 41cm, Silver Trevally 47cm, Mangrove Jack 44cm

Post Reply

Return to “Estuary Reports”