Social Flathead Challenge III (Results and Trip Reports)

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Re: SFC III (Results and Trip Reports)

#16 Post by kaos » Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:53 am

Well done leper and all those that got a fish
I put in at Tallawarra to what looked like a beaut morning only to find out from a fisho packing up that the pro's had just netted the area going home with a boat load of flatty's :ts:
so I think im hear might as well wet a line
the water was 12c and clear and no bait fish around

anyway this is what I got
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Re: SFC III (Results and Trip Reports)

#17 Post by Leper » Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:21 am

After chatting to Al (Biggles) the weekend prior to my nominated fishing day for the SFC III, it was decided that we would both hit my favourite flathead haunt for the comp. As always I carefully watched the wind and weather and much to my delight the prediction changed from gusts of up to 25 knots to gusts of 9 knots early in the week and it stayed that way until Sunday (Yea!) So after chatting to Al the night before it was arranged that we would meet up at my place. The main reason being that Al had a little surprise for me in the form of a brand new Sneaky Stix 6’0” baitcaster rod for my Bass fishing (More about that later!). I wasn’t willing to leave it locked in the car and so after a quick look (Gee it was light!), I reluctantly stowed it safely in the house and we were off.

We arrived at the launch location at about 6am with the sky lightening the river looked picturesque. The water was like a mirror and perfectly glassy with a gentle mist rising off the surface and as always I was itching to hit the water. The air was frigid, with the temperature hitting 6oC, and the numbness in my fingers had me thankful I had tied on my SP before leaving home. After checking out the water, we headed back to the cars. Al kitted out his Tarpon 100 and I set up the Viking Tempo and it was then that I realised I had brought the wrong camera. Bugger! It only had a 16MB SD card and I was very thankful that Al had decided to join me for this adventure. Finally once the kayaks were fitted out we carried them down the concrete ramp and hit the water.
The plan was to target both sides of the river, concentrating on the area within 2-3m of the bank. We drifted comfortably on the outgoing tide in the morning light and cast parallel to the gently sloping banks. My weapon of choice was a Daiwa Sol 2500 on a Shimano Raider Mexican Fire 1-4kg with 8lb TD Sensor braid and a 10lb FC Rock leader. Al was using his Shimano Stradic Ci4 1000 on a 1-5kg Duff Rod Upgraded Sneaky Stix with 10lb braid and a 14lb leader. As always my SP of choice was a 70mm Squidgie Fish (Garry Glitter) on a 3gm-2/0 jighead, and Al was using a 2 inch Damiki Armor Shad on a 1/16 -2/0 TT jighead.

The basic technique I used was to cast a medium distance along the bank and allow the SP to sink to the bottom. Often quite a few flathead can inhabitat the same section of the creek and shorter casts minimises disturbing multiple fish if you manage a hook up. I would then use a standard flathead retrieve by raising my rod tip lifting the SP off the bottom and then allow it to swim to the bottom before slowly cranking the handle for 4 or 5 winds (then repeating the process). The areas of structure I intended to concentrate on were small creek mouths and drains, as well as the inner bends of the river where eddies form as the tidal currents pick up and commonly deposit large amounts of sand to create large drop offs. In these areas the flathead can target baitfish being forced out by the tide or concentrated by the swirling eddies of strong tidal currents.

Within the first 10 minutes of our drift Al’s SP was already being given some attention by the plethora of small bream in this system. This continued until finally I looked over to see Al locked up on what I thought was a snag but eventually realised that he had hooked the first flathead for the session. I paddled over to assist in the adventurous task of measuring and photographing 49cm of vigorous flathead and was pleased Al was on the board with a nice fish.
I headed back over to the opposite bank again and continued my drift. I reached one of my favourite flathead structures which was a nice open creek mouth that dropped into the main channel about 2 metres from the bank. Casting past the creek mouth about 10m, my SP was picked up and the flathead made a strong run for the middle of the creek. I had eased the drag off this time as I had managed to pull the hook the last few times when I was a bit heavy handed and had set the drag too high. The flathead made some good strong runs and refused to yield but finally I netted a cracker of a fish to start my bag. At 62cm it was an awesome start and meant that I was well and truly on the board!
We continued to float along with the outgoing tide but I was a bit disappointed that the flathead just didn’t seem keen. Al started to hit some pontoons on the opposite bank and began picking up some bream on the Armor Shad, the biggest going 30cm. These few fish kept the session interesting but our target species had gone a little shy. Areas of the river that in past sessions had always held a few fish were very quiet even though the conditions were perfect. The tide turned and we continued heading against the gentle flow until the lack of interest forced us into moving further upstream to newer pastures before the tide started flooding in.

As we paddled upstream I spied a small kingfisher floundering in some fishing line dangling from a mangrove branch. Initially I thought the poor thing had managed to get hooked but after approaching the tangled little fellow and lifting it via the line it managed to self-release and fly off.

We made our way to one of my favourite bends in the creek and Al spied some dark shade on the outer bend that was too tempting and he began targeting the deep pockets. After a few casts he came up tight and he managed to bag another bream. Meanwhile I was peppering the sandy drop off of the inner bend which had yielded me a 57cm flathead in the first SFC. I reached the upstream side of the bend and the SP was whacked and the rod loaded up to another solid fish. Some good strong runs and eventually another good flattie of 58cm came to the yak. I was stoked with a total of 1200 points as it meant I could relax into the session and hope for an upgrade but really just enjoy the day.
We drifted upstream and as happens in this system the tide finally started flooding in and carried us up into the mangrove lined sections of the river. Here we began to encounter some serious structure and small bream really started giving our SP’s a work over. This part of the system really lacked the ideal flathead habitats, but the chance to cast at these potential ambush sites of a myriad of other fish predators was just too tempting. After casting for awhile with no hits we decided to head back to the sections of the river that we had fished on an earlier part of the tide. We repeated our technique of casting parallel to the bank and eventually another flathead launched itself off the bottom to smash my SP. I was ecstatic to have another good flathead peeling drag off the reel. Hoping for an upgrade I netted the beautiful fish and was only slightly disappointed to find a 57cm flathead lying on the brag mat.
During the day I had put out a second rod which was another Duff Rod Sneaky Stix 1-5kg and switched the Daiwa Sol over to it. I tied on a 50mm Squidgie Wriggler in the Bloodworm pattern and cast it out the back letting it sink to the bottom and drift along behind the kayak as I cast at structure. While drifting along I had forgotten it was out the back as for most of the session it had only been worried by small bream. As happens I almost fell out of the yak when my Sol’s drag began screaming and I turned to find the Sneaky Stix fully loaded up. I quickly stowed my main rod and lifted the Sneaky Stix out of the rear rod holder to feel the weight of a good fish taking drag. All I could think was that a monster flattie had taken the small SP. The fish fought wrong for a flattie and pulled hard and strong with a few head shakes. The Sneaky Stix felt awesome in the hand and controlled the fish beautifully until eventually I raised the fish and could see some colour. A beautiful silver sheen reflected off the flanks of a nice jewfish as it slipped into the net. On the brag mat it measured 58cm and was a welcome bycatch while chasing flathead.
We continued drifting down the river and eventually reached the launch point where we disembarked for a well-earned stretch of the legs. The decision was made to drift back downstream to the areas we had fished at the start of the day in the hopes of picking up a last minute flathead. After pushing off again I drifted to the opposite bank and within 5 minutes the Squidgie was engulfed by another decent flathead. In the shallow water it gave a great visual display with big head shakes followed by powerful surges away from the kayak that pulled line off the reel. In my head I hoped for an upgrade and finally when the flathead was netted and on the brag mat I was pleased to upgrade my bag with a 60cm fish.
We continued drifting with the outgoing tide but except for a few missed opportunitie,s and a pike that Al pulled from under one of the pontoons again, the early afternoon was very quiet. The sun had really warmed up and we began to notice its bite. Eventually Al had a major line twist in the new braid on his Stradic Ci4 and the need for major surgery forced him to stow his gear. I continued casting for a little longer but after such a great day I was happy to head home.

Al had managed a 49cm flathead, 3 bream and a pike and I had managed 4 flathead between 57 -62cm and a 58cm Jewie. It was a great day and Al was great company. I was very happy with the fish caught over the day and can’t wait to give it another crack in a few weeks.
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Re: SFC III (Results and Trip Reports)

#18 Post by Sicklids » Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:57 am

[color=#00BF00]Leper[/color] wrote:Al had managed a 49cm flathead, 3 bream and a pike and I had managed 4 flathead between 57 -62cm and a 58cm Jewie.
:ts: :ts: Starting to hate you matey :snic: :snic: :snic:

Nah great report excellent pics and awsome fish mate, well done and congrats.

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Re: SFC III (Results and Trip Reports)

#19 Post by stonecold » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:43 am

Well done to all who competed and a special thanks and congratulations to Brad for organisation.......and taking the title (till august anyway :tong: )
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Re: SFC III (Results and Trip Reports)

#20 Post by YakTTMax » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:45 am

Congrats Leper, a well deserved win. Narrajosh, outstanding fish, and great to see the release.
Shame the weather mucked things up for so many, hopefully the next event will see better conditions.
Well done to all..
All the best, Rob.. :bye:
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Re: SFC III (Results and Trip Reports)

#21 Post by Craig Mac » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:46 pm

Well done Brad for organising the event and with the week you had, great fish to take the title and from a Queenslander as well, congrats to all on their catch some nice fish there!

well done all and a hope the weather holds next for those unlucky enough not to get out or have their planned trips spoilt by the inclement weather.

Weather this morning(Monday 13th) was amazing, clear blue sky’s, not a breath of wind, figured that I would head off to the spot that has produced the last couple of times I have been out.

Put in at the Carbrook boat ramp (cable ski park) got chatting with a boatie that had come back and cleaning a flattie, things are looking better already,
Just after 10am and I paddled the ebb tide towards the sandbars and islands. Just drifted the last couple of bends trolling the hardbodies and flicking the SP towards the banks.
Nuclear Chicken was getting a few nudges but not much else, hit the sandbar just aft 12.30 and drifted down the outside flicking Rainbow, Peppered Prawn, Pumpkin Seed minnows in the 4” all the SP’s that have produced in the past, but not today. Drifted over the sandbar between the islands and around the bottom of the sandbars opposite the Prawn farm, tide has turned so the drift has stopped for the time. Water was clear as and the river looked healthy and clean.

Still nothing so head down and paddled bank to the main sandbar and beached and flicked the plastics and hardbodies into the deep gutters and fishing onto the bar, nothing.

Well am off to KL on Thursday morning and its our wedding anniversary tomorrow so figured I should spend some of the weekend with the good lady so decided to pack up call it a donut and head for home. So one last cast, golden warlock hardbody out the back and in the rod holder, paddling home up the deep with the current, watching the sun set and just thinking what an awesome day on the water,nothing caught not even a frozen fishfinger, oh well first SFC for me and it’s a donut........

zzzzzzzz The rod has buckled and it’s on, reached behind and it felt good, winding in and thump thump feels like a good fish a good run and more line off, fish to the surface looked like a flattie but couldn’t be sure, winding in and a few more good runs and then it’s near the yak and surfaced lovely flathead and some nice lip jewellery, nicely hooked and its off under the yak and away again, back in and a few headshakes and netted, on the yak and measured,
one an only.jpg
and in the esky for tea.
River was like glass for the paddle home, the sun setting over the trees, the eagles in the trees and air and the red sky as the sun sets.

Off the water and home by 18:00

Life doesn’t get much better.
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Re: SFC III (Results and Trip Reports)

#22 Post by Ray7 » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:01 pm

Thanks Brad foe running the comp well done, myself I been of the water for weeks if not months but being a club day we decided to head down to Coombabah creek for the day. On arrival the first thing I notice was the tides and how low they were for chasing flathead I prefer the run out but they may be just me. Once we unloaded I hit the water and crossing the creek, I notice a smaller creek that drained into the main,
Smaller creek..jpg
here where I would target first as flathead love to lay in wait in these place, well the first cast I had a solid hit on the return and after the initial runs I finally manged to get the fish to the side of the yaks and it turn out too be nice 46cm flathead.
Flathead 43cm.jpg
From then on things went a little slow for while until I drifting along targeting drain and drop off in the shallow covered sand bank, that when I pick my second up for the day, again this was a nice 48cm flathead. Both fish where claimed by the Berkly Shrimp in the natural colour using a 1/40 hidden weigh jig-head.
Flathead Social 48cmjpg.jpg
Well hopefully in the coming months thing will improve so I can return back to fishing .
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Re: SFC III (Results and Trip Reports)

#23 Post by Dangerous Dave » Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:07 pm

Al, Leper and Ray, you guys have some extremely nice water to fish. I'm somewhat jealous as we don't have the mangroves and mudflats like that down here.

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Re: SFC III (Results and Trip Reports)

#24 Post by Biggles » Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:21 pm

Just adding a couple of pics to Brads awesome report. This was one of the most relaxing days fishing that I have had for a while, thanks mate for sharing a little piece of your backyard. Brad was on fire with the flatchaps, and they were a real healthy population in this system. I had a bucket load of fun using the smaller Damiki Armor Shads, and was able to demonstrate that even when chasing flatchaps the bream just couldn't resist them. I even put on 14lb leader and a nice big snap clip and this didn't bother the bream at all, weird.

Naturally the effort that goes into the admin / logistics for this comp keeps Brad up late at night, and sometimes at the expense of family things. A huge thank you fella :bye:

Blue Olympus 020.JPG
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Blue Olympus 040.JPG
Blue Olympus 049.JPG
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Re: SFC III (Results and Trip Reports)

#25 Post by Durayaka » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:55 pm

Congratulations Brad & well done. Thanks for putting the comp together , looking forward to the next one.


Re: SFC III (Results and Trip Reports)

#26 Post by brez » Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:55 pm

congrtaulations Brad on taking out the social , i cant think of a more deserving winner . Dangerous dave that fish of yours is a cracker to , well done and well done to all those who had a crack and those who managed to catch a flattie , i was not one of them . some really good fish ( and bycatch :snic: ) in the reports so far .

ive been unable to pull a flattie out of my local since the fish kill last month and my next choice also suffered a mass fish kill before i was heading down . despite the rotten winds i ended up heading to my local for a quickie despite the gloom . zero flathead but did manage a few bream and a couple of good ones on hardbodies , so all is not lost for this winter :cool2:
if you need a hand with the next one Brad dont be afraid to ask , i would be more than happy to lend a hand . cheers
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Re: SFC III (Results and Trip Reports)

#27 Post by rocketV » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:19 pm

My fishing time for this comp was very limited and I only managed to get on the water for a 3 hour session on Saturday afternoon.
I couldn't choose tides, I couldn't choose times and was limited to my local because of travel time restrictions...but damn it, I was going fishing!
My ride for the day was Al's Revo that I was giving a test pedal before buying.
After a few minutes of getting comfortable with the different layout and feel of the Revo I pushed up against the current to a spot that has previously produces some fatties for me. My plan was to have a cast at this spot with some HBs, SPs and Blades, then troll back towards the mouth of the creek with the outgoing tide.
After using the first 1hr of my session pedaling and casting for nothing more than a pike, I put some little HBs on and set of for my first troll with the tide.
I was less than 20m into my first pass over the area I had been casting when a very typical flathead strike and fight ended with my first flatty of the day in the net. The challenge of taking a picture with an angry trashing flatty on board proved just a difficult as I remembered, but after a happy snap, the little fella (49cm) swam away happily.
Happy that I was on the board and still had fishing time up my sleeve I pedaled back and repeated the troll line...for another strike and hookup. :ha:
This fight was a bit different and after a spirited little fight Mr Bream was yak side.
As I was chasing flatties, I didn't measure or photograph him, but he would have been a legal and swam away for another day. :tong:
I figured that I should try and make it 3 in a row, so retracing my course I deployed my lures and slowly pedaled over now familiar ground.
Right on cue my rod buckles over and the drag sings a bit. However, unlike previous strikes, and with most flatty I have caught trolling, this one didn't stop after one run on the take. As I was clearing the other rod and drifting with the tide, the mystery lure attacker just kept taking drag in the opposite direction...back to the snags :bb:
By the time I got myself organised I picked up the rod only to find the fish firmly buried in the snags. :beat:
I could tell it was still on, but as I pushed back into the current towards the bricked fish it gave one last lunge and my Halco Scorpion (brand new :mad1: ) parted company with the 4lb leader. Upon inspection the entire length of the leader was scuffed and abraded beyond help, so I had lost the lure and the fish and was left muttering and angry as I retied my leader :ang:
Once the leader was re-tied I went back to the well once more and trolled the area with much anticipation...for nothing! :ts:
A full 5 minutes without a hit :snic: so with time running low I trolled back to the launch site with only a few pike for company.
So my day finished without a full bag, but my 1 flatty was not a bad result for such a short session in some pretty dodgy conditions.
The Revo felt great and it will be calling my place home very soon (thanks Al :bye: )
Thanks for the organizing and time Brad, was great to see you have such a good session after all your hard work and hectic week. A well deserved win :smile:
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Re: SFC III (Results and Trip Reports)

#28 Post by Gazzaguru » Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:25 pm

Easily the worst fishing conditions I have gone out in with 40km/hr winds on Lake Illawarra on the Friday. Travelled quite a big territory of the lake entrance in my usual haunts for zip flathead. Managed a couple of undersize bream in the shallows behind one of the islands so not all lost. Packed it in after 3 hours as feet and fingers were blue with cold and white spray hitting me in the face. Watched a couple of old salts with 15 feet cane rods absolutely smashing the blackfish one after the other. Would have liked to have their knowledge, thats for sure. Finally, well done to all those that caught flathead. There are some quality catches and reports and well done Brad for organising. Cheers Gaz.
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Re: SFC III (Results and Trip Reports)

#29 Post by nigel » Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:08 am

Incase anyone noticed that Narrajosh didnt get a photo of the complete fish I can assure any disbelivers it was a very solid mother (that size it would be female) as the results show I got a big doughnut using SP,s im like a fish out of water :shout1: biggest hit I got was going arse over tit on the boat ramp :shout1: (embaressing & fair play to Tarpon for asking me if I was right instead of just laughing) a big thank you to lepper for organising & congrats on the result.

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