Social Flathead Challenge IV (Results and Trip Reports)

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Leper
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Social Flathead Challenge IV (Results and Trip Reports)

#1 Post by Leper » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:09 pm

Well the anticpation is now over and here are the results for the SFC IV. Congratulations to matman for taking out the title with a cracking kicker flathead at 945mm and is now a proud owner of a pair of SHELEFT HD Video Sunglasses. Congrats also to second (Dangerous Dave) and third (sakas) who I think fished together and had only 7 points between their scores, an awesome copy of "Above the 26th Parallel", a kayak fishing DVD put together by Brett "Shufoy" Ozane will soon be on your way.

As was the case in the last SFC the weather played a big part with the numbers again and even though 60 competitors signed up, half the field had to pull out due to inclement weather. Hopefully in the next SFC the weather will be a little kinder.

So for all competitors who got out on the water please post your trip reports here whether you manged a flattie, any other species of fish or absolutely nothing! :lol: Thanks to all those who particiapted especially if you braved horrible conditions to try and chase down a flattie.

Any problems with the reults please feel free to PM me!

Rank-----------------Name------------------STATE-------------------------Fish1---------------------Fish2---------------------Points
1---------------------matman-----------------NSW---------------------------945mm...................555mm...................1500pts
2---------------------Dangerous Dave--------NSW---------------------------585mm...................557mm...................1142pts
3---------------------sakas--------------------NSW---------------------------575mm...................560mm...................1135pts
4---------------------Leper--------------------QLD---------------------------615mm...................519mm...................1134pts
5---------------------xpat----------------------NSW---------------------------528mm...................514mm...................1042pts
6---------------------silver19------------------NSW---------------------------540mm...................480mm...................1020pts
7---------------------arpie---------------------NSW---------------------------513mm...................506mm...................1019pts
8---------------------woodsy-------------------NSW---------------------------545mm...................437mm...................982pts
9---------------------sunshine-----------------NSW---------------------------560mm...................395mm...................955pts
10---------------------Narrajosh---------------NSW---------------------------564mm...................388mm...................952pts
11---------------------kaos---------------------NSW---------------------------490mm...................460mm...................950pts
12---------------------Sydo---------------------NSW---------------------------930mm...................0mm....................930pts
13---------------------gavda--------------------NSW--------------------------510mm...................410mm....................920pts
14---------------------zelko---------------------NSW---------------------------453mm...................375mm....................828pts
15---------------------Mac----------------------NSW--------------------------432mm.....................385mm....................817pts
16---------------------brez----------------------NSW--------------------------400mm.....................380mm....................780pts
17---------------------Mackayak----------------NSW--------------------------385mm.....................381mm....................766pts
18---------------------Tarpon5000--------------NSW-------------------------330mm......................320mm.....................650pts
19---------------------dirty-----------------------NSW-------------------------578mm.....................0mm......................578pts
20---------------------breamer390---------------NSW-------------------------537mm.....................0mm......................537pts
21---------------------Waterbaby1972-----------NSW-------------------------390mm.....................0mm......................390pts
22---------------------Off-------------------------QLD------------------------340mm......................0mm......................340pts
23---------------------Ray7------------------------QLD------------------------320mm.....................0mm......................320pts
24---------------------hillbilly----------------------QLD------------------------0mm........................0mm......................0pts
24---------------------ref_com---------------------NSW------------------------0mm.......................0mm......................0pts
24---------------------tinrub------------------------MSW------------------------0mm.......................0mm......................0pts
24---------------------Mackayak Jr-----------------NSW----------------------0mm........................0mm......................0pts
24---------------------billp---------------------------QLD-----------------------0mm.......................0mm......................0pts
24---------------------BrettoQld---------------------QLD-----------------------0mm......................0mm......................0pts
24---------------------seqfisho----------------------QLD-----------------------0mm......................0mm......................0pts
24---------------------Gazzaguru--------------------NSW----------------------0mm......................0mm......................0pts
24---------------------Stonecold---------------------NSW----------------------0mm......................0mm......................0pts
24---------------------Sicklids-----------------------NSW----------------------0mm......................0mm......................0pts
24---------------------live4eva----------------------QLD---------------------0mm......................0mm......................0pts
24---------------------Estuary Girl-------------------QLD----------------------0mm......................0mm......................0pts
24---------------------Pkat87------------------------NSW----------------------0mm......................0mm......................0pts
24---------------------Biggles------------------------QLD---------------------0mm......................0mm......................0pts
24---------------------Slim---------------------------QLD----------------------0mm......................0mm......................0pts
24---------------------conan-------------------------NSW----------------------0mm.......................0mm......................0pts
24---------------------easyakka---------------------NSW----------------------0mm......................0mm......................0pts
24---------------------Surly--------------------------NSW---------------------0mm......................0mm......................0pts
24---------------------RocketV----------------------QLD----------------------0mm......................0mm......................0pts
24---------------------LesSimmo--------------------NSW----------------------0mm......................0mm......................0pts
24---------------------tomsawya--------------------NSW---------------------0mm......................0mm......................0pts
24---------------------ifish1208---------------------NSW----------------------0mm......................0mm......................0pts
24---------------------mcnphoto---------------------NSW----------------------0mm.......................0mm......................0pts
24---------------------Gyro---------------------------NSW----------------------0mm.......................0mm......................0pts
Brad

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For other bass fishing adventures check out my blog at http://www.yakbassaustralia.com

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Re: SFC IV (Results and Trip Reports)

#2 Post by woodsy » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:24 pm

Congratulations Matman
Thats a cracker of a flattie
You are the fish whisper of the sckf club
Also a big thankyou to Brad for running the challenge again
Cheers Bill

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Kayak PBs
Bream 36.5cm,Black Bream 43cm,Bass 43cm,Bass 34cm (fly ) Cod 60cm Flathead 73cm,Whiting 37cm,Tailor 62cm,EP 35cm,Travelly 51cm,Jew 55cm,Snapper 46.5cm,Blackfish 36cm
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Re: SFC IV (Results and Trip Reports)

#3 Post by Gazzaguru » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:51 pm

Equal 18th in a fishing comp. At least I have something to tell my grandkids now. I did get out fishing and I gave it a good shot and I did catch fish but not the nominated species. The day I fished was last Wed 7th and it was one of the better days we have had. I think the mercury made 20 on this day. (Coldest and wettest start to winter in 60 years). I was on the water at 7am right on top of the tide. I flicked around with HB,s for 3 hours and with the slow drift over the sand patches conditions were perfect for flathead. Not a touch. After this I diverted my attention to the weed beds and mangroves with SP,s. I ended up with 8 x bream all just legal size, an estuary perch which is a first for me and at 34cm will add to the PB list, a 43cm silver trevally which is another PB and gave a good account of itself and right on the bottom of the tide, I practiced WTD some sammies in 6-12 inches of water and was rewarded with 2 x small whiting so all up a pretty successful day for me but as usual I get everything ballsed up and could not raise a flatchap. Well done Matman on that magnificent specimen. Please don,t tell me you caught it in the Minnamurra. :grr: Gaz.
Flathead friendly 001 (Medium).jpg
Flathead friendly 002 (Medium).jpg
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PB,S from the yak - Amberjack 38cm, Bass 40cm, Bream 35cm, Bonito 36cm, Catfish 29cm, flathead 73cm, Redfin 35cm, EP 34cm, golden perch 55cm, murray cod 73cm, salmon 45cm silver trevally 43cm, tailor 39cm, whiting 40cm.
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Re: SFC IV (Results and Trip Reports)

#4 Post by seqfisho » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:53 pm

Looks like QLD had the worst weather for the SFC with only three people weighing fish, at least you kept us up towards the top of the leader board Brad :glad:
Cheers Glen

PB's 22/8/11 Mitchell Stephen, male 3.35kg and 49cm (kept not released) ............ lol

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Re: SFC IV (Results and Trip Reports)

#5 Post by Tarpon5000 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:53 pm

It was a very tuff day on the water for me 11 hrs truth be told but could only land two extra small flatties , dropped 5 or so decent fish thou :beye: :beye:
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dre

ps , thanks a million for this brad , it was interesting fishing with a little bit of preasure :lek: :lek:
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Yak pb's : Bream 48cm, Wild Bass 438mm F , EP 500mm F , Kingfish 80cm, Flathead 85cm, Jewie 80cm ,Salmon 70cm Bronze Whaler 1.5m, Bonito 46cm, Watson Bonito 47cm, Tailor 57cm ,Pinkie 40cm,Trevor 55cm,Golden Perch 52cm, Whiting 50cm.

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Re: SFC IV (Results and Trip Reports)

#6 Post by matman » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:02 pm

Firstly a BIG THANKYOU to Brad for organising yet another great KFDU Social Fishing Challenge – hats off to you mate. And also a BIG Thankyou for the awesome prizes you put up for this challenge.

Well, I’ll try and keep it short and let the video do the talking, but will give you a brief insight into the methods I used on the day, and yes, lady luck was certainly shining on me that day.



I hit the Basin nice and early Wednesday morning right on day break and had around a 40 minute Pedal to my chosen location for the day. I had kindly been taken to this spot a couple of times in the previous month by Fred Green, where Damo scored a 93cm and Fred had a fish well over a metre up beside the boat on one of the trips.

The plan for the day was to simply and repeatedly carry out a series of systematic drifts over the same couple of hundred metre stretch for the entire day, hopefully locating a Big fish - first starting in around 10 feet of water, and slowly repeating the same drifts but moving out a little wider and deeper each time (the handheld GPS really helps in this scenario).

Throughout the day, I threw a mix of Blades and Soft Plastics, alternating between the two regularly, again trying to work out a pattern and what they wanted to “chew” on the day.

As for choice of blades, I threw a mix of 35mm and 50mm FG Blades in a variety of colours, and worked them by simply hopping them along the bottom in short rips and pauses. FG Blades accounted for most of my lizards for the day, and also kept me entertained with plenty of bi-catch, racking up 10 species for the day including flathead, bream, whiting, tarwhine, trevally, flounder, tailor, snapper, trumpeter and even the old leather jackets (yes, the Basin fan bellies have a bit of a thing for blades).
FG_Blades.jpg
Choice of SPs for the day was my old tried and tested favourite, the Berkeley 3” Minnow Grub in Pumpkinseed fished on 5 and 6gm squidgy jig heads, and one I don’t normally throw but is a proven winner in the Basin, the 3” Riptide Mullet in Rootbeer fished on much heavier 10gm Nitro Pogy Jig Heads, aimed for much deeper water and also once the wind started ripping. Both soft plastics were worked using the traditional double hop (achieved by two small quick upward rips of the rod) followed by a lengthy pause. It always pays to vary the pause and retrieve though, as somedays the fish like it ripped fast, and other days slower and longer pauses.
SoftPlastics.jpg
Whilst there were plenty of flatties for the taking during the day, most were on average extremely small, but I did manage a couple of 45s and then a 55.5cm fish early in the morning, so was happy with a metre under the belt and a couple of photos(no donut at least). From there, I just kept working the systematic drifts I described earlier hoping to run across a Big Girl, and that finally happened 5.5 hours into the session around 11am.

The SE had started to come away a little stronger, I deployed the drift chute and also switched from blades back to the heavier jig head and the Riptide mullet. Now I was working the deepest drift for the morning, in around the 20-24ft mark, and lots more bait was showing on the sounder out at this depth – things looked promising.

A couple of casts later, I felt the subtle tap on the pause, and set the hook hard with a solid and fast double pump. As soon as the rod loaded up I knew this was the big Basin girl I had been chasing....

I eased the drag pressure back straight away, as 8lb fluorocarbon whilst tough, still can only take so much. Flatties this size don’t fight like their smaller counterparts in the shallows, rather just lots of weight with powerful slow runs as they move off. I avoided going too hard on her and the violent head shakes that that generally invokes, a lesson I learnt from my mate Damo - take them slowly and gently, and just tire them out.

Finally after much patience and circle work in the yak to lift her up from the bottom, I got the first sight of colour and knew it was a cracker. At first I even thought maybe a metre fish, but as I worked her patiently to the yak and glided her into the net, I knew she was at least 90+.

I kept her head first in the Environet in the water, and slowly peddled to the shallows. This had two purposes – firstly, I need to get to shore to measure and release the big girl, and secondly, it allowed the fish time to rest and get plenty of water and oxygen pumping back through her.

I was very conscious of how tired she was, and really wanted to keep the time she spent out of the water to a minimum as these fish really need to be looked after and handled properly in order for a successful and healthy release.

As soon as I hit the shallows I was out of the yak, net in one hand dragging her slowly through the water, whilst busily opening the hatch with the other and pushing the yak to shore. I quickly wet the brag mat, grabbed the camera, and then the moment of truth on the lie detector………finally going 94.5cm. Man was I stoked to say the least! Sadly no glamour shots as my camera man couldn’t get the day off – well truth be told, I ditched our planned day due to the forecast – sorry Brez.
Matman_945mm.jpg
Matman_945mm_kayak.jpg
945mm_cropped.jpg
I only kept her out of the water for no more than a minute for a measure and a couple of quick pics, and then straight back into the water. Whilst she was tired, she was extremely healthy and full of life, and man was I glad I had packed the gloves that morning, as she was certainly biting down hard as I swam her in the shallows!

Finally after a couple of minutes, I released her for the final time. What a sight, watching a 94.5cm croc free swimming back across the flats, heading home (checkout the video link)

I then spent the next 4 hours continuing the same systematic drifts trying to get another upgrade for my second fish. I got its twin, and on the measure went just under 55.5cm, so no photo needed. A couple of minutes later I thought I had another good fish on and maybe an upgrade for the second fish, but as it turned out, a 45cm lizard wrapped in a bundle of cockle weed complete with 8 cockles attached has a fair bit of weight to it (although not much fight smiley here)

In all, it was great days fishing, with well over 20 flatties, numerous bi-catch and a Big Basin Croc of 94.5cm.

Thanks again to Brad for organising another great event, and please check out the video (not the greatest sorry, but my first attempt). Thanks for listening.

Matt

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"There are always greater fish than you have caught, always the lure of greater task and achievement, always the inspiration to seek, to endure, to find" - Zane Gray

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conan
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Re: SFC IV (Results and Trip Reports)

#7 Post by conan » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:40 pm

Thanks Brad for organising such a great event, unfortunately I had to work at the last minute, but it was great to catch up with Dre (tarpon 5000) and put a face to a name. :glad: Congratulations Matt, sensational fish and go NSW :blah: .
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Re: SFC IV (Results and Trip Reports)

#8 Post by brez » Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:28 pm

Congrats to the winners and a big thanks to Brad for running another successful social :cool:

As Matt has said he bailed on fishing Thursday with me to fish wednesday instead which ended up being the best day weatherwise ( and the only day I couldn't fish ) . What he failed to mention was he convinced me NOT to fish Tuesday as it was supposed to be terrible weather :?:

So that left me with Thursday to fish and a pretty crappy forecast :beye: I was determined to go anyway so teed up my mate stonefish to meet up at minnamurra bright and early anyway . So I stayed up waiting for my ufn until I was falling asleep at the computer and went to bed without it . I awoke several times during the night to heavy rain so decided to have a sleep in and see what daylight brought .

The rain continued to fall and by 8am It got the better of me so off I went . Stoney arrived to clearing conditions and we hit the water at the lazy time of 9am . By 9:30 I had my 2 fish and lost another similar yakside . Apart from losing what felt like another reasonable fish after a short tussle the next 4 hours were uneventful . A very disappointing day out despite finishing with a flurry of small flatties to 30cm . I couldn't even raise any of the bycatch that Gaz scored the previous day :beye: cheers

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Re: SFC IV (Results and Trip Reports)

#9 Post by sakas » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:49 pm

Firstly thankyou Brad for running this event, Secondly to Matman Holy S#$T that is one big croc and congrats on the win and to Dangerous Dave watch out.

It was not the easiest of days weather wise we had some major fog, drizzling rain and no wind at all with crysatl clear water. At least that was the case when we started.
I hit the water at 0700 and it was very still but a nice tide building. Dave and myself had shelved our original plan to fish Tuross as the weather was looking suss and felt the options closer to home were better with the weather although we knew we would sacrifice fish size.
So Pambula River it was and it didn't take to long to get a fish on the board only 45cm but a start. We thought this would have been a likely spot as I had pulled a 78cm only 2 weeks back. Anyway as it happened the flatties were very spooky in the clear water. Got a bit side tracked for a while and ended up throwing surface lures at whiting while we hung out for the run out tide. Lots of fun but no runs on the board.
After about 6 hours Dave and myself put our heads together which just ended up looking like a hairy back side :grin: ( sorry Bad joke ). Decided to bite the bullet and head to our usual spot in Bega.
Dave got lost in the fog on the way but I got off the mark pretty quick with a 54cm fish. After I had finished smaking myself on the head for not just comming here straight up I got back into it. The water was like coffee and very blustery which only seemed to help, again why didn't we just start here.
The bite was soild, few good bream but plenty of good flatties just not big. Both of us dropped bigger fish but in the end I acheived my goal in about 2hrs. Left Dave to it as I was stuffed and in need of a cold frothy one. I think that is when Dave the sneaky bugger knocked me off.
Left there not feeling overly confident of a podium but thought I should do ok for a first event.
All in all I had one of the best days fishing I have had in a while and the fact it was a comp made it better. To have Dave out with me was a bonus as we regularly swap ideas and talk about our plan then head off to try our ideas out. I've done a few trips with him now and it's always a great day with laughs to boot.

Gear:
Blood worm wriggler with lghtest round jig head I can get away with note that I started with a bullet head of the same weight but it digs into the mud to much and the fish just were not interested.
Stike Pro suspending minnow pygmy 2 in green code:juoo1g. Get one if you don't have one just go and get it don't ask just get I always end up going back ti it.
Line: 6lb Nanofil with 8lb Berkley Vanish. NB this wouldn't be my leader of choice but got caught short would usally use Sunline FC Rock or Nitlon.
Reels: Stradic Ci4 2500. Daiwa regal 2500.

Hope thats not an over load or to boring.
Heres the pics.
Morning start.jpg
SFC 57.5cm.jpg
56cm second entry.jpg
Thanks again to Brad and congrats to Mateman and Dangerour Dave. Who I think stretched his fish :lol:
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Last edited by sakas on Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SFC IV (Results and Trip Reports)

#10 Post by slim » Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:42 pm

Once again thanks to Leper and to Sheleft and shuffoy for their great donations. Congrats to matman, wow what a couple of crackers there. Sadly for me I had a shocker. 5minutes in with a kid in our care and she dropped my nice Trion combo into 80ft of water...bye bye... then we copped 40mm of rain over the next hour, when we returned to the car we found it had been broken into and a t-curve and sol were missing. So two combos gone, about $800 down the gurgler. No fish either.
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Re: SFC IV (Results and Trip Reports)

#11 Post by fraggle_74 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:16 pm

Very nice win Matt

Hopefully now you can stop talking about it for 8hrs a day at work :wink:

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Re: SFC IV (Results and Trip Reports)

#12 Post by Ray7 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:36 pm

Well done to Matt and everyone else that competed,a big thanks also to Leper in running the event with out his effort these type of social events wouldn't be run.
Myself I spent the morning at at Diamond Heads picking up only one Flathead for the morning which was claimed on Berkley banana Prawn, I tried nurmous spots but the main area I wish to fish was unreachable because of the high winds so for personal safety I tried tucking away in back area only to harrased by Jet Ski. In all it was a quite morning just wish I could have claimed a second Flathead but this wasn't to be so all we can do is wait for the next event and try again next time.
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Re: SFC IV (Results and Trip Reports)

#13 Post by dirty » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:32 pm

Not that exciting for me unfortunately. Hit the basin and picked up a few smaller models early in and thought I would improve but that want to be. Dropped what looked to be a 60ish yak side and caught nothing after.

Got home and not pleased with the result so hit a secret spot which produce my entry. I hooked another one on the very next cast but it monstered me after some good runs and then rubbed through the 6lb leader.

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Re: SFC IV (Results and Trip Reports)

#14 Post by Dangerous Dave » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:52 pm

Congratulations to Matman on a deserved win with a ripper fish at 945mm and also congratulations to Sydo for another great fish at 930mm, it seems that there are still some really nice fish to be caught. A huge thanks to Leper for organising yet another great event and thanks to the sponsors Sheleft and Shufoy for their prize donations, much appreciated. Well done sakas on a deserved 3rd place and thanks for a great day on the water, it makes all the difference when you can throw ideas and tactics around and even up and drive 30km to a new location just because where you are is not firing.

Our cunning plan was to fish the lead up to the high tide and the start of the run out in a hope to get bigger fish feeding on the flats. My day started @ 6.45 as I stumbled out of bed to be greeted by fog to the boundary fence with almost zero visibility, cold wet conditions and a weather map showing a green and orange band of rain making its way to Bega.... outstanding... Suddenly a message arrives from Sam announcing that he is already on the water and I thought " oh well, here we go..."
On the drive to meet Sam, the fog lifted, the cloud started to disperse and shafts of light started to break through the clouds, my day was improving. On the water and dressed for torrential rain found it hot going in the weirdly warm conditions but it certainly bought the fish out to play. I got sucked in to wasting time trialing a new surface lure just to see how it cast only to have it smacked off the top first cast by a willing whiting. 30 minutes later and numerous whiting in the kayak, sakas pedals past and reminds me that " we are after flathead remember" :beye:
whiting2.jpg
WIth no big fish on the flats we decide to troll back down the river and finally a little fella grabs a trolled Damiki soft plastic in motor oil red and I am on the board.
fish3.jpg
We hit the main bay to find whitecaps and all the stinkers heading for the ramp and that was when sakas did what a good kayaker does and hooks a nice fish right in front of the ramp where men and boats are lining up to leave. :grin:
samramp.jpg
With the lake now getting to rough and the wind driving the kayaks into the racks and making accurate casting difficult, the decision was made to pack up and drive back to Bega to where we probably should have started the day. I drove the way which would see me drive straight past my front gate and allow me to get out of the hot gear and into something a bit more suited to the temperature, with thunderstorms looming I thought if I get wet so be it. I arrived at the lake just in time to see sakas disappear into the channel at the other end and decided to try my normal trolling run and stay in the coffee colored water of the lake. I had not gone far when the rod came up solid to something that had me baffled for a bit as it would take line, head shake, then it stopped and this is what I ended up with.
stick.jpg
I reset my lines and just as the would have got to trolling depth, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz the fishing gods smiled and I managed my first honest fish for the day. Caught on a Strikepro Bass X in green.
fish1.jpg
At that point sakas re-entered the lake and as we trolled along side by side discussing his luck and the bream that had kept him occupied in my absence my rod buckled to easily the best fish of the day. As sakas stopped pedalling to watch the action his new rod buckles and we are both into decent fish. My fish was heavy and just as I went to lighten the drag it came to the surface and the lure and fish parted company much to sakas's obvious delight. :grr: He then proceeded to give me a running commentary of his battle and how well his new rod performed and blah blah blah...
With now 2 good fish in the bag sakas decided he had had a good day and left me to give my trolling run one last go before I also headed for home. The fishing gods smiled one last time and in came my best fish for the day.
fish2.jpg
All up a very enjoyable day with good company in what could have been very trying conditions.

Cheers, Dave.
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Leper
KFDU Site Manager
Posts: 2419
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:41 pm
Local Fishing Region: SE Queensland
Kayaks: Old Town Vapor 10 Angler, Mantra Noa, Viking Tempo and Eco Daintree
Location: Brisbane

Re: SFC IV (Results and Trip Reports)

#15 Post by Leper » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:33 pm

Well, I had nominated Saturday for my attempt to chase down some flatties and I anxiously watched the wind and rain reports all week as my day approached. The predicted conditions looked pretty ordinary with up to 15knot winds, rain in the morning and storms in the afternoon, as well as tides that just did not suite my chosen flathead hot spot.

As I awoke Saturday morning the rain was coming down and didn’t clear until 9.30AM. A quick check on the BOM Radar showed it had more or less passed but I still anticipated getting wet and had no idea what an inch of freshwater may do to the estuary I was fishing. I quickly packed my gear and headed off arriving at the launch just before 11AM.
A quick walk down to the river had me a little pessimistic with a big tide that had just begun to ebb. This system on a big tide drains out really fast and can make fishing with SP’s a little frustrating. Regardless I kitted out the yak and launched.

The plan was to let the outgoing current take me downstream and casting at the usually structure that typically hold flathead in this waterway, chiefly drains and the shallow banks of the river. I initially tied on my favourite SP for flathead which was a 70mm Squidgie Fish in Gary Glitter.

The first drain I reached yielded my first hit that missed the lure and didn’t return. Soon after on a long cast along a shallow bank I was whacked hard and when the rod loaded up I initially thought it was a small fish. Part way through the tussle the fish turned and screamed back to the same area I had been hit and buried me in some structure that eventually resulted in abraded leader and a lost fish. I usually chase flatties with a relatively light drag to encourage long runs and less head shakes which could potentially result in a lost fish. Unfortunately some of the tougher denizens of the estuary can then overpower you if you are unprepared. Most likely it was an Estuary cod as I have caught a number at this location.

I continued my drift and at the next major drain I finally managed to hook up on my first flathead which although a small one at 40cm, it meant that I had now managed to get onto the scoreboard. As I lazily floated down the river I continued to cast at potential structure but just like the last SFC this section of the creek was very quiet. I made the decision to turn around and head back upstream to another section of river that typically held a few flathead.
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I’m not a big fan of dead time while fishing and so I tied on a lure I was given after the last SFC by kiwozi who makes Tantrum lures. It was hot pink diver with a fairly major wobble and on the troll upstream it was hit hard and the drag screamed off. This fish fought very hard and continually refused to be landed as it lunged away from the net anytime I tried to slip her into it. Eventually with a great sense of relief I finally landed a 61cm flathead which I was thrilled with.
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I continued upstream and eventually reached one of my favourite sections of the river. The tide was finally approaching my favourite time and although I did not raise a fish in many of my tried and tested spots, I was still optimistic of an upgrade in the mid afternoon.
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I eventually reached a large creek mouth which has seen me catch four 70cm+ flathead in the past but in recent years has been a little quiet. I decided to try something a little different and tied on a Z-Man ????? After a few casts into the mouth of the small creek the SP was whacked and another flattie came yakside. Although not and upgrade at 39cm it still gave me a bit of confidence that a better fish may be on the cards.
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Successive casts saw the Z-man get belted multiple times off a snag at the mouth of the creek with the typical sharp hits of bream that just wouldn’t hook up. Eventually another flathead picked up the SP and was a definite upgrade but after a short tussle that had the fish up to the surface it gave a few vigorous headshakes and threw the lure. Bugger!

A few casts later I was on again and this fish was another definite potential upgrade. At this point I was very impressed with the Z-man and made a mental note to add a few more to my SP arsenal. After a nice fight I eventually netted a flathead just shy of 52cm to add to my bag for the day.
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I continued to fish this section of the creek but the flathead had gone quiet after my 20 minute purple patch. I did manage a couple of small bream amongst the flathead as well that came off some timber that I couldn’t resist casting at.
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The distant rumble of thunder had me reaching for the iPhone to check the weather and it showed a massive storm brewing not far from my location. Luckily it seemed to be heading away from me but I decided it was time to head back to the launch just in case.

On the way back I cast along another bank that always seems to hold a few fish and I managed another couple of flathead at 34cm and 44cm. I also had another spectacular bust off much like the one earlier in the day. Again more than likely a large cod that came out of the broken mud bank I had cast at.
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At this point the rain arrived as the fringe of the storm finally reached me so I decided to call it a day and head home. Although I hadn’t managed to land any monster fish I still had a good session in average conditions. The one thing I failed to mention was that throughout the session I was harassed by a plague of mozzies and I reckon they were large enough to harness and drag me around the creek. I must have hit myself enough times swatting at the damn things, to have my wife ask “how does the other guy look?’
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Brad

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For other bass fishing adventures check out my blog at http://www.yakbassaustralia.com

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