Thursday, 20 October 2011

A spot of fun.

After a failed mission (35mph winds) in Pembrokeshire I decided a quick trip to Dorset was the way to go, so at short notice I chucked my gear in the rental car & headed down from Cardiff. On arrival a bitter cold NW wind was a blowing but we were in with the chance of a fish or two.
I arrived at lunch time and met up with Mark (any excuse to avoid work lol). After a few hours of thrashing the water for a schoolie each we decided it was time for a change of venue.

True to form, Mark clipped on a weighted sluggo (jig head) and on his first cast shouted over he was into a fish. "What sort?" I shouted over "weed fish or rock fish?" thinking he had just tripped a snag, and suddenly Marks rod arched over & the fish screamed off up current much to my suprise taking line as it did so. Being a true fishing buddy I declined Marks request of help grabbing it (well what are friends for), and after a fiesty scrap he landed the below at 63cms.

By now it was getting dark & we fished on with Mark taking another schoolie around the 3lb mark. A bit dissapointed at being beaten 3 to 1, I headed back to my hotel with the hope the morning session would be better.

The next morning I woke to find the wind had dropped with weed making the fishing very difficult (about 1 in 10 casts was coming back clean). Just as the sun broke the horizon my lure got smashed at distance and a fair bit of line was stripped from the reel on the inital run. Fish landed it measured 58cms and was a very solid fish as Marks had been the previous evening.

Somewhat happier I cast out again and was hit straight away by another which also gave a good scrap, this one went 54cms. I fished on for an hour or so, but the tide was slack & I had to leave to get back, so I missed the push of the flood which I suspect would have fished well.

We didnt catch any great numbers, but the fish we did catch were decent fighters so we were both happy & had some fun as we always do.

Hopefully I will get another trip in the the next few weeks (Dorset or Ireland both tickle my fancy), so with any luck I might catch a few more before silly season (winter) starts.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The going got tough.

Just a quick interim report from a few days in wild & windy Dorset. As expected I arrived to raging winds (W& SW @ 25+ mph with gusts to 40mph!), almost unfishable but we managed to find a couple of sheltered spots but fish were few and far between.

Mark with a rock caught 3lber
To cut a long story (well walk) short, we really covered a lot of ground and climbed alot of cliffs to find clean water away from the winds on the tides we needed. I ended up catching 10 fish (excluding the usual bycatch), all of which were taken on surface lures, with the biggest at about 53cm (a suprisingly fat little chap).

The schoolies wanted it off the top.
Always a pleasure to catch these pretty fish.

A very fat fish at about 53cm.

I hope to be out in the next couple of days again - probably West Wales (or maybe even Ireland if air traffic control go ahead and strike in Germany, but thats another story).

Good luck to Gee, Joe & Mark who are off to Ireland tonight (they have a few days over there with tides and conditions looking good - no excuses lads lol).

Tight lines & thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

More fun & games from down-under.

Good buddy Omar just sent me the below. There are a couple of previous posts on the blog from down that way so here you go.................

Booked a houseboat for 5 days up at Weipa, Cape York. These boats are generally booked out for months in advance. Luckily Steve had a cancellation so I snapped it up. Going through the usual questions when booking; where you coming from, do you have a license, how many in your crew??
He wasn’t prepared for my answer to the last question. “Just 2, me n the missus; thought we would come up n have a bit of a fish.” Turns out he had never let his boats out to a crew of 2 before. Lots involved in anchoring, mooring, keeping out of shallows and trying to avoid getting eaten by the crocs & sharks. These boats are built to sleep 10.
I think Steve was a bit nervous when we rocked up; a couple of landlubbers getting ready to embark on a self guided fishing tour of one of the most remote river systems in Australia, if not the world.
Got all of our provisions / tackle etc on board. Again, Steve looked rather nervous at the amount of booze getting loaded on board. “I thought you said there were only the 2 of you…….” “That’s right Steve, gotta keep the fluids up.”

My missus Sue; her face was a picture when she stepped onto the Tillymay. This is a boat built specifically for fishing in the remote waters around Weipa. It is not a ‘honeymoon cruiser’.

Anyway, Steve gave us the induction, bid us good luck n set us on our way. 1st night we thought we would stay in the Hey River system whilst we got used to the boat. Anchored up that night in 6m water just at the mouth of a fishy looking creek.  After chucking a few lures around for a bit, I got impatient & chucked in a big slab of squid. Seconds later, a bite, then nothing. Bitten off (100lb leader) before it even hit the bottom. Rerigged with 1m long wire trace. Chucked in another slab of squid. Again, seconds later, a bite then nothing. Unreal. This fish had snaffled my hook, line, sinker, wire trace and bitten clean through 50lb braid! Question was then, how do we catch a fish when we are being smashed by sharks before bait hits the bottom??? Tried metal slices; jigging them straight up n down. Same result; 3 lost lures in 5 mins……. No problem of me running out of tackle thought.  Had a whole suitcase full of lures, line, hooks, reels etc. It got dark then we started getting nervous. Lots of crocs up this way. Lots of noises around the boat. Very intimidating place. If you get into trouble, helps not going to arrive quickly. Once it got dark, the biiiig sharks seemed to disappear, & we started getting into some little schoolies & soapies (small mulloway).

Woke up in the morn to a decent sized croc sunning itself on the bank 100m from the boat.   

Time to weigh anchor and get on the move. ‘Navigated’ around for a few hours before settling on a bit of a lump on the sounder. Anchored up & set to work catching lunch. Dropped a lure over and straightaway got smashed by spotted mackerel. These weren’t massive fish but gave the light spin gear a good work out.

Lunch sorted, time to give the tinnie a bash & head up some creeks for some barra. Sue wasn’t game for getting into the tinnie. Convinced she would end up eaten by something. Off I went; saw a croc sitting on a sandbar.

I’m in a boat, she’ll be right mate…… Chucked out the sand anchor in 1.5m of water, intent on bashing the snags with some lures. Looked back at the croc. GONE……. Could I relax?? No. After 2 casts, scuttled back to Tillymay.

Fished from the houseboat for the next 3 days. That night, catfish….. Pull like a train.

50lb braid on a 15kg spin stick. Excellent fun. More macks for tea. That night, Sue was intent on catching some of the squid that were hanging around the back of the boat. Pesky squid were smarter than us. Sea snakes everywhere under the light at back of boat. Every so often, biiiig splashes nearby reminded us to go easy on the grog….
Day 3; still in the Hey River. Headed upstream as far as we dared. Don’t want to run a ground where no one could hear us scream….. More of the same, catfish, macks, sharks, soapies, grunter.

Great fun. That night, sick of catching small sharks and thinking about an early night, something took a like to my pilchard bait. 40 mins later, we saw colour in the water. Had no idea what it could be, only that it was substantial. Up it came; 3m long shovelnose shark. I have caught many of these fish around Bowen, but never
even heard of a 3m shovelnose. Awesome.

Guts n all hanging out. Screaming for Sue to pass me the gimble belt….

Well over 100lb. Couldn’t get it onto the boat & couldn’t get a good photo as it was too dark. Call for the knife & cut her off. Swam away strongly.
Day 4; still in the Hey River. Was really too windy to head elsewhere. Tucked ourselves into the mangroves to get out of the prevailing easterlies.

  Sue even had a drive of the boat.

Getting braver…. She caught lunch n dinner of some more fresh macks.

Whilst chilling a bit, I hooked onto something I couldn’t pick. By this point, we were getting pretty good at picking the fish. This one was a little more violent than the macks; just felt different. Took nearly 10 mins to get it aboard. Biggest queenfish I have ever caught.

Talk about chuffed. If we didn’t catch another fish all trip I would have been happy. 90cm long & too
big for me n Sue to eat; back she went.

That’s about it. Did our best to finish off the booze & crashed out for the night. Up early for the trip back to Evans Landing & dry land….. Steve, who owns the boat; happy to see us back safe n sound (and a bit sore in the head).

We will certainly be headed back up that way next year; with a slightly bigger crew…… What a trip…..

Sounds like Sue & Omar had a great time (well done guys) - love the houseboat!! (the boat people can be found here: )

Tight lines mateys!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Off again in a week.......but where to go?

I will be off to the UK again in a week or so, but with it looking like the wind & swell will be up I still need to decide where to head for a couple of days fishing,
The Monday & Tuesday I was thinking of fishing show swells of 10+ feet over in Pembrokeshire (far from ideal with the wind shifting to possibly colour up the sheltered marks.........grumble)
It doesn't look much better in Dorset (again the in your face west winds) but with less swell predicted (6 foot swell is as bad as it should hopefully get),but conditions like this can be dangerous & very hard to fish.

Anyway I will be keeping an eye on the forecast & hopefully things will change for the better (the following week I should get a session or two in as well so all is not lost).

Thanks for reading!