On Wednesday, I had noticed the birds working off Woody Head and seen a few Tuna jumping just out of range. So on Thursday I decided to fish the Iluka rockwall in the hope that they might come past.
I had popped into Big River Bait and Tackle at Maclean and as usual, the future Australian Bream Tournament Champion – Jo, had given me some good local tips. It’s a great tackle store and everyone in there knows their stuff. They are always ready to have a chat and impart some up to date, local knowledge. Jo decided he would join me on the wall for a quick pre-work fish, next day. I readily agreed, seeing this as a great opportunity to learn a few tricks from a local. At 4.45 am he was there waiting at the rock wall parking area. High tide had been at around 4.30am which meant we had plenty of water.
We walked along to where the wall begins to break down, stopped and rigged up. Jo put on a popper and I put on a plastic initially, and then joined him with a popper. As the horizon started to glow we covered the area with casts – but we got nothing. Conditions were perfect but there was no sign of any fish and after 20 mins or so, I decided to clamber on down to the end of the wall. I said farewell to Jo and started walking.
After another 20 mins scrambling over the boulders, I reached the end. The sun was just below the horizon and I started by casting the popper all around. This took about 15 minutes but did not produce any fish. As the sun came over the horizon I swapped to a GULP Crazy Legs Jerkshad soft plastic, in the Pink Shine colour. I rigged it on a 1/2oz 3/0 jighead as the tide was now running out with some force. I put a few casts into the ocean side of the end of the wall and then moved round to fish the river side. After a few more casts, I got a couple of good bites, in close to the rocks. I cast out again and let the plastic sink down in the fast flowing water. As I lifted the rod the line came up taught and I had a fish on. I knew it was a Tailor because of the mad shaking. It was around the 40cm mark, I got it to the rocks and as I was about to lift it, it calmly turned its head and dropped the hook.
I tried a few more casts with the Pink Shine plastic and got a few more hits but no fish. They eventually bit the tail off, so I decided to downsize. I swapped to a GULP 3” Minnow in the more natural Pepper Prawn colour. First cast and bang the lure was whacked and line started peeling. A big Tailor 60- 70cm jumped out of the water, ran a bit further and then he was gone – he had bitten straight through my 30lb leader.
I fished for another hour or so, but the Tuna never showed up. Finally just as I was about to give up I caught a decent Tailor, around 45cm long on a GULP 4” Minnow in the Pumpkinseed colour.