On Friday, the morning high tide meant that fishing Woody Head would not work so I decided to try Middle Bluff. I parked at the Frasers Reef car park at around 5.00 am and walked along the beach. It was still dark and Venus was clearly visible above the sea, in the eastern sky. It cast a bright reflection on the water.
I arrived at Middle Bluff at about 5.15am. High tide would be at 7.00am so I had to watch the swell. I watched as a big wave crashed over the top and checked my watch. I rigged up and with a GULP Crazylegs Jerkshad in the Curry Chicken colour on a 3/8th oz 3/0 jighead. At about 5.30 am another big wave crashed over – and that was the pattern. I had about 12- 15 minutes between the big wave sets. In between these I could fish.
I dropped the lure, straight down over the edge, as all the bites this week had been close in. I let it sink and then let the swell wash it under the overhang that runs along the shore. There was a quick tug, a pause and then zzzzzzzzzzzzzz snap, as the fish took the lure down under the ledge. I hurried back to the dry zone to re-rig. That took a couple minutes and then I returned and dropped another lure in the same spot. I cast all around and let the plastic pause right to the bottom but I did not get another bite.
At about six am the sun was about to come over the horizon. I decided to swap plastics to a GULP 4” Minnow in the Vader colour. I dropped this over the edge and let it sink. I let it waft in closer to the edge. I gave it a couple of twitches and paused. When I lifted the rod I had a fish on. I watched the swell and let it help me lift the fish up over the rocks. It was a good school jewfish around 58cm long. I put it in the keeper pool and dropped the lure in again. The same thing happened and after a short fight I had another, similar size fish, at my feet. The soft plastic was mashed up now so I had to change it. I had run out of Vader coloured lures so I put on a 4” Minnow in the Pumpkinseed colour. It took three drops this time, but it worked again. This time the fish was a little smaller, at 48cm.
Then they just stopped biting. I cast everywhere for another hour but I did not get a touch – perhaps it was the tide change or perhaps they had wised up. Either way, it had been yet another great land-based fishing session, off the rocks, at Iluka.