On Wednesday I got out of the tent and boiled the billy at around 4.30 am. It was seriously cold but there was virtually no wind. After a thawing cup of tea and some breakfast I jumped in the car and drove the 15kms north to 1770 and clambered out over the rocks to the famous ‘catwalk’.
For those of you who don’t know it, it is a sloping rock ledge about twenty five metres long that forms an ideal casting platform. It is just south of the tip of the 1770 headland and is a favourite spot for land based game fishermen who wish to get a shot at catching big fish, from the shore. It is most popular when the various tuna species pass by, from about October to March, but there are fish to be had all year round. This morning I had it to myself which was probably not a good sign!
I started in the pre-dawn light with big soft plastic Jerkshads on ½ oz jigheads. After about 20 casts I was on to a fish. It was slow and heavy and first I thought it might be a turtle. After a couple of slow runs there was a huge swirl on the surface and then ping it was gone. I realised it was one of the enormous resident Gropers. I switched to an 85g slug and over the next hour, as the sun came up, I put in over 60 casts in every direction. It was a beautiful sunrise but there were no fish around so at about 8.00 am I headed back down the track to Flat Rock beach again.
I arrived around low tide at 9.00 am. By now the rock was uncovered and I waded through the gutter and up on to it. I then walked north along it, casting along the edge, in front of me. There are lots of drains and over hangs and other good structure to focus on. I was fishing with my light spin rod again but had upgraded to a 14lb leader to give me a chance, if a big fish appeared.
The first predators to appear were the Long Toms – every now then one would leap clear of the water chasing the lure as it landed. They particularly liked the GULP 2” Shrimp soft plastic in the Banana Prawn colour.I walked up and down the face of Flat Rock for the next three hours and caught fish all the way along. I caught Bream, Whiting, Dart, Stripy Perch, Flathead and lots more Long Toms. Most were small but I kept a couple of the better sized Dart for supper. As the tide started to run in and the water lapped over the rock I gave up and headed back to camp.