The weather was perfect for fishing, so I decided to stop in the town of 1770 for a few days. I love camping here, at Wreck Rock beach, but I did not have my tent this week. It was also a bit too cold. I decided to stay at the 1770 Getaway Resort – http://www.1770getaway.com.au/. It’s a great spot, just out of Agnes Waters. It has its own café with fantastic food and a number of upscale cabins. You can walk 10 minutes to a great fishing beach close to the resort or drive a few kilometers back to 1770. The four wheel drive track to Deepwater National Park is also only a few kilometers to the south.
The most important thing about the resort is that Michael, the owner, is a keen fisherman, so he can give you an excellent update on what is biting. Michael showed me a few pics of some 10kg + Jewfish he has been catching off the local rocks and I could hardly wait to get down there. We went down to the local beach on Wednesday afternoon. The terrain looked perfect for Jewfish with bommies, gutters and overhangs everywhere. I tried some big GULP Jerkshads in some promising locations but did not get a touch. The water was very clear and the moon phase was not ideal for Jew – but the area looks very promising.
On Thursday I was up at about 5.30 am. It was a clear cool morning and low tide would be at about 7.30 am. I drove down the four wheel drive track into Deepwater National Park. I stopped at Middle Rock and fished the rocks through the dawn with my light spin outfit. I tried a number of soft plastics but I only had a few touches. At about 8.30 am I moved down to Wreck Rock.
It was just after low tide and I have always found this is the best time to fish here. You can walk out on to the rocks on the north and south sides of the small bay and cast around the submerged bommies and into the channels between them. I started at the north side. There is always a fair amount of swell here so I opted for a 1/6th 1/0 jighead and tried a few soft plastics. I was flicking a GULP 3” Minnow in the lime tiger colour. I have had a few big bust offs here, so I had 16lb leader in place.
I felt some solid bites, on the bottom close to the edge of the rocks, I slowed everything down and let the plastic float to the bottom. I paused and counted to ten slowly. When I lifted the rod the fish had swallowed the plastic. I pulled it up – a small Flathead around 35cm long. I have caught a few Flathead around these rocks – usually the Flagtailed, sand Flathead. This one was a Dusky with the tell-tale spot on its tail.
The next cast produced a slightly bigger one and then another. They were all Dusky Flathead, just under 40cm. I put on a bigger soft plastic – a GULP Jerkshad in the Cajun Chicken colour. On the second cast, I connected with a bigger fish. This one was over 40cm so it went into the keeper pool. They kept coming, every second or third cast. I caught 12 over the next hour. I put 4 into the keeper pool.
I was about to stop fishing, as the advancing tide would soon stop me from getting back across the rocks. I cast the Jerkshad back out. A fish grabbed it at the foot of the rocks and, initially it felt like another small Flathead. It took a bit of line and then paused. Then all hell broke loose and the fish charged off towards open water. I tightened the drag and started winding. The whole area is surrounded by barnacle covered rocks so I had to try and subdue this fish quickly. The leader was holding, but the fish was going mad. I caught a glimpse and realized I had found the big mother Flathead that all the others had been hanging out with. She turned sideways in the wave and I could see she was a 70cm + fish. I pulled her round a bommie and miraculously the leader held, but she took off again. I almost had the drag locked up and eventually got her to the base of the rocks at my feet. But as soon as I tried to drag her free of the water, the jighead bent open under the strain and the fish slowly waved goodbye with its tail as it slunk off.
She would have been too big to keep but it would have been nice to have a photo. I kept the two biggest fish in the keeper pool and released the other two. I gutted the fish and washed them out in the salt water and then lay them on their backs on the rocks beside me. I moved about a metre away to rinse my knife and suddenly saw a shadow above me. In the flash of an eye the bird swooped and grabbed one of the fish. It flew off but only just stayed clear of the water and eventually perched on a far off tree to enjoy its free meal. So I ended up with just one.