South Ballina Rockwall – Early August 2020

I fished off the South Ballina rockwall for the first few days of August, in the run up to the full moon on the 4th. It had been consistently cold at the end of July but the weather warmed up for a few days and the wind and swell kept changing. Each morning, I arrived just after firstlight and was fishing before sunrise. The resident ospreys were always in position, above the gutter on the ocean side of the rockwall.

One morning I was taken for a ride by a couple of big fish that I could not stop. I presume they were jewfish/mulloway. I was fishing a 5″ Powerbait Nemesis paddletail soft plastic in the ‘bleak’ colour, on a 3/8th ounce jighead (see pic) on the first occasion and a 4″ GULP Minnow in the ‘smelt’ colour on a 1/4 ounce jighead, on the second occasion. They both headed out to sea around the end of the wall and rubbed through my 30lb leader.

I caught plenty of bream in the first few mornings of the month but they slowed down a little on the day of the full moon. The were nearly all decent sized, with most measuring over 35cm. I filleted a bagful for our weekly fish pie.

The tailor were completely absent. We had some rain and then a north westerly wind for a few days. This flattened the sea and perhaps it pushed the bait away for a while. The surprise catch was an Australian salmon, on a 5″ GULP Jerkshad soft plastic in the ‘lime tiger’ colour rigged on a 1/4 ounce jighead. It was part of a huge school that floated around the rivermouth for an hour or so. I tried everything in the lure box to get another one, without success.

NB – Landangler is now also on instagram, so please follow me if you use that platform https://www.instagram.com/landangler/ . I am afraid attempting to create more video and a You Tube channel would most likely result in falling over even more often, so it’s off the agenda for now.

Fingal Head – Salmon, Tailor, Bream – 11 August 2011

Thursday

Tuesday was a fishing disaster but somehow I just could not believe that the Tweed Rockwalls could ‘shut down’. So on Thursday, I found myself driving back down across the New South Wales border for another session. When I arrived at the north rock wall there was no swell and a slight breeze from the south-west. I started about 5.30 am. It was cloudy and very overcast and it looked like it would rain.

I started fishing with a GULP 5” Jerkshad in the Lime Tiger colour, rigged on a ½ oz 2/0 jighead. The heavy skies seemed to have completely flattened the water. The cloud blocked out the sunrise. As I cast all around the front of the rock wall the south-westerly breeze started to lift and it was very cold.

By 7.00 am I had not had a bite so I decided I had to switch locations. I drove down to Fingal Head. I walked out across the small causeway on to the rocky promontory. I decided to make the first cast count. It is so often the first cast in a new location that produces a fish. I checked and double checked my knots and decided on a GULP 7” Jerkshad in the Lime Tiger colour, rigged on ½ oz 5/0 jighead. The south-westerly wind was picking up and the tide was running out. I cast straight out in front of the promontory and let the lure sink. Before it hit the bottom I felt a solid bite. I dropped the rod head and then struck hard. I was on to a good fish – it was not frenetic, like a Tailor but felt a bit too lively to be a Jewfish. It took plenty of line but I gradually tightened the drag until I had it at the foot of the rocks. It was only as I lifted it clear of the water, on a helpful surge, that I saw it was an Australian Salmon. It was a good size fish – just under 70cm long. I photographed it and then released it. I will eat almost any fish but I have never been able to make one of these taste good.

I thought there would be more, so I re-rigged the same soft plastic and cast back in to the same area. Nothing – I tried up and down the rock ledge and after a while switched to a smaller 5” Jerkshad in the Peppered Prawn colour. I covered the whole area with casts but they had moved on.

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I moved round to the north side of the ledge and cast out into the corner of the Fingal Head beach. The water is crystal clear but I could not see much bait around. After another 30 minutes, I hooked a small Tailor – around 30cm which I quickly released. I then switched to a Gulp Jigging Grub in the Pink Shine colour and swapped down to a 9 gram 2/0 jighead. After a couple of casts, I caught a small Bream , very close to the base of the rocks.

It was now around 10.00 am. I had caught a few fish and it had been a better session than Tuesday but I still had nothing for dinner. Maybe it is time to get back up to Bribie Island and see if the Flathead are biting again.