1770 – Flat Rock – Dart, Bream and Cod – 18 May 2016

On Wednesday the wind had settled down a little, so it was back to Flat Rock to fish the last couple of hours of the run out tide. The moon and tides were getting bigger and the fishing seemed to be improving. I had a lie in and set off at about 9.30 am. The swell was light and so was the wind. It was bright with a few clouds and the water was just breaking over the rock.

I started fishing with a GULP 3” Minnow in the Pearl Watermelon colour on a 1/6th ounce, size 2 jighead. I was using the slighty heavier jighead to counter the breeze, that was slowly picking up. I was still fishing with 12lb fluorocarbon leader. I would not be able to stop anything big with this light set up, but I always get far more bites when fishing light.

The first takers were Moses Perch followed by a few small dart. As I moved north along the top of the rock I caught a couple of bream, more dart and a few tiny flathead. There are a few White Breasted Sea Eagles that live along the beach. As soon as you start catching fish they start hovering in the hope of grabbing a free meal. Many a released dart has fallen victim to these predators.

I moved further north and continued to catch dart. I was now fishing with a GULP Fry in the Lime Tiger colour. I reached a break in the rock, where the water was draining out. On about my third cast something grabbed the soft plastic and tried to swim back under the rock. The drag was fairly tight and I stopped it before it got too far under. I slowly levered it out with the aid of the current. I used the incoming surge to pull the fish over the rock and into the gutter beyond. It was a solid cod about 45cm long.

The fight had obviously taken its toll. I released the fish but on the next cast the rod tip snapped and so, reluctantly, I stopped fishing for the day just after 12.45pm.

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Iluka – Frazers Reef – Jewies – 12 August 2010

On Thursday morning conditions were as near perfect as you can get on the rocky headlands around Iluka. There was a light (but cold) westerly wind which had flattened the swell and despite the rain earlier in the week, the water was fairly clean. I decided to fish the rock ledges around Frazer’s Reef, a rocky outcrop, located just to the south of Woody Head at Iluka. This is another spot you can only get to 3 hrs or so, either side of low tide. As the tide rises, it swamps the rocky causeway of boulders that you cross to get to the fishing spots.
At dawn on Thursday, the only other sign of life on the walk along the beach were the tracks in the sand made by the kangaroos. It was seriously cold. I was hoping for something more than a Tailor or Trevally. So again I rigged up a plastic on a 3/8 3/0 jighead but this time I went for a 5” GULP Lime Tiger Crazy Legs Jerkshad. This is a Jerkshad shaped plastic with twin curly tails and has a fantastic action both on the drop and when sitting in the current on the bottom. I not convinced about the colour, but I love the action.
I started fishing in the red glow before the sun came up and had a few bumps and nudges and lost the tails on the first plastic. As the great orange ball broke the horizon just on 6.00 am, I hooked a fish. It put in a solid run but it was difficult to follow as the Stradic’s (my expensive reel !!) drag ratchet chose this moment to give up on me. The drag was still working but I could not hear the clicking as the fish took line. It is a very strange sensation fighting a fish without the ‘zzzzzzzzzzzzz’ every now and then. I had subdued the fish but now had to get him up the rocks. I moved him to a corner where there are a few stepped ledges and used the swell to lift him on to the lower one. Then I jumped down one step, wrapped the leader round the glove and lifted the fish clear. It was a beautiful school Jewfish. It was in great condition and measured just on 80cm.
I bled the Jew and put him in a keeper rockpool (one without a wobbegong!). I then got straight back into it. This time I got snagged on a bommy. Next cast produced another, smaller (65cm) school jewfish which I again landed with the aid of the swell. Now I knew they were obviously right on the bottom just behind the bommy. This kind of fishing requires deep pockets – I must have lost 10 more jigheads to that bommy over the next hour. I had a couple of runs with decent fish which I judged from the headshakes were Tailor, but I failed to hook up with either of them. Finally, as the tide was going to force me off my spot I was on to a fish again. This time I had swapped to a GULP 5” Jerkshad in the Pumpkinseed colour. This fish felt big but when I got him up the rocks he was actually the smallest of the day at around 60cm – another school jewfish.
I now had to wade, waist deep, through the water to get back across the causeway to the beach, but I reckon getting my nuts chilled was a reasonable sacrifice for some great fishing.