On Monday afternoon the temperature shot up and the wind blew from the north all night. A small storm had passed at about 3.30 am and woken me up. So Tuesday morning was warm and humid. A big southerly wind change was due late morning so I decided to have a look at Frazer’s Reef around sunrise. Conditions were calm, the tide was running in and it was a few days after the new moon.
I started fishing with the heavy rod – 40lb braid and 40lb fluorocarbon leader. I started with a 1/4 ounce, 1/0 hook jighead loaded with a Lucky Craft Mad Scientist Optishad in the Motor Oil colour. This is another paddletail soft plastic with a really great action. The first taker was a small big eye trevally, in close to the rocks. I put what was left of the soft plastic back on and a few casts later a 45 cm tailor ate it. The plastic was now unusable so I put on a GULP Lime Tiger coloured jerkshad. A few casts later a fish grabbed it and tried to get under the rock ledge. The tough leader held and I pulled up a bigger trevally.
Things then went quiet so after losing a jighead to the rocks, I re-rigged with a lighter 25lb leader. The tide was now running in, strongly. The paddletail soft plastic had got the fish to bite earlier so I went back to that idea and put on a 5″ GULP Paddleshad in the Pink Belly colour. I watched the swell and hopped the plastic across the bottom, as close as I could, parallel with the ledge. After about four retrieves I thought I was snagged but then I felt a bit of give and a good solid run. It was a jewfish/ mulloway, fortunately it swam out into open water and played itself out. I lifted it onto a lower ledge then pulled it up to me by the leader. It was 72cm long and as we had already demolished the one from a few days before, I kept it.
When I gutted it, I had a look in its stomach and it was full of small school prawns. These are currently pretty thick in the lower reaches of the Clarence River.
The early start had paid off with a couple of good fish and good conditions.
Tuesday morning looked windy again and the swell would be up. Ideal Jew conditions – if I could find a safe spot to fish. I started on the south rock wall at the Tweed River mouth, just before dawn. The tide was coming in and there was a cold westerly blowing. It would be high at about 8.30 am. I cast all around the end of the wall with soft plastics, slugs and a big hard bodied minnow lure, but did not find any fish.
I decided to move down to Fingal Head. The swell was building up and when I arrived I was in two minds about crossing over on to the causeway, to fish. I watched for half an hour and then finally got across and stashed my gear on some dry rocks. The swell was now crashing in and there was white water all around. I rigged up a 5” GULP Black Shad Crazylegs Jerkshad on a 1/2 oz, 2/0 jighead. I was fishing with my 9’ Daiwa Demon Blood and Shimano Stradic 6000, loaded with 30lb Bionic braid and a rod length of 30lb Fluorocarbon Rock – leader. I had to stay at the back of the promontory as the front was getting a bashing. I cast out and felt a few tugs on the retrieve. On the next cast I had a fish, it was a Dart – just about big enough for the table.
The got the hang of the waves and concentrated on fishing during the calmer period, in between the big sets. There were birds everywhere and I presume there were some Tailor somewhere nearby. After a few more casts, I felt a solid hit as the lure sank. I lifted the rod but did not hook up. I dropped it again and paused. When I lifted it again the rod tip bent over and line started peeling off the reel. This wasn’t a Dart. Fortunately the swell was working for me and pushing the fish in. After a couple of strong runs I saw Jewfish. I pulled it up the rocks, with the aid of a surging wave and got my hand in, under its gills. It was a good fish at around 80cm, in excellent condition. There was nothing in its stomach. It was just after 8.00 am.
I cast back out in all directions, but I could not find another so, at about 9.00 am I gave up, cleaned the fish and crossed back over the causeway. After too many disappointing sessions recently it was great to be carrying a decent fish back to the esky.