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METRO Metro Offshore
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From the Editor’s Desk... November can be a tough month for a lot of fishers. Not being able to take demersals for the month sees many anglers not going fishing at all, but I find it is a great time to hone skills and to get a feed of fish that are less targeted. It is also perfect for getting the family out on the water in a safer setting than 10-20km offshore. With the exceptional weather usually experienced at this time of year, the bountiful rewards of inshore fishing are also readily available. Catching squid, whiting and herring may not be exciting enough for many, but seeing the smiles these species bring to kids’ faces is more rewarding than the catch itself.
If you have a boat and are thinking about parking it up until the season starts again, maybe think about taking the kids on a fishing trip. If you don’t have your own, consider friends or relatives. You might just have one of the most rewarding days of your fishing year. Fishing is not just about personal satisfaction; it’s about getting out there and showing the next generation what they have on their doorstep in the waters surrounding our coast. In these days of constant digital bombardment, it’s unfortunately a stark reality that mental health conditions in the younger generations are becoming more common. Is it a coincidence that as these generations get all of their
entertainment from digital realms, they lose touch with the outdoors and the environment they are meant to be living in? November is a great time of the year for fishing, so take up the challenge and get some kids on the water. Share your knowledge and experience and maybe you’ll change a kid’s life. The white run of crays will not be far off, so now is also a good time to stock up bait in the freezer and get stuck into those craypot repairs you have been putting off since the last time you used them. Make sure all of your legal requirements are covered in regard to escape gaps and rope weights. As always, be sure to hook up with any
Ian Sewell missed WA Fishing Monthly issues at issuu. com (search ‘Fishing Monthly’), and with Christmas just around the corner why not order a subscription for that impossible-to-buy-for fishing friend or family member at isubscribe. com.au? If you type ‘fishing’ in the search box you’ll find us on the first page. While on the subject of gifts, check out the new summer apparel and accessories from Fishing Monthly and Tackle Junkie at Red Bubble. Just head to redbubble.com/ people/FishingMonthly and click on the logo that you want. Get out there on the water and enjoy this awesome weather!
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WESTERN AUSTRALIA FISHING MONTHLY
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Planning a tinny mission
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Planning a tinny mission KIMBERLEY
Michael Tropiano Instagram: @tropi_the_local
Despite the sore back, the endless salt spray to the face and the lack of hi-tech sounders and chart plotters, I still love taking the tinny out for a run. Of course, we all love the luxury and added offshore potential of a big
school for boat fishing. When you are fishing from a small boat so close to the water you quickly learn the importance of reading and understanding what is happening with the ocean. Whether it’s interpreting what the ocean will be like on any given weather forecast, or working out how to catch quality bottom fish without a sounder, the tinny quickly hones your
is just how accessible this fishing is. The massive Cape Range and the mega structure of the reef itself means that no matter the weather, there is pretty much always somewhere protected to fish. If the wind is cranking from the east, then the crystal clear waters of Ningaloo Reef are beautifully protected and spangos, mackies and maybe a few tasty red things in the
When the sun is setting and the ocean turns to butter, where would you rather be than out on the tinny?
Having a good boat dog can make the experience even better. Here is Mitch Randall with his best mate. solid boat, but I have to admit it’s hard to beat the feeling of landing a couple of solid fish from a little tin can of a boat. I’m not sure if this makes me a bad person or not, but the feeling is even more sweet when the boat parked next to you at the filleting station is worth more than 10x yours, but both know who had the better day on the water! Bashing around in the tinny is something everyone should do at some stage, as it’s like the training
senses and allows you to develop the offshore skills, preparation and planning that is required to become a boat fishing guru. After spending last year working in the Kimberley driving tinnies through some of the most rugged uncharted waters in the country, I am now based in Exmouth and my love for tinny missions has never been stronger. We all know that Exmouth has some unbelievable fishing, but one of the things that makes it so awesome to me
deeper water could be on the cards. Then when the wind turns west, the unexplored mangrove forests and reefy ledges of Exmouth Gulf are sheltered from the weather and it’s time to chase bluebone, coral trout and maybe some big queenies. To get into all this action, all you need is a tinny. I’m going share with you how a couple of recent tinny missions off my new home town in Exmouth went to hopefully inspire you to dust off the old tinny
This shot from the sky clearly shows how the reef twists and winds down the coast, and the tricky part is deciding where to start looking for fish. sitting out the back and remind you how fishing in it is just like getting your P plates when you finish school!
FIRST MISSION BREAKDOWN For my first tinny mission upon moving here, we had gotten the
day off work on a stunning blue day, and there was no wind or swell. It was an easy decision to tow the tinny out to the west
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Cam lifts a shark mackerel into the boat that he fluked on his second cast.
side and head out behind the reef! While the inshore areas around Exmouth offer great protection from the weather, to head out wide in the tinny you need to make sure you are confident you know what the weather will be doing
little bit of pre-planning. While it’s common on most bigger trailer boats these days to have some pretty expensive echo sounders and chart plotters with all the reefs marked out, the tinny we had on this day had neither. If your tinny
If you are fishing a new location, do as much scouting as you can, and maybe even have a chat to the local tackle store owner for any tips on broad areas that are worth investigating. A quick look on Google Maps can
Careful planning went into Ross’s first mackerel, which was trolled up exploring a new lump.
Success from an awesome exploration day in the gulf! throughout the day, have all the relevant safety gear and be sure you have a reliable boat and motor. Depending on how decked out your tinny is, finding the right spot to fish might also require a
at home doesn’t have the latest and greatest on this front, by no means does this mean you won’t catch fish, it just means you will have to do a little bit of homework and come prepared.
give you a really great overview of any shallow water structure that might be present. It also gives you a really good look at the shape of the coastline. If there is a clear headland or change in the shape of
the coastline it is likely to influence the way ocean currents flow through the area, which can concentrate food. Whether fishing for pelagic or bottom fish, this is a great starting point. Once you have done this broad planning, you will know the general area of where the fish are likely to be. Then it’s a matter of downloading a charts app on your phone, such as Navionics, and this is
a must for tinny missions. If you are planning to fish a bit deeper this will give you all the major lumps and reef systems. If you find some good structure in the area you have identified with your planning, then you are well on your way to catching some good fish. I had done all of the above steps and from this had identified a little lump off the corner of the back of the reef that I thought
would hold Spanish mackerel. After a bit of a steam we got close to where we had identified the lump and noticed a bit of a colour change in the water, indicating shallower water. We had found our structure! Out went the lures and it was after about 20 minutes of exploring that we got our first strike. The reel made the noise only the run of To page 10
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a mackerel could make. A little tow in the tinny and soon we had our first solid fish in the boat. Don’t you love it when a plan comes together? A bit more trolling for no success and my buddy and I soon lost patience and
decided to chuck a mask on, roll over the side and have a look if anything was happening underwater. Immediately a couple of grey reef sharks came up to say g’day. These guys are never too far away from their food source, so we were pretty sure there
would be some more fish in the area. Shortly after a nice mackerel cruised past in the distance, which confirmed there were more good fish to be had at this spot. I could see some larger reef fish cruising around on the bottom and decided to
The biggest fish in the ocean, a whale shark, swam past under the boat on a tinny mission out behind the reef.
You don’t need a big boat to get good fish, as this spangled was in 2m of water.
attempt a deeper dive to see what they were, and if it was worth dropping some jigs! After breathing up I took one last big breath and descended into the blue. As I normally do on a deeper dive, I had my eyes closed
for the initial stages and when I decided to open them half way down I was met by a wall of black! The immediate reaction of course was shock and my heart started racing, but as my eyes came into focus it was quickly
overtaken by awe. There about 1m from me was the most beautiful fish I have ever seen, a sailfish, with its sail fully extended and lit up with rich stormy blacks and purples. Being one of the top predators on the
reef it had no fear at all of me as it looked me in the eye and tried to work out what I was. They are one of the fastest fish in the ocean and an animal I had always dreamed of swimming with. It circled me twice and eventually lost interest, dropped its sail and faded back into the blue. That moment was one of my favourite ocean experiences of all time, and it was from a day out in the tinny. Oh and to top the
valid option, his only real reason to throw it around was that it was still rigged up from chasing bait schools on the west side the week earlier! Despite this, he got lucky and claimed it to be skill. A couple casts in and his reel was singing with a solid fish, and in only 5m of water, the guesses as to what he had hooked were flying around the boat, but it ended up being a shark mackerel and was the first fish in the esky. Not as highly rated
was winding in as fast as my little 2500 reel could handle. I was stopped in my tracks by a fish that immediately turned and peeled off a heap of line. I saw the strike and it was something big and silver, a good start. The first aerobatics quickly gave it away, a beautiful big queenfish. Queenies are a fish I think is very underrated as a food fish, and is superb as ceviche. It also fries up really well and
Rods, surfboards and a few mates... now to find the fish. day off, on the way back in we stumbled across the biggest fish in the ocean, a whale shark. We turned the motor off and this massive animal cruised right under us. Truly unbelievable! A CHANGE OF PACE The second tinnie mission was very different. It was another day off, but this time we had a 2m swell and westerly winds. These conditions are normally disappointing, as it means a day on land, but this is not an issue in Exmouth. The tinny was towed to the marina and we headed out to explore the gulf where the wind was still offshore. Admittedly, on this day the wind was still a nuisance, however we pushed on and crossed our fingers for some action. Despite the importance of planning I highlighted above, on this day we had no real plan in mind except to head in the direction of a little patch of reef a local had told us about. We powered through the chop and eventually arrived in the area. The initial plan was to have a bit of a drift to work out what was around, and as I began rigging up, my mate decided to throw around a stickbait. With no surface action evident and no massive structure to suggest a stickbait was a
by many as the Spanish, they definitely can have a strong shark smell, but if bled and iced, the flesh is great and made a massive feast of crumbed fish tacos that night. His next 30 or so casts weren’t quiet as successful, and he soon realized how lucky he had got and changed to a bottom set up. In that time I had managed a nice spango, but the bite was slow and it didn’t take too much encouragement from my buddy to convince me again to see what was happening under the water. The ground was fantastic, with nice long ledges and coral, however, not as many fish as we’d hoped. There were some beautiful bluebone cruising around, however we weren’t really set up to target them, although I made note to come back with the right gear to try tackle some soon. We did, however, manage to snag three beautiful tropical crays, which immediately made the swim worthwhile. Back in the boat we putted a bit further down the patch of reef and after a bit more exploring we spotted our first bit of real action, a couple of birds that were definitely interested in something in the water. Out went the metal slice, and I
holds together beautifully, so is also a favourite of mine for curries. They were thick for about five minutes, and in this time we hooked and lost a few more, keeping just the one for dinner. My experience with queenies has told me that while they quickly move while they are feeding, if you put in a bit of time to relocate the school they are normally still feeding, and often just moving very fast. With the wind building and a long back breaking steam back to the ramp, we decided we were pretty happy with our day at this stage, called it and headed home. GET YOUR TINNIES OUT! I know this is a very specific couple of trips, but hopefully it reminds you of all the little things you had to think about in your early days of tinny missions that made you the fishing guru you are today. If you are just starting out with your tinny, hopefully this gives you a bit of guidance on how to plan an ultimate tinny day. I also hope it gets you onto some of the best ocean experiences of your life, just like it did for me recently. Stay safe and see you out on the water! To find me on Instagram, search @tropi_the_local. NOVEMBER 2019
Who said you need demersals to have fun? METRO OFFSHORE
The demersal ban is currently in effect all along the West Coast bioregion, however just because we
the warmer weather and more stable conditions, it really is a great time to be headed offshore. King George whiting are a great alternative option, and you can’t do much better than freshly-caught squid for
Brody Copeland took this big offshore samsonfish! can’t target our tasty bottom fish doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some quality fishing and seafood. With
bait. I’ve found that if your squid pieces and bash them with something a few times, such as the knife handle, you
can tenderise the meat a bit. Fishing side by side with anglers who don’t do this, I have found baits that have had this done to them tend to catch more fish! They may possibly excrete a scent after being bashed as well. Because of demersal ban, a lot of anglers have been filling in the time jigging for samsonfish on the wrecks, and there’s also been some big mulloway on the deeper recs. The action-packed fishing over the wrecks is definitely worth the time and fuel. While you’re out there, it pays to troll a spread of lures between spots, as there have been good numbers of southern bluefin and striped tuna, with the occasional yellowfin thrown in as well. A lot of the southern blues have been around 5-8kg, and they’ve been all over the place. Those hitting them finding the schools in around 30-60m. Kingfish and samsons have been caught alongside
Marco and Emilio Orifici from Anglers Fishing World in Fremantle with a nice pair of southern bluefin tuna.
Chris Webster with a decent inshore samson. This is a great target species on lighter tackle! one another a little bit closer to shore, and a good technique is trolling squid around 1.5 knots. Any reefy areas are worth a try, but around Rotto and Stragglers have been particularly productive lately. Ad for the squid baits, live is best, but dead is also fine. Big breeding schools of Samson can be found on the north side of Rotto, around the lumps in about 40-50m. These schools are found right out into 100m, but sticking to the 40-50m zone makes fishing for them easier. Sometime in the next few weeks, metro anglers can expect an annual visit from the Spanish mackerel, so make sure you have your rigs ready for these amazing pelagics. Another event metro angler look forward to is the FADs being deployed around mid-November. The weeks following the deployment offer some great fishing for mahimahi, which are an excellent eating fish that
rival the eating qualities of many demersals. Another tasty treat this area offers is the crayfishing, which while now open year
very productive areas for the crays. So there you have it, a plethora of options while we let the demersals do their
Dom Magoo with a great example of the King George that can be found around the inshore broken ground patches at the moment. round, is still at its best at this time of year. The area around the back of 5 Fathom Bank and in close around Rottnest Island have been
thing. Make the most of it all, because before you know it the bottom fish will be back on the menu and stealing the spotlight once again.
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Water warming, fish swarming METRO
With the weather quickly warming up, there’s no better time to get out there and take in some of the great fishing the Perth Metro area has to offer. In the rivers the bream are spawning, so people can expect to lock horns with some good-sized bream. When you land bream at this time of year you’ll notice many of them will be milting or will be full of eggs. Now is a great time for tailor in the rivers, along the rock walls and on the beaches. A great technique for the boaties is to troll mulies on a set set of gangs at 2-3 knots, but if you are fishing from the land casting lures like gold metal lures or any small bibbed minnows will get the job done. If wanting to use bait land-based, a bit of bluebait under a float should get the attention of a hungry tailor or two. If after tailor on the beach, any metro beach around sunrise or sundown and into the evening is a good starting point. Higher tide is generally better, and the people who like to fish shallow reefy areas also
tend to prefer a high tide. Spots such as North Trigg Beach and around Cottesloe have been producing good tailor recently. Mulloway have been turning up in the Swan with the warmer weather, and amongst those are some goodsized models to almost 30kg!
For those just chasing a quick feed, the river will also produce good numbers of flathead as weather warms. Because is warmed so early, the freshwater that was sitting on the surface layer has now evaporate, making conditions more confortable for the
Dom Magoo caught this good mixed bag from the inshore grounds around Fremantle.
flathead to move up into the shallows. Most anglers will be using small hardbodies or metal blades, because there’s lots of blowfish and anyone using plastics will find the blowfish make short work of any soft lures. Down in the estuary in Mandurah some anglers are targeting yellowfin whiting, which is usually summer activity, but the early reports suggest this is well worth a try at the moment. Herring off the beaches are slowing down, but still very catchable. A major key is berley, and I believe berley a must if chasing herring off the beaches. Some of the inshore broken ground patches have been firing for King George whiting, which have provided good feeds for locals. Fresh squid pieces have been a gun bait for these guys. The local squidding has been on fire, with landbased fishing along the rock walls in Freemantle, as always, producing good numbers of these tasty cephalopods. If fishing from a boat, you can obviously cover more ground and most likely find better numbers, but a boat is not necessary.
Hayden Del Nero had a good time catching some nice tailor from the beach. Hayden kept it old school with the ever-effective gang hook and star sinker tailor rig! Early morning, late afternoon and into the evening is obviously the best, and during these hours it pays to use red foil and glow colours. For anyone confined to daylight hours, you will still catch good squid, however gold and silver foils tend to work better. Skippy have been available along the rock walls as well, and anglers have been trying out micro jigs with great success. Anyone looking for a bit of flake should be able find some along the beaches. Small sharks like bronzies and black tips will make
up the majority of catches, however gummies should be starting to show up off beaches about now. Some anglers in the sound may also find gummies, and also down around Rockingham. Here have been some good gutters along Coogee to Woodland Point. You will most likely have to sift through a few stingrays, but with some persistence you should get into a small shark or two. So make sure you have everything is in order for some springtime fun! Now’s the time to get the friends and family out and enjoy the warm, comfortable weather!
TRUE SELFDRAINING DECKS
Rising water temperatures firing up the fish ESPERANCE
Overall, the fishing has been good over the past month. The salmon have stayed in close and there are plenty of them. There are still a few squid around, along with plenty of herring and lots of gummies.
There are also good numbers of whiting in the bay, and smaller schools of good-size nannygai in close. Anglers fishing from the Tailor Street Jetty are still getting good catches of herring. You can also get squid there, and the occasional King George whiting going 35cm. At nighttime there are still a
fair few garfish around too. Bandy Creek Boat Harbour is still producing King George whiting around the 28-30cm mark in good numbers. A few black bream are cruising around as well, along with herring and garfish. Moving to the local beaches, salmon are still schooling at Fourth Beach
and Salmon Beach, and there have been pockets of them sitting at 9 Mile and 14 Mile. Guys have been
of salmon passing through, and recently some anglers witnessed a large school of salmon getting absolutely
skippy around the 2kg mark. Again, there are mulloway, gummy and bronze whalers about. Guys
There will be plenty of samsonfish getting around in the coming weeks. Image courtesy of @gawn_fishn.
Boat-based anglers can expect good catches of gummies this month. Image courtesy of @gawn_fishn.
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doing well on pilchards fished on a paternoster, or throwing metal slices. Just on dark, the salmon switch off and the mulloway switch on. Most of the mulloway are around that 500-800mm mark, which is a good eating size. There are still schools of salmon at Roses Beach, and anglers are also picking up some good tailor there. There are skippy around 1kg and plenty of herring too, and the occasional bronze whaler can be found cruising around. At Munglinup Beach there have been big schools
smashed by bronze whalers and white pointers. Moving the other way over to Dunns Rock, anglers are having fun catching smaller salmon and skippy around half kilo to a kilo. You can also catch herring and gummy sharks there. Flicking small slices for herring is good fun, and you’ll occasionally pick up a salmon on the light gear. The 30g Halco Twisty is a proven producer, and if you let it sink down low you’ll get the occasional flathead. The further out at Alexander Bay, there’s the occasional salmon and
are also hooking a few samsonfish off the rocks there using stickbaits, such as Nomad Riptides. If you’re prepared to make the 200km trek to Israelite Bay for a 2-3 night trip, you can enjoy some good fishing at the moment. Guys out there have been getting good salmon up to 6kg, and in November we can expect the smaller bronze whalers move in. There are often big schools of 3-4ft bronzies this month, and you can catch them on a paternoster rig. Just replace the dropper
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Samsonfish and skippy can be found prowling around Cooper Reef. Image courtesy of Recfishwest.
To page 15
Be prepared to spend some time searching ALBANY
Albany Rods & Tackle Staff
Albany has put up with some weird weather lately, with some very nice days interspersed with some very windy days, and no real pattern to it. None the less, anglers are still using what good day there are to secure a feed. OFFSHORE Anglers outwide are finding hapuka in the really deep water, and those fishing super deep are finding blue eye, but the hot tip at the moment is you need to be fishing in some very deep water over the continental shelf. The red snapper just over and on the shelf has been great, with the better quality models coming from From page 14
loop with a 3-way swivel to a 200mm long 100lb wire trace and 5/0-6/0 Tarpon gang hooks. When it comes to bait, you want something firmer than a pilchard, such as strips of herring, scaly mackerel or mullet. Fresh is best. You can also use a live herring with a sliding sinker down to a swivel and then a 1m long wire trace around 100lb and either a couple of 5/0 or 7/0 live bait hooks. You can either snell them or have one fixed and one sliding. There are also some big 4kg tailor out there, along with skippy around the 1kg mark and heaps of mulloway. Some anglers have been getting 15-20 mulloway in a session. As the warmer conditions set in, you can also chase the elusive pink snapper off the beach. The last couple of years
out deeper. Once you get into the corals area, the average size has dropped but the numbers definitely make up for it. Be prepared to wander around to find good showing of fish – those who are willing to travel have been coming home with the better bags. While in the corals, pinkies, dhufish, breaksea cod and queen snapper have provided plenty of feeds for local anglers, and samsonfish are usually there if you want a bit of sport. The better pinkies have been around the 10-12kg mark, however the fish about half that size are usually better tasting. Yellowtail kings are usually available in the more reefy areas Someone even got a bluefin tuna fishing in this
area, which is very weird, but you can often expect the unexpected when fishing in this area. INSHORE Further down the coast some nice skippy to 3-4kg have provided plenty of action for those inclined. A bit closer, the King George whiting have been hit and miss, but if you can find the ground by moving about and wandering, you should find some tasty KGs. The better size models have been in the high 40s, with a few even giving 50cm a tickle, however most have in the low 30s to high 30s. Despite the tough fishing, some anglers are bagging out, but again these are anglers who are spending the time to search. You might fish 10 spots before you even get a bite!
Sand whiting have been a reliable target, and while doing this you can expect the odd stray flathead to join in and add some colour to the esky. The squid fishing is slowing down, but there’s still some out there. The anglers doing well are the ones specifically targeting them. These anglers are getting bags of 10-20, while those just throwing a jig out the back while whiting fishing are picking up 2-3 here and there. If you want to do well on squid and whiting, find broken ground and sand holes on edge of weed. LAND-BASED Shore-based anglers are struggling to find any size in just about anything. A few herring are around if you’re prepared to look,
and plenty of sand whiting are available. With both species sizes are varied, but the skippy anglers are picking up are of a pretty reasonable size. The evening seems to be the best time for the skippy, so after work sessions may be in order. The odd stray salmon can still be found around Albany and Denmark, however the action at Bremer Bay and further west is much better. Basically, if you want salmon, it’s worth heading west. Salmon around the 4-6kg mark seem to be the average at the moment. RIVERS AND ESTUARIES The rivers still haven’t had much rain get much rain, so they’re look fairly clear. In the river in Albany, there’s still a lot of small
bream, but some nice ones are available if you sift through the small ones. West of town the local rivers have been fishing well, but the rivers east are very low, with a blue green algae bloom looking imminent. Wilsons Inlet near Denmark is currently giving up some good pink snapper, however they are nearly inedible, as they have been landlocked for a long time. Overall, the fishing and the weather is extremely varied at the moment, but if you spend some time looking and chatting to locals, you should be able to find what you’re looking for. • For all the latest reports and local knowledge, drop in to Albany Rocks & Tackle at 40 Stirling Tce, Albany, or call them on (08) 9841 1231.
have been a little quiet for these fish, but hopefully this year the numbers will increase in summer through to Easter. You get a better class of fish here than you do in the metro areas, with 8kg fish not uncommon. Most anglers use light paternosters with 80-120lb nylon leader and 8/0 circle hooks, and some guys put some lumo tube on their dropper loops to stop the snapper biting them off. The most popular baits are octopus and pufferfish. Back closer to home, the small boat brigade fishing out of Esperance in the bay are still chasing sand whiting, squid, herring and snook. The occasional King George whiting is also showing up amongst the sand whiting in certain pockers. If you want a chance at a King George, look for the sand and weed patches around places like Low Rock. You can also
head around the back of the breakers at Forth Beach for sand whiting, and you might encounter the
occasional flathead as well. As predicted last month, the samsonfish have come in close in good numbers,
including on the new Cooper Artificial Reef. You can see some recent footage of the reef on YouTube; just search for ‘Recfishwest Cooper Reef’ and you’ll see a video of hungry skippy and sambos getting stuck into the bait schools. There are good nannygai in close, along with lots of queenies, some breaksea cod and sea sweep. Offshore anglers are still tangling with samsonfish and yellowtail kings ranging from 12-15kg. You can also encounter harlequin, breaksea cod and queenies. WHAT TO EXPECT THIS MONTH This month the squid fishing will get a bit quieter; they’ll still be around but not in the same numbers as last month. Gummy sharks will still be caught, with the best catches going to anglers fishing from boats rather than off the beach.
Bream fishing will start to fire up more as water temperatures increase, and surface fishing will start to take off. Bait anglers will get good catches on river prawns and herring fished on a whiting rig. Possibly the biggest drawcard, however, is the arrival of bluefin tuna. We’ve only had one caught so far, but in the coming weeks they should really make their presence felt. • Southern Sports and Tackle specialise in the supply and servicing of fishing equipment. They have an extensive knowledge of the local area and provide all brands, whether you’re fishing from beach, jetty or boat. Drop in for a chat at Shop 16, The Boulevard, Esperance, give them a call on 08 9071 3022 or look them up on Facebook.
Olli Stevenson with a quality harlequin. Image courtesy of @olistevensonn.
Species coming back BREMER BAY
Bremer Bay Rural Staff
Over the past month it has been pretty windy, which is typical for this time of year, so there have been limited opportunities to get out for a fish. Fortunately, we can expect to get better weather in the coming weeks. Anglers have been catching a few skippy off the beaches and at the marina off the rock walls, using a simple running sinker rig with a bit of mulie. If you haven’t chased skippy off the beach before, it’s recommended to focus your efforts early in the morning or late in the evening for your best chance at catching a few. Just bait up with a
piece of mulie, find a nice gutter and you should pick up a feed. Because there haven’t been a lot of calm weather windows of late, the offshore anglers haven’t been able to get their boats out to the shelf very often. However, when they have managed to get out, they have been bringing home some nannygai, pink snapper and queen snapper. Anglers fishing around 300-400m off the rocky headlands have been picking up the odd flathead. Locals have been catching quite a few mullet and bream up the river with netting. Remember that there are very strict rules about where, when and how you can net fish, so visit www.fish.wa.gov.au before you start.
FISHING IN NOVEMBER As November progresses we can expect to see increased catches of salmon and herring. We should also see King George whiting beginning to show up, and hopefully the skippy will come back too. Best of all, the weather should be a bit more settled this month, which will give anglers more opportunities to head offshore. Bremer Bay Rural & Hardware is your one stop shop in Bremer Bay for all your fishing, camping and hardware needs. To browse the range, stop by 144 Wellstead Rd or give them a call on (08) 9837 4274. You can also find more information at www. bremerbayhardware.com.au.
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Everything coming back to life AUGUSTA
Spring has always been my favourite season, and not only because it marks the change in weather that us southerners have been looking for to help thaw some of the frost out of our bones! Spring is
to the human observers. Recently the water has been so crystal clear that it has been relatively easy to spot the dusky morwong mooching around in the shallows near the jetties. Often being mistaken for mulloway, they are not only like an ugly cousin, their eating qualities are not even in the same ball park. Being a slow moving
made fishing there difficult as lines become fouled easily making for frustrating times. The Molloy Caravan Park bream Fishing Competition is always a great success and this year was no different, with most competitors managing to enter several potential prize winners. The first morning saw everyone scarpering to their favourite ‘secret’ spot trying desperately to not let anyone else know where it was. It was great to see that trophy-sized fish are still abundant in the Blackwood River and also the huge number of juvenile fish
water lakes and ponds in UK muttering fly names like Woolly Buggers, Daddy Long Legs and Clousers. Recently, however, the plethora of fishing shows on television has shown that many species of saltwater fish can be targeted successfully with a basic fly rod and reel and a handful of assorted flies. Why not try your hand at capturing some herring or garfish on fly? Both who put up a great fight on fly tackle. Heavier weight gear will account for salmon, trevally and yellowtail kingfish. This A perfect meal size Flinders Bay pink snapper captured by Chad James before the closure.
Blake Muller is all smiles with a yellowtail kingy caught behind the islands in Flinders Bay. the time when everything comes to life with a new urgency, mating, eating and travelling with a fervour that is amazing to watch. Walking along the trail from the Ellis Street Jetty to The Colourpatch in the early morning light is one of my favourite activities, as the river is teeming with assorted bird-life, dolphins and fish as they carry on with their early morning activities, oblivious
fish they provide an easy target for spear fishers, but are much better left alone to vacuum the bottom. The water conditions are gradually changing and this has shown in a reduction in the amount of whiting captured in the main river, however this is all set to change again as the river warms up towards summer. Algae in the area around The Colourpatch and Turner Caravan Park has
Anyone would be happy with this great mixed bag of species caught by Chad James in the Blackwood River.
Getting out on a charter is a sure way of scoring a memorable fish. These happy fishers were stoked with the results with Leeuwin Marine Charters. returned to the water, which bodes well for the future. Rock fishing conditions have been fantastic, with skippy being the dominant catch. Large horseshoe leatherjackets have been stealing baits until you get the feel for their bite and can nab a few for the table. Off the rocks at Cosy Corner has also produced samsonfish and the odd yellowtail kingfish, and they are responding well to a constant berley stream. Now that the demersal ban is in full swing, boaties are concentrating on other species, and it is the perfect time to try your hand at some other form of fishing. Fly fishing is commonly thought of as an activity that is undertaken by an eccentric group of people dressed in Tweed, surrounding fresh
TOURNAMENT WINNING HARDBAIT
is a great way to hone another set of skills. Tweed outfits are optional, of course. As the water warms up the schools of yellowfin whiting in the Hardy Inlet become very active and with the river level dropping it provides kilometres of shallow water flats that are ideal for sight casting at the numerous schools of fish. Small hardbodied lures are dynamite on these delectable little fish. Techniques that are successful vary from day to day, but speed of retrieve seems to be the key. Just try a variety of speeds, and twitches until you find the right one. I guarantee the speed of attack from some of these fish will amaze you. Boaties will begin to target the sand and King George whiting out in Flinders and Hamelin bays. Out in 16-18m on sandy bottom is where many of the better size fish are found. The schools tend to consist of similar size fish,
so if they start coming up too small, just move on a bit and try again. Eventually you will strike the big fat fish that look like they are ready to burst at the seams. Strips of squid and bloodworms are by far the best baits. Get a scaler bag from the tackle store and 5 minutes out the back of the boat will soon you will have the load of scale free and ready-to-fillet whiting.
Troy Childs has been perfecting his hardbody lure fishing on some stonker black bream. Looks like he is getting it right! If you want to try for some toothy critters, Augusta is home to a variety of sharks, many of which produce good quality fillets that rival some of the better demersals. Find a lump on the bottom and anchor up and just berley with whatever offal and assorted seafood scraps that you can get your hands on. Add some fish oil and mulie chunks and it won’t take long before something comes sniffing around! Send down
LAYDOWN MINNOW CHIGYO 57MM
a floating bait of mulies, cuttlefish or squid on a large hook and heavy leader and you should soon locate a bronze whaler, whiskery or gummy shark that fits the bill. Dispatch it quickly, bleed and fin, before throwing in an ice slurry for the best results. Just remember that any whalers around the 1.8m size will probably be illegal to keep and the specimens
You never know what is going to turn up when you are flicking coral prawns out off the rocks. This nice 40cm breaksea cod was a welcome addition to the author’s bag.
around 1m are generally the best eating. So why not get out there and try something different while the demersals are getting a well deserved rest! • As I always point out, Augusta has some really productive rock fishing locations, however, people have died here when they have been washed off by king waves. Unpredictable weather can quickly affect the fishing conditions and slippery rocks are a recipe for disaster. Please remain vigilant when rock fishing; wear a life jacket and tie off to something solid. You can hire one for free from Augusta Xtreme Outdoor Sports at 66 Blackwood Avenue Augusta, the local tackle shop and font of all local fishing knowledge. It’s right next to the Better Choice Fuels Service Station. • The locations mentioned are all well-known and are marked on most vehicle GPS units, especially if they have HEMA maps or a list of locations can be obtained from the local tackle store, Augusta X-Treme Outdoor Sports.
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South West WA has been throwing up all kinds of surprises for anglers over the past month or so. WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING We have seen great numbers of bluefin tuna moving into Geographe Bay, which is a little earlier than usual. A lot of these fish tend to hang around in depths from 15-25m in the bay, but anywhere there is bait schooled up you’re likely to find a few tuna in the vicinity. Keep an eye out for fish breaking the surface. Although some of these fish have been over 10kg, trolling around small skirted lures for school-sized fish is the best technique to bag a few. The tuna are feeding on small whitebait, bluebait and mulies, so match the hatch. We have begun seeing yellowfin whiting slowly trickling into our inshore waters on the warmers days and this should only improve as we inch closer to summer. Wonnerup Beach and most entries to small inlets between Busselton and Dunsbrough have been the places to try thus far. I’ll dive into a few species, both boat and land-based, that will keep you busy and still provide a feed while the demersal ban is in effect. UPCOMING Following on from the bluefin action we saw during September and October, November is going to be a hot month for targeting these speedsters. The great thing about bluefin is that they are easy to target, whether you’re in a large boat or a tinny. Your best bet is to keep an eye out for any birds, surface disturbances or bait on your sounder. Due to water temperatures the tuna don’t tend to come too much closer to shore in the bay at this time of year. Finding the tuna is actually the hardest part. Once found, they’re generally relatively easy to get a bite from. All you have to do is throw a few small trolling skirts out the back (or small bibbed minnows if you don’t have any skirts), sit on 4-6 knots and just wait. Working the areas that have visible surface disturbances present will obviously be the most effective method. Simple 20-30lb setups will suffice just fine for this scenario also. Areas closer to shore towards Cape Naturalist such as Rocky Point are dynamite for tuna and even Spanish mackerel in summer. The second species I would recommend targeting at this time of year is King George whiting. KGs are pretty well talked about in
this region, but they often get overlooked for larger demersal species. King George can be targeted from 5m of water all the way out to 50m, making them a target species for almost all boat sizes. If you’re in shallow (5-10m) try shifting between small sand holes until you come across a few KGs – you will eventually! We find that you need to move around as once you catch a few from one sand hole, because they often go
ramp and just about any of the river mouths that flow out to the ocean between Busselton and Dunsbrough. A simple running sinker rig is all you need to flick for these tasty critters from the beach, with bloodworm or fresh prawn being the best baits. Late spring and early summer is spawning time for the female blue swimmer crabs, so be mindful of ‘berried’ crabs, which refers to a female crab carrying
A solid southern bluefin taken from Geographe Bay in 15m of water. quiet after a few have been landed, so keep that in mind. Fresh squid is by far the best bait, so flick a squid jig out the back and try to bag some fresh bait while you’re at it! If you’re fishing a little deeper (20m+) then it gets a little trickier, because you can’t just spot the sand holes with your naked eye. Look for rubbly bottom on your sounder or coral areas that would usually hold dhufish. Just make sure you have a release weight on board, as demersals are common by-catches in these areas but they are off limits at this time of year. A 4oz sinker with a 2-3/0 light circle hook on a paternoster rig is a great setup for targeting those deep water KGs. If you’re land-based, then November is a great time to get out and start enjoying the slightly warmer weather! Yellowfin whiting will become more and more prolific along our beaches and they are one of the easiest fish to bag a tasty feed of. You can target Yellowfin along just about the whole length of Geographe Bay, but some areas that fish better are river mouths and sand flats, so areas where small estuary systems meet the ocean make for the perfect location to find whiting. Try places such as Wonnerup Beach, Abbey boat
eggs on her underside. These crabs must be returned to the water. The warmer months are a prime time for scooping from the shore, as the blue swimmers become active once the sun sets, so wade the shallows after dark for the best results. Alternately, you can drop nets from the Busselton Jetty, which is a great way to get the kids involved. Venturing a little further out on the jetty you will run into good numbers of herring, skippy, the occasional whiting and squid. If you’re looking for something a little more out of the way, then November is a killer time to head inland and chase our freshwater delights! Trout and redfin come alive at this time of year now that the rain has subsided and water levels have receded. Try areas such as Harvey Dam, Warren River and Big Brook Dam in the early mornings with lures such as spinners, divers and small 2-3” paddle-tail soft plastics in natural brown and green colours. • 2 Oceans Tackle is the South West’s premium fishing tackle outlet. Drop in and see our friendly staff for professional advice and choose from our massive range of fishing tackle that is sure to keep you fishing for longer. 2 Oceans Tackle, 14 Albert St, Busselton WA. NOVEMBER 2019
More on offer at Mandurah MANDURAH
In the past month, there has been plenty of variety caught in and around Mandurah. While things have been a bit quieter
notice that the whiting arenâ€™t too interested if you stop your lure and give them a good look at it. The key to being successful is bringing out the aggression of the fish and making them feel like the lure or prey is responding to their presence, which will
schools. Quite often these fish are going to go deeper as you approach, so to give yourself a better chance at trolling a few fish up, you may want to navigate around the fish with the boat and bring the lures through the school.
to aid in enhancing fishing conditions. The lack of rain will mean that you are able to fish further up in the rivers when chasing bream, which essentially means that you have more options to both explore and fish. When planning to head out on either of the rivers, bait anglers will find it is well worth trying both prawn and lightly-weighted cubes of mullet. If you are using lures, it is certainly worth trying out some natural patterns or colours and also attempting to match what bait is in the area. Freshwater fishing during the final spring weeks should definitely yield some results, especially earlier in the morning and later in the afternoons. While you
Bibbed minnows are often overlooked for whiting, but shallow runners like this one are awesome on the flats, especially when the prawns are running. of the spring days. As we near the end of spring, you will more than likely find that the fishing will keep you busy until later in the evening, and this is due to
lot of activity, particularly around the flats where temperatures are steadily rising and bringing about a more suitable environment for these species. Boaties
A brilliant shot by Han, who has taken photographing his catch to the next level! than in previous years, it seems like there was still a good number of anglers who keyed into patterns and were able to make the most of their boating licenses prior to the ban setting in. There has certainly been a mixed bag around for those wetting a line, with reports
often trigger a feeding frenzy. When on the flats around Mandurah, regardless of where you are fishing or crabbing, you can often observe stingrays on the flats and they are a great indicator of other predators being around. While they are a good way to find crabs, you are also very likely to spot
Another great way to target tuna is to simply cast and rapidly retrieve a metal slice after letting it sink for 10-15 seconds. Winding quickly allows the hunter instinct in these fish to kick in and quite often you will be able to pick up a few fish this way. Anther thing to keep in mind when heading
This beautiful big bream was caught on a Pro Lure Live Yabbie. will often catch trout in the middle of the day, you will greatly enhance your odds at catching if you are fishing during either of the peak feeding times. Late starters will be happy to know that an afternoon fishing session may produce just as good as an exceptionally early one, and this is due to the increase of insect activity through the hottest part
the warmer days pushing insect hatches back into the evening. Going forward into December, we can look forward to the demersal ban being lifted and finally being able to get back into the species we all love, including the blue swimmers. For those chasing blue swimmers or whiting, we can expect a
may find it easier to bag out at this time, as it is easier to move around and find the good size crabs. At this time of the year, the heat begins to pick up significantly and it can be easy to neglect yourself on the water. Remember to always eat, drink water, cover up and be safe when out there, as it is a very busy and hot time of the year!
Sam managed to troll up this tuna using one of his favourite skirted lures. of plenty of bread and butter species to keep you busy. There are plenty of skipjack, tailor, herring, whiting, squid and pelagics around which are all worth chasing as the warmer weather becomes more consistent. Whiting are well worth targeting, as the water in the estuary starts to warm up at this time of the year. Many who target the whiting are turning to topwater and vibrating lures. Regardless of the presentation you choose, you will generally 20
schools of mullet, prawns and various other baitfish, which will give you indication of activity in the area. Pelagics are well worth chasing during the demersal closure, as not only are you able to worry less about losing gear, but itâ€™s also a great time sound up a few marks and put them into your sounder for future use when the ban is lifted. When the bigger tuna schools appear, it is well worth trolling skirts or shallow diving bibbed minnows through the
out is that it can pay to have a few rigs set up for trolling dead baits, as the mackerel are starting to show up and it is a very effective way of targeting these speed demons of the sea. During November, we can expect some quality days on the water and some bigger fish to start showing up in the rivers. At this time of the year, rainfall starts to become less influential, but some of the cooler spring temperatures and clouds will still be about
Not too much longer and anglers will be able to get stuck into a few of these guys again!
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Make time for mulloway LANCELIN
Late November in Lancelin sees everyone getting very excited about when the white cray run will start.
by water temperatures. After the crayfish have moulted their shell and the new shell begins to harden, they gather on the inshore reefs in preparation for a mass migration. This will continue through December as they move out to deeper
The author with one of the school size mulloway that can be found along the beach gutters and reef breaks at this time of year. We can never be sure of exactly when the crays will start to walk. It should be some time near the end of this month, but determined largely
waters. It is the easiest time of year to grab a delicious feed of the expensive crustaceans. Well placed pots holding 20 or more of the pale coloured
crays are not uncommon while the run is on. It is a mad time on the West Coast, with busy boat ramps and long queues. At least at Lancelin the beach launching allows everyone easy equal access to the water and no frustrating long waits to launch or retrieve your boat. Think about booking a week or two in Lancelin to make the most of the run. Many do each year, it makes for a great holiday. Running out to pull and re-bait the pots each morning and not worrying about the queues before enjoying the rest of the day dining on fresh lobster is great relaxation. Make sure to have your boat serviced and ready to go now! Boat mechanics will be busy over the next few months with upcoming holidays, the return of the demersal season and the white run. Expect very long waits to get a boat in for repairs or servicing. While the demersal fishing ban is in place, I actually enjoy taking the opportunity to target other species. Chasing King George whiting in Lancelin Bay is one of my favourite alternatives and it is great fun using the kayak to pursue them. They can be caught from the nearshore shallows near Edwards Island out to the
November is a great time to be throwing some baits out, with good numbers of tailor haunting the beaches. middle of the bay and right down through to north of the jetty. It is best to anchor up within casting range of some likely looking sand edges. The whiting feed on worms and small mussels over the weed beds and along the edges where weed meets sand. There are also some very good loose rubble areas within the bay. They will readily take worms, prawn, squid and beef or lamb heart baits. I
whiting, adding a tiny bit of bait to each hook. I also usually have a second rod with a sabiki rig and a no. 1 hook drifting a little further back behind the boat for flathead and flounder. You can just leaving that rig in a rod holder until a fish takes it. Some sabiki rigs come with six hooks, and these need to be cut in half to meet WA regulations of three hooks per line. If you anchor on the whiting, try putting a live
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set up without berley first, as berley may attract schools of unwanted fish like butterfish and trumpeters. If the fishing is slow, however, dropping a berley pot down to just off the bottom can bring them in. If that does not get them going within 30 minutes, move to a new location until you find them. They are great fun on light line and very tasty. Sand whiting are another tasty fish in the area. Although small, they make up for it in numbers and if you have a bit of luck, a few flounder or flathead can be caught in the session. The best place to try is in around 18-22m. It usually takes a bit of drifting to find the larger ones around 25cm. Once you get onto them you can anchor up on the spot and keep catching them or keep drifting through the same area. I use a sabiki bait chaser rig with no. 4 hooks for the
whiting out the back under a balloon, as this can yield tuna, mackerel or a number of shark species. If you are wanting to get your arms stretched on something big, samsonfish start moving out to deeper waters and gathering on lumps and pinnacles in 75m of water or more. Dropping knife jigs to these schools is a good way to get some exercise, as they are tough fighters and make you work the whole way up. Once out of the bay, keep an eye out for working birds. This month we usually start to see a flush of southern bluefin tuna coming through. I find it is easiest to catch them when they are already feeding on balls of the whitebait at this time of year. They are quite easy to lure cast to and stay on the ball, making it easy to get multiple fish. If they are moving along they are often
following current lines and feeding on small bait schools sheltering among floating weed, stopping only for a minute or two at a time before moving on again. They can be tricky to get to take a lure, so shadowing the school and timing your cast for when they stop to bust up one of these small bait schools can get the best result. It is well worth checking each school, as some of the schools may be yellowtail kingfish and they are far less fussy. Most the king schools will be on or inside the White Bank. We also get kingfish holding on the reef breaks of the bay, and casting stickbaits to any drop offs and white water areas of the bayâ€™s reefs can tempt them out to play. You can also find some solid greenback tailor doing this too. The shallow flats along the southern edge of Lancelin Bay have been fishing sensationally well for a number of species. These can be accessed by small boats and kayaks and from the shoreline from Edwards Island down past the sea rescue building. In a single session it is not at all uncommon to score half a dozen species. Skippy, tarwhine, King George whiting, herring, pilch, flathead, flounder and squid can all be targeted in this area. It is a great spot to walk along with some small soft plastics, and bumping them along the bottom can account for flathead and often some tarwhine, skippy or even the odd flounder. Beach fishing north and south of town will produce some great tailor, with fish available from all the beaches. The fish are big at this time of year, but as we move into next month the average size will fall. Some big 30cm plus bull herring are also taking pilchard baits intended for tailor. November is always one of the best months for landbased mulloway fishing. They might not all be metre plus monsters, but numbers are normally very good. Small whaler sharks are at their thickest at this time of year and fishing into the early evening, they can be targeted through to sunrise. A good strong scent bait like mullet and a berley pot in the wash will get the best results.
Play the right tune for tuna BUNBURY
The fish are on! Warmer days are here and the fish have certainly responded. Southern bluefin tuna have been abundant this year, with some of the best numbers on record and some big footy oval-sized schools busting up the thick bait schools. The SBTs have been caught as close in as the shipping channel and as far out as 30m. The key to catching these speedsters is keeping an eye out at all times for signs of activity, whether it’s the birds circling and diving or the tuna themselves getting airborne in their ferocious attack on their prey! Once you have located the general area, try and sneak up on the side of the feeding school in casting distance and fire in a metal or stickbait, crank it hard and hold on! If they are being tricky and keep going deep before you can get near them, your best bet is to get out the trolling lures and hang around the area and you will eventually come across them. A bibbed trolling lure is a great option, but for covering ground quickly, a small skirted lure
can be ripped along at 12-15 knots (fast enough to have it skipping every now and then) and can really get the tuna fired up. This is also a great option while moving between
spots without having to slow down too much. The yellowfin whiting have been in massive numbers on the local Leschenault flats. Fishing the rising tide with
Squid have been in good numbers, and it’s well worth casting some jigs around.
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small poppers and stickbaits seems to be all the rage. Fishing these types of lures with a slow continuous retrieve and small twitches is your best bet. Long casts are essential, so make sure you’re always casting with the help of the wind, even if you have to walk out first and start casting back into the shore. Even though knee deep water is usually optimal, don’t be scared to cast right up into the skinny water along the shoreline, as whiting will feed in water only just covering the backs. Along with the whiting on offer in the estuary, this area is also producing some quality herring, especially around The Cut area. These speedsters respond well to a variety of techniques, including metal slugs and old an favourite, a small length of tube under a float. Crays are in full force and as usual the crews dropping the pots seem to get great results as the crays are on the move. Straight out from Bunbury seems as good as anywhere, but the everreliable Binningup area will produce better results as summer kicks in. Bait choice for these delectable morsels is always a hot topic, but
Dave Diable displays one of Bunbury’s school-sized SBT. you can’t go wrong with a combo of tuna heads and blue mackerel. The local beaches have been productive lately. Belvedere Beach has been producing some cracking tailor up to 50cm, and as the weather warms the size will usually drop a little, but the numbers of fish will increase. Binningup and Myalup fishers have been getting good catches of yellowfin whiting early in the mornings. Remember to not cast too far for these tasty fish, as they are usually right on the edge.
Bunbury’s back beach has been going off with herring in the afternoons, and plenty of berley is required to get them into a feeding frenzy, but when you do, it’s on for young and old. • If you have any questions about something you have read or just want to have a chat, duck into Whiteys Tackle and Camping at 1/143 Grand Entrance, Treendale, Australind. One of the staff or Whitey himself will be happy to help get you on the right path to that next trophy fish.
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W I T H PA U L L E N N O N
Kingfish: reigning in the royal tackle busters When it comes to fish that pull hard, kingfish are right up there with the most brutal line-busting and tackle-destroying thing that swims. While they can grow in excess of 50kg, anything over 10kg is hard work and with anything over 20kg you are in some serious trouble, no matter what gear you’re fishing with. They have a wide distribution. They can be caught by anglers fishing 200m or more of water and at the same time by land-based anglers inside bays and estuaries. Their fighting quality coupled with their willingness to eat anything from live baits to surface lures and jigs, make them an exciting prospect and accessible to practically all saltwater anglers. Perhaps the most challenging environment to catch them in is the shallow reefs in less then 30m of water. In these places they seem to know every little feature of the reef and will beeline straight towards the most gnarly drop-off or bommie
move in. Then, position the boat so your baits will drift back towards likely kingfish territory. Prime examples of areas you should be looking for is places like offshore islands and headlands with shallows bays or coves holding garfish or close by shallow bommie reefs or points holding schools of baitfish. For this style of live baiting I prefer to use a slimy mackerel or yellowtail as bait, as they tend to quickly take the float into the strike zone, more than a squid or garfish would. They also tend to move back and forth slowly, which means they will cover a lot more ground for you. I generally run two rods when fishing this method, one with a bait suspended around 1m under the float and the other around 5m under to cover the water column. The slimy is gently pinned just behind the head and above the lateral line with a single Black Magic KS hook in a 7/0-8/0, depending on bait size. I use 80-100lb fluorocarbon leader to 80lb braid on a 20,000 size reel with a stack of drag over it to have any chance of stopping the larger fish. For
When kings get to this size, it takes serious effort to land them.
As you’re trolling, try to systematically cover the ground you’re fishing and pay close attention to your sounder for schools of baitfish and keep an eye out for bust ups or bird activity. Anywhere that looks like there is a bit of action should be given looping and zig-zagging passes through until you a satisfied the area has been sufficiently worked. With both of the above methods, it can often pay to have a couple of casting spin rods rigged and ready with a stickbait or popper. You never know when or where that big bust up will happen, and sometimes it can be right next to the boat or
gives you a good chance of finding the fish. It also gives you the ability to use the boat as an aid to try drag a fish away from structure, or to drive on top of it to cut the line angle down, limiting the chance of a bust off. When fishing this way I use the same leader and braid size as previously mentioned, but bridle rig my live baits through the nose, which allows them to swim freely and last much longer while being towed. The KS range is
Even small kings pull like trains!
Once you’re hooked up, the fight is on. in a bid to stream roll you. Without a doubt the most effective method to catch kings, especially the big ones, is live baiting. Depending on where you’re fishing and what you’re using, there are a few different approaches. If you are fishing shallow reefs in 5-10m, an effective technique is to suspend and drift baits under a float and drift them back with the wind or current. Spend a bit of time before you anchor working out what direction your baits are going to 24
this style of fishing, you can’t skimp on gear, as any weakness will quickly be found by a hoodlum king. The KS range of hooks will never let you down, being super strong and razor sharp. Black Magic fluorocarbon trace will give you the best chance of surviving the often unavoidable contact with the reef from a big king. The other very popular method that you can use in this depth of water and deeper to around 25m, is to slow troll live baits around the same kind of environments. This covers lots of ground, and
again perfect for this style of fishing, with size depending on bait size. The only exception to this is when I run live squid or cuttlefish, which are lethal on kingfish. For these, two 6/0-10/0 KS hooks snelled together with one entering where the body meets the head and exiting through the underside of the head section, and the other, which takes all the weight and strain, is placed through the last few centimetres at the rear of the squid. I like to run two rods
when fishing like this, with the boat just in gear. I have one around 15m behind the boat and the other around 30m, with one completely unweighted and the other with added weight to get a little deeper. This can be easily done by attaching a sinker with an elastic band around 1.5m up your leader. The size of the sinker will depend on the depth as well as current, so use anything from a number 3-10 sized snapper lead. A downrigger is another great option, especially when you get deeper than 20m.
Squid are one of the best king baits available.
within casting distance, but can often be all over by the time you get a bait to it. The key is having a rod rigged and ready to deploy in a matter of seconds when this opportunity presents itself. Simply blind casting around is also worth a try. The surface activity created from a popper or stickbait while at anchor, or on the troll, can often rev-up shut down fish. While it’s not hard to do while at anchor, to do it while trolling requires an extra angler constantly throwing a surface lure on a forward angle ahead of the boat. I’ve had a lot of success doing this using the Ocean Born range of surface lures, especially the Flying Poppers in both the sinking and floating variants. These are the perfect size to represent a slimy mackerel or yellowtail, which are both the staple of a kingy’s diet. The green mackerel and bunker are perfect colours to match the hatch and the lures themselves are easy to work. They also come pre-rigged with 6X strong treble hooks, so they are up to the task straight out of the box.
Pelagics on their way JURIEN BAY
Spring weather is in the air and with it has come a whole new set of species to target while we give those demersals a rest during the ban. The school mackerel have turned up in the bay and can be taken trolling, as well as drifting with baits. Keep an eye out for birds working and schools of bait for your best chance when trolling. Run shallow running lures or cast metal slices at the schools on the surface. Lures around 6-8cm are perfect. Lots of sand whiting are being caught in the Sand Patches especially behind Favourite Island. Fish are being caught on the drift or by anchoring. If you can set up a drift along a good patch of sand you will usually find some. The best bait is bloodworms and ox heart, but squid and prawns also work. Out at Sandy Cape they have been catching skippy in the afternoon on squid and prawns. You can also catch the mackerel on baits while fishing for whiting and skippy. These fish are being caught drifting over broken ground, and skippy have also turned up on lumps and bommies in the bay. The mackerel have been coming past the jetty during the day as well. Fish are being
caught on shallow lures or whole mulies. Lots of squid have been taken at the jetty, and they are biting day and night. Late afternoon has
bay, making it worthwhile to put a larger bait out. Use a whole mulie, whole squid or other whole bait like a bony herring.
This mulloway was caught on a patch of reef in just over 40m of water and took an octopus bait. been best, and green or pink jigs seem to be the ticket. Good catches of herring and skippy are coming from the jetty at night. Squid, prawns and berley and working best for the fish. Mulloway and sharks are starting to move around the
Paul got this nice double of samsonfish using octopus as bait.
Those putting in the time on the tailor are starting to be rewarded with better catches. The beaches south of town around Hill River are best. Fishing at night with lots of berley has been the key. The best baits for tailor have been half or whole mulies and poddy mullet. Tailor are also being caught from the beaches around dawn. You will need to get up early to catch the easterly and beat the southerly. The best place to cast lures is around the reefy areas close to shore. The Sandy Cape area has a lot of options! There are mulloway and sharks around the beaches and you can catch them in the berley trail at night. When you are fishing for tailor, you could also put a whole bait out, like a bony herring, poddy mullet or mulie. During the day people are still catching herring and whiting from the beaches. Bloodworms and ox heart is working best for whiting, with the herring taking the same, as well as squid and prawns. Use a berley of pollard and fish oil to get the herring in. The marina is still is bad shape, with another fish kill happening recently. Seaweed has drifted into the marina over winter and has not been flushing out. As this seaweed decomposed it killed all the fish to make the water uninhabitable. It could take some time to recover, so hopefully over the next few months it flushes out and recovers.
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Geraldton firing on all cylinders GERALDTON
Graham Maunder & Michael Triantopoulos
The warmer weather has brought with it a plethora of fishing option in and around Geraldton, so there’s no better time to hit the water.
rock walls from Southgates to St Georges are producing plenty of whiting, and there are reports of small catches of large herring, chopper tailor, yelloweye mullet and squid from behind Fishermans Harbour and the northern side of the Batavia Marina.
smaller species such as herring and whiting in the shallower protected areas behind the inshore reefs south of the Flat Rocks car park north to Clinches Beach. Lucies Beach north to Royces is normally one of our best tailor and mulloway
Local gun angler Matthew Wilson landed this solid mulloway on light tackle intended for bream. BEACH Whiting and squid fishing is still very consistent, but reports of tailor, mulloway and herring are starting to increase as the weather starts to warm up. The beaches, reefs and
The channels and beaches from south of Headbutts to north of Flat Rocks have had less sea weed movement over recent weeks and the deeper areas are starting to produce some decent tailor, school mulloway. There’s also been
Vu Phan caught this nice squid from the rocks on the north side of the Batavia Marina.
areas from late winter and spring, but this season’s strong winds and consistently large swells have until recently been putting too much sea weed on the beaches to allow for productive fishing. Recently the seaweed has moved on and anglers are catching regular bags of school mulloway, with the occasional fish over a metre, and tailor to 80cm. The fishing from Drummonds to Jacksons Hole is improving quickly, with larger numbers of chopper tailor (a few over 50cm), school mulloway, whiting, herring and striped sea pike, making a good start to the summer season. BOAT The demersal ban is in effect until 16 December, which includes species such as dhufish, snapper, baldchin, coral trout, sweetlip and various cod. Species such as samsonfish and amberjack are not included in the ban, and although regarded as a terrible tasting fish and a waste of time, they are a great fun to catch, they release well and will take a variety of jigs and plastics. The lumps around South West Bank in 35-40m hold large numbers of samson
and amberjack most of the year. The lumps between Drummonds and Coronation hold good numbers of sambos and the occasional amberjack, although they are mostly smaller in sizes. Jigs ranging from 90-150g and jigheads from 1.5-3oz with 5-7” paddletail or jerk shad plastics are a top choice for these brutes. With summer fast approaching the pelagics are showing up, with species such as Spanish and school mackerel, longtail and striped tuna and Watson’s leaping bonito. Trolling bibbed lures along the Pensioners Contour from 13-16m and heading north towards Drummonds or south towards Southgates. The lumps between Coronation and Horrocks are also well known as the ‘Mackerel Lumps’, and as the name suggests they hold good numbers of mackerel, tuna, cobia and samsonfish. SMALL BOAT/KAYAK Anglers have still been reporting on some good catches of squid, and while the quantity has decreased, the size has improved. Most reports have come from Pages Beach through to Separation Point by those drifting across the sea grass and sandy areas. Consistent bags of herring, school whiting, pike, skippy and the occasional school mackerel are not at all
Ken Fletcher with a solid mulloway caught around the Flat Rocks area on a recent work trip. uncommon. This all makes for a fun day out with the family in calm protected waters that are easy to fish and you’ll usually end up with a nice mixed bag of fish to take home for the table. • Geraldton Sports Centre is the Mid West’s specialist
Local angler Wayne Giles with an 84cm tailor caught north of Drummonds Cove.
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Get ready for the western rock lobster white run It’s that time of the year again. When the warm easterly winds whistle through the taut line of your rod and even before the sun has poked its head over the horizon, you just know it’s going to be another hot day. Even before it has a chance to really warm up, many fishers will be heading out to take advantage of the annual ‘whites run’, a time when tasty hauls of crays are pulled freshly from the
inshore reefs by pot or loop, not far from your local ramp. There is something special about the sense of excitement you feel as you launch your boat, ready to head out to your pots. As you approach your floats you feel yourself bubble with anticipation in hope of a good catch. The feeling is only rivalled by the excitement of gearing up for a dive, anticipating the beautiful underwater world’s treats that so few will ever witness. Then
you glide by as you search for crays. THE ANNUAL WHITES RUN: A POTTER’S DREAM! The annual whites run is something that could also be labelled as the annual ‘boatramp-chaos run’. It’s a rec fisher’s best chance to bag themselves a feed of crays and attracts the attention of over 50,000 recreational cray fishers each year. During November and December
crayfish undergo a migratory routine that fishers take advantage of to land a good feed. These migrations are often at a different time each year, although the average time is around late November to early December. The migration is usually triggered by environmental factors like tides and moon phase to kick of the crayfish’s movements. Crays shed their shell to grow into a larger one that’s often initially pale, and walk
out to deeper waters, hence their description as ‘white’ crays. During these times, the best option is usually to position your cray pots on the backside of the reefs on the sand. The position is crucially important, if you place your pot on the reef it’s prone to becoming stuck in the cracks and crevices or the crayfish will simply prefer the more natural caves to hide in. Putting in on the sand west of the reef will attract any crayfish walking out to deeper water. Remember to weigh your pot down so it doesn’t rock or wiggle in the surge, as crayfish are unlikely to enter light pots, and bait them as often as possible.
behind the crayfish, rather, get it in there quickly and calmly. Avoid opening the loop too much, as they might just shoot straight through it and try not to change your mannerisms too much when you spot a crayfish, as they will catch onto you licking your lips as you think about it in a pot of boiling water or on a fry pan! Remember that not every cray you see is worth pursuing, and sometimes its best to ignore the crays that are in a difficult to reach location and find one that is more out in the open! John found the jumbo pictured in this article walking along the edge of a ledge in only 6m of water, and that’s about as
Abalone Fishing Tips Abalone Fishing Tips Abalone Fishing Tips Abalone Fishing Tips For the best catch, gear up and plan ahead with these simple tips.
Find patrolled locations If lifesavers are on duty stay within their eyesight and signal if in need of assistance.
For the best catch, gear up and plan For the best catch, gear up and plan aheadCheck withthe these simple weather conditions ahead with thesetips. simple tips. Bad weather and large swell reduce visibility, making it harder to find your abalone.
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making it harder to find your abalone. It is lighter and easier to carry, and it keeps your catch Check thefresh. weather conditions Bad5 weather and large swell Use a mesh bagreduce visibility, making it harder find your abalone. and easier to carry, and it keeps Use a mesh bag It istolighter
your catch fresh. It is lighter and easier to carry, and it keeps Gloves and Reef Shoes your catch fresh. These will prevent cuts and bruises and allow 6 for a atighter the reef. Use3/4 meshgrip bagon Gloves and Reef Shoes It is lighter and easier to carry, keeps These will preventand cutsitand bruises and allow your catch fresh.for a tighter grip on the reef. Gloves and Reef Shoes Abalone These willTool prevent cuts and bruises and allow Tryaatighter flat edge abalone instead of screwdrivers for grip on thetool reef. or other knives toAbalone preventTool damaging your abalone 7 edgewhilst abalone tool instead of screwdrivers or injuring yourself ora flat others fishing. Gloves and ReefTryShoes or other knives to prevent damaging your abalone
These will prevent cuts and bruises and allow yourself or others whilst fishing. Abalone Toolgriporoninjuring for a tighter the reef. Try a flat edge abalone tool instead of screwdrivers or other knives to prevent damaging your abalone or injuring yourself or others whilst fishing. Abalone Tool Try a flat edge abalone tool instead of screwdrivers or other knives to prevent damaging your abalone or injuring yourself or others whilst fishing.
For location, fishing fishing For location, and safety tips visit and safety tips visit mybeach.com.au/abalone mybeach.com.au/abalone NOVEMBERFor 2019 location, fishing
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Take abeach masksafety and information. snorkel to search for Check your phone abalone safely. Get important SMS and email updates by following SLSWA on Twitter for live beach safety information. Check your phone Get important SMS and email updates by following SLSWA on Twitter for live beach safety information.
The swimmerets of a crayfish are located on the tail’s underside and become setose as the hairs grow ready to hold eggs. GROUP-UP AND LOOP UP A FEED Dropping pots may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and for non-potters there is diving. Before you’re scared off by the idea of diving, let us tell you that sometimes the best places are in less than 5m of water! Yep, during the whites run, many of the inshore reefs, particularly the shallow ones, become loaded with crays! All you’ll need to get started is a cray loop, some snorkelling gear, gloves, a wettie and a mate! You’ve got to have a buddy when diving or snorkelling. It doesn’t matter if it’s only shallow, or how experienced you may be, you should always have someone there to watch your back! Learning to loop can be difficult at first, but practice makes perfect. Give it a shot by laying on the ground and looping a water bottle and you’ll pick it up in no time. A tip is not to mess around slowly positioning the loop
easy as it gets. We also spotted one right in the back of a cave that was bigger, but too far back to reach You will find patterns when diving and looking for crays. Often you will find them in ledges that border sand, ledges that are protected from surge, or in the same places you find baitfish and small reef fish relaxing in the calm water. EVOLVING RULES WITH AN EVOLVING FISHERY Over the past few years the crayfishing rules have changed and evolved, many for the benefit of rec fishers. In October 2017, lobster rule changes allowed fishers to keep lobster in setose condition, which helped remove the iffy ‘estimation’ of the hair’s length on the underside of female crays. Divers received five minutes to accurately sort their lobster catch in the comfort of their boat after returning from a dive, giving the divers a better chance of accurately sorting
recfishwest through their catch on their boat instead of in the water. In May 2018, the recreational crayfishing season was opened year-
take. Many think crays can only be either tarspot or setose, which is incorrect. Many fishers are simply getting confused because
Berried crays are those holding eggs on their swimmerets and are easy to identify. These must also be returned to the water.
A crayfish that is berried and has tarspot. The eggs are held by the hairs on the swimmerets. Good luck to all crayfishers heading out in search of a tasty feed, may your pots be full and ledges packed! There’s no better time
to get out and chase down a feed of crays with the loop or drop a pot. Start slow and give it a go, and like all types of fishing you will pick it up
the more you do it and there’s nothing better than being the person who whips out the crays you caught yourself at Christmas lunch!
John Dempsey with a jumbo he found walking along the edge of a ledge in only 6m! round, allowing fishers the chance to chase a feed of crays right through winter, something that was much to the delight of Mid West fishers that experience almost non-stop winds over the hot summer months. Additionally, two people can share a lobster pot – meaning greater participation and enjoyment for everyone.
they second-guess themselves or over think it, which is common for those that only target crays seasonally. ‘Setose’ refers to when the hairs on female crays’ swimmerets elongate, as they ready themselves hold eggs. Swimmerets are appendages that help to hold and protect eggs during spawning. Thanks to recent rule changes,
RIGGING POTS How do you rig my pots to ensure they comply with the new rules? Since 2018, recreational lobster pots have to be rigged in a similar fashion to commercial pots to mitigate the potential risk of interaction with migrating whales when the ropes are over 20m in length. The top half of the rope must hang
John Dempsey brought up a crayfish after looping it in a ledge before turning it over and realising it had tarspot. The crayfish was returned to the ledge. SETOSE, TARSPOT AND BERRIED Thankfully these changed rules help to making the crayfishing experience both easier and more enjoyable, but there are still a few details fishers get confused. Often the difference between setose and tarspot crays get confused, the latter of which you cannot
crayfishers do not have to worry about determining if a cray is setose or not, and they’re all OK to keep. Separate to seatose is tarspot, tarspot is a black sperm packet that’s attached on the underside of the cray at the start of their tail. All tarspot crays must be returned to the water.
vertically in the water column when the rope is over the length of 20m. This can be achieved by using sinking rope on the top half of the pot rope, or by simply attaching a weight such as a fishing sinker half way down the rope. Additionally, a maximum of two floats can be attached to a recreational pot.
This diagram of a rock lobster pot and line shows how they must be rigged to comply with regulations. NOVEMBER 2019
Great catches by the kids EXMOUTH
Adam Van Nellestyn
Over the past month there has been good bottom fishing when anglers have
quite large Spaniards getting around. The favourite lures have been the ever-reliable redhead Laser Pro and the 200mm Strada Tracka. Anglers are reporting some fairly good schools of
prefer baitfishing, you can catch a feed on prawns. Manta rays have started showing up in the Gulf so there should become cobia hanging out with them. A lot of guys like targeting them on 5-7” soft plastics in pale colours, particularly ZMan SwimmerZ or Berkley Powerbait Giant Ripple Shads. The sail fishing started off with a bang, with really good fish caught during the Junior Billfish comp. Despite being limited to just one day of fishing due to rough weather, the 2019 Australian Junior Billfish Tournament
The young competitors at the Australian Junior Billfish Tournament had an amazing time on the water. Image courtesy of Exmouth Game Fishing Club. was a great success. The Small Fry (under 11 years old) and Junior (11-15
Double trouble – Captain Ash with two from three sails up in the spread on a trip in October. Image courtesy of On Strike Charters. been able to get out of the wind. The catches have mainly been made up of red emperor and goldband snapper, and one of the best jigs has been the Vexed Dhu Bomb. There has been a fair bit of mackerel activity in recent weeks, with some
whiting along the beaches in the Gulf, with good catches off the surface. I have done well on Jackson Pygmy poppers and stickbaits; I recommended them to a customer recently and he came back the next day and said he’d had a blinder session on them. If you
Mario Leeder caught this Chinaman on a stickbait off his Hobie on the west side of Exmouth, just a few hundred metres from the shore.
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years old) anglers tagged 26 sailfish and 1 black marlin in just a single day – a new one-day record for this tournament. A few blue marlin have been caught in recent weeks, but the season is still in its early stages. Once we go to the spring tides in November, numbers should improve. Land-based anglers have been catching some nice size trevally from the top of the Cape and over to the west side, with spangled emperor mixed in. Both species have been taking stickbaits and poppers. Finally, we had a notable catch last month with a young guy catching a big Chinamanfish out of
his kayak. He was fishing just over the west side of the cape, and the fish was estimated at around 5.5kg – a great catch from a kayak. • For all the latest news on what’s biting and where, drop in to Tackle World Exmouth at 3 Maley St,
Exmouth or give a call on (08) 1315. You can view the range at
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Options during ban KALBARRI
It’s that time of year again for the annual fishing ban on the taking of demersal fin fish. This ban is from 15 October to the 15 December inclusive, so what do we fish for now? Nice fat yellowfin whiting are plentiful around in Jakes Bay, and
tend to hang around the old moorings used by the cray fishers. Skippy also frequent the same area, and these feisty little fish make a nice meal just pan fried or grilled. Alternatively you could pin one on a good hook and wait for the yellowtail kings to show up – they normally do! Black bream are still around in good numbers around the pens and up to Castle Rock. It’s still the
good old river prawn that gets the big bites, but my preference has been small pieces of mullet salted up and dried, as this stays on the hook for a decent time and often get snaffled by mulloway on the prowl in the shallows. Pink snapper were around in big numbers before the demersal ban but the size for 90% of them was around 390mm,
Even though the demersal closure is in full swing, there’s still plenty of opportunity for boaties to get out and enjoy other species.
Jakes Bay has been a great place to bag a feed.
which is undersize for the Mid West region. One local boatie caught 40 in this size range before landing a fish just over the legal size at 450mm. He still thought that was a bit small and tossed it back, but this all looks good for next year when they grow to over the legal size. How long will it be before warm water brings the first of the mackerel back to Kalbarri waters? A quick look at the BOM site
shows some nice eddies, with possible early warm water. As the easterlies pick up we will see the return of chopper tailor at Whitticara, along with the plagues of moths, and that is the signal that tailor will be around. The best baits are the humble mulie on ganged hooks. Reports of a nice bonefish caught at the back of Oyster Reef got my attention recently, so I will be checking those waters, as
I have yet to hook a bone, and it is most certainly on the bucket list. Try around the pens for mangrove jacks for a bit of fun. The number of bust offs has increased and from the reports I have received, these fish tend to grab offerings and run around the pylon, which is standard practise for these rugged little fighters. Happy fishing and stay safe.
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“It’s the little things you don’t see that make a difference” NOVEMBER 2019
Build up in Broome set to go off this spring BROOME
A few showers here and there, especially out in areas such as the Fitzroy River, have set the scene nicely for the predicted above average rainfall for this coming wet season. It is always a time of anticipation and nervousness before the wet
season in the Kimberley, especially in areas such as Broome. It’s not just about whether the rains will come, it’s also about whether they’ll fill the creeks and drench the Roebuck Plains enough for the barra to not only come on the bite, but also complete their breeding cycle to ensure the next few years are brimming with barra.
From the middle of September through to now there have already been numerous barramundi of good size caught by local charter operators, as well as boat and land-based anglers. The creeks in Roebuck Bay such as Dampier and Crab creeks have really turned it on early, with a few caught as by-catch by anglers who have been out threadfin salmon hunting.
The weather is starting to warm up and the change in humidity makes the short trek to Langis Crossing, which is a very popular spot on the Fitzroy River between Broome and Derby, just that little more uncomfortable if you are not conditioned to it. The water temperature will be warmer, and this fires up the barra in the river, and those who have started their seasonal migration have been well rewarded with a great number of good-sized barra over 90cm. Some have even exceeded the magic dollar mark. Finding the fish by tinny is best accomplished with a sounder, and with todays technology of 3D structure scan, finding larger barra has never been easier, as their distinct shape shows up clearly. It is then just a matter of working the bank or snag you found them on. This works well in all the creeks surrounding Broome, and just as well if not better in the murky waters of the Fitzroy River at this time of year. Reports say the live poddy and popeye mullet
smaller diameter net until you master the art Going for the largest net does not result in catching more bait if you are unable to through it correctly. There are also different types of materials the net can be made from, such as nylon and monofilament. These have different durability and sinking speeds, with the nylon being less durable and slower sinking. Like many who have started out using a cast net, it is not uncommon to snag it up on branches and rocks and due to the option of swimming to retrieve it due out of the question to the crocodiles. After an incident like this it will often be damaged beyond repair, so it’s best to use a cheaper option to begin with and move up to a more expensive one once you have mastered the throw and retrieve. Once accomplished, you will be rewarded with lots of good live baits. With this time of year being just the start of the barra season, the boat launching areas around the Broome townsite on the west-facing side such as Gantheaume
size, so perfect for baiting a 6/0-8/0 hood and dropping down and to some nice structure around the 20-40m mark. Always be sure to wear thick-souled footwear and watch every step you take, avoiding the grey mud if you can. There are lots of stonefish in Broome and stepping on one of these will undeniably end your fishing for a few days or more. But without putting you off, there are plenty of octopus around Broome and they make an even better meal for yourself than the fish if prepared right. The local charters have been flaunting their success on the demersals lately, with countless captures of blueline and red emperors, coral trouts, golden and brassy trevally, as well as some very good-sized golden snappers while accommodating their customers out wide. Those who have preferred a day in close have fished Roebuck Bay for threadfin salmon and black jewfish. One of the notable species turning up has been the big blue salmon. Although often referred to as the poor
The build up to the wet will see lots of great barra landed in and around Broome.
TURN FISHING INTO CATCHING
Staying sun smart during this time of year is important, especially when you’re distracted by a hot bite.
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are working best over lures, and finding the bait has been very easy. With the aid of a good cast net and picking your spots wisely to avoid the local hungry crocodiles, it won’t take you too long at all to pack the live bait bucket or tank and be set for a few hours of barra fishing. Throwing a cast net can be quite an art and there are many online tutorials to assist you in learning the skill. It starts with choosing the right net to suit your height and reach as well as deciding whether you will be landbased or casting from a tinny. My preference is to use a chain net over a lead weighted one, as I find they spread easier from from the bank where I prefer to catch them from. If you are using a cast net for the first time it is recommended to use a
Beach. These areas have a tendency to be a little less crowded, except at times of the iconic sunset, which is a must see when holidaying in Broome. That being said, there are still plenty of deep-sea options to be had. The blackspot tuskfish really start to come on the bite in the wet season, and you only have to go as far as the first rocky ground that surrounds Gantheaume Point to get onto some monster examples. If you prefer to head out deeper to chase demersals, make sure you spend the previous day’s low tide walking the rock pools at the end of Gantheaume Beach or under the Broome Port Jetty looking for fresh octopus that inhabit the area. You won’t find a better bait for deep sea bottom bouncing than fresh local caught octopus, and they are often of smaller
mans salmon, they will test the best of tackle and angler when in the 700mm or above range. Although not quite the delicacy of the thready, blue salmon smoked is not something to turn your nose up to if you haven’t tried it! We still have a couple of months before the rains set in and possibly close some of the tracks at times, so now is the best time to head out and try your favourite barra spot or search for access to new spots. Always pay respect to traditionally owned land or tracks that cut through some of the cattle stations in the Kimberley, and ensure you gain permission and clean up after your stay. If we all work towards this, both future generations and ourselves will be able to enjoy what is undoubtably the most iconic and last true frontier in Australia.
Back to the beach NSW STH COAST
Steve Starling www.fishotopia.com
Surf fishing is a wonderful late spring and summer activity, but it can be even more fun if you lighten up and simplify things. Beach fishing is a very popular pastime right around Australia, especially in the southern half of the country; between Fraser Island in the east and Exmouth in the west. It’s not hard to see why so many anglers love casting
to your success rate on the beach. Efficient surf rods are generally quite long: anything from 3-4 m in length. This helps with casting and also holds your line above the annoying surge and drag of the shore break. But whatever you do, don’t burden yourself with a ruddy great telephone pole of a rod! Modern, lightweight surf sticks are an absolute joy to use and will handle most of the critters you’re likely to encounter. My favourites include the various Light Surf models in several ranges of Shimano rods,
Finding a good spot to cast your bait or lure is the next trick. Beaches are a little like marine deserts, with the majority of their life concentrated around the ‘oasis’ represented by gutters, channels, holes or isolated outcrops of reef and rock. Focus on these areas. Climb to the highest point behind the beach and use your polarised sunglasses to help locate these features. Deeper water is generally darker in colour, and unbroken areas in the foamy surf line indicate gutters or holes and their accompanying rips. Tides can be important, too. A rising or making tide tends to bring feeding fish closer to the beach. Often
The fish don’t need to be big to put a smile on your dial in the surf! Light gear and simple rigs are the go. QR CODE
Scan this QR code to watch Starlo’s short video on the basics of light surf fishing.
Silver trevally turn up at times in the surf. Check out Jo’s light gear and two-hook rig.
What could be better than a feed of fresh-caught surf tailor cooked in the coals of a campfire? their lines into the surf. We’re blessed with hundreds — maybe thousands — of beaches, and many of them remain relatively uncrowded throughout a big chunk of the year. Better yet, they all offer catchable fish swimming within easy casting range of shore. Two of the greatest attractions of beach fishing are its simplicity and its spontaneity. You don’t need lots of flash, expensive gear or a painstaking amount of preparation to go surf fishing. It lends itself beautifully to spur of the moment forays when conditions seem right, particularly at this lovely time of the year when the weather is warming up fast. I like to keep a light surf rod rigged and a small bucket stocked with basic terminal tackle ready in the garage for quick forays to my closest stretch of surf. You just never know when a chance might present itself! Using the right gear can make a big difference
but there are plenty of other viable options on the market, too. Match such a rod with a 3000-5000 size spinning reel spooled with some 4-8kg line (mono or braid) and you’re in business!
— and especially at high water — you’ll only need to make short casts to reach them at such times. Don’t try to punch holes in the horizon with your sinker. It’s easy to cast over the best fish. They may well be swimming literally at your feet, particularly on more steeply sloping beaches or those with defined inshore gutters. One final and very
sunscreen and get out there this weekend? There’s nothing quite like that wonderful feel of clean sand crunching between your bare toes, and the tang of salt in your nostrils, as you belt a bait or
important tip: modern, sophisticated reels don’t like sand! If you’re one of those folks who insists on laying your rod and reel in the grit, stick to an Alvey sidecast. They’re great surf reels, anyway. But if you opt for higher tech equipment, never hit the beach without carrying a metre-long section of PVC pipe with one end cut at an angle. Push this into the sand
Light surf fishing is child’s play! How’s that for a thumping surf salmon on light gear?
A long, empty surf beach with plenty of fishy formations. You can easily see the regularly-spaced gutters and their associated rips.
and stand your rod and reel in it every time you bait up, re-rig or need to put the outfit down for any reason. Your reels will last many years longer as a result. Why not slip on your shorts and a light, longsleeved shirt, whack on a brimmed hat, smear on a little
lure out over the surf break… Catching a fish on the beach is almost a bonus… Almost! For a more in-depth look at my personal take on going light and simple in the surf, check out my YouTube clip by scanning the accompanying QR code. Tight Lines! NOVEMBER 2019
Creeks heating up and the islands are on fire DAMPIER/KARRATHA
We have all been watching the stories coming through from regions and towns to the north of Karratha such as Broome and Port Hedland. They started
trickling through late September and started to heat up in October along with the rising water temperature in the creeks and mangroves adjacent to the mouths. Everything has lined up nicely for a kick off of the barramundi season in Karratha for the
start of November, with surface water temperatures hitting 27°C. I will be a bit late to the party with my boat still in our workshop undergoing some upgrades specifically aimed at targeting barramundi in the Karratha region this wet season. Work has held me
The author persisted through three hours of fishing and one hour after the high tide change on the last bait for the day, this goodsized bluebone was landed after a solid fight on the handline.
Marni Alexander was first to boat the bluebone on the day, with this feisty specimen taking her fresh rock crab bait before it even had a chance to hit the bottom.
up a bit, but the goal of a season full of low tide, night time, creek lock-ins has not changed. Some of the upgrades include non-insect attracting under-gunnel LED lights so we can fish live baits amongst the mangroves and
over ledges without being attacked by the mosquitoes and sand flies during the night. The dreaded white light on boats in these areas are an attractant all in themselves. While at anchor you must still have your anchor light on but having
the deck lit up with yellow/ orange LED lights not only works a treat to see what you are doing in the dark, but the colour range does not attract insects. White, green and blue are all attractants, so avoid these colours (except navigation lights) of lights
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North Coast above the water line when fishing around mangroves. The difference is a night of pleasure versus a night of pain. Don’t forget the personal insect repellent or full coverable breathable clothing, as although the yellow/orange colour deck lights do not attract insects, they do repel insects either, so there will still be plenty around, just not the zillions that are attracted by other colour light. It’s always best to connect long running
banks edge. Keep looking around until you see the mullet and work that area with muddy banks usually holding mullet. If you don’t see bait, don’t waste your time throwing needlessly. Low tide is usually best to catch them, but but both tide changes usually bring them out feeding. Barramundi, jewfish and threadfin salmon are all prone to taking a live bait of mullet or even whiting that inhabit the sandy banks. Now is the start of the best
the head high up on the body. This will ensure it swims instead of spins in the strong currents that are common throughout the Pilbara. I’ve left a few tips there that I hope will help you on your quest for a Pilbara barramundi this season, but that is not all that can be caught. October can produced large Spanish mackerel that have been in plague proportions at times. Point Samson and the Dampier Archipelago
N O I P R O 485 SC Plenty of big bluebone can be found in the rocky edges and where the islands have a steeper rock wall. This is generally a sign of a deeper drop-off. time lights, even low power consumption LED lights to a second battery if you are using them without your motor running. I have installed a 120ah lithium battery for weight saving purposes and this battery also runs my electric motor, alleviating any power usage from my starter battery. During these nights we will fish live baits only, filling the live bait tank in the late afternoon with enough to last us through the night, or until the tide is high enough again to make it safely back to the boat ramp. Barramundi as well as other species such as the jewfish are ferocious night time hunters, with many anglers’ personal bests being caught at this time. Ensure you have all the relevant safety gear, have informed someone of your location and expected return time, as well as navigation equipment. The Karratha region abounds with reef, rocks and sand bars, so take precautions, and taking it slow when motoring is highly recommended. There is always plenty of live bait around and most commonly it’s right on the
time of year to catch all three, so it’s well worth targeting them if you’re are chasing some great sport on light gear. All of the local creeks around Karratha hold barra including Airport Creek (Coongan River) in Nickol Bay, which you can take in a great view of if you are flying in for your fishing trip. It is at the North East end of the airport runway. Launching from Back Beach boat ramp in Karratha will give you access to Airport and Fields creeks, with the Harding, George and Sherlock rivers all accessible from Point Samson boat ramp. Threadfin salmon, trevally, queenfish, mangrove jack and cod can all be caught in these spots. Trolling or casting lures and soft plastics can often turn the fish on when there is plenty of bait about and live bait just isn’t working. When live baiting, I always use circle hooks, as they generally hook the fish in the corner of the mouth, allowing for a successful release. To avoid your line twisting and presenting a more lifelike swim action of your live bait, always hook the bait towards
have both fished well, but be quick, as the sharks have been a regular gate crasher to most mackerel parties lately. Around the islands of the archipelago and further out in the plus 40m mark, there have been good catches of red emperor, coral trout and chinaman fish. Cobia have still been making their presence felt, with many anglers enjoying challenging battles, especially on the larger cobia that have been the more common. Bluebone continue to be in big numbers around the rocky edges of the coastline and islands, with most being caught a couple of hours either side of the high tide change. Spanish flag and crimson snappers are turning up both nearshore and in the deeper waters, with most caught on baits, but reports of larger snappers coming in on metal jigs have been common. It’s exciting heading into the wet season and with an above average rainfall predicted for this season it could really stir up the creek dwellers and provide everyone with a few memorable catches.
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Now is the time to get out and trick a trout FRESHWATER
Good reports of trout have come through, with a noticeable increase in brown trout numbers being landed through the
Drakesbrook Weir since they have started continually stocking these large browns over the last few years. This could also have occurred because of the increased angling pressure on these waters, with some weekends seeing over a dozen boats
faced with overwhelming opposition. Some would like to see this rule applied only to the waters where these large browns get released like Waroona, Harvey and Big Brook dams and Drakesbrook Weir, Collie River and maybe Lefroy
A nice brown trout taken in a stream at Pemberton by John Vickery.
Cathal Duddy with a beautiful brown trout caught on fly. Most people are choosing to release these great sport fish. spring, no doubt due to the 500 large browns stocked this year throughout our inland waters. Most of these were caught and released, however a fair amount weren’t, which saddened many freshwater anglers, as they are of the opinion that some of these browns are of trophy size. At this size they are the only decent sport fish on offer in
out and many others fishing from the shore. I’ve had a number of people asking the question of why are these fish not protected, as they are in limited supply and are harder to produce in captivity. This prompted me to conduct a poll on a couple of Facebook groups, asking the question ‘would you support a new catch and release rule for
Brook. I will present this to the FFRG for further discussion at the next meeting along with a few other suggestions put forward by freshwater anglers and will report on the outcome in future issues. The rivers have been very low, with rainfall in spring being well below average, sparking concern over summer water levels
Harvey, Wellington and Glen Mervyn are well down on last year and my visit to Harvey in mid-September revealed the lowest water levels I’d seen in over a decade. AUSSIE NATIVES Not a lot of reports have come in lately, but silver perch have been active in some of the private dams and metro lakes, with a few bass being caught in the mix as well. Silver perch offer fantastic flyfishing sport, with small flies like nymphs or green marabou flies being my favourites. We hold hope that the new Inland Freshwater Advisory Committee formed by the government will see the value these species will bring to the rural communities and not just concentrate on trout, although they have expressed that trout will be the main focus up front. DAMS Waroona Waroona Dam is at a nice level, with some good trout and redfin being caught by both those out on the water trolling and those fishing from the shoreline. This dam is one where you don’t need a boat for
success, with lots of fishers having success fly and spin fishing in areas. The Fishtail, The Rock and Cosy Corner have been some of the better areas. The ski
fishing the late moonrise in a shallow bay after midnight. I actually landed four around a 1kg using a Craig’s Night Time and a mate landed another two on the same fly.
Wellington Dam can turn up some nice redfin at times, but be prepared to endure some less productive days. boats will be active, so try midweek or fish the back of the dam where it is quieter. Drakesbrook Weir Some nice browns were caught recently and I landed a couple on a recent trip fishing a Woolly Bugger in olive and black after not having any success on other patterns. Some nice fat rainbows were also caught
Trolling didn’t turn any trout up, but a nice redfin was landed using a Halco deep diving hardbody near the main wall. Logue Brook Dam A few nice rainbows have been caught recently, but most of them are out deep taking lures trolled behind kayaks. This can be a hard dam to fly fish
Silver perch are great fun on fly. This one was caught in one of the local irrigation dams, proving they thrive with redfin perch. our southern inland waters, so we ask you to return them to the water unharmed. The other argument is they are the only predatory species helping to combat the thousands of tiny redfin that abound in most of our waters. I must say, I have noticed a dramatic decrease in redfin numbers in places like Harvey Dam and also 36
brown trout in WA?’ The poll was conducted on two Freshwater Facebook groups and the results were staggering, with 91% voting yes with over 200 anglers taking part in the poll. A very good debate went on for a number of days and I can say the minority of the no voters where putting up a loud case even when
and putting pressure on our marginal waters. This makes trout more vulnerable to the ever-increasing angling pressure. The other concern is our marron stocks are extremely low, so I’m of the opinion that tight restrictions will be enforced this year to protect the low numbers. Most of our dams are holding out, but unfortunately
The Lefroy Brook is a nice little stream to fish in November and this photo triggers memories of earlier years for the author.
the shoreline, so I would recommend using heavy lures like Tassie Devils in pink, red and green,and fish them deep around a drop off where possible.
the high protein feed they are accustomed to. This unfortunately is the reality of some of our redfin dams that don’t offer a great supply of food, and
Wellington Dam It’s only redfin on offer, and I continue to scratch my head as to why they won’t allow us to at least stock trout in this water. It’s
It’s great to see the youngsters getting into trout fishing. This little rainbow was caught at the recent Redfin Kayak Bash at Harvey Dam. Harvey Dam This dam didn’t fish as well for rainbows in August and September, but October and November are my favourite months, as the stocking numbers are increasing and the trout tend
until a predatory species is introduced to combat the redfin, this situation will not change. On the positive side, the brown trout caught have been encouraging, with some nice ones recorded by those who put in the
not that numbers are not available, as we struggle to find enough waters to stock some of the 700,000 fry that are produced each year, and we are dumpling thousands of fry into streams that dry up by November, or are full
This brown trout is proof that they can survive in WA dams, however they struggle to find a reliable source of food with redfin present. to stay in the main basin and lose their desire to head up the streams to spawn. This is why it was decided to stagger the stocking, as it puts a fresh head of stock in the dam that tend to be more active and hit lures harder than those that have been in the water for a longer period without
time. The best areas have been Quarry Bay, Nicholson Point, First Causeway, Chesters Point and The Cattle Yards. Good redfin have been coming from the back of the dam from below the farmhouse all the way up to the Harvey River causeway with Soft Plastics working well.
of redfin, so survival would be doubtful. There is still good size redfin getting caught, but don’t expect huge numbers, as is the case for other waters. Glen Mervyn Dam There’s currently no reports unfortunately, but this water is always worth a go for trout and redfin.
The Collie River below Wellington Dam can be productive in November if you put the leg work in and fish deep in the fast runs.
Big Brook Dam Some nice brown trout as well as a few rainbows have been caught on fly and lures recently. Redfin are always present and willing to hit an array of lures. RIVERS Serpentine River The Serpentine is always hard going but the fish are there. Get in before it gets too hot! Murray River Redfin have been mainly taken above Dwellingup and only small yearlings have been caught in the faster water recently. Collie River below Wellington Dam November is the true start of the irrigation season, so watch the water levels as it can flow hard. This is the time to fish weighted flies or heavy lures that get deep down in the fast current where the trout tend to sit. I am waiting to see a decent brown trout landed from this water and it’s only a matter of time before someone gets lucky. Collie River above Wellington Dam Some nice redfin have been caught from the small weir all the way up to where the two rivers meet. The best tactic is flicking lures off a kayak or small dingy into the snags or ledges and slowly rolling them back, moving up as you go. Blackwood River November is a good time to fish the section between Bridgetown and Nannup, but I would try further down as water levels will be low this year. This water can be frustrating to fish, but can reward the persistent angler. Warren River Some decent size rainbows come out of this large river over spring, with the fast runs producing the best trout. Brown trout numbers are up as well, so the increased stocking of this species has paid off. We went through an uncertain period a while back with no brown brood stock being held at the hatchery. Luckily, back then King Trout and the very capable staff kept a number of browns for breeding and it was this stock that the government hatchery was able to build their excellent brown brood stock that we get to enjoy today. Redfin have been consistent and the best catches have been by those on kayaks in the larger pools, with a broad area from Rooney Bridge all the way down to Barkers Crossing firing the best. Further down at a place known as The Colonels was a place where big browns would lurk in the fast runs, but unfortunately it’s not as productive these days. Lefroy Brook November is the time to get out the dry flies on this water and I have fond memories of drifting a Royal
Waroona Dam can fish well for trout, but it can be busy with ski boats. Scott Crossingham took this lovely rainbow. Wulff or Humpy down the gentle runs and watching them get engulfed by a big brown or rainbow – this is the ultimate in freshwater fishing. Thompsons Flat was the preferred stretch, but these day it gets a lot of traffic, so I would try the more inaccessible spots
lot of attention, with reports hard to come by, but the opposition to the Record Brook Dam have been very vocal across a range of media recently. It receives a good stocking ever year of both brown and rainbows and is well worth a go if you
A nice ex-brood rainbow taken on a brown nymph by the author. further down or up above the town weir if you are able to put the leg work in. Of cause a small lure is also deadly, be it spinner, hardbody or soft plastic. Donnelly River This river was very low this year, and you might question the viability of placing a weir on it if these low rainfall years continue. The river doesn’t receive a
are down that way That wraps up another report on what’s happening on our beautiful inland waterways, so get your light tackle out, as summer is on its way, and it can become difficult on our northern trout waters. Also be aware of snakes and wear the appropriate clothing and footwear when you’re near the water, even at night.
DAM LEVEL PREDICTIONS FOR NOVEMBER Spring rain was well below average, with the winter rains being low as well, resulting in low water levels this year in Harvey, Glen Mervyn and Wellington dams, although the other dams fared reasonably well. WAROONA DAM DRAKESBROOK WEIR LOGUE BROOK DAM HARVEY DAM WELLINGTON DAM GLEN MERVYN DAM BIG BROOK DAM
85% 87% 76% 55% 57% 68% 97% NOVEMBER 2019
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What’s NeW FIshING Storm BiScay minnow and Shad 1 Designed with long casting and fast winding in mind, but still at home fished slowly in shallow and deepwater situations, the 360GT Coastal Biscay Minnow features a slim, supple body rigged to a tapered jighead with a fixed hook. An additional chin eyelet gives the option of adding an assist hook or blade. The weighted head and body combination allow you to cast further and fish deeper, and the paddle-tail kicks with lifelike action and incredible vibration, even at slow speeds. The Storm 360GT Biscay Shad swims with a particularly realistic action compared to most other baits. The super supple body is fixed to the head by a free-swinging screw and VMC hook that rest perfectly hidden within the soft body’s weedless channel system. When attacked, the body collapses and the large hook gape is exposed for a clean hook-up. Every 360GT Coastal Biscay is extremely visually detailed with each body perfectly matched to its own jighead with a heavyduty VMC hook. Bodies are also sold separately. www.stormfishing.com.au
daiwa tierra Lt
The Daiwa Tierra has a long history of delivering class-leading performance at a great price, and the latest version, the Tierra LT, is no exception. An alloy body is where it all starts, with its rigid construction unyielding in the heat of battle. Highly resistant to corrosion and flexing, the alloy body is the foundation of the Tierra LT and its dominance as an ultimate saltwater reel. The Tierra LT boasts many innovative, performance-enhancing features, including new LT Concept, Tough Digigear, and a new Long Cast ABS spool. The Tierra LT is also gifted with a host of Daiwa’s tried and true technologies, including Air Rotor, ATD drag, CRBB bearings, EVA Knob, and Wire Bail. With striking blue livery, the Tierra LT excels whether you’re drifting baits for whiting or hopping plastics for snapper. It’s available in six deep spool sizes from 2000D to 6000D, and you can find out more at Daiwa Australia’s new website. www.daiwafishing.com.au
Lumica Puni ika Squid
Lumica Japan has released two new soft plastic squid: the 90mm Puni Ika Squid X-Wing and the 65mm Lumica Puni Ika Squid Wave. Both are built to hold a light, to provide maximum attraction. These realistic new squid imitations have been designed, developed and made in Japan. They feature an ultra-tough 10X material that is strong and stretchy. The Squid’s tantalising action is irresistible to any predatory fish that feeds on squid, cuttlefish or octopus, and the supple plastic is scent impregnated. A rigging slot makes rigging a breeze, whether you’re using a standard jighead, hidden weight or worm hook. The final key feature is a second slot that allows the angler to insert a Kemihotaru 25mm light inside the body to allow it to glow for added attraction.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY
The Puni Ika Squid X-Wing and Puni Ika Squid Wave are available now in packs of three. www.jurofishing.com
BLack magic gift Pack
Black Magic’s gift pack range has always offered anglers a well-chosen selection of quality tackle for their specific style of fishing but equally, they provide excellent value for money. Now the range has a new entrant: the Freshwater Gift Pack. As the name suggests, this pack targets the freshwater fisheries around Australia, but the tackle is also suited to most estuaries. Included in the pack are some of Black Magic’s tried-and-true favourite lures like the BMax bibbed lures, the Spinsect and the Enticer. Also included are their latest spinning lures – the Spinmax and the Rattle Snack. Top this off there’s a Black Magic beanie and some Deception leader, giving you the perfect range of freshwater gear to get you started. www.blackmagictackle.com
daiwa J-thread nyLon
J-Thread Nylon is Daiwa’s newest addition to the J-Thread family of premium Japanese fishing line. Like all J-Family products, J-Thread Nylon is made in Japan from the finest raw materials to deliver a monofilament line that is extremely supple, with outstanding shock resistance and knot strength. J-Thread Nylon has been designed for the Australian market, where the use of straightthrough nylon monofilament line is still popular, especially along the coasts where beach fishing is prominent. J-Thread Nylon is clear in colour, and comes parallel spooled to further reduce memory, aiding in long smooth casting and tangle free use. Daiwa J-Thread Nylon is available in 6lb through to 40lb line weights in 300m spools, and 50lb in a 250m spool. Price: SRP $19.99-$24.99 www.daiwafishing.com.au
aLvey orBiter SPinning reeL
Alvey side cast reels have been manufactured for 100 years to best practice standards, and they are still as tough and durable as they ever have been. For the last two years Alvey has been running an R&D program to expand its range of products, spending over $1 million to ensure it continues to produce the very best tackle. To this end, Alvey has launched the Orbiter range of spinning reels. There are four models, SR60, SR80, SR100 and the SR200, and they have the kind of durability we’ve come to expect from Alvey. The reels are a dream to use with 9+1 stainless steel ball bearings, 5.8:1 ratio and excellent line capacity. The drag strength is incredible, and the large handle knob makes commanding the fish a breeze. Of course, the legendary side casts are still king of the beach, but these reels are set to become king of the estuaries, flats, bays and reefs! They are a must for Alvey brand lovers and spinning reel enthusiasts. Orbiter reels can be pre-ordered at Alvey authorised retailers or on www.alvey.com.au, and will be in store from December 2019. Price: SRP $199-$289 www.alvey.com.au
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WHAT’S NEW FISHING
BROUGHT TO YOU BY
BLUEWATER SINKING 7 STICKBAITS 7
The new Floating and Sinking stickbaits from the popular Bluewater stable are built tough to take on the most ferocious predators when targeting bluewater species, including giant trevally, tuna, tarpon and more. The Sinking Stickbait weighs in at 98g, which is ideal to cast or troll for pelagics. Like the Floating Stickbait, this lure is hand crafted using a super clear hand-poured resin, and features a heavy-duty wirethrough construction to withstand attacks from the hardest-hitting brutes of the ocean. You can find more information on the range at the JM Gillies website, or for the latest news, catch photos and competitions, check them out on Facebook (facebook.com/jm.gillies) or follow them on Instagram (@jm.gillies). www.jmgillies.com.au
RAPALA RIPSTOP DEEP
The new Rapala RipStop Deep tail design creates a fast ripping, hard stopping, flashing swimbait action. The RipStop Deep’s forward motion stops on a dime, with a subtle shimmy before coming to a rest. Then it ever-soslightly lifts its head with a super slow rise. You just cast and wind, wind and stop, twitch, rip and suspend. The Rapala RipStop Deep is currently available in 10 colours, weighs 15g and has a swimming depth from 1.2m to 2.4m. It is the ultimate bait for a range of species and fishing scenarios, from large flathead on the flats to barramundi deep in cover, and it’s available now in all good tackle stores. For more information check out the Rapala Australia website or Like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rapala. australia. www.rapala.com.au
SHIMANO SPEEDMASTER LD II 9
Compact lever drag overheads with dual gears and castability — the new Shimano SpeedMaster Lever Drag II are multi-purpose reels that will slot right in to a number of offshore fishing scenarios. There are two sizes to choose from — a 12 and a 16 — and both feature Hagane gearing in two speed ratios (5.7:1 dropping down to 3.1:1), with the lower gear being handy when you have to bust a fish out of a deep-sounding mindset. Line capacities are 350m and 440m of 10kg nylon respectively, which increases dramatically if you spool up with fine diameter braid. Being a lever drag, they are also versatile enough to fish a variety of line classes and drag settings, with a maximum drag power of 18kg, which is a lot for a little reel. The single piece Hagane Body means the stresses and strains associated with higher drag settings keeps all internals in perfect alignment and meshing smoothly, assisted by the presence of four SA-RB bearings. The SpeedMaster’s S Concept Design is reminiscent of Shimano’s Talicas, and increased corrosion resistance will have them looking good for years to come. And on top of all this the new SpeedMasters are also highly castable, which is excellent versatility for a lever drag overhead. Price: SRP $399.95-$419.95 www.shimanofish.com.au
HALCO SLIDOG 125
ZMAN 2.75” TRD BUGZ
VENOM OCEAN GLADIATOR
The new Slidog 125 joins Halco’s stickbait pack just under the Slidog 150, and is sure to bark just as loud! Featuring the same highly versatile action that attracts beasts from the deep, the 125 is packed into a compact body profile that will be applicable in countless shallow and midwater situations. The lure is in its element being belted out over bubbling bait schools to entice pelagics at pace, and is just as deadly being slowly twitched amongst shallow bommies, terrorizing territorial coral trout and spangled emperor populations. Featuring the ever-reliable 1/0 Mustad trebles and Halco’s ultra tough 4xx fish rings, the Slidog 125 is equipped to fight well above its weight class. The lure is 125mm long and weighs in at 52g, allowing for epic castability with a medium casting outfit, inevitably covering more ground and finding more fish. www.halcotackle.com
The ZMan 2.75” TRD BugZ are a deadly finesse presentation for bream, bass, flathead, redfin, trout and loads more, rigged standard, weedless or combined with a TT Lures NedlockZ jighead as part of the Ned Rig system. TRD BugZ feature the texture, ribbing and appendages to represent many different aquatic and terrestrial creatures that make up the diet of a variety of fresh and saltwater species. Additional features include a hook pocket for easy weedless rigging and two larger ‘claws’ and two offset smaller ‘claws’ that come to life thanks to ZMan’s super-soft and flexible, naturally buoyant ElaZtech material. As well as a deadly finesse soft plastic presentation, TRD BugZ also make an excellent skirted jig trailer, making them a versatile addition to your soft plastics arsenal. TRD BugZ are available in eight colours (bloodworm, greasy prawn, hot craw, hot snakes, motor oil, mud bug, the deal and watermelon red) in packs of six. Price: SRP $11.95 www.z-man.com.au
The team at Venom Rods has designed a series of rods to take on the biggest predators in the ocean: the Ocean Gladiator series. There are four rods in the range: a 15kg slick butt stroker, a 24kg slick butt stroker, a 36kg slick butt stroker and a 60kg bent butt stand-up rod for when things are getting serious! All rods in the range feature ALPS Zirconium guides that are constructed from SS316 anti-rust stainless in a onestamp finish to increase strength and reduce weight. The rods also make use of the ALPS CAH reel seat, a reel seat that is built from marine grade aluminium and presents with a locking centre hood and a newly designed hexagon locking nut for the ultimate in reel security. The Venom Ocean Gladiator series is built on the high modulus Venom blank, which provides incredible lightness and unparalleled strength. This ensures that while fighting a fish, the angler is not unnecessarily fatigued from fighting the weight of the outfit, and can concentrate on using the strength in the Venom blank to dictate terms to the most stubborn of fish. www.wilsonfishing.com
Please email contributions to: email@example.com NOVEMBER 2019
WHAT’S NEW FISHING TESTED
New arrivals from Yamashita are set to make their mark
Who doesn’t love targeting squid, whether it’s off the rocks, on the boat or a local jetty? Chasing them is on my to-do list on nearly every boating adventure, and I love to adapt with new techniques to get more strikes. New technologies are always developing, and they can change your ideas of how these animals hunt. Yamashita has updated its popular Egi Oh Live Search 490 Glow and Egi Oh K jig ranges, and earlier this year I decided to try them out. The Live Search 490 now has new colours and a tin sinker, and the Egi Oh K now has shallow and super shallow versions and new UV glow colours (called ‘keimura’ in Japanese). I’ve been using Yamashita jigs for a number of years and have found them to be reliable producers, and I wanted to find out whether these new models made a difference or if I should stick with the originals. The results were interesting. FIELD TESTING For both jigs I used a Shimano Zodias 6’8 3-5kg rod paired with 8lb braid and 10lb fluorocarbon leader on a Shimano Stradic 2500 ci4 reel. For this kind of
fishing your rod needs to have some give and flex for the action that’s needed to get the jigs moving around. I tied on the Egi Oh Live Search 490 first. The colour range is excellent, and I decided to start with the orange colour. Although the 490 picked up squid throughout the day, it really came into its own for those first light squid that were actively hunting their prey. The jig’s 600Hz rattle and glow, coupled with a sharp darting action, was deadly. However, when the squid were a bit flighty and wary, the 490’s sound/rattle tended to spook them. In that situation, I replaced the 490 with my old Egi Oh Live jig without the rattle, and sometimes dropped down a size if the conditions allowed. While I definitely will keep the 490 as my go-to for when the squid are actively feeding, I will continue to rely on my quiet jigs in most situations. The second product I tested was the Egi Oh K, which has a rear hydro fin for better stability on the sink. I selected the purple colour and tried it on a day when the conditions were a bit rougher, which is when you need a jig with a steady, natural sink rate. Squid can be easily put off by an unnatural looking bait. The Egi Oh K’s unique rear fin helped to create a natural flutter as the jig dropped down. As the day progressed
and I was faced with some choppy seas and a howling southerly off South Head in Sydney, the K secured some great live baits in the nasty conditions. This model is available in sizes 2.5, 3.0, and 3.5, in regular, shallow and super shallow versions. My favourite colours are gold tape, red tape and UV body. All in all, I found the Live Search 490 and Egi Oh K to be simple to use, easy to cast and very responsive to the smallest amount of action you create by whipping or lifting the rod. They’re simple enough for the novice squid fisher and technical enough for the more advanced. I matched these with long 6’8”-7’ foot rods to really allow me to whip the jigs around. You want a fair amount of give in your rods for when a big squid decides to start pulling some drag! When it comes to the price, these jigs are middle of the range, and are great quality for the price. They retail from $15$20 at most stores, and their high quality and clever design makes them significantly more effective than cheap jigs. Overall, I have been very impressed with the continuous innovation in Yamashita’s squid jigs. If you’re looking to target a new PB calamari or just want to try out this exciting form of fishing, I highly recommend them. You can view the full range at www. ejtodd.com.au. – Ben O’Brien
THERE ARE 15
LOGOS HIDDEN THROUGHOUT THE PAGES OF FISHING MONTHLY. LOGO LOCATION AND GO INTO THE DRAW TO WIN!
FILL IN THE ENTRY FORM BELOW WITH THE PAGE NUMBER OF EACH
THE FIRST 40 CORRECT ENTRIES DRAWN AT THE END OF EACH MONTH WIN A PACK OF TRD RANGE SOFT PLASTICS. COMBINE THEM WITH TT LURES NEDLOCKZ JIGHEADS, AND THEY CREATE THE DYNAMITE ‘NED RIG’ WHICH IS BECOMING A HIT ON A WIDE RANGE OF SPECIES ALL OVER AUSTRALIA.
ALL ENTRIES WILL THEN GO INTO THE MAJOR PRIZE DRAW TO WIN ONE OF THREE PRIZE PACKS TO BE DRAWN ON 30th APRIL, 2020
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MAJOR PRIZE WINNERS GET TO CHOOSE FROM THE HUGE TACKLE TACTICS RANGE OF BRANDS AND PRODUCTS:
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WAFM NOVEMBER 2019
Hobie Kayak Bream series comes to Albany JML Round 9 of the Hobie Kayak Bream Series 11 took place in the beautiful southern WA town of Albany, which is home to the King and Kalgan rivers that flow into the Oyster Harbour Estuary. On Friday, the day before the event began, the anglers were allowed to pre-fish these pristine waterways so they could muster up a game plan for the weekend in order to take out the honours and qualify for the Australian Championship.
of fish in this waterway, but more so about finding the right size. This was something that proved difficult for most of the field that consisted of two South Australian anglers, two Victorian anglers and thirty West Australian anglers. Yet there was a group of anglers who rose to the task at hand and excelled with flying colours. The conditions on day one were almost perfect for bream fishing. Overcast skies, a southeast breeze ranging from 5-10 knots and scattered
the hook. Albany black bream have soft mouths, so plenty of fish managed to shake their way off the hook, which resulted in some tales of woe back at the weigh-in. However, a number of anglers managed to avoid this drama on the first day to bring back some decent size fish to the scales in order to set themselves up for the second day. Victorian angler Steven Pryke lead the way on the first day with a bag weight of 1.89kg. Nipping at Steven’s
Winner are grinners! (L to R) Greg Cooper, Steven Pryke and Travis Newland all show off their loot!
Steven Pryke with his fish that earned him victory on day two. Albany’s rivers and estuary system is dominated by sandflats, but as you head further up both the Kalgan and King rivers, you’ll notice that snags and rock walls begin to take over the rivers landscapes. The estuary, however, has oyster racks, a few marinas and plenty of ribbon weed beds that are home to plenty of black bream. The key for the anglers was not so much about finding fish, due to the abundance
showers were favourable conditions to fish for black bream, but a dropping tide for the entire session (7am2pm) didn’t create the sort of bite that Albany is renowned for. Plenty of fish were still caught, although the bigger bream just weren’t willing to play the game. The anglers spread out to all different regions of the waterway and plenty of them managed to find big bream, but the challenge from there onwards was keeping these fish on
ankles was WA angler Travis Newland, who recorded a bag weight of 1.86kg and not far behind was Josh Phillips, also from WA, who recorded a bag weight of 1.80kg. The total number of bream caught on day one came to 81, totalling a bag weight of 36.69kg resulting in the average weight of the bream coming in at 452g. Day two presented much the same conditions as day one, except for the wind and showers. Overcast skies
and glassy conditions were present for most of the day. The gloomy conditions first thing in the morning created a productive bite for most of the field, enabling them to fill their bags quickly. Once the sun rose, however, and the day dragged on, the fish began to shut down and became very challenging to catch. This wasn’t the case for all the anglers and the leading anglers after day one proved that they had an effective game plan to keep them in touch with the fish for the entirety of the second day. This ability to draw bites throughout the day was the difference between featuring on the podium or finding yourself back in the pack. The total number of fish caught on day two came
STEVEN FLIES AWAY WITH THE WIN Steven Pryke made the long journey from his home state of Victoria to put his skills to the test against a field of anglers that comprised mostly of West Australians that were very familiar with the Albany waterway. That in itself was a substantial
few anglers that also made the long journey from the eastern states and they methodically formulated a plan amongst each other for the two days. Steven and his eastern states mates headed upriver past a set of shallow lying rock bars commonly referred to as the rapids by the locals. Everyone caught fish, but it was Steven
STEVEN PRYKE’S WINNING TACKLE Rod Reel Line Leader Lure Prize
181 Samurai Reaction 6’10”, 2-6lb 1000 Daiwa Luvias 6lb Unitika Jigging PE 4lb Unitika Agi 2.5” Grubs $1000
handicap from the start, but proving to everyone that he is a skilful enough angler to override this challenge, Steven led both days of the
that made the most of the opportunity. Steven threw 2.5” grub styled soft plastics rigged on 1/24 or 1/12oz jigheads,
Michelle Pardini shows off one of the many quality bream taken in the comp, with this model eating a Gulp 2.5” Crabby.
Greg Cooper is a dark horse who you can never rule out and his performance on day two proved that with this pair of cracking black bream. 44
to 80 bream, with a higher bag weight than day one of 38.55kg, resulting in the average weight of 481g. In total, 161 bream were caught for a total bag weight of 75.24kg resulting in the average weight of 470g.
tournament to claim victory! Pardon the pun, but it was a coast-to-coast style of win! The move to head upriver on the Kalgan River both days of the tournament was clearly the right call. Steven Pryke worked together with a
depending on the depth he was fishing. Steven targeted the deep banks and laydown timber that scatters the edges of the river banks. This tactic resulted in Steve catching approximately 30 legal size bream each day,
which increased his chances of finding the bigger fish that he needed to win the event. Yet the victory didn’t come easily for Steve, despite his ultra-consistent performance for the weekend. On day two the time was beginning to tick away and he was in need of some upgrades desperately. As he slowly fished his way back to the event site, he came across a timber lay down that would change his fortunes. In three casts he showed why he deserved the win, upgrading his entire bag with some very solid black bream. So in the end, the game plan held strong
before and nearly did it again with a day two charge that would’ve been a very good comeback if he managed to snatch the win! Despite this, his second day performance was still good enough to see him rocket from 13th place after day one to 2nd place on day two. It was reminiscent of his Blackwood River Hobie Qualifier round performance in 2015 when he brought back 2.7kg to come from nowhere and snatch the title. Either way, he proved that the Grand Master division angler is always a threat to win from almost any position after day one.
GREG COOPER’S TACKLE Rod Reel Line Leader Lure Prize
Duffrod 7” 3-5kg Certate 2500 14lb Varivas Maxi Egi 6lb Yamatoyo Harris Fighter OSP Bent Minnow $590
for Steve and after leading day one by a mere 30g with a bag weight of 1.89kg, his strong performance on day two saw his lead climb to a comfortable 330g lead after weighing in a 2.04kg to claim victory in the ninth round of the Hobie Kayak Bream Series 11. COOPER RALLIES FOR A DAY TWO CHARGE West Australian angler Greg Cooper has done it
Greg Cooper went against the grain to most anglers who did well in the event and decided to fish downriver of the Kalgan River for both days of the event. He targeted predominantly shallow sand flats and threw OSP Bent Minnows across the flats to extract the fish. Greg Cooper mentioned that he had some adjustments to his game plan after day one, because his initial tactics just weren’t
doing the trick. A fairly modest bag of 1.30kg had him languishing in 13th place and his adjustments for day two were going to need to turn things around drastically if he was going to have any hope of making a comeback. The experience and persistence paid off, and Greg enjoyed a fantastic second day to produce the biggest bag for the two days of fishing and almost complete another impressive comeback. Greg quickly bagged out in the morning and had most of his eventual bag weight stitched up by 9am when unfortunately, one of his fish died. It wasn’t good timing either, as the bite slowed down drastically and it took a prayer to turn near disaster into elation. Two casts later and Greg caught the bream he was desperately after! This fish allowed him to weigh in a 2.30kg bag on day two in order to give himself a chance to win. It was close, but no cigar as they say. Yet, it’s fair to say Greg Cooper was chuffed with his efforts either way. HONOURABLE MENTIONS Rounding out the podium was Travis Newland, who finished in third place with a two-day combined bag weight of 3.54kg. He caught his fish on Razor Edge Bruce
soft plastics, which he worked along rock walls and sand flat drop offs. Tim Stylianou caught the Atomic Big Bream for the event, which weighed in at
was taken out by Rene Van Doorn, who failed to weigh in a fish on day one but shot up the leader board with a full bag on day two that weighed 1.23kg.
prize pack full of sponsor provided products. Which brings us to the event sponsors, who are nothing short of brilliant. Therefore, we would like
Chris Miller made the long drive over from Adelaide and made sure his time on the water was worth it, with quality fish like these weighed in for him on both days of the event. 1.34kg. He caught this fish on a shallow crankbait worked over a shallow sandflat. This fish earned him a handy $100. The Mortgage Corp Monster Mover for the event
In the divisions, Michelle Pardini won the Women’s Division and Greg Cooper took out the Grand Masters Division. Both of these anglers took home a
to thank Daiwa, Lowrance, PowerPole, Gerber, ProLures, Cranka Lure, Tackle Tactics, Atomic, Lure Fans, Strike Pro, Mortgage Corp, Hobie Polarized and JML.
Carl Jocumsen Fishing Shirts Now Available • Identical logos to Carl’s 2019 Bassmaster Elite series jersey. • Quality dye-sublimated fishing shirt. • Profits help Carl’s Elite Series campaign. • Shipped locally in Australia via Australia Post.
www.wp.fishingmonthly.com.au NOVEMBER 2019
How to determine a successful fishing session BRISBANE
Justin Willmer Find me on Facebook at Yaks On
Hopefully you have found some time to get out on the water this month. I only managed one sneaky short kayak session in amongst a plethora of duties and prior commitments. We didn’t even get a chance to christen Sheri’s new SUP with a fish! Nevertheless, I recently read an article by a mate of mine, Sean, which got me thinking about what makes a successful kayak fishing trip or fishing trip in general. Sean and his daughter Kaitlin gave their regular fishing spots a miss due to that evil snot weed taking over and opted to head into the upper reaches of a local creek. Their aim was to explore the creek and look for good structure to fish when the weather warms. They caught a couple of small bream and an undersized flathead, however the trip was considered a success, because they discovered some awesome new water,
starting to realise that as much as I love fishing, there’s a stack of other aspects that make our kayak and SUP sessions enjoyable, and maybe we all shouldn’t judge ourselves so harshly and consider our session a failure if we don’t catch a stack of fish. There’s so many other gains from a session on the water, including exercise, clearing of the mind and reducing stress, time with family and friends, the adventure element, wildlife spotting, scenery and serenity, photo opportunities, discovering new future fishing destinations and even a bit of casting practice. Fishing with the kids land-based also reinforced the fact that you don’t need to catch an icebox full of fish to have a great day. We pumped some yabbies and had a ball catching small bream, whiting and trevally, with Slade catching plenty, Zac stoked with his first legal fish (a 31cm whiting that he chose to keep for dinner) and Cameron landing the beast of the day, a 72cm longtom. It may as well have been a marlin, as he
low tide around 5pm and, of course, it was gusting to 20 knots. I opted for my sit-inside paddle kayak, to keep it simple and keep my profile low to the water to negate the influence of the wind gusts as much as possible. I had a rod rigged with a 1/4oz 1/0 jighead and my go-to 2.5” paddletail soft plastic, and another rod rigged with a larger 3” paddle-tail on a 3/8oz jighead. I had selected a new dark silhouette colour, loaded with gold and copper flecks, as the wind was blowing onto the bank, the water was dirty and the structure was a weed edge. They were perfect conditions for the larger profile and dark silhouette colour to stand out and
This was the last the author saw of the first flathead he landed before it ejected itself from the kayak and swam away. first thing that I noticed was the amount of water in the kayak and it seemed that the leak was getting worse. I needed to get the water out of the kayak if I was going to continue fishing. I removed the two ice bricks from the zip lock bag in my icebox and used the bag to bail the kayak, before
stowing it in my pocket for the next bailing session. I normally carry a bailing sponge, which is a great accessory for kayak anglers. I started my first landbased session casting upcurrent and hopping the plastic back naturally, fanning my casts from close to the bank to almost at
Cameron scored the beast of the day, which got the kids pretty excited.
Zac was stoked with his first legal fish, a 31cm whiting. had a great time together and saw plenty of wildlife. This got me thinking about Sheri and my first SUP session together, when she took her new stand up paddleboard for its first paddle. We had a great afternoon, paddling around a local mangrove island, gaining a feel for the board, laughing, chatting and spotting wildlife. I’m 46
wrestled it up the beach on his little combo and all of the kids gathered around excitedly to point out its teeth and announce how they didn’t want to get bitten. So, was my recent short kayak fishing session a success? I’ll let you be the judge. I had a Sunday afternoon available. It was a perfect
attract the attention of the fish, so it was up first. Conditions were choppy with waves from multiple directions like a washing machine, and it was at about this point in time that I remembered there was a leak in this kayak that I had meant to sort out. I would make two casts to the edge before the kayak was almost blown back onto the bank. Then I’d paddle out again, make another two casts and paddle out again… I was having a great time. I knew I was going to have to grind it out, however I had a plan B and had put on a solid pair of water shoes so that I could pull the kayak up on the bank and fish a drain and a deeper basin landbased. I had a large dugong swimming around me for a while as I approached the drain, however I was unable to get a good photo in the lumpy conditions. First stop was the drain, and I slid onto the
bank with the waves that were rolling in with the wind and hopped out for a land-based flick. The
Late in the day, the author finally caught a keeper for dinner.
Less than ideal conditions make kayak fishing challenging.
right angles to the bank. As the plastic approached the channel edge, I had a solid hit but no hook-up. This was followed by another solid tap a couple of casts later as I was thinking it was a bream or yellowtail pike struggling to eat the larger plastic. Finally I hooked up to what felt like a reasonable flathead, only for it to shake the lure as I fought it through the solid weed on the channel edge. I had a dozen more casts for nothing and it was back into the Titanic for the paddle and fish to the next land-based destination! I paddled out, made a cast and I was on! I couldn’t believe it. I was hooked up on the new colour on my first cast after getting back into the kayak. After a stubborn fight on light gear, I had a legal flathead in the net, where it threw the lure and I was thinking how lucky I had been. By the time I had the camera ready I had been washed into the bank, waves were breaking against the side of the kayak and everything was wet, including me. A quick photo of the successful lure, a photo of the flathead in the net and then that was the last I saw of it as it leapt out of the net and slowly swam off in the shallows, after I had another swipe at it with the net. I sat for a moment being pounded by waves and pondered… do I think that my session had been a success? As I started the paddle to the basin area I leant back in the seat of the kayak and the right strap on the fitted seat snapped, leaving me uncomfortable and with minimal back support. I almost pulled the pin then, however I thought I had come this far, braved
Yep, the water level was rising in the kayak and it was time to head for home. I held that fish firmly for a quick photo and it was safely stowed in the icebox for dinner. The water in my kayak had now reached a level that filled my built-in seat. I was wet, it was getting cool and dark and I still had a few hundred metres left to paddle. Still, for some reason I had a smile on my face. Upon reaching the launch point I had to bail a lot of water out of the kayak before I could load it onto the trolley and head for home. Had my session been a success? I had battled terrible conditions, bailed my kayak out three times, lost a few fish including one that leapt out as I watched on, broken the strap on my seat and I was soaking wet. On the other hand I had christened a new plastic colour, hung
Slade with a bream from the pontoon. it was tricky to stay in touch with the lure, even on the heavier jighead and after about 15 minutes the tide had bottomed out and turned, so I opted to catch the tide home and fish along the way. My hour and a half session had been eventful, however I still hadn’t managed to land a fish that didn’t eject itself from the kayak. The turn of the tide and end of the day saw the wind drop slightly, allowing me to drift and fish more effectively on my return trip. With the slightly more comfortable fishing conditions I opted to step down to the smaller plastic and fish a bit slower, hooking another fish right on the edge that stayed hooked for a few seconds before breaking free. I was
It’s important to keep it simple and low profile in choppy conditions.
One in the hand is definitely worth more than the one that leapt back into the water! out with a large dugong, hooked a few fish and I had dinner in the icebox. I also had a smile on my face and
my wife and I both laughed as I shared my adventure with her over a fresh feed of flathead.
Overall I had only been out for a couple of hours but I always enjoy battling the elements to catch a fish, as I have done many times over 30 years of kayak fishing. I find these tougher adventures to be a rewarding challenge and they also make the magic days on the water and hot bites even better. I declared the session a success as I enjoyed dinner with my wife and made plans to either repair or retire my old sit-in kayak. Next time you’re out on the water and things aren’t going to plan, remember to stop, look around, breathe and focus on the positive elements. Focusing on the positives may change your mood and in turn change your fishing success or maybe what you consider to be a successful outcome into the adventure. Maybe it’s not all about catching fish and you’re actually out on the water for a different reason… like just getting some vitamin sea!
A good-looking gutter to fish land-based and a bird means bait. the elements and surely I could catch one for dinner. Pulling up onto the bank, I again bailed the water out of the kayak and started working the basin and drop off with the 3” paddle-ta-l plastic. The wind was still gusting hard,
having a shocker. Just when I was thinking about calling it a day I was again reminded of how important it is to be aware of your surroundings. I heard some bait flicking in the shallows back behind me, made a cast to
the disturbance and was hooked up within two turns of the reel handle. It felt like a reasonable flathead and after some tense moments close to the kayak I had the fish in the net and splashing around in the water… inside the kayak!
Wear suitable footwear if you intend to add some landbased fishing to your kayak session. NOVEMBER 2019
Trades, Services, Charter BAIT & TACKLE
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ALBANY Albany Rods & Tackle (08) 9841 1231 Trailblazers Albany (08) 9841 7859
ESPERANCE Esperance Camping & Workwear Esperance (08) 9071 2142 Southern Sports & Tackle (08) 9071 3022 Tatey’s Bait ‘n’ Tackle Castletown (08) 9071 5003
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This section in WA Fishing Monthly consolidates the trades and services in your area that are relevant to your fishing and boating. Whether you’re a local looking for more options or a travelling angler fishing around the state, this guide will direct you to reputable businesses in the area you’re searching. 48
Boats & Guided Fishing Tours Directory KALBARRI Kalbarri Anchorage Caravan Park Kalbarri (08) 9937 1181 Kalbarri Beach Bungalows A & B Kalbarri (08) 9937 0400 Kalbarri Blue Ocean Villas Kalbarri (08) 9937 2442 Murchison caravan park Kalbarri (08) 9937 0400 Murchison House Station Kalbarri (08) 9937 1998 Murchison River Caravan Park Kalbarri (08) 9937 1005
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SHARK BAY Bay Lodge Denham Shark Bay WA (08) 9948 1278 Denham Seaside Caravan Park, (08) 9948 1242 Oceanside Village Denham Shark Bay (08) 9948 3003 RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort (08) 9948 1320 Shark Bay Caravan Park (08) 9948 1387
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CORAL BAY Bayview Coral Bay (08) 9385 6655 Ningaloo Club (08) 9948 5100 Ningaloo Reef Resort (08) 9942 5934 Peoples Park (08) 9942 5933
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PORT HEDLAND Blackrock Tourist Park South Hedland (08) 9172 3444 Discovery Parks Port Hedland (08) 9173 1271 Landing Resort Port Hedland (08) 9172 4111 Port Tourist Park Port Hedland (08) 9172 4111
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Northbank Fibreglass Boats @northbankboats
Advertisers wanting to be involved in this directory can call 0417 901 301 or email firstname.lastname@example.org NOVEMBER 2019
Is it worth going out? BRISBANE
Wayne Kampe email@example.com
The above heading sums up a question that weather forecasts have posed for me on far too many occasions, particularly when I worked full time and really appreciated my opportunities to fish mid-week. I would organise a couple of days off work, the tides would be very favourable, and everything looked good – and then the weather forecast would
The results were never worth the effort, unless the excursion saw the boat finally in a sheltered spot where we could at least wet a line in some reasonable comfort. Even so, moving to and from the hotspot was an issue. I mainly fish from open boats so I’d end up wet, frequently becoming pretty uncomfortable in the boat while moving from point to point, and there’d usually be a lot of cleaning up at the end of the day, particularly after fishing saltwater. In short, a WOTAM – Waste Of Time And Money.
at considerable expense to ensure that things are just right… and at the last minute the weather turns rotten. At times like these it’s essential to make the right decision, because when things are out of your control it’s too late to back off. It’s even worse when you have an inexperienced crew aboard, or the craft has somehow ended up in water conditions that don’t suit it one bit, and a skipper’s skill is really put to the test. The results can be disastrous. We must never be blasé about this sort of
While a half cabin provides tremendous sea-keeping capability, if sea conditions are foul the going will still be uncomfortable. winds and rough water. I’m not talking about offshore fishing here – far from it. I’ve been in the Brisbane River on big ebb tides with a stiff northeasterly wind howling, and have encountered pressure waves (often made worse by tugs) that required the boat’s bow to be elevated under power and directed
take control of a very nasty situation. A wall of white water approaching after a car carrier has rumbled past is not a pleasant sight. Trust me on that! CONSIDER BOTH PASSENGERS AND THE CRAFT The smart decision is to consider all aspects facing the passengers who will be aboard, and whether the
workable when driven in conditions that the skipper has encountered previously and can be confident in. Still, in the overall scheme of things I believe it’s wise to consider the worst likely situation, and plan along those lines. However, boats and boating conditions are only part of the picture. Let’s turn our thoughts to the crew.
That’s a decent sized boat but the confused seas are throwing it about nonetheless. suddenly deteriorate. Fresh to frightening often summed up the wind forecast, and wave heights rose from modest to mean. Sometimes I bit the bullet and launched anyway.
WHEN IN DOUBT, DON’T! The question of whether to go or pull the pin is a difficult choice that all boaters face. Plans are made in good faith, and often
situation, because from time to time we are reminded of the worst case scenarios with craft and crew lost, as was the tragic case in Moreton Bay in August during a period of strong
There are rough times ahead by the look of this daylight launch shot, and later in the day with the wind up it’s probably going to be a whole lot worse to retrieve this boat.
There’s a boat in there somewhere! Think about it, would you or your crew enjoy those conditions? 50
into the approaching maelstrom quick smart. An even worse scenario might easily be encountered out in Moreton Bay in the vicinity of the main shipping channel. I’ve seen some pressure waves created by large ships moving at speed combining with chop from prevailing winds that required instant action to
boat will be comfortable and safe to travel in and fish from. Naturally, the overall design of the craft will have a major bearing on the outcome in unfavourable conditions. A cabin craft will offer far more protection from the elements than most open boats, yet a high sided open boat – say, a larger centre console – might be
People who aren’t really familiar with boating are far from ideal passengers in foul conditions, especially if family members are involved. When it comes to inexperienced boaters or children, there’s no better way to put them off boating for life than to take them out in adverse conditions and see them wet or
knocked about by rough going. It doesn’t matter how promising the fishing might be when the engine is stopped, as the damage is already done. Many a
affliction is something that a lot of people are familiar with. Planning a boating trip with someone prone to ‘mal de mer’ is not very smart if the forecast is less
The worse part about this condition is that it seems to be contagious; one crew member has a barf over the side and then another might follow suit. This is
so it’s up to the skipper to make the right decision before putting the crew and boat to the test. Granted, at times you might call off a trip only to find that the weather is much better than the forecast was. It’s frustrating when this happens, but
it’s far better to be safe than sorry. It helps if you keep checking the weather online, as the forecasts are regularly updated. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of your final decision. If the conditions are poor but you’re keen to go out, remember what
I said at the start of the article. On those times when I did go out in bad conditions, it was rarely worth it when it came to catching fish. There was plenty of work cleaning the boat when I ventured home, but very little with the filleting knife!
Higher sides and a bimini/hard top provide some comfort in less than ideal conditions, but it still pays to think carefully about the weather forecast. decent boat has been sold after very brief use because of such an event. SEA SICKNESS Ah yes, and now we come to sea sickness. This
than ideal. Those lousy sea conditions will kick-start that unpleasant sensation of tiredness, queasiness, followed eventually by a perk or two over the side.
not good for the skipper, especially if he or she is the second in line for a close look over the gunwale! A wise person knows their limitations, that’s for sure,
These conditions are the sort that are made for smaller open craft.
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platforms, upholstery, transoms and storage more (depending freeboard. on the model). We’ve also added More of everything for a great day on for the water… thicker and higher topsides and raised the side all thanks to our revolutionary Apex Hull. more The radical, variable flared bottomGet sheet deck,of foreverything more freeboard. extends to the bow gunnel as does the wide Get more of everything with our new Apex Hull chine. That means more internal space and with our new Apex Hull storage, which lets us build new consoles, casting Quintrex at your Quintrex dealer. at your dealer.
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Drive, Bibra Lake WA and raised 53 Gordon Road, Mandurah WA Eastern 331 Great Eastern Highway, Midvale WA 53Kembla Gordon Mandurah WA 331 Great Highway, Midvale WA thicker andRoad, higher topsides the side all thanks to our revolutionary Apex Hull. 31 Port 08ph 9434 08 9581 7224 faxph 08 08 95819250 6305 3339 fax ph 0808 9250 33398339 fax 08 9250 8339 The radical, variable flared bottom ph sheet deck, for more freeboard. 081822 9581 7224 fax 08 9581ph 6305 9250 www.mandurahoutboards.com.au www.aquasportsmarine.com.au extends to the bow gunnel as does thewww.chiversmarine.com.au wide Get more of everything www.mandurahoutboards.com.au www.aquasportsmarine.com.au chine. That means more internal space and with our new Apex Hull storage, which lets us build new consoles, casting at your Quintrex dealer. NOVEMBER 2019 51
WHAT’S NEW BOATING FORMOSA SRT PLATE HULL
The new Formosa SRT Plate Hull combines the best boat designs from the Sea-Rod and Tomahawk brands, packaging them into one skilfully engineered plate boat. The new plate hull features excellent levels of performance, handling and stability, with a stronger Lock-Cell hull and deck structure with a Quad4 Water Ballast option available across the whole range. An increased deadrise, custombuilt cambered strakes and large reverse chine create hydrodynamic lift and superior traction. In addition, the SRT hull uses the Formosa Step Down Active Transom design, delivering smart storage solutions, easy on-board battery access, and flush-folding door and seating systems. The transom door and lounge fold down to create more sitting areas or fishing platforms, and fold away flush against the side of the boat when not in use for a clear deck area to move around. The folding lounge is also removable. There are four Active Transom designs to choose from, with optional extras available. www.formosamarineboats.com.au
BUILD YOUR FISHING WEAPON
Australian plate aluminium boat builder Bar Crusher has pushed live the latest version of its website – and with it, v2 of the brand’s online boat builder. Launched several years ago, Bar Crusher’s online build-and-quote system allows website visitors to review the huge list of standard features in every model and personalise each boat by selecting options such as hull colour, engine horsepower and additional factory-fitted accessories. Bar Crusher’s 26-model range spans 4.9-7.8m and is available in a number of configurations – cuddy cabin, hard top, hard top pilothouse, centre console, open hard top, walk around, and bow rider. Renowned for quality construction, superior performance and maximum fishability (with a range of standard fishing-related features other manufacturers charge as extras), every Bar Crusher boat is factory-packaged on a customdesigned trailer to ensure towing, launching and retrieving is a breeze. Self-centering and aligning perfectly every time, Bar Crusher’s innovative Bar Catch system also allows for single-handed launch and retrieve. The new boat builder function is now online and ready to go, so head to the Bar Crusher website and get started on building your fishing weapon. barcrusher.com.au
ACR REMOTECONTROLLED LIGHT 3 The new RCL-85 LED searchlight from ACR was designed for the boater who wants to ditch the hassle of halogen searchlights, but still wants their affordability. With an impressive 240,000 candelas using six High Flux (30W) LEDs, you have visibility over half a nautical mile to light the way to your destination. The simple installation only requires running your 12-24V power to the searchlight, and all operations are completely wireless. The RCL-85’s sleek design makes it an attractive and cost-effective choice for small to medium sized vessels. The searchlight comes with a wireless handheld remote to rotate the light 350°. With an 8° beam angle, the light can tilt an impressive 90° degrees to make lighting structure a breeze. There is also a strobe function to signal for help. The RCL-85 is weather resistant with the electronics located in the IP68 water-resistant light head instead of the base for increased protection. The ASA housing and lens are 52
sealed against the elements for years of troublefree operation. Price: SRP approx. $700 www.acrartex.com
The new VFS60A outboard from Tohatsu weighs only 98.5kg, which is 7kg lighter than its nearest competitor and 15% lighter than Tohatsu’s renowned M60C 2-stroke. Tohatsu are fully aware of the implications that weight has on a boat’s performance, and this is for those boaters who are re-powering from a 2-stroke. The MFS60A has a proven pedigree, with its core being based on the popular MFS40 and MFS50A. However, this model features some interesting developments to pistons, intake valves, manifold and camshaft design, along with introduction of Roller Rocker Arms. The end result is responsive performance, superior fuel economy within a sleek and environmentally designed outboard. It’s available in aquamarine and white, forward control or large multi-function tiller, and retains all of the core features of the smaller MFS40/50A such as: Tohatsu Onboard Communication System (optional cables required); Trolling Assist; 21 amp charge system; electronic fuel injection; and Easy Flush System. www.tohatsu.com.au
MERCURY FOURSTROKE DEALS 5 For the first time, Mercury is offering a trio of great deals across its FourStroke range from 3.5-150hp. With Deal 1 you can save up to $800 on 3.5-60hp FourStroke engines. With Deal 2 you get free SmartCraft rigging on 75-150hp FourStroke engines (SmartCraft gauges bring all your vessel’s information together onto one simple-to-navigate device – including speed, rpm, trim, depth, alarms, water pressure, fuel flow etc – as well as allowing control of specialist systems such as Mercury’s Active Trim). And if you take advantage of Deal 3, you get the benefit of 3.99%* Mercury Finance on 40-150hp FourStroke repower. Even better, the mighty 150hp ProXS is included in Mercury’s summer deals for the first time, as are all SeaPro and ProXS models in the relevant horsepower categories. All three deals end on 18th November 2019, so you’ll have move fast if you want to secure your saving. *For full terms and conditions visit the Mercury Marine website. www.mercurymarine.com.au
FUSION FM SERIES
Fusion FM Series flush mount marine speakers and subwoofers are engineered to deliver high-quality acoustics. The lowprofile, near-flat installation allows for a visually appealing finish never before seen on a marine speaker or subwoofer. Combining optimized speaker drivers with aluminium dome tweeters to produce highquality audio at any volume, the FM Series also give you the ability to create a 2.1 audio zone. A new mounting system allows for nonintrusive, easy installation. You simply place the unit in the cutout, tighten the screws and the speaker legs will tighten against the panel without creating any screw holes. The FM Series complies with ISO12216 Annex D1.1 for Areas II, III and IV, due to its strength and watertightness. Available in round or square models and white or black colour options, they come in two sizes, 7.7” 200W and 6.5” 120W. Matching 10” 400W FM Series subwoofers are also available. www.fusionentertainment.com.au
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FUN PAGE AND COMPETITIONS FISH THAT PUT UP A FIGHT
GIANT TREVALLY AMBERJACK BLACK MARLIN BLUE MARLIN STRIPED MARLIN LONGTAIL TUNA SOUTHERN BLUEFIN ALBACORE KINGFISH SWORDFISH
DTD - REAL FISH OITA
COBIA JACK SAMSONFISH BARRAMUNDI SPANISH MACKEREL SAILFISH DHUFISH SALMON SNAPPER BASS
The first correct entry at the end of each month will win the prize pack. SEND ENTRIES TO: WA Find-a-word Competition, PO box 3172, Loganholme Qld 4129
WA NOVEMBER 2019
GEORGE & NEV by Michael Hardy
The ‘Real Fish Oita’ is an incredible, award winning squid jig manufactured in Europe by leading Croatian company - DTD. Taking out the coveted ‘best new product’ in its class at the EFTTEX 2015 Expo in Warsaw, this wonderful range is now available in Australia through Dogtooth Distribution. The product imitates real fish species. This coupled with DTD’s use of only the highest grade materials available, ensures great balance and results in superior catching ability. With the unique ‘fish parasite’ feature, aimed at luring predators in for an ‘easy kill’, these truly unique jigs are set to explode into the Australian market. FEATURES - Double weight system with inner weight designed to produce sound while squid jig is in action. COLOURS - 7 different designs representing popular fish species. ADDITIONAL - Luminous body, fish parasite, great balance, sound effect, quality stainless steel hooks SIZES - 5 Sizes available www.dogtoothdistribution.com.au
BARRA COUNTRY by Brett Currie
Congratulations to Peter Dunlop, who was last month’s winner of the Find-a-Word Competition! Monthly winners receive a Fishing Monthly prize pack. Prize delivery can take 8 weeks. – WAFM
The subscriber prize winner for September is G Smith of Baldivis, who won a Fishing Monthly Subscriber prize pack. All subscribers are entered in the monthly subscriber prize draws. Prize delivery takes up to 8 weeks. – WAFM
E Le of Cannington, R Adamczyk of Spalding, W Drew of Silversands, R Stoddart of Denmark, M Morris of Inglewood, S Bastick of Two Rocks, L McFarlane of Brookton, B Jacobs of Safety Bay, A Honey of Old Bury, D Myers of Sorrento, C Warren of Wagin, K Lockwood of Rockingham, J Hislop of Yokine, E Cowton of Mt Helena, J Addenbrooke of Maddington, G Uren
of Ballajura, P Baskerville of Glenfield, D McGillivray of Moora, C Walker of Canning Vale, L Gibbs of Boulder, G Higgins of Eaton, A Hogan of Parmelia, J Cuthbert of Busselton, B Hughes of Margaret River, B Culshaw of Banyo, J Curley of Falcon, D Elkerbout of Dunsborough, T Johnston of Quinns Rocks. Prize delivery takes up to 8 weeks. – WAFM
LAST MONTH’S ANSWERS
GUESS THE FISH?
FIND THE DAIWA LOGO
This month’s Guess the Fish Answer: Yakka
The answers to Find the Daiwa Logo for September were: 8, 12, 15, 21, 24, 28, 32, 36, 43, 45, 47, 49, 52, 65, 67. – WAFM The Find the Daiwa Logo prize winners for September were: C Johnston of Quinns Rocks, G Xu of Dalkeith, L Doecke of Byford, R Crossingham of Secret Harbour, B Simmonds of Silversands,
Answer: NOVEMBER 2019
Bassco Hurricane with Mercury 115HP Pro XS - SC
RE ONLINE MO
advantage in a saltwater boat. Want to see the Hurricane in action? Scan the QR code at the top of the page on your smartphone or search for the video test on the
Main: Although Peter Nord has a $100K imported bass boat, you’ll most likely see him fishing Gippsland waters in his Bassco Hurricane. It’s smaller, cheaper to run and does nearly everything his bigger boat does – except in shallower water. Above: Wide open, the Hurricane hit 76km/h powered by the Mercury 115hp Pro-XS 2.1L 4-stroke bolted on the back. designs. They just couldn’t fit the volume of tackle that a standard tournament angler takes. Or, if they did manage to provide enough storage, it was often not waterproof, resulting in lure boxes with thousands of dollars worth of baits being left in a soaking,
SPECIFICATIONS Length........................................................5.0m Beam........................................................2.07m Capacity ............................................ 4 persons Transom deadrise ....................................... 20° Fuel ............................................................ 140L With my history as co-founder of ABT Tournaments in Australia, I’ve seen plenty of local manufacturers have a crack at making a tournament boat that rivalled the American imports. Few have done a good job. Primarily, tackle storage was the Achilles heel of the their
DE FOR EX
Bassco is an Australian-built fibreglass fishing boat created by Gippsland veteran boat builder, Michael Boag. With a lifetime of building big boats under his belt, Michael decided that he wanted to diversify into smaller fishing craft, and we tested the Tornado (a hybrid centre console and lurecasting boat) earlier in the year. The Hurricane is the Tornado’s sister craft, and was developed in a partnership between Boag and avid tournament angler Peter Nord from Lakes Entrance. Peter wanted a boat that was smaller, more nimble and more economical than his big American bass boat, and the Hurricane was born. Incidentally, Hurricane is also Peter’s lure brand, and the boat is finished in Hurricane’s corporate colours. Well played, gents.
we couldn’t find any rough water to test the bad-weather ability of this craft. “I just love this little rig,” Peter said, “which is why I use it more than my big rig.”
rusting mess after a rough or rainy day. I’m pleased to report that the Hurricane has nailed this part of the design, with a centrepiece tackle locker that will take the kit of the greediest tackle rat and keep it in good nick. Held up with sturdy gas struts, the lid makes up a
proportion of the front deck. The top deck layout is standard bass boat design with a front deck several times larger than the back deck. Interestingly, in the cockpit, the sliding seat bases can clear some room for a lower fishing position in the cockpit. This is handy when you’re fishing more open and rougher waters. Supplied on a single axle trailer, this boat will fit in plenty of suburban garages. It’s powered by a 115hp Mercury ProXS 2.1L 4-stroke outboard, so performance was never going to be an issue. Hammers down, the Hurricane reached 76km/h at wide open throttle (6,200rpm) achieving 1.62km/L. At the most economical cruising speed (4,000rpm and 46km/h) it delivered much better range at 2.4km/L. With a 140L underfloor fuel tank, that equates to over 350km of
theoretical range, which is much more than you’d use on nearly all tournaments or trips. This Bassco is pretty fun to drive. It takes trim well and handles nicely. Unfortunately the test day was breathless and
RPM .....Speed (km/h) ...........Economy (km/L) 650 ...........................4 .................................... 1000 .........................8 .................................... 2000....................... 12 .................................... 3000....................... 29 ................................. 1.8 4000....................... 46 ................................. 2.4 5000....................... 61 ................................. 1.7 6000....................... 74 ................................. 1.6 6200 ....................... 76 ................................. 1.6 * fuel metering not accurate at low RPM with gauge available It might have something to do with the ability to simply hose out the boat and not have to contend with wet carpets for days on end. The Hurricane ditched carpeted decks in favour of synthetic decking material. It dries and cleans up with ease, and is a real
Fishing Monthly Magazine’s YouTube channel. For more information on Bassco boats, you’ll have to visit their Facebook Page (Bassco Boats) or just call Michael Boag directly on 0417 545 593, as they don’t yet have a website.
There’s plenty of fishing room in this 5m rig, with anglers up front and down the back having their own casting decks to fish from.
20° of transom deadrise gives you a soft landing when it gets a little rough.
Cradled on a single-axle trailer and with nothing higher than a PowerPole, the Hurricane will be able to fit in most garages.
The centrally-located rod and tackle locker chews up a pile of rods and lure boxes, and keeps them safe and dry. Plenty of boat manufacturers don’t understand that anglers don’t want their expensive gear soaking in saltwater.
Twin consoles keep you and your passenger comfortable while underway, and the glovebox keeps your wallet and phone dry.
The livewell lives under the rear deck and is secured with twin folding decks.
The helm is minimalist with the sounder mounted on a Ram Mount.
The helm seat is adjustable. Move it forwards and you open up some cockpit space for fishing rougher waters. Move it back and you can sit in it to travel and drive.
Batteries and isolators are inside a rear hatch and protected from the elements.
The internal wiring is neat and hidden.
There’s no doubt that the Hurricane will turn heads at the ramp and on the water. It’s a good looking, Aussie-built fishing boat.
An automatic bow eye catch mechanism locks the boat in place while retrieving.
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Complete FREE digital version of Western Australia Fishing Monthly Magazine for November 2019.