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A Jumping Shark And Heaps Of Flathead


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The breeze and swell made conditions a little bit choppy as we headed out just before sunrise, but it still looked like it was going to be a great day on the water.



My mate “Pick-A-Box” Syd was keen to get a few flathead and maybe a small shark like the one I caught (and released) last weekend. It wasn’t long before some chopper tailor were in the boat as well as a couple of flatties.

However, Syd was catching everything. I dropped a couple of tailor at the boat, much to Syd’s delight, and to top it off, all my flatties were throwbacks.

Suddenly my reel is screaming, (just as happened to me last week), and after peeling off about 30m of line, the “mystery monster” is swimming off with my hooks and sinker. Syd found that amusing. (I make a mental note that from now on, I’ll make my rigs from 25lb instead of 15lb mono)

After a couple of hours, Syd was smashing me in the “flathead championship”, 5 – 1.

However, waking me out of my daydreaming was the sound of something ripping line off the reel, and … without any warning, snap!, it breaks me off … again! (Another mental note – buy some 30lb or 50lb braid)

I finally pick up a couple of good flathead when Syd’s rod starts bending. This had weight, and was impressive enough to actually get him to stand up. The reel wasn’t screaming, but it was certainly something bigger than a flattie. I call it for a big shovel nose. Syd says it might be a small kingy or salmon.


We were both wrong, a gummy shark comes into view. Only 5m from the boat it decides it wants to fight, zig zagging backwards and forwards just under the surface. Then, believe it or not, … it starts jumping! I grab the camera and drop the net. I captured a bit on video. Here are a few stills. (sorry about the quality)




After a short, but energetic fight, the shark finally comes alongside apparently worn out after the aerobatics.


All of a sudden, two feet from the boat, in a last fight for freedom, it jerks and rolls several times, wrapping the line around itself, breaking Syd’s leader and swimming off. Trying to use my most “sincere” voice I say, “bad luck Syd”.

The morning rolls by and we manage to pick up a few more flatties and a heap of yakkas.

Finally, to balance things in the “one that got away” stakes, Syd’s line really starts screaming. This wasn’t another gummy. He tightens the drag, but it still takes line. I hoped this time we would at least see a bit of colour and identify it. I’m a bit hopeful because Syd was at least smart enough to hook it on what he calls his heavy “kingy” set up (I think it has 50lb braid?). However, he still couldn’t turn it, and after only a minute or two … (but seemed an eternity), … twang! … and it heads for the horizon! Syd winds in a partially “shredded” leader.


Syd made some philosophical statements (I think he used the word “duck” a few times) and then sat down shaking his head.

All in all, I had a top day – I caught a feed, had plenty of excitement and experienced the joy of just being on the water. However, Syd wasn’t so happy. Despite beating me 8 - 5 in the “Peter vs Syd Flathead Championship”, he was still complaining all the way back to the ramp about “the one that got away”, and that my “little” boat was too rocky in the chop and was therefore the cause of his sore back! I also copped it for filming the “jumping” gummy shark, instead of grabbing the net.

Anyway, by the time we got home, Syd had calmed down and realised that it wasn’t such a bad day after all and that a few beers can fix anything.




Edited by peterS
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that was a great read peter...

sounded like a fun filled trip thats for sure..

you got on the water with a mate and had fun so thats a successful trip in my books..

to get a feed and then polish some refreshments off while embellishing on those "big one that got away" stories..

"thats priceless" to coin a phrase...


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Once again, a fabulous read from the "Peter and Syd Show". Fair dinkum, you fellas sound like you have a great time on the water, and any fish caught truly ARE icing on the cake :yahoo:

A shame about the shark and the mystery monster, but those photos are fantastic mate. :thumbup:

Well done to you both once again.



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Great report & lovely pics again Peter! The water was a lot lumpier than that looks, too!! I was down there with my other half, checking out the action for the triathlon ....... I reckon there was a 4-5m swell out there!! The waves pounding onshore were huge!!!

Well done on the flatties - the sharks provided a bit of excitement too. Shame about the bustoffs - but if they were bigger than the one you got pics of ....... I wouldn't have wanted to see them either! :wacko:



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