Jump to content

SWR fishing The Macleay & Fisherman's Reach


Recommended Posts

Better grab a tea & biscuit ...... this is a biggie!!

Once again, the call had gone out - who would be attending the South West Rocks Kayak Gathering this year? Will the weather gods be kind to us? Will some good fish be caught??

There are about 8 of us that normally go up for the whole week, with others joining in on both weekends for their sessions on the water!

I headed towards Arakoon Trial Bay Camp Ground on Sat the 26th after lunch! Upon arriving at the Gaol, I was greeted with the news that both Grant & Louis both had PBs & 'First Evers' as both had hooked & landed a Sail Fish! Grant's fish was bleeding profusely, so it was decided to keep Grant's fish for dinner & Louis (who originally had a double hookup but one busted off) very sportingly, released his Sail Fish.

post-2231-022301300 1299725357_thumb.jpg

post-2231-004639000 1299728166_thumb.jpg

Whilst setting up camp, I had a bit of a surprise when I went to plug in my Power cord!! A stranger had taken up residence in the Power Box! It was the biggest Green Tree Frog I have ever seen in NSW!! Normally, we only get little ones!

post-2231-064756100 1299725396_thumb.jpg

Danny thought he was pretty cool, too!!

post-2231-019464700 1299725432_thumb.jpg

Grant was in charge of the BBQ that night, cooking lovely Sail Fish Steaks, with Lynette tossing a great salad together & everyone else donating nibbles & nuts & stuff.

This is what BBQ Sail Fish & Salad looks like! YUM!!

post-2231-017577800 1299725696_thumb.jpg

Sunday loomed wet & stormy & only a few went offshore today - I chose to have a quiet day at home, chasing locals!

Big Goanna!

post-2231-035896400 1299725779_thumb.jpg

We had a HUGE electrical storm on Sunday night - this was preceded by a cyclonic wind, that tested everyone's camp setup - many ropes were tightened & checked throughout the evening! Grant once again manned the Saucepan tonight & cooked up some more of his Sail Fish, this time making it into a yummy Laksa!!

Monday morning, I have a sleep in & head down to the Macleay River - normally I go across & fish the yachts & breakwall, but choose to stay on the left hand side & go up the mouth of Spencer Creek. It is a fairly wide creek with a small patch of oyster racks on the left hand side & mainly mangroves on both sides. I chucked sammys around & got a few small bream, then hooked a nice 40ish cm bream, which took me by surprise!! A couple of pics & back it went. In one small shallow bay, I had heaps of hits on the sammy but only a few small hookups. Missed heaps of 'big' hits! :(

40cm full length - bottom pic shows the murky water - surprised he could see the lure!

post-2231-017863100 1299725896_thumb.jpg

post-2231-059720300 1299725942_thumb.jpg

post-2231-073313000 1299726330_thumb.jpg

Back at camp, Grant has caught a biggish mackerel & he prepares it for dinner, which once again is YUM!! Quite a few Mac Tuna were caught today & just tossed back as they are pretty ordinary to eat & bleed profusely when hooked, so make a mess of the yak!

post-2231-016558800 1299726180_thumb.jpg

Louis & I had brought along some biltong to taste test - even his friend (and fellow South African) Tonie enjoyed my offerings! Next year, Paul & Lynette will also bring some, so we should have a great taste test then!!

Louis offshore & onto a fish

post-2231-053850400 1299728316_thumb.jpg

Louis' fish

post-2231-094257200 1299728354_thumb.jpg

Another fish!

post-2231-024270100 1299728404_thumb.jpg

Beautiful in the water

post-2231-019243900 1299728452_thumb.jpg

Tuesday morning, the tides are slowly becoming a little higher each morning, so I head to Spencer Creek again, fishing basically the same areas as Monday. Once again, many hits for only small fish hookups!

I reckon I was going for quantity rather than quality!

post-2231-053774300 1299726296_thumb.jpg

post-2231-042616900 1299726620_thumb.jpg

post-2231-095134900 1299726655_thumb.jpg

Unfortunately, there were MONSTER MOSSIES tho!! They even bit me thru my rock hoppers!! The big March Flies were a problem too! I nearly dislocated my shoulder as I whacked my other arm over exuberantly!!

post-2231-006834600 1299726382_thumb.jpg

In the shallow bay, I could see fish herding shrimp up against the cliff that enters the water - a furious explosion of shrimp as they tried to evade the enemy, was amazing to watch! It was in VERY shallow water & no reaction from the fish when I tossed lures at it. I even got my 1lb outfit out & started tossing a PX40 at the boilups, for no response!

Heading back toward the boatramp, I toss a sugapen at the jetty there, and an instant hit presented a very nice bream! A 2nd cast & I have a smaller model on the line. Some blokes watching from shore were most interested & reckoned I'd found my newest 'favourite spot'!

post-2231-026312700 1299726697_thumb.jpg

post-2231-032287300 1299726727_thumb.jpg

One older fellow came over & said - there was a lady here 6 months ago in something like this & she uses ski poles to anchor up in shallow bays!! I said "That was me & it was 12 months ago!!" The other guys were then full of questions about the Sport, resulting in me being late back to camp! Everyone was concerned for my welfare & Danny & Lynette had even tried to contact me by phone, but used the wrong number ...... thanks for your concerns, guys!! I have since learned that the old fella went to a local tackle shop asking for the same lure that this lady was using from her kayak, as his poppers weren't working!! They sold him a Sammy ...... problem was, I was using a sugapen!! :074: Good guess, by my spies behind the counter!!

Wednesday - it bucketted with rain for most of the day - so everyone sat round checking their gear & reading the many fishing mags that I had brought with me for just this reason!

What to do on a wet day in a campervan?

post-2231-001616700 1299727228_thumb.jpg

Not much space, but just enough for me to squeeze in for a good night's sleep!! Just as well Keith wasn't there! :1yikes:

post-2231-073444100 1299727268_thumb.jpg

After a day of loafing around, we were all thoroughly rested up for the Thurs fishing tho!!

On Thurs - I had arranged to meet up with a buddy from Nambucca at Fisherman's Reach, a small village further down the river from Stuarts Point. It took about 3/4hr to drive there & was quickly on the water. I chucked sammys around the shallows for the odd hit, but no hookup. I headed towards the leases near the boat ramp & got a follow from what I assumed was a bream - but it turned out to be a trigger fish! Another New Species for me and a reasonable size, too!!

post-2231-080258900 1299727375_thumb.jpg

Adrian had some hits over in the shallows, but I had spotted some timber leases that were becoming exposed as the water level dropped & headed over to them!! You Beautie!! Home Territory! I immediately started getting hits in the leases - poles everywhere, which made it a bit suicidal, but fun!!

post-2231-063478400 1299727433_thumb.jpg

post-2231-060473700 1299727463_thumb.jpg

post-2231-031704100 1299727488_thumb.jpg

and the odd flattie

post-2231-097524100 1299727626_thumb.jpg

The Calm before the Storm! I actually quite like this pic! :biggrin2:

post-2231-060702800 1299727717_thumb.jpg

Adrian was getting hits over on some washboards, then went further up towards Stuart's Point, whilst I prospected this very nice lease!! I got busted off on a shallow diver after one spectacular strike - I almost thought I had it away from the structure, when it pinged me! I was using plastics, shallow divers & Sammys, getting hits on most casts, with the odd small fish landed. Also got a flattie or two as well. The clouds were getting darker & suddenly, the heavens opened wide & thunder & lightening started up! OMG! Better get away from here, I thought, so I lowered my rods & high tailed it towards the shore, hitting a sunken rail at Ramming Speed, and immediately feeling a major problem with my mirage drive!! Josh had only just straightened the masts & adjusted them a few days before, & here is my front mast now colliding with the front of the back mast! Oooops!! I took the mirage drive out & managed to straighten the mast a bit & adusted the flipper so they weren't hitting each other ....... and continuted on my journey back to safety! With Thunder, lightening & Torrential rain all around me, instead of going back to the boat ramp, which was still some way ahead, I headed to a jetty that had a 'low point' in it, planning on getting the yak onto the jetty, then up the path to the road! Somehow, I managed to get the yak on to the jetty, with a lot of persuasion, and got the wheels in ...... then I was trying to pull the yak up a very narrow, fairly steep path was more than a little difficult! It was only now that I also realised there was a good chance that I had a fair bit of water in the yak as well, as I was having extreme difficulty pulling it at all!! Up on flat land, I looked in the hatch & yes, definitely water in it! I figured I'd get rid of it when putting the yak in the van ..... but was then even more disappointed to find that the road wasn't even there!! I walked towards the houses and pulled the yak between 2 of them, going up their drive way, to where the road finally was ......oooops, it seems I was trespassing on private property!! All those houses are water frontage!! :wacko:

Up on the road, pulling the yak, I struck out for the Boat ramp, thinking it was just a little way along - looking like a wet & bredraggled tramp, I thought of hiding the yak behind a tree & bringing the van to it ..... but continued trudging along with the yak! Eventually, i saw Adrian's car coming towards me - he'd returned to the ramp loaded his yak, thinking that I had taken refuge in the bushes somewhere & had come to see where I was! He kindly stayed with the yak, whilst I headed off to get the van! Seems I had exited the water well over 1km from the boat ramp! Funny, how distances never seem so big when in the yak! We loaded the yak & I headed to Stuart's POint for some fish & Chips where I am sure the lady behind the counter thought I wouldn't be able to pay for it - and rang Wendy, who lived just up the road, to see if she wanted a visitor for the night!! How handy was that - a 10 min drive, versus a 45-50 min drive back to camp, wringing wet!!! At Wendy's I was able to have a nice hot shower & sit down in Wendy's caravan for a pleasant meal of my fish & Chips & catch up on Wendy's happenings. It was great catching up with Wendy again. I'd sent a message to Danny & Lynnette saying that I would be 'staying over' as I wanted to fish the Reach again on Fri ....... which is what I did!

I emptied the water from the yak, which 'appeared' to be salty ....... so was concerned that I may have had a leak. Luckily, no water appeared in the yak on the Fri, which is all the more amazing, as I'd forgotten to do up the bung that I had removed earlier in the morning to drain the yak!! Looks like the water came in possibly from the hatches, with the heavy rain.

Friday's fishing wasn't as fun as Thursday's - with the difference in tide, the lease I had fished on Thurs was still totallly under water & only started to 'show itself' much later in the day, than the day before! :( Shame, as it wasn't fishing well on the higher tide. It was time to go, so I pedalled over towards the shore, figuring I'd hit the shallows there & cast to the jetties, of which there were a few! The shallows had 'hits' but no hookups, so I concentrated on the jetties - pretty well every pole I tossed the sammy to, got a hit! Many bloops on each attack, for a few hookups. I hooked one good fish, but brought it to the yak by grabbing the leader & of course, it fell off! Idiot!! It would have been mid 30s. Continuing casting to the pylons, I continued getting lots of hits, some from pretty big fish, going from the size of the bloops!! I landed a few more & then headed for the ramp & home.

Everyone was interested in my 2 day sojourn up the coast a bit & I caught up on what people had been catching - Grant had caught another mackerel - others had caught yellowfin tuna, bonito, more mac tuna & it seems Louis had cornered the mini flattie market, hooking up with 5 or 6 tiny flatties simultaneously on his bait jig!! Go Danny. nice fin!!

post-2231-020667400 1299727822_thumb.jpg

One of Danny's Sunrise Shots out from the Gaol

post-2231-087261200 1299727860_thumb.jpg

An inquisitive 'roo

post-2231-069864700 1299727908_thumb.jpg

Another sunrise (I didn't see any of these! :wacko: )

post-2231-087800800 1299728250_thumb.jpg

Dining like Kings!

post-2231-010332800 1299728291_thumb.jpg

With Grant & Louis heading to a friend's place for dinner, we decided to just cook at camp instead of the camp kitchen ...... which would no doubt be over run by the large group of Hobie Catamaran owners who had just arrived in camp, parking their Cats in front of us!!! We had just sat down for dinner when the most amazing sound & light show errupted on the hill in front of us! Seems the Camp's electirical transformer was having a hissy-fit & arcing profusely, making horrible noises, gaining everyone's attention! This happened 3 times, then total blackout!! The power lines had actuallyl fallen down, missing tents & vehicles by meters! Patrick contacted Energy Australia who said it was none of their business - that was a Country Energy area - and wouldn't give Patrick CE's number to ring!! We all thought that was a bit rude, given that the lines were down & it really was an emergency! Unbeknown to us - the whole TOWN of South West Rocks was out of power as well, due to this explosion!! Patrick then went online & found CE's phone no & rang, advising them of the outage. They said it would be looked into asap! Early night for us ...... tho not for some!! Power was finally restored just after 11pm. Unfortunately, the Catarmaran people weren't too bothered about anything, let alone competing in a race the next day ...... they partied on til well after 2am!! Thank God for my ear plugs!!

Saturday morning, we all awoke to strong winds & occasional rain, so after having breakfast, I figured there wasn't much point in hanging round til Sun, just to pack up, so decided to pull the pin on the last day of camping - and head home on the Sat. Grant, Louis & Patrick had made the same decision, so together, we packed up & as I was the first one ready, said my good byes & headed home in the rain!

Even tho the weather gods were not kind to us, we all had a terrific time there - like minded people gathered together, exchanging ideas & tips, helping the others out with their gear, hoping for 'the BIG ONE' to appear!

With the 3 Sailfish being hooked, I sort of reckon the 'big one' did appear ...... altho not a marlin, this time. Paul was pretty disappointed in not getting into decent fish this year - but, that's fishing! There is always next year!! :thumbup:

Until next year ....... it is 'bye from me'!!



Edited by Roberta
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A remarkable report, Roberta. Some fantastic photos of the local fauna. The photos of the yakkers out in the deep briney battling big fish are amazing. What a feat! :1yikes: Thanks for taking the time to commit it to the forums mate. Like PeterS ... I'm off to read it again :biggrin2:



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Roberta, I really liked the picture of the "sailfish and salad" meal, but how come you didn't take any photos of some of the "wildlife" meals, such as ... "frogs legs", ... "roasted goanna", or "inquisitive roo stew"? :074:



PS Magnificant photos, and you caught some great bream too! :thumbup:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awesome report Roberta :thumbup: I love reading the reports the encompass the entire experience and not just the fishing.

Reports that like make you want to go out and try that style yourself which in my opinion is one of the best compliments you can make about them :biggrin2:



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great report Roberta. Thanks for sharing. You're getting lots of topwater action there and the 40cm bream is a monster!

Love pics of a good fish meal to round off a fishing report. Can just imagine the laksa with sailfish ...


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the kind comments, guys - even with the rain, it was still a fantastic week. Top water is firing just now - leading up to the bigger tides in the next week or so should get good results.

....Is there anywhere left on the NSW mid north to north coast you haven't explored?....

THankfully, Cam, heaps of places left!! :biggrin2: Always good to explore new spots!!

Roo Stew sounds good, Peter!! The Sailfish Laksa was YUMMY!!

See ya - very busy for the next 8 days - fishing the FFC from Mon-Sat & will get out on Sat & Sun as well, seeing how the Yak ABTers are going! :1prop:


Link to comment
Share on other sites

thats a great report roberta,I spoke to a bloke at work yesterday who told me that he had just got back from 2 days at SWR fishing for marlin tuna etc and didnt crank a handle, cant wait to tell him about your report he will be green with envy!

isnt it amazing how people seem to spot you when your having success and spy on what your using etc. No one even notices your there when your catching nothing!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great read & pics Roberta! :thumbup:

How good were all of those fish from yaks!!!! :1yikes:

Sailfish are pretty hard to come by at the best of times. Top effort from a yak. Plus spaniards, yellowfin, mac tuna,etc.

Well done on your surface caught bream. Always top fun.

Glad you had a ball.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

THanks guys - it is always a seriously good, fun week. No BS - only friendly banter!! ;)

,,,,,I still reckon you are the coasty with the moasty..... :074: :074: ... I do not know where you get all your energy from..... Only for fishing!!! :biggrin2:

I've been on the water for the last 3 days - early starts - the Forster Fishing Carnival only starts tomorrow morning!!! :1yikes: Not sure where the energy will come from either!! May need an extra can or two with dinner - make me get to sleep quicker! :thumbup: How am I going to last another 6 days?? Fishing EVERY DAY?? I guess I'll just have to manage somehow! :lol:

Looking forward to coming down for the Entrance Social!! :D It will be great to catch up with everyone again!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Thanks mate - and 1welcomeani.gif1welcomeani.gif to FIshraider!! We have a copy of Paulo's epic battle with the marlin from a few years back in the Game Fishing section (stickied at the top) if you haven't found it so far!!! Always a good read! Almost felt like I was out there with him!! biggrin2.gif



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, Roberta.

What an awesome trip and equally awesome report. Not sure the salad photo straight after the tree frog photos tells quite the right story... without reading the words it looks like a recipe for tree frog salad :074:

Fantastic pics as always. What an amazing crew you hang around with... catching the sort of fish out of Yaks that most of us rarely see in boats.

Congrats to all. :thumbup: :thumbup:

Cheers, Slinky

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...