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North Head & Middle Harbour SAT 4th June


2kgline

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We went out last Saturday 4th June off North Head Sydney the swell was 2+M but very lazy. The Water was brown and full of crap from the rain. It looked like there should be no fish. Trolled (20 lb line which is huge for us) for about 1 minute hooked our first Salmon moments later a bonito . Then deadly quiet. Decided to do some bait fishing for our favourite Travalley . As you will see from the picture they were plentiful. During the madness we hooked several more salmon and bonito this time on 4 and 6lb good fun and many minutes to land, dropped more than we landed. Yes we kept them as some of our friends eat them (god knows why or how) as does the bronze whaler that took one at the boat. Conditions were very rough and we bust off our anchor so decides to call it a day outside. We must be mad as we didn’t see another boat all day. Headed back to middle harbour on the way back hooked a surprise tailor, it was now dead low tide dirty water but still managed a few more Trevally (they are everywhere in the Harbour) also manager a few just keeper snapper and a thumping bream + a bonus couple of flatties. We decided to keep on of the big flattie (we normally let them go) because it was gill hooked and bleeding profusely .

For the record we let go many more Trevally than were kept we only ever use circle hooks to minimise fish damage. We also only use MAX 6lb mainly 4lb line and light drag to reduce stress on the fish bringing them up from the deep.

PS The BBQ was running hot on Sunday.

post-13182-071260000 1307581285_thumb.jpg

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G'day 2kgline,

I think that you have shown us that when we get a decent fresh, a lot of fish head towards the headlands, or at least deep water well serviced by clearing ocean currents.

How deep was the water?

I bet it could not have been deeper than 25m else you would not have caught the bream...

unless the bream aren't easily hooked on your circle hooks...

or perhaps the trevors beat the bream to the bait every time, but unlikely...

I think that's where I should be trying next time we get a big fresh in Botany Bay - nearer the headlands....

So what are the characteristics of a bream bite using circle hooks?

Do you find that they are harder to hook or the hooks pulls out much?

Is pilchard the only bait you use on the circles?

Tony

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G'day 2kgline,

I think that you have shown us that when we get a decent fresh, a lot of fish head towards the headlands, or at least deep water well serviced by clearing ocean currents.

How deep was the water?

I bet it could not have been deeper than 25m else you would not have caught the bream...

unless the bream aren't easily hooked on your circle hooks...

or perhaps the trevors beat the bream to the bait every time, but unlikely...

I think that's where I should be trying next time we get a big fresh in Botany Bay - nearer the headlands....

So what are the characteristics of a bream bite using circle hooks?

Do you find that they are harder to hook or the hooks pulls out much?

Is pilchard the only bait you use on the circles?

Tony

The bream, snapper and flathead were in Middle Harbour (Back of the spit) in really dirty water in 15m. All the other fish were caught within 200M of North head in the brown dirty water various depth from 10 -20M. Yes we were surprised to see the fish so active in these dirty conditions . The Tailor were working the line between the dirty and clean water just off the headland. Various baits including, pilchards, squid (for the salmon) bonito (Freshly caught).

Circle hooks require a different strike technique hence the light drag. Basically you need to let he fish hook itself I have observed how these hooks work from being in the water with the fish. They suck the bait in and as they spit the hook out it catches the lip. You can strike but you must make sure its when they are trying to spit the hook out (you learn how to judge this with time). In other words not to aggressive or enthusiastic on the strike like normal hooks or you will often pull the bait and hook back out. As I mentioned in my report last week when some one questioning the number of fish we catch I suggested if you spend time in the water with them observing them you will understand how to catch more of them.

We could hook up more with hard strike techniques with normal hooks but this damages the fish to much, to many gut and gill hook ups. Having said this we would have no chance with the flathead on 4lb line with out a leader on normal hooks. And for the record the thicker the leader the less fish you will hook up. Despite what people think they can see the line I have observed bream pulling on the line to see if the bait moves. If it does they swim away.

With the circles you get a 90% lip hook up rate but a lower hook up rate in general. We seem to catch enough with out techniques and its easier on the fish. We have never had problems with circle hooks on bream and snapper we often bag out.

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Cleaned up big time.

Did you know Trevs are great sushimi :thumbup:

That why we like them. They are one of the best Sushimi fish I know just bleed them and cut the blood lines out perfert white flesh yum. Also go well battered or crumbed for the kids.

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Wow! how do you catch so many fish!!?

35 years local knowledge, being in the right place at the right time, move if the fish don’t bite within 30 minutes and not afraid to try new things. For example we have caught Salmon on sergeant baker strips when everyone else is flicking fly’s and plastics. I have caught 80cm+ kings on bread and sweep strips. Also we don’t fall for all the marketing hype about soft plastics and complex rigs and special braid lines with mono leaders etc.

All our fish are caught on a simple rig running sinker and circle hooks no leaders no swivels . Even some of the bait we use is very old refrozen many times so don’t believe all you read. Many times we have boats sitting next to us who catch nothing. I cant stress enough Burley! Burley! Burley! and Always Light line.

When we do user lures trolling we use light line 20 lb Max.

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Great post,

Thanks for the info on the circle hooks. I had no idea of fish behaviour underwater. I use owner circle hooks for my bream fishing with good success on the Parra river landbased but less success around the lower harbour. I fish even simpler than you: unweighted bait on a handline :biggrin2:

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The bream, snapper and flathead were in Middle Harbour (Back of the spit) in really dirty water in 15m. All the other fish were caught within 200M of North head in the brown dirty water various depth from 10 -20M. Yes we were surprised to see the fish so active in these dirty conditions . The Tailor were working the line between the dirty and clean water just off the headland. Various baits including, pilchards, squid (for the salmon) bonito (Freshly caught).

Circle hooks require a different strike technique hence the light drag. Basically you need to let he fish hook itself I have observed how these hooks work from being in the water with the fish. They suck the bait in and as they spit the hook out it catches the lip. You can strike but you must make sure its when they are trying to spit the hook out (you learn how to judge this with time). In other words not to aggressive or enthusiastic on the strike like normal hooks or you will often pull the bait and hook back out. As I mentioned in my report last week when some one questioning the number of fish we catch I suggested if you spend time in the water with them observing them you will understand how to catch more of them.

We could hook up more with hard strike techniques with normal hooks but this damages the fish to much, to many gut and gill hook ups. Having said this we would have no chance with the flathead on 4lb line with out a leader on normal hooks. And for the record the thicker the leader the less fish you will hook up. Despite what people think they can see the line I have observed bream pulling on the line to see if the bait moves. If it does they swim away.

With the circles you get a 90% lip hook up rate but a lower hook up rate in general. We seem to catch enough with out techniques and its easier on the fish. We have never had problems with circle hooks on bream and snapper we often bag out.

Mate that's a facinating read. Being able to burley up and then dive in and watch them feed on the burley (as well as a baited hook) is very innovative thinking.

Certainly something I would never have considered but realising that that would be the ultimate way to learn.

Observing bream tugging on a line to see if the bait moved is something I would have expected an octopus to do, not a bream.

That fish would not have had any of it's bretheren around to challenge it for the bait it was testing.

That's one of the greatest attractions for me in fishing - always something to learn and rarely is there a definitive right or wrong answer.

Things change under different conditions and the conditions vary so much.

I would hate to go out and catch a pile of fish every time - it would get boring.

Although I have to admit I try to get as close to being as boring as possible !

Tony

PS, do you like a rising or falling tide during a heavy fresh ?

Edited by Keflapod
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Mate that's a facinating read. Being able to burley up and then dive in and watch them feed on the burley (as well as a baited hook) is very innovative thinking.

Certainly something I would never have considered but realising that that would be the ultimate way to learn.

Observing bream tugging on a line to see if the bait moved is something I would have expected an octopus to do, not a bream.

That fish would not have had any of it's bretheren around to challenge it for the bait it was testing.

That's one of the greatest attractions for me in fishing - always something to learn and rarely is there a definitive right or wrong answer.

Things change under different conditions and the conditions vary so much.

I would hate to go out and catch a pile of fish every time - it would get boring.

Although I have to admit I try to get as close to being as boring as possible !

Tony

I think rising tide is better it produces a more distinct line between the clean and dirty water (outside waters) inside dosent seem to matter.

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I have been threatening to do this for a while - but you have given my the incentive. Next summer, I am getting in the SURF with a facemask, and I am going to swim around looking for fish. Will have to wait till the swimmers leave, but then I am getting in with the fish. Will let you know what I find.

THe Poacher

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