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Sharks and winter lizards


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I had the good fortune to spend the first three days of the week at Port Stephens with the owners of the game boat Reel Magic. Monday saw us 45km out setting a berley trail for sharks. We managed to bring two puppy tiger sharks of around 60kg to the boat and then let them go with tags in them for future reference. A third bitey mangled a whole bonito but failed to hookup. A top day out in excellent conditions and my first (and second) shark captures to boot.

I had trailered my 4.2 metre quinny up to fish the estuary too. Tuesday saw a strong northerly blowing, whipping up the main bay areas into mess of whitecaps. Greg, who I introduced to soft plastics fishing a few years back and who is now addicted, and I decided to head up into Tilligery Creek with the aim of finding some sheltered water to fish. We headed to an island where I had caught good lizards in the past in the spring months and found ourselves able to drift with the wind and the last couple of hours of run-up tide tight into the mangrove lined shore in water that was around 80 cm deep. Greg opted for a Berkley Gulp 3 inch shrimp in the banana prawn colour on a 5 gram jighead and I chose a 5 inch Gulp jerkshad in lime tiger colour on the same sized jighead. Greg soon had two lizards in the 45cm range aboard. I changed lures a couple of times and landed two similar sized fish on a grasshopper coloured 70m squidgy fish. Meanwhile, my mate landed four more fish in the 45-50cm bracket! Normally I would persevere with a different lure to what my fishing partner is using but this time I had seen enough evidence to convince me that the banana prawn coloured shrimp was the go this particular day. After swapping to one of these we each landed three more fish, including a 60cm, 62cm and 68 cm fish after the tide had turned and was running out.

The final tally was 14 lizards above 45cm in length and a few smaller wrigglers. All taken in shallow water with a temperature ranging from 14 to 14.5 degrees. We kept the retrieves very slow, used short flicks of the wrist ti impart action and kept the rod tip down to ensure that the lures stayed low in the water. The takes were subtle but once hooked the fish gave good account of themselves in the cold water.

A return visit with Dale on board too in almost windless conditions the next day saw three of us land only two legal fish! We fished the same tides, tried lots of lures but there was little action. Perhaps the lizards only come up into the shallows when there is a bit of chop on the water surface? Such are the vagaries of fishing!

A great three days fishing with two good friends. I'll be back for more one day. :1fishing1:

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What a great couple days you had mate. Fantastic lizard fishin, there must have been alot of shrimp in the areasound like there were smacking the gulp shrimp in the shallows....3 over 60 in one Session is something you won't forget in a hurry.

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