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Sydney Harbour 16/12/15 - Warning: very long read (watch vid if impatient)

Ojay Samson

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Hey raiders,

Its been a while since my last report so here goes:

Dont have a tow car available so organised a day out with cuz on his day off due to him having one and because fishing, this would be the first time i'd take him out on my boat so he was pretty keen.

He rocked up at mine at 430AM, and after trying to find a workaround for his missing tow ball safety pin by using wipper snipper cord as a substitute we headed off from Rhodes to Rose Bay ramp. was on the water just before 6AM.

5 minutes into the trip we see activity on the sounder and a few birds on the surface... started chasing them and turned out to be tailor working whitebait bait balls. We both throw out 5g metals and proceeded to have fun catching them, lost more than were able to be boated, keeping a few legals.

The action died down so we started making our way to the sticks and made a few passes to see what was down there on the sounder. there were a few arches so swapped our lures for soft plastics. Whatever was down there was not itnerested in what we had to offer with only 1 good hit and 1/2 a SP at the end of the line, my predictions were more of the same tailors from previous so we moved on chasing birds working the surface closer to the clifton gardens side of the harbour.

As we got on scene we could see the surface activity and they were bigger fish working bait, did the usual manuver of driving upstream of where we thought they would be and kill the engine to drift through the packs all the while throwing lures.
we got a double hookup and line started peeling off both our rods. As we were fighting the 2 unidentified fish the Waterways patrol boat came up next to us as we were still fighting said fish, this went on for a couple more minutes till we were able to land them in the boat. they were 2 healthy Australian Salmon with my cousins fish edging out the win in terms of size (his first aussie salmon & first real fight with a fish, and was loving life). I wasn't sure why Waterways came as he remained silent and sat back to watch the show until we were done, then politely informed us that we had drifted into the main channel and if we could please move to the other side of the channel markers for our safety, so all that time he was next to us he was keeping us from being run over by ferries lol (thanks mate :D). After that off he went about with his business.

We repositioned again driving around the suspected baitball and birds floating on the surface and did another drift, same result happend, only this time only i got a hookup. boated another salmon and tried some more... the action died down as the fish seemed to go deep and litreally right in the middle of the channel so we moved on going further up the harbour, before we moved i decided to give trolling a go (i say trolling but really it was just throwing out a x-rap while we were going to prospect a new place). So i tied on a hard body bibbed lure onto my stradic 5000FJ with 20lb mainline and 30lb leader.... full speed ahead in my 6hp beast of an outboard turns out to be the optimal trolling speed for said lure of 4-6 knots. putting along and my cousin who was holding the rod says hes got something... never having caught anything using trolling and such a big lure (in my eyes) I was kind of doubtful he had a fish and possibly jsut ran over seaweed or a plastic bag... until i saw the fish jump out of the water :mfr_lol: my mind took a few seconds to comprehend what was happening as i was still in disbelief that trolling actually worked especially in such a short amount of time. i got the net and he landed his 2nd ever salmon. I was over the moon that my $20 xrap finally caught something after being tacklebox jewelry for so long. Once that was done, repeated the process as we still were not at the prospecting destination, it didn't take long for my cousin to shout there was another fish on... he reeled it in with no trouble at all ( i was staring at the tip of the rod most of the time to see if it was a fish or palstic bag, looking for some kicks or something..there was nothing, so this time i thought to myself ok hes got seaweed or a bag this time for sure)... low and behold it was a rat king @ 52cm :074: itdid more fighting in the boat then it did outside of it mind you. There was absolutely no effort in getting that fish in and it was merely a skulldragging operation. congratulations all around as i was ecstatic my lure wasn't a once off and absolutely chuffed about it, and my cousin was happy he caught his first kingy.

I threw my line out on my rod with a 3inch berkley powerbait while I was researching what the minimum legal length of a king was in NSW and getting the trebles out of the little fella when all of a sudden my rod with which i threw the 3inch minnow buckled and started screaming... i tended to the rod while throwing my cuz my phone with which i was just holding to look up sizes in an attempt to try film something. it was an absolute nightmare as my cousin couldn't get into my phone because it was covered in water and the screen didn't recognise the individual button presses to unlock the phone :mad3: ... fart@rsed around with it some more trying to dry it in vain attemtps and incorrect typings of password and then finally the phone was usable... he started filming and got some footage (until he accidentally pressed the lock button on the phone 2 separate times killing the video twice, so more fluffing about trying to reopen the phone ensued). He managed to get some footage.

Ended up landing a 60cm model on the new rod and was a happy chappy, the fish literally fell off the hook as soon as i had him in the net, inspected the hook and he managed to straighten it. In hindsight of the hook, I was very close to never see this fish. Took a measure of the fish and then learned the minimum length of 65cm, not going to take any kings home it seems but still very happy for the fight.
the first king my cousin caught was still on the deck and had to swim him for a minute or so to revive him. he eventually went off without a hitch, and repeated the process with the 60cm model i just caught (in my haste I never managed to take an actual photo photo with it as i didn't want them to die (oh well theres video anyways).
released both and threw out my line again ... only this time my reel was not feeling right. the Kingy managed to mangle my reel in the process as my crank handle when trying to initiate a turn would be the hardest thing ever and once moving it would make intermittent scrapping noises. i inspected it and saw that the crank handle that goes through the body to make it left or right handed reeling could now move about a little bit causing shaft play in the handle :1taz: . Was not happy anymore after that, and upon inspection of my 2500FL it was doing the same to (it did it after a fight with a soapie jewie at the beginning of the year but it sort of went away or was tolerable enough to ignore.... the 3000 on the other hand was rightfully broken now and both are currently being sent back to shimano for warranty.

The weather changed dramatically for the worse and i could see we were getting surrounded by storm clouds on either side of us, this is when I started getting worried as the temperature dropped dramatically and winds started picking up, when i told my cousin to take the rods down from their vertical positions and to lay then flat on the boat i think this is when he started getting really worried lol (open body of water with nothing around except us and graphite rods pointed upwards as perfect conductors of electricity haha, better lay them on the boat).

anyway, i made a beeline for a random beach as it was the only safe place i could see us riding this storm out in.

we beached the boat, which was a first for me as id never done a beaching before, we both jumped out of the boat and he tried to find a place to secure the boat while i jumped out and went to the back to fix the transducer in an upward position to not get crushed by the sand, ended up dragging the boat onto the sand and dug the anchor into the sand as there was nowhere to tie it and we hid on the side of the mountain for about 30 minutes. The rain got really bad, so much so i went to check on the boat and it had filled up like a bucket with tackle boxes floating inside the boat, flicked the switch for the bilge pump and ran back to cover. The rain subsided but the damage was done it seemed as my cuz's iphone 6 which was in his non waterproof bag started playing up and eventually did the red screen of death when we got back to rose bay in the car, terminal water damage... gutted. (downpour was no joke, never seen it rain so heavy before till then)

my galaxy s5 on the other hand was a trooper (his old phone actually- he tried to go with something other than apple for once, but only lasted 2 months and sold it to me , i digress).

Anyway, the rain dies down and then disappears, we decide to call it a day and punch it back to lyne park but not before we throw out our lures 1 more time as we were driving through a large amount of surface action and birds, i hook up and catch another salmon and then for real call it quits, just in time to as we were approaching the ramp the weather turned very bad very quickly. we tie off and i run for the car to get the boat out Asap, the rain and wind is really bad now and we had just enough time to winch the boat out and i took cover behind another 4wd that was hiding behind the only cover there was, a big ass tree, this tree wasn't big enough for both of us and the fact the wind was making everything go through it sideways it was really a futile attempt at hiding, the hail started coming in and on a few occasions it would hit the drivers side window so hard i thought the window was going to crack. My one regret is not filming what was happening outside, it was something you would see in news reports from other countries where tropical cyclones would bending trees like sticks and rain would be pouring so hard you couldn't see more than 10 meters in front of you type deal. We hid for a few minutes until the hail died down a little bit and i went outside to tie the boat down to get ready to travel while my cuz fixed all the gear to go in the car, hail was still happening so managed to get hit by it a few times which was interesting haha, got everything sorted and made our way home.

probably one of the most adventurous fishing expeditions i have ever had and one of the most fun, my cousin and I had a great day as it was so 'adrenaline packed', in retrospect, this trip would definitely have not gone down so well if i had the girlfriend with me instead of my cuz.

If you managed to read all that, thanks for reading and sorry for such a long post.

tl;dr: caught fish, beached, 'tornado season', broken reels

cliffnotes: watch video link here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWrEkbC7-G8

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Well I managed to read all of your post and now I need to have a rest. Seriously though your cuz and you will defo be back for more of that sort of action. Hope you get some joy from Shimano with your reels mate. Let us all know how you get on with them. Neil.

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