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Flathead grounds outside Broken Bay


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It has seemed lately that the only times I've had available to go for a fish it has been blowing a gale.  It's been ages since I could line up free time with good conditions.  Yesterday @antonywardle pinged me saying that today looked like it would be good to go outside.  At the time I have to admit I was a little doubtful because it was pretty windy on Saturday as well, but sure enough the forecast suggested it would drop for Sunday morning.  

We met at Blackwall boat ramp at 5:30am and headed outside to an area that Antony said we could drift for flatties.  I had not tried drifting offshore for flathead so was keen to give it a go.

We got our first baits in the water and it was not too long before I was on.  Right species - wrong size.  This was a start of a pattern of the morning - we never needed to measure the fish we caught.  They were either too small by far or well over legal size.

After returning my mudskipper impersonator to the ocean I fished on while Ant re-rigged one of his rods.  Not long after I got a second flattie even smaller than the first.  It went quiet for a while and out baits were getting picked apart so we thought we had leatherjackets in the area and decided to move on.  Or not - I somehow flooded the engine and just after I gave up trying to start it Anthony hooked into a better class of fish.  Shortly after I netted a nice flathead for him.  Unfortunately the hook had gone into a gill so it was a fairly messy end and into the icebox.

I went to try the motor again but gave up when my rod buckled.  I started winding and there was definitely more weight on the line this time.  I thought I had a better flathead, but I was wrong.  I pulled in a common octopus.  Amazing little creatures - and good bait too, so he went into the icebox as well. 

This time we got the motor started and motor out a little further and started another drift.  I pulled in another couple of mudskipper sized flathead and Anthony started catching some too to make me feel better.  Anthony had gotten his better flathead on smaller hooks, so when we moved I re-rigged one of my rods with smaller suicide hooks as well.

Then finally I hooked into a better fish.  A short fight later Anthony deftly netted nice flattie in the mid to high 40 cm range. Sure enough on the rod with the smaller hooks. 

We were getting plenty of bites on pilchard and I put an occi tenticle onto one of the hooks so that if the bottom hook was baited there would still be something on the other hook.  And it paid off.  I hooked into another fish that was taking a bit of line off my relatively light gear.  I eventually got it to the surface and thought I had my biggest flathead ever.  Until we got it in the net.  It was a good fish, but nowhere near as big as it had looked.  Measured at 56cm - but with really solid shoulders.  Nice fish.

We thought we would do something different tried a drop by Lion Island.  Had a couple of bites and Ant pulled a smallish red rock cod that he sent back.  Then all the rods snagged at the same time and we lost a bit of tackle.  We were drifting towards a few other boats so decided to try a drift in Ettalong channel on the way in.  Unfortunately the wind was going to push us onto the sandbank in Ettalong so we called it a day and went in.

Good company and a few fish boated for a feed on a gorgeous morning on the water.  Can't complain.

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A great morning out. Sadly I seemed to be suffering from something that caused me to burly up in the pretty calm

seas. Pretty calm out with a gentle roll, maybe that was it. I think that if we had a little more wind,we've have been a bit more successful. We weren't really drifting all that much and it went quiet again. Nice to catch up with @kiwicraig, its been a long time coming. Happy with my good flattie and the wind has come up now so we got the best part of the day!

Back in time for lunch and to keep an eye on the little fella so I'm winning some brownie points

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