Jump to content

Frustrating Saturday at The Bottles


Recommended Posts

I had a frustrating day yesterday.  I put in nice and early, launching just after 5 am.  The launch was flawless - not much worked after that.

Plan was to try to gather a bit of bait, head out to a reef called the bottles to drift the reef, then move on to the flathead grounds.  

First up I ducked across to an area I'm told is a reliable place to gather squid.  Put in a lot of casts - but no sign of any squid in the area.  I had some bait on board so I decided to give up on the fresh squid and head out.  

When I got to the reef there were lots of fish marking on the sounder.  I grabbed a rod and reached for the snapper leads I had bought the night before and put in the boat...  But they are not there.  I had three packets of various sizes of snapper leads in a plastic bag that I had bought the night before.  I put the plastic bag in the back of the boat, but the whole bag was gone now.  Even with my driving I don't see they could have bounced out so I am guessing that someone must have pinched them out of the boat.  I suppose I should be grateful that they did not grab the tackle bag or rods tucked away in the cabin - but I'm not.  

I tried to make do with the sinkers I had but they just were not heavy enough to keep the bait down.  Whenever the bait pulled back at a shallow angle I tried opening the bail aim to drop it down a bit.  This even drew some bites, but I could not get a hookup.  

Conditions were pretty lumpy and I was getting a bit green, so I didn't fancy trying to re-rig for a different style of fishing.  Without the heavier leads as well the offshore flathead grounds were not going to work either. I decided to change plans and see if I could get better results.  I moved in a bit to where there is a bit of a shelf on the chart and drifted across it, but the sounder did not have a lot on it.  I was drifting slower and could get the bait down, but there was nothing there to eat it.

Still feeling a bit green I decided to head in and try a few different spots on the way in.  First up I tried the first big bay inside box head.  There was a bit of bait on the sounder, but I could not get them to take anything.  Even the bait spike bait jig was not working.  The bigger baits on a dropper below the bait school were not touched. 

After a while I decided it was time to change tack again.  I moved into Ettalong channel to try a few drifts for dusty flathead.  I did pick a couple of tiny ones here, but put them back to get to legal size.  

Running out of time before I needed to go home I decided to head in with one more quick stop on the way.  300 meters from the ramp I grabbed a much lighter rod and drifted over a sandbank that can sometimes hold whiting. Last time I tried this I caught 14 whiting from a kayak, but they were all in the 20-23 cm range so went back.  This time was a different story.  First drift across I picked up legal whiting.  I motored up for another drift and hooked another fish.  Shortly after I landed another whiting.  I though he was under but was pleasantly surprised when I measure him at just over legal.  I was out of time as I needed to be back before my wife needed to head out.  Shame - could have been onto a hot bite!

5.5 hours of fishing and saved from a doughnut 300m from the ramp with 2 keepers in 10 minutes.  Not a great session - but better than not getting out or coming back with no fish at all. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Guest123456789

Thanks for sharing Craig. Shame about the sinkers.

If it makes you feel better, I stopped at the car wash on the way home Saturday. One of my new bimini straps was missing. I drove back over my tracks and managed to find it albeit with some minor damage I can repair.

I hope you had a good day as you still caught some fish and gained some more experience which will help you on your next trip.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Mike89 said:

Nice report Craig good read. Must have been good to end the day with a couple of fish in the bag!

Some days nothing goes to plan right?

Time out on the water still would have been good!

Time out on the water is always good!

One of the tricks with fishing is knowing when to change the plan and when to persevere. I probably stuck it out too long outside in hindsight, but as you say at least I got a couple in the end.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel your pain Craig. Some days out it seems that you can drop an unbaited hook and catch something when other days nothing seems to work. Guess thats why it called fishing and not catching... :-)

At least you got a couple of nice Whiting.

Edited by GordoRetired
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...