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Rushcutters school day session - lures save the day!


Little_Flatty

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Hi Raiders,

Just got back from a session where I wanted to do my best effort to imitate @papafish with his cricket score catches of bream and trevs on a school day. So after dropping the kids off I set out for the east side of Sydney. Alas my wife needed the car for work, so instead of going to Parsley Bay, I caught the train to Edgecliff, then walked down to Rushcutters bay where I had previously observed a large population of bream that responded well to berley.

Arriving at 11am, close to the top of the tide, I ate a sandwich before getting started, throwing the odd crust in the water to see what was about. Some sizeable bream come up to have a look. Good sign.

Now, I have two conflicting theories about bream. The first is that if you can see them, you can't catch them. The second theory is that there are few bream in the sea that will not take a piece of salted slimey mackerel. These were my hypotheses, and I wanted to put them to the test.

So brunch finished, I started prepping my bait and berley. Cut the salted slab of slimey into strips, dampened the chicken pellets, diced up some slimey and mix it into the pellet mush. Then I start berleying and voila....the bream dissappear! Still, I persist with casting out an unweighted strip of slimey pinned to a size 4 hook. Surely I should still find a taker. I did get a few bites, but it looked like they weren't going to come back.

After persisting for 45 mins for just a tiny snapper on a piece of prawn, I decided the best tactic would be to switch to lures and go searching for the fish, like I have banging on about (sorry!) for the past couple of months to some newer Raiders. I rig up a watermelon bass minnow on a 1/12th jighead, with a 6lb leader and flick it out. A few casts in, I get a good hit, but miss it. Next cast, another hit (missed again) and the culprit revealed itself; a legal flatty sitting on the weed edges. Take a look at the hook and hmm...bit blunt, so after touching it up with a sharpening stone, I set out to see if I could convince mr flatty to come home for dinner. In the last 1.5 metres of my retrieve, mr flatty comes out from his weedy hideout. A little jiggle and WHAMMO, he takes it!

Soon after, he is in the net:

image.png.16834d502f454128796be0e2b812b52b.png

Now, I was precocious enough to bring an ESKY with ICE in it (ambitious, I know), so onto the ice he goes.

Kept on casting amongst the moorings. Had a few bumps from something under the boats but couldn't connect. After the wind picked up a little, I texas-rigged the bass minnow on a size 1 or 2 gamakatsu EWG hook. I did this for two reasons; first, I could use a slightly heavier weight...around 1/4oz so I could stay in touch with my lure (I know, I poo-pooed 1/4oz jigheads for shallow water in another post...but it was windy!). Second, I could rig it weedless so I could work the weedy dropoffs more aggressively.

Alas, my 1pm alarm went off and it was almost time to go home. OK, one last application of S-factor and a few last casts. Just as I was about to pull the pin, I connect to this model:

image.png.cc52368d5170966725ff638f201ed1b9.png

Into the esky he goes. Not massive fish - and definitely smaller than the fish in my last couple of reports - but enough to feed the family.

After that it was time to go home.

I found it really amusing that in my younger days, I'd start fishing lures and bring bait as a backup 'just in case'. Today, I set out to bait fish, expecting to brain the bream and trevs and in the end, lures save my day! 🤣 

So not the day I had planned, but good outcome all the same. It was good to get a feed for once and not the Parra River dioxin fish I normally catch closer to home (which I am still most grateful for).

Going to try to get in a few more sessions like this on my day off, leading up to Christmas. Good fun.

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8 minutes ago, papafish said:

Nice one there champ, seems like the burley worked, but u probably missed the opportunity to hook them bream, if they can see u, avoid that, they get shy

Maybe. One was caught in range of the berley slick, another was 100m along the shoreline.

I might try a more stealthy approach next time (like trout fishos), and maybe downsize to 4lb gear. I'll also bring some white bread...seems like that's what they like!

Edited by Little_Flatty
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19 minutes ago, Little_Flatty said:

Maybe. One was caught in range of the berley slick, another was 100m along the shoreline.

I might try a more stealthy approach next time (like trout fishos), and maybe downsize to 4lb gear. I'll also bring some white bread...seems like that's what they like!

Bread mashed up with 2 cans of cat food, tuna flavour, 90c a can

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3 minutes ago, Isaac Ct said:

that's some serious dedication to carry an esky on a train.

Indeed. One of the things I'm still getting used to is the amount of stuff you need to carry when using bait!

I think I need to get onto my golf trolley mod project. Something for the weekend.

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NIce work, enough for the feed as you said.

With the bream, I have caught them on floating bread crusts. Light line (I use my whiting rod, 6 pound mono) and a size 2 hook (2 slices in the shank, think it is a 9555B).

A few floating crusts will attract them. Hook up a piece of crust about 3cms long, no sinker, cast out to where the bream are and let the crust float along. Bail arm open. A bream will grab the crust, run with the line, then close the bail arm and hopefully hook up. Sometimes I have pulled out blackfish to the 40cm mark that grab a floating crust.

Casting a dry crust is near impossible, so what I do is quickly dunk the crust into the water, for a fraction of a section. The crust will absorb some water, give it weight, then you can cast it. If you cast too vigorously, the crust will fall off the hook, however, the wet crust will have enough weight to cast some distance. Fresh bread for this purpose is better than stale bread.

At times, floating crusts will do better than sinking baits in the middle of the day.

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9 minutes ago, maccapacca said:

How do you avoid line tangling with the bail open? And do you thread on the bread in a sense as you would with other baits like prawn and pilchard cubes?

and I’m assuming it’s just a bait holder hook? Just curious to try out the method

Light enough and high quality enough mono won’t spring off the spool. You can achieve a similar effect with light braid and a light mono leader.

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1 minute ago, maccapacca said:

Yeah I’m using a 8lb braid mainline and 6lb mono leader.Just had a tangle a few sessions ago and it was a massive pain, lost a lot of braid

Sometimes tangles happen because your spool is overfilled. That’s the most common cause and will keep happening until your spool reaches the optimum level. See if it happens again. You might be ok now.

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Just now, maccapacca said:

Yeah the bloke said I should watch out for it, he spoiled it to the brim and told me I should cut some off but I just left it, has casted all good but tangled once, if it happens again I’ll cut some more off though

No need to remove any braid. Just keep going till it stops happening.

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59 minutes ago, maccapacca said:

How do you avoid line tangling with the bail open? And do you thread on the bread in a sense as you would with other baits like prawn and pilchard cubes?

and I’m assuming it’s just a bait holder hook? Just curious to try out the method

The line should sit on the spool without any problem, except for wind blowing. Just place a finger lightly on the spool, when a fish grabs the bread and runs, lift the finger from the spool and close the bail arm. 

The crust can be threaded onto the hook, but not too many twists. 9555B is a bait holder hook, and the hook is hidden in the crust and not visible.

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What a well written report, enjoyed that while I ate my lunch in the office.

Great to see you found some fish. I guess you can continue collecting evidence for your hypotheses next time, good to see the second option of lures paid dividends.

Keep the reports coming!

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