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First Solo Kayak Fish - 26th Jan


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Having never owned or used any watercraft more complicated than a boogie board, I saved up some shekels and bought myself a Hobie Compass a few months ago.

The problem until recently has been, I'm a bit nerve-wracked by the idea of kayak fishing - just little old me out in the deep on this plastic tub?  For a strictly land based angler this is a new and intimidating world.  As a result of that, plus a couple of Covid mishaps with would-be kayaking companions, I've only managed to get out on the water with it once.  Trying to be safety conscious, I'd told myself when I bought it that I'd start off by only fishing with other people until I got the hang of it.

Those plans were binned the night before the 26th when my planned kayaking brother bailed out for wife-related reasons.  My wife is cognisant of the fact that I'm a generally better person to be around when I'm allowed to fish.  

Looked like I was on my own for the morning.

So I managed to get up at a respectable hour and, being an experienced Sydney-ite, elected to stay in my local and avoid the public holiday traffic - good call 👍

I launched from the pontoon at the very end of Rozelle Bay / Blackwattle Bay, on the water by about 0630.  

Headed straight over to the small marina next to the pontoon and started throwing around a Splash Prawn between the boats.  It was a near-enough glass out which made manoeuvring the kayak for casting a lot easier than my first trip.  Having a reverse mode on the pedal drive is pretty much essential for this type of thing I'd say.  It's obviously do-able otherwise but I daresay it wouldn't be much fun.  

It wasn't anymore than a couple of casts till that familiar pop sound and my drag was peeling off.  It's such a different experience fighting a fish from the kayak, even it's a small-ish bream.  They're more than capable of dragging the kayak a bit.  It definitely evens up the stakes somewhat - I'm often surprised by the pulling power of a 25cm bream.  

I managed three more off the same marina before I started making my way up towards the old Pyrmont Bridge.  There's a few hundred metres of working boats, pleasure cruisers and the police marina to work your way through if you're so inclined.  

Having only fished it twice, I'd say the working boats at the far end and the ferries are unlikely to hold many fish (and haven't in my experience).  Pretty sure they clean the bottoms of them regularly and whatever they use, the fish don't want a bar of it.  Pretty sure the workers don't want a bar of kayak fishos in their area either so best to steer clear.  

The action really starts when you get to the police marina and the pontoons right up next to the bridge.

In this area I was landing a bream probably every handful of casts.  Often several fish off the same pontoon or boat.  If they weren't on this or that pontoon there then they were on the next boat or under the wharf after that.  Absolute swarms of them everywhere.  When I wasn;'t catching I could hear bream eating off the surface around me.  

I paddled across to the other marina directly under the ANZAC bridge and managed a few off the boats in there too.  This one can be hit and miss when I've been there on foot but produced some solid models in a bunch of places I'd never be able to get near from shore.

Further down there's another set of pontoons next to the cement plant.  The boats in here are generally quite old and static and the place is a bream wonderland.  As soon as my lure hit the water next to my first boat it got pack attacked.  Once again I proceeded to land fish one after another.  Even after the end guide broke off the tip of my rod (I'd recently had the guide replaced), I still managed to catch fish hand over fist for another hour or so.  On one boat that was offloading a bunch of water and warming up it's engines, I must have caught 5 bream casting next to all the splashing and churning water.  My normally extremely cautious little buddies were all fired up!

By this stage I'd lost count of the amount of bream I'd caught (easy 20+).  I decided to have one last flick around the cop's marina.  This was another good call - my last fish of the day was a stonker right on the 40 mark.  That seemed a good note to end on.  By now the wind was picking up and I was buggered and melting.

Safe to say I'm keen for another kayak run.  It was definitely the right move taking advantage of the good weather and getting out on my own.  I won't have an issue jumping in solo from here on.

Any other Hobie-sporting, bream-nerds on here that wanna come for a fish?  

I'm inner-west based and KEEN!

Tight Lines People!!

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7 hours ago, Pickles said:

Great report Niall, we’re you only using the splash prawn? Thanks for sharing. (I have a kayak, but only use it once a year or so - probably should sell it, but a kingfish by kayak has me thinking)

Yeah mate same lure all morning even after the guide popping off

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