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Chasing Dollies and Kings


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Met up with my mate Stu at 6.00am Sunday morning and headed down to the Roseville ramp, launched and headed to the bait grounds.

We had plans A through to Z so hoped that somewhere along the list we would find the fish.
Plan A, get live bait. Hit the island off Balmoral, burley bomb in, by 7.00 we had a dozen Yakkas in the livebait tank. While we were there we had a Kingie which would have been around 60cm cruising around the bait we were chasing but it did not actually try to grab any. So plan A was good.
Plan B - Head across to South Head and troll Yakkas south. After running a fair way with no interest we decided that plan B was not good so....next.

Plan C - head to the artificial reef and down-rig Yakkas. Got there and there was 1 boat there already, a Grady White that was so over powered we just laughed. It has 3 - 425HP Yamahas on the back. You would have to take out a mortgage just for a days fishing to pay for the fuel. Mind you I bet you could get to the marks quickly 🙂 Anyway on with the fishing, we slow trolled and drifted around the reef for a while with no hits. I do wonder if the big seal cruising around was maybe putting off the fish, so it was on to the next plan.

Plan D - head out towards 12 Mile until we find warm water then put out a spread of lures. Got into 23 degrees and out go the lures, we were running a plunger around 150mm long, a bullet head around 120mm, a jet head around 200mm and a silver blade. As we got close to 12 mile we had a hit but it did not hook up, then another with a short run but spat the hooks, then nothing.

Time for Plan E - leave 12 mile and follow the warm currents North. So off we go, finding water up to just shy of 25 degrees. At this stage we are hoping to find a Bull Dolly cruising around or maybe even a small Marlin. I have heard that there are Marlin in reasonably close recently. But it was not to be, despite perfect warm blue water we had not had a hit and by now we are out wide of the Wave Rider. Time for the next plan.

Plan F - head to the Wave Rider, troll past a few times then drift with Yakkas down. We did not get there. We were around 2 miles West of the Wave rider and spot something floating, as we got close it was a 'private' FAD, and a very well done FAD it was, a couple of round buoys and a plastic container fixed to rope and just under the surface a large sheet of something to add size to the structure. First run past and we hooked up, finally we have found a Dolly. Not much size so back it went. We kept trolling past and just about every pass we hooked up, Dolly's from 40cm up to around 65cm, we got 3 over 60cm which went on ice, along with quite a few Kingies, all under size. The lure which seemed to get the most attention was the 150mm plunger with a blue head and pink and blue skirt. We stayed there for around 1 1/2 hours and we lost count of the number of fish we hooked. All but 3 were throwbacks but even so they were a lot of fun to catch. While there we also deployed the livies, the 3 keepers were caught on them, as well as a Kingie that was almost as small as the Yakka. Eventually they went off the bite so on we go.
Plan F, now becomes Plan G- head to the Wave Rider. We get there and troll past, the Dolly's were there and we hooked a few, all small but still fun. We did not stay there too long as we also wanted to see if we could get a few Flathead.

Plan H - Flathead drift off Long Reef wide. Up to this point we had been enjoying a glam weather day, minimal wind and calm conditions. Get to the mark and up comes a breeze, the current was heading North and the breeze was blowing South making it just about impossible to hold the bottom in 70m even with 10oz of lead on. We got a small pinkie and a just legal Flathead but threw them both back as the Flathead fillets would have been too small.

Plan I - late last year we sunk our own FAD so wanted to troll around there to see if it was working. However on the way we come across another buoy so it was lures back in and a few runs past that. We got a few hits but the Dolly's there were too small to hook up, we saw them jumping away after hitting the lures and they would have made good live bait. So on to our FAD which was very close and had a final 1/2 hour trolling around there. Seems like our FAD was not working as well as the other one we found as we got no hit's. So that was it and home we headed after a long day out on the ocean.

Finally got back to Roseville around 4.30pm and were very pleasantly surprise to find No line up of boats waiting to load onto their trailers. Usually on a day like Sunday it take 20 - 30 minutes to get a spot on the ramp but there were zero boats waiting, Stu walked up, got the trailer and reversed straight down, 2 minutes later we were driving out of the water. Wonderful end to the day.  🙂
The good news is that the Dolly's are definitely around so can't wait to get out again soon.

Tight line all.



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1 hour ago, Yowie said:

Covered a bit of distance, but 3 keepers is better than none. The others were sport sized to keep you entertained.

We certainly did, boat was full before we headed out, topped it up on the way home and had used about a cupful less that 100L. Made it an expensive feed of Dolly's 🤣😂🤣

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5 minutes ago, The Rev said:

Thanks for the report - Very helpful to know what is happening off Sydney!  Sorry you didn’t get more for all your travels!

We got a feed, what more could a man ask for. The bonus was a lovely day out on the water 🙂

Edited by GordoRetired
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Brilliant report Gordo ,( got a “purple cup” from me). Sounds like a fun day on the water and you sure covered some ground. It certainly beats chasing a small white ball around and hitting it with a stick, better to hit a dollie with a stick to stop trying to knock you senseless. (If you’d taken a banana you might have got a big bull)

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