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Horrendous Conditions - Good Fishing (dollies, kings and bonnies) - Sydney


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Hey Raiders,

Headed out with @Reel'em and a good mate who is currently out from the UK on Thursday morning. The forecast looked wet, no doubt, but swell and wind manageable. Up in the 4s and thankfully it was not wet when packing the boat with the last bits of gear. Plan was to head to the FAD off Dee Why looking for dollies and then head into Longie looking for kings. 

Launched at Little Manly. Unsurprisingly no other fishos launching, but there were a number of surf boats which I have not seen before in the harbour. All good though. We were in the water and off to the livey grounds by 530. Liveys were consistent without being ravenous. Filled the tank in about an hour and almost stayed dry, with the first squall coming though around 645 or so. In the CC there are not many places to hide even with the T-Top, hence we got a little wet without it being too bad. 

Headed out of the heads and were greeted with what could only be called absolute rubbish.....stiff NE wind and an annoying swell/wind chop with waves every couple of seconds. We headed about a km out before calling it. We were only managing to do about 10 knots and were all getting seriously soaked. Instead of heading back into the harbour I thought, why not catch dinner quickly at a flatty spot about 2nm south. Questionable call but we slowly motored down and set up for a drift. Pretty bad decision. The wind was blowing and we were drifting at 2+ kn even with the drogue (not sure where the light easterlies were but we were copping 15 knots+). I had two serious braid tangles before even getting baits in the water. We were bouncing all over the shop, it was pissing down and we were generally hating life. 

Interestingly, as we decided to pull up we had a dollie attack one of the flathead baits. In go the livies and we boated two dollies instantly. We were in the middle of nowhere so not sure if the dollies were using the boat as a FAD??? In came the bottom gear and out went a couple of lures. We trolled around and caught half a dozen more ravenous dollies who couldn't get on the lures quick enough. As seems to be my luck right now, the biggest dollie was 59cm! By now we were absolutely drenched so decided to troll back up along south head and see if there were bonnies about. 

Essentially we trolled from Bondi up to the South Head. We picked up two smaller bonnies and one 65cm bonnie that gave a good account for itself. We also caught a sergeant baker (??) and a rat king. Interestingly ALL caught on the one lure with the other lure going untouched. I have to say this white lure has been absolutely deadly on all species lately! 

We were all glad to be back in the harbour though the squalls continued. We headed to two well known spots and soaked livies and threw around some fresh SB fillets. Caught two rats on liveys and had a couple of hits of what looked to be decent fish. Just as we were about to pull up stumps my rod gets a much bigger hit and before I know it we have a decent king on and a battle with my overhead rod heading under the boat. Managed to wrestle the fish in and whilst not a monster, it certainly didn't need measuring. High fives all around. 1 minute later the same thing but a much bigger fish. Had it on for about 2 minutes and then pop! Urghhhhhhhhhh. Lost it. Check out the photo below. That is a straightened Mustad Demon light gauge circle hook. I have never ever seen that before on a king in the harbour. Good news is that my uni knot held!!!!!!! 

The fish went quiet and to be honest I had to race back to my desk. Back at the ramp by 1130 after an eventful morning - wet, tired but happy. Interestingly we didn't see a single other boat fishing all morning. The harbour was completely empty. 

Bonito tataki below and kingie on the menu for the weekend. 



PS - hoping to get another window this weekend for a harbour sesh but jeez it is raining heavily right now!!!!!!!!!







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