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Weekend (21-22 Jan 06)

Guest madsmc

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Saturday: Headed over to Stockton at 5am to fish the small breakwall and foreshore area. First plastic of the day was a #3 Squidgy fish (Black n Gold).

Had a few touches here and there until an undersized flathead jumped on, and went a lot harder than I would expect of a fish it's size. Hope I hook that one up again when it gets a bit bigger, should be a great fight.

A couple of punters turned up to fish baits, so I left them to it, and moved further back along the wall to see if I could find some decent fish. All I could manage from the rest of the wall was a dirty pike, so I moved on to the foreshore.

If you work the whole foreshore area right down to the ferry terminal at Stockton, it's pretty rare to not hook up a flathead on plastic. Well this was one of those mornings, where the flathead are nowhere to be found, and to top it all off the choppers were out in force chasing little baitfish and lopping the tails off my plastics. I had a few other plans for the day so called it quits just after 9am.

Sunday: Backed up for another early session, but this time I headed south to Swansea breakwall (southern wall). I had only fished the wall once previously, but I pulled my PB bream and flathead from the wall that morning, so I was quietly confident of some good results. Bream was going to be the target species first up, so on went a six pound mono leader, and one of the Storm twitchin nippers.

Working from the end of the wall back to the shore, I was casting back towards the lake so the nipper could sink, then jig it up slowly as the outgoing tide swept the nipper along. Mostly I tried to keep the lure close to the line of the wall so any resident bream could dart out have a go, but I also put a few casts, of varying lengths, out further just in case I might pick up a flathead.

Second stop back along the wall, first cast, watching the line drift along in the current, then it stops dead. I didn't see a hit, so I figured the lure had hit a rock or something. Gave the lure a jig to get it moving in the current again, but ended up hooking into a ripper fish! The start of the fight was fairly straight forward, a few lunges from the fish to try and go in the opposite direction etc. Things were going great until it got near the wall then it started going nuts putting in the big runs and coming close to snagging the line on a rock to my right. I tightened the drag up a bit more to try and exert more force but the fish still managed to snag me up on a rock. I did all I could to get the line off the snag while the fish continued to try and throw the hook. After trying everything I could, all I could do was stand there, watch and wait. With a bit of slack line the fish eventually swam back into open water and de-snagged me.

Thankfully the fish had had enough by this stage and came to the rock I was on without fuss. With the fight going on for some minutes, and me buggering about with the camera, I only managed one photo then tried to get this great flathead back in the water. She revived after a few moments facing into the current and slowly swam off. :thumbup:

The leader was stuffed, but the nipper was OK, so on went a fresh leader and the same nipper. While I was doing that I realised that I had probably just released a new PB flathead without getting a photo of it next to my tape. Bugger! :ranting2: The adrenalin rush from the fight had me so excited, and wanting to get the big girl back in the water quickly, I had completely forgotten about it. :wacko: I reckon it would have been in the low 60cm range, which would have beaten my current PB by at least 8cm. So without photo evidence the current PB (52cm) still stands.

After rigging up again, and cursing myself for not getting the tape out, I got back into it.

Further back along the wall, the nipper is drifting along further out, when a hit comes through the line. I struck straight away and was onto another quality fish. This fish was a bit less spirited than the previous one, but still gave me some curry when it was nearing the wall, and it had quite a bit more weight to it as well.

So there I was down on a rock at water level, adrenalin pumping away, trying to get this hefty fish up from the bottom, when from out of the darker coloured water, appears this huge flathead that was definately bigger than the previous one, and made me forget all about missing the measuring photo of the previous one.

Everything was in order, tight to the fish, left hand was gloved and ready to grab hold of it, then TWANG! Leader failed!!!! :mad3: It was only a few feet away from me at this stage, and I can't explain in words how shattered I was to watch that big flattie turn and swim back to the darker water.

Something caught my eye floating on the surface, which turned out to be the front half of the nipper, so if anyone catches a big Lake Macquarie flathead with the bum end of a twitchin nipper in it's gob, please take a measurement and let me know what could have been.

Tried a few other spots in Salts Bay with a variety of hard bodies and sp's but there wasn't much happening with the tide now dead low.

That's twice over a two year period where I've been fortunate enough to hook a big flathead and get it to the rocks, only to have it saw through the leader before I could land it. As a result, I'm going to make the switch to fluorocarbon leaders, and go a bit heavier when I'm fishing the rock walls, especially if a flathead of that size is a possibility. Live and learn I suppose.

If it happens a third time, I reckon I'll just dive in and swim after it. :1punk:

Looking forward to next weekend so I can have another crack at topping the PB flathead.



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Great report there Shane ,shame about the big girl but hey at least you are hooking em and thats a bonus!!.FLUROCARBON IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO and you can go a lot heavier like 12lb and the flatties will still smash your lures :yahoo:

Cheers Swordfisherman

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