I first met Guy and Warren Struthers about six years ago, I think it was at the first ever KFT (kayak fishing tournament). Back then Guy was a pimply young kid watched over by dad Warren, who had purchased Guy one of those tiny $150 yaks, but hey – it got him on the water. Guy went on to get a Viking pro angler then a Hobie Outback, but once he turned 18 everything changed.
There was a bream comp on not that long ago on the Tweed, and the father and son combo invited me out for a pre-fish with them. I hadn’t seen Guy’s new boat before so I got a pleasant surprise to see a Skeeter with a souped up 90 being towed up my driveway. I thought to myself, this kid has come a long way!
It’s always an interesting night when the three of us get together – so many rods and other gear everywhere! It’s always a lot of fun, although I was wondering how 17 rods would fit on the Skeeter.
It turns out I had seen the boat before. I had actually been in it as it used to belong to Jay Perham and then Grayson Fong, both of whom had stayed at my place for an ABT comp. That’s how I got a drive in it – Jay took me to the start of the comp at Jack Evans Boat Harbour and I lost my sunnies when he took off like a rocket. They just disappeared. Damn that boat takes off quick!
Dave McKenzie and Tristan Taylor also stayed that weekend, so we had a full house. The fight on the water for fish may have been tough but you should have seen the battle for the bathroom in the morning.
Back to the 17 rods. We were up before daybreak and fortunately the rods went in no probs – some on top, the rest in rod holders below deck.
It’s a bit different burning around the river on one of these fast movers, and because I was the local I thought Guy might ask me for some spots. Nope, he had other ideas. He actually showed me all his spots and how to fish them. I felt like a goose because I used to go straight by the spots he showed me. I don’t pass them by anymore. I learnt a lot that day, as Guy is like a sponge and is always talking to and taking tips from the pros. He used to work with Darren ‘Dizzy’ Borg and now works with the legendary yak fisherman Justin (The Colonel) Wilmer. Part of his job is painting lures. That would have to be the best job in the world, or close to it! (Hey boss, I think I need to test this colour. Oh, and these ones as well...”)
Anyway, the first place we hit was the trawlers, then all the boats around the anchorage. This is where Guy caught the biggest bream of the day and how he did it was pretty cool to watch. He had spotted bream under a yacht in the shadows, so he lined the boat up in such a way that he could cast his hardbody just past the yacht and bring the lure back running parallel to the boat. On his first cast this horse of a fish came screaming out and smashed the lure – no timid bite there.
The next boat had no fish under it but the one after that did. This time Warren (Wozza) caught the fish under instructions from Guy. The boys called me up the front of the boat to have a go. I was suddenly nervous.
I cast my lure onto the boat, snagging some rope. We retrieved it and headed to the next boat. I soon got the hang of casting past the structure and lining myself up properly to achieve this.
Next we hit the sea walls. No fish, so down to the wall opposite Chinderah flats. At this stage we were using Z-Man 2” curly tails and shallow diving Atomics. Another good fish came aboard, making it four legals in the live well. Then we went down to Condong and what’s known in ABT circles as Will’s Wall, named after Will Lee, a prominent tournament fisher. It’s near the boat building yard and guess what? I finally got a legal, so thanks Will!
There you go – a bag in the Tweed and it was only 10:30am with 3.5 hours to go.
Come tournament day, I fished with my mate Richard Creighton in a field of only 17 or so boats. My mate had done really well in an ABT comp not that long ago so we fished his spots. We got a lot of fish but no legal bream. I was yelling at one stage as I could see silver and it was big.
Yes!” I shouted as Dic netted it. “No!” I yelled when I saw it was a luderick. Rare for a luderick to eat a plastic.
Guy and Warren fished the same places they had taken me and got smashed. They kept upgrading all day long and went on to win the comp easily.
I’ve mentioned in the last couple of months how there’s so much bait around in the river, and out at sea I’ve never seen it look this healthy. At one stage last week it was like I could step out onto the water and walk on mullet, they were that thick.
So where can you catch some fish? The Seaway is a good place to start. It can be hard this time of year but try to find some dirty water as the locals tell me there’ve landed nice mulloway, tailor, bream and the odd yellowtail kingfish. Interestingly I saw a bloke catch a squire next to the pumping jetty off the Fingal side.
The flatties seem to have gone missing from the normal spots but I noticed a lot being caught off the rock walls near Fingal. Up around the golf course is always worth a try as well.
I haven’t come across many whiting though I did pick one up on my new H20 Murray yak. It was a surprise as it took a bream lure.
Luderick fishos are out in numbers and so are the fish. I reckon if I can catch them on plastics they’re gonna love the weed. Do yourself a favour and try out the front of the Naval Cadet School on Dry Dock Road as I’m always seeing fish being caught there.
I’ll finish with something weird. While coming home under Boyds Bay Bridge early the other morning I noticed four fish frames hanging from four ropes. I don’t know if it was someone being artistic or just the random act of a weirdo. Whatever – someone must have had a nice feed. Cheers.Reads: 937