The cold weather and water have hit us but that certainly doesn’t mean the fishing has slowed down or been turned off. There are still fish about if you’re keen and know where to fish and what to fish for.
The past few months have been pretty hectic for us, with a few mako sharks and yellowfin tuna about.
The rocks are still firing with blackfish, drummer and reds and the beach jewies are still on the go, along with some salmon and tailor.
There’s also the odd king around and even a few jewies in the river.
After many years of fishing, on Good Friday I finally caught a fish that had been tagged. We were fishing the shelf line just south-west of the Kiama Canyons and after six hours of drifting and berleying for sharks, a set bait of a whole striped tuna went off right on a low tide change around 3pm.
I was on the fish on 15kg tackle for about 10 minutes when it jumped twice and stopped us thinking it may have been a good tiger shark. The fight went pretty well to the text book on makos, with a few runs of 100m followed by some deep lugging and then a few surface runs.
We knew it was a reasonable fish because we got a good look when it jumped. We had daughter Rebecca driving the boat with me fighting and son Andrew on the trace.
Andrew’s mate Bradley was on his first serious shark trip and he was fine until he saw this thing launch itself out of the water. On seeing how big it was, he started getting nervous and decided he didn’t want to stick a 7” flying gaff in it after all.
The plan changed to Bradley taking the rod off me when Andrew got the trace so I could gaff it.
After half an hour the trace was within sight and it was time to step up and see what we were made of. Bec kept the boat moving forward slowly as Andrew reached out and grabbed the trace.
As soon as the trace was on I handed the rod to Bradley and got ready with a gaff. The fish was under the boat a bit but Andrew did a great job of working it out.
The fish was still down a bit deep but as soon as it was within reach the first gaff went in and all hell broke loose.
It was at about that moment that Bradley probably decided it was a good idea not to gaff that fish. Andrew was nearly dragged out of the boat while still hanging onto the trace and I got pinned between the back corner and the gaff rope as the fish thrashed about wildly on the other end.
Bradley had hold of Andrew to keep him in the boat and I had hold of the gaff rope trying to keep the fish under some form of control.
It was a good five minutes before things calmed down enough to get another gaff in and then another five minutes before we finally got a tail rope on and had the fish. While tail roping it we noticed it had been tagged with a NSW DPI shark tag so we got the tag out and I’ve been in touch with DPI at Cronulla to try to find out when that fish was tagged and where.
I’ll let you know how we get on. The mako weighed 190kg back at Greenwell Point and quite a few people down at the club grabbed a piece of the best flesh, so it didn’t go to waste.
On the subject of nice fish, my mate Bobby Russo, who lives just down the road, caught his best jewie on a plastic over the Easter weekend.
Bob spends a lot of time out on the river chasing jew from his tinnie or kayak and he’s getting them pretty well wired these days with fairly regular catches on plastics and hardbodies.
His latest fish went 18kg and was taken alone on a 100mm Squidgy Slick Rig in pouring rain at 6am. That’s dedication and commitment.
With the cold weather I have a bit of boat maintenance to carry out in the next few months. Voodoo had a pretty big season that started last September and never stopped until May. We caught a heap of fish including mako and whaler sharks, yellowfin, albacore, kingfish and marlin.
We put about 200 hours on the 150 E-Tec and hardly did anything other than wash and clean the boat and motor when we got home each day. Most everything worked well but we had a few things that need some attention.
The stereo got water in it and needs to be replaced and repositioned. One of the deck lights has blown a globe and the white navigation light on top of the rocket launcher needs fixing.
I fitted an automatic bilge pump over Christmas but never got to wire it up so that’s something else. We’ve also got a few cracks in the stainless rocket launcher so I may dump it and replace it with a powder-coated aluminium unit and rewire the GPS antenna and deck lights.
The padded transom needs replacing after being torn up from pulling fish over the back. We also have loose rod holders and a few more scratches and gouges in the gelcoat from gaffing sharks. I might even give it a polish.
A few weekends of solid effort should have all that sorted and we’ll be back in action for Spring.
I’m hoping to be chasing a few reds in close in July so I reckon we better get stuck in and knock over that maintenance ASAP. We got a heap of reds to 2kg last Winter fishing striped tuna floaters down a berley trail of pilchard cubes.
They’re there in numbers only for July and August in the past but you can be sure when they turn up we’ll be chasing them.
Those snapper fillets in beer batter are worth every bit of effort.
The Voodoo crew with a 190kg mako taken on 15kg tackle from Kiama Canyons. From left, the author, Andrew Finney, Bradley Carneluti and Bec Finney.
There should be a few yellowfin and albacore out wide this month. This one grabbed a 10” JB Lure Chopper in the harlequin colours.
June and July is time for inshore reds on plastics and floaters.
Winter is also time to spin up a few salmon and tailor from local beaches. It gets cold but a few salmon on light spin gear will take your mind off freezing to death.Reads: 2022