report Thursday 31 May 07

Water Tower Bait & Tackle
10 Ernest St, Manly
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report Thursday 31 May 07

Post by Brad » Thu May 31, 2007 7:36 am

Basically the fishing is pretty much the same as last week. Clear water in the bay has meant that the fishing has been a little slow at times during the day. The night period has been a better option for most with decent snapper and a few other species being taken around the islands on both baits and soft plastics.

I have had plenty of reports of small sharks being caught in the bay around the islands, even on lures. I have not personally sighted any of these critters in recent weeks but suspect they are the sand-bar sharks, which I think are a member of the whaler family. They must breed in the bay every year, as they often turn up en masse for a few weeks. It previous years this is usually in around April, however most species seem to be a little late in their migratory patterns this year. A few nice parrot to a little over 2kg were taken around Peel during the week along with a 43cm coral trout, which also pop up occasionally in this area. There was a 60cm specimen caught and released a few years ago on plastics on the western side.

A few large parrot have been caught around the Hanlon Light on half sand crabs. The usual conversion rate is only about 1 in 5 as most of them are in excess of 5kg and are near impossible to stop, even on 80lb braid and 150lb mono leaders. An occasional mackerel has been reported this week but they are definitely a rarity now that the water is cooling. We should get a good run of schoolies in the top end of the Rous Channel in 6 to 8 weeks. Cobia have been a little light on but there should be a few around in the coming month. Most of the beacons in the northern bay and areas such as Yellowpatch and Western Rocks will usually produce a few quality specimens.

Good numbers of squid are still being taken around the bay islands with St.Helena, Mud, Goat, Bird and the eastern side of Peel being worth a try. Over cast days, nights and early mornings are the best times to be trying in the shallows with squid jigs. Plenty of flathead have been caught up in the estuaries on both baits and lures. Most prominent banks are worth a try. Fish the tops of the banks on the last of the rising tide and the edges of the banks and into the adjacent gutters on the last of the run out tide and the first of the run in. Drifting whole fish baits such as frogmouth pillies, whitebait and hardiheads on a snelled hook rig with just enough lead to keep it close to the bottom will put you in with a great chance. Whilst this bait is large enough to catch flathead, tailor or trevally, it is small enough to tempt a whiting, bream or flounder.

Trolling the edges of the banks with small minnow lures or drifting along the edges and casting soft plastics can be highly effective on the falling tide. During this period, the flathead lurk along the banks looking for the baitfish and other food items which get forced off the bank with the receding water. At Jumpinpin, a few good bream have shown up, mostly caught on bait along the steeper sections of bank with fallen mangroves and other structure. Quality fresh baits fished at night have been the best approach. Pelagic activity in the bay has been rare but it still pays to have a spin rod rigged with a chromed offering when crossing its waters, as a school could pop up at any time.

May you bait be nervous.

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