Weekly Report 27 Apr 08

Water Tower Bait & Tackle
10 Ernest St, Manly
Ph: (07) 3396 1833
www.watertowerbaitandtackle.com

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Brad
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Weekly Report 27 Apr 08

Post by Brad » Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:45 pm

Yeehah, finally I have managed to coincide a day off with millpond conditions and ventured to the northern bay to fish a few of my marks near Comboyuro for cobia. In my mind you can keep your snapper, pearl perch, coral trout, fingermark and all the other highly reputed table fish. Give me a fillet off a big cobia every time. The small ones are okay but I find that the bigger they get the tastier they are. So with the weather finally conducive to a trip to the northern bay in my 4.65m Stessl Truck, my mouth was watering at the anticipation of a cobia meal.

The first bait was barely in the water before the rod went off. Before too long I had a cobia around 20kg at boatside. I had not yet prepared to gaff a fish as I was going to get everything ready after I had gotten both rods out. I usually have a few safety measures in place to avoid a rod going overboard when trying to gaff one of these critters alone. This time I would have to risk it. I tried to gaff the cobia one-handed with the rod in the other hand, hoping that I could put the rod in the holder and then subdue the cobia. Naturally, when it felt the prick of the gaff all hell broke loose. The gaff was torn around the corner of the boat and I would probably have lost it if not for the downrigger in the way. The gaff caught on the leader which then snapped it and I was fishless, yet inspired at a hookup this early in the day.

A few hours passed before the next hookup, another cobia, this time in the 30kg to 35kg bracket- a real trophy fish. After 40 minutes it was close and I had everything ready for gaffing safely. All of a sudden, with it about 15m from the boat, it changed direction and went into a twisting roll, which snapped the 200lb wind-on-leader like cotton, about half way along. Yeah that was me swearing. Half an hour later I hooked another manageable cobia around 15kg that was at the boat fairly quickly on 15kg line. I couldn’t get a shot on the first pass and it spooked and tore off about 10m of line. Soon I had it coming back towards the boat easily. All of a sudden two large whaler sharks materialized out of nowhere and engulfed the lot in two bites. I was just not my day. I decided to try just one last time, although with the tide swinging I had basically lost hope of another hookup.

Cobia number 4 for the morning was a real handful and initially I thought it was one of the whaler sharks that devoured my previous cobia as it fought deep and stubborn for quite a while without showing its true colours. Once I had that chocolate colour just under the surface and no dorsal fin breaking the surface then I knew I had another cobia on. This time it all went to plan and I gaffed successfully and dragged the cobia into the boat. Later on Certified scales at the Moreton Bay Boat Club it went 23kg. One from four is a pretty crappy conversion rate but it is still better than none. It was a day of many mishaps and bad luck but at least I have enough cobia for several meals now. P.S. Don’t bother asking for the GPS marks as I don’t give them out. On the way back across the bay I found quite a few schools of feeding fish, predominately tuna, except for one school that looked like dart or cowanyoung. Out came the fly rod and I managed to land three, quality mack tuna about 5kg a piece, which I tagged and released

Some decent snapper have been caught in the bay and the shallow offshore reefs such as Roberts and Brennan Shoals, predominately at night and early morning. Once the sun is high in the sky the bite quickly tapers off in most cases. A few school mackerel are still being tempted around the beacons on jigged slugs during the rising tide and drifted pillies around the changes of the tide. A little berley in the form of chopped pillies will aid your cause. Scarborough reef has been a consistent producer of quality fish, especially snapper but you will need to fish around the extremities of the day (dawn and dusk) for the best bite with plastics and bait. Night time has been worth the effort too but you will have to be extremely quiet in such shallow water to expect good results.

Plenty of flathead have been caught around the Jumpinpin area with a 91cm specimen taken on a trolled lure in the Slipping Sands area. Other Areas such as the main channel to Kalinga Bank, Whalleys Gutter, The Aldershots, McKenzies Channel and Gold Bank have been others that have been consistent for lizards. Drifting baits or trolling lures will put you in with the best chance. A few good parrot (tuskfish) were taken around the Hanlon Light on half sand crabs and whole three-spot crabs during the week. Those landed were caught on 80lb braid and were only about 5kg but plenty of larger ones have been too good, even for this heavy tackle.

A few squid have started to show up around the bay islands especially around weed beds and shallow reefy areas. Check out, the south-eastern side of Peel, Bird Island, Goat Island and the northern shallows of St.Helena. The many jetties and wharfs such as those in Manly Harbour, Victoria Point, Sandgate and Wellington Point have produced a few squid for anglers working prawn style squid jigs at night. There is definitely enough prawns around to make a few hours with the cast net worthwhile in most of the major river and creek systems. The flats out the mouth of Nudgee Creek are also worth a look. Looks like a few better days of weather coming our way over the coming week so take the opportunity to get out amongst them.
May your bait be nervous. Gordon Macdonald,

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