Weekly Report 22 Jan 10

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 22 Jan 10

Post by Brad » Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:00 pm

Good numbers of mackerel are still around at present and anglers have been making the best of their presence and the good weather by heading out at every chance. I ventured out with my father who was here on holidays last Wednesday and we had no trouble scoring a full bag of ten spotties between us, as well a few big school mackerel, eight bonito and a mack tuna. The spotties were great on the barbeque and fed many people later in the week. Many other anglers out and about on that day scored spotties in the main shipping channel around the Four Beacons area and also further west towards the Measured Mile. The day started out a little ordinary weather-wise but got progressively better during the day, becoming was a total glass out by around 11am. This made sighting the mackerel all too easy and often good numbers could even be located when they were not surface feeding. A cast with a chrome slug to any cruising schools of spotties was generally met with a good response. Even when strikes were not forthcoming the many follows really added a little excitement to the day. Often when a spottie was hot on the heels of your lure one or two extra fast cranks were enough to catalyse a strike. I generally fish 3kg and 4kg monofilament for these pelagics and this provides a lot of fun on fish of this size. After a hookup and a run of about thirty metres I had one spottie spit the hook, however as I cranked it back another hit it and was landed soon after.

Reports have come in from several other areas of the bay although the numbers have not been prolific in most cases. The fish are cruising the surface and just setting upon isolated schools of baitfish (predominately whitebait from what I witnessed). In most cases there is enough time to get close enough for a cast although even when the surface activity had dissipated, a few casts will often still yield results. It seems like it is often just a case of cruising around until you find some action. Most anglers who do this have been finding a few schools to target and are returning home with some succulent white fillets. Plenty of anglers have been fishing around the Measured Mile beacons for mackerel also. Berley in the form of cut pilchard pieces will generally produce some interest in any whole pilchard baits floated out under a balloon. The predominant catch has been school mackerel however a few spotties have also been caught. Most boats are managing at least half a dozen fish for their efforts.

Offshore the action has continued with reasonable numbers of juvenile marlin to 60kg being encountered in areas such as The Trench, Hutchies, Flinders and out to the 100m line. There has been a few marlin caught around The Group and even further out towards the Waverider Buoy however traveling further south to Sullies would definitely be worth the effort if this area is quiet. Other incidental captures include wahoo, dolphinfish, striped tuna, yellowfin tuna, Spanish mackerel and even the occasional rainbow runner. Anglers specifically targeting Spanish mackerel and wahoo would be best to troll rigged bonito, gar, sauries or tailor in areas such as the high section of Hutchies, Flinders Reef, The Group and adjacent to Brennans and Roberts Shoals. Deep diving minnows lures will also work okay most of the time but are definitely not as productive as a well-rigged swim-bait.

The estuaries are still fishing consistently for species scuh as mangrove jack, estuary cod, flathead and others. The canal systems (Aquatic Paradise, Newport Waterways and Raby Bay) are good options for those chasing jacks on lures and live baits. The Manly Harbour produced several jacks for a couple of anglers kayaking throughout the area and casting lures around the man-made structures last week. Crabs have been worth the effort of late for those setting pots up in the estuaries. Around the mouths there has been a mix of muddies and sandies whilst the deeper holes, mouths of feeder creeks, prominent ledges and collapsed mangrove banks further up the system are worth the effort if muddies are on your wish list. The bay has been a little quiet as far as sand crabs go but anglers putting in the effort have managed a few decent feeds of these tasty morsels.
May your bait be nervous. Gordon Macdonald.

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