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  1. 8 likes
    For anyone heading to the territory and needing somewhere to start, here is a list of GPS marks to get you started. Pipeline reef s12.19477 e130....... Join the forum and download the full list for free.
  2. 5 likes
    Finally some good weather and a day off happened on the same day so headed to Marion Bay to try and get a few fish for the freezer. The target species being nannies and snapper and a desire to get a Harlequin fish. Launched at the gentlemanly hour of 8am and headed for Althorpe. Second drift a Harlequin fish about 150mm long, so back in it went. Second drift and bucket list fish ticked with a cracking Harly in the net. Managed to also add 12 nannies with a couple over 60cm, flathead, snapper, trevas and the usual reef uglies ( got 4 big gurnards)
  3. 3 likes
    Took the son out yesterday arvo for a crab and fish. lots of laughs and we got a great feed. in the water by 4pm and back at the ramp by 7pm. 32 nice crabs and a couple Gar. 1 nice squid. crabs all cleaned and steamed last night so crabs for lunch today. crab cake Tuesday here we come !!! Double headers and even a triple header to Aaron. great father and son time, I love it
  4. 3 likes
    Hi AJ. I have the manual 150 inflatable PDFs similar to Moons. They are pretty much the lightest ones you can get. They are ok to wear but still annoying to have on. I guess I will get used to them over time. The worst part is they require maintenance every 12 months which you can do yourself but you need to record the maintenance on the tag inside the jacket. Another thing you have to do & can get fined for!!!!. I think I will be starting a separate diary for the boat now to make sure everything is up to date & maintained.
  5. 3 likes
    Just received notification of the Pirtek Fishing Challenge 2018.. jumped straight in signed up and paid so I'm ready for it on March 18.. It's all for a good cause too.. https://pirtekfishingchallenge.com.au/ cheers Adrian
  6. 3 likes
    Trout fishing a little up & down.. After having an off day in the Mersey River a few days ago, today I had an early start on the Meander River. I left home at 5:00 am and after reaching Meander then walking to where I started off the spin session it was just on 6:20 am when I had my first cast with the gold Aglia. The weather was perfect as it was quite mild and very overcast with some light rain on and off. The very first cast saw a bow wave appear behind the spinner for a short time before it disappeared, the same thing happened again two casts later. I made a change of lure and went for the Rapala F3 gold & black hard body as I felt it may be the one to go for. It only took three casts before the lure was taken hard and fast, the reel screamed as a solid brown leaped from the river and in doing so tossing the lure at the same time. It was then I realized I hadn't set the drag on the reel, it was still loose from when I finished fishing the last time I used it. So what would have been a great start to the session wasn't to be this morning. Crossed over here to start the mornings fishing.. Lost the first trout here.. I slowly fished my way upstream casting the lure close to the opposite river bank when I finally had my first brown well and truly hooked, one that went around 350 grams. The next stretch of river gave up a nice brown at the top end of it as well, that fish went 440 grams. Then I fished a small fast water that had a section of flat water to the right and picked up another solid brown. This fish took off downstream into a small set of rapids that flowed into the lower stretch of medium flowing before it tired and I had it in the net. It was a well conditioned 420 gram brown that was soon back in the river after a quick photo. Onto the next stretch of river which was much deeper and on the first cast & retrieve I had another brown smash the lure but lost it as it gave a massive head shake as it leaped from the river. First brown hooked and landed here.. First one in the net.. Second brown take here.. Number two keeping still for a photo just before being released.. Third brown picked up here in flat water.. Number three.. Three casts later I had another take from a nice brown and this one played merry hell before I eventually had it in the net. This was a beautiful fish too that went 540 grams and it had really taken the lure in a way that it had not been able to close it's mouth. It has wedged the lure in between the upper & lower jaw somehow without being hooked, it was released unharmed thankfully. From here on it was a little quiet even though I did lose four more browns before I hooked the best fish of the day from a section of water near the opposite river bank. This brown was a 610 gram female and taken on a ghost brown hard body lure that I changed to after losing a few brown earlier on. That was the last trout caught for the morning too, though I did have several more follows but no takers. I called it a day at 9:40 am as the rain started to set in. After a fifteen minute walk back to the car the rain stopped and I did think about getting back in the river but decided not too. The trebles weren't really doing anything here, the lure was jammed in hard & fast.. the brown was released unharmed.. One very greedy brown... Beautiful 610 gram female, best fish of the day.. Best brown of the day taken here.. Scenic section on the Meander River.. cheers Adrian
  7. 3 likes
    Went out with Crabman again today. conditions were perfect. managed 12 goldbars. Found a good school but couldnt beat the puffers. damage for the day crabmans wheel on the trailer went flat. Spare no good. Drove home on a half pumped up,tyre. thanks for a great day Rob.
  8. 3 likes
    Trout not all that aggressive on Christmas Day. 25-12-17 With nothing on this morning and being Christmas Day I new where ever I fished I'd more than likely have the rivers all to myself. So I headed off to the Mersey River for a spin session in what was beautiful calm conditions and with the sun already well up I didn't hit the river until 7:15 am. The river was like a sheet of glass and there were quite a few trout already on the rise surface feeding on midges. Seeing the trout surface feeding I knew I was in for another tough few hours chasing the brown trout this morning. Very glassy conditions on the river.. I should have been here at 5:30 am so now I'm hoping there maybe a rainbow or two about that will save the day for me as they have done so often before. I started the off with a rainbow Rapala F3 and had a follow from a small non aggressive brown and that was it for at least ten minutes before I changed to the Daiwa ghost brown hard body. Same thing happened with that lure too, just the one follow from another small to medium size brown. So thirty minutes into the session and I haven't had a hit at all. It was time for another change of lure, I went for a Rapala brown trout lure and flicked it just ahead of a surface feeding brown. No sooner had the lure hit the water the brown took it even before I had turned the reel handle. After a few good runs, leaps and head shakes I had this 460 gram brown in the net. I'm not sure if I fluked this trout or whether he was just one very aggressive brown. This did give me some hope of maybe catching a few browns with a bit of luck.. The surface feeding brown that took the Rapala.. This is the water that gave up the brown.. As I slowly fished my way upstream not catching anything I did enjoy watching several trout surface feeding with the odd one leaping from the river trying to grab a small damsel fly. As frustrating as it was to see them surface feeding it was still a nice time to be in the river watching this happen. Finally a half hour after catching the brown I had a small rainbow take the Rapala and it stayed on all the way to the net. From here on it was really quiet, even the trout had stopped surface feeding in most of the wide slow flowing waters. I took the Rapala off and went back to the gold Aglia and started fishing the small fast water runs. It turned out to be a good decision too as I picked up four more rainbows from five hook ups by the time couple of rainbows taken here.. One of five small rainbows caught & released.. Rainbow taken here as well.. Nearly at the end of the fast water runs.. I had fished the last fast water run. The wind had picked up plus it was getting pretty warm and with a walk of over one and a half kilometers back to the car I called it a day. Not a day that I was overly happy with I was still lucky enough to catch and release six trout on the day which probably wasn't all that bad after all. Last of the fast water.. The end of the road before heading back to the car.. But not before I take a breather and enjoy the surrounds... cheers Adrian
  9. 2 likes
    Meander River fishes a little better this trip. After having a restless night I was awake at 3:15 am and decided I'd get up and head off for an early spin session on the Meander River. After a quick breakfast I was on my way by 4:15 am and arrived at Meander Township at 5:05 am when it was still a little dark to hit the river. Today I'm going to give the long fast water stretch of river above the main road bridge a go. I reckon it's been two months since I've been here for a spin session, on that day the river was running too high and fast to wade so I didn't get to fish here. I had my wading gear on and headed down into the river (5:30 am) keeping close to the river bank because the river was running a little higher than I would have liked again today. The rocky river bottom was also very slippery and it wasn't all that good under foot. I worked the fast water for around half and hour when I made the decision to get out and go elsewhere. As much as I wanted to stay and fish this area I knew my body wouldn't stand up to it like it used to and that was the main reason for moving to a lower stretch of the river. The 1.5 kilometer stretch of river I'm heading to is a mix of slow/medium and fast flowing water, it's also another area I haven't fished for quite some time. River running a little too high for my liking this morning.. It didn't take all that long (6:20 am) before I was in there and in the river flicking a Rapala F3 rainbow lure around when I had a follow from a medium size brown, but that's as far as it went. It wasn't until I had reached the first small fast water run when I had my first brown take the lure and soon in the net. It was a medium 340 gram brown and like most trout this season it was in beautiful condition. After that little fast water run I headed into a wide medium deep flowing stretch of river where I picked up three more nice browns (ave wt. 440 grams each) from four hook ups as well as having a couple of hit and misses. I had now reached a very deep section of river that left me no option but to climb up a steep river bank, then do a bit of bush bashing for around fifty meters before I could get back into the river where it was at a safe wading depth. I knew I could fish at least another kilometer of river before I would have to call it a day because it's not one of the easiest stretches of river to fish. It's a challenging rocky slippery stretch of water that has shallow fast water runs and a couple of medium flowing stretches of river. It's one that really knocks me around but it used to hold some nice browns in it's day so it's always worth giving it a go. First trout picked up here.. First of the morning.. Now onto the next section of river.. The next stretch of water to fish.. Second of the day.. Second brown was lure from the river bank.. Third of the morning. followed by the forth.. Forth brown picked up here, close to timber debris.. Now to bush bash back into the river.. Came out here after the bush bashing.. Crossed over here to start fishing again.. Five minutes into the session I had a hit and miss on the Rapala, that made me feel confident I will catch a few browns if I can last the distance I'm about to cover with the fishing.. It did take another twenty minutes before I had a solid brown take the lure and after a good battle with this fish it was soon in the net. It was a nice 490 gram fish and beautifully coloured too. As I neared the end of this long slow/medium flowing run I hooked and lost another solid brown. I was about to head into one of the toughest stretches of the Meander River in this area, one that runs for at least 800 meters or more. It is a fast water run that's always worth fishing though as it used to give up some nice browns when I used to fish here on a regular basis. I slogged it out over the full distance and caught and released two more nice browns from six hook ups which was a little disappointing for the effort I put into it. I did have quite a few hit and misses plus several follows so the end result could have been better had I not lost the four that were hooked. That's what happens when fast water trout fishing, one has to take the good with the bad. I've had days when I've caught over thirty trout & only lost two when fast water fishing, that's just how it is. At least this trip was a lot better than my last Meander River visit when I only caught the one brown. Re-entered here.. Caught my fifth brown here.. The fifth trout.. Some tough work ahead of me here.. this is one of the toughest stretches of water to wade on the Meander River.. Trout taken here.. Solid brown.. Looking back to where I had come from as I headed into the rocky fast water.. Seventh trout caught & released here.. ( didn't bother taking a photo of the trout) Another view looking back at the fast water that I have battled through to make my way upstream.. got out of the river just after taking this photo.. cheers Adrian..
  10. 2 likes
    Nice crabs Moons, are those PDFs you wearing comfortable ? mine are too bulky ..
  11. 2 likes
    nice day Moons, good to see the crabs are back on the crawl. We spent the evening at west beach last night, quite a few dead crabs on the beach
  12. 2 likes
    Fisheries WA 3 hrs · As the annual 2018 recreational marron season kicks off at noon today, fishers have a chance to catch a trophy-sized marron at Harvey Dam, Waroona Dam and the Hutt River. Within 500 m of the high water mark of these trophy waters, there is a daily bag limit and a possession limit of five marron, and a 90 mm carapace length minimum size limit. In all other open waters where marron fishing is permitted, there is a daily bag limit of eight marron, an 80 mm minimum size limit and a possession limit of 16 marron. For more information, visit our online recreational fishing rules at http://rules.fish.wa.gov.au/Species/Index/29
  13. 2 likes
    Like a yabbie, but bigger & better...
  14. 2 likes
    NSW DPI Fisheries added 2 new photos. 2 hrs · Cockles off the menu… NSW DPI Fisheries officers seized another 835 cockles from two people collecting illegally in Hen and Chicken Bay last week - this time near Canada Bay. Two women were observed collecting in the bay and were later found to be allegedly in possession of 835 cockles. Fishers are reminded that all shellfish, such as cockles, are protected in Port Jackson and must not be taken. #nocollecting All of the 835 cockles were returned to the water alive. The two women were issued fines totalling $2000. #fineswithyourfish To report illegal fishing activity call Fishers Watch on 1800 043 536 or report it online at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishi…/compliance/report-illegal-activity.
  15. 2 likes
    This is what happens when the "Pet Shops / Aquariums" sell these weird exotic fish !!!! People let them go in the Wild !!! Should NOT be Available in the 1st Place !!!!! Might as well let a massive pile of "Oscars" loose !!!!!! GW
  16. 2 likes
    Plenty in the rivers on KI
  17. 2 likes
    Some one probably dumped them out of their fresh/salt water aquarium when they became slack and couldn't be bothered cleaning and keeping the water up to scratch.. cheers Adrian
  18. 2 likes
    Another tough day at the office... I left home just after 5:30 am this morning and headed to the upper Mersey River for an early spin session in what was a reasonably cool morning with the lightest of breeze. As soon as I arrived it was on with the wading gear and off for a forty minute walk to where I would start the spin session. I was trying a new stretch of river (that I checked out on Google Earth) for the first time this trip so I didn't know what to expect. It looked okay on Google Earth at the time, now I'm just hoping it will give up a few trout at some stage of the spin session. When I finally arrived there I could see I was in for a tough day at the office, it was a very long rocky stretch of river and it looked like the river bottom was going to be my biggest test, on the body that is. Once in the the river I knew right away I was going to finish the day a very sore man indeed as I struggled to keep my footing on the rocky river bottom. Most of the water I'm fishing here is fast water and it varies in depth from shallow to just below the waist. I was now thinking why the hell did I have to pick an area like this, had I known before hand what it was like I would have stayed well away from here. Now this isn't going to be easy fishing my way back up through this water.. (and it wasn't) Neither was this... I started flicking the little gold spinner around and let the water do the work in carrying the lure down in between the rocks in the fast water runs where I had a hook up in no time at all. It was a nice medium size brown, it made a dash downstream & with one decent head shake it tossed the spinner. At least I new there were trout here which was good ,so I may catch a few trout after all this morning. As I continued to struggle my way upstream I did have the odd hit and miss as well as several follows but couldn't manage to get any hook ups. I changed over to the little ghost brown hard body as that usually sucks the trout in most times I've used it. After twenty minutes of working the river with it all I had was two follows from a couple of nice size browns and that's as far as it went. Not a sign of aggression from those two browns at all. Brown hooked & lost here.. Small side water, no fish in it either.. Slowly getting to the end of the tough rocky stretch of river.. At last I'm out of it.. well just about. I had at last come to the top end of the very fast water and was now into a nice stretch of medium to fast water runs which I found to be a lot easier to wade, still slippery and rocky but nowhere near to what I had just fished over the past hour and a half. I decided I'd give the Rapala F3 rainbow lure a go now seeing as the trout weren't interested in taking the ghost brown. I think it was on the third or forth cast when I had a trout take the lure as I retrieved it down a fast water run that flowed between a couple of large rocks. After a short tussle with this trout it came to the surface and that's when I saw it was a nice medium size rainbow. Once again it's the rainbow that's been the first trout taken on a spin session. Much easier fishing here.. A rainbow trout picked up here, finally had a fish in the net.. Solid rainbow.. After that the trout became more aggressive for one reason or another and I caught and released three nice browns over the next four short medium flowing runs and lost two others as well. The Rapala rainbow pattern lure seemed to be the right choice after all. The wind had now picked up from the West and was blowing straight down the river making it near impossible to get a decent cast in. It was a matter of waiting for a lull in it then casts as quick as I could before it hit again. A few times the wind hit just as I cast the 3 gram balsa Rapala and it carried it right back to where I was standing in the river. Not only that I was getting quite a few wind knots in the line too which was starting to annoy me.It was a little quiet over the next hundred meters of river before I picked up another rainbow and one more brown. The wind wasn't easing off and I was nearly back to where I could get out and head back to the car so I called it a day.. It certainly was a tough day in the office today with just the four browns and two rainbows caught, not only that the old body was feeling it too and it was nice to get back to the car. Browns taken here.. Fist brown of the session. . And another.. Just took this as I thought it would make a nice photo.. The last brown of the day (both pics) End of the road for me, my day is done.. cheers Adrian
  19. 2 likes
    A very Good Xmas Day I would say ..... Water to yourself, and some very healthy looking specimens taken and released. !! Spectacular Photography as always Adrian !!! Great White
  20. 2 likes
    Merry Christmas to All ......
  21. 2 likes
    And to you guys, have a good one
  22. 2 likes
    Have a great day GW and Merry Xmas to all the site members...... cheers Adrian
  23. 1 like
    They aint to bad. you know you have them on but not bad. it was very hot friday so you did sweat up around the neck. but in a few weeks of wearing them you will get used to them. the one i have on is fully automatic and will self inflate. the one my son has is a manual inflation. In a week or two i will get another automatic one and have the manual one as a spare.
  24. 1 like
    They seem to be the best option tho....
  25. 1 like
    is the taste more like a yabbie or a cray?
  26. 1 like
    They're also in the Finniss River too, they were & still could be in the Gygnet River on KI as well.. Very nice eating too.. cheers Adrian
  27. 1 like
    Victorian Fisheries Authority 5 hrs · If you’re female and keen to play an influential role in determining how recreational fishing licence fees are spent, we’d love to hear from you! The Recreational Fishing Grants Working Group provides advice to the Minister on how best to spend licence fees on worthwhile projects such facilities, fish habitat and research. We're proud to be seeking a female to join this group, in accordance with the State Government’s directive to have 50-50 male-female representation on appointed boards. We’re looking for someone with interest, experience and knowledge of recreational fishing here in Victoria. Members must be Victorian residents at the time of their expression of interest and through the term of their appointment on the Working Group. Working Group members receive a sitting fee for meetings and reimbursed for travel and other expenses. If you'd like to learn more visit https://vfa.vic.gov.au/…/recreational-fishing-grants-program. To receive an Expression of Interest form, provide your contact details here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/28GZGLX. Expressions of Interest close on 19 January 2018. Good luck!
  28. 1 like
    Your office is a bit better than my office mate. very nice once again
  29. 1 like
    Thanks LAR-FIN. Always tough going up against the lake fisher's, though I did manage 2nd place overall back in 2014 which was good.. It happens on the day doesn't it.. one never knows what may be lurking in a deep stretch of river.. cheers Adrian
  30. 1 like
    Good luck Adrian, im sure you will do well
  31. 1 like
    Yes it is one the the sections we fished..
  32. 1 like
    Cracking start to the new year mate. well done
  33. 1 like
    Good way to end the year Moons, few nice feeds there..
  34. 1 like
    nice feed mate, any crabs around?
  35. 1 like
  36. 1 like
    There’s something very special and exciting about catching big snapper on lures. Not only are they a highly-prized catch, but they fight hard and when they grow old, some develop incredibly striking facial and body features that show us how prehistoric and tough these fish are. Being that they are a long-lived fish, they are seen as wary and smart, but it can be quite simple to outsmart and trick these big fish into eating a lure with consistency if you know how to go about it. Even though large snapper are said to be hard to catch, every year many large snapper are caught on a variety of baits and lures, and with a little understanding of how these fish behave, it can be quite simple to find and catch large snapper – even a fish of lifetime – on a lure. We are lucky in South East Queensland to be able to catch snapper year round, but like with all fish, numbers and sizes can fluctuate depending on the time of year. With winter here and spring approaching, there’s no better time to chase these fish, as large numbers of snapper school up offshore in preparation to spawn. When it comes to luring big snapper, there’s a huge variety of lures you can use, but in my opinion if you want to catch big snapper, no lure is as effective and more versatile as soft plastics. With the simple change of a jighead, you can fish any depth of water, and soft plastics come in a huge array of sizes, colours and styles, all with different actions and scents to entice the fish. If you think about it, soft plastic fishing for snapper is very similar to float lining, even though the plastic doesn’t have the same smell as real bait. To catch big snapper effectively on soft plastics, you’ll need to persist and learn a few new techniques to control and understand where and how you are working the soft plastic. Before we get carried away and go out dropping and throwing soft plastics, we need the right gear to work soft plastics and put the brakes on these powerful reef dwellers. Gearing up When soft plastic fishing for snapper, the key is to use a spinning set up so you cast and free spool your lure with ease. When chasing snapper on soft plastics, I like to have two set ups. The first is a 7ft 10-20lb NS Black Hole Amped spin rod, which has a 10-40g cast weight matched with a 3000 Daiwa Certate that I have spooled with 20lb braid and a 20lb flurocarbon leader. This is my finesse set up that I use in shallower water to work lighter jigheads in the 1/4-1/2oz bracket. It’s still a good all-rounder to use in shallow and deep water, running up to a 1oz jighead with a 5-7” plastics, but it lacks a little in pulling power when you hook up to a really big knobby, which needs controlling around nasty reef. My second second set up is a 7ft 15-30lb NS Black Hole Amped spin rod with a 15-50g cast weight running a 3500HD Daiwa Certate, which I have spooled with 30lb braid and a 30lb flurocarbon leader. If I’m targeting big snapper in shallow or deep water, the 15-30lb is my go-to set up, especially when I’m casting 3/8-2oz jigheads with 7-8inch plastics. You may not catch as many smaller pan size snapper on this set up, but you will land a lot more quality fish and when that fish of a lifetime does show up, you’ll have plenty of power to turn it. On the heavier set up lighter and smaller plastics can be trickier to work, but if a big snapper is about they’ll crush a plastic regardless of how you work it, as long as you can keep in contact with that lure and keep it in the strike zone. If you purely want to catch quality snapper, the heavier set up is what you are after. Snapper can be leader shy at times, and 20-30lb leader can seem light, but as I run fluorocarbon it’s hard and strong enough to handle any snapper and is still finesse enough to get extra bites if snapper are wary. If a snapper is hungry enough, it doesn’t matter how heavy your leader is, as snapper don’t intentionally reef you. There’s probably no point in running a leader heavier then around 40lb, as if they find reef, it doesn’t matter because the braid won’t hold up against the reef. Even though braid isn’t very abrasion resistant, it’s key when fishing plastics, as you must keep in contact with the plastic at all times, feeling for the bottom or a bite. Choosing plastics Choosing the right soft plastic is very important, as anything from 5-8” will catch fish, but some styles and colours work better than others. I’ve had a lot of success on jerk shads in 5-8” sizes, as well as grub, paddle-tail, shrimp and squid/octopus imitation plastics. The colours I find best are pearl white, glow, pink, nuclear chicken and natural bait colours. A lot of the time lure choice and colour comes down to what you are confident with, but some colours are proven fish catchers. Rigging the soft plastic with the right hook is very important to your hook-up ratio, as if it’s too big you miss or foul hook fish and with hooks that are too small, you can pull them or the fish can break them. The rule of thumb I find best is matching the hook size to the size of the soft plastic, so 5” with a 5/0, 6” with a 6/0, 7” with a 7/0 and 8” with an 8/0. It’s okay if the hook doesn’t sit half way in the plastic, as snapper often attack a lure head first, so the closer the hook is to the head of the lure, the better. When rigging the plastic to the jighead, you want to rig it as straight as possible, preventing any spin, as you want the plastic to look and sink naturally. Where’s Knobby? Offshore reefs are without a doubt one of the best places to encounter big snapper in good numbers, and to fish offshore for snapper, a good sounder and GPS and knowing how to use it is key to finding and understanding where these fish are. Snapper can live on any piece of structure, but its understanding the types of reef and structure they prefer and how to fish these locations. Generally the biggest factor to finding snapper and big snapper is fishing structure that holds good bait, as this draws in the fish. Most would think big snapper are bottom feeders, but it’s not uncommon for big snapper to sit up off the bottom searching for prey or feeding off schools of baitfish. They will hold to the bottom at times, but most of your bites with soft plastics come from well off the bottom, sometimes in mid water and even close to the surface in shallower water, as they race up to intercept the lure before it gets down to the pickers. There are many forms of structure that will hold snapper, from large rocky reefs to smaller rocks, coffee rock patches, rubble patches, rocky islands, wrecks and artificial reefs, but as stated the key to finding the snapper is locating the bait in these areas. By using a good sounder and GPS, it can be quite easy to locate these areas. I’ve found there are two types of fisheries for snapper, shallow and deep water. The reason for there being two is that your techniques and approach changes, depending on the depth of the water. I consider shallow to be anywhere from 5m to 40m, and deep from around 40-150m. Shallow It’s not uncommon to find really big snapper schooled up in shallow reef, but you need to be very stealthy with your approach, as large snapper can be easily spooked by the boat. Leaving your motor running, driving over the reef or banging the side of the boat can cause the fish to spook. Even drifting over the fish can be enough to partially spook them. To be stealthy in your approach, you need to line up and start your drifts well before you drift over the reef or structure and drive around the area you are fishing, being as quiet as you can with the motor. Soft plastic fishing is extremely effective when fishing in shallow reef, as you can cover a lot of ground easily as you cast around the boat, plus it’s easier to be connected with your lure, as you aren’t greatly effected by current and wind as you are when fishing deeper water. The jighead sizes I use in this area are anything from a 1/4-3/4oz. Generally I try to use 3/8 and 1/2oz, as these jigheads give the plastic a more natural sink rate to entice a lot more strikes. In the deeper water around 30-40m, I will upsize to a 3/4oz, as I can effectively get the lure to the bottom in most situations, but if conditions permit I will use a 1/2oz. When fishing plastics in the shallows, you need to cast your plastic as far as you can ahead of your drift, so you cover as much grown as you can around and ahead of the boat. Most of the time, I like to cast the plastic on a little angle out to one side of the boat, so that when boat catches up with the plastic, I can continue to work the plastic out to one side and work an area that the boat hasn’t drifted over. I believe the boat drifting over fish in shallow water can temporarily spook them. The way I fish my plastic is quite simple. I predetermine the sink rate of the plastic and jighead I’m using and determine how long it will take to get to the bottom, so once I cast out my plastic and slowly wind in the slack line, the boat drifts towards it. I count down how long it will take to get to the bottom. Sometimes you may feel it reach the bottom as you count it down, and sometimes you may not. If you can’t feel the bottom, don’t worry, just work the plastic up with a few erratic hops, retrieving line between each hop to keep connected with your plastic and repeat the process. Once the lure is near the boat, you can either cast again or continue to let it out, free-spooling it to the bottom and elevating it off the bottom. If you can’t feel you’re plastic hitting the bottom, that’s fine, as you want to generally work the bottom third of the water column, as this is where these bigger snapper will feed. As long as you keep the plastic off the bottom, it will be in a better field of view for a snapper, as they will race up or over from a good distance to destroy the plastic. This is when you need to be ready. Snapper will generally hit the plastic as it’s sinking, so after hopping the plastic off the bottom, be prepared to strike. Sometimes as you free spool the line to let the lure sink faster, they will hit, this is when you want to engage the bail arm as fast as possible and set the hook. When fishing the shallow reef, you want to cover the ground and use the sounder at the same time, trying to locate the fish. Once located, continue to work that area over, predetermining your casts and drift so the plastic sinks down right on top of the fish that you have located and marked on the sounder. If you find you’re drifting too fast and it’s too hard to work your plastic effectively, a sea anchor or drogue is a very useful piece of equipment to use to slow down the drift, you can even use an electric motor if you can afford one. Deep Fishing deep water isn’t that different to shallow in the way you work the lure, but instead of casting far ahead of the drift, I find it’s best to drop the lure behind the boat and let it drift down and work it more vertically. Depending on how fast you drift and how the current is moving, you may need to use the engine if the sea anchor isn’t slowing you down enough so you can feel your lure hitting the bottom. In this case you will need to use the motor to slowly reverse up on the line so you can feel the plastic working the bottom. The motor can put off the snapper, but generally, if they’re hungry and you locate a large enough school over structure, they will feed normally, but it’s best if you can drift without the motor. In the deeper water I like to use a jigheads from 3/4-2oz. In the depth between 40-70m, I like to use a 3/4oz if I can, but with a bit of current I’ll upsize to a 1oz. In 60-90m, 1-1 1/2oz is my preferred weight, and in 90-150m 1 1/2-2oz is necessary. These jigheads make the plastic sink quite a bit fast, but as snapper in deep water aren’t as wary they, have no problem with eating these lures once they see them. You just need to work it correctly, so this means using the sounder to see where the snapper are sitting and how far off the bottom they are, and working the lure through and above the school and letting it sink back through it. A lot of the time when you locate a school of snapper in deeper water, you’ll find the bigger fish are sitting above the smaller fish, around 10-30m off the bottom. So keeping that lure in the face of these bigger fish for longer is the key to enticing a bite from a bigger fish. By-catch When fishing soft plastics for snapper, you will come across a huge array of by-catch from pelagics like kingfish, tuna, trevally and marlin to other reef species such as pearl perch, grassy sweetlip, spangled emperor, mulloway, and pretty much anything that eats fish, squid and crustaceans out there. Most predators will eat a plastic, which can make snapper soft plastic fishing so exciting. Theory into practise Now that you have the basics of how and where to find big snapper and how to work the plastics to catch them, it’s only a matter of time and experience on the water until you learn the patterns and reasons as to when, where and why. Once you have this down, you’ll be able to catch trophy snapper consistently on soft plastics. Until next time, stay safe, keep persisting and I hope you catch that trophy snapper you’ve been searching for. Reads: 366 Glass-calm conditions with light currents make it easy to fish the depths for these trophy fish. Multiple hook-ups are a common occurrence when you find schools of large snapper. Catching big fish on soft plastic gear is a lot of fun. This is where a decent sounder comes into play. Here we can see a school of big snapper sitting well off the bottom with a lot of bait in the vicinity. The by-catch that you are able to catch on a snapper soft plastic rod may surprise you. Low light periods and overcast choppy conditions are excellent when targeting big snapper in the shallows. A school of big snapper sitting mid water 9-10m off the bottom near a small bait school. When you find this, be prepared for bent rods. It’s possible to catch snapper on plastics at night. This big fish hit the author’s soft plastic on the last cast before heading home.
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    Filleting flathead is one of those things most newcomers find a little difficult. And let’s face it, they are pretty weird looking fish. But they taste great, are reasonably abundant along the east coast and there are ways to make the most of your catch. The following is how I was taught to clean flatties by an ex-commercial fisher when I lived in Victoria. It’s quick, easy and maximises the fillet yield. And these are all important because you don’t want to be wasting fish. So if you’re keen on getting some boneless, tasty flathead fillets on your plate, check this method out and give it a go if you’re struggling with filleting flathead. You can check out a short video we made of this process via a link on our Facebook page – search for Fishing Monthly Magazines. Step 1. Make a cut diagonally between the pectoral fins to the spine. Step 2. Turn the knife edge towards the tail then run the knife along the backbone, cutting through the rib cage bones and exiting at the tail. The fillet is now removed from the fish. Step 3. There is a small gap between the skin and the flesh just in front of the pectoral fin left on the fillet. Insert your finger or thumb in here and push the flesh away from the pectoral fin. Step 4. The pectoral fin now acts like a convenient handle providing a grip so you can peel the flesh from the skin, moving towards the tail.Step 5. Your fillet is now skinless. Step 6. Feel for the last rib cage bone and run your filleting knife down the tail side of this bone. This will give you a tail fillet with no bones – perfect for the kids. Step 7. Run the knife along the rib cage bones on the non-stomach side and remove the boneless fillet. Step 8. Run the knife along the rib cage bones on the stomach side and remove the fillet. This leaves the rib cage bones to be disposed of or used for crab bait. Step 9. There are two (sometimes three) floating bones in this last fillet that need to be removed. You can cut them out, use tweezers or your fingers to remove these floating bones, leaving a third boneless fillet.Repeat these steps on the other side of the fish, giving you six prime, boneless, skinless and scale-free fillets. You can check out the video of this filleting process by logging onto our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/FishingMonthlyGroup) and check out the post on Filleting Flathead.
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    Thanks GW, even though it was Christmas Day, I seem to always have the rivers to myself.. The trout this season have all been in very good condition which is good to see. cheers Adrian
  39. 1 like
    Yep, supposed to be great eating. Now to work out how to cook it. any fish at Hughes?
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    Nice work mate. Lucky i couldnt go, crook as a dog. Went to hughes with my Qld mate yesterday then went and slept in the cabin all day. Are they a nice eating fish ?
  41. 1 like
    It's amazing the amount of people that take the chance of out of season & illegal fishing etc... serves them right when they're caught too..