Fishing charter (12-Feb-12)

Your buck’s day, traditionally to celebrate your last day of “freedom”, but I took it as another excuse to go fishing! We went with the good guys at All At Sea. You may remember that my first trip with these guys was ironically for my mate’s bucks, and this one he organised for me. So we had 8 on board and it was a pretty good to go to out. There were a few fishing newbies that I had strongly suggested to take some Travacalm to ensure we have no travel sickness issues as I have seen far too many times.

There was plenty of room for everyone and a relaxing afternoon as well. We all had turns in manning the handlines as we trolled along on the way to our final destination. Call it fate if you will, an exchange took place and 2 minutes later and one of the guys felt a heavy load on the handline. We stopped the boat as he went hand-over-hand to bring a fish in. It turned out to be a mack tuna! The first that I have seen caught:

We decided to troll through some FADs (fish attracting devices) for some big fish and our first attempt we managed to hook up three dolphin fish! They were very small ones but it was exciting to see dolphin fish for the first time. Here’s our deckhand holding one up for us:

Good fun was had by all, and some of my mates had mentioned that it was the most they had caught on a charter so it was a good result. Our catch consisted of mainly sweep, slimy mackerel and the one nannygai.

Fishing Charter (31-Jan-10)

Went on another charter for a bucks night, this time with a different mob: Picked up from Balmain wharf at 6am sharp, we were on a fairly old boat, and seemed to take an age to get out to our destination which was past the heads. It took 18 on board, and we were fishing from the one side of the boat which was a bit of a squeeze. Some were feeling a bit queasy before we even reached our destination.

I opted for a hand line, which turned out to be a wise choice as it was very rough, and holding a rod would have been quite a challenge

It was quite a different style using one of these hand lines. A large 1 pound snapper sinker was used to reach the bottom in a hurry, which was at times about 30m deep. The wooden handline could then be cranked to bring the line back up. The main difficulty I had was feeling the bites, as the sinker was so heavy and the conditions rough, that I could not distinguish a bite. The ones I caught I did not feel even though they were on while winding up the line!

All up, the 6 of us managed a tally of: 1 huge morwong (or deep sea bream), 3 wrasse, 2 sweep, 1 leather jacket and 1 nannygai. Just a reminder, if you decide to go on a charter, remember to take some sea sickness pills (I used Travacalm). 4 of the 6 of us vomited at least once and I am sure I would have had I not taken the Travacalm in the morning! It would have also been ideal if we had our own bait, as we were just using frozen bait. We found that the others who brought their own bait (larger prawns) caught some flathead.

Pittwater Charter Part 2 (27-Dec-2008)

Went for the 2nd leg of our Pittwater charter (see previous post here). The day started off at about 5am very foggy, so foggy in fact that we could barely see 10 metres in front of us. We had to wait for at least an hour before we could head off shore. The plan was to pick up some yellowtail and head out to Long Reef. Apparently the fishing was that good that live yellowtail was all we needed. While hooking up on the yellowtail, the captain spotted some kingfish lurking around. We threw a couple of plastics and we were on! Hooked up about 3 rat kings at the baiting ground. After the school left, we were armed with about 20 or so live yellowtail. Took these out to Long Reef and live baited on the down rigger. We caught all up about 17 kingfish, about 6 were keepers. Here’s a pic of one at about 80cm:

Kingfish in Long Reef

All in all, a fantastic day out. For the keen fisherperson, I would recommend going out on a charter at least once in your life. Although, remember to take some travel sickness pills, as my girlfriend and I were vomiting for the good part of a few hours while we were out there!

Pittwater Charter (19-Sep-08)

Finally was able to head out on a charter that my girlfriend planned for my birthday way back in February. We headed down Pittwater way, where I have never fished before. Got there nice and early for the start at 5.30am after an hour drive. Met our charter skipper Peter who was keen on hooking us up with some kingfish action. After a bit of setting up, we headed for the shallows to hunt a few squid. They did not seem to be on the bite after visiting a few spots. The last spot we visited started to fire up. Hooked two in quick succession, one small calamari and one smaller arrow squid, perfect kingfish bait. Then on the last few casts, I hooked up on a big one. Took the drag out for a good 10 – 15m and gave a fair bit of a work out on the light gear. After a few minutes, I pulled up this beauty.
Squid from Pittwater
Squid from Pittwater
After getting some squid for bait, we rounded up a few yellowtail and then the captain took over to set everything up to downrig a squid and a yellowtail to try our luck at some kingies.
Downrigging at Pittwater
After a few hours of downrigging, and trolling around the shipwrecks, we were not able to manage any hits on our fresh bait. The captain has organised a make-up session in a few months time, so I’m looking forward to it.

First Kingfish!

Another pic I found recently. This was caught last year at my mate’s bucks night as he is also a keen fisherman. Sorry, I lied about being all land-based, here’s my first off shore boating experience.

Kingfish off AllAtSea charter in Port Hacking

There was a bit of a fight, but quite disappointed with size of my first one, I’ve caught yellowtail almost as big! Anyway, I should give a mention to the crew we went with, called All At Sea. Had a great trip, skippered by a guy named Roland. We saw a pod of dolphins on the way back which was a bonus.