So another scorcher in the Sydney summer. The warm weather must have brought about the squid as well! It was firing from the get-go as we managed a school of about 10 squid one after another and a consolation leather jacket! They are delicious pan-fried, but quite cumbersome to prepare. The skin is quite hard to strip and quite rough like leather, hence the name. You generally do not target leather jacket, but if they’re on, they are usually just under your feet! You will need a small hook as their mouths are very small.
I had decided to make the most of my summer days and go fish early in the morning. I had some left over yabbies from the day before, which also included strangely enough, a blood worm!
I reached my destination at about 8am in the morning and went straight out with the yabbies. There were plenty of bites albeit small ones, that wouldn’t even take my small whiting sized long shank hooks. I decided to go a bit more shallow with my bait and saw a couple of big leather jackets chasing my yabby! One proceeded to chew off the bait without quite easily as they have small mouths. After wasting half of the yabbies to realise that they were leather jackets, I changed to the smallest hook I had and caught this beauty that measured about 29cm. Released safely back in to the water.
Went on another charter for a bucks night, this time with a different mob: http://www.deepseacharters.com.au/. 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.
Went down for a quick fish on high tide at Dolan’s Bay. Water was amazingly clear after a few days of sunshine, and the weather was overcast. Tried an array of baits including yellowtail, squid, prawns and even soft plastics and hard body lures. There were plenty of fish around, mainly small ones though. Dad got smoked by something that took him out about 50 metres and snapped the hook off. Would have been over a kilo whatever it was, possibly a small kingfish or fairly big tailor. Saw a guy come along to catch two quick squid, but none for the rest of the day. Just as we were about to leave, dad hooked on to something heavy yet fairly motionless. Surprised to see that it was the biggest ever leather jacket I have ever seen. The fish was well over 30cm and weighed about a kilo.