Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:15 pm
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Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:17 pm Post subject: Shoal Bay Neaps and Springs Barra.
Well this year I decided I was going spend some more time getting to know Shoal Bay after a couple of decent trips in the past. Once the build up kicked in and all the visitors dried up, it was time put some hours on the new engine. First trip over was a few weeks ago when I put up a post for a nice 72cm barra caught on the neap tides up a creek pretty close to King flicking a drain.
The following week was the big tides so worked out a plan with some tips from a few top blokes and headed out. Left nice and early to catch some of the high tide before settling into a low tide hole for the afternoon. The plan was an instant success with my mate landing his PB 90cm barra on the second pass trolling a brown/gold classic.
Headed over for the low tide expecting to see an army of boats there being a Saturday. With only one boat there before us we were pleasantly surprised and commenced trolling for the day. Had a few hits and in came a greedy 60+cm salmon still chomping on a live squid he must have nailed right before my lure!
Had a couple of quick hook ups to big fish but they weren't to be. My mate lost a cracker at the boat but due to his decky pulling out last minute he was solo and that may have cost him this fish as he was trying to do everything. The lads in the other boat there managed two nice fish before my bomber got whacked and a big bucket mouth appeared out of the water about 40m behind the boat. I knew it was big fish and when it jumped again there was no doubting it was a metre fish and was nice to see she was hooked with three sets of tough trebles! Took my time and got her in and gently placed her on the mat for measurement...104cm. My first ever metre barra. Yehoo! Got a few snaps and put her in to swim her and after only 20 seconds or so she was kicking hard so let her go and off she swam.
That was it for the day. Great trip with two PB's and plenty of to celebrate! Decided to head back over there a few days later after getting a day off work. Ozdodge was keen to head over to one of his spots for a livebaiting session. We put the boat in at Buff and were lucky to have thousands of mullet willing to be netted. Off we went and settled into his favourite spot. After about 30mins I got a run and after a great fight in came a nice 92cm barra.
Put on another mullet and not long after another run resulting in another replica of the first fish also going 92cm.
Ozdodge had quick run but no hookup and besides a few cod it was getting quiet. The water temperature got really high in the shallows it reached over 35 degs. We dodged a few storms that day. We trolled around for a bit but no more barra today. Headed back late with great conditions and a nice sunset.
Next week was the neaps again so decided to head back over and do some trolling. Found a likely spot with only one other boat there and in went the lures. The other boat was onto a fish straight away and after a long fight they lost it at the net. Soon after they were on again and this time another long battle resulted in a thumping barra being boated that went well over a metre. They hooted for a while and swam the big girl and away she went. Looking positive! By now there were 6-8 boats around and we continued to troll. We witnessed another 6 or so hookups but these fish were playing dirty and not one of them was landed. Was pretty exciting even tho we didn't get a single hit! Back by lunchtime today but wasn't to be for us.
Yesterday we headed back over to the Bay for another crack on the springs. The water was really low and I probably wouldn't bother with a low tide like this again as there wasn't much water to troll even shallow lures with dragging constantly. With 8 boats all in the same spot catching nothing it was pretty dull and quiet. We tried everything and finally we found a couple of stray mullet to soak and wait for the incoming tide. After about an hour of livebaiting for nought we shifted to where the water would first flow back in and right on the first push of the tide my mate got a hook up. I saw a decent swirl in the shallow water but we were unsure it was a barra, thinking a shark had taken the giant mullet. But it surfaced shortly after with the mouth fully opened and we all jumped up and started running around the boat getting things clear. In it came and slid into the net and this barra was huge. Onto the mat she went and Nic stretched her out to reveal 105cm.
Pulled anchor and swam her and after no time at all she was off with plenty of kick. Good to see her released alive and well. Not bad for a quiet day where nothing was happening. This got all the other boats enthused and soon the water was streaming in. Didn't see anymore fish landed so was a long day for one fish but well worth it.
Seems like its getting a little quieter out there as the month went on but might be worth one more crack I reckon! Love it out there.
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:57 pm
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Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:13 pm Post subject: Re: Shoal Bay Neaps and Springs Barra.
Great post and info. Congrats on an awsome fishing effort. Painful for me to read tho. Live in Howard Springs but can't use the Shoal Bay ramp anymore. Otherwise I'd be there most weekends. Might just have to bite the bullet and drive with all the city rats out to the Buff creek ramp.
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