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Post Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:28 pm    Post subject: Shoal Bay 14 Jan

Went for a fish on Saturday as the first real chance to try Santa’s pressie to see if it helps find me fish. He got me a Lowrance Elite 7Ti with al the gadgets attached. Big upgrade on the HDS5x and Garmin Etrex 20. I fish on my own a lot as my fishing mate works at a mine. The run to shoal bay was a little bumpy with some big swells still rolling in from the west. This would make it interesting if the wind got up in the afternoon with the incoming tide.

In the crazy holiday period I sold my smaller boat which included the electric motor that I had been using for many years. This little MG 46 lb tiller steer mounted on the front of my boat showed its worth when I had to leave it at home as the sold boat was being collected that day. This was my first trip in years without an electric. Wow what a difference to actually have one.

With the big tides there was time for 1 cast in most good looking spots, and if you missed bad luck. I tried tying to a few trees and drifting back on to spots but could not find a fish. I don’t like using the motor unless I have to and that is usually to retrieve lures stuck in the snag I was trying to fish. I had a paddle out to try to control my drift as well as grabbing and pushing trees away especially from the large new transducer. I managed to fill the boat with a record level of green waste on this trip from striking so many trees and everything falling into the boat.

I wasn’t having much luck and was concentrating on a creek mouth when a huge disturbance happened just up stream. Not that interested as I wasn’t going to motor back upstream to chase what ever it was. Then another big disturbance happened and I finally noticed a bank had collapsed and dumped some trees in the middle of the creek. Maybe this will be a good spot in the next few days but time will tell.

I continued my rapid descent of the creek with the falling tide. I had a few spots to try along the way and managed to find a pair of 50 odd cm fish in some of the usual places at creek mouths. I finally christened the little Stradic outfit I purchased second hand. I got these fish on small Bombers as I hadn’t seen many big bait fish so chose a smaller profile.

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I drifted and motored on toward the mouth as the tide had dropped a lot and I was starting to churn some mud and sand.

At the mouth I tried a range of techniques from drifting and trolling but with not much water and lots of obstacles it was challenging. I managed 2 small cod on hard bodies and stayed with this lure type as having worked a few times now.

There was a huge number of prawns at the mouth, but the only activity was caused by my line scaring the prawns into flicking out of the water. This wasn’t looking good for finding any fish. The only other activity was being caused by shadows from birds and a single swirl under a fallen branch.

I was trolling past this branch area and holding one rod and working the lure while the other sat in a rod holder. The rod in the holder made a rattle as it sprang straight as the lure was released. I looked back to see a huge boil in the water where the fish had broken the surface and spat the lure out. Another brief encounter and another lasting disappointment.

I quickly tied on a Zerek prawn and started drifting back to the same area of the branch. On the way I was passing another smaller snag so thought I would just test the lure there before the main target came in range. All felt good the lure sink rate and the drift was good to get the lure in the strike zone. I tugged the lure to keep it of the bottom and about the start the retrieve when it tugged back. I struck the fish and a solid fish charged out of the snag into open but shallow water. I tried to start the motor to pull it away from the snag I was going to fish but ended up in the middle of the snag with a solid fish trying to wrap me around it. I spotted the Zerek in the corner of the mouth looking like a twisted mass of rubber but the look looked well imbedded. I grabbed the net which was still not in the extended state and struggled to chase the fish around the boat the snag and the operating engine which was now holding me firmly in the snag I wanted to fish.
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There is such a good feeling to have the fish slide along the surface and into the net when you are on your own. I have lost lots of big fish when trying to net them on my own but love the extra challenge. I hoisted the fish into the boat and started to breath again. That was so close to being another one that got away story.

It had been a very long day and the tidal rush was only minutes away. I was glad to finally have a fresh fish for the freezer as it had been a very lean Christmas with all the very ordinary weather and not taking any days off. I tried a few more spots with the inrush of water while it got high enough to make my way back. It didn’t matter if I got one or not as I had my prize for the day. The run back was not too bad considering the slight chop and the swell still rolling in. the odd splash cools things down but makes it hard to see through your sunnies.

I have now got a new MG electric in the back of the car and will be fitting it ASAP. Looking forward to a controlled drift and spot lock.

Did the Lowrance Elite 7Ti improve my fishing. I’m not sure. I would have still cast into the same snags without it. It didn’t find any extra fish that I would not have expected to be there. It did show some signs that there were fish near my boats trolling line, but they were obviously interested in something else at the time. Was it worth the money? Well time will tell as it was bought for a whole range of fishing not just drifting around in shallow creeks.

Attachment:
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Post Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Shoal Bay 14 Jan

Great post, glad you got a good fish for your efforts!

Cheers

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Post Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:05 am    Post subject: Re: Shoal Bay 14 Jan

Great post mate, it can be frantic trying to bring in a nice fish solo!


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Post Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:46 am    Post subject: Re: Shoal Bay 14 Jan

Great read mate, thanks for sharing.


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Post Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 6:32 am    Post subject: Re: Shoal Bay 14 Jan

Nice work well done.

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Post Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:32 am    Post subject: Re: Shoal Bay 14 Jan

Top report and a ripper fish :mrgreen:
Cheers :drinking1:

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Post Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:18 am    Post subject: Re: Shoal Bay 14 Jan

solid fish mate and great story

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Post Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Shoal Bay 14 Jan

good story joesgotone

great fish for dinner as well, sometimes the swell out there is great for the fishing
makes it a bit scary on your own though.

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Post Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Shoal Bay 14 Jan

I can relate to bouncing down creeks wishing I had an electric to hold we in a position that would allow more than one quick cast at a snag.


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Post Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Shoal Bay 14 Jan

Good result, very satisfying solo - well done


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Post Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Shoal Bay 14 Jan

Top post mate the new spot lock electric motors are worth their weight in gold ....

especially when you're fishing solo. saving lures and wasted time whilst avoiding spooking the fish. Once you have the track it can't drive it while you cast to all the likely areas usually getting a few goes at it before you drift past.

I've done a few trips without them in the cartopper n other mates boats with similar encounters with obstacles to your post.I don't know how we got by without it back in the day. Just makes the whole day out a more effective and enjoyable experience.

even the four strokes scare them pretty good in shallow water.

Good luck on the rest of the year.

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Post Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Shoal Bay 14 Jan

Went out in the harbour to test the new MG Xi5 80. It is a huge upgrade on the original tiller steer electric. Cost a bit more than the $250 i paid many years ago. At the end of the day there were only a few leaves in the boat compared to the trailer load when i had no control.

Loved the features and the ease of control. Trolling on your own is now so easy.

Landed 2 fish one went 54 and i couldn't stretch it any further while the 59 came home with me. I missed too many hook ups but was just testing the motor through the tide change of course. The weather was quite kind considering the wind and rain.

Looking forward to 1 feb as i already have a trip planned to revisit shoal bay with a controlled drift. Maybe i can do better this time.

If you don't have an electric motor and you cast lures for barra. Get an electric motor. Even a cheapie is a great advantage.

Hope your drag screams.

Joe

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