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I have not reported any activities this month - not sure if its been the winter blues or just a bit tired and lazy but I have managed to get in a few trips between family visits to Sydney and the stuff that has to be done, things like pruning the fruit trees and the roses.

June's fishing was largely in the Tuross system and this month saw me getting a bit fidgety and needing to feel the ocean swell under my keel. Because time was tight I chose to make the short drive to Barlings which is relatively protected from the prevailing easterly swell. The first trip there was mostly unproductive as I was trying to work the sandy area for flathead rather than fishing the inshore reefs I am more familiar with. As the daylight was beginning to fade I made one drift down the rocky shoreline of the island and ended up taking home a nice fat bream that put up a good tussle on the light tackle I was using.

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The next trip I targeted the reefs and hooked up a large number of very large wrasse, fish which carry some extraordinary markings and colours. I really wanted to land a good snapper and it wasn't until the weather made it unsafe to stay on the water that I headed in past the headland and a large school of fish showed on the sounder. I dropped a bait and as it free spooled down the line began to really rip off the spool . I waited just a bit longer to allow the fish to swallow the bait and when I closed the bail there was an instant pressure as the line tightened and the rod bent over. The small reel and light rod meant that I had to angle the fish and when it was over I was a tad disappointed that the snapper was just under legal but the light gear makes it a whole lot of fun.

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I missed the next week altogether as we had a family function in Canberra for a joint 30th birthday and although we set off looking forward to the days activities we ended up heading back home after an incident in Bungendore which left our car sporting a crumpled front end. Its currently at the doctors and should be back on kayak duties this weekend...

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The last trip to Barlings was once again aiming at snapper and after another haul of various wrasse, an enormous red rock cod and a dolphin encounter I finally had another school of snapper show up on the sounder. I worked the reef with plastics and finally managed to get a good hit and with the light gear bouncing heavily I knew I was at least on the right species. I suspected that it was going to be another fish just under the legal minimum but was very happy to end up with a fish that was big enough to provide dinner for two...

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After getting the weekend pruning all done on Saturday I managed to make a "quick" trip back down to Tuross on Sunday afternoon and very nearly got myself into trouble. I headed off through the channels I know very well and when I got to the area I would normally turn back I had a couple of nice flathead in the net and on the spur of the moment headed off to circumnavigate the island. I have done this trip once before but it was fair while ago and I had forgotten just how far it was. Its an easy paddle/pedal but it still needs enough time and it started to get dark well before I was back at the boat ramp. I pulled up google earth later and found that I had started off on a 6 km paddle which would have been much more enjoyable if it had not ended up with unrealistic time restraints. I did find some good fish on the way and I will return again to spend some time there so that I can enjoy some relaxed fishing rather than having to push hard to get back before it got completely dark.

That's July... some good fishing when fish are supposedly scarce, a lesson (re) learned and an old guy who is pretty content with the south coast waterways...

cheers

John
 

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