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Akuna Bay Friday 17

2419 Views 12 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Dodge
Dave (Peril) and I met at Akuna Bay ramp around 1845 this evening. I had arrived around 1800 hoping to start early and catch a few livies or squids. By the time I got the kayak rigged and set up, Dave had arrived. While setting up a couple of boats tied up at the Marina and told us they had seen heaps of Tailor jumping. Hoping we were going to get some live Tailor for our Jewfish session, we headed out with some HB's and SP's. On the way out from the ramp, Dave lost his fishing rod overboard, in about 8 metres of water.Great start to the evening. It seems this was his first rod he used with SP's. Not happy :evil:
We decided to head towards the pylons of the Marina and try our luck with squid and yakkas. The water was a warm 21.5C and we were fishing in about 12 metres of water. I was berleying with the pellets and after trying some SP's I changed rig and fished with squid strips. Nothing.
We kept drifting, with Dave trolling some Sp's and I decided to hang half a large squid on my 15kg outfit. Nothing. Caught a small snapper on squid. The night was beautiful, but a bit on the chilly side. Definitely thermal weather, but all the stars were out and there was not a breath of wind.
Akuna Bay is funny. Although very deep, it seemed to be featureless. The bottom had no holes, caves or any structure where large fishies could hide and ambush. There was very little or no current, as the baits just wafted serenely down to the bottom. Between the entrance to the Marina and the foreshore on the opposite side, the water is around 16-17 metres and VERY dark.
Although we caught bugger all, my FF worked a treat. I placed the transducer on the rudder and secured it there with a plastic flexi tie thingy. Once I realised (after 20 minutes of thinking the FF was not working) that to get a reading, the transducer needs to be in the water rather than poking up in the air, I was getting an exquisitely clear picture of the bottom...but no fish.
We had a great time, although Dave expressed his reservation at doing another night session. Can't blame him.

Prowler 15
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Simon, I also use the transducer on the rudder of my P15 without issue. I use a single stainless bolt to hold it and when not in use there is a small hole in the rudder which hasn't affected performance.

By far the bulk my fish I used to get from Cowan was by working the between the second and third step of the shoreline drop offs as there was plenty of water depth here and some structure. I used to just slowly troll deep running livies or rigged fresh squid in these areas. I have known people to get good jews in the middle but as you said it is featureless and it seems to me that the larger predators in that system just slowly fin around looking for a feed as they cannot use the current to hunt via ambush like they do in the mainstream Hawkesbury. How did Dave loose his rod?

Catch ya Scott
Hi Scott
I think while paddling. He felt something clip his paddle and then heard a splash. I guess it wasn't tethered. Although sometimes tethering the rods is a pain, I guess it saves you from making it an expensive trip.

Your method of fishing sounds right. I guess just slow trolling would probably deliver the goods, as there are some big jewies in that area. It would be interesting to find out more about the area, as I am sure there are spots that hold some good fish structures that could be explored.

Regarding the transducer, I used the Lowrance mounting bracket, bent the two tabs so they faced each other, placed a small piece of rigid foam (like a kind of sandwich) between them, and used a tie clip to secure it to the rudder, without having to make a hole in it. It worked really well last night. Most pleased I was! I will post some photos.

Prowler 15
I'm not being a smartass (I am, but not trying) but 8m of water?
That's swimable. Even if not, did you try and jig it up with some heavy lures?

Anyway, been there. Mackerel slime does not make a rod easier to hold on to. (To go along with the water is wet bit of genius).

sorry I missed you guys... but couldn't get out of work on time. Its a good 2 hr trip with friday traffic...plus getting home loading gear and stuff..

sorry to hear about the rod overboard...I dont tether in rivers or bays either, might have to re-think that..

sound like a great night despite the lack of fish...better luck next time..
Hi Zed
I agree with you. 8 metres is swimable, but not at night with the option of having Bull sharks in the area. Also the water is very murky and dark. BRRRR :shock:

Prowler 15
Unfortunately, due to the change in ownership of this web site and the lack of response by the owners to my requests to remove my email address from all administrative-level notifications and functionality, I have decided to remove my posts on AKFF. Thank you for the great times, the fantastic learning experiences and the many many fish. If you are desperate for the old content of this particular post, it is available below base64 encoded and bzip2 compressed.



I was paddling to catch up to Simon. At about the third pier of the marina I felt a bump on the paddle blade as I brought it up then heard a small splash. Empty rod holder. Panicked when I thought it might be my brand new baitcaster combo, but it was a much cheaper spin combo. As Simon said, it was my first light spin rod (squidgy sfs) and a trusty although rough daiwa caprice - this outfit had landed some of my pbs, definitiely including the bream at Forster, and salmon and EP from the Hacking. Only consolation was the handle bearing was quite rusted so the reel didn't have much life left in it. The water was more like 5m, but on a cool night at dusk I wasn't going to muck around.

My plan had been to drift, dragging a large squid jig on the baitcaster while casting a smaller squid jigon the spin outfit and dragging a gulp squid on my heavy outfit until I had a livey. Then I would slow troll the livey and a gulp jerk shad with casting paddle or curltailed sps to shore. Revised plan was to cast for squid with the baitcaster, while dragging the gulp squid.

This was interesting in the dark as it was only the second time I've used a baitcaster. I started off with a jig that was too big, but I felt more confident casting it. Was conservative with the casts and had only the occasional and very minor overun. Recent link posted here was incredibly useful in helping setup the reel (you guys are tops). Later I moved to a lighter jig and was able to cast without problems. I can see myself using baitcasters a lot more (Daiwa Procaster 103HSD with Redington 5kg rod & 10lb Nitlon PE braid - rod & reel were a remainder special).

Anyhow no sign of squid so I just slow trolled the gulp squid and a gulp jerk shad, staying in around 6-8m. Later tried casting the jerk shad and got up some good casts without a single birdsnest. Don't know how far I was casting in the darkness though.

Cold, fishless and depressed about the rod, I decided to call it quits just after 10. Dragged a heavy jig over the area where I lost the outfit but couldn't snag anything.

BTW, someone asked a few weeks ago about breaking off heavy line when on the yak. I got the gulp squid rig snagged early on with 40lb leader and 20lb braid. It took considerable effort to break, but eventually the braid let go. I can't see any point in going heavier except to cope with abrasion. Was also the last of my 40lb leader and am downsizing to 30lb.

There was a little bit of surface action out there, but mostly small fish fleeing only slightly bigger fish. Did have a hit on the gulp squid that left teeth marks but it missed both hooks. My night efforts todate have been completely fruitless, so I think I'll concentrate on the bream and pelagic fishing during the day. Maybe a night session on a weekend away.

All good learning experience. Looks like I'll have to leash my rods when paddling at speed, even in the estuaries. A small inconvenience to save a lot of money (though in this case it wasn't that bad).
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sorry to hear about the rod and reel loss Dave, arnt baitcasters just the greatest to use, a challenge , but very gratifying , i have just bought a new daiwa procaster and it seems like a great little reel .In my eatlier life as a powerboat fisherman , i used to fish cowan creek nearly exclusively, and naturally an awful lot of time in coal and candle, launched at akuna, never had any real luck there, EXCEPT for hairtail, and there something that i would not like to bring aboard a kayak at night they will sink those fangs into anything close enough to bite
Barry, with a priest at hand, do you think a hairtail could be managed? Not that I fancy freezing my nuts off in the middle of winter, but a hairtail capture from a yak would be a good talking point. That and the fact that captures have been so uncommon for a few years that some believe they are mythical. Caught one the only time I went after them - from a tinny in Jerusalem Bay in the early 80s
Alright. 'Nuf said. No diving.
I take for granted, the lack of croc/bullshark-factor here.

On lost rods:
When I was like 6, my mom and pop were out on a large lake in Minnesota (Central, North USA) fishing for walleye on our 14' tinny. It's a big enough lake that it has some seas in the right wind, so I wasn't along this ride. I was out catching leeches or frogs or salamanders on shore, I'm sure.

So they were drift fishing, and as my pop was helping out mom with her rig, my dad's new, top-of-the-line graphite, ultra-light spinner goes over the rail. Now my dad most likely cursed up a storm and generally threw a fit about it. And I'm certain my mom felt like crap, too. They dragged the bottom for a good hour before finally giving up and going back to fishing.

On a later drift my mom says, "Oh, I've got one", and reels in my dads rig with her small like #2 hook hooked through the smallest end eye of the ultra-light rig. To top it off the fish that pulled the rig over was still there, and it wasn't a walleye. It was an overachieving perch. That little ultra-light fish took the ultra-light rod and reel right over. Just a family fishing story I thought of.

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Dave, you would want to be a bloody good shot with the priest, in fact i think you may want a bishop, apart from freezing your nuts off to get the hairtail , you stand a good chance of getting them bitten off if the priest does not do the job, good talking point , but perhaps in a slightly higher pitched voice :D :D :D
Simon and Dave good to read the reports of the trip and shame to lose an old favorite piece of gear Dave, regardless of quality as they have special memories.

Re hairtail we just grabbed them behind the head and dropped in a bin or bag like a snake handler and found they settled OK as they died very fast
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