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North Head 7/10

2078 Views 16 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Davey G
sbd, mangox and I launched a bit after the planned 5:30 from Little Manly and headed around to North Head. I was trolling a CD7 Redhead and a small red/brown Hydro Squirt. Round Cannae Pt and sticking to the shore as much as I could when Steve yells to me you're on. Hang on, you're on both lines. Clearly not the monsters that I was after but I pulled in two long-finned pike. One was accidentally released while trying to open the livewell, the other went in.

Rounded Quarantine Head and it was like a car park, with all the boats swoffing or flicking at salmon. Pulled in the trolling lines and threw a blue searock at a couple of schools for nothing. Decided to swap over to a plastic so put on a 4" berkley minnow grub, in glass minnow colour (almost colourless - had found them on a remainder bin a few months ago and thought they might be good for salmon). Meanwhile the salmon disappeared.

Headed around North Head and up to Bluefish, stopping only untangle my lines from Dave's, twice! No action so at Bluefish decided to put the pike down. It wasn't showing a lot of life and I had forgotten to bring any sinkers so I put it down with the paravane (which sinks readily) and soaked it for a while. No hits. Dave said he wanted to go looking for salmon around North Head.

I planned to troll the pike slowly, keeping close to the shore. Was about halfway back to North Head when I saw salmon in the wash off the rocks. In the words of Paul Keating, I then "threw the switch to vaudeville"!

Paddled in a bit closer, grabbed the rod with the sp and cast into the fish. Instant hit and I start slugging it out with a fish that was no shrinking violet. This was all going well and I was making line and losing line when I became aware that I had a problem. I was getting close to the rocks - a combination of the pull of the fish and the incoming swell.

Decided to stow the rod and paddle away from the rocks to continue the fight. Here I made a big mistake. I have two flushmount holders behind the seat - each had a rod, one with the paravane and pike on the same side as I was fighting the salmon. Grabbed that rod, shoved it in the storage rod holder in the crate, put the rod with the salmon in the flushmount and started to paddle away. Next thing the rod with the pike gets dragged by the paravane into the drink taking the crate, net, tackle bag and fish measurer. Fortunately it was leashed and most things were floating. pulled the rod, crate and tacklebag back into the yak but everything just gets pulled over again. I grab for the rod and bag again and I'm in the drink, losing one of my crocs. Salmon is still on!

At this point I had to quickly get what I could and paddle out of danger. Somehow managed that (can't remember details). Paddled around and picked up my sun block (fell out of tackle bag) and croc. Lost were the net, fish measure and the salmon (with lure) :cry:

Reorganised myself, rerigged and tried again but it was a bit hairy and I couldn't see any more fish. Paddled around North Head and headed for home. Run into Dave and Steve on the way in. Did put the CD7 back out for a little while after I came close to a large fish mooching just under the surface, but I think I was beaten to it by a guy on a charter. Saw someone else hooked up to a solid fish off Quarantine Head. The NE wind was coming up solidly by then so I called it a day.

My lessons from today are:

* Look for salmon in the wash off the rocks if the schools aren't busting up

* I was right about the glass minnow coloured minnow grub

* There is a right time and a wrong time to organise rods on the yak. When you're fighting a fish is the wrong time. I should have stowed the rod I wasn't using, leaving the trolling rod and the rod ready for salmon in the flushmounts. The drift into the rocks would then have been only a minor issue. I think next time I try this I will take only two rods

* Need to secure my crate better
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A couple of pics taken while relaxing at Bluefish and a map showing where the fish were picked up and identifying locations.
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.



An eventful and challenging outing Dave and glad all was well despite the gear lost.
Gatesy said:
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Damn Dave i am sorry but i can't stop laughing.

when are you going to put your swim % on your signature? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: .

I think a few of us need to know if the problem is the yak or the user. Once or twice is understandable but i think you've only had 1 or 2 trips without a swim.

Any thoughts

Anyway good to hear the salmon are chewing the SP's as it will give us a little hope for next time
Mate, its not the yak. Its definitely me. Essentially I'm trying to cram all the stuff onto the yak that I used to take out on the tempo, and its not working. The circumstances of my falling off are getting increasingly unusual, though no less frequent.

In respect of general paddling, I'm really settling into the yak and quite comfortable on it. Also, I spent the time drifting at Bluefish sitting sideways with my feet in the water. Apart from being relaxing, this enables me to access the rear well and live well without problem.

I know I haven't been a good ad for the yak. Just remember that one of the reasons for the moniker Peril is that I'm a klutz and a danger to myself. I need to learn from Lloyd and simplify what I'm doing out there. This definitely means fewer rods when outside - no more than two from now on.

Another thing I discovered today is that the livewell aerator that I bought on ebay is not waterproof. It was full of water when I returned, and looked as if it had taken water on previous outings (I hadn't checked). It dried out and is still working so I'll just give it a bit of protection.

Finally, for the first time today the yak had water in it when I returned. A few litres. The water was the lumpiest that I've had it in and I had it in places where I was getting the swell and wash so it was a bit of a test. In addition, I'd filled the livewell for the first time, adding about 20kg. I suspect the water came in through the rudder cable ducts so will not normally be a problem.
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Dave, thanks for the amusing read. Its good that we can laugh at ourselves and we share these moments of madness with each other. I would imagine that you still had a top day regardless of your little issues.

Catch ya Scott
top day again out there...

This being my second trip out there, I thought it would be easier for me.

it was, sort of :

1) I did take sea sickness pills this time. They worked great. Felt nothing.

2) Had more of a plan this time. 2 or 3 lures to troll, a couple of jigging lures and some sps to flick. Last time I just took pretty much everything and could not access them on the water.

3) Frozen squid as back up.

As Dave said, we paddled out and as soon as we hit the corner... :shock:
massive waves started rolling in. As a newbie, I still find this very unsettling.
To me it was a 2m swell with a steep slope...
Dropped the squid lure on the downrigger to about 60ft.
As we reached the salmon school and all the boats, I started flicking a white and pink Sguidgy.

Stuck around for a while watching everybody else land salmon and many kingies. One guy had very heavy tackle and still had a massive bend in his rod. After 20 min he got done on the reef !! :? and swore for another 20 min :)
Saw the guys heading around to Blue Fish and started paddling towards them. At this stage my sp had sunk to the bottom around 90 ft or so.
As I paddled behind them, my rod goes off !! :D Big bend on light gear and the fish started to surface..
After a couple of good runs, I landed a nice Salmon about 50cm. Got the camera out a noticed it wouldn't turn on :shock: Sh!t !! flat batteries !!
I thought I could get a couple from my sounder and tried to reach the forward hatch. A big no-no. I didn't fall in, but almost. :?
Released the salmon and kept trolling river2sea squid lures.
Had a couple of hits on them and 2 nice runs but no hook ups.
I noticed both lures lost the rubbery hood and tentacles quite easily.
The were ripped off. The come with a couple of spare hoods, but still.....for $13...
Dropped some dead squid on the downrigger and got busted off twice !!
They are pre-rigged twin hook rigs with 35lb leader !!!
After my squid were finished, I flicked a few more sps around and landed 2 small flatties. Ha, it was a bit of a shock to see them surface as I didn't expect to catch them around the marker in 60 ft of water...

Saw the guys head back and decided to join them..
Nice day on the water...even in big swells...



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Another trip, another dunking :shock: :? Your trip reports are getting better and better!

Glad that you survived unscathed (apart from a bruised ego). A pity about the salmon getting away - I'm sure you were thinking to yourself "a comp entry at last!"

Re the crate - that's why I use an esky which has a secured lid - so that if I do happen to flip nothing will fall out. I'm sure that todays trip will give you some more things to think about when outfitting yourself for future trips
rubbed off for sure....felt it...thought I'd pulled him out, but the leader would have been damaged.... then snap !!

your right about the leatheries ....
there were a million of them...
don't mind damaging a lure to a kinggie....but to a leatherie :x
i actually saw 2 guys next to me catch big rays...

now that i think about it.....may have been :cry:
Steve, we'll definitely get you around North Head next time. Looks like the fish had other ideas today. The dropbear colour looks good for salmon. Well done on the fish you caught.

*Edit* Just checked the Manly Hydrographics Lab site. The waves were about 2.5m when we were out there early in the morning. http://mhl.nsw.gov.au/www/wave_last4.htmlx Just shows how my judgement is off, I thought about 1.5m. Good to know that the yak handles such conditions well. Steve, I keep getting you out in crap conditions. I'm sure we'll find a good day soon 8) *Edit*

Forgot to mention that we caught up with RobbieAus and his mate on a Nemo when we got back to Little Manly. They had arrived after we left and his mate had succumbed to mal de mer.

Thinking about yesterday's adventure, I'm quite pleased with myself in that for the first time I had targeted salmon and had hooked up and everything in the tackle department went well. Previous salmon have been unexpected catches on the troll. Just really angry with myself that I stuffed up when the heat was on. I could have moved the rods safely and without incident. So I lost a good fish and comp bragging rights.

Definitely want to try again next weekend. I want me a *****. They fight too well on 3kg gear to pass up an opportunity to target them. Also a great way to take the stiffness out of your fireline.
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I went out from Little Manly trolling a River to Sea minnow in a very fetching reflective silver/green combo. There was noticeable swell as soon as we rounded Quarantine head, Peril & Steve stopped to try their luck (resulting in a pike) and I went to join the fleet further round at North Head. There was plenty of action around the head with bent rods everywhere, I hooked a salmon pretty well straight away on a live worm but lost it at the kayak. Steve and Dave caught up, and Dave and I went to find somewhere with less fish.

We continued out to Bluefish without a touch, despite passing through around 4 schools of salmon – very exciting, I could see the fish crashing bait on the surface. We should have stopped here and flicked around some SP’s, but conditions were tricky. Seas were very sloppy, particularly with the reflection from the cliffs. I saw a stinkboat very nearly come to grief at about the point where Dave had trouble later. He’d gone too close, and a larger than usual swell came close to flipping him. There was a moment where he was nearly vertical, frantically gunning his engine with the prop in the air. More by luck than judgement he got clear of the rocks and headed further out.

Once at Bluefish, we soaked some baits for half an hour or so, with no action at all. We headed back around to North Head, I took the direct route, and Dave took the scenic route around the rocks. Back at North Head the flotilla had dispersed with a sole swoffer still waving his wand – he’d had some action earlier but nothing for an hour (this was around 0900). Dave caught up, looking dampish, and shared his tale of woe. We decided to call it a day, and headed back in, collecting Steve on the way through. This was my first fishless outing on the kayak, mostly due to not staying put where the fish were. A fine morning was had nonetheless, Dave & I did about 14km and the slightly rougher conditions were good practice – my swim percentage continues to decline.
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Great story guys. Peril, when I was looking at ya pics, the waves looked a bit on the lumpy side so I'm not surprised they were coming in at about 2.5 m. Not easy conditions so top effort. With falling out, I tend to think that some of the problem is with moving from a bigger yak to a smaller one. Because they are so similar, ya automatic reflexes are still tuned in to the bigger one - and when it comes to balance, well . . . the smaller one is more sensitive. Different if going from a stinkboat to yak as it is just so different. Not to worry, good escuse to keep going out. Sounds like everyone had fun.

Magnificent story - possibly an epic.

I haven't worked up the courage for North Head yet so went for the beginners paddle from Balmoral on Saturday

Managed to get down there around 5.30 and the comedy began

1. dropped the yak off the car (at least it wasn't the rudder end and no one else was around)

2 Towed two lures (rapalas) up to Middle Head ( one white & the other blue) - nothing biting ( but felt I looked the goods). I think you call it trolling but as far as success went i think it only counts as trolling after you catch something with them.

3. At Middle Head after still nothing happening - decided I would give the SPs a go. Put a brownish shad on - tried casting into the wash around the rocks - nothing ( but managed to hook a particularly tricky plastic bag - managed to land it and estimate length at 25 cm)

4. Left the SP on and one of the rapalas and went for a spin down the middle of middle harbour hoping for a dopey king - nothing

5. Put another shad on (this time a fluro yellow one) and cast around the rocks - nothing ( managed to scare someone doing yoga on the rocks with a particular aggressive cast)

6. Paddled back up past Balmoral towards the naval area trolling another small goldish lure - nothing

7. Tried casting one of the shads around the naval wharf hoping for something hanging around the pilings - nothing AND warned off by a security guard - feigned surprise

8. Trolled my way back to Balmoral - hoping for anything around the moored boats - nothing

9. Went to butcher on the way home - managed to catch 500g of mince & had hamburgers on the BBQ

Ah well at least it was a good paddle to christen the Titanic.

I understand there are fish in the Ocean but where ?

All the best

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Thunderbird2, you are the sort of fella I like to go fishing with. Since I am somewhat challenged as to catching fish, I would probably look good doing the rounds with you :D . Except you are smarter than me as you take money to buy some food to turn up at home with. Good thinking.
David, I find most fisheries challenging, but none more so than Middle Harbour. Pity as its my backyard. I think, and as MangoX showed a short while ago, depth has a lot to do with it.
occy said:
Great report guys. Well done just to stay out there I reckon. I would have really struggled in those conditions in Lady Finger.

If I ever get a Kingfisher I would be keen to give that a go. If what Troppo says about the sizing I should be right going from a small yak to a bigger one. :twisted:
occy I thought you said that size didn't matter?? :shock: :shock:
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