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Part 1)... A couple of weeks ago I posted to ask if anyone knew about the fate of Lake Wallagoot on the NSW south coast since it had been opened to the sea. The post had few readers and no responses but we packed up and went for a weekend in spite of the lack of intel. The camper was packed and ready and we ate dinner on the road and set up camp in the dark on a cold Friday night.

We took the two smaller kayaks, the child bride's revo and my little tarpon 1000, which is where the trouble began. It has been pimped out with bits and pieces I am not familiar with and is still lacking some bits and pieces such as fittings to attach rod tethers... We headed off on Saturday to find what the opening was like with water running through it and then, hopefully, to find some fish, a forlorn mission as the lake had closed up again and there was not a fish to be found. Other than a myriad jelly fish that is... The only blip on the sounder was when a particularly large jelly fish passed under the yak so the bride headed for home and I chose to stay and work a big drop off in hope of finding a fish or two.

The little tarpon is fitted with railblazer tracks and I have put a pair of height extenders and rod holders up front with a third rod mount in the back tracks. I had two rods with me, a Shimano overhead rod with a very nice little Abu reel and a finesse bream rod. I dropped a gulp on the overhead and set about working the drop with the bream rod and was unhappy with the angle of the set rod and set about making an adjustment. Now to this point I had had the rods both locked into the holders with the locking rings built into said holders but as I was trying to find a better position I had removed the rod and when I couldn't adjust the hold I put the rod back in so I could use both hands - which is when the holder flipped forward and my beautiful little combo plunged head long into the depths. I have been kayak fishing for years and this is the first time I had lost a rod/reel and with such a rookie mistake I was pretty cranky with myself. I tried for a long time to drag the bottom with empty jig heads but all to no avail and as I had no knowledge of the jelly fish I chose not to try diving alone and unprotected from possible stings.

Part 2)... To start with it was exactly the same scenario as the previous week end but with a few subtle variations. This time I had the big bird loaded instead of the little yak and I also had a wet suit, flippers and goggles for an attempt at retrieving the rod lost last week. Oh for a sat.nav. on the kayak... I knew roughly where to begin and owing to a wind knot on the bream rod I also knew what depth I was looking for so, after another Friday night drive complete with setting up camp in the dark, it was back out onto the water to try and locate the right place.

I went out wearing a full rashie - that is complete head to toe including hands - long wet suit with a singlet top and carried the diving flippers, goggles and snorkle on the tramp with the right side outrigger. We were both looking for any sign of fishing rods as we made our way to the vague area I would be searching and all I could see was that the prevailing wind of the last day or so had the water filled with massive numbers of jellyfish and when I thought I saw something flash below me I quickly dropped anchor and prepared to get wet. The bride kept going as she reckoned we were nowhere near the right spot. Petroleum jelly on the mustachio, bit of spit in the goggles, fit the snorkel and put on the flippers and get ready for the cold... I nearly came straight back out like a dolphin jumping for a fish at a sea-world show. The cold went straight to brain freeze and my arms, bare except for the rashie took the full brunt of the shock. A quick look down showed no sign of the missing rod so I steeled myself and headed off towards where the child bride was a couple of hundred meters away. Vision should have been better but the jellyfish made it a lot harder to see the bottom, they were that thick. Gradually I acclimatized to the water temp and relaxed a little but the fruitless search had me wishing I had gone fishing instead of wasting time out here...

I finally reached the bride and she was near to the blocked entrance and it was then that I saw the drop off a little closer to the shore line than I had been looking. I was going to follow the bride back to my yak but on a whim I turned and went another few meters before I turned and slowly headed back directly over the line where the drop off leveled out at approximately 4 / 4.5m depth. I had only gone a very short distance when something off to my right caught my eye and that was my eureka moment... The rod and reel were sitting high on top of the weeds and were clearly visible when viewed through the goggles. I was already a bit tired from the cold and didn't know how I was going to get down that far with out a weight belt but I was carrying a small anchor and a float so I would be able to mark the spot if I needed to have a rest. As I floated above the rod I opened the anchor and dropped it down to the bottom and maneuvered it to a place beside the rod and out of curiosity i carefully dragged the anchor past the rod and one of the hinged legs slid under the rod right beside the reel and the whole thing started to come up in perfect balance as I very slowly retrieved the anchor rope.

In triumph I raised the salvaged rod high above the water and as an excited cry rang out across the water my fair lady turned and pedaled hard over to me and I think she was just as happy as I. But she stowed the rod on her yak to make sure I didn't drop it again on the way back...

The reel is a testament to the guys who designed and made it. It's nine bearings are stainless steel and after a week at the bottom of a salt lake I was really surprised to find that it still works perfectly - free spool, casting, drag, winding - everything works just the way it should.

It has been washed and received a liberal spray with Inox and will be going in for a full overhaul and service but all in all the second weekend was the better of the two.

P.S. If you want to go to Wallagoot go for the scenery and the peaceful surroundings but forget about fishing - I didn't see a single fish while I was looking for the rod...

cheers

John
 

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A great ending to a fine tale!
If Wallagoot had just been open then surely Cuttagee would have been the go, although camping may be a problem its been too long since I have been around Bermagui, very fond memories of that area.
 

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That is amazing John. Didn't we just have a re-run of a post from Mingle (or someone) about a found and lost rod all in one day....then recovered with the anchor also?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
kayakone said:
That is amazing John. Didn't we just have a re-run of a post from Mingle (or someone) about a found and lost rod all in one day....then recovered with the anchor also?
didn't see that one trev... I would rather have found it in the day as it would have been less likely to do long term damage. I was really just mucking about with the anchor while trying to get up the will to head into the deeper and colder water. Its amazing just how cold the water in a closed system gets when its not being flushed with the warmer ocean currents each tide.

cheers

John
 

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I just had a serious Deja Vous moment..... no hang on John and I caught up today and he told me about this. Good work mate, nice to catch up again. :D
 
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