Spaniard, Spotties, Sweetlip - 27 December 2015

TR by Tunny
Trip date: 27 December 2015
Participants: Stormin, Sunshiner, Pedro, Irish luck, Diesel, Cuddles, Imax and Tunny all launching from MG, with Scatter from Doggie Beach
Conditions: Perfect, wind N less than 5 knots, Low Tide 2.30 am, High Tide 9.20 am
Keen Angler Program: 1 Spaniard frame donated

Scatter launched from Doggie Beach, dry-bummed it out through a rip right in front of the car park and headed for Sunshine Reef.  The rest of us launched from MG and opted to head for Little Halls and Halls Reefs as Stormin had seen bird action and fish bust-ups there the day before while I thought it best to avoid Jew Shoal on a day when the boating masses would be out.

The tide was still very low when we launched which meant hardly any boats were crossing the bar as we headed for Little Halls.  Diesel pushed straight on to Halls where Pedro was already fishing, while Sunshiner and I did circuits of Little Halls.

Perfect conditions at Little Halls
There was bait on the sounder but no bust ups or bird action early on.  I was trolling a weighted pilchard while Sunshiner used a Halco lure.  At 4.30 am my reel started screeming as line peeled off. The initial few runs were powerful and the fish was clearly bigger than my recent Spottie catches. After a short battle a nice Spaniard was visible beneath the kayak, then gaffed (two attempts as you embarrassingly see on the video), before being placed in the hatch.

Tunny's Spaniard

Stormin, who had started a little later was approaching Little Halls when his Halco lure got taken by a nice Spottie while I caught a Spottie about half an hour later on a weighted pilchard.  Scatter then hooked up to a Spottie out at Sunshine Reef using a trolled slimey.

Little Halls went quiet after the initial Spaniard and two Spotties so we continued on to Halls Reef. Here the surface action and fish bust-ups were more abundant, with Longtail Tuna busting the surface and clearing the water as they fed on bait fish near the surface.  But despite the better surface action at Halls the only pelagic caught there was a Spottie by Pedro.

I continued trolling while others switched to bottom bashing, with both Irish Luck and Cuddles catching good sized Sweetlip. Cuddles caught his on a shad soft plastic and is the biggest fish he has caught since moving to Australia.

I was chasing a fast moving patch of diving birds and ended up half way back to Little Halls.  As I had caught fish there but not at Halls I decided to continue to LH with Stormin not far behind.  On arrival at Little Halls I pulled up near Stormin and asked whether he had caught any more fish.  Just as he said "No" his reel started screeming and he was clearly into a big fish.  He had just switched over from a trolled pillie to a Halco lure.  I pulled up my line and took a few photos of the action:

The initial powerful run

Longtail circling below the kayak
After about a 20 minute struggle the fish started circling under the kayak, a move typical of Longtail Tuna.  I was interest in seeing the Tuna caught as we had arranged a trade, where I would give Stormin my Spaniard (his favourite fish) for his Longtail (my family's favourite).   This battle continued for another 10 minutes and the Tuna was close to the kayak when the line parted.

Stormin switched to bottom bashing (I guess he was tired!) and a short while later boated a Sweetlip. We then headed back to MG.  I decided to donate my Spaniard to Stormin, who in turn is donating the frame to Fisheries Keen Angler Program.

Cuddles with his big Sweetlip
Tunny's Spaniard - not bad hey?

Spotties by Tunny (top) and Stormin (bottom)
Scatter's Spottie
Sweetlip caught by Irish Luck

1 comment: