On Wednesday afternoon Pedro reported bagging three spotties at North Sunshine while he dropped another two while paddling over Jew Shoal on his way home. So on Thursday morning, with spotties on our mind, Sunshiner and I launched at 4am, with Sunshiner heading for Jew Shoal while I planned to head in the direction of North Sunshine. The launch was easy and we paddled off, with Sunshiner trolling his favourite Halco lure while I had one line with a Halco and the other with a weighted pilchard.
Sunshiner reported no signs of bait busting the surface or bird action but I came across bait on the surface and some birds diving as I crossed Hells Gates. There was a very solid bait ball at least 10 metres thick but despite several paddles through this I failed to get a bite. Then two dolphins surfaced so perhaps it was them rather than the pelagics chasing the bait fish.
The bait ball disappeared after about 15 minutes so I proceeded on to A Reef and then on in the direction of North Sunshine. There was no signs of bait on the sounder whereas at Jew shoal Sunshiner reported good signs of bait.
I then decided to turn for Jew Shoal. Jimbo, who had launched a little later and was following me out to A Reef also changed path and headed for Jew Shoal. At Jew Shoal we tried bottom bashing with Sunshiner and I using soft plastics while Jimbo used bait, all without success.
Jaro then came on the radio announcing he was on his way to Jew Shoal on a stinky and that he had hooked a spotty about 2 km off the river mouth. He and his mates on the boat then hooked a second one about a kilometre east of JS at which point we gave up the bottom bashing and started trolling.
I had both a pilchard and Halco lure out, with the shallow diving Halco further back to prevent the risk of the lines tangling. There was some signs of fish on the sounder:
|View on the sounder just before the first strike|
Sunshiner headed in early to prepare for his holiday while Jimbo went on to Halls Reef. No further fish were caught, but the great news is that we know THE SPOTTIES ARE OUT THERE!!!
|My first for the season|