Little haul at Halls - 2Jan16

TR by Redwood
Trip date: 2/1/2016
Participants: Diesel, Sunshiner, ScottyD, Panno,
Rylin, Gemini, Stormin, Tunny & Redwood 
Launch Site:  Middle Groyne
Conditions: 5-10knot wind from the South
Keen Angler Program: None

Finally my availability and good weather conditions coincided and it was time to hit our magnificent Laguna Bay. I arrived at 4.15 only to find empty roof racks. Seems launch time was 4.15 not arrival time. Fellow Gentleman's Hour devotee Weeksie joined me for an easy launch, Weeksie feeling a bit naked as he'd left his PFD behind.

I made a callout to see where everybody was headed and I was reliably informed that most had gone to Jew Shoal, but Tunny and Stormin had opted for Halls, which is what I oped for as well. Tunny and Stormin were already at Little Halls when I first put blade to water. I was running a Slimy Mac on a Tunny special hoping to attract the interest of a Spaniard.

I was half way to Halls when Diesel announced that he'd boated a legal Spotty to break his Spotty Mac duck (a goodie over 85cm as it turns out). He landed another a little while later, whist Sunshiner radioed in that he's caught and released a Mac Tuna. ScottyD mentioned that he thought some Tuna were about and as I learned later he also dropped a Spaniard.

Diesel breaks his Spotted Mackerel duck.

It seemed like there was more action East than North and I started to wonder if I should change course and head for JS.

Then I heard a sound that should be bannered from broadcast; a screaming reel that seemed to go on and on. Tunny was hooked up to something big just as I had just released a small shark that had my Slimey Mac for brekkie. Stormin announced he was leaving Halls for the greener grass of JS; he headed out to the South East and not long after he announced he'd boated a Spotty caught on a 1m white Halco 120. He also announced that some birds had started to work in front of him. Plans for JS were hastily dismissed.

Tunny finally announced after what seemed an age, that he'd brought a 2m shark very close to the boat before he cut it off.

By now the birds were starting to arrive in numbers and bustups happing sporadically around us. It felt like Spotty Mac Mayhem from a few years ago and I was starting to get exited. It's seems we'd picked exactly the right spot on the Bay! I readied my slug outfit, fired at a bustup and hooked up straight away. After a short fight and a good gaff I had a 65+ Spotty in the hatch. I quickly removed the twisty and fired again into the bust up and hooked up immediately again. I brought the Spotty boat-side and was a little unsure if it was legal size so did not gaff straight away. My batteries had dislodged from the "super velcro" for the hundredth time (my arse it's super velcro) and as I went to move the box the Spotty went for another run and has it did so, broke the tip of my graphite rod. Bugger! Broken rod and a lost Spotty!

Never mind, no time for tears as there were Spotty Mac's to catch. I put a new twisty on my second graphite rod and radioed Stormin to find out where the action was. Just behind me as it turned out. I fired into the bustup and could see the fish chasing the lure all the way to the boat. I could even see a number of them pass under the boat. I fired again and this time hooked up. Again I brought it yak-side and again I was unsure if it was legal so did not gaff straight away. I tried to get it close to the ruler sticker on the side of the yak so I could ascertain the size and as before the Spotty decided to go for another run and again my rod broke! But this time the fish stayed on and I was able to get it back and boat it. I'm not sure how I could have avoided these breakages. One way could have been to play the fish more so that it had nothing in the tank for yak-side runs. This is difficult to do when you're in the middle of SMM; you just want to get it in the hatch so you can try for the next one. I could have gaffed earlier but may have landed up gaffing an undersized fish. I don't think I did anything wrong technically, I think I was just unlucky that the fish went for a hard run at the wrong angle--the angle that graphite rods do not like.

By this time Tunny had also boated a couple of Spotties (with rods in tact), also on twisty's and Stormin had landed another on a trolled pillie. The mayhem was still going on so I put the twisty on my big trolling outfit (7" Ugly Stick and 7500 Pen Spinfisher). It was a dog to cast and I couldn't cast it far enough to get into the bustups. It was also very difficult to fast wind the big reel. I decided to put the Stradic 2500 on and see if that faired any better and indeed I was now able to cast 40-50m even with a rod that was as stiff as a guy on blue pills. The action was starting to subside but the fish were still there even though they weren't busting up. I got a few more bumps on the twisty but no further hookups. There were around 4 boats at Halls with us, but neither Tunny or myself recalled them hooking up. Odd considering the number of fish.

Stormin announced that he was going to start heading back as he intended to go again the next day so wanted to leave something in the tank. My arm had been wound off, so I decided to troll a HBL back, hoping a stray Spotty might attack it. Tunny also headed back. We arrived back at the beach with no more action along the way.

Couple of extra eager fish holders. Thanks Kids.

Stormin, Tunny & Redwood's Spotties
Diesel's Spotties

Sunshiner's small movie from today

What a friggin beautiful day, even with two broken rods. Hope to do it all again tomorrow (minus the broken rods).


PS - As I am the acting Recorder I am giving myself the record for number of rods broken on one trip, beating my old, but numerous, single rod breakages. If anyone needs the butt end of a Sahara let me know.

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