“Fishin’ can be Hard Yakka!”
I am a very keen fisherman and kayaker as most of you would have probably guessed by now but I am also just as passionate about my writing and photography, hence the reason I started this “Mackayakka” blog. I’m the first to admit that my abilities may not equal my enthusiasm just yet which is why I read a lot of other fishing articles in blogs and magazines and I’m an avid viewer of most fishing television shows (this also passes the time when I can’t wet a line!). It always amuses me when the writers of the above mentioned media catch their target species so easily and always with the very lures that they are trying to flog off to the average punter. It can be interesting and advantageous to see the latest in fishing practices and techniques but at the end of the day for us part-time weekend anglers sometimes “Fishin’ can be tough”. My weekend started with a 4am rise on Saturday morning for a launch at the Pioneer River Street boat ramp at daybreak for a bit of Yak fishing. I had decided to cover all options with a large baitcaster outfit, a light bait rod and my soft plastic flicking rod. I also brought along a yabbie pump and cast net. I worked the southern bank of the Pioneer drifting with the outgoing tide using an Atomic prong to no avail so I ventured over to the northern section of wall and immediately hooked up on a small estuary cod.
Drifting out on the outgoing current with a light breeze at my back I managed to boat another 2 cod by jigging the Atomic prawn on the drift. The largest went 37cm, just under the legal size of 38cm and an equal Yak Personal Best for me.
I then paddled into the Bassett Basin where I picked up an undersized Flattie in the main channel but otherwise it was very quiet. Then I came across some mates in a boat who were finding it almost as tough as myself with no decent fish to report. The tide by that stage was well and truly on its way in and being a 5.36m high the current was way too strong for me to work the wall with any confidence, even so I did manage one very strong hit and run on a 5″ Squidgy paddletail but alas no hook up. Drifting up towards the Forgan bridge in the northerly branch of the river I could see a fellow Yakker working the Mangrove banks, as I got closer I noticed it was a mate of mine, Gary. Just as he got within earshot my Atomic Prawn was hit hard mid water resulting in a screaming drag that I had not heard all morning. This fish fought extremely hard. It went under my yak then rose to the surface with the telltale Flathead head shakes, I knew then what I was dealing with so I slipped the net under him and brought him in. Now to those who don’t fish from a Kayak, having a very lively 60cm Flathead onboard thrashing about around your legs can really get the heart pumping! Gary witnessed the fight and proceeded to tell me how the fishing had been a bit tough for him of late also. We paddled up to the bridge threw a few more lures around and I was off the water at 11.30am, ready for a beer or two. I was feeling a little seedy from the aforementioned beer or two as I lifted my head off the pillow at 4.30am Sunday morning but nonetheless managed to make my way to Dumbleton to throw a few lures, landbased. I worked the usual rapids with no result but the perfect weather and conditions had me feeling very positive and I was really enjoying the session. I had a couple of enquiries from some bream but it wasn’t until I spotted a submerged log and hit a perfect cast right on it that my Rapala Skitter Pop was smashed by a 28cm Mangrove Jack. This lure was one that I found on the high tide mark at Dumbleton two years ago, it is not the latest and greatest, it did not cost $30+ dollars, you wont see it on any fishing shows or in the most popular local blog. What it did though was finish off a tough weekends fishing with a smile and a burning desire to do it all again next weekend.
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going!”