Harbord Bowling Club Monthly Fishing Comp (Feb 2011)

This weekend was my second foray at the monthly fishing comp and I planned to fish some where a little different – having seen all the surface fish from the back of the Manly ferry, decided would try west of Bradley’s head in the bay in front of Taronga zoo. A look at Google earth and decided I would launch from Sirius Cove. Saturday morning woke up at 5.30am feeling decidedly stiff from the cricket the day before (not too mention the many beers at the cricket and later at the bowlo, the cricket was great fun). Managed to find the launch spot without getting lost, setup the kayak and walked through the reserve to the bay. First problem there was a set of steps down to the beach, so here we go unload the kayak, carry it down on to the beach and then carry down all rest of the gear(paddle, rods, shark shield, net,etc) – hopefully not going to be one of those days. So I paddle out into the harbour, and 1st up spot a massive school of bait fish, surreal going through a soup of small fish. Spotted some surface action ….. paddle across, a few casts and I hook up, after 2 or 3 minutes I can see the bonito way down in the water column, but then damn the hooks pull …….. another pluck at my fly and then a hour chasing the increasingly flighty surface fish. Finally found myself stalking a school of fish smashing bait fish, … hooked up …. the fish takes off, line peeling off my reel,  30 seconds then ping, the line snaps. Eventually manage to get 1 decent bonito before the ever increasing boat traffic – zoo ferries, Mosman ferries, private ferries, jet boats and people hooning around, decided bouncing around was not worth it and retired home. Sirius Cove is not a bad spot I suppose, good for taking the dog for a swim, but it is Mosman and plenty of well to do folk.

Sunday, did not have a lot time so decided on launching the kayak at day break at Balmoral. The plan was to have a peek around middle head and then over to wash away beach. No sign of fish on the Balmoral side but when I got over to near wash away, a few tell tale signs of surface fish. A few casts and we are into the bonito and soon I hook up nearly every cast, unfortunately still manage to loose as many as I hook and end with 3 more bonito’s. The bonito spew up a few small 1-2 inch bait fish, somewhat similar to my fly. The last fish I caught fought doggedly in the deep, very different from the tail beating circling of bonito, and turns out to be a sambo (kahawi). A hurried paddle back across to Balmoral and off the water before 8am to avoid the parking police.

At this afternoon’s weigh in – 4 bonito’s and I salmon for 4.3kg and a respectable tally. I reckon I did not too bad in the estuary section of the comp ….. no big pelagic fish weighed into day, although stories of lost marlin (always the one that got away). Did see a few decent snapper weighed in though. Not sure if there has been a review of Carlton mid …. had couple at the weigh in, not too bad.