Thatchers cider and January fishing comp

This is the first belated blog of 2012 for me and the January round of the HB club fishing competition.
Weather that weekend was poor (worse weather than an English summer ? ) – particularly if fishing from a kayak in the middle of Sydney harbour. Easterly winds howling from the SE on Saturday and E/NE on Sunday – the seas where bumpy and skies mainly cloudy.
Having noted the increase in bird activity in the southern end of the harbour when travelling home from work on the ferry, hopes were high for a few fish.

On both Saturday and Sunday launched at Balmoral at around 5.30’ish, as the sun came up was greeted with sporadic splashes of fish activity. Senses were finely tuned scanning the water and listening for that tell tale splash. Once activity was spotted it was a matter of racing over and then slowly creeping up wind of the pod of fish. My favourite tools of the trade 9ft 8#weight fly rod, intermediate line, 10lb fluoro carbon and a small size 8-10 fly.
Fish torpedoing across the top water and with bait fishing flying out in all directions, a quick cast in, strip the line back fairly quickly and bang you were on. Line screams off the reel and now for a 20-30 minute fight (well it seems like a long time). Not every time did the fish make it successfully to the net, a couple of pulled hooks, a broken leader and plenty of cursing my luck.

All sounds easy? Not really, the fish were finicky. My mate fishing conventional lures on a spinning rod caught nothing on Sunday. Along with boats flying around the harbour putting the fish down, or fish going down as I approached a school or just being plain fussy. My favourite pattern, a gold headed white marabou fly accounted for a few and others caught a similar fly with a clear silicon body. Final score 5 bonitos and 1 trevally making a wet bum worthwhile. Other fish caught of note in the club comp – a 13kg mahi mahi with interestingly a cookie cutter shark  bite on the side. Never seen a cookie cutter shark but worth looking up in wiki, looked to me like a lamprey bite.

Now for the cider, I could not believe my luck when on holiday in Forster, I wandered into a BWS store to find a bottle of Thatchers cider on the shelf. The Thatchers farm is on the outskirts of Bristol, renown in the West Country and is my favourite brand of cider. This particular one – Green Goblin – could have been designed for those a bit more upmarket (compared to a pint of rough) was very smooth and sweet and unfortunately I have no more left :(.