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      Hi all
      I decided that Sunday would be my fish for the week, so I dutifully got the bike buggy ready, rigged the rods, and put the alarm on for a morning session at the local park. After waking up and arrived at around 5:00AM with Dad (very nice when no one is out at that time of morning), I rigged up the rods with prawn and Dad began cast netting.
      He did a few throws at first for one prawn, and then got a couple. Just at that moment though, he heard the rod screaming and yelled at me to get it. I got everything set and the fight was on. It took one run with a loose drag but then the rest of the fight was headshakes and weight. I pulled him up after he went for structure a couple times, and a rotten catfish came up. I got him up and dehooked him, then sent him on his way.

      40CM odd
      After that one, the line was deployed again. By the time the bait and rod were put back into resting posy, Dad had gotten a good amount of live prawns so we needed the aerator (and they were all sizeable too!). I looked all throughout the buggy, and after a quick search, we concluded that I'd forgotten the aerator! Bugger!
      Dad kept throwing, and he probably would've had 15-20 good prawns ready to use for bait. Seeing as though the eel hadn't been touched, I put out the biggest live prawn. This was given a soak for around twenty minutes for no love whatsoever. In this time, the other rod had no luck, and I'd only given the rod with a plastic a few flicks. 
      As Dad was heading off, the line with a bit of dead prawn on went off. It wasn't a very good fight (in fact I could hardly tell it was on) but I cranked up a solid BR Perch regardless (actually, a tiny BR Perch!).

      He was dehooked and speared back into the water, and then I kept fishing. The tide was still on the last of the run, so I kept flicking my lures around and about. I mainly focused on the jetty, with casts peppered all over. I then saw a carboard box, which I went down on the jetty to try and get with the line. After a couple failed attempts, the shark line, which had been switched back to eel after loosing the prawn, buckled over.
      I ran over, tightened the drag, and the fight was on. The drag was quite loose compared to usual, so he took a bit of a run at first. Then, I got some line on him, and got him a bit closer. The bully made a bit of a splash on the surface, and I got a positive ID on him here. Then, he went for the pylons. I wasn't going to let that happen though, and after some nervous moments and heavy winding he was jetty-side. I went to grab the net and then he took off again. It was a good couple of minutes before he got in the right spot for me to net him, and then I lifted him up. he made a last ditch attempt of escape but I got him back in the net and took him up to deal with him. 
      The bully flicked the hook out itself, which was lucky for it. I put him on the brag mat, and he went around the 85CM mark. An alright one, in my books anyways. Dad came down just at the right moment for him to photograph me, and after that I went to release him. I swum him for a little and then he kicked straight off. It was at that moment I realised I'd forgotten the circle - Bugger!

      After that one, the prawns started becoming a bit more lively with the aerator, and Dad went on his way. It didn't take long for another nibble after the rebaiting and rerigging of the shark line, though. Once again, it was on the rod cast out deep, and it seemed to be just getting taps. I started reeling and and realised I was probably on a Perch, and it came in nice and easy after that. I got him up, took a quick photo, and let him back. The Perch seem to swim off OK if they are speared back into the water, but in general they seem to be terrible fighters and not too good for release either. 

      After that one, the next fish pretty much bit immediately. I heard a little bit of line come off the spool, then I saw jogged over, picked it up, and slowly pulled the hook. I find opposed to the strike with a circle hook, giving the rod a slow pull sets the hook as well as not pulling the hook straight out of the fishes mouth. It was an OK fight, and he was shortly released after. Regardless, I can see how sugar bags of these were filled back in the day when they were thick. 

      After that fish, I deployed the bait back out. It was a pretty low tide, so I started to give the cast net some throws. I just figured this would ensure I had some live bait for more fishing. I did about 10 throws, and each throw I would get livies which was great. They were deployed on the cod line, and the shark line still had eel on (bait checked).
      That Perch had floated for a bit then kicked down luckily, but the next one I pulled up wasn't as quick. It was a good fish and I landed him around 7:15AM, and since he was a bit bigger figured I'd put him in off the jetty. Back he went, and floated in circle for about 5 minutes. I netted him up and speared him again, but luckily he went away. I figure he swum off because I threw the cast net straight after for more prawns and no perch. Haha.

      I did some more throws with the net, but by then there was not too many prawns to be caught! Seems the bigguns were really firing on the last on the run out, but then stopped on the first bit of rise. The tide had changed, and it was sure rushing in! I tried casting the overhead and left it in the normal drag setting, and there was so much tide the line came out like a fish had taken it. Wow!
      Everything went a bit quiet now, so I sat down. I tied a plastic on my line, with 10LB leader. I had a 3/8th jighead, which had a 4 inch plastic on it too. This may seem wrong, and I'm no expert, but they go quiet nicely for me and it allowed me to flick in deeper parts anyways. I sat down and flicked towards the mangroves, under the jetty, and everywhere for nothing! Bugger! One day I'll crack the Brisbane River lure code. Lol. The line went off again though, and unluckily for me this was the last time. I began fighting him and pulled up the fifth perch for the session, and then released him back to the river. 

      The sun was coming up now, so I kept persisting, except with gloves, shoes, trousers, shirt, and sun buff all on. It was about 8:30AM now, and I'd still had no hits on the plastics. It was looking dire, so I began packing up. I persisted until around 9:00AM or past that, and then rode home keeping my live baits in tact. I bucketed the jetty down too, and left it in a nice condition.
      The next part of the trip was to meet my friend and go to my other spot. We had arranged to meet at the busiest part of town, (stupid of me as the train station is just up the road), and my friend made it. We were riding away to the spot at a bit before 11, and got there sometime soon after. The first stop was to see if we could try and get some more livies, so I just got the net out and began throwing. I didn't get anything in about the first 7 throws, except a Passionfruit Bundaberg soft drink out of the esky. I took a couple sips of that then gave it another throw. I pulled it up and heard some clicking, and to my surprise, a TIGER prawn was in the net! "Woohoo!" I thought. That's only the second one I've ever caught in the river!

      Tiger Prawn
      After that one, it gave me a bit more motivation to keep going. I gave it about another five throws, and low and behold, up came another one. I got him out, and walked him up the jetty walkway (which had holes going into the water) into my bucket. Lucky for him, he gave me the slip and clicked out of my hands, back into the water. Bugger! I gave it about five more throws here, before decided it was worth moving on.
      The short ride to the next jetty along was nice and easy, and to my surprise there were some others fishing there too. They were nice enough, and had some rods and hand reels. I said hello and deployed the first line, with a live prawn. Hopes were high for something big, and we sat back and waited. I had a chat to the lady, who seemed to be mad keen. I recently google mapped the whole river in my area and now I have around twenty spots to try out. She mentioned one, which was around an 8KM ride, which she said has HEAPS of bait always swimming at it. Maybe I'll have to make the trek over! 
      I kept fishing, and then, to my surprise, they pulled in a little pike eel. I was quick to intercept them before it was released, and ask if I could keep him for bait. They were A-OK with it, so after some decided I donged him with the pliers and got him into the esky. First, I chopped off a bit for the shark line, which was deployed on the other part of the jetty. 

      Their Pike Eel
      After that one, I was quite happy, because @Old Scaley's eel (which he gave to me) had run out from the morning's bully. Now, I'll be testing how PIKE eel goes opposed to the Freshwater Eel. I kept fishing, now with two lines out. Since everything was ready, I gave a plastic a flick. I flicked it off the left hand side of the jetty many times for no bites, the best cast I could do under the jetty walkway, and many, many casts in the little eddy made by the jetty walkway and jetty. Unfortunately, no flatties, cod, or anything wanted to eat my bait, so after a bit more casting a switched to a little bream lure. I kept my ten pound leader on as I wasn't sure what I could catch - a cod on anything lighter than ten pound would be interesting!
      I persisted with this lure and flicked it everywhere I could. I made a big effort to have it go under the jetty by cutting corners as well. I figured there'd have to be something around there! Obviously not 😉 . The other people pulled up another catch though, but it was a bit more interesting! They actually had hooked a catfish and perch on the same hook in one go! Wow!

      Double Trouble!
      After that was dehooked by them (and both released), they got another Pike Eel! Man, they were having some fun while me and my friend were getting bugger all!! This one was also donged and released to my esky. Interestingly, they caught it on it's own kind! Cannibal alert!
      They departed soon after this, so I said goodbye and then put the rods back down in their spot. I had thrown the cast net a bit before, and apart from some little prawns, I had gotten one big herring which I deployed immediately, as they had proven fruitful last time. I also got one small herring in the net which was there for reserve bait. The aerator was doing a good job keeping most things alive, too. 
      Dad called me up and asked me to do some work at the Scout Den (working bee on) and it was decided 2:30PM would be the departure time. We kept soaking the live baits, and both remained untouched for the duration of the session. It was quite disappointing, as I was really hoping for some alright here! We had some showers for the most part of the session, so that was alright as it kept us cool. 

      Not what you want to be yakking in
      After that, another person came down. He was about 30, and set up on the jetty a bit up from us. I was packing up the gear by now, so I bucketed down the jetty, cleaned up some old line people had discarded there, and then rode off with all the gear. The overall amount of bait was very good, amount a bag full! Silly me, but this is also punishment for wearing crappy K-mart shoes for one hour to long - 


      I began the ride home, and stopped by at the Scout Den. Dad saw my blisters and sent me home, so after I said hi to a couple people I headed there. The bait was bagged up, everything was washed and packed away, and then that was the session. Not particularly successful, but better than school (really shouldn't be writing this report, should be sleeping! At least I did my homework!).
      Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed. It was a nice way to spend the day. Sorry for any typos, and hopefully I've remembered everything!
       Statistics of Trip - 
                First Spot: 12:20AM, 1.9M, High, 6:30AM, .2M, Low, 12:50PM, 2.5M, High.
                Second Spot: 6:00AM, .2M, Low, 12:20PM, 2.5M, High
      Moon Phase: Illumination was 91% - Lots of Run!
      Bait Used: Live Prawns, Dead Prawns, Eel (Pike and Freshwater), Live Herring
      Bait Caught: Herring, Prawns
      Fish Caught: Bull Shark x 1, Perch x 5, Catfish x 1
      Tackle Used: 10LB, 30LB, 80LB, Fluorocarbon, Mono leaders, 12LB, 20LB, 30LB, Braided Mainlines, 3/o, 6/o, circle hooks, 4/o hook, 3/o suicide hook, large swivels, size 4-6 ball sinkers, Abu Garcia Veritas Rod, 3-5KG, 6"6', Diawa Shinobi 2500 Reel, Ugly Stik Rod, Abu Garcia Barra King 650, Rogue Firepoint Boat Rod 5-8KG 2M, Penn SSM 650.
      Air Pressure: 1012.2
      Humidity: 75%
      Weather: Showers on and off, cloudy, sunny
      Temp: 26oC High, 21oC Low
      Time Fished:
                First Session: Around 5:00AM-9:00AM
                Second Session: Around Noon - 2:45PM
      Overall Success Rate: 50% - good fun

      Bike Shot

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    • By John
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    • By Kat
      I was at Mum's on Macleay Island for the weekend.  Friday night was hot so I turned the ceiling fan on high to cool down. I thought it would be a good idea to pick up my rod to rig up for an early morning fish. Result:

      The weekend was not off to a good start.
      By early Saturday evening the weekend had not improved - no keepers and had to trudge around the island with a surf rod (no surf beach in sight).  As I was contemplating the rest of the weekend I got a message from @GregOug asking if I was available to go out on Monday.  I made myself available.
      We headed out Monday at about 6am from the Port of Brisbane boat ramp and waited just off the ramp for Greg's mate to arrive and show us a couple of spots for some Grassie Sweetlip.  Greg had been instructed by his mate on the appropriate rig and in turn had passed the info to me.  We were rigged up and ready to go (thanks Greg).  We headed out to Green Island and anchored up alongside his mates boat. 
      Greg was almost immediately on with an under about 29cm.  Greg now had the feel for these beauties and was soon on again and shortly landed the first legal fish of the day.  A Grassie Sweetlip 31cm and 463g.  Greg released it to the eskie (as @ellicat would say).

      Greg was hooking up and landing every couple of minutes, however, all further Grassies were just shy of legal.  We lost count eventually and I was so busy jumping up and down for the landing net I missed all my chances of hooking one of those beauties (that's my excuse and I am sticking to it).  
      Greg also landed what we think is a small Tawny Shark. We released him back to the bay.

      Greg's mate and his deckies were also landing only unders so they decided to head to Mud.  Greg and I stayed a little while longer then packed up, pulled anchor and made our way to Mud.  Of course we passed Greg's mates boat and reached Mud a few minutes before them.   I estimate we got at least 20 min more fishing time.  That Green Machine can fly.
      However turns out Greg's lifejacket can also fly.  Luckily his mate lagging behind spotted it and picked it up out of the water. Lol.
      At Mud there was a little more traffic and nothing seemed to be showing on the sounder.  We eventually decided on a spot that looked promising.  There were lots of pickers it seems.  Greg landed an ugly unidentified thing.

      Greg had a few promising Grassie runs but didn't hook anything.  Greg obviously chose the right side of the boat again! 
      Anyway, I decided to swap rigs as I clearly needed a change in luck or equipment.  I now had my heavy boat rod with my Nasci 2500.  The Nasci was upgraded to 20lb braid (my 10lb was old and failing and @deegee12g had donated some 20lb braid and the heavy boat rod to my growing tackle store).  I had 15lb Fluro leader and a 3.0 octopus hook.  We were getting pickered and seemed to be constantly re-baiting.  I got a couple of tugs that seemed promising but nothing seemed to eventuate.  I waited a minute and decided to check my bait again.  Alas I started winding in the line and appeared to be snagged on the reef.  Oops no maybe a fish?  No fight just heavy unmovable wait - definitely a snag.  Trying my best to free my tackle from the bottom I again felt some movement.  No it is definitely a fish!!  Wow there was some weight to it.  After a nervous few minutes expecting my line to snap any moment I landed my overall personal best - Gold Spotted Estuary Cod.  Greg was there with the landing net and we jumped up and down and high fived and cracked open a beer to celebrate.

      Please login or register to view this image After releasing him to the Esky (lol), we settled back down to try our luck again.  After another little wait I had felt a few small bites and started winding up to check my bait again - again I felt resistance -  was it a snag?  Movement?  Yes.  This time I recognised the reaction (or inaction) and tightened the drag a little and began to reel him in - a few minutes later I was pausing as I was exhausted, this thing felt like a monster - it was going to be my new PB!!  We could see the join in the braid to leader - he was almost there.  Then snap.  This time it was jumping up and down but no high fives and I can't repeat what I said on this family friendly site.
      About this time the wind was up a little and we heard from @ellicat and @Old Scaley so we pulled anchor and went to say hi - hold up our prizes to show each other and headed back to the ramp.
      Oh and thanks for the Grassie Greg it tasted fantastic.  Great day out.
      Cheers Kat
      P.s If anyone is thinking about being deckie for @GregOug think again! The above was all an elaborate untrue story Greg forced me to post.  In reality he treated me like a slave and the day was boring, as usual no fish were landed.  The photos are doctored with the help of Photoshop.
      Hi all
      Since my tennis match was cancelled yesterday arvo, I decided to go out for a session on the river. It was supposed to storm pretty bad again, but I made the call to head down anyways and try for something. I loaded up the cart with all my gear and was soon off, arrived at a bit past 2:00PM. It was really muggy at first, and I was actually boiling in my raincoat which I had on just in case it got a bit too wet. I baited the lines with mullet, and prawn, and began some cast netting.
      On my second throw, I had a really good prawn which got out. Then again, on my forth throw - that was darn frustrating as no more prawns were caught for the rest of the day (by me at least anyway). The sky started looking really threatening, and I was hearing some fairly loud thunder and lightning. Just as it was about to rain, and about 15-20 minutes after the salmon line was deployed, I saw it hunched over going off. I got down to the jetty as quick as possible and started the fight. After tightening the drag, I began pulling it in. It wasn't taking massive runs, but it had very solid head shakes and was seemingly trying to shake/spit the bait. Shortly into the fight (well not really, I was just about to see the bugger), it took it's first and only run. I kept pumping, but then heartbreakingly, the line went slack. It had spat my bait 😞. I cranked the mullet up, and even though I had my money on a little bully, I realised it was a catfish (or most likely) as the line was slimed up. 
      Slime and chewed bait
      After about 2 minutes of losing that fish, the wind and rain picked up. Like last time, I stayed under shelter in the mangrove tree overhanging the boardwalk. I saw a bigger splash eventually, (bust up???), but then I realised what the white stuff falling from the sky was - hail! It was a bit hectic in this part, and as well as just losing a rig to a snag (and some newspaper floating in it's plastic bag), I was getting colder and colder. None of the hail stones were particularly big, but it's the first time I've seen good hail in AGES. 

      Lucky it didn't hit me!
      With my hands over my head, just in case a big chunk of ice decided to fall on me, I went to check the lines. They all had no action, except the rod I had put out deep which seemed to be nibbled away. I re-casted it, and got back to sheltering from the storm. It was still raining and hailing, and my dad called me and told me I needed to go home. Since they seemed to be biting, and it was raining too hard or anything like that, I didn't. My dad said he was on the way now, so we could get home before the next big storm hit. Part of me wanted to go home (well a really, really small bit), but the majority of me wanted to keep fishing. My dad got down and after a lot of negotiating I was eventually made go home. While we were waiting for the hail to pass though, I noticed that the rod that had mullet out on it was bending. Luckily the majority of it had passed now, so we got down there and the fight started. 
      It wasn't an excellent fight, but it wasn't dragging along the bottom - it was in the middle/top of the water column. After some good head shakes, obviously the shark trying to get away, I saw the shape. It was a shark alright, and despite the bad tangles my dad still netted it up fine. Yeww! That's the first for the season!

      70 odd?

      I'm all good at holding 'em now

      Jaw shot
      After I put that shark back (he wasn't tired at all and kicked off practically before I put him in the water), I packed up the cart and set off again. At home, I re-rigged all the lines I needed and waited out the storm. It was a pretty miserable hour or so, but soon enough I was back down with some more bait. I deployed a lighter line with 12lb and eel to try for a shark on that one as it would be good fun, and put the other line out as well. Special Guest water Dragon made an appearance too.

      Clearly sheltering from the storm
      I was doing some cast netting now, and even though I wasn't getting much I did get this breambo. It looked like it had either had a chunk taken out of it by a toothier predator, or it cross bread with a snapper. Lol. It gave a good tug in the cast net and I was actually hoping it was a bony bream, not a yellowfin, so I could make it into shark baits, but it was released after a quick measure - 

      Weird bream

      Close up
      It didn't take long for me to get my first nudge on the eel, but it was only a nudge. It seemed the shark was only toying around with it, and soon after the bait was dropped. I reeled then line in, and casted back out. I was still giving the other lines the odd check, but surprisingly the salmon line with the mullet did not want to go off. The lighter line was hit yet again, this time the shark seemed to just play with the bait for a while. It wasn't taking it, so I kept a really loose drag ready for it to swim off with my bait. The fish dropped it, and I'm starting to wonder whether using eel makes the fish far more apprehensive than, say, a poddy mullet. 
      After some more bait checking, the light rod went off, again. This time, the shark was running with it. I thought I gave it enough time to scoff down the bait, and I didn't want to get spooled seeing as this reel doesn't have the most line on it. It was running for about 10-20 seconds, but when I tightened up the drag and started fighting it seemed as though I was on. I got three pumps in, and either it spat the hook or I pulled the hook, but the line went slack. Back came some eel (shows how tough it is) and my rig. Sigh.
      My dad was down quite quickly after this, and apart from the shark, it was a really quiet day. Like he always does, he gave the cast net a go. In the first few throws he was getting some mullet, and herring, which are now in my freezer, but on one of the throws he got something pretty good! He felt some tugging, and knew it wasn't normal. I thought they were just glassies, but when he saw what was in the bottom pocket he yelled at me to get down there! To my shock, it was a humongous mullet! I was planning on keeping it, and after a measure I was bringing it up for a shot. Unfortunately this mullet made up it's mind - *Slip, Slip! Bang, Bong, Flip! Splash, Splash!!!*. By, Mr Crab Pot bait 😞 

      Solid Mully

      50cm - my dad's new PB
      The mullet was released to become crab pot bait later, and my dad headed off after getting some more herring. While dealing with the mullet, the salmon line was buckled over, but unluckily the hooks did not connect and this fish was not landed. It was a lot better hit than all the others though, which is a minor pity. 
      I packed up and left shortly after that, and overall was pretty satisfied with that session. Hail, rain, lightning, sharks - pretty good going! 😉 Here are the stats of the trip for anyone interested. Oh, and I should mention - there were a group of crazy teenagers doing somersaults of the back of the jetty to clean up after running around in the mud. Bit risky if you ask me!
      Stats of trip - 
      Tide: 10:41AM, 2.1M, High, 5:00PM, .4M, Low, 10:45PM, 1.9M, High
      Moon Phase: Waxing Gibbous, so not too much run (but a fair bit)
      Tackled Used: 12lb, 14lb, 30lb braid mainlines, 20lb, 30lb, 80lb mono/fluorocarbon trace, 4/o suicide hooks, size 6 and 2 ball sinkers, large-ish barrel swivel, size 2500 Diawa Shinobi and Shimano Nasci, Size 5000 Jarvis Walker Sovereign, 8'8" Ugly Stik, 6'6" Abu Garcia Veritas, Size 2M Rogue Firepoint boat rod.
      Bait used: Mullet, herring, little bits of prawn for a little while
      Bait caught: Herring, mullet, glassy
      Fish caught: Bull Shark x 1
      Humidity: 96%
      Rain: The fresh was around, with many arvo's of storm and hail on the day. So lots. 
      Overall Success Rate: 75% - good fun
      Hope you enjoyed - now to the next one (a real disaster even though I got some fish)...
      I had a 'Halloween' party of at the neighbours first up, which was really just a get together, but it was good fun, so I set off a bit later today at about 3:00PM. I got to the park, deployed the lines the same as yesterday, and got fishing. It was pretty hot, so I was drinking quite a bit - only going to get worse the further we go into Summer though. The lines were deployed and for about the first 20 minutes nothing happened - then the unthinkable.
      I saw a tinny, with a full family, speeding down the river (Two bubs, mother, and father). They were going at speed, and they went alarmingly close to the jetty (not slowing down). About 1.5M away from crashing and some serious damage, they swerve away from the pylons. Then the bloody idiots catch my line, which they can clearly seeing, in there prop. I start yelling at them at the top of my lungs ("OI!!! THAT'S MY LINE!!!") and about 100-200 metres away from the jetty, they stop, and the clown driving the thing unwrapped my line from the prop. The bait was gone, but my rig was left, luckily.  I think it's very lucky these clowns didn't get hurt. Seriously, going max speed with little kids in - I'd like to ask him if he even had his boaters license???
      After about 20 minutes or so from that drama, just when I was about to start cast netting, I saw the salmon line bend. I ran down, in question if it was still on, but when I picked it up... Well... The fight was on! The shark was once again in the middle-top of the water column, and this one had some more go in it. I was pulling him in, but then he went for the structure. I got him out though, and a man and his family walking past kindly brought down the net and did the honours. It was about the same size as the one I got yesterday, and since it swallowed the hook I still had to cut the line. It went off into the drink fine after a brief swim, for me to catch next time 🙂 


      You can't see my ugly mug in this one but you can see my toothy friends' mug!

      Please login or register to view this image\ Released soon after
      After the shark was released, the bite went quiet. I was talking to the odd person, but then this guy walks up to me (maybe 25) and asks where my parents are. I'm still angry about this event but won't rant about it too much... (it involves greenies). He says that you can't fish here, hurts the fish, etc. Then as he's walking away, he picks up my cast net and goes! What the hell!
      I start yelling, very angry, and then he comes back. I tell him if he gives back my net I'll leave (might've been a bit more game than that if I had a mate but he was muscly and tall, so could probably just smash someone like me in a second if he felt like it), so he makes me go, pack up, and then I just got kicked out of my favourite fishing spot by some dumb, idiotic, uneducated greenie! That was my session ended, with one very PEEVED Hamish. Now, I'm going to email the council about this.. And well, see what I can do. Of course there was more, but no need to go into what the worthless crap they were saying was. 
      I slowly trudged home, about as annoyed as possible, hoping that they would fall into an endless pit (Lol). I ended up getting home as one very sad boy, and have not been doing to much this arvo. I wish the greenies would actually do something that is helpful, like, maybe, tell those who keep undersize fish!
      Well that's the rant over, and otherwise I hope you enjoy the report. Thanks for reading, here are the stats - 
      Stats of trip -
      Tide: 11:15AM, 2.2M, High, 5:34PM, .4M, Low
      Moon Phase: Pretty much Full - a fair bit of run
      Bait caught: -
      Bait used: Poddy mullet, herring
      Fish caught: Bull Shark x 1
      Air pressure: Around 1016
      Tackle Used: 12lb, 14lb, 30lb braid mainlines, 20lb, 30lb, 80lb mono/fluorocarbon trace, 4/o suicide hooks, size 6 and 2 ball sinkers, large-ish barrel swivel, size 2500 Diawa Shinobi and Shimano Nasci, Size 5000 Jarvis Walker Sovereign, 8'8" Ugly Stik, 6'6" Abu Garcia Veritas, Size 2M Rogue Firepoint boat rod.
      Humidity: 60%
      Rainfall: Not much, but still a fair bit of fresh around
      Weather: Nice blue sky, mildly cloudy
      Overall Success Rate: 20% - would be higher if it weren't for those greenies
      Cheers Hamish
    • By christophagus
      Now that summer is upon us, the water will be warming up and the sharks will start to turn it on! Below is a bit of a guide I’ve put together for chasing sharks of various sizes. Ill run through the gear and baits for the size categories you would like to chase. This is just my knowledge and experience I’ve picked up over the years and I'm no self-titled expert. If you can learn something from this, then that’s great! Since I’ve never targeted BIG sharks (3m+) I won’t give any advice on that as I don’t have any experience with that. There is no magic combo, line class etc to target sharks, hence why this is a guide only! So, don’t take it as gospel. Also, I love sharks, I don’t want them culled or killed for fun. They are an important part of the eco-system, apex predators and very powerful animals, so treat them with the respect they deserve as they can do a lot of damage to you. Never underestimate them and always put your safety above all else. Ill run through how i would setup my gear for targeting different sized sharks.
      Under 1m
      These will be most people’s size to chase when first fishing for sharks. Majority of the time, these will be bull sharks caught in the estuaries. Don’t be fooled, these things will be in every estuary in SEQ so regardless of where you fish, there will more than likely be some hunting around. Some good places to try are the gold coast canals, Logan river, Brisbane river and even the dirty old Pine river.
      Any spinning reel up to a 4000 will do the job here. Although the smaller the reel, the more of a fight you will be in for. You can also go all the way up to 20lb main line in this category, it really depends on where you are fishing (tight mangroves, structure etc) but can also be caught on 6lb line if you take your time with it. My go to would be a 2500 reel with 10-15lb main line. Although i regularly use a 4000 reel with 20lb line which works just as well. Any rod will really do, but I prefer to use nothing over the 5-8kg rating, really depends on the reel I use. I’ve used 1-3kg rods, 3-5kg rods ad 5-8kg rods. All will work, but again, the lighter you go the more sport it will be.
      I like to use a leader of 50-80lb mono line (any cheap mono will do the trick). As a rough guide, I like to use about the length of the shark ill be targeting (around 1-1.2m). This is used just in case the shark wraps itself in the line or tail whips the line. You don’t want a 1m shark to tail whip 10lb main line…or it will all be over! Also, I like to put my sinker in the leader area to keep my baits on the bottom. You can also use a float to keep you bait higher in the water column, but I just prefer to keep it on the bottom. Just use a heavy enough sinker to keep the bait from rolling with the current. From the mono leader I then tie on a pre-made halco 20inch wire trace (60-100lb rated, depends what BCF have in stock) They also sell a short trace (12 inches from memory, but I wouldn’t go any less than 20inch). I do this purely because it is easy to do and once a hook is rusted or not sharp, I can simply unclip it and put a new hook on. Some people don’t like these as they believe the snap swivel on the end of this wire trace will pull/snap/undo. It’s never happened to me yet, so I can’t comment on that. You can buy traces online or make them yourself, but like I said above, sometimes the hook can snap, damage or rust out which renders the trace useless unless you cut it off and re-crimp it on. But if you’re talking about making your own, crimping etc then go for gold. For me, it’s just not needed for small sharks. Certainly, a good thing to know when chasing big sharks, just not here (again, just my opinion! If you want to make your own the go for it!) I just like convenience of pre-made halco traces and clipping on a brand-new circle hook every time! Speaking of hooks, I like to use between a 6/0 and 9/0 circle hook. Circle hooks really are great and generally ensure the shark swims away healthy. Plus, you don’t even need to strike with them! Just tighten the drag and slowly apply pressure to the hook and it will set perfectly in the corner of the jaw. Connecting the main line, leader and trace, any appropriate weight swivel will work. I like to use around the 10kg rated swivel. Might be a tad overkill but it does the job. Ill put a picture below to show what would be my “go to” setup.
      As for baits, they are a lot of options both live and dead. Live, just about anything you think could fit into a small bull sharks’ mouth. Mullet, whiting, bream, herring, catfish, trevally, bony bream. Just make sure whatever you use is of legal size! Dead baits, basically the same list as above, or you can use flesh baits too. But for me, the holy grail of baits is freshwater eel. Only need a small slab (about half the size of your iPhone as a guide). Pike eel works well too, but I much prefer freshwater eel. One good sized eel can provide up to about 20 baits! For most people that would be enough for a whole summer season. The beauty of a piece of eel compared to say a mullet flesh bait, is that eel will last a hell of a lot longer. Crabs and smaller fish will usually destroy dead or flesh baits. Eel tends to last a lot longer and isn’t easily eaten from the hook. It is a very tough meat and skin, perfect for shark bait!
      Also, just a bit more detail about setting the hooks/drag settings. This will cover all sizes of sharks and reel types. Set the drag loose so that when the shark picks the bait up, it can swim away freely and swallow that bait. You will want that line to come easily and resistance free from the reel. Let that run go for a little bit until you feel it has swallowed the bait (maybe 5-10 seconds for small sharks, depends on how fast is running. After you’ve caught a few, you will understand their initial runs better) Then slowly tighten that drag up to a hook set appropriate force. For spinning gear, I like to open the bail arm so the line can run freely away, then tighten the drag up, twist the spool with my hand to make sure it is tight enough then set the bail arm back over to set the hook. If you want to use a bait runner style reel (highly recommend) then just click it into gear and wind up the slack. Just make sure with the bait runner that you have that drag ready set where you want it. Lean back into the rod and feel that hook set. Don’t strike with a circle hook or you will pull the hook from its mouth. I cant tell you how many sharks I lost when first starting to fish for them just because I got too excited to tried to strike just because it was my natural reaction. Relax, don’t rush and let the circle hook do all the work.
      Summary for sharks under 1m
      Rod : Anything under 8kg. Ideally 3-5kg
      Reel : Anything under 4000 spin reel. Ideally 2500-3000. If your budget can stretch, go for a bait runner. They make it a lot easier.
      Line : 6-20lb main line. Ideally 10-15lbs.
      Leader : 1m of 50-80lbs mono. Ideally 50lbs
      Trace : Wire trace, 60-100lbs 50cm to 1m. Make your own or ready to go Halco 20inch trace
      Sinker : whatever size required to hold the bottom
      Hook : 6/0 to 9/0 circle hook. Ideally 8/0

      1m to 1.2m
      I won’t delve too much into this except to say that follow everything from the sub 1 Meter guide, just go on the heavier size for everything. You will still land a 1 - 1.2m shark on a 2500 reel and 6lbs line, it will just require a lot more effort and patience. You will notice a fair weight difference between a 90cm bull shark and a 1.2m bull shark. They get fat fast!  Just increase your bait size slightly and wire trace rating/length. For me, my 4000 reel with 20lbs main line, 50lb mono leader matched to a 100lb halco 20inch trace will catch anything from 70cm all the way up to 1.2m. I just like to cover all bases and not have too much gear. Baits will be the same, a big shark will take a small bait. I’ve caught a 1.2m bull shark on a live mullet no bigger than my thumb. This is a really fun size to catch on spinning gear.
      Summary for sharks 1m-1.2m
      Rod : Anything under 5-8kg. Ideally 5-8kg
      Reel : 3000 to 4000 reels
      Line : 15-20lb main line.
      Leader : 1m-1.5m of 50-80lbs mono. Ideally 80lbs
      Trace : Wire trace, 60lbs – 120lbs. The 20inch halco trace will do the job, but id be going a bit longer in this category, so id either make my own or buy one.
      Sinker : whatever size required to hold the bottom
      Hook : 6/0 to 12/0 circle hook.
      1.2m to 1.5m
      Initially I had this in the same category above and classed anything in the 1-1.5m to be chased on the same gear as 1-1.2m gear. But thinking back to my previous catches, it really needs its own category. A 1.2-1.5m bull shark is a considerably bigger catch than a 1-1.2m model. They have a much greater girth and a good few extra kilos. So, when it comes to fighting them on spinning gear, a few extra kilos of weight to reel in is significant. You might land one on the gear above, but it will be a great fight an you will have done well to land it. Baits will again be the same, but just bigger again. For eel I use a slab about 20-30cm long with the single circle hook. For the pure sport of it, id still stick with spinning gear, but your smaller overhead gear would also do the job. The downside of overheads is really noticed for the land based anglers. Lobbing a long trace setup with 30cm piece of eel is much easier with a spinning outfit. Having said that, I still have my eye on a tld15 setup for this size shark, would be great from a boat.
      Summary for sharks 1.2m-1.5m
      Rod : 5-10kg would do the job
      Reel : 3000 to 5500 spinning reels. Small overheads like tld15 would also work well
      Line : 15-40lb main line.
      Leader : 1m-1.5m of 50-100lbs mono.
      Trace : Wire trace, 100lbs – 200lbs. The 20inch halco trace is just a little bit under gunned here. While it will still catch them, the chance for something going wrong here is just worth bumping the weight and length in my opinion. 1m minimum, 1.5-2m would be ideal.
      Sinker : whatever size required to hold the bottom
      Hook : 8/0 to 12/0 circle hook.
      1.5m to 2.5m
      This is where things can start to get a bit more serious. This is where id leave behind the 4000 spin reel and go for a 950 spin fisher or tld25-tld50. People sometimes chuckle at the size of gear used here, but the main reason for me, is you don’t want to be under gunned and get smoked by something bigger than 2m. A 2m+ bull shark will take a bait intended for something smaller, so you don’t want to lose all your braid because you are under gunned. The bigger reel will give you a much greater line capacity and a fighting chance. But for now, let’s just discuss the 1.5m-2.5m sharks. The gear used to target this size is more catered to the upper end of the scale, where a smaller 1.5m shark is hooked, this gear will take care of it easily. A 2-2.5m bull shark will put up a great fight on this gear! These things can weigh easily over 50kg and up to 100-150kg for the big models, so yeah big gear is needed. Overkill on reels and line is a good thing in my opinion too, it just means you can get the shark in quicker which means a faster and healthier release.
      This size shark can be targeted from beaches (Bribie, Fraser, Redcliffe etc) local jetties (Sandgate, Woody Point, Urangan) or just about anywhere in Moreton Bay from a boat (though targeting shipping channels is a good place to start), mouth of the Brisbane river or anywhere in the river for that matter (I’ve seen 6ft bulls caught under the story bridge). You will need the bigger spin reels such as Penn 950 spinfishers or anything around the 10000 size. Although you cannot go past an overhead such as a TLD 25. We have pulled a few sharks on this sized reel with no dramas at all. In fact, we find them easier to use simply because of the lever drag to set hooks is so easy. You wouldn’t be out of place to also use 50w and 80w overhead reels for this size shark. Rod size is usually 6ft or under and in the 12-24kg category. Line class for the big spinning reels and overhead reels id suggest say starting at 40lb, and you can go all the way up to 80lbs. Id also suggest using braid as it has a much thinner diameter to mono meaning you can fit more of it on, and has zero stretch which is handy when trying to set hooks on a shark that is 100m+ away. I like to use wind on leaders connecting to the braid which range in size and length. I’d go for 80lb+ wind-on leader in whatever length you can get (5m+ as a guide). This will also act as a bit of a shock absorber due to braid having no stretch. A little stretch is a good thing, a lot is not! In this category, I make my own traces, which is cheaper than buying pre-made, and very rewarding. All you need is nylon coated wire in the 200lbs to 600lb area, crimps (make sure you buy the correct size crimps to match your nylon coated wire!!), crimping tool, swivel and hook. You can do away with the need for crimps and a crimping tool if you know how to splice the wire back onto itself to create a loop for the hook and swivel which can be a fiddly process. I crimp now purely because its faster. Trace length, I like to go at least 2m (size of the shark). Often ill make traces 4-5m long. The longer it is, the less likely the shark can wrap up in it up to your main line, which is a bad thing, also as mentioned before, got to avoid those tail whips! Good rule of thumb is going twice the length of the shark you want to catch in trace length. I like to go with the biggest rated swivel I can find. My local tackle shop has 184kg swivels. You can buy various sizes online; most will do the trick. For hook size, you could start at a 14/0 and go all the way up to 20/0. I like to use 16/0-18/0 circle hooks (again, only use circle hooks to ensure the hook can be removed easily!! This will make it safer for you, and the shark). Generally, due to the bait size, no sinker is required when fishing from a boat. But if land based, you will usually need a big weight to keep the bait from rolling in the current and taking heaps of line form your reel when in free spool. I use bricks or sandbags, depending on the current in the area I'm fishing. Might sound crazy, but I’ve had 10-15kg bags of sand roll with the current. Once you have put the hook through the bait, attach the brick or sandbag to your trace by tying some 30-50lbs mono onto the exposed hook (I like to go just under the barb) then tie onto the weight. The idea is that once the shark picks up the bait, its teeth will cut through the mono very easily when swimming away leaving the weight behind. This is known as a break-away system. A few meters (3+) of line in between the hook and weight is enough. You want that bait to be able to float around naturally in the water. I use a kayak to paddle my bait and weight out, once I drop the bait and weight into the water, ill set the drag heavy enough so no line peels out with the current, but also light enough so a shark can swim away with the bait easily enough so it feels little resistance. If a shark feels too much resistance, they may drop it and not come back. You want that shark to swim with it enough, so it swallows that bait. Once it has run enough, set that drag to strike, reel up any slack and once you feel weight, gently life that rod tip high and let the circle hook set in the corner of the jaw. The force of it swimming away when pinned in the jaw will be enough to set it. Once you’re certain its set, you can start to put some more hurt onto the shark. You will know when its hooked, it will feel like you’re hooked onto a train going the opposite direction.
      If fishing from a boat, same trace setup except no breakaway weight. You can float a bait out with a balloon. Hook an inflated balloon through the nipple just enough so it attached to the hook. But remember, you will want to be able to pop the balloon off easily. When it’s far enough out, “strike” to pop the balloon off and let the bait sink to the bottom, then set the drag as above. You can use a secondary reel to attach to the balloon more securely through the nipple to reel it back in after setting the bait, so you don’t pollute the ocean. If you are game, you can also shorten your wire trace and attach to a spinning reel setup. Often, I’ll have two big baits out the back of the boat and one that ill cast off the side of the boat, weirdly enough, this has been the rod to go of the most over the years. 
      For both land based and from a boat, id highly recommend a harness and gimbal. Your back will tire very quickly when fighting a big shark. Plus, it takes some strain off your arms when you clip a harness to an overhead reel.
      When it comes to baits, it’s really the same as above, except much bigger. Whole eel or big slabs 50cm+ long. Whole mullet, whole tuna, whole mackerel, Whole sting ray. Depending on what size your chasing, you can also use half cuts of the baits mentioned above.
      Summary for sharks 1.5m-2.5m
      Rod : 12-24kg.
      Reel : Penn 950 Spinfisher or other spinning reels around the 10000 size. Overhead Reels such as TLD25, Penn Squall 50, 50w or 80w.
      Line : 40-80lb braid main line.
      Leader : 80lbs+ wind on leader of 5 meters or more
      Trace : Wire trace, 200lbs – 600lbs. 2 Meter trace if casting from a boat, other wise 4 meters is a safe length.
      Sinker : not usually needed from boat. Break away system to match the current in the area you’re fishing land based.
      Hook : 14/0 Circle hook as a base. Go all the way up to 20/0, depends on what size bait you’re using/ size shark you’re chasing. 16/0-18/0 is a good size to use. 

      Handling sharks
      Always have your tools (pliers, tagging gear, de-hooker, knife) ready for when a shark is landed, you will want to get the hook out fast and get them back into the water. You can buy or make special shark de-hooking tools which put space between you and its mouth. The biggest rule for handling sharks is always put your safety first. Always be ready at a moment’s notice to keep away from those teeth. If you control the shark, you will be safe. For sharks around 1m, control them holding one hand on top of their head and one hand on the tail like below (grip with the hand on their head hard). If the shark starts to go nuts, you will have great control like this and can always point it away from anyone or yourself. Don’t be fooled, even little sharks are very strong! Never hold a shark with one hand, NEVER! They can bend over on themselves quite easily. You can also hold them with one hand underneath them right behind the pec fins, and the other hand on the tail. For the heavier and larger sharks, this is a safe way to handle them. I say safe loosely, always be ready to point that those teeth away from you if it decides to flip around in your hands. Otherwise, a good method for de-hooking a shark is to kneel on its pec fins with your knees and sit on top of the shark. This will control their head and tail making it near impossible for them to bend around on themselves and bite you. This can be used on quite large sharks as well as small sharks. Again, your safety is number one priority. I only have a photo doing this to a shovel nose, so I hope you get the idea of how to do it with a shark too. Below pictures also show how to hold the smaller sharks.


      Please login or register to view this image I hope this guide has been of some help. Again, there is no golden way to do things. This is just how i target sharks, adjust to suit your own style and to where you fish. Happy and safe fishing!
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