Yesterday night I decided to go for a trip to the local park, so I did. I was supposed to be back by 8:30AM but I ended up going 1 hour overtime. It was pretty quiet on all scenes but I still got some fish.
I arrived at approximately 6:30AM, and casted my lines out baited with prawn. After the flat salmon - some bait I caught when I was in Yeppoon - was thored, the shark line was thrown out to. It didn't take long for the first bite either, because in about 10 minutes of waiting I had a run. It was short though, and to my disappointment the fish (most likely a catfish) had dropped the bait. I rebaited that line but the next time, in about 5 more minutes, the rod next to the pylons went off. I didn't have a chance to pick it up before it bricked me in the artificial wire rock wall retainer, so I picked it up, felt its vigorous head shakes but couldn't pull it up. I walked over to where it had taken me, and started pulling. Hoping it was another cod, I pulled it up. To my surprise, it was a nice eel, of 45cm. There wasn't a second thought in my head, and straightway this fish was shark bait. The legal limit is 30 cm for Longfin, Pacific Shortfin and Southern Shortfin so in to the esky it went. I didn't want to chop it up on the jetty though in fear of it slipping back into the water, and the fact it was still alive. The fight was pretty lousy as in my experience eels normally go pretty hard, but hopefully the next time I go sharking it will produce. Here it is -
I only got a picture of Sharkbait (I named it, how original) at home
After that was initially dealt with, I had a throw of the cast net. Hoping for some prawns, my first couple of throws produced a couple. I baited up a line with a good sized banana prawn and chucked it out. In five minutes time the live prawn rod went off so it was frantic. One eel flopping around in the bucket and me trying to reel in a fish. It was fighting quite well, and I thought it might've been a large catfish, or even a bream. Though, after 30 seconds or so, maybe one minute, I saw the fish. It was a small catfish, and I was shocked at how it had fought. Head shakes and tiny runs. Pretty good for a catfish though. Here it is -
Catfish do fight well! Taken on a live prawn
After the catfish, I threw the net some more. A couple small prawns was all I caught initially, but after I had one more throw I saw some silver. I had made one good cast which gave me some prawns and three big frogmouth pilchards. These are my favourite bait in the river, especially if they're alive, so I emptied the cast net bucket and took them over. One problem - the eel was currently occupying it! I put the eel in the esky after some failed attempts at it, and then filled the bucket up. A couple ones were dead, but one was going good. The aerator was fired up and off they went. After chucking them in though, I noticed one was orangey, not blue like the usual. I might need and ID on this if it is not a frogmouth, because while I am 99% sure it is, I just wanted to check. I got some ID photos and threw it back, kicking and alive at the end.
Sorry the photos are bad. Is it still a frogmouth?
By now, it was about eight. I had supposed to be home by 8:30AM, and with a few more casts of the net I decided to take a break from it. I had already checked the shark line once, so this time I saw the tip bent over. I was excited, hoping I was on. When I started to pull it up, all I could feel was a dead weight. This surprised me and I thought maybe whatever it was had bricked itself. I guess I'll never know, because after about 30 seconds, it dropped the bait. I reeled it up to see only a hook... oh well, time for a new bait. The next half of the flat salmon was chucked on, and wished good luck LOL.
Back up at the pier (there is a pier going down to a jetty, I put the shark line on the jetty and the other lines on the pier) my lines were getting pickered. I missed quite a few fish, and in the period of about 45 minutes I lost a bit of tackle too (snags). I had another throw of the cast net as well, and just caught a tiny herring which I threw back (to tiny for bait). I started to switch up my rigs a bit as well, and I put on a whole frog mouth pilchard (smaller one) and half hitched the tail, like you rig normal pilchard with single hooks. This got me nothing except a snag so I switched back to prawn. I decided to change the bait on the shark line as well, as I had recasted it a few times. I put on the largest frogmouth pilchard, in hope of a nice bully -
It was nice and cool the whole time, and in the shade was nice. In about another half hour from when that bait change had happened, I got a couple more missed hookups. They were all small though, and nothing would've been very big. They were either taking short bursts of line (I have the drag loose) or just picking away. My dad then called and told me I had to head home, and I was an hour late LOL. When I got home, I still had one important job. To deal with the eel.
I sharpened the bait knife quickly and began to chop. After about 20 minutes and a lot of blood on the bait board (not to mention slime) the eel was done. What I found most disturbing is even after i chopped the head off the body still moved . The final product is now in my freezer, and waiting to be consumed by a shark. Here it is -
The eel on the chopping board on in chops.
That is all that really happened, here are the stats of the trip:
Tide: 3:50AM high, 2:00M, 10:10Am low, 0.8M - I was fishing the run out
Time fished: 6:30AM-9:30AM
Moon Phase: Waxing Crescent, first phase after new moon
Fish caught: Eel x 1, catfish x 1
Bait caught: Prawn, frog-mouth pilchard, herring
Bait used: Flat salmon, prawn, frog-mouth pilchard
Tackle: 4/o Suicide hooks, 6/o circle hooks, 20 inch wire trace, size 5 ball sinker, 30lb mainline and leader, 20lb leader, small swivels, size 2 ball sinker/bean sinker, 1000 size Sieena, 2500 size Nasci (Shimano), 650 Penn, 8ft Ugly stik, 6"6' Ugly stik, Rogue Firepoint, 14lb mainlines.
Overall success rate: 50% - not the target species but still a nice morning out
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed the report. Sorry if it's a bit boring. I hope everyone is safe with COVID-19.