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davostephens last won the day on November 11 2019

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About davostephens

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    Estuary and Coastal Fishing

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  1. let shovels go. Like eating sawdust.. U must be hard up for a feed if your keeping them. The big bastard species from north qld are meant to be ok.. The little ones im assuming you caught(brown type) got bugger all meat on them. Pike aka buzz saw whiting,, Mate they are the best live bait for king and jew. Eating wise they are ok/edible. Quite soft. Just fillet and fish and chip, or bbq and lemon and salt.
  2. Caught a few small black tip reef/whaler type sharks the other day. An old greek fella showed me how to do them up years ago. I did the same thing a few years later (today) and they turned out as good as any fish. Sharks were 1-1.3 mtrs size. Once caught I donged them on the head and then cut their Gills with a knife (my preferred method of bleeding){see old post "dont cut fishes throats to bleed"} as well as cutting off their tail, Dorsal and pec fins. Then left in a bucket of water or tied over the side for 5 mins to bleed out. next off with their head and guts and into the freezer or Ice slurry for 4-5 hours. pull them out and fillet and skin. Chop the fillet into 10 cm pieces, then fillet the fillet. That means make each piece as thin as possible, say 1-2 cm thick. (roughly the dimensions of a piece of loaf bread) Then put in a tray and soak in milk for 4-6 hours or over nite in a fridge. this will remove the iodine and ammonia taste/smell shark is known for. When ready for eating they were rinsed off in water and then rolled in flour, salt, pepper etc and oil shallow pan fried. .Turned out sensational and how i remember all those years ago when the old Greek fella gave me a few pointers. I have also used this meat for curries and it is great. He taught me how to do BIG OCCY as well but another time/post. So next time if your having a tough day and can only manage a few of the Razor Gang NOAHS, something to try.. Good Luck.
  3. Thanks Wayne I think they are a great product. just not as durable as i hoped or was told by someone on here.. But i am up against The most voracious brutal set of teeth out there. Best looking and colours i have seen. The jerk shadz swim brilliant and track true. The tail is tops. Cant wait til you got the yellow tails as split colour models. And that colour change as you pull them past the boat was brilliant. I used the bluey green sorts that day. I realy liked the 4 inch jerk shadz. I will keep using them as I believe when the going was tough they did the job when others werent doing so. I did have a fair few hits on them but failed to hook up or was bitten off. The small school macs devastate my gear and wire on jig heads is a must for me. I will keep on using them as you just KNOW they are the goods. I just went thru about 12 lures for 4 small fish. i didnt realy use the swimmers that day as the current was up but feel they will be good. Perhaps when not running too hard i can use a small jig head and give them a good burl. Keep up the good work.
  4. Well gave those Gobblers a go, man they look great in the water, Swim well, BUT unfortunately one bite from a mac and they have had it. Small school mac tore em up in an instant. I will still give them a run and use on tough days as I think they are a truly good product in appearances and swimming etc but on days when the bite is OK i will go with longevity of ZMAN. One criticism is the heads on the paddler style are quite narrow and I found it hard to put them on a 1/2 - 3/4 oz jighead grub holder. and they looked odd and not streamlined when profiled to the lead jig head, but thats me. I mainly used the jerk shad style as the current was rippin that day. Caught a few school macs on them but it was a slow day overall.
  5. U get em more so winter north qld. You should stills have em round now in Yeppoon. i still get a few round summer depending on how much fresh water about with wet season in cairns. But way more June-oct..
  6. 56-65 pound.usualy does it.. however after a fish sometimes its curled.. or pigtails so replace then. Also I found a few lures or rigs have just popped. May be due to rigs sitting for extended period and some salt on haywire twist section. one just popped on a cast, the other on a reasonable fish but with no excessive weight on the rig, beats me? il just replace wire more often.
  7. Hi all anyone had much to do with the Lowrance hook 4x small unit 150-170$ bought couple years ago. its got chirp and downscan. i fish usualy 20 meters deep. any settings of frequency I should be running. Basically for slow looking round or what’s under the boat. Fish wise mainly. I can see structure no probs. Just not sure on the fish finding part. Would you advise to split screen for both types view of downscan and traditional? what frequency etc.. any advice be appreciated. I usually just pick my spot anchor nearby and fish to see if they are there or not. However minimising my waste of time by seeing if they are around before anchors down would be good. thanks
  8. Yes and no depenending on currents pushing in close, cold greener water, forget it. fish rock off south west rocks goes well. Troll live slimy slow. One surface and one down rig or paravane. can be very picky on bait.. yakka last resort apparently. Whole bonito or Good quality rigged gar go well to. a mate even does well on those z man chatterbaits with a pilly on hook and a small treble in tail.
  9. Yeah rite. what coastal area do you catch them 150 mtrs? 1have caught 2 off cairns in 60-70 mtrs. On bottom. They looked bit different ( thin) to the more pelagic feeding ones. I let them go for advice and didn’t want to risk it. But hey I’ll take your word for it. What are you catching them on in that depth? That’s pretty cool. Are they big/small etc.? Are you targeting them in that depth? This is real interesting to me. Not just the usual I caught a trout in 30 mtrs.. cheers
  10. oh didnt realise they were old topics. They were at top of list in some categories. They seemed like genuine questions/topics. Ah just bored at work at sea so browse here. And thinking about fishing til i get home.
  11. If you want professional smoker for bugger all.. bout 120 -130$ NZ invention. Google SMOKAI. youtube vids etc.. top piece of kit. And it cranks out the smoke. Cold smoker. I put one on a wine barrel for a mate for bday, and put a hot burner plate in bottom to heat up the barrel chamber. To sweat the meat at end. Incredible piece of kit that can bolt onto anything, Old wardrobe, Keg, 44 gallon drum etc. There is also a specific adaptor to fit it to your weber Q BBQ. 35$ i think. So you can cold smoke and if wanted turn on low flame at end to get some heat into your product using the weber family Q. Just open the lid every now n then so dosnt heat up to much. keep at about 100 deg.Thats if you want to cook the fish through. Main thing with smoning is prep.. Bring home a bucket of seawater, then add handfull rock salt. and few TBSP brown sugar, Soak fillets (or wings and mac frames 4 hrs) Then the main part is to hang fish in a beer fridge 3-4 days until real tacky. So when you touch it fillet sticks to your finger until 10-20 degrees from vertical. This will result in minimal milky whaite stuff coming to surface of meat whern smoking. I smoke mac, and used to smoke jew frames, king frames when lived south. as they are quite meaty. then scrape off all the meat into a bowl, add sour cream,chives wholegrain mustard egg etc.. then mix bit of lemon in. Awesome on a biki with a beer. All the sawdust and other things is a trial and error. Sawdust is expensive so if you can buy a piece of wood you like a planer and a pillowcase goes a long way. Some things that add a nice flavour are burning on the hotplate or wrap in foil and put over the gas flame beneth your hotplate whilst smoking are teabags, lemon rind, lemongrass herbs.. etc
  12. If you ever catch a decent mac down deep, say bottom bashing they are usualy a stuffed fish, eating whatever they can.. ie small coral and reef fish. hence building up cigatera. A pro fisho gave me the heads up on that and said looking closely at them they look ragged. You can tell there not healthy. The more active fish that eat fusileers and bait species dont build up the coral poison, ciga as much. It is an accumulation of poison over time. up north i fish pretty shallow < 20 mtrs. and nowhere near the reef. i still let anything over 20 go. Even then i reckon you may roll the dice eating between 15-20kg fish. But no issues so far. There was a Hamish and Andy true story episode where some guys caught a big 20 - 30 kg job off south west rocks. They gave it out to a few people and they all met up in hospital that night. So its not restricted to right up north as they travel, To be on the safe side 15kg and below i reckon your safe so long as its not a deep water caught fish. like u got it on the bottom while fishing for reds. Clear as mud?
  13. I always use wire. And i still loose gear. Dunno how sometimes. All my line and leader and lures are smicko rigged. Not overdone i guess so still get bitten off. I use 5 - 8 cm of wire in front of my soft plastics. say 40lb. They go it no probs usualy. the wire is albrite knotted to flurocarbon. I also dont have dirty great big swivels anywhere. On my lures 15 cm of wire to a small/ tiny 2 way swivel that is tied to my leader.. no coastlock swivel. On my fishing gear that i live bait with or full pilly float i always use wire. But i also put 3 foot of mono after the wire to the coastlock swivel usually. If and when i do use coastlocks there a small size. Yes macs can be weary of wire..maybe more so down south compared to cairns. I dunno. They can be tough up here to at times. but keeping the dags and and thickness to a minimum, your rigs tidy your swivels small (as they make bubble trails especially when trolling) and your in the game. A mate swears by 150lb flurocarbon only for his livebait rigs. or lures. Reckons looses bugger all. Another mate uses 400lb piano wire on his wog heads trolling with gar on paravanes. no rod.. just chord on bungee. But thats cooktown. I reckon there not to cluey up that way. XRAPs at 27$ a pop.. id rather keep em attached with wire.
  14. I got sick of putting a baitjig over the side at 4$ a pop and then torn to shreds in seconds,,,so i thought there must be a better way. I try to get a northern species of yakka, But when the school macs are around or down south, the bonito.. your jigs dont last too long. So i made this. I use wire on mine due to school macs. The wire is then albrite knotted strait to mono 50 lb. I use 3 jigs on my but im sure you could go more. I use heavy gear i guess for bait because once one mac or trevally hit usualy more do. Anyway it may be of use to someone. You need : some nylon filament.. The stuff that goes on woghead lures for Spanish macs. (Good tackle shops should have this) Lumo sleeves 40lb single strand wire.. ( if your making yours no wire then you will need a thicker wire to put hole in nylon melt {see below}, then remove, then poke your mono thru) Hooks and mono of choice. a lighter too. and bit of braid. 1- pinch of filament, couple colours if desired.. then tie bit of braid around bunch and slide to within 1 cm of end of bunch.. the braid gathers it together to allow easier melting of mono filament strands. 2- Burn the end of the filament bunch to melt together.. Do a couple of times. and while still not hard poke a piece of wire thru the middle of the burnt glob of nylon. {make sure glob isnt to large that the lumo sleeve wont jam over,) 3- put hook on wire with haywire twist. I put twist around hook shank to shorten the distance. 4- trim a lumo sleeve to desired size and slide over melted glob, filament and hook end.. Draw eyes on with pernament texta if ur keen. 5 -trim filament to desired length 6 - make a rig with charter loop knots or alike. say 3 loops and 2 tag ends that one goes to swivel and other to sinker. 7 - Albrite wire to mono. and there u go.. If your not using wire just poke the wire thru the melted glob..put bit wd40 on wire so dosnt stick to melted nylon. then pull out wire once set, leaving a hole to poke ur mono thru and tie on hook. In these i put about 5 cm wire for toothys. and a mix of bluey purple filament and whit filament.. i trimmed both ends of the lumo sleeve to about 2-3cm total. Trim filament tail to size reqd.. i make long to begin with as it is easier to handle and burn. I reckon theyed make ok fly fishing thingys. Im not a fly fisho. I used this one night and instead of a lead i had a lucanus jig as the weight. Just with the boat bobbing a 8 kg cobia took the lucanus..Because the whole rig was sound and well made i got the cobia.. Later i caught 3 small barracuda on the jig that i kept alive and on dawn they were turned into spanish mackeral. Daylight has seen plenty of school macs have a go at it. anyway there easy enough to make. If you do make some post a pic to see what else people come up with for bait jig material..
  15. These are a good item. Save your line above the hook when reef fishing so your line dosnt get chafed Also help tidy up a rig, see diagram below. for when using 2 hook rigs in deeper applications they streamline it all and prevent twists, Hide your crimps, loops etc. Good for saving your rod tips when you got a few novices that try wind the swivel thru the tip. Put one above your coastal snap swivel However can lead to bite offs with mackeral or jackets as they attack the sleeve above your swivel. And i have caught plenty of mac tuna chasing the sleeve as you retrieve line to boat. They eat empty hook with these sleeves over your hook. I have also literaly put a small ball or bean sinker strait onto a hook and pulled into one of these sleeves. then you got a castable lure, or you can troll them for mac tunas, im sure aussie salmon or tailor would go em. I use them when the tuna are eating small fish, School macs love them to. Cheapest lure out there, Pack of 20 usualy 5$, Im sure 100 pack would make price per unit cheaper.