Today was the day I had my charter for my b'day. It was at the Gold Coast, around the Jumpinpin/GC Seaway area. I was fishing onboard Coastal Spot Fishing Safaris, which is owned by Thomas Seabach. It was my third time going out with him. We certainly had our hopes high, as each other time it had been great fishing. Here is a link to their website -
I went to bed early last night so I could wake up early, as we were driving there in the morning. I managed to wake myself twice over the night, once at 11:00PM, and the other time at 3:30AM. My clock eventually went off though, at 4:30AM. After preparing everything, we were out of the house by five. It took a bit over an hour to get there, and we were eventually at the Runaway Bay boat ramp, waiting for Thomas.
He got there, at 6:30AM on the dot, and we were on the water at about quarter to seven. The first part of the day was to catch live bait. We motored into the first location, and saw some rises, but unfortunately after he did a few casts of the net we had nothing, so to the next canal we went. Yep, you guessed it - nothing after about 20 more minutes in this canal... We finally found an OK spot, up one of the side canals. As well as herring, there were some big mullet being chased, and something really big chasing them. Jack? Trevally?
Bait was eventually caught, which consisted of some big herring and a lone silver biddy. We motored out to the first spot, the GC Seaway (mouth). It wasn't very nice here, but I was feeling OK. I dropped the first bait down, and in about ten minutes, I got a good hit. It either spat the hook, or I pulled the hook, but no hook hooked it. I was told it was most likely to be a jew, because of the strike. Bugger! I really wanted a legal jew today.
Something far smaller began picking it after, and I set my circle hook in the mouth of a bream. It wasn't that big, 26cm, but we like our bream, and while we get little meat off it, it is still good. I quickly pulled up another one, but it was to borderline to keep so back he went. My dad had still gotten nothing - surprising. This spot we normally pull up lots of big, solid, breambos but right now, it was quiet.
At least i got something!
I started to feel sick, and since it was just us onboard, and i was told to go back if I even felt slightly crook, we reeled our lines in and went to drift for flatties. My dad's line actually had a small one on, which turned out to be a sand flathead. Cool! That was the first one of them I've ever seen.
At flatty spot number one, we managed a grand total of... Nothing! The guide was flicking a little blade, while we were still drifting. He managed a couple though. A flatty, one or two centimetres under legal size, and a flounder, which unfortunately spat the hook as it was coming into the boat. The next spot was similar for us, but there was still some action. Thomas was getting the odd hit on his lure, and while I was caught off guard my line went off. I missed the strike completely though, and lost what would've been an OK fish. Sigh!
The last spot we shot off to was another flat area. Thomas said there is good structure, weed patches, that is. That means it's good for squid, as well as flatties. We started our drift, and down went our live herrings. It was quiet for quite a while, and we had some choc-chip biccies, but then I got a hit. I struck hard, and probably started pulling up my catch to eagerly. It just so happens this was a squid, and the second it saw us, it dropped the hook . It was apparently an OK one too. (Thomas saw it). I love calamari. That was disappointing. We kept up the drift though, and in the last five minutes of the days session, I struck, and I WAS ON! Woohoo. A short fight ensured an OK flatty coming up, which looked very borderline legal. We measured it, and it was 38cm... Ahh, that was disappointing. One keeper for the whole day!
It wasn't happy to see us - tried to run away from the boat twice! (On the surface!).
We got back to the ramp, and I took out the left over herring (not many) for freezer baits. We chucked the bream and herring in the esky, and after saying thank you and our goodbye's to Thomas, we went on the journey home. It really was a nice day out. Just enough wind to keep us at a good temperature, good boat, good food... The only disappointing thing was that we struck out on the fish .
Me looking depressed with a 26cm keeper
I cleaned the fish when I got home, which is pretty hard when it is so small. In hindsight, I should've scaled, gutted, and just kept the rest of the body on the maximise meat but I knocked some fillets off and did a dodgy bone removal job. I need to improve my filleting!
Here are the stats of the trip -
Trip stats -
Tide: High tide, 8:35AM, 1.26M, Low tide, 3:10PM, .37M
Moon Phase: 56% full, so not the strongest run
Tackle used: I'm unsure on most of it, but we had large-small ball sinkers (depending on current), small circle hooks, and small lines.
Fish caught: Yellowfin Bream x 2, Sand Flathead x 1, Dusky Flathead x 2, Flounder x 1
Bait caught: Herring and biddy
Bait used: Herring
Water Temp: 17.5 degrees Celsius
Air Pressure: 1017
Overall Success Rate: 50% - A good day out at least
Hope you all enjoyed this report, because it'd done now. We certainly didn't do as good as expected, but at least we got onto a couple of fish in the whole day. Sadly for me, my hols are over, but they's been great fun, with lots of fishing... Oh yeah, and there are still three mor BR sessions to be reported (not that they are that exciting though).