Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 4:40 am Posts: 52 Location: Perth, Western Australia
Most of my early morning fishing forays actually begin the night before, with the ceremonial “Loading Of The Car”, the sacred “Laying out of the Vests” and the ritual of the “SeaBreeze Gospel Reading”. When these things are taken care of before I go to bed, I can wake up and be on the water 30 minutes later, maximising my sleep time.
With Saturday night’s edition of the SeaBreeze Gospel showing strong SW winds, it looked like a blowout, precluding any chance of fishing. I didn’t load the car, pull out any clothes or even set the alarm. So when I woke at 6.30 to very light easterly winds, I began cursing the SeaBreeze Minions as False Prophets.
By 7.15, I was on the water and heading south along the harbour wall. My morning mood was brightened somewhat by the sight of the Water Police haring off after a boatie who thought the 8 knot speed limit within the harbour did not apply to him ....
As I reached the end of the rock wall and began turning to cross between the heads, my side imaging lit up with the distinctive (and now familiar) signature of a large school of salmon* next to the wall. Quickly turning back to chase them, I spied the two large tugboats that call the harbour home returning from the direction of Garden Island. With discretion being the better part of safety, I resolved to monitor the location of the school from a discrete distance, but geez, I was chafing at the bit to make a cast!
After the first cast landed me a fish, I sent a text to my mate Matt, telling him the salmon were within lure casting distance of the rock wall. By the time he rocked up 60 minutes later, I had landed another four fish as I tracked them north along the wall. By this stage though, they had moved out of range, so all he could do was watch me hook and land fish after fish 200m from the wall.
During the last two months, I had progressed from being a complete “Yakking Salmon Virgin” to being able to spot them from more than 200m away simply by seeing the surface disturbances of the massive schools as they moved around at depth. I no longer rely on side imaging 100% of the time to find them, as I’m able to cover more water just with my eyes. Yesterday, I noticed the upwelling of the current they make had split, with one portion of the school heading west and the other heading back to the wall.
I followed the one going towards the wall and pointed out the swirls to Matt on the rocks, telling him he should chase that school. It took him a little while, but eventually, he hooked up on his 10lb spin outfit. I sat back and watched the fight, but the inevitable happened and he lost his lure to the rocks below.
I kept casting to and hooking up on fish. It rarely took more than two casts to hook into the fish, and I spent the whole morning fighting fish in a continual round of cast/strip/set/tussle/net/release/relocate/cast. In the end, I must have landed in excess of 20 fish and lost a few others. I didn’t even turn on the GoPro until late in the morning, but still ended up with 50 minutes of footage showing this sequence from 8 fish. Somewhat condensed, the video below shows what the action was like.
(Best watched on YouTube with the sound cranking)
While I was fishing I was also guiding Matt to the fish, but by the end of the morning he was also reading the current lines for himself. Three other guys had joined him on the wall and I was happy to tell all of them where the fish were heading so they could cast into the school. Each of them hooked several fish for the day, but only Matt and one other guy landed them. It’s tough fishing on the rocks, and the chances of landing them are slim. Even more so with the 10lb line that Matt was using, but with the help of the only other guy to land a fish, he eventually landed his prize. It was a top effort, and I was glad to see him get it on shore.
Matt and his new mate landing a salmon on 10lb line.
Far from being a day with no hope of fishing as indicated by SeaBreeze, it became my best ever session on salmon. I came home so sore and physically fatigued that I could hardly move, but I was totally revved up emotionally. It’s a rare thing to leave fish biting because I am simply too tired to continue, but that’s what happened yesterday.
What a session ...
* A note for non-Aussies: Although their official common name is Western Australian Salmon, they are in no way related to any Salmonid species. They simply look a little like salmon and were named that way by the first European settlers here. They grow to about 90cm (these were all around 80cm and 6kg) and school in their thousands, occupying a similar niche to Striped Bass and your bluefish (our tailor). This year is the first time they've come to Perth in numbers since I started kayak fishing 5 years ago.
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:24 pm Posts: 8 Location: Fishing Point Lake Macquarie NSW Australia
Hi Graeme Great action there on the Salmon,I have not given fly fishing a go, another thing I,ll have to master in my dotage LOL, we are in Broome at the moment heading south towards 80 mile beach, we are planning to be in the Perth area around November December, we will have to hook up and have a yarn.