Aussie Bass on Poppers

Aussie Bass on Poppers

Bass, Fresh Water, Kayak Fishing
Adulting seems to have taken ahold of my weekends, with the majority of my time being spent either house hunting or attending kid’s sporting events. And while these are both massively exciting activities, I’m always itching to climb onto my kayak to catch a few fish on fly. On Sunday, eager to try something new, I headed for Lane Cove River to target Australian bass. Although I've caught many an Aussie bass before, they’ve all been impoundment fish, and the prospect of targeting wild fish amongst the snags excited me. I arrived at the park just after the gates opened at 9am, and headed straight for the kayak launch site. After putting the yak in the water, I headed downstream, focusing on the structure up against the bank, likely to…
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A Few Tailor in Middle Harbour

A Few Tailor in Middle Harbour

Kayak Fishing, Lure Fishing, Salt Water
On Saturday morning I decided to try my luck for some early season kings on fly. While they are generally much harder to find this early in the season, it's well worth the effort as the fish are usually larger. I decided to launch from the Tunks Park boat ramp, predominantly because it's close to home, and is a decent venue as it offers access to most of Middle Harbour. There was a beautiful orange glow on the water as I paddled out at 6:30am, brimming with anticipation. Sunrise at Tunks Park Boat Ramp As is the case with many of my trips, I forgot one key item. This time it was my polarised sunglasses which, as all fisherman know, are invaluable both in terms of spotting fish, as well…
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A Slow Session at Budgewoi

A Slow Session at Budgewoi

Kayak Fishing, Lure Fishing, Salt Water
Poor planning meant that most holiday parks were fully booked long before we started planning our 3 nights of camping bliss. Thankfully we found space at Budgewoi Holiday Park, which we’d stayed at before, but was worth another visit. Our previous trip to Budgewoi, earlier in the year, had been with my mom and we’d stayed in the deluxe bungalows. This time however, we decided to “rough it”. I say “rough it” since our camping setup included a coffee machine, fridge, and a large canvas tent, so there was very little roughing it involved. In fact, I'd definitely refer to it more as glamping than camping. Our campsite at Budgewoi Holiday ParkAnother view of our campsiteSunset over Lake Munmorah The campsites at Budgewoi were fairly standard for Australian holiday parks…
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Squidding 101 – Catch and Cook

Squidding 101 – Catch and Cook

Kayak Fishing, Lure Fishing
Of late I've been spending far too much time watching YouTube and, as a result, got an itch to catch and cook some squid from the Sydney Harbour. Before hitting the water I visited BCF and purchased a lightweight rod (which I could use for squidding as well as light plastics), along with a handful of squid jigs. I opted for the 2-5kg 7ft Shimano Sienna HD spinning combo, spooled with 10lb braid. My mini adventure started off with me loading the yak onto the ute at 5:30am. I then cautiously awoke my wife, armed with a cup of coffee to minimise the risk of injury, before getting the girls into their dressing gowns. Since the family needed the car for the day, they unfortunately had to endure my early…
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Lake Macquarie and Blacksmiths Beach on Fly (and Lure)

Lake Macquarie and Blacksmiths Beach on Fly (and Lure)

Kayak Fishing, Lure Fishing, Salt Water, Trip Report
After months in quasi-lockdown, getting used to the new normal imposed on us by Covid-19, we finally managed to get away for 5 days of bliss at Lake Macquarie. We'd never been to the area before, but chose it for a handful of reasons. Firstly, it offered a great selection of both fishing and family friendly activities. Secondly, it's close to home, and wouldn't require hours of driving to get there, eating up valuable fun time. And thirdly, they had availability (yes, the majority of Australians were as eager to get outdoors as we were, post lockdown). We drove up on Friday, taking a quick detour via Hunter Water Sports to pick up a fish finder mount for my kayak. We also stopped off at Woolworths to stock up on…
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Narrabeen Lagoon Doughnut

Narrabeen Lagoon Doughnut

Kayak Fishing, Salt Water
On Easter Monday I loaded the yak onto the ute (is there a more Australian sentence?) and headed for Narrabeen Lagoon. I'd read mixed reviews on the venue, but wanted to check it out for myself, and form my own opinion. At the very least I believed it held a healthy population of bream and flathead, which alone was worth a visit. After a brief 20 minute drive I arrived at the water and was instantly impressed with it's beauty. The wind was yet to pick up, and the lagoon was still devoid of the crowds I expected would arrive shortly, leaving the surface of the water perfectly flat, reflecting the abundance of greenery lining the lagoon's shore. Launching the Hobie Outback at Narrabeen Lagoon After kitting up a few…
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A Dirty Manly Dam

A Dirty Manly Dam

Bass, Fresh Water, Kayak Fishing
On Saturday afternoon I made a sneaky dash for Manly Dam, eager to flick a fly for a few Aussie bass. After months of drought, Sydney had finally had a week of heavy rain, and I was interested to see the state of the dam. The water level was significantly higher than on my previous two visits and, as expected, was substantially dirtier. That said, looking at the water from the bank, it looked tannin stained rather than muddy, which gave me some hope that it would still be fishable. An afternoon kayak session on Manly Dam I launched my kayak from the ski area boat ramp, and was promptly given a talking to by one of the skiers. Unbeknown to me, the ski zone was for powered boats only,…
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Fly Fishing Middle Harbour on a Hobie Outback

Fly Fishing Middle Harbour on a Hobie Outback

Kayak Fishing, Salt Water
After a few still water, bass outings, I decided it was time to take my kayak out onto the harbour in search of some larger saltwater fish. My plan was to spend the early hours looking for pelagics, specifically kingfish, in deeper water, and then to hunt a few bream or flathead if the going got tough. When I woke up the weather was less than ideal (from a human perspective), and I was forced to load my kayak onto the roof in the pouring rain. As a result I waited for daylight, not wanting to deal with the dark and rain, and therefore only ended up launching just after 8am with a hot cup of coffee in the Hobie's drink holder. I chose to launch at the Tunks Park…
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