Bonito on Fly in Middle Harbour

Bonito on Fly in Middle Harbour

Kayak Fishing, Lure Fishing, Salt Water
December Brisbane trip...cancelled due to Covid...April Brisbane trip...cancelled due to Covid... And so, on a beautiful April morning, I launched my kayak from the Tunks Park boat ramp, fly rod in hand. The plan for the day was to go after some pelagic species on fly, specifically the Sydney harbour kingfish. I wasn't sure what to expect, as Sydney had experienced mass flooding the prior week. And as a result, the water was murky brown, with a lot of suspended debris, as I paddled out towards the rising sun. Sunrise in Middle Harbour I opted to head towards the harbour mouth, hoping the water would be cleaner closer to the ocean. As it turned out, this proved to be a good strategy. The water colour quickly changed from muddy brown…
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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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Flathead in Tilligerry Creek (Port Stephens)

Flathead in Tilligerry Creek (Port Stephens)

Kayak Fishing, Lure Fishing, Salt Water, Trip Report
Our exploration of NSW continued with a 4 day visit to Koala Shores, which is beautifully located on the shoreline of Tilligerry Creek in Port Stephens. We chose Koala Shores for two main reasons: firstly, it promised good fishing opportunities (specifically around the oyster farms); and secondly, it's known to have a small population of koalas - possibly Katie’s favourite animal. We took a leisurely drive up on Friday morning, and were thankfully allowed to check in a little ahead of schedule. After unpacking the vehicle, we did our usual exploration of the park (and of course spent some time on the jumping pillow). For me this meant checking out the boat ramp, and sussing out potential fishing opportunities. Other than fishing, we had some great fun over the course…
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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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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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Flathead at Hen and Chicken Bay

Flathead at Hen and Chicken Bay

Salt Water
After a very successful first trip to Hen and Chicken Bay (read about it here), I decided to take advantage of the fact that fishing was still an allowed activity during the Coronavirus lockdown (as long as social distancing guidelines are followed), and headed out for a second session. Amazingly, the park was still relatively busy, with kids playing and adults exercising, although most of them appeared to be following the guidelines. Hen and Chicken Bay from the air I snuck between them and waded out onto the flats. The water was cleaner than on my previous visit, although it was still relatively dirty, with limited visibility. I stuck to what had worked for me before, a 7 weight rod with a long leader and a weighted fly, resembling a…
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Yellowfin Bream at Hen and Chicken Bay

Yellowfin Bream at Hen and Chicken Bay

Salt Water
On Saturday afternoon I was itching for a fish, but didn't have the energy to load my kayak onto the roof. Instead I threw my fly rods into the ute and headed for Hen and Chicken Bay, to spend a quick hour or so wading the banks, in the hopes of picking up a few new species. Hen and Chicken Bay My first impression of the venue was good. There was a beautiful green park, including a playground for the kids (making it more likely I'd be allowed future visits), and one of the larger flats I'd seen in the Sydney Harbour - perfect for us fly fisherman. When I got down to the flats I was even more impressed. There was an abundance of nipper holes, which I hadn't…
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