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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Kayak Fishing Budgewoi Lake

Kayak Fishing Budgewoi Lake

Kayak Fishing, Lure Fishing, Salt Water, Trip Report
Sunset over Lake Munmorah After a long and painful journey back from the USA, including a lost bag and a delayed flight, I was happy to climb into the ute and head north for Budgewoi. We'd booked a deluxe cabin on the banks of Lake Munmorah at the Budgewoi Holiday Park, and were ready for a long weekend of fishing, swimming pools, and beach. The cabin was by far the best we've stayed in. Firstly, it was either newer, or at the very least, recently renovated. It also had incredible, uninterrupted, views of the Lake Munmorah, whereas most of the other cabins we've stayed in have had limited to no views, and are usually surrounded by multiple other cabins. Inside the cabin was pretty standard; there were two bedrooms, one…
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Manly Dam – Take 2

Manly Dam – Take 2

Bass, Fresh Water, Kayak Fishing
On a lazy Friday morning, I decided to take advantage of the fact that granny was staying with us, and took her and the girls down to Manly Dam, to show her one of my local fishing holes. It was the first time I'd tried to load my Hobie Outback onto the roof of my ute by myself. And amazingly, it was easier than doing it with my sister, although it did take me fractionally longer, as I had to lift each side onto the roof on it's own. This amazing feat was achieved using the Rack and Roll roof rack bar, which I purchased from the Life Aquatic. When we got to the dam I setup a small picnic area for granny and the girls, and then got about…
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Aussie Bass at Manly Dam (First Outing on my Hobie Outback)

Aussie Bass at Manly Dam (First Outing on my Hobie Outback)

Bass, Fresh Water, Kayak Fishing
After months of deliberation around which fishing platform would be best suited to my use cases, having considered multiple options from boats to float tubes and paddle kayaks, I bit the bullet and purchased a 2019 Hobie Outback. Surprisingly, even after I'd narrowed my choices down to the pedal kayaks, the decision was still far from obvious. What drive system did I want? Should it be fin based or a prop drive? Was size and ease of transport important? Or was stability more critical, being a fly fisherman? These are however questions better suited to a future post, once I've had a few more sessions on the kayak. With a shiny, new Hobie sitting in the garage, I absolutely had to get it onto the water as soon as possible.…
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Excitement at Willoughby Creek Bay

Excitement at Willoughby Creek Bay

Salt Water
I snuck out of the house late on Saturday afternoon, fly rod in hand, ready to explore some nearby waters. Despite having lived in Sydney for close on 2 years, I had only fished the harbour twice, and was eager to find some good fishing spots close to home. When I arrived at the Willoughby Creek Bay, it was just starting to rain. There was a strong westerly blowing, it was close to low tide, and the water was murkier than usual. But none of that was going to put me off. I stood on the bank for a while, trying to work out my game-plan, before climbing down the steep wall into the water. The bottom was covered in oysters and, despite wearing rubber booties, it was still sore…
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Lake Oberon Trout

Lake Oberon Trout

Fresh Water, Trip Report, Trout
My family and I recently headed out to Oberon in NSW, in the hope of finding some trout waters closer to home. While Lake Jindabyne and the Thredbo River were incredible venues, driving 7 hours to fish for trout is just too tall an ask for me to do frequently. So with that in mind, we left home after work on Friday, and started the 180km drive through the Blue Mountains, to Oberon. I was not initially impressed with our accomodation, the Jenolan Holiday Park, predominantly since it was located in the middle of town, under the clouds of steam billowing from the timber mill's stacks. That said, the cabins were comfortable, consisting of 2 bedrooms, a bathroom with a shower, and a small living area including an open plan…
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Trevally at Dammerels Head

Trevally at Dammerels Head

Salt Water
While camping at Emerald Beach, the lure of the many beautiful beaches surrounding us was far too great, and saw us heading north to explore Woolgoolga Beach. This proved to be a good decision as we drove onto the sand at the incredibly picturesque Flat Top Point. From there we headed south, looking for a good spot to setup camp for the afternoon. On route we passed multiple promising looking holes in the surf, all sure to hold fish, before coming to a stop at Dammerels Head. We selected the rocky point for both it's aesthetics as well as the promise of species other than dart, which we were beginning to tire of. Aerial photo of Dammerels Head While our kids chased (and amazingly caught) crabs, we kitted up our…
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