IT”S NEVER A BAD DAY TO FISH
I’m spending a few days down at Currarong; a three-hour drive south of Sydney. I’m just resting, just fishing and just doing nothing.
We take off mid-morning to try our hand fishing. Walking along the scenic Abrahams Bosom Walking Track we find our way to the wreck of the Merimbulla at Whale Point.
In 1928 it ran aground and for many years stood with her bow pointing high in the sky. The years have passed and today only a fragment of the wreck remains.
The weather was great but the fishing not successful however we came across this beached pod of giant bait fish that in their attempt to escape my fishing skills ran up the beach.
We are back close to home and the long stretch of white sand of the Abraham’s Bosom beach sparkles under the bright summer sun.
Where ever you are there is always somewhere to fish and that’s great because it’s fun when they’re biting and at this time of year there’s plenty biting in the Bay.
The Captain of our little charter fishing boat scours the Bay for signs of fish, looking for the tell-tale activity of the sea birds. But as we head out from Sans Souci on this pre-dawn Saturday morning all is quite. The red-eye of the sunrise is all that stares through the clouds that cling to the coastline.
The sea mist begins to roll in as we head out towards barrel 5 near Molineaux Point. They say this is where the action is. Unfortunately for us this is not the case today so we pull up anchor and head out to sea to troll for surface fish.
We cruise along the edge of the rocky sandstone coastline past Bare Island and Henry Head to just off Cape Banks and it’s not long before we spot the bonito breaking the surface. They are at our mercy and eventually we all pull one in.
Well enough of that and back to tin can 5 and around Silver Beach and Watts Point where once again despite all our skill we were unable to get a strike.
We shoot off to the sand bar and rig for bream. Good move, we bag a couple of good size fish and an ocean salmon.
We use our last bit of luck over near Towra Point and out best effort was the flathead caught by Dimitri.
All in all a pretty good day we bagged a modest haul of Bonito, Bream, Flathead, Tarwhine, Salmon and even an Octopus.
It has been a Goldilocks day, not too hot, not too cold, ahhh just right.
As I drift past the river shacks I take the time to express my sincere and heartfelt gratitude for what I have and I’ll never overlook the immeasurable abundance and happiness I have been given.
We head off to troll and spin with lures and prawn bait along the sand flats and a sand gutter drop-off where we will target flathead. The trick is to cover a lot of ground with moving bait and you’ll be sure to score.
Within a couple of minutes wack, wack: we get sharp tugs as our bait is taken. We feel the weight and start winding the lines tight and find they have hooked themselves.
After a few short runs they give up and soon we have two in the boat. Between the three of us we catch five or six fish but none is large enough to keep.
We repeat the drift and at the edge of the sandbank I catch a humble bream.
It’s gone all quite so we head off to the inlets and bays up the South West arm to a place known as Gooseberry Bay.
Both banks of the arm are covered with untouched red and grey gums that have grown up in the untroubled environment of the Royal National Park. This park was formally proclaimed on 26 April 1879 and is the world’s second oldest national park after Yellowstone in the United States.
Soft green turfy banks and carpets of bracken reach out towards the water. Waratahs bloom; rock lilies grow and a large Christmas bush stands 20-30 feet high. Nature creates a romantic surrounding for fishing and what we love is the feeling of one on the end of the line.
It’s not too long before we have two little snapper in the boat. Their colour is a reddish golden pink with light grey on their backs and sides.
From spring to early autumn this part of the South-west Arm is noted as a prolific snapper ground and that’s why we came here.
We throw them back and realize that our time is up for today so we head back to the boat shed past the numerous river shacks.
On the way across to Bundeena to fish for whiting we came upon a stand up paddle surfer. This Hawaiian sport looks excellent and probably gives a great workout for your core muscle groups, while you’re having fun immersed in nature.
Skin glowing bright red from the sun, heads partly covered with caps, paddles drawn back and then repeatedly plunged into the water. Their bright yellow hulls head straight towards us.
Their mood and their gestures are unmistakable. The clear exuberance shown by these people is quite understandable, yes, they are having fun: for they are members of the Kayak Tribe from the Bundeena Kayak Hire Village.
We raise our rods in defiance and stand our water. We soon see them on their way and we return to our fishing.
Even the greatest of fishermen have to start somewhere and so as George and Matthew did way back in 1796 when they mapped and named Port Hacking we set out upon our extraordinary voyage of discovery in the smallest of smallest boats.
This diminutive small open aluminium boat was our craft of choice in the quest to successfully fish the sheltered anchorages of the River.
It’s 8 am and we’re at Atwells Boatshed at Burraneer Bay on Port Hacking in Sydney’s south. We are just about to set off on a day of fishing and adventure.
It’s a beautiful November day. A light north East breeze gently tickles the water and the early morning sunlight creates mirror reflections of the resting boats.
It has a bit of history this place, being first explored by Matthew Flinders and George Bass back in 1796. They were returning from exploring when the Tom Thumb II was caught in a strong storm. The crew was in grave danger, as they were caught between the forbidding cliffs and a tumultuous sea.
Luckily, as they struggled northwards with the storm they saw a gap in the dark forms of the cliff and took a chance that this was a safe anchorage and not more danger. The explorers soon found themselves in the sheltered anchorage of Wattamolla.
In the days after this lucky escape Bass and Flinders mapped and named Port Hacking. It is now a popular recreational area, where swimming, fishing and boating is enjoyed. We will soon be getting some of that enjoyment for ourselves.