I fancied a change of venue for the next session so I asked my daughter to drop us off at Manly Aquarium. Not to fish inside it but to fish off the jetty at the rear of it lol. I had fished this spot last year with my aussie mate Ollie and he got a big salmon on livebaited yellowtail here. He also said that you can pick up all the harbour big fish species at this point including all the shark species.
This was me setting up
First off was to fill my large livebait drum with seawater and then crumb some bread in to get the yellowtails feeding. Then the hard bit was to hook them on size 14 hooks baited with small bits of squid. We managed to get two fish in the first hour !!!! Not good.
My heavier rod had 20lb mono on the fixed spool and I was using a running ledger. The hook length was 12" of 60lb mono to a 4/0 bronze hook. I knew that sharks were possible but did not want to use wire trace as this would probably put off my target fish - kingfish,bonito,salmon,flathead,jewfish etc.
All the harbour beaches have shark-proof safe swim areas. This is the one on Manly Wharf Beach where we were swimming. It was a very pleasant place to fish.
It took about an hour before I had a run on the livebait and as I had the drag set to zero the fish screamed off quite a bit of line before I was able to tighten into it. I was not expecting such a battle and had the fish on for about a minute before the line went slack.
On reeling in I found that my main line was cleanly cut !!!! My suspicion is that a shark had wolfed down the bait that far its teeth had cut my main line. Mental note to myself - use a longer hook length next time. At this point Dorothy got a bit bored and had a wander around the nearby shops. I needed more livebaits quickly so I decided to change my tactics to get them. Will not tell you exactly what I did but lets just say I had 7/8 livebaits in the bucket by the time Dorothy returned about 20 mins later. These are the yellowtails I was using for bait.
After losing that first fish things died down and I only had two more half hearted runs that bit chunks out of the livebait. It was roasting hot so had to content myself watching some topless sunbathers on the beach. Would have taken a few pervy photos for the boys but would have got earache off the wife lol
What a lovely place to catch nothing though. This is the entrance to Sydney Harbour as seen from our fishing spot.
While trying to catch yellowtail I did manage a new species though. At the time I did not know what it was but it looked to one of the puffer fish species. I therefore carefully shook it free using long nosed pliers. It has since been identified as a banded toadfish and poisonous !!!
Well another poor trip but at least got my tan topped up. Plan to persist with this livebaiting and hopefully actually land something decent next time. I am going to respool with some 35lb mono I brought over and use a longer hooklength. I may even rig up a rubbing leader.