A compilation of nice pinkies caught close to shore in Perth metropolitan waters.
Had a couple of trips out over the Remembrance Long Weekend fishing from Hillarys.
The first trip was a “hunter gatherer” mission as Jill’s relations were over from Sydney to visit the "newborn" (originally from WA) and I was asked to get them all a feed of fresh fish – didn’t take much asking really. Headed out on Saturday afternoon with Michael (zOOm - he seems fairly keen to keep in touch and head out with me and we always have a good time). Conditions were very calm after the Easterly (perhaps too calm) and the plan was to fish relatively shallow (20m+) from NW of Hillarys, South to the Southern Cardinal Marker. It is fair to say the fishing was fairly slow although zOOm got a nice sized gummy and I got a sized Breaksea in the first hour or so. The gummy was released but the Breaksea is Jill’s favourite so went in the slurry. We landed a variety of other species on our travels and released them all.
We got to the spot to anchor up for the night fish and the sounder was much more positive. Set the burley pot a few metres off the bottom and the activity continued. The fishing was improved with a fairly constant bite with quite a few undersized pinkies, undersized Dhu and a variety of other things. Everything released well as we were in fairly shallow water and it was certainly entertaining. Just after dark I dropped a slab bait down and it was immediately snaffled by something with a bit of size that was peeling line off. After a lively fight it was good to see the 5kg+ Dhu come to the boat. Nice, mission accomplished and the in-laws would like that offering. Not a huge fish but a good one in relatively shallow water.
At one stage in the evening, Michael looked at the sounder and said “something big is coming up to the burley cage!”. There was clearly an “s” shape from the bottom to the cage, then there was a thud of line on the hull and all we had left was string. Must have been quite large to take a 320mm x 115mm cage. Everything seemed to shut down after that and it was deemed time to come in.
ANZAC Day is the annual Wally Lothian Competition at the MACC, in honour of a legendary club member – see the Club website for details on Wally. The “Wally” is an inshore comp with the boundaries being the Ocean Reef leads to the North, the Southern Cardinal Marker to the South and the reef to the West. It is a 4-hour event with the sail past at 8am following the service and the weigh in by noon. The fish is all filleted and cooked by “the fishers” for consumption by the general members in what is always a good afternoon in the Boatshed.
With the rising swell on Monday the plan was to go early and chase some of the inshore pinkies (not to be weighed in of course as they would have been caught outside of comp hours) as the Wally is a social comp you are not restricted to leaving the marina at a certain time - the comp begins after the sail past. Up early and let’s just say the conditions were atrocious so I went back to bed. I did give some thought on “bailing the Wally”, but the significance of the day got to me – what is a bit of rain, wind and swell compared to what our WW1 Hero’s had to sacrifice to guarantee our freedom. Yes, I was going to get wet and it was going to be uncomfortable (I have a small open boat) but you just have to do these things. I let the young deckie off however as she has had the last 2 comps in the rain, so it was solo for me.
Conditions in the lead up to the sail past were not too bad and I was so glad I participated in the event. To hear the Ode and the Last Post across the water (it was so clear as sound travels really well over the ocean) was truly awesome and a nice moment to reflect on the fallen hero's. I took a photo of the Club and all of the people on the lower level but it didn’t come out that well. The other image is a “zoomed” photo from shore with my little boat on the right with me in my fluoro rain gear.
As soon as the service was over the heavens opened. On the way out to the first spot the storm strength rain came through. It bucketed, and although I had the heavy rain gear on it just drenched everything. There was no escaping the rain, wind and chop all morning – conditions I would never normally fish. I fished on, got my bag of herring eventually (fishing in relatively sheltered spots to the East of any hazard) and was very cold and miserable.
Back to the Club (didn’t bother to weigh-in) to fillet the fish. As I was filleting we got another storm rain event and the gutters discharged onto the filleting tables and drenched me with more water, and fish guts. Anyway, I kept going and handed in my handful of filleted, skinned and de-boned fresh fish for the day – a small offering but I did it.
At least I could go home, after a couple of brews, and have a hot shower (20 minutes in the foetal position trying to get warm again) before going back for an enjoyable afternoon with good people. Our Diggers did not have that luxury.
LEST WE FORGET.
The Shore Catch fully commercial fish shredder, fitted with all of the required safety gear, was delivered yesterday. This was a much awaited event and the machine adds a whole new dimension to our fish processing abilities.
Gave it a really good test on about 100kg of various types of fish and it passed with flying colours. We now have a good supply of pilchard, mullet, tuna and mixed fish shred in 1kg and 2kg packs.
Burley day today as we have just about sold out. Good thing the mixer/mincer is capable of 100kg batches.
Very happy with the trio of machines now. Just got to get them dancing.
Next thing is to build a wet area for the shredder, mixer/mincer and wash trough. Good thing we have a sewer connected wash down bay on the other side of the wall where we can drain all the water.
A mate, and licenced professional fisherman called me to say he had just netted a large school of mullet (mixed size). They are being frozen stored and we will collect some on Monday.
A couple of hundred kilos is already taken (in the last hours) by fishos I know that want good quality bait. The fish will be in excellent condition when received, as they were swimming today.
Mullet is a highly rated bait by many. They are seasonal so you get the good ones when you can. This is an opportunity that I thought worth passing on to FW Members that are mullet bait fishermen if interested.
The minimum order is 10kg. $4.50 a kilo (inc GST) up to 20kg, and $4.00 a kilo (inc GST) for over 20kg. It is a wholesale price. We will retail the fish in smaller quantities, and higher price, in a week or two.
Just PM me or email email@example.com if you would like a bulk order. Orders will close after Saturday and be available after Monday.
With the successful 100kg of fish frames bench test of the shredder earlier in the week, it was time to see how it went in shredding a 20kg solid frozen block of mulies. As expected, it did a fine job and we now have 40kg of shred available.
The decision to provide shredded fish was following the positive comments about the suggestion in a previous post. I talked then about cubed mulies but the work involved in that was significant and with the shredder now operational, shredding the fish seemed a logical way to go. I was very happy with the finished product that is suitable for multiple uses such a burley pots, raw feed to throw into the water and an important additive to any homemade burley. We vacuum seal the shred so it is a long lasting product that is properly preserved.
The initial packaging for the shred is 1kg, 2.5kg and 5kg lots with the price initial being $6, $12.50 and $25 respectively. Images of the products are below.
The first batch is a trial and what we stock in the future will depend on feedback. Other shredded products could be tuna and/or mixed fish and I would be interested in any comments on this.
We will give this first 40kg a crack, and subject to demand will order more mulie seconds for processing.
Note: Only 30kg left now as customers came in this afternoon and wanted it when I showed them.
With all the reports of inshore pinkies being caught lately, it was time to start the 2016 “campaign”. Past experience is that the fish start to come in close by March/April.
The weather was really good on Saturday so why not give it a try? Michael (zOOm) was keen to take his boat so a 5am departure from Hillarys was arranged. The wind was light but the swell was at 2.5m, which means it is not wise to take on the crossing of the near shore reefs in the dark. The “plan” was to stay in close, burley up and fish sunrise for the pinkies with good quality rigs and baits. There was no spot, we just looked at likely reef structure, anchored and set up a burley trail. Let’s just say we didn’t go more than a few kilometres.
A customer ordered 20kg of burley last week so I made a “special” batch. Lots of fish, lots of oil and a high proportion of pilchard. I must admit I had my first “2016 pinkie trip” in mind and It was a high strength fine grained burley that dispersed at about 1 to 1.5kg per hour, enhanced with pilchard shred every now and again.
Within 20 minutes, Michael’s bottom rig went off. This fish was a pinkie of about 450mm so back it went, but the signs were good. About 10 minutes later my bait runner made that sound that you love to hear. Wait, wait, wait and when the fish clearly had the bait set the hooks. This was a nice solid fish that was peeling lots of line with the characteristic head shakes. Very pleased to see the big pink flash as it came into sight.
I have imported the Big Angry Fish Release Clips and will have them available in a few weeks. We got a small shipment to start with (which I have sent all round Australia) but kept one for me to test. I also had some small vacuum sealed sand whiting so rig one up and out it goes on my spin outfit. It didn’t take long for the line to pull from the clip with plenty more line being pulled from the open spool. When I set the hooks, this was another nice fish but after its first run it turned and swam back towards the boat? It did “wake up” and after a good fight was in the net too.
The fish were about 5.5kg and 75-80cm. Not huge but still very solid. Can’t complain about that bag within the first hour though.
After first light, and after the pinkies, we headed deeper. Anchor and burley again and the results kept coming. I got another good pinkie (released) and Michael got a nice baldie.
My bait runner went off again on another solid fish. This was a good fight and then up popped a very solid baldie. I had my bag so this was a lucky fish as we treated it with a lot of care, got a photo and released it with a weight. It came up slow due to its fight and we are fairly positive that it released well. We estimated it at about 5-6kg (very fat fish) so it was a lot of “quality” going back in the ocean.
We then decided that we didn't want to risk harming any more fish so packed up and came in. It was a lovely morning on the water with some quality fish, including a bag out on the target species just as the sun came up.
The video in this post shows the internal workings of our custom fish shredder "in the raw". It passed the bench test on a frozen 15kg Dhu head. The feed material in the video is a deep frozen large slab of fish.
Fitting of all required commercial safety guards and interlocks has commenced. No body part should ever be allowed to reach the deck of this machine.
In the interest of protection of your eyes from harmful UV light, Shore Catch has selected a range of sunglasses for retail sale, including floating models.
After an extensive search for a suitable manufacturer/supplier, Barz Optics range has been chosen due to the quality range, reasonable price ($30 to $120) and excellent reviews. We included the floating glasses as the "stories" of losing those expensive items overboard are all too common.
All glasses are fitted with 1.1mm polarised lenses, and some are also photochromic (adjusts lens darkness based on incident light). We have selected a range of styles in both floating and non-floating models, and there are even some for the kids. Floating leashes and silicone straps are also included for those that want further protection from losing their "sunnies".
A description of the range is at www.shorecatch.com.au, and more information is available when viewing the product on-line or at our physical shop in Wangara.
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Thank you again for the interest shown in our establishing family business. Mick & Jill
Headed up to Jurien Bay on Friday evening with my 10-year-old Daughter to fish the Patrons Cup for the MAAC. The Patrons Cup is an annual event between the Marmion Angling and Aquatic Club and the Ocean Reef Sea Sports Club that has been running for nearly 40 years. There is one point per species and 3 points if you catch the heaviest of species and the number of bags counted are “equalised” so that each Club enters the same. It is a comp that is fished with a spirit of comradery, but the Patrons Cup is clearly sought after by both clubs.
The easterly was up early so we decided to stay in close for the B&B species near the reefs. Conditions weren’t that flash but we managed to burley up herring, garfish and skippy although the bite was slow and the fish were wary. The highlight was seeing a couple of boats put out live herring (the herring were being chased by sambos when hooked) and connecting with big sambos in very shallow reefy water.
The wind started to drop after a few hours so we decided to head further out to sound some deeper ground (about 20m). Conditions had got quite nice by this time so we used the sounder to locate structure that was holding fish, and the Minn Kota to “anchor” on it. Mark from MJ’s Rigs had sent me a sample of a paternoster that is was itching to try so down it went with a whole pilchard and bonito fillet on a very likely bit of ground. Within seconds I was hooked up and boated a nice 4kg Baldchin – some anxious moments with the deckie and the net but we got it in the end.
Down again and the lovely deckie hooks up to something with size. Sarah has learned a lot over the last year and she did a really good job with the fish. It was undersized but a very nice fish for a 10-year-old girl. Her first WA Dhufish. Because we were shallow and Sarah brought it up slowly, it released with a very solid “kick”.
The window of opportunity out deeper was small and the southerly came in strong. In my little boat it was certainly time to “run away” and I was pleased we had started the “run home” early. I thought we could troll the beaches for tailor in “sloppy” water but conditions were so bad, in my boat, that we had to come in 3.5 hours before weigh in. Anyway, a really nice morning in a magic spot.
The weigh in was where it all went “pear shaped”. We had “hidden” behind the marina break wall to clean up the boat and bag the fish. I was stupid enough to leave the comp rules at home on Friday and had asked for them to be brought up to work before we left – 2 plastic bags, one with food and one with fishing stuff. When I asked the deckie for the fishing stuff bag, unfortunately it didn’t come along – can’t blame the 10 year old though. Anyway I just chucked the fish in the bag from my iced up live bait tank to the esky.
Wrong, you could only weigh in one fish of each species so when our bags went up they were rightly disqualified. I have to accept total responsibility for being dumb and stupid. I should have looked after the rules, I should have listened more carefully at the “rev up” and/or I should have checked with other members as we had lots of time. The worry then was that my stupidity would cost the Club. I had to put the Baldchin on the scales after the weigh in and of course it was more than half a kilo heavier than the next one so 3 points down the drain (luckily another MAAC Member caught the next heaviest so my mistake was minimised). As the results were announced it was with great relief that the MAAC had enough points from its excellent fishermen to take the cup. A lesson for all, make sure you read the rules in anything that you do, so you don’t have to suffer the consequences (yes, the sledging was quite severe).