Introduction to the new category: ‘Fishing Trips & Stories’
Welcome to our first ‘Fishing Trip’ article on the website. We have started this new category where we will share with you a short story about recent fishing trips with a collection of pictures from our adventures. They will be only be a short recount with some tips, funnies and photos.
Easter Weekend Fishing Trip:
Sat 26th & Sun 27th March
The Easter weather couldn’t have been any more kind to holiday goers in South Eastern NSW. We were met by beautiful crisp morning that led into warm and sunny days. Jack and I had organised to drift a small section of river we had never fished before, hoping to find some quality fish. Not sure what we were going to find we packed both the native and Trout gear.
Day 1 – Saturday
Saturday was what we would call our research day as we set off floating down the skinny and clear river. The water was beautiful and shallow, to me it just screamed of Trout. Floating over a few fast and shallow stone bars that reflected the early morning light I managed to hook into the first Trout of the trip. It was no monster but it still managed to smack a Cutting Edge Rippin’ Runt which is a small lipless crankbait.
Now like we promised in these story telling pieces, we will share the funnies – this capture was one of them. I cast the lure into a fast running rapid just before I lost control of the boat. We neared the fast flowing rapid water and I was pretty much doing circles in the inflatable (It is very easy to lose control in this little craft). In the process I managed to wrap the line around Jack’s head and totally forgot about my retrieve. Once gathering our bearings (and freeing Jacks head from the braid) I picked up the slack line to find I was on! It was a good laugh but we will talk about what would have happened underwater. The Trout would have most likely been following the shiny lure before it stopped and sat on the bottom. To the fish it must have thought it was injured and would have gobbled it straight up!
It was a good start and the fishing only got better! Mid-morning we watched a solid Golden Perch in gin clear water follow my lure out from a snag. Unfortunately it didn’t gain enough confidence to have a crack, but it was a great sign. Less than 30mins later we were working over a massive pile of snags sitting in relatively deep and still water. To me it just screamed of Murray Cod! Both Jack and I knew this snag was worth more attention than most and that’s what it received. Cast after cast the spinnerbaits fluttered down in amongst the bed of timber. As we neared the end of our casts for this snag my concentration lapsed as I turned around looking for the next piece of structure calling to us. Mid cast, whack! I was belted by an absolute brute! It totally caught me off guard and whatever it was won the battle. To paint a better picture the fish hit that hard that when I went to strike the rod wouldn’t go up above a horizontal angle. The weight of the fish buckled the rod so hard I didn’t need to strike – needless to say I was spewing!
Still on the same section of river that was packed with snags we worked the front of a shaded willow. First of all we cast the lures straight to the front of the willow and retrieved the lure out and away from the structure. Then as we drifted downstream and worked our spinnerbaits along the entire length of the willow frontage. This is something that you should take note of and implement in your fishing.
‘A retrieve that stays in the strike zone for longer will be more effective’
The longer that lure is hanging in front of the structure, in the shade and therefore in front if the fish, will have more chance of being eaten. In this case it worked! The cast to the front of the willow failed, but the 3rd cast along the front (parallel to the willow) was smashed!
We found Gold!
Yes we were off the mark with a native fish! As the fish lit up in the clear water only a few second after being hooked. We looked down at a chunky Golden that was swinging its head to try and throw the lure. Well hooked by the Mud Guts spinnerbait we had him boat side for a photo. It was one FAT nugget of river gold at 50cm! To say I was wrapped was an understatement!
The day was slow for a while after that as we chased the small Trout in the rapids we floated. Casting small Powerbait TT soft plastics in to the white water produced a few small fish and plenty of follows. We passed plenty of holiday goers on their Easter breaks and it looked like everyone was getting out an enjoying a bit of fishing.
They were on the chew!
From about 3:00-3:30pm we came to a deep, slow and snaggy section and the fish were on! First snag we fished Jack’s spinnerbait was smashed and rejected by a Golden that we watched swim back into the structure. It was frustrating watching a beautiful golden slowly swim away when it was just there. Next snag was big, in the shade and lying parallel to the bank. The best part was Jack snagged which allowed me to take all the time I needed to cast along the log. As I moved into the top of the snag to free Jacks lure it allowed me to drop a cast in close against the log.
The lure was in the zone for a split second and Jack could predict a yella come flying out to take the spinnerbait. The best part was we could see the fish and in this instance the yella took me around a submerged stick. Luckily I could see the yella sitting there and I could see he was hooked well. The rule when a fish snags you up is to keep tension and use the de snagger pole to untangle the line (if possible). In this situation I could see the fish was hooked well so I gave him a little slack. The fish then swam off the snag where I was able to re-apply the pressure and swim him into clear water.
After some quick photos we began drifting again and I let fly a cast against a shady rock bank. On again! How good was this bite! This Golden was around 40cm in length. Jack was now aching for a fish and luckily the bite was still on. Directly behind the rock bank was a set of large and fully submerged snags. Unfortunately the snags were in full shade which to us anglers makes them less appealing. Jack cast over the snags and retrieved the spinnerbait back over the top of the big logs. As the lure passed the last log Jack allowed it to free fall right beside the snag – well guess who was hiding underneath! A beast of a yella which made Jack’s day! That was 3 fish from 4 hits in less than half hour.
We would have loved for the bite to continue but it slowed down as we continued to work hard. The day was falling away fast as the sun dropped behind the hills. This meant we had a short period to fish hard, because last light is the best time to land fish. Right on cue another chunky yella gobbled in my Blue and Silver Mud Guts Spinnerbait.
Right on dark Jack managed to finish up the tally to make it 6 yellas from 8 hits and another 3 follows throughout the day. We also managed to land 3 Trout and drop many more. We reached the car parked at the bottom and had the job of carrying the gear up a rocky bank. What was even better was the smell of the dead carp right beside us – I’ll blame the pull in point on Jack.
Day 2 – Sunday
Arranging the cars overnight we set out for another drift the next day. We pushed off into the river at first light and because it was so shallow I found myself walking the inflatable through cold water within 20 seconds. All the while Jack was warm and dry casting for Trout and getting hits (I will mention that he did a lot of walking the day before so fair is fair). While spending first hour trying to push through 3kms of water Jack cast small Celtas around for high feeding Trout. In a deep and slow section he was cranking the Celta back through before the 2-4kg Veritas loaded up. I could see a good arc in the rod while I spotted the darting flashes of a good quality Trout. After a great fight a quality 40cm Rainbow was a great start to the day.
We were in a bit of trouble…
Well…….. That’s where we thought it ended. I was motoring the boat downstream before I noticed I had lost power in my electric motor. I still had power and I could hear the motor humming but we weren’t moving. Oh great now we had over 12km to cover with a paddle!! This was going to be fun. Jack paddled us to a spot where we could get out and do some handy man work on the motor (well I didn’t have much faith). First we had to get through the lock nut on the outside of the prop – and luckily I had packed my Gerber. At first I thought I hadn’t packed it but luckily I had it, so lesson learned to also have a multi tool on any fishing expedition.
Jack and I commenced surgery and we found out that through all my time bashing the motor into rocks and logs I’d managed to shear the split pin in 3 pieces. We needed a split pin otherwise we weren’t going anywhere. A few bright ideas and a bit of thinking, we managed to fix the motor.
How? Well we cut a section of wire off a spinnerbait (yes we killed the spinnerbait and yes it hurt but it had to make the sacrifice for us). Then folded it in half and gave it a few twists to give it a bit of strength. Slipped the prop back on and we were back in action. Floating a little further down we came to our first ‘native’ looking snag of the day. I had changed colours from what I was using on the previous day and I now had a white and orange spinnerbait at the ready.
Frist cast in against the snag (which was my first cast of the day) and the lure didn’t make it halfway back! What a great start as I was fighting yet another chunky Golden Perch! The day looked to have started out like a beauty but it wasn’t a sign for the rest of the day. The natives were slow as we managed to pick up 2 more with the 3rd coming on the last cast of the day. The Trout picked up as Jack managed to land 7 Rainbows for the whole day.
I want to go back to the last fish of the day which was a Golden Perch in which Jack landed. I want to let him tell you the story as it was the loudest I’ve ever heard him cheer from hooking a fish but it has a great story behind it:
Jack Zyhalak: “We pulled up to the very last log for the day which was directly opposite where the car was parked. I had been itching all day to get in on the yellowbelly action (Trout are definitely fun but just not quite the same!) and Rhys had assured me that this log would produce. Upon arriving at the log it definitely screamed fish and we both fired casts into the prime spot on the log. The “log” consisted of a huge fallen tree with some smaller trees fallen in front of it suspended about a foot under water. Half a dozen casts in a hungry yella followed Rhys’s lure right out from the log and was just about to engulf the lure when Rhys prematurely twitched the lure and the fish darted back to its hiding spot. Needless to say we belted another dozen casts in at the log. I hit the prime spot on the log, letting the lure sink right down before commencing the retrieve. The lure began to rise over the submerged trees in front of the main log and I could see it clearly as the flashing blades popped into view. What happened next is one of the most unreal events I have witnessed to date: as I was winding the lure over the submerged logs a fat yella came like a speeding bullet out of the darkness below, swimming right over the submerged log ready to attack the lure. I was quite speechless but held my nerve and kept the retrieve steady – it was unreal to watch the greedy golden inhale the lure right before my eyes and then attempt to take off with it! A great way to end what had been an awesome Easter adventure!”
It was a great Easter trip out on the water, one we will never forget! I hope you have enjoyed this Fishing Trip Story and that you look forward to reading more of our adventures and tales in the future. Please give us your feedback either on Facebook or via email as to whether you would like to hear more about Social Fishing adventures.
Until next time, happy fishing!
Rhys Creed (and a short paragraph from Jack Zyhalak)