Squidding 101 – Catch and Cook

Squidding 101 – Catch and Cook

Kayak Fishing, Lure Fishing
Of late I've been spending far too much time watching YouTube and, as a result, got an itch to catch and cook some squid from the Sydney Harbour. Before hitting the water I visited BCF and purchased a lightweight rod (which I could use for squidding as well as light plastics), along with a handful of squid jigs. I opted for the 2-5kg 7ft Shimano Sienna HD spinning combo, spooled with 10lb braid. My mini adventure started off with me loading the yak onto the ute at 5:30am. I then cautiously awoke my wife, armed with a cup of coffee to minimise the risk of injury, before getting the girls into their dressing gowns. Since the family needed the car for the day, they unfortunately had to endure my early…
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Narrabeen Lagoon Doughnut

Narrabeen Lagoon Doughnut

Kayak Fishing, Salt Water
On Easter Monday I loaded the yak onto the ute (is there a more Australian sentence?) and headed for Narrabeen Lagoon. I'd read mixed reviews on the venue, but wanted to check it out for myself, and form my own opinion. At the very least I believed it held a healthy population of bream and flathead, which alone was worth a visit. After a brief 20 minute drive I arrived at the water and was instantly impressed with it's beauty. The wind was yet to pick up, and the lagoon was still devoid of the crowds I expected would arrive shortly, leaving the surface of the water perfectly flat, reflecting the abundance of greenery lining the lagoon's shore. Launching the Hobie Outback at Narrabeen Lagoon After kitting up a few…
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Flathead at Hen and Chicken Bay

Flathead at Hen and Chicken Bay

Salt Water
After a very successful first trip to Hen and Chicken Bay (read about it here), I decided to take advantage of the fact that fishing was still an allowed activity during the Coronavirus lockdown (as long as social distancing guidelines are followed), and headed out for a second session. Amazingly, the park was still relatively busy, with kids playing and adults exercising, although most of them appeared to be following the guidelines. Hen and Chicken Bay from the air I snuck between them and waded out onto the flats. The water was cleaner than on my previous visit, although it was still relatively dirty, with limited visibility. I stuck to what had worked for me before, a 7 weight rod with a long leader and a weighted fly, resembling a…
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Yellowfin Bream at Hen and Chicken Bay

Yellowfin Bream at Hen and Chicken Bay

Salt Water
On Saturday afternoon I was itching for a fish, but didn't have the energy to load my kayak onto the roof. Instead I threw my fly rods into the ute and headed for Hen and Chicken Bay, to spend a quick hour or so wading the banks, in the hopes of picking up a few new species. Hen and Chicken Bay My first impression of the venue was good. There was a beautiful green park, including a playground for the kids (making it more likely I'd be allowed future visits), and one of the larger flats I'd seen in the Sydney Harbour - perfect for us fly fisherman. When I got down to the flats I was even more impressed. There was an abundance of nipper holes, which I hadn't…
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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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