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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Kayak Fishing Budgewoi Lake

Kayak Fishing Budgewoi Lake

Kayak Fishing, Lure Fishing, Salt Water, Trip Report
Sunset over Lake Munmorah After a long and painful journey back from the USA, including a lost bag and a delayed flight, I was happy to climb into the ute and head north for Budgewoi. We'd booked a deluxe cabin on the banks of Lake Munmorah at the Budgewoi Holiday Park, and were ready for a long weekend of fishing, swimming pools, and beach. The cabin was by far the best we've stayed in. Firstly, it was either newer, or at the very least, recently renovated. It also had incredible, uninterrupted, views of the Lake Munmorah, whereas most of the other cabins we've stayed in have had limited to no views, and are usually surrounded by multiple other cabins. Inside the cabin was pretty standard; there were two bedrooms, one…
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Manly Dam – Take 2

Manly Dam – Take 2

Bass, Fresh Water, Kayak Fishing
On a lazy Friday morning, I decided to take advantage of the fact that granny was staying with us, and took her and the girls down to Manly Dam, to show her one of my local fishing holes. It was the first time I'd tried to load my Hobie Outback onto the roof of my ute by myself. And amazingly, it was easier than doing it with my sister, although it did take me fractionally longer, as I had to lift each side onto the roof on it's own. This amazing feat was achieved using the Rack and Roll roof rack bar, which I purchased from the Life Aquatic. When we got to the dam I setup a small picnic area for granny and the girls, and then got about…
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Aussie Bass at Manly Dam (First Outing on my Hobie Outback)

Aussie Bass at Manly Dam (First Outing on my Hobie Outback)

Bass, Fresh Water, Kayak Fishing
After months of deliberation around which fishing platform would be best suited to my use cases, having considered multiple options from boats to float tubes and paddle kayaks, I bit the bullet and purchased a 2019 Hobie Outback. Surprisingly, even after I'd narrowed my choices down to the pedal kayaks, the decision was still far from obvious. What drive system did I want? Should it be fin based or a prop drive? Was size and ease of transport important? Or was stability more critical, being a fly fisherman? These are however questions better suited to a future post, once I've had a few more sessions on the kayak. With a shiny, new Hobie sitting in the garage, I absolutely had to get it onto the water as soon as possible.…
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Excitement at Willoughby Creek Bay

Excitement at Willoughby Creek Bay

Salt Water
I snuck out of the house late on Saturday afternoon, fly rod in hand, ready to explore some nearby waters. Despite having lived in Sydney for close on 2 years, I had only fished the harbour twice, and was eager to find some good fishing spots close to home. When I arrived at the Willoughby Creek Bay, it was just starting to rain. There was a strong westerly blowing, it was close to low tide, and the water was murkier than usual. But none of that was going to put me off. I stood on the bank for a while, trying to work out my game-plan, before climbing down the steep wall into the water. The bottom was covered in oysters and, despite wearing rubber booties, it was still sore…
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