Sunday marked the start of week two of the trip and I was still hopeful. I knew the fish had to be out there somewhere but where. One thing about this trip was that with the fishing as it was and the usual places not producing it encouraged the exploration of new places. The trouble is that each time I checked a new place out I could see some where else to try. Well, it is a nice problem because it just means that I have to go back. But how many times can I do this before the fish population dive make it no fish weeks?
Sunday morning was missed due to illness but during the afternoon Hardings beach was paid a visit. No fish activity was seen on the way to the cut but the dead ray was still laying on the beach and not looking or smelling good! As I approached the cut or inlet I really slowed the walk and searched the water close in. From experience I know that fish hunt here. This area has flats by the side of the channel and I have seen fish here, on occasion, good ones and today I wasn’t disappointed. About a hundred yards from the entrance I saw the shape of a good fish (30-35 inches) moving along the floating weed line. A few casts proved it wasn’t in the mood for my fly. A little further along and two more shapes were seen. A couple of casts produced a follow. Actually, two follows because two Striper’s could be seen chasing the fly, both 20-35″ fish but all I got was an adrenalin rush!
After this excitement, I moved on round to behind the beach area to start the search for fish. The process was simple, cast, step, cast, step a bit more and so on. Just before I got to the pile of laid out timber I had a fish (my first Striper for a long time), Beastmaster again! This spot produced two more Striper’s before I saw some surface activity 50 yards or so along the beach.
At about this time a couple were having their evening stroll and called me over. I had a chat with them and found he was a fisher himself. He told me the opposite of what the guy at Saints Landing had told me in that the population was still on the down. So what is the real situation in regarding the Striper population? The evening from this point proved excellent with many fish, with the action I forgot to count but who cares? I sent a message up to my friend Mark to come on down and joined in and also caught fish, a couple of times he had two on the same cast. These fish were all schoolies to 20″ but fun.
Tuesday started slightly cool but much the same as previous days and it was an early start with Wayne dropping me off at Forest Beach at 7ish. A walk along the beach produced nothing but at the end it looked really fishy.
Once again I caught nothing although I later learn’t I should have gone further up the creek. After a while Wayne came down in his kayak and said that he had a few fish in the salt pond and that there were two shoals of Herring there and he could get really close before they spooked. He thought they might be mating but we later found that they did this during the spring, so what were they doing?
Wednesday saw me playing safe with the urge to explore the creek some more so returned to Forest Beach. Again nothing along the beach, a few casts from the rocky jetty produced nothing. I went up the creek a bit and started catching where some current was on a corner and running into deeper water. I had several fish before low tide stopped play or the fish had all run out to open water. Wayne came down a fish for a while and said that the Herring were still there so I had to go and have a look. A first, I have never been in this style of kayak before, much joy!
The afternoon was spent at Morris Island, much of the time was spent exploring as I couldn’t really remember much from before but ended up at the point opposite the inlet of Harding Beach. I was told that from the point and long for several hundred yards often held fish but today was not the case. On the way back I noticed a school of fish busting then realised not busting but trying to escape an attack by 2 or 3 seals. For over a hour I watched as the school was decimated. Just wished that a Great White had come along and did something about those seals!
Thursday, we returned to the same place but the fish were fewer, I also broke my fly line so after 8 years or so of use I realised it was time to replace it. Wayne fished the outlet with me and had a few schoolies from the other side of the creek. During the afternoon it was time to find Fishing the Cape has they had moved. Found a Orvis wonder line, I had not heard good things about this line but thought I would check it any way. It was found to be a new generation (or mk3 if you must), so fished without coils but it felt thinker than my old line so may well get replaced for a SA Stripped Bass clear intermediate. Checked out a new place but can’t remember the name although it was further south/west of Forest and Hardings beaches.
Friday, much the same as before with a trip to Forest Beach and the Creek, more fish than the day before with the tide being an hour later than the previous day but still on the out going. Once again I caught on the Beastmaster and the Madeel. Unfortunately fishing at this point had to stop, my arm injury problem had finally got the better of me and I was surprised that it had lasted this long during the trip.
So, the end of a great trip although the fishing was somewhat patchy, time spent with friends is precious and all the more when you haven’t seen them for years. I would like to thank Howard, Mark, Mel, Mike and Wayne for allowing me to tag along and dropping me off at places and to Splinta for great food and more transport. Has well as Ron and Bill for great food and company. Sorry if I have forgotten anyone, let me know.
See you guys next year!