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Alexsfishin1

First time flats fishing

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Headed out today with James for a northern flats session! A massive thanks goes to Underpants and Sbarnden for hinting us in the right direction. We started off the day at 6am and arrived on the flats at 6:45am. 

The tide was running out which was good but the wind was blowing pretty hard. We set up our stuff and headed straight out. Once we got close to the gutter, James hooks up to a fat whiting on the GULP worms. At first we thought it was a good salmon with the first run but once it came up to the surface, we were stoked. After a quick photo, it went straight into the homemade livewell!  :lol:

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We kept persisting to see if we could get a few more whiting but the toadies kept on chomping out soft plastics. We decided to fish the channel/gutter and that's when the action was hot! :D  We started bagging some average sized tommies and salmon trout but we wanted to find bigger ones.

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We made our way out to deeper water where we spotted a few black rays, but everywhere we went there were only tommies, salmon trout and toadies. We decided to go back shallower to see if we could get a few more whiting, but that's when we spooked a couple of big flathead! (around 45-55cm). I managed to hook one whist flicking for tommies/salmon trout but this one was only a baby.  :rolleyes:

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On the way back in, we stepped on a crab and James was quick enough to snatch it up into the livewell. Just over legal! It was a beautiful day to be out wading (would've been better without the wind  :P). Here's just a few more photos! 

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Great little session there Alex, really like the floating live well. Didn't see any more whiting?

 

Those worms work alright don't they! I mixed up some diy gulp juice to keep them in, almost 7 years since I bought the packet (geez I was little when I got them)and they are still like new.

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Great little session there Alex, really like the floating live well. Didn't see any more whiting?

 

Those worms work alright don't they! I mixed up some diy gulp juice to keep them in, almost 7 years since I bought the packet (geez I was little when I got them)and they are still like new.

Saw one around 25-30cm in about knee deep water on the way back in! That was it though. Gulp lures are awesome, especially the juice making it feel like you're using bait! The only thing I don't like about them is that they break easily aha. 

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Oh, the juice also toughens them up a bit, which is handy. Although that may be an age thing. Do you know if they get gar up there? Don't think I've seen them mentioned in the flats reports

This was my first time up there, but I haven't seen many posts where people get them either. I think you'd be better off going off a jetty lol. 

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Well done on your first trip out there. Id be guessing you are both now fellow flats addictives. I havnt been out there for 3ish weeks now and no chance for another couple so your report will help me through. I'm a bit surprised you didn't bag on whiting they should be thick arm.

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Well done Alex and James.

Great report and photos and I love the live wells - great initiative on how homemade ones can be done.

Pity not a lot of whiting were there at the time but I'm sure they will get thicker in numbers before too long - so you'll have to return to the flats :)

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Get in quick before the netters rape the place..   we watched last year at the same place them take a whole school of YFW..  blocked off the channel on an outgoing tide and the banged  on the hull of their net boat and hearded them in to the net..    caught bugger all fish the next few visits after that...

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Way to go Alex, you got out there early and got a good catch in your awesome DIY live-basket. I can't wait to see more pics and clips this summer, your KI report and video were excellent as well.

 

All but two of my exams are over on Friday, so I am heading out ASAP, and I'll have a bait and SP rig ready to go, judging by these pics. 

 

P.S. I think you may have inadvertently started a DIY live-basket trend here on StrikeHook too  :D

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Good work. Love the improvised livewell :lol: . i just use a mesh bag with a drawstring & toggle, tied to the wading tub but i bleed the ST & tommies straight away & chuck 'em in. Might be why the banjos, PJs & rays like me so much?

 

Oh, the juice also toughens them up a bit, which is handy. Although that may be an age thing. Do you know if they get gar up there? Don't think I've seen them mentioned in the flats reports

 

Yep but Ive only seen lil ones chased to the surface and have never targeted them. Have caught them on the flats with yfw rigs & bloodworms but that was Franklin Harbour,near Cowell!

 

Get in quick before the netters rape the place..   we watched last year at the same place them take a whole school of YFW..  blocked off the channel on an outgoing tide and the banged  on the hull of their net boat and hearded them in to the net..    caught bugger all fish the next few visits after that...

 

Yeah seen them do exactly the same :( .

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Get in quick before the netters rape the place.. we watched last year at the same place them take a whole school of YFW.. blocked off the channel on an outgoing tide and the banged on the hull of their net boat and hearded them in to the net.. caught bugger all fish the next few visits after that...

Yep last 3 years been the same hey. He runs a jet drive and have seen him set his net over the channel and then run up and down flat chat herding them. Once I see him I normally hit other spots now

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;)

The next weekend that has glass conditions is locked in for a flats session! James and I will try poppers next time, might even flick for the big flatties we spooked! ;)

 

Welcome to the aquatic wonderland of the Northern Sandflats.

 

A good wind ripple produces better results   ...    ;)

Too rough and too stirred up is not good.

Don't be afraid to fish very shallow water for YFW. Especially at the bottom of the tide and you can see nipper and cockle beds.

 

Good luck

Cheers, Des

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;)

The next weekend that has glass conditions is locked in for a flats session! James and I will try poppers next time, might even flick for the big flatties we spooked! ;)

 

Welcome to the aquatic wonderland of the Northern Sandflats.

 

A good wind ripple produces better results   ...    ;)

Too rough and too stirred up is not good.

Don't be afraid to fish very shallow water for YFW. Especially at the bottom of the tide and you can see nipper and cockle beds.

 

Good luck

Cheers, Des

On the way back in we saw heaps of little yfw but did spot an alright one! They were feeding in the very narrow channel, really shallow! Too bad we didn't have our rods rigged up, all ready to be put into the car  :lol:  :wacko:

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Cracking effort young lads! I nearly found my way up there a few weeks back but unfortunately work got in the way :ph34r: Now you're making me jealous.

 

We've been having a lot of customers coming in wanting to make some of those floating tubs, James' tub looks like a real winner, just needs wheels somewhere and it'd be perfect.

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We've been having a lot of customers coming in wanting to make some of those floating tubs, James' tub looks like a real winner, just needs wheels somewhere and it'd be perfect.

 

Quick Alex and James put your patent mark on it - you'll make thousands ;)

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We've been having a lot of customers coming in wanting to make some of those floating tubs, James' tub looks like a real winner, just needs wheels somewhere and it'd be perfect.

Quick Alex and James put your patent mark on it - you'll make thousands ;)

Best one I've seen was a full on setup with rod holders, crab rake holder, crab nets, esky in built, wheels; the whole nine yards. Easiest one is just a plastic tub with two pool noodles on the bottom and sides. Interesting that many local tackle stores don't have ready made ones?

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I love the tubs. I've been thinking of making something similar myself, although I'd like some wheels for the (long) walk out and back at low tide (I'm lazy  :rolleyes: ).

 

My wife's away this weekend, so I'm hoping to head up to the flats myself  :ph34r:

Nice! Wheels would've been useful when we left lol.. Carrying a whole basket of fish a couple of hundred meters back to the car park was not fun..  :lol:

 

Cracking effort young lads! I nearly found my way up there a few weeks back but unfortunately work got in the way :ph34r: Now you're making me jealous.

 

We've been having a lot of customers coming in wanting to make some of those floating tubs, James' tub looks like a real winner, just needs wheels somewhere and it'd be perfect.

Hey! if we didn't have my tub we wouldn't be able to keep any fish for a feed!!  :lol:  :D Lol, thanks Leigh. Someone should start a business making these things, very useful. 

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This is mine. Recon i've posted it before somewhere? 150mm floats on electrical pvc conduit axles. I didnt make it tho :rolleyes: , one of Mozzies from Gotcha Fishing Tackle!

 

Catch bag, landing net, rod holder, fish measure sticker, webbing belt for towing & crab gauge tied on somewhere there too.

 

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After seeing all these great variations on fishing caddies, I hunted Google Images looking for ideas and found these 2. I basically didn't know these things existed a week ago, and suddenly I'm filled with a desire to MacGyver something up for this summer. Damn fishing, you so addictive!

 

The pre-fabbed one is called the Kayak Kaddy *drool*

 

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And the other one is ingenious

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Yes Underpants, I've seen that picture in another thread (on wading bags I think?). I like the idea of wheels that also provide flotation - how are they attached to the 'axles'?

 

Flotation & stability!

 

Initially it was 20mm pvc running thru the floats with a pvc end cap glued on. The floats & axels wore thru (with the addition of a bit of sand) and the floats started coming off.

 

I re-did the wheels & axles by  jamming  25mm pvc into the floats with a rubber mallet and then running this on new full width  20mm pvc axles (so they were running on pcv/pvc rather than polystyrene/pvc) plus 25mm outer for extra stiffness. All held together with end caps, with a self tapping screw (for easier dissembling) rather than glue. This also keeps the floats free from rubbing on the tub.

 

Axles attached to tub (straight thru the base) with matching pvc saddles and all-stainless bolts (flat phillips head on the inside), washers & nylon lock nuts.

 

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These end caps should/could have been recessed into the float.

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Well, for a few bucks in bits'n'pieces from the Reject Shop, I put together a live well of my own, basically a mirror of Alex's basket, just smaller. I took the basket and some preserved bloodies up to Thompson Beach yesterday, and had an awesome day reeling in well over a dozen YFW from 20cm up to 26cm. With such frequent bites happening, I decided to take the girlfriend there today for a few hours. We managed 7 puffer fish, 2 undersized YFW, and I managed to reel in these two beauties, measuring 35 and 36cm. Words cannot express how happy I was when I reeled these in, they're my first 2 legal YFW. WOOHOO!!

 

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Haha, cheers for letting me know Alex, my ruler must be outdated, it says 27cm, I'll be taking home more fish next time! :) I just got my hands on some halide Spotters, and I could see schools of little YFW cruising right in front of me clear as day, but the big fellas were harder to spot, I didn't see any large schools of them unfortunately.

 

You weren't kidding about the toadies, they were everywhere. My observation was though, the whiting were mostly going for the worms, and the Gulp! bloodworm and camo sandworms (pre-packed in the short segments) were getting destroyed by the toadies. Seriously, you get the toadie off the hook, and there are 2 or 3 little hacked up chunks of SP left... I threw out a couple of my favourite Lucky Craft surface lures and poppers on Friday, and the only fish getting caught on the trebles were about the same size as the lure itself... I haven't had any experiences with poppers and whiting before, so I'm sure my technique could be better, but they were the least successful choice out of bait, soft plastics and lures. That being said, I was catching stuff on them, so it's definitely still worth a go! 

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