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A sunny Cup day meant getting out for a fish rather than be stuck home watching the races.


The flats were very crowded on race day. There were hordes and hordes of legal but smaller sizes Yellow Fin Whiting in the 25 to 29cm mark. They were a fish a cast for much of the day.  But …  Not the kind of horses I wanted to back.

With so many little mugs about it was inevitable that the sly and the opportunistic would be out there ready to prey on them.


A sunny day on the sandflats is such a delight. The clear visibility and water clarity makes watching the passing parade a pleasure. Such an array of different species that cohabit this shallow water ecosystem. Amongst all the delightful sights on a sunny race day, are the diverse collection of Rays cruising around mooching in the sand. But amongst the happy crowd a few seedy characters lurk.

Yup, “Bronzy Bob” turns up just when you least expect it. While you are distracted.  Intensely concentrating on a big Whiting chasing your surface lure, one of only a few on a lean day, your wading tub suddenly lurches left!


“Bob the Bag Snatcher Bronzy”   was at it again. He snuck up from behind and latched onto my catch-keeper bag that I have dangling in the water.

Shooing him off did not work. He was persistent.

When he made one too many swipes at my catch bag of whiting, I thought I should teach him a lesson.

I allowed him to feel comfortable for yet another swipe. When he was just about to launch into my keeper bag I scooped him up with my landing net.

It was a bit of a heavier load for the landing net.

He was a healthy looking 3 foot specimen.

I gave him a stern talking too, a slap on the snoot, took a couple of mug shots for the “Crim files”, and sent him on his way.




I am told they are very good eating at this size if they are prepared properly after they are caught.

However there is just not enough room in my wading tub to handle the job.

Lucky for the Bronzies!

These guys are frequent but annoying visitors on the sandflats.

Mostly in the 3 to 4 foot range.

They are not a threat, just disturbing. I can assure you they are discerning feeders and far prefer the whiting to the revolting taste of your waders and leg within!



On the occasional dull session I have targeted them with a whiting fillet on ganged hooks. Good fun landing them on your whiting gear, whilst wading the shallows !!!



   ~ One hooked up on a previous session.

The biggest I have come across on the shallow sandflats is a 6 footer, maybe 7 feet. I didn’t hang around for a closer inspection and accurate measurement!


My luck had abandoned me today as the weather factors negated each other to provide difficult conditions for stimulating the YFW bite. The wind speed and direction up the gulf, negated the small natural tide movement and the resultant actual tide was virtually at a standstill all day.

Even if only small, Some tide movement is a great stimulant for the YFW to feed.

It was hard work catching and releasing dozens and dozens of smaller fish.

But I still managed to back in a few good horses on cup day.

I finished with four fish around 40 to 41cm. And kept 10 of the better ones, that were mostly around 35cm.



   ~ "Bob" took a chomp on this one! 

Regardless of the fishing, it is always an interesting and enjoyable day wading the sandflats.

Cheers, Des

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Nice work putting Bob in his place, clearly needed to have a lesson in manners, the upper gulf can be full of them this time of year, I've had up to half a dozen  of the buggers between 3 to 7 foot visible circling in the burley (in the boat thankfully) at this same time of off Price.

Bronzies around the 5-6 foot mark are 4 out of 5 times exceptional eating in my experience with a head and tail removed trunk of around a metre being ideal for turning into steaks and "fillets", Bob looked a little on the small side (tasty but soft v excellent texture but too much ammonia taste) and let's face it, those YFWs are probably even better, I'd take them over KGs.

Well done on your "poor" day fishing... I mean most would kill for that but I've seen your other write ups so you get a pass on that, hope you have plenty of good trips this season, I love following your flats adventures always but being banged up post back surgery and with fishing out of the equation until new years I need this.

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