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  1. I hadn’t had a surf fishing trip for 5years, not since our last lads KI trip and before the young fella came along. The whole concept was beginning to feel like a nostalgic part of the past. The idea for a KI salmon trip this season was optimistically discussed but fruitlessly realised. Not quite, but almost out of sheer desperation, brought a lower Yorkes fallback plan. We had visited Yorkes numerous times but not for a few years, basing ourselves in the quaint Corney Point. This gives good access to the beaches of Berry Bay, Gleeson’s Landing, The Dust Hole, numerous rock fishing options and sheltered wading around Corny Point. All providing shelter from prevailing S-SW winds The objective of this trip was to break in my mate’s new Seajigger, which had been unused and collecting dust since its purchase months ago. More specifically; to have a solid crack at some surf salmon, possibly some rock fishing, wading and maybe even a lazy mullet session. Tinker had provided some options past Edithburgh, if the weather turned and blew from the NW. Two weekends were chosen, to be selected at the last minute pending weather, in June, rather than later, hopefully to pick up any straggling mullet. The first fell through and then the second looked doomed after my entire family succumbed to some nasty flu like virus. It was touch and go for a while but with some begging, we finally had a trip, only with a later departure of Friday evening rather than Thursday, returning Sunday night. Friday Even with express packing we didn’t leave until 1830 for a relatively uneventful drive other than a quick detour at Pt Wakefield when my mates ‘dinner’ of chips & iced coffee needed to break free . Onwards in the dark, we turned into Minlaton to be pulled over by the local constabulary. I'd noticed they eyeballed my mates old VN as we passed the servo, assuming likely bogan occupants up to no good . Any way mate blew zero, rego & licence check all good and he wished us good fishing! Saturday Plan was to pick a gutter in Berry Bay for a salmon surf session on the rising tide. After a lazy breakfast we were off. North Berry had 6 blokes fishing one gutter but the entire beach south was clear with a sweet looking gutter smack in the middle. Luckily there is access near the middle as well as the southern end, so not too much walking. Closer inspection the gutter looked promisingly. It was deep in close but also had a fair swell cranking a current up the beach plus some solid sets of waves rolling in. For my standard salmon surf fishing session I usually bring two outfits; one for bait (Penn Prevail 1202MH, Penn Slammer 560, 30lb braid) and the other for flicking lures (9ft Samaki Allure, Slammer 260, 15lb braid). This time I opted for 3 outfits, the two mentioned and one heavier (Beach Basher, 850ssm & 30lb mono) for anything bigger (shark, ray, mully) I dropped my gear on a flat rock and grabbed the lure stick. I ran a 20lb mono leader via a FG knot to a snap swivel, perfect for 20-40g metals and the occasional large soft plastic. Starting with a 20g Raider into the promising water, then switched to a 28g Lock casting jig and was immediately impressed with the added distance. Nevertheless, without a touch and my usual lacking patience, I rigged up for bait. I run a pretty standard paternoster rig, consisting of: Snap swivel on main line 30lb or 40lb double paternoster twisted droppers (I buy these as they are tricky time consuming to tie) Loop on top and snap swivel to the sinker. Loop if the sinkers are molded with swivels, but I find snap swivel easier regardless. 2 snelled 4/0s on one dropper, baited with a whole salted pillie & tail tied on with a bit of bait thread. Surf popper on the other Star sinker to conditions. 3-6oz , breakaways if conditions are rough. I started with a 4oz star. Swivels at both ends minimise line twist, as the rig gets knocked around in the current plus facilitate easier rig & sinker changes. Twisted droppers hold the popper and bait more perpendicular than the simpler dropper loop rig, so are less likely tangled. Surf beaches regularly hold sand crabs which can quickly demolish pilchard baits. The popper will stay there and bob around enticingly when the bait is all gone .....Funnily enough, I had yet to catch anything on popper! Back to the fishing...... The 4oz was holding well but with unpredictable wave action I decided to hold my rod with rather than place it in the rod holder. I could feel the telltale picking of crabs after a matter of minutes, checking bait to see it half demolished. Re-baited and back out. Tap, tap, lift and I’m on. Unsure what it was, certainly didn’t feel like a salmon? A bit of work out of the side rip revealed a nice mid-30cm Blue Spot and on the surf popper too! A double first for me: 1st flathead in the surf and 1st fish on a surf popper ! Just about to cast out again and my mate’s seajigger is finally getting a bend as he’s working a decent fish, some 80m up the beach. I left my rod in the holder to give him a hand, landing a solid 60+cm salmon . No pics as my camera & phone were in my bag and the fish was released. Those two fish were about it . The swell was getting uncomfortable where we were, pushing us up into the rocks at the base of the cliffs. Being a little concerned of getting trapped in the rising tide we packed and moved down the coast to the beach south of Pt Annie. We targeted a nice hole, butting up the rocky point, with a few added reefy bits to keep us honest . Similar approach, baits out to the taps of smaller fish then wack, the distinctive tussle of my first salmon. It proves difficult to land with the steep beach and side rip but is eventually up in a wave surge. Easily my biggest salmon for a number of years in the 50-55cm range, released. Next couple of casts yielded snags; the loss of a sinker then a whole rig . Then I noticed a loop in my spool so pulled the line out only to get a massive mess as it blew down the beach, tangling with seaweed and inventing its own wind knots . I crack the s**ts, cut out 20m of line and switch to flicking lures! Metals weren’t getting any hits so I tried a SP (5in Jerk, ShadZTT Headlock 1/2oz, 5/0XH). It cast surprisingly well but proved tricky working it between the big sets of waves. Finally one lift it gets slammed. I lose a bit of line then have similar trouble landing it as before. Another reasonable fish a bit bigger , and my 1st surf salmon on SP ! Around the same time my mate is bowled over in the backwash then receives the next wave right over the top and down the waders . He’s drenched and luckily we are sheltered from the breeze and the water’s not super cold anyway. Again, not much after those 2 fish , so we headed back up the coast for a bit of rock fishing. With nothing noteworthy (smallish wrasee, sweep, tommies etc) we called it a day. Mate had a hot shower and into dry clothes, I clean the flattie. We share the 1 beer .....ive been experimenting bottling homebrew in sodawater bottles which works well...... so 1 beer is really 4x330ml (great one to tell the missus "I'll just have one beer" ) ! We um & ah about wading the early morning low tide and decide it will be too dark and cold. Then seal its fate by downing a bottle of red and decide to have a lazy mullet session instead. Sunday After half packing the shack, we head to our pre-chosen mullet spot in close to Corney Pt. I tried to drop an onion bag of burley with ½ a house brick but even here the waves from the swell prove too much and smashed it into the rocks. Big baits out for any passing rays yield nothing other than snags on the only bit of rock around! Finally the mullet show in the last couple of hours rising tide and become increasingly aggressive with a few double headers. Most are only average but a few around 30cm. They loved slivers of deer heart I had been conscientiously saving for a mullet session. Just as the novelty was wearing my mate hooks something far larger to reveal a lovely flattie, his PB at 55cm. We decided to leave on a high, pack and hit the road for home. Even though there was nothing spectacular always great to get away and focus on just fishing. A beautiful part of the world and just enought of a tease to come back for the salmon schools next trip.
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