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Jay's Sunset local spot report

Posted on 20 August 2017

Continuing on from part 1 which can be found here: This is part 2 of the double bender session, still with no sleep from pulling off an allnighter the day before.

We got back to Sydney from the Central Coast around 1:30pm, straight away refilled berley, got more bait and my father and I headed off to a local ledge to fish the last 2 hours of sunset.

The Catch
1x 54cm Drummer
1x 45cm Drummer
3x Drummer 40cm~42cms (released)
1x Bream 35cm

Excalibur Type 3 – Rambo Version Prototype
Shimano BB-X Remare 6000D (Borrowed from Gabriel) spooled with #6 Unitika Gau

2.0 float
2x 1.0 split-shot, wasn’t necessary probably could have just fished with a 2B~3B float with whole banana prawn unweighted which would have done the job as the wind was manageble and zero wash but as my main line was a very old and stiff the heavier rig made it easier for line management.
1~1.5m of #7 (30lb) V-hard trace, later upgraded to 40lb FC Rock
#13 Gamakatsu Hook
Whole cooked banana prawns for bait
Depth 1.5~2m

After walking in, we arrived at our ledge around 3pm to be greeted by 2 Humpback whales performing a tail show for us. Conditions were extremely flat, I mean I knew it was going to be flat after having seen how flat is was in the morning session but I wasn’t expecting to be nearly zero wash flat as this spot usually always has wash even in W swell due to all the bommies infront of the ledge. 

We spent the first 30min preparing the session, rigging up and making 2 bucket fulls of berley. We brought the Feeling berley bag + one of those massive white buckets the painters use all full with the dried out grinded bread. After only berleying for 20min, I patiently waited til the sun started to go down to have my first cast and it was worth it as I landed a healthy 45cm Drummer on the first cast which was pulled up in a few seconds on the heavy setup.

This particular spot is a minefield, simply just keeping the ISO rod up and holding off isn’t enough as there are sharp reef/bommies left, right, infront and behind. You really need to wind and pump the fish up bottom bashing style to pull in a fish. After landing that fish during the next 30~45min I landed another 3 Drummer ranging from 40~42cm. Also around this time a second pair of Humpback whales came through performing an nice 5min tail splashing show for us.

As the light level started to get lower, I started to increase the output of berley and finally hooked up to a solid Drummer. Another good field testing opportunity for the Type 3 Rambo as I locked up and pumped the fish in. I felt like there was still a bit more the rod could give but to give a brief feedback from the fight, I was able to hold off the initial violent charge by keeping the rod up without letting it buckle over and then give 2~3 quick pumps to get him up from the bottom and turn its head. Then the Drummer took another powerful dive but by then my rod and body was in a good position to be able to control the fish. I then proceeded to pump and wind the fish as to not allowing him go into any of the bommies because this is a very shallow reef. Once I got it to the front, the Drummer took another violent charge at my feet similar power to the first hit but with the use of a bit of footwork to change the angle of the rod and pulling sideways away from the edge I was standing on + slight bending of knees helped absorb that dive and the fish was beaten. A nice Drummer of 54cm was washed up, the swell so was flat that at high tide the edge of the water was on level with the ledge I was standing on but the water barely came over. Overall it was a relatively easy fight. This Drummer was a very skinny long type, very fit one unlike the usual bowling ball type pigs that have a big pot belly.

Upon landing that fish, I proceeded to rig up with a new trace, and now went all out heavy berley with the Sun already set but still around 40min of light left before night. After giving bit of time for the berley to settle, I had a very soft hit, as I was fishing heavy trace in clear water the fish were being very shy and this time I struck a bit late and the fish had already gotten a 1m headstart on me which is very bad news when your fishing a shallow reef with a max depth of 2~2.5m. I proceeded to apply the brakes on the fish asap and started pumping the fish in as hard as I could. This Drummer was definitely on a whole different class than the previous fish and may have been the 60cm+ I had come for. Multiple violent charges but I managed to hold them all off whilst locked up and I had the fish now to the front. This is always the danger part, most ledges you can now back off the pressure and play it easy but this particular spot even big Drummer will reef you and will not come back out as I have experimented in the past. As expected this Drummer took massive dive at my feet and with my Rambo rod now at max load I had no choice but to continue pumping or risk getting reefed and at that point my 30lb trace busted off on the sharp reef. Little bit pissed off but with a bit of time left I quickly sprinted over to my bag and proceeded to re-rig, this time with 40lb trace. 

I’ve mentioned this a few times before now but this particular spot has probably produced the most 60cm+ fish in Sydney as far as I know with one particular Korean guy very low key that has probably pulled almost around 10 x 60cm+ Drummer from this spot including one session where he got 2 over 60cm but he fishes #5~#10 rods, 80lb braid and 60lb trace and still tells he us he gets busted off on 60lb trace. The reason why the Drummer are so big here is because they are protected by a fortress of sharp bommies everywhere and also the ledge is only fishable in extremely low condiitons + low tide, although this day because there was no wash even at high tide water remained level with the ledge I was standing on but the surrounded areas was all flooded.

With the 40lb trace, I was at the same time feeling confident and uncertain as there was virtually zero wash but I was hoping they would just ignore that fact and with the help of low light I would still get one more chance. So now with the sun already set but with about 20min of light left, most of the berley was already in the water now and I proceeded to fish but the next 15mins was very quiet with no hits at all, or very shy hits but no solid takes, if anyones seen the TV Shimano Fireblood Onaga series video with Takuya where all the Onaga are just swimming around having a sniff of his bait and swimming off, I assume that’s what was going on but I just couldn’t see it. With 5min of light left I put on a fresh bait and casted out, straight away as soon as the bait hit the water my line started coming off my spool and I closed my bail and I hooked up to solid………to a nice 35cm Bream which ended up being the last fish of the day and an anti-climax end.

Probably should have just stuck with 30lb but one thing for sure is this is just the beginning of the big Drummer season and I will be back for more. My father who was fishing with #6 (25lb) trace did get hits but struggled to hook up solid on any of them.

Overall was a pretty good days of fishing with 50cm+ landed on both morning sunrise and arvo sunset but still bit of revenge left on that 30lb bust off. 

At the end of the day I was buggered after pulling off a double bender whilst doing an allnighter the night before but I didn't want to waste a day like this when the weather is good. My advice is get out there as there is plenty of big Drummer around right now (already a 60cm+ caught this year) and make the most of days like this as there aren't too many days in the year when the weather is this good. This ledge can only be fished on extremely flat conditions and so every minute every drift was a precious time for me.

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