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Rottnest Fishing Field Day - August 2002.

The weather report for the weekend looked very promising and although there was a fast-moving front heading through on Thursday, the skies were clearing and a sunny weekend with a rising barometer was forecast. The 5 metre swells were abating rapidly and the tides were going to be low in the evening.

And it was with great expectation that we packed up and caught the early ferry on Saturday morning. The west end of the island was beautiful in the bright sunshine with the reefs wadeable and the swell active enough to provide some white water and movement. It looked very fishy and we rigged up quickly and headed out.

Mark Farnay, Ian Cook, new member Martin Eardley and I tried Cathedrals first and it looked as calm and tranquil as can be. In these gentle conditions I decided to try to nail a tailor on fly. Mark fished a mulie through the water and soon hooked up to a nice kilo-sized fish. Casting a fast-sinking line and a large Deceiver-type fly pattern, I hooked up on my second cast and soon had a similar-sized fish in the bag. The fishing was slow however and the bite typically shut down within a few minutes. That was enough fancy fishing for me and I replaced the fly-rod with a spinning stick.

The Club owns an air conditioned holiday house at Kalbarri which is available for rent to the public and club members at competitive rates

The outside at Cathedrals was very enticing and looked great but the water held no feeding fish and despite fishing baits and lures, there was no excitement in the offing. On the way back we stopped to fish the hole again and this time the fish stirred up and provided good sport. It was a fish-a-cast session for a while with Mark getting one nice 1.2 kg specimen in particular. With 7 tailor now in the bag (keeping the 8th spot vacant in case I hooked a monster later in the day) it was time to head off to Radar to search out some variety.

The lads fishing Wilsons and Radar had caught numerous tailor with many already bagged out. Tony D'Alonzo and brothers Vic and Paul Terpkos had hooked (and lost) a few nice snook of about 1-2 kilos each. But the tide was almost too low and the fishing was a bit slow.

Ian Taggart and his sons Brett and Grant were fishing the hole at Radar with some success. Eric Parker had already caught his bag limit and was sunning himself on the rocks when I arrived. Ross Kember had landed some tailor on baits but was not successful with attempts at taking these on fly in the deep water. A few small yellowtail kingfish (to about 1 kg) were being landed amongst the tailor but their bigger brethren were noticeably absent.

A few herring was all that were chasing the spinners. I cast out until a decent fish grabbed the small jig I was using. This was almost a salmon-like bite without the chopping strike of a tailor. The fish did not jump but was strong enough to pull against the drag setting. But the excitement was short-lived and I was quickly cut off in the reefy territory (probably a rat yellowtail kingfish upon reflection).

While walking back across the reef I noticed a nice snook in a deeper hole that Vic Terpkos had dropped on the reef and could not retrieve in the wave washed waters. These are tasty specimens and worth getting. So I eventually managed to scare it out of the hole onto the shallower water on the top of the reef and then chased after and managed to make a lunging grab to secure it. Not a capture for the weigh-in but for the frying pan!

In the later afternoon there were anglers dotted all along the reefs with the action fairly slow. I headed to Wilsons and fished a while after throwing in a lot of old mulies as burley. There were herring about as well as some beefy buff bream to add spice. Wirrahs, wrasse and even a smallish black-arse cod were hooked and released. It was good fun and very entertaining, but a tapping bite and a solid hook-up changed that as a decent skippy grabbed the mulie and charged around trying to bury me in the reef.

This was followed by another shortly afterwards and then I hooked a better fish and was done over in quick time and sacrificed another rig to the reef. As it got dark I landed my last tailor of the day on the last bait. Luck had been on my side and so I packed up satisfied and slowly walked back across the reef and up the hill to the bus in the gathering dusk. A truly beautiful day.


Sunday dawned clear and chilly with a brisk north-easterly wind. Tony D'Alonzo disappeared in the blink of an eye heading for Wilsons with a tail of following stragglers. Once again we went to Cathedrals to start the session but the tailor action was slow despite some very appealing conditions. We managed a few more tailor and I landed two more on fly before packing it in.

So it was over to Radar to try for some snook and yellowtail kingfish. Ken Black was catching a few extra tailor and had also landed a nice blackfish out at Radar. Paul Terpkos landed a belter of a snook and this made up for one he had lost the day before. Paul and others also had a great time at Wilsons earlier when some good skippy came on the bite. Most were of a good size but his best was a beautiful fish that weighed 1.5 kg and proved to be the catch of the weekend. The water was beautiful, the weather warm and it was a peach of a day.

The weigh in was interesting with some very nice fish recorded. Some decent snook had been caught and most had a bag of nice tailor and some herring. A few blackfish, tarwhine, small yellowtail kingfish, wrasse and other species made for some variation. But the skippy were the surprise. The numbers were still low but there were a few masters fish and Paul's 1.5 kg fish was a true prize indeed and brought out many comments of the quality of skippy fishing in years gone by.

In the end the wily Tony D'Alonzo secured the winning bag with a very respectable catch of fish including a creditable 9 species.

As usual the Rottnest Field Day was a great weekend. The weather was kind and the fishing and the company was great.

John Jardine

SurfCasters Local Field Day 17/18 August 2002

Terry Ring and Derry Barber completed a sortie of the Hillarys and Ocean Reef Marinas on the morning of Saturday 17 August, deciding to select the Hillarys south mole for herring, gardies, skippy and bream for the first two hours that afternoon. The second selection was on the north side mole for the tasty whiting (wonder who selected that).

The plan was to fish together in easy sight of each other and create our own competition at each spot whilst still competing in the Club Field Day. The second spot butted on to a sheltered parking centre on the same mole, ideal for the barbeque at the conclusion of the day. Everyone was requested to bring a barberque pack.

The attendees were: Dean Stewart, Gerry Krygsman, Tony Slate, Vic Dunstan, and Eastern States visitor friend Bill Ogaliby together with John Romano, Clive Willis, and a welcome to new member Tim Tran who submitted an application on the day and brought his receptionist Michelle Mccormick (a capable fisherperson) who we would like to see again.

The balance of our crew consisted of Peter Mahony, Derry Barber and Terry Ring, who stepped in for incapacitated Bob Henderson and did an excellent job, many thanks, Terry. Terry intended to fish on that night and try the Fremantle area. Unquestionably the most popular attendees were young Ben and father Colin Lilburne who runs a fish and chip shop in Edgewater and donated to the attendees the most succulent burly mix you could imagine, thanks Colin from all of us.

Twelve PM Saturday the 17th of August saw the troops arrive with the good news that they would be all organised prior to moving out and wetting lines.

This was achieved by showing the rigs required for the fish targeted and asking the question as to who had at least two of these rigs?. We then used the tables provided and commenced to build rigs with participation from all.

The next questions were "burly" (do you have it?) and, "how are you going to carry rod, bait, burly and, what facilities do you have to "separate" the required rigs now obtained?. It's an interesting question, how long does it take to travel to a fishing venue and, how long after you arrive there do you actually wet a line? Do we maximise our fishing time?

All attendees arrived at the first fishing spot and, within a short space of time, were awaiting the flag to drop to commence the fishing competition. Lines up at the first venue occurred after two hours with a small mixed bag of gardies and whiting with size limits prohibiting retention of other species. The second spot produced whiting with most attendees achieving results.

As night fell lines up was called and we shifted to the sheltered parking area, setting up barbeques, which we gathered around and discussed the day. As the smell of sausages and steak filled the air, a familiar vehicle appeared enticed by the aroma and greeted us with pleading eyes. Bad luck Peter Stoeckel, look and weep, we're hungry. The day was enjoyable, great company, and a format that worked, which, when asked, was the opinion of attendees, certainly a consideration for future trips and one, which can easily be subject to variations and enhancements.

Terry and Derry.


AnglerWeightSpeciesFishTotal Points
Tony D'Alonzo12.25 kg930263
John Jardine11.02 kg522210
Ian Cook7.975 kg516180
Ken Black5.75 kg512158
Paul Terpkos7.15 kg414152
Martin Eardley6.65 kg214137
Mark Farnay6.70 kg214137
Ross Kember5.45 kg312135
Brett Taggart (Visitor)5.15 kg47132
Ian Taggart4.70 kg26117
Eric Parker5.05 kg18111
Grant Taggart (Visitor)3.20 kg36102
Terry Ring0.0050
Vic Terpkos (Visitor)0.0040
Justin Barnes0.0040

Sportsperson of the Year Section Winners and Field Day Prizes for August.

Best Scale Fish Paul Terpkos, Snook 1.45 kg
Best Bag of Scale Fish Tony D'Alonzo, Mixed 12.25 kg

Field Day Sections for 2002/2003 up to August.

1ABest Scale Fish (1st Six Months)Vix AlexanderSalmon4.15 kg
5Best Tailor (1.0kg min)Mark FarnayTailor1.2 kg
6Best Salmon (3kg min)Vix AlexanderSalmon4.15 kg
7Best Skipjack Trevally (0.5 kg min)Paul TerpkosTrevally, Skipjack 1.5 kg
9Best Scale Fish (Other than above)Paul TerpkosSnook1.45 kg
10Best Bag Of Scale FishTony D'AlonzoMixed Bag20.85 kg
12Best Bag Of Tailor (2 Fish Min)John JardineTailor5.75 kg
14Best Fish Caught on Fly RodJohn JardineTailor0.875 kg

Field Day Top Ten up to August 2002.

PositionAnglerTotal Points
1Tony D'Alonzo 1279.0
2Ken Black 465.0
3John Jardine 419.2
4Mark Farnay 342.6
5Ian Taggart 340.5
6Ross Kember 325.6
7Malcolm Harris 307.4
8Vix Alexander 294.7
9Ian Cook 229.8
10Filomena D'Alonzo 214.1

Copyright © 2002 Surf Casting and Angling Club of W.A. (Inc.)

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This page last updated 4 February 2003.

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