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Surf Casting and Angling Club Logo Surf Casting and Angling Club of W.A. (Inc.)

July 2001 Fishing Field Day Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin.

The Cape to Cape field day took place on the 14th and 15th of July. Midday on Saturday saw a small group of hopefuls at the sign-on in the park on the beachfront in Dunsborough. Peter Stoeckel as well as his sons Daniel and Andrew were fishing with Bob Henderson. Don and Darren Batchelor, Tony and Filomena D'Alonzo, Ross and Julie Kember, and Damien D'Mello and myself made up the group with 7 senior and 2 mini junior participants signed on.

As usual we tried to find out where Tony was going to fish and as usual he just smiled and disappeared into the distance with group of vehicles trailing behind as we all headed south.

Damien and I had decided to try pastures new and rather than head for our usual spot at Conto's, we went further south to Cosy Corner and to Elephant Rock. The weather was cool, partly cloudy with isolated showers and a rather fresh southerly wind was blowing but the swells were not too high. We started by sending out live herring on slide bait outfits and set about catching a bag of herring. These were about in good numbers but were all that we could find. No skippy or snook came in to join the party.

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

Suddenly my live bait rig screamed to life and the rod bent double in the rod tube. The handles on the deep spool Alvey spun madly as I picked up the rod and set the hooks into something very solid. This only increased the speed and the fish headed south. But this was to be a short fight, as no sooner had the fish slowed than the line went limp and I reeled in to find a frayed and tattered last ten meters of 40lb. This was probably another XOS Sambo and yet again I was done like a dog's dinner without getting a turn of line back on the reel.

Enthusiasm ran high for a while but that was all the action for the afternoon. In the early evening a sudden rain squall came through and further dampened the mood. Cold, wet and rather despondent we headed back for some food and a warm drink. This rejuvenated the spirits to some extent and we ventured out into the dark this time to fish the Honeycombs. This reef platform has some very fishy looking water out the front and is relatively safe to fish at night with some good gaff spots. We fished large and small baits in the hope of adding some variety to the bags of herring.

Action was slow but the night was not too cold and luckily what rain we had was brief and light. Damo hooked and landed a chunky Port Jackson shark. This lifted the mood as where there is one shark.... And then later a fiddling take saw Damien strike and drag a nice 1.4-meter Wobbegong shark into the spotlights. The gaff shot went in and at least we were not going home empty handed. The shark was dispatched, cleaned and bled and laid to rest on a bed of ice. Hopes ran high for a while but that was it for the night.

Sunday dawned cool and clear with a light south easterly wind blowing. We were out on Elephant rock well before first light copping a bit of icy spray in the face to waken the body to the task at hand. Snook were the target but it seemed that their invitations to this party were delayed in the mail. There were no takers on either the mulies or blue sardines, apart from the occasional herring. So once again the live bait rigs were sent out prospecting for larger targets while we added to the bag of herring and occasional reef fish.

Damien as usual got bored with the slow fishing and decided to spin up some action and to keep warm. First cast with a gold Twisty resulted in a brief hook-up with a snook. The next 4 casts all yielded good strikes and he had two kilo+ fish flapping on the rock before I had swapped over to a lure and was belting out a hopeful cast. I did not get a strike, let alone a fish, before Damo was 4 ahead and seemed to be getting a fish every cast. Only when I slowed the retrieve right down and let the lure sink deeper in the water column did I get my first snook. Then it was on for young and old.

During this frenetic period Damo's live bait rig let off a howl, stopped and then bent over and line peeled off the reel. Dropping the lighter gear he grabbed the rod set the hooks and the battle was on. This was different, the fish was higher in the water and soon the first run had ended. Damo pumped the rod and began to win some line. Things were looking up and then the inevitable breakage occurred. &#@&$$@~Ao/o@! !! This time the line was bitten off through the 80lb leader identifying the probable culprit as a shark. And a nice one at that.

Back we went to spinning for snook and Damo soon had his limit of 8 fish. I was on 6 fish and we had to start packing up or miss the weigh-in. I then lost 2 snook while trying to lift them clear and was getting desperate. I changed to a gang and a mulie and had a hit first cast and lost this one again while lifting it clear. Now time was a problem. One last cast and again I hooked up. This time I set the hooks and pumped but this fish was not coming. It turned and sprinted seawards. The 8 kilo line peeled off the reel and soon there was over 150 meters out. I felt some tail thumping and head shakes and the fish slowed. But that was the end. Again the cut was in the 80lb nylon trace and the culprit a shark. But we were too late now to worry about getting a 3rd time lucky chance. We hastily cleaned fish, packed the car, changed and were out of there in record time and got to the weigh-in in Dunsborough with minutes to spare.

The weigh-in stories were varied. Bob, Pete and the boys had had a leisurely time at Hamelin Bay and Cosy Comer and practiced catch and release tactics with no fish weighed in but a good time enjoyed to all accounts. Ross and Julie had fished at Conto's and had kept a few herring and some nice skippy. Damien had an excellent bag of 8 snook for over 8 kilos with both a Masters and a Grand Masters fish in there as well. But as usual the field day went to Tony. He managed a good mixed bag with a few snook, some nice blackfish, herring, wrasse, leatherjacket and the kicker was a surprise straggler salmon to tip the scales in his favour. Darren and Don had beat an early retreat home in the face of the perceived inclement weather and did not weigh in.

So another successful and enjoyable Cape to Cape field day has ended. Good fish were caught, some great chances were missed and everyone had a good time.

John Jardine - a/g Field Day Officer.


Attendance: Seniors - 7, Juniors - 0, Mini Juniors - 2, Visitors - 0.

Total fish weight:- 34.9 kg - weighed in gilled and gutted.

Name Weight Species Fish Points
D'Alonzo, Tony 15.03 kg 7 29 220.3
D'Mello, Damien 10.9 kg 2 30 129
Jardine, John 7.48 kg 4 29 114.75
Kember, Ross 1.48 kg 2 6 34.75
Kember, Julie 0 kg 0 0 0
Henderson, Bob 0 kg 0 0 0
Stoeckel, Peter 0 kg 0 0 0
Stoeckel, Daniel 0 kg 0 0 0
Stoeckel, Andrew 0 kg 0 0 0

Attendance points to be added to the above scores. It should be noted that many members are now choosing to fish for the sport and not the competition. These members are following the catch and release ethic, and although they choose not to weigh in, it doesn't mean they are not catching plenty of fish. Competition rules in 2001/2002 allow them to catch and release and still get field day points.

Masters Fish.

D'Mello, Damien Snook 1.325 kg
D'Alonzo, Tony Snook 1.25 kg
John Jardine Snook 1.3 kg

Grand Masters Fish.

D'Mello, Damien Snook 1.475 kg

Copyright © 2001 Surf Casting and Angling Club of W.A. (Inc.)

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This page last updated 4 August.

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