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

March 2002 Fishing Field Day, Bluff Creek.

The wind was blowing gently from the south-east when we woke up early on the Saturday morning at Bluff Creek. The sky was clear with no hint of rain and the camps were slowly stirring into activity. We had arrived in the wee hours of the morning and set up camp hastily before retiring to sleep. Later that morning more and more parties arrived and set up camp in the lee of the low dunes. Some interesting stories were told about difficulties encountered while negotiating the track with some of the larger trailers.

The sign on was well attended with a typically enthusiastic bunch of keen anglers present. Some late arrivals to the sign on (Cookie/Terry/Derry) pleaded vehicle problems as their excuse for their tardiness but were signed on regardless.

We planned a recce down the beach to assess potential spots. The first surprise was the extensive remodeling of the creek bed with a large washout creating a waterfall along the creek bed effectively blocking access up the creek to the campsites.

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 effect of the big wet - none of these rocks were visible last year.
The effect of the big wet - none of these rocks were visible last year.

Once on the beach the effects of some big seas and high tides could be seen with the reef well exposed and lots of snags and rocks showing in the gutters towards the eastern end of the beach. Here there were some extensive cut-aways and deep gutters with a sandbar out wide. Towards the rocks on the eastern end the beach was shallower with less well-defined gutters and the sand firmer making driving easier.

Damian and I decided on a walk along the rocks in search of a pod of salmon. The young bloke was incapacitated to some degree having undergone knee surgery only days earlier but there was no stopping him as we hiked out over the high sloping granite boulders to the distant headland. At this time the easterly was blowing strongly and the whole bay was covered in white caps.

No salmon were seen and prospecting with lures resulted in hook-up after hook-up on feisty herring. Keeping a few of the larger specimens we walked back but were unable to find any salmon schools. Driving back along the beach we saw many groups of anglers prospecting the gutters but no salmon were sighted and we decided we might as well set up along the beach as well. Choosing a spot with a deep gutter and an opening through the sandbar we soon had baits soaking and rods in the holders. But the wind was strong and with dropping tide and increasing wave action we had difficulty holding bottom with anything less than a 6oz-grapple sinker.

As the sun was beginning to set one rod bent to a run that resulted in a solid hook-up with a salmon exploding from the water in a gill-rattling leap. This was a good fish and after a solid fight it was washed out onto the sand. A few minutes later the sequence was repeated when a slightly smaller fish was hooked and landed. Anticipation was high for a while and as the sun set and the wind seemed even more cold and fierce we battened down for a long evening. But conditions worsened and it was impossible to keep a bait in the water with serious current drift through the gutter. So we decided to call it quits and headed back to camp for tea and an early night.

At 5.00 am the next morning the alarm went off and we drove out to the rocks for an early morning spin session. With the cold easterly wind at our backs we whipped metal lures out into the silvery water. Within minutes Damian was whooping with delight as a salmon leapt and thrashed about stripping line off the reel, before he gained the upper hand and eventually washed the fish up onto the rocks. A few casts later he repeated the performance while I stood by as an observer, not getting a hit at any time. That was the morning action for us and despite our every effort no further fish were forthcoming.

We stopped and chatted to many anglers along the beach and most reported occasional fish but few salmon. Back to camp we went for a break before heading out again looking for likely water. We stopped and tried for some skippy on a rising tide and although the going was slow a few fish were about. Just as the bite was getting good however we had to stop for the midday lines down.

During the break we heard from Terry and Cookie that a few salmon pods had moved along the rocks when they were out there fishing for skippy before lunch. So as soon as we could we headed back to the rocks to see if we could locate a school. As luck would have it a very large school loomed into view moving at some speed towards the east. Our first casts landed in the school and the hook-ups were immediate. Fantastic fun as we fought the fish to the rocks and landed them before heading back to locate the fast disappearing fish.

Cookie on the rocks. Looks wet, but be assured it was completely safe
Cookie on the rocks. Looks wet, but be assured it was completely safe wearing the spiked reef boots covered in "Hints and Tips".

Same place, another day. Magic!

Tony and Filomena on the rocks at Bluff Creek. Wouldn't even get their toes wet here.
Tony and Filomena on the rocks at Bluff Creek. Wouldn't even get their toes wet here.

With one fish each landed and more then our fair share shedding hooks and cutting us off in the reefy territory we made a dash over the rocks and ridges to try and get a last shot before they headed for the beach. But our frantic efforts were futile as the school swam out of range as we arrived on the rock. Hot, sweaty but elated with the excitement of the chase we retired to the vehicle for a break.

We followed the school down the beach but they moved along well outside casting range. Hoping they may come into the inshore gutter at some stage we headed westwards to set up again in a deep open gutter. But to no avail as the salmon swam past some time later staying well out of reach. The afternoon turned to evening and the conditions were beautiful. The winds were light, the skies clear and the water looked fantastic. The current had dropped and we could hold baits out with no problem. But the action was rather slow with little happening through the sunset and into the dark.

A few missed strikes and one good run just on moonrise, resulted in one more salmon in the bag. But as the moon rose in the sky the action slowed further still. Mindful of the long drive home the next day we had to make a tactical decision. Chas wandered over to report that George had landed a tailor and some salmon but Bob, Terry W and Rick seemed as devoid of fish as we were. So we opted for the early night and an early morning start for a last spin session on the rocks.

First light saw two hopeful figures casting lures from the rocks. This time our luck was out and nothing was moving. Heading further along the rocks we tried again, all the time hoping to spot a pod resting up. Spinning with small lures for herring resulted in Damian hooking another salmon and after a torrid fight in very unfriendly terrain he landed a good fish on a small raider. He now had a 4 fish bag of salmon all on lures. A very commendable effort and didn't he let me know about it!

And so, happy with our efforts, we headed back to the weigh-in. A large gathering of anglers was present to witness one of the closest weigh-ins in recent months. Most anglers had at least a few fish to weigh. Even Terry Willison broke his 3-year drought with a commendable capture of 4 herring and a flathead. George Holman, Damian, Tony D'Alonzo and myself had all managed a 4 fish bag of salmon. But the fish were generally small and the average weight was less than 3 kg and the best went 5.1 kg. Don Batchelor had a great bag of skippy including one beautiful specimen of 1.0 kg.

John Jardine, Tony D'Alonzo and Damian D'Mello at the weigh in.
John Jardine, Tony D'Alonzo and Damian D'Mello at the weigh in.

Most anglers had managed a few species but overall the fishing had been fairly tough for all. Visitors Malcolm Harris and Vix Alexander (have now applied for membership) also weighed in with Malcolm catching some great skippy.

Malcolm and his skippy.
Malcolm and his skippy.

George and Barry Tomlinson even caught a few tailor with George having one of over a kilo. Some flathead, sweep (ineligible), blackfish, wrasse and a few small whiting made up the species. Tony D'Alonzo clinched the Field Day with 4 salmon and an impressive bag of 20 skippy as well as a mixture of other species.

With many of the club members staying longer, it was with envy that those of us who had to leave broke camp and left them to the wind, the dunes, the surf and the sand at that fantastic beach.

John Jardine, Field Day Officer.


Monday night at Bluff Creek saw several club members who stayed down an extra day enjoying a spot of fishing in very relaxed and peaceful conditions. Dave Maxted was so relaxed, he just sat there in his chair and I don't think he was worried whether he caught a fish or not.

Along came George Holman and as he walked past Dave said; "You can't just leave your Mulie sitting there in the water Dave, you must make it move, give it a bit of action or you won't catch a damn thing." Dave said nothing as he slowly rose to his feet, removed his rod from the sand spike, wound in his line and with a big grin on his face presented George with a 5.5 kg shark. George went very quiet after that. I wonder why?

Just as well this happened at the end of the weekend and not on Saturday. - A Surfcasters Reel Talk Spy.

Dave Maxted and his 5.5kg Bronze Whaler caught after the Field Day.
Dave Maxted and his 5.5kg Bronze Whaler caught after the Field Day.



Attendance:- Seniors 19, Visitors 5, Total 24

AnglerWeightSpeciesFishTotal Points
Tony D'Alonzo21.20 kg630322
Holman George19.80 kg516298
John Jardine19.90 kg324279
Damian D'Mello 13.75 kg312218
Darren Batchelor6.68 kg529157
Don Batchelor 7.28 kg330143
Chas Riegert6.95 kg24140
Ian Cook3.25 kg319113
Dave Maxted4.30 kg23103
Dave Freeman (Visitor)3.40 kg2594
Barry Tomlinson (Visitor)2.28 kg31193
Terry Willison1.1 kg3691
Malcolm Harris (Visitor)2.70 kg1787
Bob Henderson1.50 kg2885
Heather Freeman (Visitor)3.00 kg12080
Terry Fuller1.10 kg1971
Vix Alexander (Visitor)0.33 kg1163
Ryan Tomlinson (Visitor)0.30 kg1253
Derry Barber0.00 kg0050
Eric Parker0.00 kg0050
Spencer King1.05 kg1241
John Burgess (Visitor)0.00 kg0040
Ken Black0.33 kg1123

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

Best Scale Fish John Jardine, Salmon 5.1 kg
Best Bag of Scale Fish Tony D'Alonzo, Mixed 21.2 kg

Field Day Top Ten up to March.

Position Angler Total Points
1. Tony D'Alonzo 2378.8
2. John Jardine 1495
3. George Holman 1092.1
4. Damian D'Mello 1017.5
5. Spencer King 467.5
6. Ian Cook 420
7. Eric Parker 357
8. Andy Woodford 314
9. Ken Black 293.5
10. Ian Taggart 255.5

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

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This page last updated 9 April, 2002.

Display of this page was updated on 21 January 2013. Contents updated as above.

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