Trolling Sydney And Beyond

With the weekend’s weather, particularly Sunday's weather being so awful we decided a mid week trip was the go. A quick look at the weather sites, BOM, Seabreeze and Buoy Weather said the same thing, great weather!! Now there was only one more thing to check, the sea surface charts!! A quick look showed a few temp breaks on the other side of the shelf.

Our plan was to run out to the Botany Wide FAD, work that area to see if we could pick up a few Dolphin Fish and then head to the shelf, drop a few different size and shape Scent Blazers out and run southeast in search of Mr Stickface.

After picking up the crew from North Sydney we made a quick stop to fuel the boat and then hit the big blue!! Rounding South Head there was hardly a ripple to rock the boat, it was simply perfect and the further southeast we travelled the better the conditions and water colour/temp got. It started out green and 23.8 in close and within a few miles it changed to blue and 24.6 degrees. Things were looking up with only 2 miles to the Botany Wide Fad there was a slight north to south current of 1 knot and good, clean water.

After receiving our Trollpro and bits and pieces we decided to set it up and run it in the long corner in front of two Scent Blazers, one in the long corner and the other off the rigger. Firstly we tried running it off the rigger but it's too heavy for the rigger at 8 knots.

Troll Pro ready to be run and Troll Pro on the rigger pulling some serious pressure at 8 knots!

So we rigged up a little system with a spare fixed head gaff and this worked a treat!

Our Troll Pro set up, far too heavy for the outrigger at 8 knots!

We then put the rest of the spread out, 2 Nanos one Bullet Head Purple Frigate and the other a Pusher Head in Sardine then a Small Evil Pusher Head and a Small Lumo Slant Head. With the spread set we made our first pass, a double hook up on Dollies with both fish smashing the Nanos but they didn’t stick. The second pass was similar with both lures getting hit but again a failed hook up, what’s going on? Small fish is our guess.

After dropping the two fish the other Dollies went off the bite so we headed east to the Shelf, 0.5 of a mile inside the Shelf was a very distinct current break, glass like conditions on one side and half a meter of chop on the other. The temp difference between the two was 0.2 degrees so we swapped the lures for bigger Scent Blazers, an X-Large Yellowfin Slant Head, a Large Green Luminator Slant Head and left the two on the riggers as they were. We then worked the edge north then south, zig zaging in and out of the current but with no joy we decided to cross the Shelf and head south on the outer side of the shelf.

Check out that Scent Blazer Teaser smoking away!

As we crossed the shelf the temp dropped the 0.2 of a degree and stayed 24.0 flat the whole way down the coast, lots of current breaks but no fish!! There were no birds, no bait and no Dolphin - barren!! bWe continued south for another 12 miles but the water and fish condition wasn’t improving so we decided to head into 250 fathoms and make our way back up the coast. By this stage the radio chatter stopped and seems we weren’t the only boat noticing the lack of anything fishy.

Short Corner- Scent Blazer X-Lagre Yellowfin Tuna Colour Slant Head

As we made our way over the shelf that current change had pushed away but the water was far bluer inside the shelf. The decision was made to head to the Botany Wide FAD and see if those Dollies were still around but on our arrival the current was pushing up the coast, south to north and was fishless! As we trolled our way back to Sydney the sun was falling and the light was disappearing and by the time we got through the harbour it was gone, complete darkness.

A windy sunset over Sydney's skyline

The fishing off Sydney and up and down the coast seems extremely hit and miss with a lot of ground needing to be covered to find the fish. The currents seem to be changing daily if not hourly. What’s your thoughts? Do you think it will be a late season or is it not going to come at all?