Passage 1 – Mark .5

I had originally planned to head out to the White Patch dropoff just on sunrise this morning, however after getting out of bed the weather was pretty ordinary with the predicted 15/20 knot winds. That was the only excuse I needed to get back to bed to stay nice and warm :)

At around 1030hrs I was getting rather irritated with just sitting around home and helping out with the chores, so it was time to hit the water in the yak. Too bad if it was still windy, I had to get out there. I had my trip planned out in my head, and launched from Banksia Beach. Right at the end of Sunderland Drive there is an old boat ramp which people don’t use, or they are just not aware that it exists. It’s a perfect spot to launch the yak. No mud, no rocks, and no marathon hike to the water.


I grabbed all my gear, put the yak on the shoreline, and setup the sounder, rod holders, and other gear. A tad windy, but very manageable.

There’s a couple of things about this launch site that I really like. Number one, and it’s always on my mind when launching the yak and leaving my car behind; there is pretty good security. Plenty of houses opposite the passage, which means the garden pottering locals keep an eye out. But even more importantly, this spot comes with it’s own security guards! At no cost!


Secondly, it’s an absolutely beautiful outlook. Nice white sand, nice fishy looking water, and the Glasshouse Mountains in the background just to complete the picture. Only thing missing is a nice hammock and an ice cold beer. :)



The dropoffs are quite impressive. Only about 25 meters from the shoreline, the depth goes from a modest 1-2 meters, and drops vertically almost instantly to between 6-8 meters. You can’t miss it, even without a sounder. I trolled an sx40 behind while paddling north towards White Patch, however it was only diving to about 1.5 meters, which was no-where near the strike zone for the depth I was in. Changed over to Flatz Ratz, which according to the sounder was vibrating along nicely at 4.5 meters. That’s better.

I stopped briefly around the red marker at the beginning of White Patch, and decided to flick around a 3″ Berkley Power Minnow in Pink Lemonade colour. Only took two casts and the plague of yellowtail Pike had found it and gave it a good thrashing. Changed over baits and put on a 1/8 jighead to try and get a little bit deeper. Moved along from that spot and started the drift over the ledge. Couple of hits from small flathead, but nothing of size or worth noting. The sounder was showing quite a few bait schools around, but nothing larger was hovering around the schools.

After a drift of about 3 klms I came to a horrible realisation. I had made a mistake, a big mistake, and I knew I would pay for it. The tide was on it’s way in, and anyone that knows the passage also knows that there is a hell of a lot of water that has to come into the passage, which means only one thing. Fast tides! I paddled, paddled, and paddled some more; all the time watching the various markers and land masses to see how well I was going against the tide. Not really getting that far considering the amount of energy I was outputting. From previous trips I had come to the conclusion that Happy Hooker really does ride beautifully in the water, and it’s fast with minimal effort applied. Although I was putting in double time to get back to my launch, I wasn’t getting there in a hurry. I reckon that I had to put in atleast twice the amount of effort to get back then I would have if I read the tides correctly.

Wind was up, my tail was saturated, and there was a nice swell just to remind me that mistakes come with a cost. Whilst the workout was good, it was a bit more than I had planned. :) On a side note, the swing tackles waves like a dream. A beautiful big cruiser came past, and would have only been about 10 meters from me. It was only doing about 5 knots, but the wash from it was clean and huge! First thoughts were that I would be having my first swim from the yak, but Happy Hooker powered over the waves with minimal fuss, which has given me a bit of confidence to attempt a surf launch. :)

Anyhow, I digress. Made it back to my launch, packed up my gear, and sulked a little that the passage had pretty much won the battle again. 2 times in a row! This ratio needs to change, and needs to change quickly if my better half is going to believe my “It will guarantee me a catch” sales pitch before I bought the yak. The only positives were that I got to test out my skills in not so great conditions, and restock some of my Pike baits. Reminder time, I must rig up a live bait rig on a heavy rod and take it out with me. Would have been interesting to throw a livie out and see if there was anything that could be tempted.

All in all the gps trip was about 8.5 klms, with about 5 klms of that being serious paddling against the tide.


I arrive home, clean up my gear, and grumble a little bit about loosing the “I am hunter, hear me roar” persona. Right! I grab the beach rod and associated tackle, say hi and bye to ‘jane’, and head towards the beach. I’ll be damned if I am going to be empty handed today. What sort of caveman cannot hunt and provide food for his ‘jane’.

20 knot SSE, and plenty of weed. Just bloody great! Do you ever get that feeling that maybe you are part of one of those live tv shows, and everyone is laughing at? No problems, the new Gary Howard Chopper Special casts a mile with my 6500BC Alvey. Pillie rigged, line out, and within all of 30 seconds I had my first keeper Tailor for the season. Why the hell wasn’t I out here earlier!?! It’s times like that when you start daydreaming about ‘what if’. What if I was here earlier? Would I have bagged out? Would I have gotten home earlier and managed to stock up on a few extra brownie points and fishing tokens? Would I….. Pfft! Back to the job at hand. Hunting, providing, and thumping my chest whilst chanting “I am the champion!” :)

No need to dribble on any more. Summary was 8 choppers landed, one okay size taken home to ‘jane’. Why only one? Are you mad!? Have you forgotten all the effort you have put in today? No, I have a very simple answer. Tailor don’t freeze well, so I believe there is no use in taking more than can be eaten while fresh. Take what you need, and you’ll be laughing with good karma from the fishing gods. Sometimes when you please the right powers you get a sign that karma is on your side. :)


Headed home, defrosted, cleaned up, and handed over dinner. It’s all good. I can still beat my chest, still feel manly, and managed to come home smelling fishy. Bring on next weekend!