Last Pinkies, and the Final One was Quite Big + 2014 Pink Photo Selection

With the ban approaching, and a forecast light easterly yesterday afternoon, we decided to head out and see if we could pick up some last pinkies for the season.  Conned the “rejuvenated” young one, after his marathon hauling in of the big angry fish the day before was softened by the heap of prize vouchers and the many hours of sleep, to come out again for the last pink hunt.  I was a little bit suspect when we got to the ramp and were facing a south westerly but put my faith in the forecast (schoolboy error) and when we rounded the rock wall it was a little blowy but not too bad.  The trip out was sloppy on the inside of the 3 Mile but once in the ocean, the chop was subdued and the swell was not too large.  Got on the spot about 5.15pm to breezy but not unfishable conditions.

I had found one half used burley package that I had salvaged from a previous trip hidden in the freezer so it came along.  I knew there was only about 30-35 minutes in the pack so didn’t set it out there straight away as the sun was still high in the sky and it seems the pinkies start to feed when the light changes.  I also had the fresh sand whiting from the comp the day before but saved them as well.  Needless to say, in the first half hour we got nothing except increasing wind speed.

As the sun was getting low, out came the burley.  Again I was convinced of the value of a good burley mix as within 5 minutes of it going in the water the baitrunner with floating mulie peeled off.  We boated a 400mm pink which was soon followed by a 500mm model that were both returned (500mm is not a keeper as they always shrink a few mm).  This inspired the bringing out of the fresh whiting and they were lucky to get anywhere near the bottom as the ravenous pinkies were all over them.  Boated a few more between 400-500mm and then got a 530mm keeper.  All this time, the wind was continuing to pick up and the poor old Minn Kota was getting to its tolerance levels (the spot lock function is designed to keep you within a 5m radius but if you are moved off the spot by wind, current or swell and it cannot get back to it in a reasonable time at full power then it will shut down).

So, we started to play the game of listening for the Minn to shut down over the howl of the wind and then starting it again, again, again and again – it was almost like drifting.  The chop was also developing in earnest and we were surrounded by whitecaps and the characteristic short sharp waves.  The pinkies were on however so we persisted in fairly ordinary conditions that we probably shouldn’t have been in.

What the hell, go for broke and I picked out the biggest whiting I had (about 230mm) and snelled it up.  Cast into the now diminishing burley trail and within a minute the baitrunner was peeling line characteristic of a big pink hit.  Luckily I had the rod in my hand and could engage the reel when I was sure he had it in his gob.  Once hooked, this thing took off at a rate of knots and easily stripped 50m in an instant.  I initially thought shark, mack or tuna on the strength of its first run but was quite relieved when I actually started to pull it up and felt those characteristic head shakes.  Enthusiasm faltered a bit when it went on a series of screaming runs as my mind turned back to the day before and all the sambos we had caught that behaved in exactly the same way.  Nevertheless, it was a solid fish that needed respect so I started to work it back to the boat with care (amongst a few more Minn shut downs).

After what seemed like quite a long time, I finally saw mono leader.  Our net had been destroyed by recent big angry fish so all we had were a set of lip grips.  The fish headed under the boat so we still didn’t know what it was although we had the leader back.  It was slowly brought into view when we saw the gob of a big pink just under the boat.  In a further twist, there was only one hook in the fish (just holding on) and the other one had decided to attach to the rail under the boat.  There were quite a lot of nervous moments as we tried to get the hook off the rail and the lip grips into a very large mouth and secure them with multiple tries in the strong wind and increasing sea.  When they finally set and we hauled it aboard there was more than a little relief as we checked out the size of it.

Anyway, the young one was focussed on getting a size pink for himself so it was back down again.  I must add that conditions had really gone to sh*t at this stage, Minn had no hope and we had waves starting to crash over the front of the boat.  To his credit he did get a few undersized pinkies in the most trying of sea conditions.  When we finally had enough, much earlier than we would have liked, we had landed 9 pinkies, 2 genuine keepers with one of them being a large model indeed.

Let’s just say the trip back to the ramp was a particularly unpleasant experience.  Couldn’t do much more than 5 knots in the Hornet in constant wind and spray.  The lowlight was a breaking wave on the starboard side that smashed me and I was completely drenched.  A cold, wet and miserable trip in but at no time was it unsafe as we just operated to the conditions and didn’t give a stuff about how long it took to get back.  It was nice to get inside the 3 Mile with the wind at our back and shorten the trip however.

We hadn’t really paid much attention to the pink as there were too many other things going on.  When we got home, and I struggled to get it out of the live bait well, its size was starting to become apparent.  We got it to the table and it measured the whole length of our size guide sticker of 900mm.  On the manual scales and it went 8.2kg.  Not my biggest one, but very close and clearly a quality fish.  When you looked at it next to the 530mm pink, the little one seemed like a dwarf.

Below are a few photos of select pinkies we have landed this season.  I will write a story soon about the techniques we used as I am happy to share what works for us.  At the end of the season, we got more than 100 and who would have thought this was possible – we returned a lot and only kept enough to eat.  Yes, we have put the effort in but they have to be there.  How good is WA fishing.



Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it - LH.


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Posts: 86

Date Joined: 14/10/12

 Another good report Mick,

Mon, 2014-10-13 22:22

 Another good report Mick, you definitely have it sussed. That is a monster pink!


 born to fish, forced to work

Dazza1611's picture

Posts: 56

Date Joined: 19/03/14

Well done

Tue, 2014-10-14 05:55

 Well done again Mick and Co. Need to call you the Pink Whisperer soon.


 I am sick of going fishing. I want to go catching....

tim-o's picture

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Pink poisoning

Tue, 2014-10-14 19:13

Fark, have to nickname the Hornet FAD I think


I am, as I've said, merely competent. But in an age of incompetence, that makes me extraordinary.

Posts: 67

Date Joined: 13/03/13

Top report as usual and a

Tue, 2014-10-14 20:56

Top report as usual and a spectacular season, was great following your progress!!

Hutch's picture

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 Very good quality report,

Tue, 2014-10-14 21:13

 Very good quality report, you have set the bar very high for next season, top effort 


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Rob H's picture

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Date Joined: 18/01/12

good write up Mick, enjoyed

Tue, 2014-10-14 21:27

good write up Mick, enjoyed reading it!


 Give a man a mask, and he'll show you his true face...



The older you get the more you realize that no one has a f++king clue what they're doing.

Everyone's just winging it.


Browndog's picture

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Wed, 2014-10-15 07:20

Quality Fish & quality report, I enjoyed followingyou success this season.

Now you clearly have the pinks sussed, what's going to be the challenge over summer?

Macks, Dollies? I look forward to the December posts!



Mick C's picture

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Date Joined: 26/12/13

Next Challenge(s)

Wed, 2014-10-15 08:25

Thanks BD.  Have thought quite a bit about "what next".  I'm pretty keen on the Mullaway and there might be some value in trolling up some late afternoon tailor and throwing them live out on the back of the beaches and shore reefs when conditions are ok at night (the Hornet would be good for this).  Might be a little late though as I have heard once the late spring/summer winds come up all of the gutters off the beaches go away.

I would like to get a 750mm+ tailor so heading north to the Alkimos to troll proven lures at the back of the surf break and around the reefs has some appeal.

My mate who fixed my boat has an awesome rig fitted with a couple of electric downriggers and sounders to die for.  With the pelagics on their way, I'm going to have to give trolling the livies on the downriggers a good crack.

After starting to get quite a few KG's, a bit of "skill honing" on these might be the go as well.

So many options in these awesome waters.  


Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it - LH.