School Holiday Happiness - Part 2

In my last school holiday post I mentioned that conditions looked good for the last arvo of the school holidays and guess what, they were.  Went into work and dealt with my meetings and got away by 1pm.  YPM was chaffing at the bit to get out there and we had asked a quality fisherman, and good bloke, from the MAAC if he would like to join us.  The north easter was dropping as we headed to the ramp at about 2pm.

A slightly choppy ride out to the grounds meant we arrived around 3pm with plenty of time to sound around and pick a spot.  Out with the newly made burley – this batch works an absolute treat producing a very fine cloud in the water with each log lasting longer than 2 hours.  Off we go.

In what started a quality session, the first fish to the boat, within 10 minutes, was a 50cm Dhu.  This fish was right on the mark but we decided to let him live and do some growing – I don’t see fishing as a harvest and to tell you the truth we throw back a lot more than we keep, and anything that is not more than a few cm over gets returned.  The fishing from this point was very steady with plenty of species to keep us amused as we waited patiently for the “pinking hour”.

The pinking hour is a phrase that I have developed over here for that short period where the pinks come on thick.  It usually corresponds to sun rise or sun set but doesn’t always happen.  It is the period where you need to be on full alert and ready to react because the pinks are very smart fish and will pick up and drop your bait in an instant.  I have found the key to successful pink fishing is to provide a bait that presents naturally that the pink can pick up and run with feeling no resistance until you set the hook.  Anyway, that’s what works for me.

We were lucky enough that the pinking hour happened for us.  We were steadily boating them for a half hour or so and the highlight was when a school obviously moved under the boat and every bait went off at the same time.  In all that excitement we only got one in but it was an experience to remember.

Our evening produced 10 pinks, 2 king george, 3 large (>1m sharks), the 50cm dhu, 3 tarwine, 2 big rays, 2 sargent baker and some skippy, with various other low quality throw backs.  The photo shows what we kept for the night – and we also kept the sb fillets for the bait store.  What a lovely end to the school holidays.  Winter fishing in WA is awesome.


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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tim-o's picture

Posts: 4657

Date Joined: 24/05/11

FFFFFFFFillet knife must be

Sat, 2014-07-19 11:53

FFFFFFFFillet knife must be blunt by now!


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

opsrey's picture

Posts: 1200

Date Joined: 05/10/07


Sat, 2014-07-19 15:28

 Top results by any measure. Nice report.

Posts: 5981

Date Joined: 17/06/10

Living the life

Sat, 2014-07-19 17:17

A real good ending to a real good holiday, and all local very pleased to read about the conservation view you practice thanks for a good post

Browndog's picture

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Date Joined: 10/04/12


Sat, 2014-07-19 18:01

Killing it again Mick, nice work. Good to see you getting consistent results. Interesting about letting the pinkies "run" with the bait, I am never sure if you should strike straight away or let them take it for a while.




Mick C's picture

Posts: 571

Date Joined: 26/12/13

When to Strike to Hook Pinks

Sat, 2014-07-19 20:37

This is a question that has perplexed me ever since we have been consciously targeting the pinks in Perth Metro waters over the last months.  There are really a number of options for “floating” baits as follows.

1.       Hold the rod with bail arm closed, then strike when you feel the pink has got it in its gob (conventional method).

2.       Leave the rod with the floater in the rod holder with the bail arm closed and let the pink hook itself.

3.       Free spool the floater and when it is picked up close the bail arm and strike.

4.       Use a bait runner reel and when it is peeling line put the reel in gear and let the impact of that hook the pink.

Having used all of the above methods I have no doubt that option 4 provides the greatest hook up rate by far.

There are a number of variations when using the bait runner as you can set the tension on the secondary drag system (a feature designed to allow you to hold a live bait of various size and strength).  So there are options there as well – set it as light as possible to provide the least resistance possible or set it heavy to use the drag to hook the fish, or anything in between.  After much trial and error, the set it light option seems superior.

It is however a game of “milliseconds”.  Even with the secondary drag as light as possible, the pink will feel the tension via line drag through the water, or the weight you sometimes have to use to get the bait down or the metal hooks, and eventually spit it (most of the time).   The timing of when you set the hooks by engaging the reel is therefore critical as well (I have found option 3 above to result in a higher “miss rate” as you “fumble” to engage the reel with a manual or handle turn closing of the bail – those milliseconds seem critical).  You can also close to early as the pink has picked up the bait and started to swim with it but hasn’t tried to eat it.

So, set the bait runner as light as possible, wait with your thumb on the lever that engages the reel and close it as soon as it starts to run in earnest.  Timing is the key and if you get it right the hook up rate is very high.  I am no expert but a lot of hours on the water has shown that this is the method that seems to work best.


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


Fisheagle's picture

Posts: 333

Date Joined: 04/02/12

Excellent advice

Sat, 2014-07-19 21:16

 Thanks Mic - great advice. I will definitely try on my next outing (if this weather eventually lets up). I generally fish methods 1 and 2 with limited success.


Fisheagle Ed