Sootie Madness from Down Under E-mail
Written by Nathan Richards   
Monday, 14 April 2014 00:00

CQ7

The target species for this trip is the Sooty. “Sooty Grunter (AKA Black Bream) is the full name but we call them Sooty for short.” They are a popular angling fish in Northeast Australia, and will take a variety of baits.  Aggressive and competitive, Sooties are particularly fun to catch on lures or the fly.

A couple of weekends ago Matty and I had a hankering to take out the kayak. After a quick discussion, we decided to hit up one of our Sooty honey holes called “Big Rock.” Saturday came around and we headed out to Big Rock. We unloaded the yak from the car and we were off on the 2km paddle to Big Rock. We fished along the way but with no luck. As soon as we pulled up at Big Rock, we had this feeling it was going to go off. Everything looked pristine. I got the honour of having first cast. I placed that Berkley Gulp Swimming Mullet right in the strike zone! A few twitches of my Daiwa Sol, and Fish On! After a short battle, the Sooty was in the yak for a picture. Sooty Grunter (AKA Black Bream) is the full name but we call them Sooty for short. They are a popular angling fish in Northeast Australia, and will take a variety of baits.  Aggressive and competitive, Sooties are particularly fun to catch on lures or the fly.

CQ6 CQ1 CQ8

We repositioned the yak and while I was unhooking my Sooty, Matty hooked on to a nice size fish. As he was bringing in his fish, I noticed two more Sooties swimming around his hooked fish. I got my plastic and dropped it straight down. One twitch and Fish On! A brief battle and it was in the yak.

We were going really well, three casts and three fish. The Gulp Swimming Mullet was on fire. Once the fish were put in our live net, we cast out again. This time I hooked up first. It was a smaller fish, and as I got it closer to the yak I noticed this horse of a Sooty tailing my Sooty. I would have guessed the fish to been easily over 50cm. I told Matty to get his line in and drop it down. Within a flash, Matty retrieved his line and dropped it down. It took him two second and he was on, but unfortunately it was not the big one, but a smaller specimen. We have fished for Sooties for quite some time and we have never experienced these fish schooling, it was like these Sooty Grunter were a bunch of Trevally schooling! This is why we keep going fishing- to experience the unexperienced.

Now this is where the trip becomes an epic story, I will try and keep it short. Something happened during one of our drifts, Matty being a keen fisherman decided to cast his Swimming Mullet behind him. At the time we laughed that it would be funny if he hooked up. Sure enough, fate jumped in. Or should I say, hooked up. It was fish on! I noticed Matty was struggling so I tried to reposition the yak but in the process turned him around. This caused the line to wrap around the tip of his rod. When we got the Sooty closer to the yak, the Sooty saw the boat and decided to take one last run. Next thing, we heard the line go PING! We looked at each other in confusion, trying to figure out what just happened.

CQ4 CQ3 CQ5

Then I noticed the line start travelling up stream. We paddled our hearts out and as we got closer to the line, it started to dive. I reached over and grabbed it and started to pull it in. Sure enough the fish was still hooked on! After fighting the fish as if it were on a hand line, we got it in to the yak. We could not stop laughing. The best thing is we caught the whole thing on the GoPro, the footage of which is at bottom of this report.

One thing I tried out on this trip was, instead of using the 3inch Berkley Gulp Swimming Mullet; I went one size up to the 4 inch. My theory was I would still catch the average size Sooties, but I would be targeting the bigger fish as well. My first thoughts are that it did work, because that day I caught 2 big Sooties at that 32cm mark.

I will be doing more research into this over the upcoming weekends.  In the end we finished with 18 Sooties, and 3 that were over that 30cm mark. Matty got the biggest at 36cm. The only negative for the day was Matty and I got some epic sunburn on our legs that are still sore. From now on we are keeping sunscreen permanently in the kayak.

Affie and Matt

http://www.cqfishingadventures.com/

 

 

 

 

You must be registered to post a comment.


Login

Newsletter

Subscribe here to receive FREE email issues of Kayak Fishing Magazine.

Most Popular

Choosing a Fishing Kayak
Like many kayak fisherman, my first fishig kayak was a mistake and I only used it a few times.  There wasn’t a lot of information available.  Things have...
Effective Trolling With Your Kayak
  While trolling is a mainstay of saltwater fishermen and also popular for targeting suspended fish in deepwater lakes of the northern US and Canada, it’s not the way most...
Electric Kayaks – an in Depth Look
Bassyaks, Torqeedo and Torque I have been living with electric kayaks (EK) since July of 2009. I have done so in order to get a much better understanding of their potential,...

Random

Holiday Buyer's Guide - Offshore
Offshore anglers are a gear intensive lot, and this holiday season presents in its offerings no shortage of gift ideas. Our editorial staff chose from the array, however, a set of...
Wintertime Speck Fishing
The weather outside might be cooling down, but the Speckled Trout bite is just starting to heat up. There are several things a kayak angler can do to turn the cold winter months...
Having a Great (White) Summer?
During a week where the East Coast was enduring shark mania, the West Coast had a close encounter as well. On July 7, 2012 one of the NorCal Kayak Anglers was heading...

Latest Kayak Reviews

Lifetime Sport Fisher
 
5.0
Cobra Kayaks Tandem
 
3.0
Perception Sport Pescador 10.0 Angler
 
4.0
Hobie Mirage Outback
 
4.0
Current Designs Tailfin
 
5.0
Hobie Mirage Outback
 
2.0
NuCanoe Frontier 12
 
5.0
Native Watercraft Mariner 12.5 Propel Anglers
 
4.0
Hobie Mirage Outback
 
5.0
Pelican Castaway 100
 
2.0
Stealth Pro Fisha 575
 
3.0
Field and Stream Eagle Talon
 
5.0

Latest Equipment Reviews

Body Glove 3T Barefoot Max
 
5.0
Body Glove 3T Barefoot Warrior
 
5.0
Body Glove 3T Barefoot Warrior
 
3.0
Columbia Drainmaker
 
5.0
Sperry SON-R Sounder Shandal
 
4.0
Garmin VIRB Elite
 
4.0
Polaroid XS100
 
4.0
Backwater Paddles Assault Hand Paddle
 
5.0
Backwater Paddles Assault Hand Paddle
 
5.0
Stohlquist Piseas
 
4.0
Wheeleez Tuff Tire Kayak Cart
 
5.0
Boga Grip
 
4.0