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Surf Casting and Angling Club Logo Surf Casting and Angling Club of W.A. (Inc.)

September 2001 Fishing Field Day Wedge Island.

With our gear loaded into Pete Brightman's Landcruiser, the rods stowed on the roof, Dan ensconced on the swags in the back, we grabbed the maps and headed off to Wedge. It was early on Saturday morning with a few clouds and scattered showers around as we drove up the road to Lancelin. From there it was a simple drive along the designated tracks through the dune fields and we followed the directions on the map taking the long road around rather than the coastal track.

In all it was a pleasant scenic drive punctuated with one nasty boggy section and a rather bewildering array of tracks crossing the dune fields out the back of Wedge. From the elevated point on top of the dunes there was a glorious vista of the bay and island in front of us and it was a simple matter to follow the most worn path until we came to the squatter shacks and then onto the beach. We had stopped on the way and let some air out of the tyres in preparation for the soft sand but the beaches and dunes were firm and the driving relatively easy.

The scene on the beach was not as encouraging as the long distance view as there was weed on the beach as far as the eye could see. There was a nice bit of surf rolling in and a light wind from the north-west but this was spoilt by heavy weed contamination with many breaks roiling with dark clumps and the gutters looking like thick vegetable soup. Tony was parked out on the sand point when we pulled up to chat. He sadly confirmed our suspicion that the dreaded weed was everywhere.

The Club owns an air conditioned holiday house at Kalbarri which is available for rent to the public and club members at competitive rates

The sandbar went all the way to the island and we got out to have a look about and to stretch our legs. From the cliffs we could see huge Buff Bream milling in the clear reef holes and best of all there was no significant weed evident. The water was clean and clear and we chalked this down as a possibility for the early morning. Then down to South Rocks for a quick recce and although there were some great looking shallow gutters, the weed was thicker than ever.

So back to the point for the sign-on. Seven adults and 2 kids were there. Tony D'Alonzo, Pete Brightman, Ian Parker, Andy Thorgersen, Terry Willison, Peter Stoeckel and his two boys Daniel and Andrew with Ian Pilton and Damian D'Mello booked as late arrivals. The formalities over we headed north up the beach looking for some clear water.

There was little encouragement although there were one or two small patches of clear water but these already had other groups in residence. So onwards and northwards we went over the dunes and followed the rocky track towards Grey. We checked out most of the tracks to the beach with the usual disappointment. In some areas the weed was in banks over a meter deep. Some stretches were deceptive with the water seeming clear until a wave broke and stirred up the bottom layers with choking sand and weed. It was almost 2 pm before we had decided to head back and fish the north point. The low tide allowed us access to the edge of the reef and we hoped to fish the outer gutter into clear water. But this was not possible and after an hour of weed-infested frustration we regrouped to plan the next option.

Back we went to the next point south where remarkably it was clear of weed and the previous group had left. This looked the best option so far so we decided to go for broke and set up here for the night. The gutter on the south end of the rocks looked deep and fishy and the rocks were exposed enough to allow wading out to the edge. Even the outer gutter looked good and was free of weed. Damian arrived to find us still fishless but ever hopeful. As night fell we rigged up the bigger rods and waited. Apart from reeling in every few minutes to clear the weed from the lines there was little activity. We tried small baits, big baits, casting out far and in close. Nothing. Not even some encouraging nibbles.

Suddenly the night was rent with whoops of delight. Dan was into a fish. We gathered round in the glare of the torch beams to admire the first fish of the trip. A herring. After 8 hours of fishing things were looking up!

Not to be outdone Pete was soon into a sizeable denizen. He had struck into something solid after a fiddling take and his reel screeched in protest. But again the delight was short-lived with a break in the leader suggesting a toothy critter. But despite our best efforts that was it for the night. Tailor fillets, mullet baits, mulies and prawns were all ignored and I must admit I eventually headed off to bed a trifle despondent.

The dawn light on Sunday was a delight and although I was late out of the sack it was a beautiful morning. Damo had been fishing hard since very early having left Kim asleep in the back of the ute. And apart from a brisk take on the first cast of the morning there was still no life in the water. Time for another move and we packed and headed for the island. The tide was in and the water looked fantastic. The birds on the island were not pleased with our intrusion into their peaceful lives and dive-bombed us as we stood looking over the south point. No way down but some promising water beckoned. Pete and I waded out on the seaward reefs around to the point and there flicked mulies into the deep hole. I expected a strike at any minute but frustratingly there was almost no action, even the pickers seemed quiet.

Walking back eventually to dry off I flicked lures out into the water more in hope than with any plan. It was after 8.00 am with less than 3 hours to go and I had not even landed a fish. Then my luck changed. A herring struck at a large raider pelted out into a sandy reef hole. Amazingly it hit way out at the start of the retrieve yet stayed connected all the way back. I had a fish. All was not lost. Getting to the north point of the island I saw that Damo had also managed a few herring. Spinning in the area elicited a flashing swirl behind the lure and the next cast I connected. Tailor! Nice fish too of about a kilo. This raised the spirits immensely and when there was a strike at the next cast I thought we were about to get lucky. But no more fish were seen. Thinking the tailor may be feeding up current I headed back out onto the reef wading waist deep and spinning the deep water.

When a herring hit the lure, splashed around and came off but continued jumping with some threatening swirls following in its wake, I knew I had found the tailor. Action was fast initially but I struggled to land the fish while standing in the deep water and I lost 3 fish as my excitement and frustration peaked. Eventually I had 6 fish in the bag and changed to a baitcast mulie to try for a few more. But apart from one last fish this was all I was going to enjoy. With time running late I headed back a lot happier than before.

The weigh in was a speedy affair. "All those not weighing in put up your hands" yielded a total of 8 no catches. Despite his protests Pete Stoeckel was not allowed to have his 20 kg of catch and release weedfish recognised. Damian had a mixed bag of some small tarwhine, herring, a nice tailor and a skippy. I had 7 tailor, a herring and a wrasse. Tony managed a better bag with 8 small tailor, a small tarwhine, 2 soapy mulloway and a few herring. Not a particularly rich haul despite the reported potential of the spot. The enemies of fishing Wedge Island are the weed and the wind. While there was not any significant wind but we certainly made up for it with weed. But it appeared as if most had had a good time despite the poor fishing conditions. Considering that Ian Taggart fished local and managed to land 3 tailor to 1.15 kg seems to sum it up quite well.

So we left weedy Wedge Island for another day. The drive out was punctuated with some unplanned diversions (to see the wildflowers) but we got to Lancelin in the end. The scenery was beautiful, the weather delightful and the company a pleasure. Pity that the fishing was not all that grand, but that is part of this game. We can all now look forward to the next field day with even greater anticipation.

John Jardine

Field Day Officer.



Attendance: Seniors - 8, Juniors - 0, Mini Juniors - 2, Visitors - 0.

Total fish weight:- 18.5 kg - weighed in gilled and gutted.

Name Weight Species Fish Points
Tony D'Alonzo 8.50 kg 4 15 175
John Jardine 5.45 kg 3 9 135
Damian D'Mello 1.75 kg 3 8 68
Eric Parker 0 kg 0 0 50
Terry Willison 0 kg 0 0 50
Andy Thorgersen 0 kg 0 0 50
Peter Stoeckel 0 kg 0 0 50
Ian Taggart 2.80 kg 1 3 48
Peter Brightman 0 kg 0 0 40
Ian Pilton 0 kg 0 0 40
Andrew Stoeckel 0 kg 0 0 40
Daniel Stoeckel 0 kg 0 0 40

It should be noted that many members are now choosing to fish for the sport and not the competition. These members are following the catch and release ethic, and although they choose not to weigh in, it doesn't mean they are not catching plenty of fish. Competition rules in 2001/2002 allow them to catch and release and still get field day points.

Sportsperson of the Year Section Winners for September.

Best Scale Fish Tony D'Alonzo, Mulloway 1.85 kg
Best Bag of Scale Fish Tony D'Alonzo, Mixed 8.50 kg

Field Day Sections up to September.

Section For Angler Species Weight.
1a. Best Scale Fish (1st 6 Months) Chas Reigert Yellowtail Kingfish 6.85 kg
1b. Best Scale Fish (2nd 6 Months)
2. Most Meritorious Fish Committee decides
3. Best Shark (4.5 kg min) No entry
4. Best Mulloway (2.0 kg min) No entry
5. Best Tailor (1.0 kg min) Tony D'Alonzo Tailor 2.15 kg
6. Best Salmon (3.0 kg min) Tony D'Alonzo Salmon 3.6 kg
7. Best Skipjack Trevally (0.5 kg min) Tony D'Alonzo Skipjack 0.85 kg
8. Best Mackeral (2 kg Min) No entry
9. Best Scale Fish (Other than above) Chas Reigert Yellowtail Kingfish 6.85 kg
10. Best Bag Of Scale Fish Tony D'Alonzo Mixed 22.5 kg
11. Best Bag Of Mulloway (2 Fish min) No entry
12. Best Bag Of Tailor (2 Fish min) Damian D'Mello Tailor 6.9 kg
13. Best Fish On Single Handed Rod No entry
(4kg Line max)
14. Best Fish Caught On Fly Rod No entry

Field Day Top Ten up to September.

Position Angler Total Points
1. Tony D'Alonzo 1186.05
2. John Jardine 817.25
3. Damian D'Mello 550.5
4. Andy Woodford 314
5. Ian Cook 307
6. Ian Taggart 283.5
7. Ken Black 230.5
8. Mark Farnay 224.5
9. Peter Booth 193
10. George Holman 191.5

Copyright © 2001 Surf Casting and Angling Club of W.A. (Inc.)

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This page last updated 30 September, 2001.

Display of this page was updated on 21 January 2013. Contents updated as above.

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