After far too many weeks in lockdown I decided to take advantage of the fact that I was still allowed out on the kayak. Amazingly, I hadn’t used it since moving into our new house, so I was itching to get out there and explore my new local waterway. I loaded my kayak on the ute’s roof the night before, saving me the effort of doing so in the morning. I then set about kitting up my rods and locating all my fishing gear, some of which was still boxed up from the move.
At 6am the next morning I headed for Bobbin Head Picnic Ground, making my way carefully through the Ku-ring-Gai Chase National Park. The roads were packed with cyclists, slowing my trip down to the boat ramp. But I didn’t let it get the better of me; it was far too good to be driving through a forest, with a mini adventure in sight.
When I arrived at Bobbin Head Picnic Ground, I was one of only 3 cars in the parking. It didn’t take my long to get my kayak into the water, and I was soon paddling over the shallows, and under the bridge, heading north in search of promising water. I noticed a few whiting in the shallows, but kept going to distance myself from an area which I knew was going to become very busy later in the day.
Cowan Creek was deeper than I expected, and at times I was in over 20 meters of water. The water was still chilly, ranging from 17 to 18 degrees. And the skies were blue overhead, although there was wind forecast for later in the day. My tactic was to fish the small bays, hoping to find a rogue bream or flathead. Neither were really in season, but beggars can’t be choosers, and it was more about getting familiar with the area anyway.
While fishing my first little bay I spotted a huge bust up in the middle of the main waterway. It was far too far away for me to rush over to, so I’ll never know what they were. But I hoped that they were early season kings, even though it was more likely that they were tailor.
I fished several bays, all of which showed promise, but none of which produced fished. In the shallows I tended to favour fishing with fly, although I also threw the odd soft plastic. When moving between bays I generally hugged the edges, trying to stick to the drop off, and trolled a hardbody behind me.
As the day rolled on the wind started to pick up as predicted. Knowing it was going to be a hard slog, straight into it, back to the boat ramp, I opted to turn around and head home. As it turned out, this may have been a blessing in disguise as I hooked into a beaut of a tailor while trolling home. After a short but energetic fight I landed my only fish of the day, quickly releasing it to fight another day.
I explored a few more bays closer to the boat ramp, and then poked around between the moored yachts, looking for spots to target on future trips.
When I finally got back to the Bobbin Head Picnic Ground, 18kms of paddling later, I was shocked by what I saw. It was absolutely packed, with cars queuing to find parking. And Cockle Creek was crowded with kayakers, stand up paddle boarders, and families in peddle boats. In fact, I had to queue to use the kayak ramp, and then made my way through thick crowds back to my car. I would never have guessed we were in the middle of a state wide lockdown, amidst a global pandemic.
Thankfully I was out of there quickly, having had a great day on the water. Despite only catching one fish, I look forward to heading back, hopefully to slightly warmer water temperatures and far more fish.