Speaker 1:Welcome back to Creek to Coast.  We’re off before the crack of dawn for good reason. There’s fish to be caught and they’re only sticking around for a couple of hours.   Dave Gaden is the owner of Reel Time Charters, based out of the Yamba Marina.
Today we’re heading a few k’s off shore to try and score some spotty mackerel.

“Gorgeous conditions this morning, light winds, really good run in the tide, as we’ve approached the area there’s plenty of birds which means there’s plenty of bait. Fingers crossed there’ll be plenty of spotty mackerel.

Dave’s got a couple of lures out the back, now first on the stick this morning is Robbo. He’s a mackerel virgin, never caught one. The boys now and myself sit back and wait for a scream in the reel.”

“And the spotties are a great sport to catch aren’t they?”

Dave Gaden :”Oh, they’re great fun mate. Up there in the ten fastest fish in the world, so y’know they’re just enormous fun, and I use great big bait runners and just let ’em go for free for all on the first run, put the pressure on ’em then and they just really give you somethin’.”

Speaker 1:We can see the mackerel on the sounder, but they aren’t biting. “And they can be finicky though, can’t they?

Dave Gaden :Oh yeah.

Speaker 1:They’re a fish that can …”

Dave Gaden: They can just mouth the bait, you come in and there’s just pin marks down the bait and they haven’t touched it, just playing with it and letting it go, and you just don’t understand, other days you get out here and you’ve gotta hide in the bottom of the boat to put a bait on.  Yeah, y’know.

Speaker 1 :So, a change of plans. The new target, a pearl perch and snapper.  Just scream out when, pal.

Dave Gaden: Righto, send ’em down.

Robbo: And just hang on.

Speaker 1:So we’re at 70 metres and we’re fishing the old paternoster dropper rig. So, we’ve got two hooks, live bait on each, big container that Dave’s got out here. All the way to the bottom. Hello.

Speaker 4:Nice and steady, don’t go too fast just keep the pressure on him.

Speaker 1:Go Robbo!

Robbo:Come on, big fella!

Speaker 1:Here it comes!

Robbo:Here he is, I can see him.

Speaker 1:A little hassar. No, a little piggy.  He’s a bit too small.

Robbo:Send him home.

Speaker 1:Robbo’s on.

Robbo:Little snapper-ooney.

Speaker 1:Still under size.

Dave Gaden:Half a centimetre under, Robbo. Sorry, mate. Throwin’ back.

Speaker 1:He’s on again, the king! Dusting us up.

Robbo:There must be such a thing as beginner’s luck.

Speaker 1:I can feel it in my bones, there’s fish just about to hook up. Got him on!  And we’ve got a little one here, just to annoy Robbo, we’ve got a little Scotty Hiller DH. I’ve got a nice little pearl perch. There we go. In my opinion one of the best eating fish in the sea.

Dave Gaden: Alright Scotty you’re wrong mate.

Speaker 1:You don’t agree?”

Dave Gaden:I would swap you five big pearl perch for just one of these critters, that is a black-spotted pigfish, a mild one. That is by far the best eating fish in the ocean in my opinion.

Speaker 1:”Boss is on. Robbo’s on.”

Speaker 4:Oh,  yeah. Baby!

Dave Gaden: That’s a blue mowlong, mate.

Speaker 1:The big man Robbo is on fire!

“He’s on it again! It’s a good pearly, Robbo. This is what you’ve been chasing, my boy. This is what you’ve been chasing. Now, get your breath. The big man, the Oz RV boss is knocked out.”

I reckon it’s our turn now.

“Dave just popped the strut on a really nice patch of wire weed here where the pearlies hang out. We’re tending to see that the pearlies are coming on a lot stronger. Pilchards, mullet, any strip bait seems to working really good for ’em.”

Check this out! This is what we came here for.

“Oh, he’s a cracking pearly!

Dave Gaden:Oh, look at that.

Speaker 1:He is a cracking pearly! 1, 2, 3! Oh yes! Look at that.

Dave Gaden:Oh, good fishing, mate.

Speaker 1:Oh, I’m done. That’ll do me. That is beautiful.”

With a successful catch under our belt, I’m thinking Yamba is the place to be. We’re told that the blue dolphin caravan park is where we need to set up camp for the evening. It’s smack bang on the shores of the Clarence River, and there’s still plenty of facilities that will keep you and the kids as busy as you want to be. With an afternoon nap under my belt, the old [00:04:30] tummy’s rumbling and I know the spot to fix it.

“The Pacific Hotel, an institution here in Yamba and possibly one of the best located hotels in the country. Not just for its pub-grub, but also its world-class views. Have a look at this!”

Up next on Creek to Coast, the big man’s in a small kayak.

“I know kayaks … the paddles the wrong way, you big idiot!”

What could possibly go wrong?