World Sea Fishing Forums banner
1 - 20 of 65 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning members,

With reference to the thread "HOUNDS" on this page in which our colleague Jon D from Australia claimed that smoothhounds of 50 lb in weight were caught regularly from his local beach, a bit of research has thrown up possiible confirmation of this claim. Apparently the Australian Smoothhound otherwise known as the Gummy Shark (Mustelus antarticus) can reach a maximum weight of 24.8 Kg (circa 54 lb.), achieving a length of 185 cm (just over 6 ft.) Longevity is 16 years and a female can produce anything up to 38 pups per litter. It could be that the Gummy is indeed the "smoothhound" of which Jon D refers to, and it would be interesting to read his take on this suggestion.

By comparison, the Welsh Records for the Starry Smoothhound (Mustelus asterias) are Shore 9.638kg (21.25 lb), Boat 11.51 kg (25.38 lbs.)

For further in depth information about the Australian Smoothhound/ Gummy Shark, refer to The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Link :Mustelus antarcticus (Gummy Shark, Sweet William)

Best regards,

Ticker (Derek)

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,356 Posts
This is a guy I took to my local beach who hadnt ever caught a fish over 2kg, he drove 850km just to try his luck as I had put his mate onto a few the month before. It was one of 8 and though the records claim they grow to 24kg most people have caught them bigger. Most of us dont bother weighing or chasing records.
JonP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good afternoon Jon D,

Thank you for the reply and the excellent photograph, certainly a big bad boy, and I am guessing this is the Australian Smoothhound/ Gummy Shark. I am sure the members would be very interested to read what gear (Rod, Reel, Line test , hook size and bait) that you would use to tame a fish of this size.

If you would like to get an overview of smoothhound fishing here in south Wales, please visit my website "Ticker's World" and browse the ARTICLE titled "Smoothhound". Click on the link at the bottom of my post which will take you to the HOME page. Click on the heading ARTICLES and scroll down the list, click on the heading "Smoothhound".

It is a very popular species here in Wales and quite prolific in season under the correct conditions.

Best regards,

Ticker (Derek)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
A mate of mine has had them to 40ld plus from the beach in Namibia west Africa
Can`t find the link but there have been fish tagged in the UK which have been re captured in south east Africa ,i have always wondered if this was a bit of a one off or whether it was part of their winter migration
If it was the latter it begs the question why we don`t get fish of the size of those caught of the west coast of Africa
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,356 Posts
The odd one we keep to eat are always full of shore crabs, like the common UK shore crab only white. By the way the UK shore crab has made its way over here possibly from ships ballast and are now becoming a pest like rabbits and foxes.

The gear that was used for the shark in that shot was all 20 lb class, fishing much heavier means you stand a high chance of getting spooled when you hook a 300 kg ray or sharks that are too big to turn.
Bronze whaler and hammerheads are also common in my area and quite manageable up to 70 kg on 20 lb tackle. Its a toss up of holding 150m of heavy line or 300m of light line, after to many of my old UK reels getting broken when I get to the end of the spool I now opt for the lighter option.

Using 20 lb braid means Im probably closer to 40 lb in reality as most 20s break well above the stated rating, mamoi mono 20 also breaks above 20. I mainly use shorter rods now and have given away my rods from the UK, the shorter rods give me more leverage rather than just pointing the rod towards the horizon watching my line disappear. I use quality spin reels that can apply from 10kg up to 30 kg + depending on what we are targtting.

As you will of seen most of our beaches have big surf so the thinner diameter braids also help in the pounding surf. I tend to use quite small light gauge circles with striped tuna as bait as almost every fish seems to like the deep red oily tuna meat. Bigger toothy sharks need 11/0 + heavy duty circles or bigger on 120lb wire and 150 lb + mono traces. These days I tend to leave the big fish to my kids as battling 100 lb + fish up and down the beach stuffs my back.

When a big fish looks like not slowing we head in either direction up or down the beach to put side pressure on the fish, this normally gets them turned for a while before you have to do it again and again. Eventually you can roll over some pretty big fish in the surf.

A common bait for us to use is fresh OZ salmon or tailor from the beach, either a fillet or if they are only about 1-2kg we will often hook them up as live bait letting them swim back out. The bait are also top sport fish on lighter gear and have amazing stamina.

JonD


Salmon


Tailor
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
38,517 Posts
There are two types to be caught in British waters, Mustelus asterias Cloquet the Starry smooth-hound and Mustelus mustelus Common smooth-hound.

A large number of so called Common Smooth-hounds are in fact Starry Smooth-hounds without the stars.

Common
800px-Mustelus_mustelus.jpg

Starry
Mustelus_asterias.jpg

In the Mediterranean Sea both species are less common and they targeted for human consumption. Numbers in the Mediterranean have dwindled and in this region it might qualify for vulnerable status. However as we all know on our coast line they are there in large numbers and for my money are one of the best sports fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Good evening Jon D,

Thank you for your detailed reply, sketches and photographs. The line class is proportionate in terms of being light tackle when taking into consideration the size, species and quality of fighting fish that you may encounter on your beaches. It makes good sense to increase the yardage on the reel spool by using lower test/narrower line, and although sacrificing the option of "bullying" the fish ashore, careful and skilful playing plus, within reason, allowing the fish to wear itself out at its leisure whilst still retaining ample back up of line on the spool in the event of a last minute survival rush. Patience is paramount I would imagine and moving along the beach is all part of controlling the fish without putting too much tension on the line. This is the principle we use when Light Rock Fishing (LRF). Usual line test strength is 3 - 4 lbs which has been used to tame bass to 12 lb, Pollock to 7 lb and Thick lipped mullet to 5/6 lb. The only way to succeed with lines of this ilk is to tighten up the drag only enough so that there is a level of resistance to wear down the fishes energy but not be so tensioned as to risk breaking the low test line. Literally a fine line (excuse the pun) to satisfy both criteria.

The Australian Salmon and Tailor fish that double up as live bait, would be most welcome in our waters especially at this time of year. The photograph shows a rig that would not be to far off what would be used for tope fishing over here.

I suspect that having read your posts and the tales of the fish you catch, some are mulling over the prospects of visas and emigration!.

Please keep in touch and once again thank you for your correspondence,

Best regards,

Ticker (Derek)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Good evening John (b),

Good to hear from you again. Well, what do you think of the answer to your question about bait for these Australian Smoothhounds. Two very good pictures of the young lady holding healthy looking examples of each bait species. I think we would be more than happy if either of these fish were swimming in our waters, but it is an indication of the size and quality of big fish that swim off Jon D's beaches, that the specimens in the pictures are considered live bait. Jon explains that a flank off of these fish is used as hook bait, but they are also hooked and allowed to swim out to sea as live bait.

P.S. Have you had any success on that articulated wooden lure that you designed?

Best regards,

Ticker (Derek)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,356 Posts
This is a 14 kg one my youngest daughter caught at 7 yrs old while her 9 yr old sister managed to outdo her with 13 seven gill sharks up around 50 kg on the same day.


All were taken on light spin gear using around 7 kg of drag. We push line much more than I ever did in the UK, back there I used to roughly fish about 1/3 the stated breaking strain where here I go 50/50 or more. One of the first braids I started using in the UK was berkley fireline and used it for many years without any issues. If you check out the true braking strain of that braid in 20 lb you will find it breaks well over 50 lb Paulus Just Fishing this means Im able to use drag setting well above even what I used to for porbeagles and threshers back home, so while I say light line fishing we are normally using drags in excess of 15 lb. Try putting 15 lt of water in a bucket and lift it off the ground with beach gear and you will see that we are not just leading a shark up and down the beach gradually tiring it but putting some serious hurt on the fish.

Taking on tuna, marlin, kingfish etc from the shore or rocks is often done in my area and these fish need to be controlled as quickly as possible.
Most anglers consider the mullaway to be the holy grail of beach fishing, they look like big gold fish taste good when over the 1m and can give a pretty good fight. Like all fishing it takes time even out here to learne when and where to catch fish.

cheers Jon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good morning Jon (D),

It would seem that whilst we are struggling with juvenile codling (6-10 ins) and under M.L.S (Pin) whiting (6-8 inches) and an unbelievable conveyor belt sequence of horrendous, powerful storm surges of which there is no sign of a halt, you and your young daughters are spoilt for choice in terms of big and medium size prey fish from both shore and boat. Amazing pictures of your daughters with their captures, taken on light tackle, so I guess you and your family have few regrets about leaving the Isle of Wight for such idyllic surroundings.

Casting my mind back to the late 60's/ early 70's, Tope fishing from the shore with a group of Swansea friends, was the closest I have ever got to emulating your experiences and albeit on a much smaller scale. At the time, the mainline was 15 lbs test Sylcast monofilament with a leader of 100 lb test attached to a 5 or 6/0 hook crimped to a wire snood length. Bait was frozen sides of herring elasticated to the hook The best fish landed at the time was weighed at 54 lbs and immediately dropped circa 19 pups not long after the weigh-in.
Average landing weight range was 20 to maybe 30 lb. There was one particular rock mark on the Gower Peninsular that had a reputation for throwing up regular bass in the top end of single figures with the odd double in amongst them. All of a sudden there was a spate of these bass being landed with bite marks and huge chunks taken out of them. The general consensus was that they were being attacked by a species of shark, possibly porbeagles because this was a deep water mark. A big effort was put in and the appropriate tackle applied to see if the speculation could be confirmed by a landing but nothing came of it.

Once again thank you for those photographs and the full explanation of your techniques for landing the shark from the shore.

Best regards,

Ticker (Derek)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Good evening members,

If you have been following this thread you could not have missed the photographs of Jon D's two daughters (7 & 9 years) with their respective catches of a Gummy Shark 14 kg (circa 31 lbs) and the Seven Gill Shark (Notorynchus cepedianus), one of 13 caught on the day to 50 kg (110 lbs.). The Australian Smoothhound/ Gummy Shark has been the subject of intense scrutiny in these pages, but curiosity prompted a look into the stats etc for the Seven Gill Shark. Comparing the photographs of the two sharks, the most prominent,visual difference is the width and size of the heads. An alternative name for the 7 gill is Broadnose shark for obvious reasons. Most sharks are equipped with 5 gills, and the 7 gill is unique in this respect.

Factual and reliable data on the Seven Gill is relatively hard to find so the following statistics would appear to be the best available. The maximum reported weight/ length is 107 kg (236 lb.)/ 3 m (9.8 ft.), with the average length circa 1.5 m (4.9 ft). Sexual maturity is reached when they achieve- Males 1.50m (4.9 ft), Females 2.20 m (7.2 ft.). Life expectancy is around 49/ 50 years.

You would not like to be sharing the same patch of water with this aggressive, easily roused species which has a record of unprovoked attacks on humans.

Best regards,

Ticker (Derek)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,356 Posts
Thanks Derek you certanly seem to enjoy the research side of things. The fishing isn't like anything I ever experienced back home, the seasons and species are quite unpredictable. Normally this time of year we have 24c water and heaps of fish, unfortunately we've got 19c and very few of the expected warm water species. Heading offshore about 20 miles you hit a raging current of hot water around 25c pushing south toward Tasmania, normally this is up against the shore.

Those 7 gill sharks were in plaque numbers a few years ago for just one season, they often hunt seals in packs (in an area I dive) among other more pelagic species. One shark we do have to take special care of are the wobbygongs, they look like giant dogfish or huss. They are often in very shallow water where we snorkeled for lobsters and have a bulldog grip if they latch on. I will often grab them by the tail to move them on from a decent lobster hole but they have the ability to swing round and grab the tip of their tale and your hand, they will also follow you back to the surface if you upset them too much. Having something to jam in their mouths is often handy but often you dont spot them as you crawl among the kelp.

Would of loved to of caught some of those tope you mentions from the shore, I imagine they would be similar to the gummy's here. I also used to use the sylcast 15 lb, it was incredibly tough for 15.

I didnt move out with the family from the UK so my wife is a local, our eldest is now 13 and has just passed her scuba licence. She also freedives down around 10 m and loves the challenge of chasing down fish then catching them by the tail (then lets them go). Im sure they would still love the UK though as they are the kind of kids that can spend a day looking under plants etc in the gargen to see what lives there.
Cheers JonD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Good evening Jon D,

Unfortunately as the heading suggests, Blighty is suffering some of the worst winter weather for centuries. Catastrophic flooding is swamping the South and West of England and Wales to unprecedented levels. From the air, the pictures are reminiscent of those experienced in places like Bangladesh or Pakistan. There is even talk of a plan to implement a "Controlled Retreat" of whole villages, towns etc in low lying areas close to the sea, over future decades. The blame for the surges and the continuous rain is placed fair and square on Climate change, and its direct effect on the relocated position of the Jet Stream which is feeding a conveyor belt of low pressure systems at the U.K. The River Thames and the River Severn together with associated tributaries, have flooded deep into the surrounding urban areas with consequences that are forcing residents to be evacuated for their own safety. No doubt about it Jon, we are in a sorry state on this island. Transport both road and rail has been severely hampered due to flooding and whole sections of Rail mainlines have been made impassable. I don't know how much of this you see on your television news bulletins, Jon, but even the Prime Minister is predicting that it will take months even years to get things back to some sort of normality. Obviously it is inevitable that all this disturbance is having an effect on both the Freshwater and Saltwater fishing activities.

I apologise for heading up this post with such a crescendo of bad news but it does put into perspective the quality of life that your location in Australia provides for your family and especially your two daughters. From the photographs, the water looks crystal clear which is a big asset if lure fishing. Am not too keen to make the acquaintance of those "wobbygongs",they sound like creatures that should be given a wide berth. Upsetting one of those and having it follow you to the surface, must be size 10 scary! Back in the 60's/70's , it was not unusual for Porbeagle sharks to be caught and landed in the upper Bristol Channel by charter boats sailing out of Porthcawl, my local Harbour. At about that time, I owned a fishing Rod building business mainly designing and building specialist light tackle saltwater rods. I was commissioned by a local charter boat owner to design and build custom shark rods for his customers, all fitted out with Roller tip and side rings. Fortunately they proved fit for purpose and made a significant contribution to many local porbeagle landings.

On the subject of braid, as was evident via some of the reply posts on that other thread, it is not universally accepted or used here in Wales and most still put their faith in monofilament and fluorocarbon lines. I must admit that my preference remains with monofilament/ fluorocarbon and am reluctant to change. Braid has had a bad press with the vagaries of "wind knots" and the perceived risks of "snapping" when used in broken ground.

Of course, you are enjoying the benefits of summer in Australia so please bear a thought for us when having a tinny ,

Best regards,

Ticker (Derek)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,356 Posts
Good to hear back again Derek, yes we do get to see a lot on the news here about the UK (and the US freeze) I also have family scattered all over the UK so never to far behind what's going on.

Here we are also constantly having extreme weather problems, though it tends to not get the publicity of the bigger nations. We have a constant flow of helicopters flying close by coming in for maintenance from fighting fires, house's are being lost every day and thats just close to where I live (now in the hundreds). Other parts of the country are having cyclones and floods. I honestly can't remember the last time I saw decent rain in the last two years, our gardens are baked hard dust bowls and this is in an area which normally gets good rain. Farmers are destroying stock as they have no food or water for them, it goes on and on. Not only do we get floods but the flodds even get choppy up my street.

When we get rain it seems to all come in one day, heres a few shots from a local shower.


I didnt relise mono was still so popular over there, I would of thought with the strong current and the ability to fish with such light gear everyone would be on braid. We have an incredible choice out here in fishing gear much the same as the US, our prices are also relatively low enabling us to try out many different braids etc to find the good from the bad. My beach braids are different from my boat braids, some have coatings to stop wind knots etc, I have around 50+ outfits (partly from having a family of fisho's) and only two have mono. The mono outfits are for catching small mullet and garfish where line below 6 lb in braid is just too fiddly for me.

We do have dirty brown water more up the top of OZ, barramundi country, they love the lures in the dirty water and if anything I find lures less effective in the clearer water unless flicking around the washes.

Feel free to send some rain this way, Im sure there are a few farmers who would give you a skinny cow or two.
JonD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
I don't think that we in Australia are immune from climate change. Here in Adelaide we have had 13 days above 40C since Christmas and are about to receive a deluge of Biblical proportions in the next two days. It has been the hottest spell recorded,since records have been kept.
We do have better fishing though.:laugh:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,356 Posts
I don't think that we in Australia are immune from climate change. Here in Adelaide we have had 13 days above 40C since Christmas and are about to receive a deluge of Biblical proportions in the next two days. It has been the hottest spell recorded,since records have been kept.
We do have better fishing though.:laugh:
Forecasts are predicting we are also going to get hit with the rain further north, maybe it will wash the dust that used to be garden away.

Do you ever venture across to Yalata for the big jews (mullaway)?
Cheers JonD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Good morning Jon D and Spinyeel,

Thank you for your interesting posts and those photographs say it all Jon. Likewise spinyeel, the whole of the U.K. is today once again bracing itself for the latest in a long line of weather events due to hit the west and south of England, Wales and the north including Scotland. With similar reports of freak events from both sides of the planet, there is little room left for any scepticism about the reality of Climate change. It is inconceivable that all this extreme disruption both in the climate and particularly oceans, waters etc will not have a detrimental effect on seabed topography, species behaviour and change aspects of the norm in angling terms for a very long time, if not forever. I am on the verge of my 75th Birthday, and looking back over the many decades of sea fishing, within a reasonable tolerance, fish behaviour in terms of arrival and departure from our waters has been relatively constant and "predictable" but looking back over,say, the past decade expectations have not been realised.

There is a "new" phenomenon sweeping the U.K., imported from Japan and Europe in circa 2009. Light Rock Fishing (LRF) has really caught the imagination of an ever growing band of anglers who recognise the virtues, untapped resources, and FUN to be had by targeting hither to "unknown" mini species on ultra light, scaled down tackle. This style of fishing is promoted under the "Fun and Stress Free Fishing" banner personified by the popular "Street Fishing" in the town rivers of France, like the Seine for example. Age and reducing physical ability means I no longer can climb up and down cliffs to favourite marks, tip-toe with balance across broken ground after bass, so this innovation allows me personally to continue the pleasures of sea angling (or freshwater fishing) from the comfort and convenience of such venues as harbours, docks and marinas. Here in south Wales we have a very active and successful contingent of LRF-ers who are pulling off feats of light tackle fishing beyond any previous concepts. The very fact that obscure mini species are being targeted and brought to prominence, has widened the scope of knowledge. In the U.K. the criteria used to determine if a species is truly a mini, is when the maximum growth rate does not exceed One Pound (454 grams). The generally accepted tackle specification for pure LRF-ing is as follows:

ROD : Usually 6 - 7 ft in assembled length, designed to cast 0.5 to 7 grams ( The tips are incredibly thin and sensitive!)
REEL: Usually a 500 or 1000 rated fixed spool reel is chosen to balance the outfit.
LINE : The choice is Braid, mono or Fluorocarbon in real time test strength of 3 - 4 lb test maximum.
HOOKS : Often barbless, small freshwater hooks.


My favourite technique is "Drop-Shot" but my friends have been very successful with very light weighted Jig Heads. I must admit that I thoroughly enjoy the simplicity of this technique coupled with a choice of Soft Plastic lures and imitation red sandworms a la Berkeley Gulp or the Power Isome versions.

I would be interested to read if LRF-ing has taken off in Australia and maybe some examples of the minis being targeted.

Once again, thank you for your posts and photographs, stay safe!

Best Regards,

Ticker (Derek)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,356 Posts
Not sure if its quite the same but have a look at Australian fishing: Iso - The new age of rock fishing the site has some very interesting stories and helpful videos.
Ive done some rock fishing but having three kids to keep an eye on I find keeping them in our boat or on the beach much easier. Rock fishing is the most dangerous sport out here which tends to bring people onto ledges in huge swells that can't swim.

JonD
 
1 - 20 of 65 Posts
Top