White Spotted Shovelnose on 'Old Faithful'

I had the urge to visit a great fishing spot I used to fish about 30 years ago north of Wedge with mates in the Offshore Angling Club. We regularly pulled some very large Tailor and Mullaway from the beach during the cold winter nights.

Anyway, I jumped out of the cot at about 3:00am on Saturday (a task made easier because the bride was away), loaded the gear and headed off. My plan was explore the area, hopefully remember the spots and pick a nice gutter ready for the evening. I arrived only to find that the spot I had in mind is now part of the Target Rock Sanctuary Zone. A shame as the spot looked really promising - no weed, an obvious deep drop off from the beach and gutters running to the reef systems either end of the beach. After reminiscing for a while and thinking about what might have been I decided to look for a legal sopt between Wedge & Lancelin.

After checking out heaps of spots and finding tons of weed everywhere I settled for a less likley looking but much less weedy spot. I did the usual and started turfing mulies out - I was actually using a rod and reel that I have had for 30 years - A Butterworth 7153 teamed with one of my trusty Alvey 651Cs (not the original line though). I've bought many new rods and reels since but I still like to drag this from the shed sometimes. The mulies were getting torn to pieces in a matter of seconds by plagues of whiting. It was the same all along this stretch of beach.

After turfing mulies and poppers at the edge of a nearby reef without success (with a different rod) I decided to try a live whiting. I've caught both Tailor and Mullaway on Whiting before so I thought you never know... plus they were pretty easy to catch on gulp plastic worms and small jighead. Not much happened for a couple of hours but just on dusk the set Alvey rod screamed off. At first I had it picked for a Ray of some sort but as I have been surprised before I decided to respect the creature and play safe. The runs were extended, not the sort of short intermittent type of runs you expect from a Ray. Plus this thing had much more stamina than a Ray (and nearly more than me!). It seemed too weighty to be a Mullaway plus I didn't sense any of the headshakes often felt from a large scalefish. I didn't think the runs were fast enough for a Whaler type shark so I started to wonder if it could be a 'Whitespot'.

Did I mention I was on my own? After dancing with this thing up and down the beach for about 30 mins or so I started to wonder how I would gaff it if I won the battle. As the band played its final song luckily the last dance took us back towards the car. Sensing that I might actually beat this thing I eased the drag off enough to grab my 10 foot pole gaff from the roof of the car. Then it was a case of juggling the gaff and giving the fish heaps. In the failing light I saw the telltail two dorsal fins of the 'whitespot' only about 30 meters out. That final 30 meters seemed to take as long as the previous fight but I finally managed to get the creature in the wash. After 5 or 6 failed attempts I finally managed to sink the gaff in and drag the beast up on the beach.

I was knackered but not as knackered as my 6 foot white spotted friend. Time for a couple of beers and a feed. The morning saw more of the same - mulies hammered by Whiting. There was an unseasonal howling Easterly blowing and if I hadn't been so far down the beach baitcasting mulies, I may have gotten back to my Alvey rod in time after something grabbed the Whiting under a baloon and screamed over the reef. So, not the spot I had in mind or the species but at least I scored something... and on my old faithful beach outfit. Cheers for reading.


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Troy Summers's picture

Posts: 408

Date Joined: 14/08/11

 Great read!!! do they eat

Mon, 2012-07-09 20:56

 Great read!!! do they eat alright??



Vinesh87's picture

Posts: 2747

Date Joined: 02/04/11

Nice one, great to land it on

Mon, 2012-07-09 21:13

Nice one, great to land it on your own!!

Posts: 2909

Date Joined: 27/12/06

nice report

Tue, 2012-07-10 06:44

my club wont fish that area, they are a few people who seem to think there are not many fish there. 

I know better

dkonig82's picture

Posts: 2091

Date Joined: 06/07/10

Good shovel, those things go

Tue, 2012-07-10 09:33

Good shovel, those things go hard.


When asked by a non-fisherman 'how many fishing rods do you really need?' the correct answer is either:

n+1 (where n is the number of fishing rods you currently own); or

n-1 (where n is the number of fishing rods which would cause your significant other to dump you.