Saturday, December 25, 2010

Soft plastics with a bit of popper thrown in

Some times one just needs to try new things in order to break out of a mold.
Rosie and I have been popper fishing for quite awhile now. As you know we love it and do alright in the fish category. The problem is, a lot of the better eating fish are found a little deeper in the water column. Therefore one must try a new style of fishing to get down were the tasty fish live.
So the plan is set to do a bit of deep water soft plastic jigging. Now I have read heaps, watched loads of videos and talked to everyone I know who does this type of fishing. I did not want to fail at this.
We head out of the break water to a flat sea with high hopes and new ideas.
From Soft plastic jigging
The first few spots and drifts produce nothing. We do however encounter a pod of spinner dolphins mucking around. Unfortunately for you all we are we too engrossed in fishing to shoot any photos of them.
We then move to an area that has a lot of small reefs in the 20 to 30mt range.
Right away we find the fish and I work out the technique for catching them.
From Soft plastic jigging
A close up of this beautiful fish.
From Soft plastic jigging
Now that I have figured this out the fish start to come in with every drop of the jig.
From Soft plastic jigging
Now Charlie is getting in on the action.
From Soft plastic jigging
And then Rosie hooks up.
From Soft plastic jigging
Now young cousin Marky has figured it out and he starts to catch fish.
From Soft plastic jigging
From Soft plastic jigging
We continue to catch these cods and trouts for awhile. Then Rosie gets bored with all this jigging and she starts popping.
Tossing around her popper on 30lb gear while surrounded by coral reefs that just beg to break you off.
Of course she is going to hook up. And it is going to be a big fish that takes every trick we know to extract it from the depths.
From Soft plastic jigging
Once we have settled down after Rosies GT the wind starts to really kick. It is getting rough but we fish on.
Of course Rosie is still throwing a popper with her 30lb gear and wouldn't you know it she hooks up to a really big fish this time.
I jump behind the wheel and the chase/fight is on. At first she thought it was foul hooked by the way the fish was fighting, but it turns out it was just a big GT. After a prolonged battle due to fish size and weather conditions we finally boat a big, fat and pregnant GT. We move quickly to minimize out of water time and snap a few pictures. Then with great fanfare she swims away strong.
From Soft plastic jigging
It has now become so rough that we are having trouble standing in the boat without hanging on. That is the sure sign to head for home.
Ice chest full of great eating fish and Rosie with sore arms.
A success by any measure.

Tight lines

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Making up for lost time with Brendan and Al

It has been too long since we had a good fish. So the best cure for that is to go fishing, and a fishing we went.
My good friend Brendan and his cousin Al, visiting from Hawaii, joined Rosie and myself for a bit of light tackle in shore fishing. Our target species for the day was, Bluefin trevally and Emperors. We were fishing with 15lb to 30lb line.
Let the fun begin.
First on the board was Brendan with a nice 5.5kg Bluefin.

Then it was my turn. I am usually behind the wheel, but I try to steal a few casts here and there.
So, opportunity presented itself and I cast out with my 30lb gear, on the third pop, my lure gets smashed. At first the fish does not realize it has been hooked or doesn't care. It just keeps on swimming casually away.
Then I set the hooks and hold on, as what appears to be a good size GT, turns on the afterburners and tears off too an unseen, razor sharp, refuge.
The fight was exhilarating while it lasted, which was about 30 seconds.
That which connected me to the fish, parted.
The ever familiar sound of braid breaking, CRACK!
Damn, fish 1 Callan 0.
I sulk back to my place behind the wheel, humbled by a fish. Not just any fish, but a Giant Trevally. Pound for pound one of the hardest fighting fish in all the world.
Time for Al to get on the board. He is using a light 15lb set up.
When he hooks up, even to the small ones, it is a sight to see. Especially with a Brassy Trevally. They pull very hard for their size.
From Brendan Al Rosie Callan
Right about now I see another chance for me to get a quick cast in. I fire off a cast with a rather expensive lure. As I make my first pop my lure if hammered. I see the slab side of a Red Bass as it takes my lure and finds an unseen, razor sharp, refuge.
That which connected me to the fish, parted.
The ever familiar sound of braid breaking, CRACK!
Damn, fish 2 Callan 0.
I sulk back to my place behind the wheel, humbled by a fish. Granted, the Red Bass is no slouch. You get exactly 1.3 seconds to turn it towards the boat, if no? Then the ever familiar sound of braid breaking, CRACK!
So we now get back to the people that can actually boat fish.
That would be Al.
Here he is with a beauty of a Bluefin Trevally.
From Brendan Al Rosie Callan
Well now I am feeling a bit out of sorts. With two denied fish and all.
I see another chance, only this time my 30lb is not rigged so I grab my 15lb set up and fire a little stick bait on top of the reef.
I know, what the hell am I thinking, I have been smashed twice already on 30lb, why go to 15lb?
I cannot explain it, but it worked. I finally boat a small Brassy Trevally.
From Brendan Al Rosie Callan
Now Rosie has been a bit quiet up to this point. She has yet to get on the board.
Rest assured that is not going to last.
She manages to boat a nice Bluefin.
From Brendan Al Rosie Callan
Followed by another.
From Brendan Al Rosie Callan
And of course, two in a row was not quite enough to remind us who is boss. She goes and catches Black Tip reef shark.
Now that in and of itself is a good feat, but then Rosie informs me that she wants her popper back.
New ball game.
Namely teeth, and a lot of them, and they are really sharp.
After a great comedy of errors, we manage to extract her popper, leaving the shark without any fishing bling.
From Brendan Al Rosie Callan
All the while Al is quietly boating fish after fish.
From Brendan Al Rosie Callan
This one is a Big Eye Trevally.
From Brendan Al Rosie Callan
A view of our fishing grounds.
From Brendan Al Rosie Callan
And of course, as if to rub in the fact that I was smoked by a Red Bass, Rosie goes and catches a cracker of a specimen.
From Brendan Al Rosie Callan
A great time was had by all.
We enjoyed Al and his stories immensely.
My next post will be a brand new targeted species as well as a personal best for Rosie.
Until then,
Tight lines

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Twisted Leaders Fishing Club Competition

Our newly formed fishing club just had its first fishing comp.
We had 57 entries and a total of 37 fish caught.
The rules were simple, no boats, nets, explosives or poisons allowed.
I put together this video collage with the best fish tale at the end.