Sunday, 26 February 2012

Sharked

My reel screamed off around 3pm yesterday and straight away it felt like a massive shark. After the first hour i still haven't gained any line and twice it looked like i was getting spooled. The fish took me high up on the rocks as it headed deeper into the bay.


He ran further along the bay and we prepared to climb down the other side to avoid the bommies which dotted the bay.




Then suddenly the fish turned and headed back out of the bay and after about 2 hours it still went for a screaming run.
Here's some video of it:


After 3 hours it looked like he was coming in and we all were keen to have a look at just how big this fish was, when suddenly the leader broke. With disappointment we found it had been bitten off. What a huge Shark this must have been.


The next day my reel screamed of again at 3pm and when i felt the weight i called it for another Shark. This one although still heavy didn't feel anywhere near as big as the one on the day before.
After about one hour we identified it as a nice Bronze Whaler of about 100kg and we gaffed it in the lower jaw and just behind the dorsal so we could slide it up on the rocks for a quick photo and then we released it back into the ocean.


Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Ripper Jack

After the washout last time, i prepared myself with a Bivi and Tarp and hit the road for another assault on the majestic Black Marlin.


We all patiently waited for the range to open and i saw some familiar faces. Jack "Mr.Pop", Rob Barrett and Goshie were amongst a few with Marlin on their mind.
Once the gate opened the race was on again to get a prime spot and this time i set up my pool which i shared with Goshie and my tarp went up which would be my home in shandy town for the weekend.



The first night and all through the next day we experienced "Bait Draino" as Goshie puts it and only one Slimie plus a couple of Bonito were caught. I diden't have a bait in the water all day.
The next night saw a small run of Slimies around 10pm and with 2 slimies in the pool out of the 10 caught i was feeling better about the day ahead.
Around 10am all hell broke loose when Jack's reel screamed off. Here is some video i took of the most amazing thing i experienced in fishing:




122kg of Black Marlin from the rocks. When i shook Jacks hand we both had tears in our eyes. Mine were purely out of joy and appreciation for what he had been through for the last 20 years to get to this point.

With Jacks Marlin like a splinter in my mind, i extended the weekend and hiked to another spot high above the water to find someone fishing i already knew and i made the steep decent to the ledge below.


I was relieved when i made it down with my heavy gear and once at the ledge, i found out a Marlin was caught the day before and was hanging on a rope as it was too heavy to lift up. Another rope was secured around the tail and we waited for a boat to arrive to pick up the Marlin. This one weighed in at 118kg.




The following 2 days were tough going with bait hard to catch and rain settling in again.
Once again, the capture of a Black Marlin eluded me, but the experience of what i saw will stay with me forever.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

A King and a Queen

As the weather cleared up for a couple of days the hunt was on again for some line burning fish. With the abundance of Bonito it didn't take long to catch one and send him out as bait, in the hope a Marlin would make his way down the coast.















In the meantime spinning for Kingfish passed the time and i ended up with 2 nice Kingfish, one just before the "Queen Mary" motored past. Hence the title "A King and a Queen".





Friday, 3 February 2012

JB Marlin

The currents looked promising for a possible Black Marlin off the rocks at Jervis Bay, so another road trip was in order. Like so many keen LBG anglers i watched Phil Atkins DVD "Marlin of the rocks" and always wanted to fish the legendary "Tubes" platform. These days the weapons range only opens on the weekend and i decided to fish the outer ledges for 2 days first. Once arriving at the Jervis Bay National Park, anticipation grew.
The walk in to my chosen ledge was a long one and once there i saw the water alive with Frigates, Bonito and Salmon. Feeling my lure indicated the water was very warm as well, all promising signs. It didn't take long to catch some Bonito which i sent out as live baits and after a few hrs watching some Hammerhead Sharks swimming close to my bait i saw a boil close to my bait and thought a Hammerhead engulfed my Bonito only to see the Shark tail turned into a Black Marlin tail and a local named Jack jelled out "it's a Marlin, it's huge" and next thing the bill was sticking out of the water before the Marlin went on a screaming run. With my 50W howling in freespool i waited and then hit it. Jack yelled out "hit it again, harder" so i hit it twice more and to my dismay the hook pulled. Devastated. This was the second time in 12 months as i lost one on the 12th of February 2011, after a big Marlin done me over.
The next day i walked in at 2am, hoping to catch some Slimie Mackerel at night for baits. We had some cooler water and the only action we saw was a Shark giving my live bait a crew cut.
The weather also went from bad to worse with showers turning to solid rain and after a solid day of not much, i left this spectacular ledge and get ready for "The Tubes"

After a solid night of rain i waited in line for the weapons range to open and to race the other LBG nutters down to the ledge. It was on for young and old.
The rain was supposed to turn into showers and at this stage i was starting to worry if my already wet gear would see me through the night if this bad weather continued.

Once down the ledge i found a spot for my pool where i thought i would be able to keep the slimie mackerel alive during the night by continuously bucketing water. It was going to be tough in any case by myself. Tempers flared as one crew took over most of the ledge with pools and tarps to sleep under. All the other guys were clearly more prepared for bad weather than i was but i was determined to soldier on.
This is how it's done properly:

By 10pm, fishing for bait was well underway but it became clear to me after my last set of clothes were soaked, i had to pull the pin.
All up a great few days at a historic LBG location and some lessons learned once again.