Monday, 29 October 2012

Shark Mackeral and Sharked Mackeral

Driving past the Quobba Sheep Station brought on a sense of excitement about the day ahead.

When i arrived at the ledge i found two of the station's little Damaras Sheep stuck between a rock and a hard place. I chased them around for ages trying to catch them and eventually they were safe.

The morning started off with a hook up within the first half an hour but a Shark made a quick meal of it. Within the first two hours, i lost another two nice fish to Sharks. Eventually i managed to get a nice Spanish Mackeral past the Sharks and washed it up on the lower ledge. Getting into position with the gaff, the next wave washed my fish off again and shredded the line in the process. After that, some more sharkings and another bust off while trying to land a fish. This was some of the best fishing i ever experienced and all i had to show for it was a Mackeral carcass. If you can't beat them ....... join them.

This rock was very porous. The waves would create little blowholes and a large cavity inside the rock filled with air and whistled out a hole giving the rock it's name "Whistling Rock". As i watched the sun go down and listened to the whistling, i decided to try another spot the next day as i struggled to land a fish solo.

The ledge i found was much better to land a fish, however the Sharks were never far away.

When i hooked this Shark Mackeral, i watched a Shark chase it and the Mackeral gave it his all to get away with a blistering run, at times almost leaving the water. I stood there with my mouth wide open watching the speedy fella. then he came straight in and it seemed he outran the Shark. By the time he was up on the rocks, he was buggered and i had to keep him.

After that i managed to get another Mackeral past the Sharks. This one i think was a Grey Mackeral.

As i was hoping for a Cobia, i often let the lure sink to the bottom and on one occasion this Gold Spot Trevally picked up the lure, which rounded up the trip.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

First Spanish Mackeral

After chasing Spanish Mackeral halfway around the country and loosing a couple of nice fish along the way, i was keen to try again in Quobba. Even though it wasn't the best time of year, there was still a chance of a smaller fish. I also heard plenty of stories about the sharks which regularly eat hooked fish in front of frustrated anglers.
On the way in, i went past the famous "King waves Kill" sign which was a reminder of the dangers of rock fishing.

After having a look at the Blowhole and checking out the ledges, i settled in for the night high up on the cliff.

The first day was interesting to say the least. The sharks i heard about were visible from the time the morning sun hit the water.

The first hookup came my way mid morning and after a blistering run the fish came within about 10 meters of the ledge when a shark appeared from the left and with one swoop ate my fish, lure and all.
Amazed and excited about what just happened i re rigged and cast the new lure towards the horizon. Maybe an hour later, the exact same thing happened after 2 sharks moved in for the kill. Later in the afternoon i saw a Mackeral close to 10kg grab my lure and took off with it in a hurry. My plan was to freespool when i saw the sharks and as soon as i saw them hone in on my fish, i backed off the drag and the Mackeral took off again. I repeated the process but eventually the sharks got their prize and i was left fishless again.

Here is a short clip of three Whaler Sharks at my feet:

The second day was much a repeat of the day before with the exception of two GT;s getting mauled as well. One of the Trevally must have been well over ten kilo's and when he saw the rows of razor sharp coming for him, he put on the afterburners to get away but he eventually got nailed as well.
Getting frustrated, i spent the rest of the day fishing the bottom and pulled up a few colourful reef fish, which were released of course.

Determined not to let the Sharks get the better of me, the next day started with a Longtom on a lure.

A short while later i saw another Mackeral chase down my lure and i was away. After the run i reeled in the fish closer and to my surprise there wasn't a shark in sight and i got the fish under an overhang of the ledge where i could land the Mackeral. It wasn't a big fish by Quobba standards but i was stoked to finally land one.

Fishing solo always has it's dangers and i took my time climbing up the hill, back to the car as there is no phone reception at this isolated but beautiful and wild place.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Record GT?

Yesterday i hooked a Sailfish and got blown away in spectacular fashion, so i went back to the drawing board and made some rigs with heavier 49strand wire, opposed to the single strand, in case i would hook another Billfish. I was very excited to get a bait in the water and at first light i rigged up a rather small garfish and sent him out on a long drift.

Around 8am i was working the garfish, winding in the line at the time when i saw a splash in the far distance and came up solid. The hookup was about 400meters out and i couldn't see what it was but it felt like a shark. Over the next 30 minutes i gained line bit by bit and the whole time i was convinced i had a fair sized shark on, except it took a fast moving bait. Then i saw a fin and it looked nothing like a shark. The fish turned one more time and i followed him down the beach when i finally saw what i had hooked, it was a Giant Trevally. Instantly i knew it was bigger than the 23.3kg GT i landed a couple of weeks ago on the popper. The fish looked spent and i made a call to keep him.

I chucked him on the roof and took him to town to see what my options were on getting a wall mount done.

Unfortunately there is no taxidermist in town and the freezer truck was just too expensive. As it turns out, the record for the "landbased game" category was still up for grabs and the guys from the Exmouth Gamefishing Club were more than happy to weigh the fish, do all the necessary measurements and paperwork. It pulled the scales down to 26.7kg

I will send in my rig and line tomorrow, which i hope is within regulations of ANSA and await to see if it's accepted as a new record. The neighbour at the caravan park was also pleased to make more Nummus out of the meat.

Update on the record:
Unfortunately my 24kg line tested at 25.02kg and therefore i had to submit for the 37kg record which was accepted.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Exmouth Shark Mackeral

After fishing the shallow water at Exmouth, i was keen to try and balloon into some deeper water again. With the Ningaloo Reef everywhere this was a challenge but i found a promising spot near the lighthouse. The day started with two Black Tip Reef Sharks which were released and a School mackeral which came home for the BBQ.

 The next day another shark took a bait and this one turned out to be a Spinner Shark with beautiful colours.

When i saw this Mackeral come closer to the shore, i thought i had finally caught my first Spanish but as it turned out it was my first Shark Mackeral. Not a bad size one either. While i took the photo, the Humpback Whales splashed around in the background, which were moving south constantly.