I needed a decent paddle and that meant Woody Pt, and as Jimbo wanted to try for whiting down that way, a plan was hatched. We launched from Scarborough (Scarby) beach in perfect sunshine and into 4 knots of SW'er.
I was trolling a 5" Z-man on an 4-8 kg rod, with a HB on the other lighter rod. Jimbo trolled a HB, and approaching Osbourne Pt his rod bent over nicely to reward him with a 40 cm snapper. By the time we got to Redcliffe Pt my Woolie's bladder was crying for relief, so I reeled in the HB and left the Z-man dangling down a couple of metres, while Jimbo paddled off ahead of me. Relief at last. Container in hand, I was just set to 'syphon the python' when the 8 kg rod bent over. Bugger! Have you ever tried to stop just as a pee is one millisecond away from happening?
I called Jimbo, "I'm on!" Jimbo turned in his tracks as I turned the fish for the first time. A rather spirited tug-a war began....no big runs, but a fair bit of power from the fishy end of the rope. Jimbo arrived to witness me netting a decent estuary cod (no monster ...they get to over 300 lbs), but my best by far from a yak. Yum yum cod. Things were looking decidedly UP. (BTW, do not put your fingers into the gills of a cod! They have gill rakers like teeth, Use lip grips only.)
Gill rakers like teeth .... Use lip grips only
We headed south for 4 kms to the whiting grounds. We baited paternoster rigs using # 4 circle hooks and over a few slow hours Jimbo hooked 3 decent winter whiting, AND a 38 cm school mackeral on whiting gear! I hooked a dismal whiting speciman, and things were looking decidedly DOWN (for me).
We trolled north and tried for whiting again for zilch. That is until north of Redcliffe Pt when my light rod zinged, for a pan sized snapper. Looking UP again.
Further north Jimbo deployed the whiting rig again and scored one more whiting for a delicious dinner, then a 40 cm flattie, again on the whiting rig. Having dinner, and a good paddle, he elected to go home, while I decided on one last drift, so I headed seawards for a couple of kms into the light ESE'er.
No sooner had I turned to start the drift when the heavier rod buckled right over, with a blistering line loss rate. Instant heartbeat ...
But the words in this case should be more like ....
Heartbeat - why do you miss, when my rod bends so freely? Heartbeat - why does the reel scream, stay in my memory?
I knew this was no ordinary fish. But could I land it?
Grabbing the rod I endured the first run of 50 metres or so, then cranked the drag and set the hooks, only to have more line stripped relentlously against a serious drag drag setting. Oh crap! The other line is still out. I lightened off the drag, replaced the rod in the holder, and frantically began reeling in the other line. Safe! This was a fish I had never encountered from the yak....could I land it? I made a quick call to Jimbo, who was on the beach, getting out..." I'm on with a big fish!" He replied, "I'll come out to give you a hand."
The battle between man and beast had only just begun. Or is it child and beast? I was so excited, I was like a kid with $ 20 in a candy store, and this could have been my undoing. The fish seemed to have unlimited power, and would run freely for a while, then I would recover 20 metres, only to lose it again. There was a lot of line out, and I started to worry about a shark terminating the battle. To and fro for another 10 minutes, thinking, adjusting drag, concerned about line or knot failure, and heartbeat. Heartbeat.
Eventually, I finally began to win some line, but as it got closer it started diving deep, even under the yak several times. If it hadn't been for the 'snapper like' head shakes, I would have called it for a longtail. Eventually I glimpsed colour! Glorious pink and silver, and big, and time to back the drag off a bit. I grabbed the net, then realised it may be far too big for the net, so I dropped the net onto the fish hatch. WRONG! I might need that hatch open. Fumbling for the gaff (the gaff was forward mounted) proved difficult, cause my gut is too large and I can't bend in the middle (how did that happen? ). I rarely catch a fish that requires a gaff, but I finally got it and unsheathed it. So I now have a net covering the fish hatch, which I am about to need, an unsheathed gaff on top of the net, and here comes Jimbo (the resident snapper king).
A couple of minutes later I have a floater (almost), and I am bug eyed and dangerously excited.....heartbeat 180 +. Can't think straight. Here comes Jimbo...don't stuff this up! He'll never believe me!
First gaff shot is successful, but when I lift it tears out, and off it flips. Holy crap...theres line wrapped around every part of the reel. If it runs now I'm stuffed. Here's Jimbo. It floats again. One more gaff shot on the floater, and its deep and secure! Hallelujah! Jimbo's here. The lip grips are in, the camera is clicking. There are tangles everywhere, like a birch broom in a fit, but I have my PB snap on the yak and am a tad excited. But only for 5 + hours. Settle petal.
Jim reckons I short-cutted protocol. It's supposed to take a few years to get from 59 cms to 82 cms. Beginners luck only. (No skills were employed in catching these fish).
Thanks for the support yesterday Jimbo, and the advice and encouragement to persist, and of course the photos to record the lucky moment.
So as it turned out, it was 'Up, down, up and up - and my arms are sore.
Last edited by kayakone on Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:15 am, edited 7 times in total.
Whaler 1.5 m; Tailor 65 cm; Bream 43 cm; Snapper 85 cm; Flathead 98 cm; Estuary cod 55cm; Spotted mackeral 85 cm; Papuan trevally 100 cm & 20 kg; Barracuda 100 cm; Spanish 77 cm; Sting ray got me 175 cm
Life without any risks is not worth living. (quote 'goanywhere')
I've paid my dues Time after time I've done my sentence But committed no crime And bad mistakes I've made a few I've had my share of sand kicked in my face But I've come through (And we mean to go on and on and on and on)
We are the champions my friends And we'll keep on fightin' till the end We are the champions, We are the champions No time for losers 'cause we are the champions
Hey Trevor, Great Snapper and in the end it's about having fun out there and enjoying the experience with good mates ,sometimes we just lucky to be in the write place at the write time ........today was just my day!
I live with fear every day......
but sometimes she lets me go fishing!!!!