Dad and I got to the new Big Angry Fish HQ; Debbie and Gail's new B&B atop the hill overlooking Long Bag on one side and Wyuna Bay on the other.
The view was beautiful, and with bush surrounds the bird life was epic. Tuis darted and dived and in the foreground several cock pheasants wound each other up.
Nik rolled in around 5 and we had a beer or 2 while we planned the next day. The weather would be as good as it could be, with a light SE putting a riffle on the surface. We decided to head up to Port Jackson for a fish around the reef systems with soft plastics. We got to Te Kouma at gentleman's hours, paid $10 (to launch and park on the road!!!) and set off. Stopping on the way north we couldn't find many fish, but dad snagged a goodie on a jig before we departed again. I don't like fishing with the moon in the Western sky by day, but when you gotta you gotta.
Nearing the top of the peninsula we stopped to try and deploy a burley trail back onto a point but the lack of current made the trail a depressing soup that sank straight down. Time for Plan C - to stick bait a reef system that Nik had always wanted to. With a 1.5 m swell rolling in, the proposition looked hairy - just how we like it! We trucked in close, threaded between cray pots and took turns launching the baits. No joy, although occasionally kahawai showed an interest.
|Here be kingfish. Well you'd think so...|
Finally we were riding huge lifting swells in front of the reef before we decided on discretion and moved into the beach to see if we could get some small kahawai for livies. But no, no joy there either.
|Which side of Channel shall we head to Nik? West Side! (We actually went to the East side...)|
So with that, we made the call to go up to Channel Island and toss stick baits. We had a leisurely ride up in the big swell and on arrival were met with an extensive kahawai school, and amazingly for a Saturday, only 1 other boat. The first stick bait was cast in and about 2/3 of the way back to the boat kingis appeared under it. Next cast and BOOM! Fish on.
On Nik's custom Offshore 37kg bait stick it was a comfy fight, despite the swell and backwash from the island.
|A few bucks worth|
Then it was Nik's turn, BOOM! Fish on. He dealt to it quickly and release it soon after.
|Who do I look like...?|
By now the tide was turning and despite trying to tease a king into fly rod range it was futile as the kahawai disappeared. We moved around the island but the bite was done so we set sail back down the gulf to see if we could find a snapper.
|By bye Channel Island|
Dad hit the hay pretty quickly, and had a torrid night. I awoke near midnight myself - the heat was stifling, talk about February weather in November (the nutters will have you believing in Global Warming).
Sunday dawned fine and still. After such a big day yesterday, we'd called an easy day in the gulf looking for fish. The weather was primo. We drifted looking for fish and not finding many. Again the moon loitered in the western sky to piss me off but finally near midday it began to drop. As if someone hit a button, gannets began to circle and circle. We approached them and then it happened; not a full on frenzy but the gannets began to dive. Over went the jigs and we began to hook up. I rigged a ledger rig and dropped down baits. Over the next couple of hours the fishing was sustained without going mental; and the baits out-fished the jigs for size. Another learning - I'll be trying that tactic again.
Bloody awesome weekend. Great company, good fishing. Yeah, life's good.