Monday, November 1, 2010

My first Tuna.

Hi there,

So it all started as usual, with me dropping my gears at Double Haul house on the Friday evening, after work. A quick little chat about what we were going to do, and this is when things started to change. Double Haul told me to get my spinning outfit, and a tray of metal slugs… You can guess my excitement, not only we were to go and chase Sailfish over the coming weekend, but I was going to be allowed to cast some chrome slices to the rampaging Tuna school that we might come across…
Now, some of you might know, that spinning, is definitely one of my favourite form of fishing, and that I was yet to boat a Tuna… Are you starting to get the clue?

So on Saturday, like before most fishing trip, I woke up before the alarm clock rang, kissed my beloved ones, and was waiting on the footpath for Double Haul to arrive.
Like a kid with a head full of hopes.

He arrived and off we went. The drive to Dundee seemed quick, and the tractor guys know their job and got us in the water in no time. The water was flat and nice.

Flat water.

The plan for the weekend was to spend part of the first day chasing the Sailfish, troll a Mack lure at the same time, (yes I like my Mackerel). And then latter in the day, to reef fish for reefies and maybe some Jewfish too…

So once at the mark we deployed the teaser, and started trolling. As a Mackerel lure I throw behind the boat a spanking Max from Halco thinking that this 80gr, long hard body lure would be the best for the job at hand. In less time than it takes to write it, the rod with the Mackerel lure bent and the reel started to sing! No pulsed by the fact that I was not even holding the rod at this precise time I said loudly: I am ON! Double Haul looked at me calmly and said: that was quick… So as I started to reel in my big Mackerel, Double Haul found himself with the task of getting the other rods and the teaser, all of which had just been dropped in the water, back in the boat. I was the deckie having all the fun while the skipper was doing the hard work… Then he came to my side and asked how I was doing. I said that I was just hoping not to loose this Mac.
Then the Mack started to do one or two circle under the boat. Some of you might start to have an idea of what kind of Mack that was, but to me that was an exciting fish pulling his weight. Then Double Haul asked is it a Mack or a Tuna? Why on hearth would he ask such a thing? I had this big Mack lure at the end of a wire trace, and on the hooks of it was an angry big Mack fighting as good as they do…
Well yes once again the experienced skipper knew before the pumped up deckie what was going on, and the Mack turned out to be a long tail tuna.
Now don’t get me wrong, I was still pretty excited about it. My first tuna, and it was big!
But Double Haul said that it was just a baby and put it back in the water.
So that was no Mack…

Then a Mack jumped with one of the squid from the teaser in his mouth instead of my lure… Like if he wanted to tease me…

Then we saw something strange in the water, and decided to get close and investigate.
It was a group of young Manta ray playing in the water, all swimming in circle, a very nice spectacle.

Then another Mack grabbed a lure behind the boat, but it was a sailfish lure, and it did not hook, but ruined the skirt of it… (What a great line for a fisherman: A Mack ruined my skirt…)
So Double Haul said look at your lure mate, it will scream his T.. off pretty soon. And as on clue the rod bent sharply, but the fish once again did not hook.
So we decided to try to put 2 deep divers in the 8 meters range behind the boat to get one of these Macks.
All the while I would cast a metal slug to the school of tuna that we would come across. This lasted for a little while but for not much results, so we decided to go and reef fish a bit. And on the way to the reef marks Double Haul told me to change my metal slug for one with different colours and if possible just chrome.
I had something like that in my tackle box and did as prompted. We come across a new school of tuna, I cast in the middle of them and bang I am on! My first Tuna on the spinning gear! A Macktuna.

Am I happy or what!

This one will be bait! Now catch another one I was said.
So I tried again and Double Haul too got into the action, and he got one before me then I got another one and he did too again, at the same time. We had a double hook up on tuna…
To say that I was happy and exited would be a huge understatement! After reading so many post on the FFF forum, by Doors Off and others about tuna on spin gears, I was finally in the middle of the action! The sight of the water full of flash as the fish splash and jump the birds diving and then your reel screaming and your line peeling… I want it again!
Talking about birds diving, well a little stern dived a few meters before my lure but got one of her wings all tangled up in my line. So we had to cut the line to let her go, and she flew away, so should not have ended up as fish food.

A bird on the line.

So after a little bit of that we decided to go reef fishing.

And we went to one of Double Haul marks and dropped the bait. Got a few little thing stealing ours bait. Then I got a double with two fish on my line! Ok, one very decent fish for what I am used to, and a smaller one that was to go back in the water. But still that was another cool thing for me to have two fishes in on pull.

Two for the price of one.

I also got my first Grinner, or stargazer, or Monkey fish depending who you talk to. I had never seen one in real life before, and that was cool. What a mouth they have!

Grinners are winners, they said...

Then we got a few little red things with big eyes, and we didn’t know what they were, I should have taken a photo of it. We put them back, but they made me think of Elmo, you know all red with two big eyes… Can you tell that I live with a child?

Then Double Haul said that it was not as good as it should be and that we should go to the jewie mark, and just as he said it my line went very tense. Escaping from the reel faster than I could have retrieved it, and I tried. And the line went very stiff, and the fish had bricked me, taking refuge in a hole or god only knows where, and there was no way I could get some line back. So I gave it a bit of slack and it worked the fish moved! Just to find a better spot where I was to not stand a chance… And we had to break the line…
I don’t know what it was, but it was big!

Then we moved to the Jewie spot. Put the line in, waited a bit for not much action… Then my line again with the rod making a parfait arc, pointing at the water. Once again I screamed: I’m on! Then I started to thing Ho boy this thing can pull, and just then the line broke! Two times in a short space of time I had my line broken by some big fish… And this time it might have been a big Jewie… Ha! I retrieved and show the line to Double Haul, the only thing I could say was Look at the line! I just couldn’t believe that this fish had broken it in such a short fight. Make you wonder of the force in some of them…

Then the storm seemed to zone on us so we decided to head closer to shore to tack refuge for the night close to a beach.

First rain, sign of things to come.

Then Double Haul started to put some snag in a fry pan… Mmmmm the smell of the sausage quietly frying after the excitement of the day and the fatigue starting to quick in… That was pretty close to the best thing possible in the world. They didn’t last very long…

Yummy in my tummy!

Then a little chat and we start to hear some splash in the water. Ho ho why not trow a popper in the dark this direction… I start to do it hoping for a Barra, and Double Haul said something like: That must be a shark…
So I told myself ok just a few cast to be sure what it is…
And that is what I did, honest just a few cast, then a few more, then the five last one, then three more and then ho come on just one more after the next one…
By the time I looked in Double Haul direction again, he was fast asleep on his mattress at the back of the boat…
Once again I had been the over enthusiastic guest who had stretched the limits of courtesy… Sorry.
So I tried to install myself for the night at the other end of the boat, and found sleep in absolutely no time.

Then at around 2am it started to rain and we woke up.
The boat drifted a few times on the chop in the dark. So we had to reposition. Once we were confident that she wouldn’t move any more Double Haul put a tarp at one end of the boat and we stoped to receive the rain in our face. So back to sleep it was.
And believe it or not but getting back in this wet sleeping bag in a rocking boat, in the night, the only thing I could think of was tuna… I very rapidly fall back to sleep, with image of tuna bursting the water all over in my eyes and mind.

Then morning came; hot cafe for him, and chocolate cookies for me, life is great!
We were to try for some more tuna fun, but the water was too rough and that would not have been a very good thing to do.

Yet it was beautiful...

So we decided to try for some reefies and jewie again, and wherever we went, we encountered sharks after sharks, small ones, eating all of our bait.
So still wet and cold from the night we decided to go back home, and arriving close to the ramp, we saw some birds that were diving over a small patch of water but no fish bursting the surface. So Double Haul told me that I should trow a popper in the middle of this to see if I could raise what ever was under… As I was pondering which popper to use, he told me that I should try with one of my ceramic lure. And so I did.
After a few cast, I was on, to a nice feisty little Trevally. We let him go to grow a bit more.

On the lure made of ceramic.

And I continued to cast in the same direction. And as the lure was very close to the boat and I was saying look at the action of it in the water, that’s very nice, one or two, I am not sure fish darted after the lure to give it a miss at the last second. I nearly feel on my bum at the surprise of it, and Double Haul got a good laugh from it.
The after a few more cast I got a wind knot in my line a the lure flew by himself, far away for ever…
So it was decided to go back for good.
So just two sausage rolls and two soft drinks at the shop and we were on the road to Darwin.
All I could think on the way back was tuna on the spin stick and how tired I was…
God this fishing stuff is exhausting!
And this is it folks, the story a quite a few first for me, and of a great trip, once again thanks to Double Haul.

So we did not see a single sailfish for the weekend.

But hey, it could be worse.
Have a good day,

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