Saturday, May 4, 2013

A little Queenfish.

Hi there,

This morning, I fished a little Queenfish from one of my preferred land based spot: East Point.
And here is the story of it.

The alarm from my phone took me by surprise, away from a deep and dreamless sleep.
Trying to make as less noises as I could, I got up, made sure not to wake up my little darling or our child, or even our visitor who was sleeping on the sofa in the living room.
Quickly I was on my way, still in the dark, to arrive at East Point before sunrise.
Once there, well I remembered the crocodile that I saw one of the last time that I fished the spot by myself. Tales From The Tinny was playing on the radio, so I stayed in the car listening to this great program till the light started to shine.

Finally got out of the car, got my rock hoppers boots on, a lure on the line and started to walk on the rock platform, till my favourite fishing spot.
Once there, with the water rather calm and not too much wind, before my first cast, I decided that I didn't have the right lure on and changed my chrome slice for a popper.
One long cast to see if everything works.
Satisfied, I started to pop in earnest, for about 5 minutes, and then, just as I was doing it: pop, pop pop, without any pause, as I was after pelagic fishes, pop, pop, pop and nothing...
Nothing, the line came back to me without any pop or the weight of the lure.
What is going on?
Well, the knot had just given away and the popper was floating free of any attach, in a water in which there is no way I was going to swim to get it back...
About fives minutes in, and I was already out of a lure, and by my only fault...
Great, I thought, it look like the fishing mojo is still at large, and that I will just have another mildly frustrating fishing outing...
Yes you know what I mean, when I try to stay polite.
Anyway, I was there, so I just put another smaller popper and started to cast it again.
For absolutely nothing, zero, nada, niet...

This is when I spotted a big pod of Dolphin swimming inside of casting distance.
Don't get me wrong, I was not trying to hook a Dolphin, but in my personal experience, when Dolphin stick around, I don't catch anything.
I believe, that if they stick around, there is food for them, which might be good fishes for me. Except that these smaller fishes then never take my lure, maybe they are just too busy trying to avoid the Dolphins, who knows?

So I moved a bit further along the rocks, and put a chrome slice on my line, after all, this is one of my favourite form of fishing.
And I casted and casted as far out as I could, for not much.

Then I saw a big turtle swimming not very far from the shore.
Thinking about what Sheeby told me one day, that Cobia often swim under big turtle, I tried to cast my lure as close as I could of it, without risking to hook the turtle.
But no Cobia or other fish took any interest to my lure.

Yes this was starting to look like the story of my fishing life, or at least, as to what it is at the moment.
Seeing some great landscape, seascape, animals, but not catching anything.
Thinking about that, I decided to do a cast along the rocks on my left, instead of far out at the front.
That was a nice cast, and as I was retrieving the lure as fast as I could, Ka-Boum!
The line tense, the rod bents, and the line started to peel from the reel which started to sing.
And then I just did the worst ever mushy-washy hook up possible, going all soft when I should have given it hard. The fish did not come to the surface, but went straight for the bottom, gave a few head shake, and spat the lure...
How much I hated myself just right then and there...
I should have got this fish, but as I acted with it like I really didn't know what to do, it took it to its advantage and broke free.
Yes, my story at the moment, too much of mister nice, when I should be kicking some butts.

I was upset with myself, and casted in the exact same spot and reeled in as quick as I could, of course for nothing at all.
I had one chance, and I had blown it.
Did a second cast in the same area, and in anger must have started to retrieved my lure even faster than what I usually do.
And it worked, I was on once again!
This time, I high sticked twice with vigour to make sure that I was driving the hooks home.
Like the previous one the fish, went for the depths and I started to think that it was a GT.
But then my line went all floppy and I understood that I had lost it again. So continued to reel in fast as I didn't want the lure to snag at the bottom. Despite being all floppy, my line was going in a strange  direction.
It hits me: I still had the fish, but it had been swimming towards me, and was now turning to go out at sea.
And this it did, and took quite a bite of line from my small reel.
Still I could not see it, it fought as low as it could.
Pumping and reeling I finally got most of my line back, and was starting to see some colour underwater, but could not put an ID on this fish yet.
Finally, just a few meters from me, it made a great jump, the full fish out of the water: it was not a GT, it was a Queenfish!
I got relieved that the fight would be cleaner than with a GT, but even more stressed that I might loose it.
And after its first jump, where it must have seen my face and decided that it didn't like it. It took two big run in a row. It didn't look like a big fish, and I was very surprise by the energy that it showed.
And it started to make a real show of its jumping ability, I loved it.
Step by step, I was gaining my line back, and at every jump it looked a bit closer, and a bit more tired.
Finally, I got it near my feet, taking advantage of a little wave I dragged it in a rock hole full of water near my feet. Put the lip grip in its mouth, and it was mine.
This was my first fish in a long time, and the first one from East Point in an even longer time.
I was so happy that I must have shouted and screamed like an idiot or a mad man just right there.

Knowing that Seano was at work, I couldn't help but to take a picture of this fish on my phone and text it to him, and asked him if he was already at work?
After all, he had done this to me so many times, that it was about time for me to do it...

And then I wanted to take a photo of it with myself holding it...
Well, it become then even more obvious that I hadn't done it in a long time...
The timer on my camera worked but I could not get the right picture, the one I wanted:

First try, bad framing and moving fish.

Second try, didn't had the time to get ready.

I think that you start to understand what I was going through, so lets go the the right image.

Finally my little Queenfish.

And I finally got it right and was very happy with that.
This was no monster fish, but it was one of my favourite fish to catch land based, and it was a while since I had one, so my day was made.

After dispatching this fish, I tried to get another one, but by then the tide had started to rise again.
So happy and content, after a few minutes I decided, five more cast and home I will go.
On the third cast, I hooked another fish! 
And lost it in no time.
Cast in roughly the same direction, reel it back, and a big splash just behind my lure.
So I do the last of my five cast in the same spot, but this time nothing happens...
What did any fisherman would do in a case like that?
Five more cast, the five last ones promised!
And that was five more cast full of hope, during which nothing at all happened...
So I did go home.
Just turning around on my way back over the rocks to have a look at a fishing spot that I still like a lot.

East Point rocks in the morning.

I had stayed there for about one hour and an half, had three hits, and landed a fish, this was good in my books. I could still be home, have a quick shower and take my little one to dance classes in time.
This was a great way to start the weekend.

Yes I did miss a few fish and lost a lure, and have not caught a gigantic fish yet.

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