Today turned out to be one of the most amazing days on our trip - we had organised a fishing trip with Dan and Josh - two of Dave Donald's boys - who took us out chasing bait balls - within an hour, we found them - about 50km south of Weipa - huge numbers of bait, being chomped from above by birds (how we found them), and from below by the tuna - and the tuna being chomped by shark..
An unbelievable hour or two as we cast our lures into the bait ball, for the line to start running within a second as we pulled in Bluefin Tuna, Grey Mackerel, and Rutman scored a Giant Trevally. Ivan and Rutman pulled in fish after fish, as Steve G (who was hooking them up just as often), lost one after the other to the sharks - it was just plain bad luck, as he once pulled up half the lure - taken once by the tuna, but chomped by the shark - see photo below.
Another time, a shark took his fish only a metre from the boat - and in one of the most amazing catches, he pulled in a set of fish lips!! - at least he saved the lure, but the sharks were being well fed by his catches, and he still was to land anything of any decent size.
Ian and Craig in the other boat were having just as much luck as Ivan and Rutman, so by lunch, Steve was still smiling, but there was still something missing. Until....He made up for it in the afternoon 10 fold, catching a 40lb Gold Spot Estuary Cod, and it made up for all of the shark food he had been providing in the morning - great work mate!! ;-)
The water was a cold 24 deg - higher than the air temps in Canberra at the same time!
We finished the day back at the caravan park, with Dan and Josh filleting all of the fish for us. The kids grabbed some photos with the fish, and the boys grabbed one with Dan and Josh before they left - the day was one of the highlights of the trip - absolutely recommended!
The girls had put together salads and other additions to turn this into the feast of all time - we cooked fish on the coals by the beach, and then had a smorgasbord as the sun went down. Yep, doing it tough ;-) Someone laid out the logs again - and we had to step over them for quite a while as the night grew old.... ;-)
A chunk out of Dan's boat from a
shark - we knew it was going to be a good day!
On the way south - time for a quick beer before we have to do a days work
This is what we're looking for - birds - a tell tale sign of bait going off
A bit closer
Bluefin Tuna were jumping all over the show
And the sharks were all over the tuna - it made it a challenge - not to hook the tuna, that was actually pretty easy (and quick) - but to get it in before the shark took to it - ask Steve G - he KNOWS sharks taking your catch!
Rutman with the first catch of the day - Tuna
Ivan with the second
And the third
Ian's first of the day - Tuna
Craig doing well too..
A fish eye view of things
Rutman onto something decent
And something else going off in the background
Ivan with the first Mackeral of the day
Steve G working hard
Rutman pulled in a nice GT - just trying to figure out how to lift it!!
Come on mate - one hand - it's not that big ;-)
Rutman with a massive Giant Trevally - one handed ;-)
A nice looking Fingermark on the way
Into the net
Come to Dad!
A nice looking Gold Spot Estuary Cod on the way
Not a bad one - but still looking for that elusive "whopper"
Josh taking Ian and Craig to where the action is
Steve - got onto another one - will it get to the boat!
Ivan with a small cod
A bigger one on the way
A nice size
Ivan with a Tea Leaf Trevally
Steve with the same - but still looking for the big one...
Nup - another one to the sharks - this a set of lips
A reef shark - we got a few of these..
Another Mackerel to add to the collectionf
Craig onto a cod
Ian not to be outdone
And even bigger!
Even Rex would struggle to kiss this one!
A little bit more for the pot
Josh looking for the action
Ian's on to something
Rutman, Steve, Ivan and Dan moving off to another spot
Another nice Mackerel
Steve - maybe this is it?
Yep - catch of the day! - a huge 40lb Gold Spot Estuary Cod - complete with some Octopus just swallowed..
Dan and Josh do the hard work for us
Adam enjoying a tuna
Matthew with a Mackerel
Ivan, Craig, Josh, Dan, Rutman, Steve and Ian
Can't have too many shots of these sunsets!
The change in colors is amazing
As the sun goes down over a great day and beautiful smorgasbord!
Time for night time activities - a review of the day's photo's