01/08/2009 Solo missions and free swimming billfish
The campsite I've been staying in is about 2 mins from the boatramp so it's easy to just pop out for a solo afternoon fish when the September winds die down.
Being a web designer by trade means I'm fortunate enough to be able to work anywhere as long as I have mobile coverage and my laptop.
My mornings are usually consumed with computer work, afternoons are reserved for fishing and evenings see me working behind the bar at the local pub - The Pot Shot Resort. Come down for a beer if you're in town!
At this time of the year there's a large population of humpback whales that make their way into the Gulf.
There's also been a few mantas about too and quite often they have cobia hanging around with them. If you find a manta, you're in for a chance at a 'cobe'.
Having never caught one before I was nicely nervous and it wasn't long before I stumbled upon a manta with a cobia on it. I was over the moon to land two in one day. One was 90cm and this one was 110cm - yes, these things pull really hard.
Yesterday I headed out again on my own in search of tuna and wouldn't you know my luck .... I stumbled upon a baitball with two dark shapes harassing it. My 9wt was rigged with 20lb leader and a 1/0 surf candy for the tuna ... made a cast and one of the dark shapes shot forward and ate the fly. They were juvenile sailfish of around 25kg. 5 seconds later the fly was spat out as the little billfish cleared the water right in front of the boat ... what an awesome sight!
Luck must be on my side it seems ... in 06 I was fortunate enough to land 2 black marlin on the flats in Hervey Bay with local guide Nat Bromhead, then in 07 in while in Weipa on the Weipa Houseboat another large free swimming black crossed my path while fishing with Duncan O'Connell from Fishead - and now again on my own in WA. I wonder if this luck will continue ?
Over 600 hours have now been spent on the water with my gear getting constant usage in one of the most inhospitable environments on the planet - saltwater. Over the next few weeks I will be doing gear reviews on everything that I've been using to make the adventure possible so far and everything will get an honest review - This includes the new Suzuki outboard, Smith Optics, Mako Reels, Orvis Rods, Scientific Fly Lines, Seaguar Fluorocarbon, Cooper Tyres and the Engel Fridge for my truck.
Watch this space ...