My blog posts are typically very work focused so if that is what you are expecting my apologies as I decided to forego my Sunday to get some work done and wanted a break from playing with the Expression tools….

For those of you that don’t know me personally I am a keen scuba diver and used to go diving with folks like George Stathakopoulos and Jesper Johansson  on a regular basis –while I was living in Sydney!

Ironically now that I moved to the Gold Coast I do much less diving, due to the fact there are no shore dives and main dive buddy Gray Thompson lives in Sydney.   Not a problem I just needed a new hobby and for a Marine Biologist what else could it be but Fishing!

When I say fishing I am actually talking about Offshore fishing.  Which doesn’t make a lot of sense since my house is right on top of some of the best Bream, Mangrove Jack and Flathead fishing in the world- But I have never been too bright!

So what is offshore fishing?  Offshore fishing is two things:

1.       Going Offshore in a *Boat–duh

2.       Targeting fish known as “pelagics”

Pelagics are fish that swim in the open ocean and don’t “live” on the bottom but rather follow currents and more importantly temperature gradients along the ocean, fish falling into this category would include Marlin, Swordfish, Tuna, Wahoo etc.   The typical method of fishing for these fish involves dragging  lures along about 6-10 miles an hour for hours on end…..Unfortunately this type of fishing swings from deadly tedium (norm) to utter pandemonium.  

The reason for this blog post was to recap yesterdays fishing:

I left just before sunrise and went directly to where the fishing grounds start (90ft of water) where I had to decide which lures to put out.  This is where some of the “skill” comes in as different pelagics prefer different types of lures.  Marlin are typically taken on livebait or large expensive “skipping” lures.  Wahoo like anything fast moving and have razor sharp teeth that cut  monofilament.  Spanish Mackerel  like diving lures and also tend to separate you from your lure with their dentures. Tuna tend to prefer fast diving lures but tend to shy from wire leaders etc etc etc

I knew there were Spanish Mackerel and Tuna around so decided to put out 3 lines (3 or 4 is typical for trolling by myself)  with Mono leaders and the lures being one 10” Red/Orange bibless, one 8 “ blue Chrome bibbed and one small pink skipping lure and started trolling –about 10 minutes later the pink skipping lure rod “went off”.  Now remember I have three rods out and am by myself so what do you do?  I have seen LOTS people try this –often with hilarious(and non gratifying) results and thought I would share my system of what to do when the fish hits :

  • Step One. Panic: trip over the tackle box, get tangled in the gimbal belt, cut yourself with the bait knife, drop your phone etc etc
  • Step Two. Tie the steering wheel going roughly straight- I have a piece of fishing line tied to my compass for this (I don’t use the compass for anything else)  and LEAVE THE BOAT GOING (6-10MPH)!
  • Step Three. Grab the Rod with the lure closest to the boat without the fish- and reel like a mad man!  Put Rod/lure  somewhere it won’t get stepped on.
  • Step Four. Determine if the boat is going to run into something make sure you are still driving away from the lures/fish and correct direction  if needed
  • Step Five. Repeat steps three/four until the rest of the rods are in the boat.
  • Step Six. NOW Grab the rod with the fish and take the boat out of gear and start to reel in the kilometer of line the fish has managed to take off your reel (as you drove away)
  • Step Seven.  Optional Put on your gimbal belt
  • Step Eight. Fight  fish!

So how did I do? I had three hits and caught(and released) three tuna on the blue chrome and the pink skipping lure….they weren’t big but not bad for an ancient *5 meter ski boat that I paid less than a copy of Visual Studio 2005 for<g>

I know It seems REALLY wrong to not grab the rod with the fish but if you do hook a big fish the time you would use to reel in the other rods would just be spent watching line disappear off your reel -regardless if the boat was moving or not. 

In Marlin tournament fishing not only do we not touch the rod until the other rods are wound in we sped the boat up while doing it!