Today set the bar on how good Fishing on the Gold Coast can be. Despite a rough start with the weather cold, raining and too windy to get over the bar. Then when the weather did finally started calming down the local tackle shop ran out of the bait I usually use for snapper (pilchards)!
I left around 6:00am and found out it was too rough to get out the outer reefs for trolling so i resigned myself to anchoring on the inshore baitfish grounds- at least there was plenty of sign on the sounder. Hedging my bets I put out two rods, one with the only bait the tackle shop had, Garfish for marlin and a salad shrimp left over from dinner the night before on the another rod.
The shrimp had no sooner hit the bottom when it got smashed by a nice snapper. While releasing the snapper the rod with the Garfish started screaming! 25 minutes later I had a 55lb cobia in the boat!
After about 10 minutes I caught a nice 4’ reef shark but couldn’t keep any bait in the water as something small kept eating the bait off the hook (even the Garfish) so I put down a set of 5 sabiki bait jigs and brought up 5 mackerel in the first drop of about 40 seconds! (three 6” yellow tail and two 12” blue mackerel) Putting on a big single hook and one of the yellow tail mackerel I casted it out and saw one of the craziest things I have ever seen while fishing. Upon landing my bait came shooting back out of the water like somebody had thrown it- obviousely it didn't like something in the water!
Couple of seconds later a huge splash occurred where my bait had landed and my line started screaming towards the horizon! 15 minutes later I had a nice Yellow Fin tuna next to the boat (I was using a stiffer rod than my last trip<g>). Releasing the Yellow Fin Tuna I put on another Yellow Tail mackerel and actually saw two tuna tear into it! Unfortunately the one that grabbed the hook managed to throw it after a couple smoking runs-god I love Yellow Fin! The third yellow tail mackerel immediately got hit too and this fight went on over 40 minutes! All during the fight I was convinced this was another cobia – but this one much larger! Turns out it is was “only” another Yellow Fin about 20lbs but I had hooked it in the side so it was like trying to drag in a turbo charged sea anchor!
At this point I noticed my GPS indicated I was doing about a .5 mph- interesting since I was anchored!!! At some point the rising waves had snapped the anchor line at the anchor and I was now just dragging the anchor chain. Undeterred I threw out one of the blue mackerel and hooked into another yellow fin! Fifteen minutes or so later the tuna was back on in the water and everything went quite….looking at the sounder I realized why –no bait fish, no reef nothing but sand! I ran back upwind to where I was catching fish and tossed out my last blue mackerel and….NOTHING! After 10 minutes I I noticed my drift was up to 1.1 mph and the poor blue mackerel was more getting dragged rather than swimming….Tossing it out in front of the boat and letting it drift netted me another hook up – this time a nice ~15lb long tail tuna! Releasing it I decided I had enough! At this point I started packing up my gear and noticed a nasty dried up gar fish that had been sitting out and thought “what the hell, I will put it out while I finish packing…nothing will hit it…” That gar fish had only been in the water for a minute when the reel started screaming! I have no idea how long this fight lasted but it seemed like days…..This fish just would not come to the boat! and I was really man handling it as I was beat!
Turns out I had hooked the 55lb cobia’s bigger brother! Luckily it was hooked with the hook shank showing so when I finally got it to the boat i didn’t need to drag this beast in to the boat to release it. I have no idea how much it weighed but I am guessing 65lb. A long way from the 135lb world record but still a huge fish on light gear…
In looking back at the day the longest time i was not on a fish was 15 minutes -not bad particularly considering the fish i had been catching were were some of the sports finest fighters.....