The seas were flat as a pancake , no wind , so the 4 of us took our wives out for a morning fish at the second fad. See the photos below of them popping for yellowfin tuna . The poppers are about 30 cm long so it is hard work , the rods are PE 6-8 , reels Stella 14000 fast action , and the braid 60 lb and 200 lb leader . There were big yellowfin all around but we couldn’t get a hit for over an hour . Then we decided to show them how to jig . There was a lot of laughter and shrieking but no fish hits at all .Then Annette managed to land a small yellowfin ,that’s a photo below . See the smile .we took them for snorkel on the coral and fed the huge red bass and multitiude of small reef fish , before coming in for lunch at the lodge. The afternoon info after the photos below .
Afternoon we went jigging for doggies . This was a fun packed afternoon with plenty of action . We must have hold over a dozen doggies and not one landed . There were schools of big pike around and sharks and they either hit the line and were biting it off or hitting the fish and taking our catch . One hit I had on the 80 lb rod and 20,000 Stella reel , with 24 kg drag locked , wouldn’t stop. We shared the rod for about half an hour and then it busted off . We could only get about 5 metres of line every few minutes . When we lost it , it was still 60 metres down and we were towing it with the boat in circles to try to get it to come up . Probably a big shark hooked in the side or tail . There are some big fish down there . Another doggie managed to get off by straightening the hook , when I thought we had this one . We were fishing in water 50 -70 metres deep running up to 45 metres . The sounder had so much bait fish showing , so we were always on the spot . Paul has one fish , we think it must have been a huge red bass or grouper that had his 400 T curve jigging rod about to bust . 200 lb leader and 18000 Stella reel . We didn’t get this in either , lost just before we could see it . In between all this action we caught half a dozen pike and some coronation trout , but the real fun was these big hits . Just at the end of the day Paul was using bait and he hooked into something big again . This time he got it in , a huge pike , must be nearly 5 ft long , see photo below. He cheated as he put a wire trace on with bait just to see what was down there.
So the tally for the afternoon was one big pike , 6 or 7 smaller ones ,2 trout , and more lost than we would like to remember . But fantastic fun . Just it let you know the gear we are using , see photos . I have 3 rods , one PE 6-8 , 20,000 Stella reel, 80 lb braid , 200 lb leader , jig 100 g-120 g . Second rod PE 3-5 , Stella 10000 reel , 60 lb braid 200 lb leader , 3 oz jig head ,soft plastic 7″ , 5/0 hook . Third rod is PE 2-4, 30 lb braid , Stella 5000 reel , 80 lb leader , 60 g jig . The three other guys have similar gear . Even on the heavy gear we still get beaten up . Anyway more tomorrow for day 3 . Is there a better fishing place than this ?
the weather is perfect, no wind , sun and a bit of cloud . We went out 20 minutes to the first fad , chasing yellowfin tuna . Two of the guys wer popping , that is the boat trolls slowly and you put poppers out the back and jig them to make the splash . I put out a 7″ soft plastic pearl white colour on a 7/0 hook , 120 lb leader . It wasn’t even 60 seconds when I got hit and a 10 kg yellowfin was in the boat . Reset and not 5 minutes went by and a 4-5 kg skip jack hit the soft plastic . Then another two quickly after . It hadn’t even been half an hour . The poppers had 3 huge hits but all of them failed to hook up .
We went to the next fad , much quieter , but two big hits on the poppers and again no hook ups . Then just as we decided to go for luck and a snorkel , three hits together , two big tuna and one Mahi Mahi on the soft plastic . See photo . One tuna was lost , the other one eaten by a shark , we only got the head in , see below photo , and the Mahi Mahi was for dinner.
After lunch we went jigging to shoes dog tooth tuna . Nothing landed but three bust offs . These fish are fun and frustrating .
So s quieter day overall but enjoyable , getting us ready for day 2 . Update this tomorrow .
Rigging wit he two hook rig is pretty easy if you know how . See the photos below . The top hook goes in first on the back of the fish . Be careful to just put the hook through the fish just under the backbone . The closer you get to the top of the back bone the better as more of the hook juts out .i like it in the back as I feel the fish vibrates more in the water and attracts the kingie or jewie . In the nose , they swim more freely . The second hook can either stay free or just get pinned at the bottom of the fish near the tail . Either is ok . If you are using a stinger hook ie treble , then let it roam free on yakkas but pin it on w live squid . The squid is for another blog .
if you want to troll a live yakkas or any live fish you need to pin the top hook in the nose of the fish . Not the mouth as they can drown . In the nose they are free to swim with the speed of the boat and live a lot longer . Then I put the stinger hook into the bottom near the tail , just in case .See photo .
A perfect day , no breeze , water flat as a pancake ! We went out to the outer reef number 3 . Everything looked good . One small coral trout came in on a soft plastic . Then nothing . Poppers , jigging and soft plastic jigging couldn’t get a bite . Plenty of bait fish around but no interest . We went to the next reef , same result . We went to the next reef , same result . The weather was too perfect maybe . We hit a fourth reef and started trolling with the big lures . Finally they started biting . I think it was the change of tide . So we ended up with two mackerel , one coral trout , and one big barracuda . So 5 fish for the locals dinner . We fished from 6.30 am till 11.30 am so in summary it was slow , saved by the last hour . See photos and video of the barracuda .see how angry the coral trout is below. Nice shot of the mackerel with the lure under the water .
Our last day at the fishing lodge, so one boat went after yellowfin , the other after dogtooth tuna . At the fad it wasn’t even 5 minutes before we had live skipjack for bait . Then within 10 minutes Andy was fighting a big yellowfin in very choppy seas . In it came at 35 kg .a great start. More live bait and two misses with more yellowfin that failed to get hooked . Now we were having a hard time catching skipjack as the baby 2 kg -3 kg yellowfin we grabbing the bait rigs . Over the day we caught over 50 of these baby yellowfin amongst the skipjacks. Next it was Scott hooked up to a nice yellowfin . This one slightly smaller at 30 kg . Three more times the live baits were hit and failed to hook up which was frustrating . Then 15 minutes from finishing Chris hooked a beauty . This fish was not going to give up . The fight went for 49 minutes with the skipper saying this yellowfin was 50 kg plus . Just as the fish got to the 30 metre mark from the boat the hooks pulled . That’s fishing! Whilst we were catching the bait Matt hooked and landed a 10 kg yellowfin on the bait rod . This was a great fight and a terrific catch .
​Tally for the day was 3 big yellowfin , one lost and 5 misses . Not a bad day .
The other boat had a day jigging for doggies and came up with two nice ones , one 20 kg , with plenty of bust offs , and an assortment of other nice fish ..
Still the doggies beat us on the whole and we just have to go back and do battle again in the future .
The big 30 kg GT in the photo below was caught out the front of the lodge just on dusk with a 2 kg dead yellowfin for bait .
This morning we were up at 4.30 am for breakfast ready for a 5 am departure to the ” sea mount ” where all the big dog tooth tuna live and wahoo . It took us 4 hours of bumpy seas to get there , with everyone wondering if it was worth it . Two boats , 9 fishing so we must get some . First drop with the jigs and two were on , reels zinging and braid going off the reel like cotton . These 20,000 reels had 170 lb leaders , 100 lb braid and the drag locked up so tight that you could not pull it out . But the dog tooth pulled this like it was cotton and in no time both were busted off . Two of the guys had never caught a doggie before and were keen to get the big one . Everyone jigging frantically , up came what the skipper said was a puppy . I put down a 7 ” z man soft plastic on a 3 oz jig head , 20000 reel with 170 lb leader . Instantly I got a hit coming up and one 10 kg dogtooth in the boat . More jigging by the others and more hits and big bust offs . These doggies are big and unfriendly . I put down my softie again and bang , it gets hit straight away . Another 10 kg doggie . Not bad , 3 in the boat in under 40 minutes . Well that’s where it stopped . Huge hit after huge hit , drags screaming rods buckled over , and backs and arms aching . Not one got landed . Frustration all around . We had double hook ups , triple hook ups , and one quadruple hook up where all four were going for a big one . All busted off . Amongst the 5 of us we would have lost $500 worth of jigs ! Amongst all this mayhem Tim caught a nice Rosie job fish , others caught some small skipjack and one nice wahoo and one 15 kg yellow fin tuna . Everyone was focussed on the dogtooth but at the end of the day only the three in the morning were in the boat . Final tally was about 40 lost so all the stories are about the ones that were huge that got away .
The sea mount lived up to its reputation and so did the doggies . They are the hardest fish to get in the boat , harder than kingies . The two boys that had never landed a doggie , still keep that reputation , so we are going out hunting them tomorrow . Was the trip out and back worth it today , I don’t think so due to the 61/2 hours travel time , but it is something you have to do once to understand it . See some photos below but no dogtooth . You can also see a couple of nice dishes we had with our 4 course dinner back at the Trees and Fishes lodge , relaxing after the day .one is the fresh calamari caught out the front , one the deep fried wahoo with Ali, and the third is surf and turf ,scallop in between beef. All delicious followed by steamed wahoo with coconut rice ,and for dessert cream caramel and vanilla ice cream . Not bad for a fishing resort !!
Day one of a four day fishing trip at the Trees and Fishes resort . What a day ! Went out to the fad for yellowfin at 9 am , arrived there at 9.30 am and by 9.45 the first 25 kg yellowfin was in the boat after one bigger than that was lost . It was caught on a 12 inch or 30 cm popper casting . By 10 am a second one was in the boat 30 kg caught on a 7″ z man soft plastic in white colour . This fought well as it was on a Stella 20,000 reel , 100 lb braid and 170 lb leader . The jig head was 3 oz tt lure .The rod was a PE 6-8 .
This kept going all morning into the early afternoon . Lunch was kept being put off as the fish were all around us . By the time we had lunch at 1.30 pm we had a tally of 7 yellowfin tuna , not one below 25 kg . Plus we had one big wahoo , caught on a jig only 60 g , and several small fish 3-4 kg for live bait . The big loss of the day was a huge yellowfin right at the boat , maybe more than 50 kg , caught on a big live bait on a downrigger at 60 metres deep . It was just 10 metres below the boat when the hooks pulled . Then there was this huge wahoo caught on a jig , only 60 g jig but on a PE 6-8 rod and 170 lb leader . A great fish . One of the great experiences was a double hook up on the yellowfin , both on poppers casting , mayhem on the boat but very exciting . The rest of the afternoon 2 hours we went after dog tooth tuna , jigging up to 100 meters deep . This produced nothing except a ramora .
The other boat has a similar day but the prize went to Andrew who managed to reel in w 61 kg yellowfin from a live bait right at the end of the day . This photo will follow when I can get it .
Tomorrow off to a place that has big doggies . I will let you know what happened . In the meantime enjoy the photos below .