The alarm rang at 3:55am. Jess and I crawled out of bed, feeling half-dead.
Dad was already awake. He is a mad-keen fisho from Sydney, visiting at the moment. We were heading out to the Vernon Islands today and like most fisho’s, Dad was waking up every half hour in anticipation. Meeting up with Captain CuddlesCooper at 4:30 we dropped the boat in at Vestey’s with just enough water to allow us to head out and dead flat seas all the way. The ocean stayed glassy the entire time we were out.
We arrived a bit after 6am, the fish on the sounder were all sitting deep. It seems that they were as tired as we were and other then one bat fish, they ignored our gulps.
The sun cracked the horizon about the same time as poop hit the fan. Pete and Jess hooked up simultaneously. Jess pulled in a small stripey while Pete was buckled over with the little Chronarch baitcaster screaming under some heavy thumb pressure. After a while Pete suggested that it’s fighting like a genuine GT rather than the usual brassy trevally… what a smart ass. Fifteen minutes later a horse (by Darwin standards) arrives at boat-side and we pull it aboard. A 20kg+ giant trevally! A few happy snaps and it was returned to the water, kicking 20 litres of water in Pete’s face in the process.
Another drift and I hooked a decent mack on the gulp. Pulled the hooks a minute later and then got bitten off before I could get the lure to the boat. Pete and Jess also got bitten off by macks. Dad wised up a bit and put on a 100g chomie jig with wire trace. Drops down and instanty hooks up. Meanwhile, Jess has another lure on and is also hooked up. Both solid fish determined to swim loops around each other. Dad’s fish is suddenly at the boat and my jaw dropped (with jealousy) as a solid cobia screams off again but was soon landed.
This was followed soon after by a nice brassy trevally for Jess.
I threw on a crazy deep scorpion while Pete went a giant trembler and we had a quick troll. My lure was playing up so I was trying to pull it in. The bib dug in about 2m behind the boat, dove down and got slammed by a solid mack. I passed the rod to Jess so she could land her first mack. While this was going on Pete pulled in the trembler and casted it back out. The lure instantly got slammed on the surface and Pete passed the rod to dad. Then we just sat back and laughed at the two of them buckled over with line peeling.
Jess landed a good mack.
Not long after that, dad’s “fish” was at the boat that urned out to be a solid whaler shark about 2.5m long. Must’ve landed the lure right on its head!
We went back to jigging chromies and it was hooks all round on macks and trevally, the place was alive. We did our best to release the macks and as we weren’t going light on them, the majority swam off strongly.
Pete spotted a sailfish 50m from the boat with its bill slashing the surface but we had no gear to chase them
Then the big gear came out! I dropped a gulp down on my tiny Tacklerats rod to try for a mack but a brassy got to it first. The drag on these reels are sticky, so sticky that as I climbed onto the cabin, the drag stuck and I almost got dragged over board and smashed my knee in the process of self-preservation. Landed an average brassy and changed tactics, tying a 10 barra classic on and trolling it short behind the boat.
…43 seconds passes by…
Crunch! Oh sh*t, why do I do this to myself! A short brutal fight and a nice mack was at the boat.
We didn’t want to over-do the macks so Jess and Pete tied on small chromies in preparation for a tuna hunt. As if fate, a pod of good sized long tails bust up 30m away. Their chromies flew in the tuna’s direction and Jess hooked up straight away. Pete’s lure screamed backed toward us with a tuna on its heels jumping dolphin style until it almost smashed into the boat, abandoning the chase and diving just in time. Pete’s lure was casted back out and a little barrel connected.
After a back-breaking fight for Jess she landed a solid tuna; followed soon after by Pete with a mid-80s tuna.
After that things got a bit blurry. I hooked tuna on chromies, roosta poppers, squidgy flickbaits and rubber squid, landing 7 tuna alone. All 75cm. Dad, Pete and Jess all got their fair share but no more fish over the 77cm mark. Numerous three way hook-ups for the boys as tuna busted up around the boat. Jess was stuffed and just sat back and got photos of the mayhem.
We had to shoot back to the ramp around 11am to pull the boat out while there was still enough water.
It really was unbelievable fishing; pelagic insanity at the Vernon Island. I think it made up for me failing to get dad onto a milky this week.
Dreamrider- Jess and I used 4000 size spin reels with 20lb. Dad was using my 4500 Saltist with 30lb. Pete used his baitcaster for gulps, a torium for trolling and a 4000 spin reel for tuna. Not sure what the Tacklerats reel is, a 1000 maybe.
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2007 4:59 pm
Images:9 Barrabucks points on hand:
Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:51 am Post subject: Re: Pelagic Mayhem
WOW...great report and even greater fish. The Vernons does not go off often BUT when it does Congratulations to all...great pics too..
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