Saturday, November 5, 2011
ANGUS, THIS ONE IS FOR YOU!
We've trolled a line behind Lucey Blue all the way from Sydney to the Whitsundays, a distance of approximately 1000 nm, and then spent 11 weeks going around and around the Whitsundays for countless nautical miles and fishing everywhere we could, but no dice. None at all that is, until yesterday, when we hit pay-dirt.
We were leisurely motoring our way back to the islands after another overnight stay at Bait Reef (hahaha...get it, Bait Reef), with lots of fantastic snorkelling and diving on the Stepping Stones. We were trolling, again, using our (recently donated) lure for only the third time. I was sitting quietly in the cockpit crocheting, the kids were happily playing lego at the saloon table, Eric was soundly asleep in his cabin and Nick was reading the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson at the helm.
All of a sudden the fishing reel started feeding out quickly. At first I didn't recognise the sound, not having heard it AT ALL this trip. I leapt up and started shrieking…..'we've caught a fish, we've caught a fish'. Nick tried to be a bit circumspect about it all…'muttering it might come off, we might not get it'…then more forcefully….'SAM, SLOW THE BOAT DOWN' (I was still doing a happy dance in the cockpit at the time). Nick asked me to start reeling the line in while he went and found the gaff hook. I was still dancing about in excitement, something that only got worse when I started catching glimpses of our monster fish. In my defence…I wasn't the only one dancing about like a cat on a hot tin roof. The kids were also leaping about yelling 'we've got a fish, we've got a fish'. It was complete pandemonium on Lucey Blue. Thank goodness there was no one else nearby to witness our hysterical performance.
Nick reeled it in slowly, let it out a bit, dragged it a bit, reeled it in some more, then finally asked me to reel it in the remainder of the way while he waited with the gaff. He snapped it up on the second try and quickly brought it onto the top transom step, before bringing it into the cockpit so it couldn't leap off the boat.
Our beautiful fish was a gleaming Spanish Mackerel. It measured 1.45 m and was way in excess of our puny 10 kg scales. Nick estimates it was 15 - 20 kg in weight. Once cleaned up and filleted (which took Nick about 1.5 hours due to him giving blow-by blow descriptions of the fish and it bits to Emily and Ryan who were sitting only inches away in rapt attention) it filled 5 x two litre Decor boxes choc-a-block.
Needless to say, we had DELICIOUS fresh fish for dinner last night, and will again tonight, and tomorrow, and the night after that too! If you're in the neighbourhood...
Thanks again to Trevor from M/V Triton who took pity on the fish-less family from Sydney and donated us one of his old lures (I might add here, the fish actually broke off one of the hook barbs, he was that HUGE). Thanks also to Angus from Roar Ege, who has been our fishing inspiration, and who we dearly wished was nearby....we would have motored a long way to hold our fish up high for him to see (fluke MY FOOT)!