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Friday out wide


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Took the day off yesterday (Friday) and went out with my regular fishing mate Andrew on another friend’s boat to chase yellow fin. Mat hasn’t done much off shore fishing so the pressure was on Andrew and me to get at least something. Went out to the shelf and then to the 1000m contour where we'd heard there'd been some big fins caught. Water was about 21.8 degrees and after trolling for some time, Mat called a temperature break and within moments we were on. Prior to that we’d had a lot of stripies taking our lures and even these little blokes were a decent size and gave a good fight.

Andrew was on strike and we could see by the rod that it was a good sized fish. At first we thought it may have been a big albacore but as it came up it turned out to be a huge dollie! Mid winter and all! It was well over 20 kg and about four foot long.After settling things down we continued to troll and saw a fair bit of action with some leaping albacore, good bird activity and a few stripies taking lures with the water getting a slightly warmer.

We continued towards Browns but still out wide but at this time it was getting late and we had always intended to cube and head back leaving about 7.00 pm for a late return in the hope of some big eyed tuna as well as YFs. The decision was made to head back to where the Dollie and the greater amount of surface activity, following the old adage, no point leaving a spot where the fish are.

Andrew set Mat up with two deeper rods out and that left Mat free to burley/cube. I stuffed around for a while getting my lines sorted –lures away and the right hook set up on the two fifty rods and finally, after about 20 minutes started to feed out my line. Must have been a lot of small bait fish around since after feeding out for about 15 minutes, I pulled up with no pilchard on my hook. Re-baited and started feeding out. No more than say 15 seconds and I got a run (using circle hooks so striking was out) and gently brought on the drag. Then all hell broke loose. The fish dived and nearly took me with it – got dragged around the deck. Andrew got my Black Magic game belt on and then the slog started. It slammed me a few time from bow to stern particularly as I got it up towards the surface and I had more direct contact without the line stretch. After about an hour and with a great team effort – Mat tracing, Andrew on the first gaff and then Mat on the second gaff we got a monster YF aboard. Damned hard for an old bloke of 67 - almost gave the rod to Andrew to finish the job but he encouraged me to finish off what I had started.

It was a big barrel of a thing and from nose to tip of tail, only slightly shorter than me so about 1.6m nose to tail tip. Our guess is about 60 kgs but we didn’t have the gear to weigh it.

Once we cleaned up I took over cubing to give the others a chance at something - I'd had enough for the day - but other than dolphins and squid hanging around the boat, nothing took our lines. By this time it was about 2000 hrs so we started the run home. GPS showed 62 kms to Barrenjoey. Conditions for the day and the trip home were

It was a late finish to the day as when we pulled the pin to come home it was after 2,000 hrs. After getting in, cleaning fish etc didn’t get home until about 1.00 am. Conditions for the day and the run home were perfect with a small gentle swell and virtually no wind or chop.

Once Mat sends me the pics will post them

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