Day 13: I think we’re gonna need a bigger boat

Today was one of those days that reminds me of how wonderful my wife is…she let me go fishing while we are on vacation. To top it off, she came with me! We were up bright and early to get to the boat by 6:15a. Fortunately, the marina is right next to the hotel, so it was about a 2 minute walk.

 

In the past, I’ve gone on fishing trips while on tropical vacations, but I (or the rest of the boat) never seem to catch anything. Hopefully, this won’t be like all of the other trips. When we get to the boat, it looks promising – it looks like a charter boat from back home – 42′ long w/a big back deck. We get our stuff situated and start heading out to the reef to go fishing.

 

The cruise speed on the boat is about 10 knots – on the way out, we troll for fish (a little faster than salmon fishing). We make our way to the first spot, and we caught nothing on the two trolling rods. They set the anchor at the first spot, and everyone baits up and drops the line down. We fish for about 10 minutes and catch a lot of nothing. A typical tropical fishing trip for me.

So, we move on to the next spot. Out go the two trolling rods again – yeah, like we are gonna catch something…However, the unthinkable happens – we get a hookup while trolling. The deckhand grabs the rod and hands it off to one of the other fisherman. After a bit of a fight, we land a Salmon Mackerel.

We finally get to to the next spot, and we drop down the lines again. Uh-oh, I’ve got one on, but it swam into the rocks! We let the line slack, and the fish swam out and I cranked it in. Don’t remember the name of the species, but here is a picture.

 

They had an interesting way of pulling up the anchor – the boat did not have a windlass. They had a big red buoy with a ring on it attached to the line. The process started by running the boat over the anchor at full cruise speed. The buoy would slide behind the boat, and the anchor would get lifted up to the surface. Once the anchor got up to the ring, it would stay at the surface. They would turn the boat toward the buoy and the deckhand would bring it in.

Well, we cruised on to the next spot and one of the trolling lines hooked up again – this time it was a barracuda. Check out the teeth!

 

Well, we get to the next spot and put our lines down again. I get another one on…no it is the bottom again. Wait, how come I can crank the bottom in? Fought the fish for about 10 minutes and I “High-rodded” it. With the short rods we were using, if you lift it “high” (like you are fighting a salmon), one of two things happen – the rod breaks or the line breaks. Well, there was a massive pop – I thought I broke the rod, but it was just the line. Don’t know what kind of fish it was, but it was by far the largest fish anyone had on all day.

We jump around to several more spots, I caught several little ones that we either threw back or kept for bait. At the final spot of the day, I ended up catching a reef trout.

overall I caught 5 or 6 fish, two of which were keepers, plus I lost the one big one. Kim only fished at the first couple of spots, so she didn’t end up catching anything. There were 5 or 6 other people on the boat, and they averaged about 1 keeper per person.

The captain apologized for the slow day when we got back to the dock – didn’t seem that slow to me, but apparently they typically do better. We gave one of our fish to the captain, and the other to another fisherman – we don’t have any place to store or cook fish here.

Tomorrow we move on to our next destination (ayers rock). Don’t know if we’ll have internet access for the few days.

 

 

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