A group of 4 of us set out on captain Kaleb's boat just before 7am on a blustery and rainy morning headed for a fishing ground that we had had some success with the month before. After battling squally conditions and choppy sea we finally arrived at our destination and got to work. We were casting towards a fringing reef but keeping our distance to avoid the large and irregular sets that were breaking onto the reef. Rich and Francis got off to a good start landing a few good sized BFT with the best around 6kg. I was trying out a friends outfit (in the search for a heavier light tackle rig) which consisted of a Shimano FA Stella 8000hg reel and a Smith rod (cant remember the details) and PE #6 Varivas line with a 100lb leader.The outfit was well balanced but wasnt really suited to the poppers that I was trying to use with it, so I moved to a mid sized stickbait (Duel Surface Slider 140f) and has instant success with a solid strike taking line and then dropping the lure. After a few more casts another heavy strike, with line peeling off the real under heavy drag. I didn't want the fish to take my lure into the reef so I tightened the drag right up (max drag) and the hooks on the belly treble straightened! I was a little upset at myself because I hadnt upgraded the hooks on the lure like I normally do. I didnt have any hooks really suitable and used some larger than suitable trebbles. The very next cast I hooked up and landed a very nice BFT of about 6kg. The rod and real preformed beautifully, the Smith rod was great with very good lifting power. I would love one but they are about $800! No thanks.
We fished onto lunch with Kaleb giving us some entertainment hooking and landing a large black tip reef shark which we managed to de hook and release. Kaleb was using an old Penn 850 that had seized the last time out, so I was just waiting for it to pop but it never did!
After lunch we headed inside the reef to a sandy area about 6m deep with large bommies and patches of reef. It was Red Bass city, with one cast Kaleb had 7 or 8 large Red Bass darting at his lure, great fun.
I hadn't lost any lures yet and decided that it was time to throw some money away as 2 red bass accounted for two of my lures!!GRRRRRRRRR! Actually I see losing gear as part of the game, I would much rather hook up and lose gear than not hook up at all, so I put my gear in danger and have a ball! The lures that I lost were a Yo-Zuri Sashimi Slider 140f and a Pop Queen somethingorother anyway they have gone to lure heaven. So my tally against the Red Bass was 2 lost lures and two good sized fish around 5kg.
Francis was in true form and landed a couple of bruisers around 7-8kg, really tough fish.
I caught one nice sized emperor in about 1m of water. It had me under a rock but I was using my GT outfit and managed to yank him out of there. The last fish in that area was once we got into deeper water (about 10m) and a large red bass smashed my popper and broke me off in open water using the PE #6 gear (60+lb)! Sometimes you just cant win against these guys! Red Bass 3, Me 2...
For the last hurrah before we went home we tried one last place and I took out my heavy gear hoping for a GT. Instead of a GT I got a barracuda! I used to think of them as a pest but the local people love to eat them and they can be good sport. This one absolutely CRUNCHED my big popper and set sail! Usually barracuda leap around getting tired quickly, not this one, he just ran! I had my 80lb rig set up with maximum drag and he was still screaming line of the real! Eventually we got him to the boat and my neighbors has a great feast!! Happy days!