I placed a post on the Fishing Monthly Forums looking for a pre fish at both St Helens and the Derwent, and got a response from Leigh McKenzie offering me a ride. It’s interesting the consequences of our actions during those moments in time, but for Leroy and I, they’ve been all positive.
That trip on the Derwent, Leroy put me onto numerous fish that would systematically upgrade my PB to 42cm to the fork. I weighed my heaviest bag in an ABT – 4.055 kg for 4 fish, and had a blast!
Leroy and I have become great mates since then. He came to Sydney the following January and fished the Australian Open with me and I went back to Tassie the following year with Chris, and my own boat for what was a somewhat disastrous trip. Don’t get me wrong, the social fishing on that tour, particularly at Ansons Bay was the highlight – Chris and I had a magical couple of hours there, landing and losing some great fish.
My tournament experience though was eventful for all the wrong reasons. I blew up two electric motors on the Derwent that trip, and a seized trailer bearing coming home after the second day destroyed our plans of fishing Port Sorell on the way back to the ferry the next day. Instead, we spent the day trying to organise trailer parts before making the mad dash to Devonport in the afternoon.
Well, three years have passed and hopefully those old wounds have healed. Thursday I embark on a third trip to the Apple Isle. I’d originally planned to fish as a Non Boater, and had arranged to sneak in a spot of social fishing with Leroy before or after the event. Circumstances change though, and we’ve had to take a rain check on the social fishing, and the generosity of James McKay from Hobart has meant that I’ve got access to a boat for the event – THANKS JAMES!
This year, more so than others, I’ve really enjoyed my tournament fishing and Im looking forward to the trip. With a bit of luck, the Derwent will throw up some of those big fish for which it’s renowned, so stay tuned, there’ll be a big Monday Morning Gallery next week!