I have been doing a lot of spinning of lures off the rocks these days of a morning and catching tailor, salmon and hooking the odd kingfish. I am brimming with excitement as it is taking me back to the good old days where Scott had first taught me how to fish with lures and a rod and reel.
I have been going solo, which I don’t normally do off the rocks for a few reasons. If you slip and hurt your head there is no one to help you, it is hard landing big fish on light tackle by yourself and there is no one to take a photo of your memorable catch. However I do let my husband know where I am going and what time I will be back. So far so good with no tragedy.
As per usual we had a Sunday that was going to be blown out which made a boat trip off the agenda. One of our good friends wanted to take his daughter fishing as she is mad keen. They will normally catch a couple of flathead or small snapper on holidays in the little tinny but nothing really from around our local area. So I volunteered my services.
Our rendezvous was to meet at Port Kembla at 5.30am in the morning. Having a late night the night before I was tempted to wake up and cancel on them and continue to have a sleep in but then I thought how disappointed I would be if I was promised a fishing trip and it didn’t happen. So up I hopped and we rang each other to confirm, it was a date.
I took down some squid heads and legs that I caught the day before for some fresh bait and some extra spinning lures for my mate and myself.
We set up his daughter, Maggie, with bait and before we could even get a first cast in she was on to a little squire. The excitement was thrilling for me as much as it was for her. We set her up with another bait and we started spinning, I was teaching my mate the finer points of the craft. Such as pointing your rod tip to the water if you want the lure to stay under longer, letting it sink a little after casting and varying the wind back speed and how reel ratio’s play a part.
It wasn’t long before Maggie hooked her second squire, once again so excited, wanted to hold it and throw it back in. She did this all on her own, with some guidance of dad.
When fishing from the rocks the fish always seemed to remain out of casting distance. By now Maggie was pretty excited to see the way we were catching fish that she stood beside me. I hooked another tailor and passed the rod to her, unfortunately with the little bit of loose tension it got off before she could bring it in. I then proceeded to keep casting and let Maggie wind it in.
A school of fish blew up this time within range. I casted out and hooked up. I passed it over to Maggie to fight in. This fish was peeling line at great speed and I think the bend of the rod and the speed it was running scared her a little and she conceded to pass the rod back. Looking over at our mate that hadn’t caught anything as yet I asked if he would like to continue the fight. His words were “I am no stranger to charity”.
This was a king fish on a Daiwa TD Battler Mighty Midget 6’4, 1-3kg outfit with a 1000 reel. Normally he is fishing with broomsticks and he proceeded to fight this way. I coached him through it advising he doesn’t need to rip the fish’s head off, to stop using erratic rod movements and use the rod and drag to do the fighting for you. He soon slowed down, relaxed and when it counted was able to steer the fish back around in front of me to scoop it up.
It was a 70cm kingfish. He was so stoked, as it was his biggest ever fish on such a light rod. We went to carry it up the rocks for a quick photo when it flicked out of my hands, busted the line and did a leap of faith back in the water. Oh well you get that. He was still happy.
We fished for a little while longer and I caught another kingfish although smaller and undersize.
It was a great morning coaching good friends a little bit about fishing. They had a morning they will never forget and I think they are starting to understand what drives my passion.
We were all home and having breakfast by 8.30am. It is a humbling experience passing your skills on and watching someone else having the fun.