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Friday's fishing - FADs, Five Hundreds and a littl

Ben Derecki

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I'd been watching Seabreeze all week hoping that the weather on Friday was going to stay as good as it was looking. By Wednesday things were still looking sweet so I hooked up a trip for the day with a member of one of the local forums. The plan was simple - hit the FADs early, then go deep hunting hapuka. I couldn't argue with that.

Friday morning came around too quickly and at 3.30am the alarm went off. By 4.10am I was at Tony's place and we were on the water by 4.30am. That's the earliest I've been up for a long time let me tell you.

The weather wasn't too bad but the easterly was blowing a bit and gave us a bit of chop on the way out but we knew things were going to calm down in the arvo so we weren't too fussed. We were the first boat to get out to the Freo Sailing Club FAD and soon had two skirts rigged up for a run past. The first run nothing happened, and the sun was a bit too low to be able to see if anything was hanging below so we turned around and did another run. On that second run the skirts had just got past the FAD when Tony's Accurate started singing and looking back to see what was happening we saw a good sized mahi mahi cartwheeling across the surface. Woohoo - off to a great start. I killed the engine and brought in the other lure while Tony brought in our first fish for the day. Once the fish was photographed and dispatched we went back and did a few drifts past dropping down placcies and a few different hardbodies but nothing was interested.



We decided to move on and started heading out to a couple of deep water spots. We put the big skirts out the back while we scooted out and picked up a small stripey but nothing else for our troubles. Hitting the deep was interesting for me as I've never done it before. This sort of fishing is Star Trek fishing, it's the next frontier hey. The rigs are made up of king-size 16/0 circle hooks, 200lb leader, massive three-way swivels and lead weighing more than a small child. We did a number of drops from 250m to 500m but today wasn't going to be the day for this sort of fishing. For the first few drops there was action on Tony's new Furuno but they weren't interested in what we were sending down. When we got to the deeper water the sounder started playing up and we couldn't use it any more so we took a punt that we were on the right spots and dropped baits down. End result - green eyed sharks.



After a while it was time to head back to the 'shallows' and we ended up at the Derwent. A couple of old boys were there who said they'd pulled a few nice nannys and a 1.4m mulloway off the wreck, but there was no action on their boat while we were there. Anyway it didn't take long before the electric reel went off which I made the mistake of grabbing and subsequently ended up having a 25-minute dispute with a 5-6ft whaler. Eventually I got him up to the side so Tony could cut him off... it was good fun but hard yakka on such a hot day. We dropped some jigs for a while which resulted in me getting an SBT on a fast retrieve to the surface. The poor bugger never had a chance to escape on the heavy Lemax / Ajiking jigging combo. After seeing a couple of tuna schools off in the distance we thought we'd start cubing some mulies to see if we could entice the tuna over to the boat, or at least closer to the boat. What ended up happening was two 5-6ft whalers came in and just started loafing around the boat eating the fish cubes as they went down. The sea had glassed off a bit by now so it was wild watching these fantastic creatures chillin out around us. I put the camera under the water and got some good pics and footage of them doing their thing.







We decided it was time to head back to the ramp via the FSC FAD again. As we got close to the FAD we put a spread of skirts out and started to drive by, but when we got to the FAD both of us looked down to see a dollie lazily swimming along, not at all fussed by the boat. So we killed the motor, pulled in the skirts, and threw out a handful of cubed mulies that were sitting on the baitboard. At the same time Tony grabbed his fly rod and sent a fly into the water. Before we knew it we had half a dozen dollies schooled up around the back of the boat eating the mulie cubes. Tony then hooked up and after a fun fight with a full aerial display, left the fish in the water while I threw out a jig head with a chunk of fish on it. Two seconds later I was on with my fish splashing across the surface. After some photos we started burleying up again but by this time the mutton birds had figured out what was going on and were nailing every piece of fish in the water... and then followed a procession of boats coming in to try their luck so we packed up and headed in. We scored another small stripey on the way in just to top things off.

It was a ripper day on the water, a bit slow going with the fish but we still got onto some good ones but also experienced some of mother nature's finest...




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