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Hervey Bay Bucks W/e Tuna + Lost Fish Of A Lifetime + Surgery!!

The Mad Hughesy

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Where to start….

Probably start by grabbing a stubby (ill try to keep it to a one beer report)


As some know im getting married in about 3 weeks, so I booked myself a bucks weekend fishing trip onboard Fraser Guided Fishing in early March.


2 weeks ago I go to bed on the Friday night after watching the footy feeling fine, just a bit tired. I wake up on the Saturday morning at about 5:30am with horrendous pains in my stomach. After umming and arring for the whole day, on and off the phone to the nurse hotline, battling a spiking fever we called the home Doctor out. He arrives at about 7:30pm and by 7:31pm he instructs me to go to the ER room at the closest hospital. So we hop in the car and drive down. The triage nurse giggles as I explain my symptoms and she puts a canular in my arm. Her exact words were “I hope you don’t have much planned for the next few days” Fast forward a few hours and im going under the knife on Sunday morning to have my appendix ripped out. My first question to the nurse after surgery was “will I heal in time for fishing in 2 weeks???” So I spent the next week at home trying to recover as fast as possible. Luckily for me, the stitching healed up fast and im back to normal now. Funny side note, my brother was in the same hospital on the same day for food poisoning…poor mum had a stressful weekend with both sons in the emergency room


After health dramas, we packed our bags and headed for Hervey Bay on Saturday morning. We went for a walk on the Urangan jetty just to have a look at the bay…. storms everywhere, 15-20knot winds. Fantastic, we are going to be in for a rough ride on the Sunday morning. After lunch we caught up with some family, had a feed of Pizza polished off with a single malt whiskey, watched some footy and was presented with a custom lure that my brother made for me…what a muppet.



Woke up with excitement every hour from about 1amonwards until 4am hit and decided to hit the shower and have a cuppa. Met our Guide Tri at the ramp at 6amready to rumble. The weather seemed a bit tamer with a 10knot S-SSE wind predicted. Hopped in the boat and we were off.



After seeing the last week or so of reports suggested that some longtails were on the cards for the day. Charging through the waves we saw our first school of tuna about 25 minutes from the ramp. Tri chased after them (which was a little tough all day with the wind and waves crashing over us) until we were in casting distance. Equipped with 1oz jigheads tied on with what looked like 5inch Zman pink jerk shads, we launched them into the busting up school. Our first casts go untouched, my brothers Matt’s second cast get a good    bump and a follow all the way into the boat. My second cast get absolutely hammered only 10m from the boat by a charging Mack Tuna, which was very cool as we all saw him hit it from the side and create a huge splash on top of the water. A bit of a fight later we had our first fish in the boat! Not bad for the second cast of the day.



This continued for the next few hours which ended up totalling 4 Mack Tuna for myself as well as a nice spotted mackerel. The old man even managed to hook into a good sized spotted mackerel which Tri kept as it was bleeding heavily when we got him in the boat. Poor old brother couldn’t manage to keep the hooks set on every fish he hooked. The tuna seemed to disappear for a while so we made the call to go fish some artificial reefs before lunch which was very unproductive. We couldn’t raise a scale after about 1.5 hours of fishing. As we sat down for lunch, we just chowed down and watched flocks of birds working the surface way off in the distance. After lunch we tried to locate the long tails closer in to Fraser as it was getting too rough out wider. We did manage to spot a few jumping around the place but could hook any.


Motoring back towards mainland, Tri chirps up and says “that’s odd, just had a big school of something on the sounder” so he marks it on his gps and circles back a few times to try and find them again. We stop for 5 minutes while Tri rigs up another rod then he just started screaming at us “drop em down now now NOW! RIGHT SIDE OF THE BOAT STRAIGHT DOWN NOW!!” The plastics barely hit the bottom and all 3 reels go screaming. The old mans fish goes really hard around to the other side of the boat and his battle is one! My fish goes screaming out the back…with the drag nearly locked up, it peeled off at least 100m of line (we knew this as Tri said he changes the braid colour after 100m). My brothers fish goes directly towards fraser under my line, and as soon as the lines touch his line wet bang…fish was going. He was not happy, he still hadn’t caught a fish all day! I managed to get back all the line I lost and pulled it to just under the boat before the hooks pulled, I was bummed but at the same time we needed to give Dad as much space as possible as he was struggling. 45 minutes pass and the fish pops up on top of the water so we can se what it is, Tri calls it for a 4ft estimated 30kg cobia, it was an absolute monster, now things were getting serious. Dad’s hand give out due to cramping so he hands me the rod. I battle the fish for another 30 minutes just to get it next to the boat. We tried about 5 times to work it into the net but every time the cobia saw the net, he put his monster head back down and gave one flick of the tail…down he went. It took 5 minutes of fighting each time to bring him back to the surface. After an epic battle, he is in the net (which had a small whole in the bottom due to the mackerel chewing it) and trying to lift it in the boat it fell through the net and back in the water. I free spool the line as we pass the rod and reel through the net, bail arm back over and back into the fight after we lost about 30m to free spool. Pulled it back up boat side and Tri tried to lip grip it with his hands but the leader was very hammered and rubbed the whole way up by now, just as he grabbed the fish the leader busted and he swam off. Gutted to not get it in the boat but hey, that’s fishing. This thing was the fish of a lifetime, to have it in the net to only bust through the net at the last minute… it will haunt me til the day I die. We did however get some footage of it as well as a few pictures but they just don’t do it justice. There was a few seconds of silence after it swam off, knowing what we just lost. 



That was our end of the day. We packed up, and headed for home. Cruising close to shore along Fraser was a great sight, even though we lost that cobia I was still chuffed to catch some Tuna and be in a cracking part of the world for my bucks weekend. (pretty sure my brother didn’t hold the same thoughts after loosing every fish of the day haha he was very salty)


We I do it all over again if I had the chance…absolutely! Ill be back as soon as I can. Hervey Bay and I have unfinished business.


On another note, I was happy that none of my stiches popped out!


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5 hours ago, Angry51 said:

Must be a slow reader, that took me a six pack.:whistle:

Was thinking the same thing @Angry51 :), but it was only 2 stubbies for me, so either you are a quicker drinker or a slower reader than me.

Excellent report @christophagus, shame you didn’t get more over the gunnels but that is fishing. Hope you have a great wedding day and, please, no honeymoon reports!

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Great read Chris and I echo everyone's sentiment re wedding. I'm with you, glad those stitches held up to the fight.

From all reports and some articles I have read by Tri, he is a very experienced guide to go with. 

The weather sure would not have helped the situation either looking at white caps. Makes it hard to move and sound around properly and present lure effectively.

You all did well and for your brother the hook up is the best part:) 

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