Day 5 - 10th April 1999
The morning's fishing produced your standard bumper catch of Coral Trout, Queenfish and Barracuda. Lunch was your standard fish feast expertly prepared by Jenny, but this time it included curried fish with cooked mud crabs. The meat that a mud crab provides is plentiful, and sweet, and definitely a joy to eat !
I decided to forego the afternoon's fishing, as I wanted to relax and enjoy North Island by going for a walk. It would give me time to put pen to paper and note down the more salient points of our trip so far, for the write up on fishSA. It also gave me a chance to catch up on some desperately needed sleep.
The fiasco with the damaged prop (day 2), and the fuel mix up (day 4) left my confidence some what low. However to err is human. Mark informed me that during the afternoon, Coho and Chinook came back after a short hop in the boat due to engine trouble. It appears that they had used the fuel from the temporary cannister that had been left on the beach the day before. This cannister contained a mixture of petrol and diesel. We both roared with laughter, and I felt a hell of a lot better, knowing that I wasn't the only one that stuffed up !
Both Chinook and Coho decided to troll around Watson Island. The reefs around this island seemed to offer a larger variety and quantity of fish, and their lures were guaranteed to take a hit. They even tried trolling further out to sea, towards Pearce Island, that's when all the action happened.
When Chinook's lure was hit, the line appeared to spool off the reel easily, even though the drag was set high. Chinook knew that there was something big on the end of his rod. Infact, the amount of force that was being exerted on the rod was so great, that Chinook had trouble getting the rod out of its holder.
After about 10 minutes of pumping his rod, Chinook finally had the fish nearing the boat. While reeling the fish in, the sight of the boat spooked the fish, and it took off again, straight out to sea. After another 10 backbreaking minutes pumping and reeling, Chinook finally landed his quarry, by Coho gaffing it.
The photo above is the end result of all of Chinook's troubles, a nice 11.6 kg Spanish Mackerel. By the way, that's not war paint on Chinook's face, but three layers of sunscreen ! It was definitely a magic end to a good day's fishing.
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