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  Gone Fishing  Stories

Clarries & Fred

Thursday, January 23rd, 2003's relationship with Glenelg Fishing Charters has grown from strength to strength since its inception, and so as to further reinforce this great partnership, GFC was able to provide to Tripod and son (David) with a special Snapper Fishing Charter.

John Winslet from GFC has established himself as one of the foremost and leading Fishing Charter Service Operators in and around the waters off Adelaide, always able to offer anyone a unique perspective to fishing.

The trip had been planned for some time now, and as the day drew closer, the degree of excitement increased exponentially. Given that I had not yet had the good fortune of trying out John's services and skills in the past, this was also a great opportunity to see John work for a change , and it would also provide my son with an insight into boat fishing and how Charter Operators work, out on the waters.

With a 4.00am departure from Adelaide Shores Marine, on board the infamous Opal III, we traversed out to Clarries for the hunt of the Big Red. The Opal III, being a dual hull Kevlacat, the egress out was surprisingly smooth, as the bumps were not as bone jarring as they seem to be on single hulled boats.

It took about 30 minutes to reach Clarries Ground, some 17km away. Water conditions were quite pleasant, with a 0.5-1 metre swell, north easterly winds, water depth around 20 metres, and pitch black. Eager as ever, David quickly had his line out, using a Paternoster rig and pilchard bait on triple 4/0 ganged hooks.

Fishing for Snapper is best done several hours before and towards the incoming high tide. This time round however only produced the smaller variety, well undersized, but still provided a degree of excitement and anticipation towards hooking the big one. These juvenile Snapper tended to demolish your bait as soon as the rig hit the bottom.

As the morning progressed, without any keepers, we decided to hoist anchor and venture towards Fred's Ground. The fishing at Fred's did not produce any Snapper, but it was able to offer some degree of fight towards Mackerel.

David had some excitement hooking and landing several Mackerel. These fish were then used as bait for the larger pelagics like shark.

On one occasion, after a brief but reasonable fight, David landed a Silver Drummer, which was kept and subsequently cooked that night.

Being on holidays, it was refreshing to watch John work, the way he would come up on a GPS Plot, identify the ground terrain, and anchor the boat so as to ensure we were right over the spot we wanted and more importantly, needed to be.

As a parent, it was also gratifying and rewarding to watch the expression on David's face each time his bait was hit, the striking of rod and the expectation of a set hook, the ensuing fight, and the joy in landing the fish.

With our rods in the water, John would also have several rods out, with varying rigs. One for Shark, several for Snapper, one for the smaller variety. Working the water with multiple types of rigs and baits is of benefit, so as to identify what's about, and hopefully catch the quarry.

John even baited up our hooks. I still however believe in the concept of female deckhands ! 

Overall, the morning was extremely enjoyable and relaxing, achieving what I had hoped for, that being introducing David to some boat fishing without the extra berley, getting some rods wet, and to catch up with John so as to confirm my suspicions, that he really is as good as what most people have said about GFC

Well Done John, and Many thanks

Tripod & David

Glenelg Fishing Charters provides package deals for Fishing/Cruises.

The Review for GFC is well worth the read, should you require more information on this Charter Service

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