Well, another long weekend, and though I only landed two worthwhile fish in two trips, I’d call them both a success. The end of our WA long weekend sucked though.
Pre dawn on Saturday found me hitting the ocean in the Fremantle area out of the yak with a few of the yakfishwest blokes. Conditions were perfect, even the beach launch wasn’t daunting. It was quiet out there, but I managed to troll up a weighty fish which i was calling for a snapper, until a big Nor West Blowie appeared, horrible things! Soon after I went out wider with the lads, and I hooked up onto a different fish. On my 10m deep diving snapper lure, I wasn’t expecting a bonito, but that’s what came up. Fought quite well on my heavier tackle too, and I went back home reasonably soon after catching it. It was pretty awesome eating, I used my new fish de-boning tweezers to get a couple of big, bone free fillets. Erin ate one cooked, I ate the other one raw (of course!)
Sunday found me hitting the Swan River, chasing Giant Herring (GH) for a few hours. I had a Rapala skitterpop with a 20cm length of 15lb leader on the end of my 8lb leader, for gill raker wear resistance. This is absolutely essential for the giant herring, and after hookups I nearly always find it badly worn.
I’ve had some great trips chasing the giant herring lately, with some big fish hooked, but haven’t landed many at all. I nearly got spooled on a couple of occasions, but the line busted first. 8-9 hookups in a 20 minutes have occured, with no fish landed, they really are a great sportsfish and a hot Giant Herring bite in the Swan River is unbeatable.
Swan River Giant Herring
Yesterday was a bit quieter, and I couldn’t find any schools. I was about to go home when, back at the launch spot, my popper exploded in a spray of water as I was about to come in. There was no hookup, but it was the unmistakable hit of a GH. When one attacks a lure, there is no mistaking it for any other type of fish, believe me. Next cast and he hit it again, a big spray of water going up in the sky above the already choppy water. The GH then confirmed his identity by jumping, shaking his head and flaring his gill rakers.
The fight was typical of a GH – very fast runs and jumps so high that they were well over my head. He jumped yakside and it was cool looking up at him, they go pretty high for a small fish. They also have a habit of swimming under the kayak at high speed, and much manouvering and mirage drive folding were required to stop the line breaking off against the kayak or breaking the rod. He put up a superb fight on 2lb braid and my bream gear, and there’s no way I could land one of the 80cm specimens I’ve hooked recently with this. I got an 80cm fish yakside recently but was using heavier gear, but unfortunately he was too big to fit in the landing net. It got off when the trebles got stuck in the net, and he slipped out.
Anyway, this fish was landed, and after a couple of happy snaps I sent him on his way. They are awesome fish, well worth chasing, and to have a chance of landing one, I think you need to target them specially.
The long weekend ended badly this afternoon with the completely unprovoked assault of our elderly 85 year old next door neighbour today in his front driveway (he lives in the other half of our duplex). The police have now caught the suspect (who had driven away straight afterwards) and I can’t say much more about that person right now, other than it by no means had any association with Erin, me or our neighbour who was hurt or our neighbours family.
Our elderly neighbour was badly hurt, with a broken eye socket/ cheekbone, cuts and lots of bleeding. I felt very angry and upset that this happened as I know this elderly gentleman and his family well, and we’re always having little chats about gardening, kayak fishing, and all sorts of things out the front. Erin and I were in our house when the assault occurred and heard the commotion outside, and were first on the scene. We took him to our place for first aid to try and stop the bleeding etc and called the police and ambos. For most of the afternoon our house and driveway was occupied by 15 to 20 police, detective and forensics experts, and we spent some time giving statements.
It was great to see the police investing such resources in getting the evidence required to build a strong case in court against the offender. Such an attack made me so very angry towards the offender and anything the police and court system can do to stop the offender doing this again is well worth the effort. I hope the offender doesn’t get a suspended sentence and is actually locked up, so the old couple (and the rest of us living near them) can feel safe.