Persistence Pays Off – Grant Budd 2016

Unless you have been hiding under a rock or been away on a luxury holiday for the past 3-4 months you would know that SE QLD has been getting more than its fair share of windy unfishable days. This has forced many of us to stay at home, fish the local rivers, breakout a kayak or try something else like lawn bowels!

When the weather gods decide to put the brakes on the wind and Willy Weather says its all systems go I am sure you know only too well how that feels inside. With Labour Day just happening to fall on one of the best weather days we have had for some time it was time to embrace getting paid to go fishing and make a few calls and formulate a plan of action.

Being the first one at the boat ramp usually means one of two things. Firstly you are really, really keen or the forecast has changed and you are the last to know about it! Fortunately that morning we got it right and with two boats headed over the Noosa bar in darkness who knew what the day would hold. Crossing the bar is not for the faint hearted or unskilled as this place has claimed many boats and dented a lot of peoples pride and ego along the way. Conditions however could have not been any more perfect. A light southerly breeze blew over a clean long range SSE swell and it was then we knew it was going to be a good day….At least that’s I thought.

With me skippering Bob’s 4.2m Renegade and Cooper pushing his 5m Sea Fox with Tim on board I decided that myself and Bob would try to go out wider to the 55m mark in search of clear water and the Mackerel. With the music pumping Cooper and Tim decided to stay in slightly closer and explore newer ground.

As we watched the sun start to slowly filter through the clouds it was then I realised I forgot my hat along with all my lures and even my camera! Talk about a rookie mistake but this is what excitement can do to you with very sleep under your belt. We however decided to continue and half way into the journey the wind picked up from out of nowhere!! Dam you Willy Weather you did it again!

Sounding around we found a few large bait balls and anchored up in 30m of water. With the anchor down we noticed just how much the wind was getting up. With an increasing northerly current running against a southerly wind it was not fun so we decided to leave for the more sheltered waters of Laguna Bay.

With no word from Cooper and Tim I thought they must have been having an equally bad time so we pressed on. Ending up in 12m of water with no bait on the sounder, no wind and no boatsin our sights our morale was falling fast. With untouched lures and baits we were soon ready to pull the pin and call it a day. The turning point was our local fisheries inspector coming along side to do the usual checks. They were surprised to see us with no fish on board and said they had inspected a boat further south who were cleaning up.

I suspected Cooper and Tim were the ones they were on about but I could not reach them to confirm. With our motivation dwindling fast and my sunburn kicking in just as fast we were done and headed in defeated for a much needed coffee and a re-think.

With coffee in hand I got the call I had been dreading, “where are you”? Tim was informing me they just had the most insane half hour and with that I got a fully comprehensive species list including fish landed with weights and stories of getting totally railed! That’s it mate were headed back out! With a full tank of fuel, my camera, bag of lures, my much needed F&Bcap and a coffee we crossed the bar again at low tide and powered off with renewed vigour.

I have been playing with the contour lines on Navionics maps and theyled me to some new ground and with the anchor out we deployed a few baits at the mid 20m mark. Expecting another slow start I continued to throw about some new test lures when all of a sudden my floater went off. With a vocal roar of “About bloody time!” I struck hard and got the feeling I had been waiting all morning for. With a couple of short powerful runs I soon got to see what had so suddenly changed my mood. A beautiful Chinese FootballerTroutcame into my net. At the time I didn’t know what Trout it was so I called Tim and they decided to come and take a closer look. While Bob took some photos for me my rod went off again. This time it was doubled over and my line was screaming out. With the rod almost going over the side I grabbed it just in time and loaded up into something much bigger!

This was really giving me some stick and with only 30lb mono leader I thought I was going to lose it but continued to pile on the pressure. To top it off Cooper and Tim arrived and gave me some words of encouragement while I continued my battle. After 10 minutes I looked down to see a big show of colour looming up from the depths. A solid Spanish Mackerel around the 15kg+ came into view and with Bob doing a great gaff job it was soon in the boat! With some high fives and some photos taken we exchanged stories and we got to see what the boys had been doing all morning. Some amazing fish were on board the Sea Fox including some cracking Trout and Cod. With that Tim confirmed mycatch, called me something I can’t write here and was soon on their way again to hassle some Tuna busting up.

Not long after all the commotion my rod buckled over yet again and I was soon pulling up another big Spanish. This time it didn’t run until it saw the boat and with a big head shake it was gone but I was still very happy. It was apparent that Bob was still waiting for his turn and not long after I lost my fish his Baitrunner started screaming its heart out!

With a quick turn of the handle and gears engaged he was fighting yet another solid Spanish Mackerel. This one really gave him some great long hard runs and proved to be afeisty fish on his pe2-3 jigging rod. With gaff in hand I managed to get the job done quickly and with his frown turned upside down Bobs mood was lifted with a solid 10kg+ fish. It was then we knew that it was a great day to be on the water.

We continued to fish for an hour or so but the heat and excitement had taken it out of us and we started to head back in allowing us plenty of time at the ramp. All along the way we played with the Tuna but couldn’t tempt them. It was apparent from all of our stories that the fish came on the bite during the tide change and we had timed our arrival perfectly.

Sometimes it pays to take a break and have a sit down. Take the time to formulate another plan if things aren’t going so well. Having a plan Bcould turn your day into a memorable one just be prepared to handle the where the bloody hell are you phone call!!