Well it has been a pretty incredible season. Sitting here looking back at what will go down as one of the best seasons for BIG fish I can remember. “TRADITION” with my crew of Glenn Hillier, Brett Chain, Bennett Griffin, Frankie Marion and Paul Sharpe experienced some of the roughest weather and finest fishing imaginable!!!
We tagged 40% more fish than 2005, and of these 10 were over 900 lbs, 5 of these over 1000lbs, and 1 over 1200 lbs all tagged. We had a double header bite with Greg in early Nov up on #10 ribbon that saw us catch the little one- she was 800 lbs!! I came up the ledge at Heartbreak Ridge where I marked 2 fish 140 feet down in 220 foot of water. I called to the boys to get ready , and as everyone on board was watching the big bait, up she came. 4 foot deep body out of the water down to her belly, and a 2 foot dorsal on top. She ate the scaley and we stopped the boat to give her time to get it down. This was the one we wanted, no question the biggest fish I have seen since fishing with Muddy up here many years ago.
I called down to Frankie to get the scad out of the water, as he wound it in as fast as he could it came tight and started pulling off drag at 45 lbs. I pushed the throttles into gear and waited to come tight on the big bait. The call was to cut off the scad rod once we came tight. I didnt want a double header with this thing on the right!!! As we went forward and wound up to come tight, the small fish on the left just kept taking line. Then heartbreak, the big bait came skipping back to the surface with no giant fish attached to it. Huge bummer, oh well we can go catch the little one and then come back and try to get another bite from the big fish.
The little fish came climbing out of the water, all 800 lbs of her. Frankie (wearing the PESCADOR camo shirt) hit her with the tag and we cut her off to keep going about her life. I then spent the next 2 days looking for the big fish but no go.But we did get Greg 3 fish on the last day, including a real nice 900 lber.
Manly and John joined us for 5 days , the first few watching the boys around us catchign huge fish while we played with the little ones. Saw an 1108 lbs , 1040 lbs gaffed and several others over 1000 lbs tagged in these few days. Tired of watching and not catching i went back to the top of # 10 Ribbon and camped out waiting my turn all by ourselves. We were rewarded with a nice fish of 500 lbs for John, and spent 2 hours later that afternoon at full drag for a nice 900 lb fish for Manly that spat the bait back to us 20 feet from the leader. She put on an incredible show at the back of the boat with us in hot pursuit.
Frankie flew back to the real world of high fashion designer and manfacturer www.pescadorbrand.com and Paul “Kiwi” Sharpe (fresh from a stint on the Tysons Pride in St Thomas) joined Glenn on the deck for the rest of the season. Pauls buddies from NZ joined us for a few days with a couple of hot 600 lb fish and nice weather for a change!!!
We then spent a week on the Atlantic Princess with the Square Bear with Capt Sparrow at the helm to fish our buddies from the Gulf Coast. We had Ron, Terry and Kane with us and managed to release 7 fish in 7 days, the biggest of which was a hot 650 lber for Kane. We fought 4 nice big fish during the week and managed to have them all come unstuck at inopertune times!!! A couple were real nice ones.
Last trip of the season was Neil and Peter from Melbourne joining us again. We had a few bites and managed to catch one good fish while missing a few small ones. We watched a few nice ones get caught right next to us , and even baited a few good fish but to no avail.
Overall an incredible season with lots of wind (will it ever stop?) but also a very large number of huge fish seen and caught. I think there would have been over 100 fish over 1000 lbs released, and a handful weighed this year, including : 1040,1084,1091 (Junior World Record) ,1103,1106,1108, 1261 and 1291lb fish.
A lot of my mates saw or fought the biggest fish they have ever seen , and i know of 2 that Laurie Wright caught that he said were the biggest he has seen- and he has done almost 30 seasons off Cairns!!!
cant wait for 2007 to come around and see all our friends back in Australia again, and enjoying the TRADITION and the Great Barrier Reef.