Lizard Island Tournament 2006

We fished 3 guys from South Africa, who were here with 2 other teams fishing on different boats. The week was over all slow, with flashes of brilliance!!. Fishing for us was a little different to the last few weeks, with only a few fish being seen, in periods of days. Many great captains did not even see a fish all week, and were confined to be spectators. We started off like this, and then moved into the other category!! Young Clifford was winding in a skipjack at the bottom of #6 Ribbon when it started to head out to sea, a rather unusual direction for a bait!! Then when it jumped, things got a bit more serious. After a fight of about 15 minutes and some pretty hard boat driving and incredible downsea jumps we tagged the fish – about 500lbs on 30lb line and Clifford’s biggest fish!!!

Next few days were slow and we headed to Lena Reef, where the big ones were being caught. Bait fishing in the mornings was getting hard, we kept catching little blacks instead!!! Tagging a couple over successive days on 16 lb test. A few good swims , one with a huge cod, the biggest I have ever seen (could have swum inside his mouth he was that big) Benny wouldn’t go inside the cave!!! the wuss!!

Days 5 of the Tournament and Mauna Kea with Cory at the wheel who was not fishing the comp comes out, does a downsea tack through the fleet and gaffs a 1261 lb black- the biggest by far for the season, to follow up on his 1084 the day before. We watched a few other big fish get caught next to us, and missed a 600lb fish. Late in the afternoon the tunas popped up in the opening and we were attacked by a real big fish that put on a hell of a show for Viking 11 and Square Bear to watch as we chased this thing for about 5 minutes. With no question to its size, the gaffs were out and off we went trying to get her. About 45 minutes in, the double was on and off the reel, but she would not pop no matter what I tried, and then at 90 minutes after pulling off a bunch of line we broke line on a fish about 1050-1100lb. The guys on the other boats got some great photos and said she was hooked in the dorsal, so thats why she wouldnt lead. Garth did a great job in the chair, and has a new respect for how hard these fish can pull !!!

Last day of the Tournament and we fished down #10 to our usual spots and were rewarded with another big fish bite at 2nd corner, and a much bigger fish than at Lena. After 40 minutes Benny had her on the leader, and was still a bit deep for a gaff shot, and Glenn has some long arms!!! So with the release done, we set off to finish the fight for Avery. Unfortunately with the fish 50 foot from the boat the sharks finished her off before we could get her. Totally devastated was the Capt and crew, and we hung our heads and headed home for the dinner with our friends.

Oct 21: First day with Ken, back for another year with us on the Bali Hai. With the wind still blowing, we headed up to Day and Hicks Reef for some respite from the weather. heading downsea on Hicks we got climbed on again!! After 15 minutes of great jumps and watching one of the finest anglers in the world, Benny put the tag in as Glenn got some big jumps and pulls on the wire. We called her 1050lbs, and put the baits back out!!! An exceptional fish that capped off a wild few days on Tradition. 3 fish over 1000lbs on in 4 days!!!

Back to the mothership for drinks and a fine seafood dinner!! Cant wait to go tomorrow!!


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Shakeel Ahmad

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