The BIG FISH are here!!!!
We finished our trip with Ash and the boys with 2 more 300 lb fish.
Eduardo, Manuel and Elias joined us in Cooktown all the way from the Dominican Republic, a place I have fished and love for blue marlin.
Our normal nice November weather has not shown up yet, with 20 knots for the whole trip, but some good days of fishing though.
I headed back up to No: 10 Ribbon and fished downsea for the day, and saw fish right from the get go, for the day we ended up seeing 7 fish, had 6 on and tagged 3 up to 300lb, while the ones that got away were up to 600 lbs. With the wind continuing , I headed down to the bottom of 10 to try for repeat of the previous days effort, but not quite the same result. We only had one bite, and what a great bite it was, with Manuel doing a great job in the chair on a really tough fish that made all the wrong decisions. And eventually lost the fish to sharks after an hour with a lot of drag, she never stayed on top and didnt respond to changes of angle. A great fish though. The last 2 days the fishing slowed right down up the top and I was too far from the bite down south to get there. We had a great trip with wonderful new friends and some awesome food. Looking forward to next years trips with the guys both here and in the Caribean.
The Oenbrink family joined us for 5 days as part of their 12 month round the world trip. I met up with Steve, Catherine and Hannah at their home in Florida last year after lots of planning for a great week of weather and fishing to come to the GBR – They were not disappointed!!!!
Our first day dawned with the best weather we have seen all season, and it stayed that way for the whole trip, 10-15 knots from the SE. After some baitfishing and lunch in the Agincourts after a great snorkel, we fised the top of the Ridge for the day and saw 5 fish , had bites from them all, had 3 on and got 2 for the day. The first few fell off, but the big fish came up on the Towcam and just engulfed Carls perfectly rigged scad and off she went!! An awesome fish that fought hard, jumped big, and gave Steve an awesome fight for close to an hour. She was a beautiful big fish that was no question over a 1000 lbs, our 2nd for the season. Our second fish for the day was for Kelly, who joined us from Florida as well, a long time friend and great to catch him a fun 300 lb-er just before dark.
Days 2 and 3 we fished amongst the fleet down on the Bank and Opal Ridge and had a few bites and had a couple of 300 lb fish fall off, inclusing one for Catherine and one for 11 year old Hannah whose fish fell off really close to the boat. It is so much fun having kids fish on the boat, and Hannah is no newcomer, she has been on boat, fishing and diving her whole life, and it showed after she caught us dinner of a 30 lb yellowfin and a big spanish mackeral earlier in the day.
Day 4 saw us have an awesome swim on the top of St Crispins Reef, and after a slow couple of days on the Ridge, headed a bit further north to fish by ourselves. The water was excellent up in the Agincourts but the green zones have taken away much of the edge we used to fish in the past. I wandered up to Escape Reef, and along the way we played with a big hammerhead shark, and worked my way down Escape, hitting all the spots. Late afternoon on a tack back into the shallows she climbed all over the scaley, a nice fish !! Catherine was in the chair this time, a nice jump out the back and the big fish headed offshore, TRADITION stayed with her and we made quick work of the fish and got a good look when she got closer, a real big fish!!! Carl on the leader , Steve with the tag pole, she stuck her head up and gave us a big jump and then swam next to the boat before we cut her off. A really thick solid fish at 950 lbs, really close, but a touch short for that magical 1000.
Our last day saw a couple of bites and Hannah again in the chair with another tough 300 lb fish, which again won its freedom before we could tag it. Another year to grow and Hannah will be back to win next time!!!
What an incredible week, a solid grander for Steve, and his wife Catherine with a 950 !!!! Looking forward to seeing the rest of the the photos of their trip around the world and to see them back here in 2012.
Capt Tim Richardson