After a few weeks of wind and big seas, it was nice to have some good weather again on the reef.
Ric joined us for a week with his wife and they brought some slick calm conditions, awesome once you are out fishing, but can be a bit intimidating when you cant even see the reef for the glassy glare in the mornings. We spent the first day snorkelling, swimming and light tackle fishing, and then got to go for a look out on the ridge off St Crispins Reef to get away from the other boats. We caught 4 marlin in 2 days, with a smaller one and big one each day !! It couldn’t have been a better introduction to the Reef for Ric, with 2 nice big fish at 850 lbs each. Both fish fought different, and showed why we love big black marlin so much !!!
Mark joined us with his 2 boys and his best friend Kelly for 4 days and we kept up our averages with 5 fish and a big sail for the trip. The first few days we fished the edge and got a few fish, but nothing really big, and Kelly spent an hour on a big sailfish on light tackle that took us all over Opal Ridge !!!
We headed out wide of Opal Reef on Nov 24, the last day of the trip and after tagging a black on the way out for Mark, we swam with a whale shark for a bit before heading off to look for a big tuna. The yellowfin and big eye tunas were around, and up to 150 lbs, on the way to the tuna school, we got smashed on the right rigger Marlin Magic Tapered Tube lure, and also on the shotgun rod.
The hole left on the right was the biggest bite Steve and I have every seen !! The big girl just exploded on the lure, and looked like the proverbial ” someone dropped a volkswagen behind the boat !!! ” The bite was incredible and the big fish exploded out of the water in big leaps away from us. Stetson was in the chair and holding on as the big fish leapt all over the ocean with the TRADITION in hot pursuit.
The smaller fish on the shotgun fell off after a bit, but at least the right one was still tight, and Stetson was doing a great job on the rod. We had the leader a few times in the first 15 minutes, and Steve showed us why he is one of the best wiremen on the planet. The big fish fully aired out several time on the leader and some big long jumps that the big blacks are famous for. She then headed down and tough for the next hour before coming to the boat. The fish was pretty tired and Steve lifted her up with back wraps and Ryan put the gaffs in.
We knew the whole fight she was well over a grand, and once in the boat we got a good look and the tape showed she was quite a bit bigger than Lydies 1103 lbs from last season. We ran back to the mothership behind Opal Reef and on our certified scales she pulled them down to a massive 1220 lbs, the biggest fish of the season for TRADITION for the second year in a row. And the second largest black marlin ever caught on a lure !!!
A massive achievement for Stetson and the boys.
We had a few more days after this trip with a couple more fish, and a great way to finish up our season on the Great Barrier Reef !!!!