With the day looking a pearler, I decided to head out to my favourite little estuary yesterday and target dusky kob in the surf at the mouth. I still have that 100cm fish I’m hoping to catch and the season is drawing to an end.
I reached the surf at dead low and I found a perfect hole with a sandbar on each side and an epic looking choke point in the middle. The water had a perfect murky colour to it and I just knew that I was going to get stuck into kob! A woman rock and surf angler arrived and started fishing the same spot. She got stuck in fish straight away, first a big guitar fish, then a bronzie. She said that the kob will be coming in with the tide. I was amped and waded far out onto the sand bars, chucking my silicones right in the sweet spot. The tide started to push hard and I got hammered by a couple of big sets. Decided to move to the shorebreak. When that became too gnarly I moved to a more suitable spot down the beach. After three hours I sat down with a sandwich and admitted defeat. Damn, this is difficult fishing.
After looking for kob upriver, I headed back to the car. The tide was almost full and I had and hours fishing left before having to head back to town in time for a dinner party. I decided to rig the 7wt and look for spotties on the sand flats near the mouth. I saw them there less than a week ago, so I was hopeful. Sure enough, there were several pods of fish and they tailed very hard every now and then. Clean water moving in with the push, sun high, light breeze. Perfect. Unfortunately the tailers were very hard to present to, as they seemed to move off the flat as soon as they came up after tailing. So I took shots at cruising grunts, and this can be the most frustrating kind. Most of the fish ignored the fly and when I presented too close, the scooted of the flat like a bat outta hell. I was beginning to doubt my fly, which was seriously problematic since I was using one of Jannie’s latest JAM flies. The clock was ticking and I was getting ready to admit defeat yet again, when I spotted a pod of particularly big grunter on the edge of the flat. On my fourth cast I saw a grunter tail in the vicinity of my fly and I remember thinking that it’s obviously tailing on a natural and not my fly. Not! I felt a distinct pull but the line went slack as I tried to set the hook. Not concentrating! That was so close! Then the fish did a roundabout and lunged forward. Adrenalin. I watched it do a headstand which I now knew was my fly! As the fish came up, I felt the line move and I strip-set. The fish just hovered there for a bit and then took off into the channel like greased lightning. Whooping and hollering! After a couple of runs, I cranked up the drag and bullied it into the shallows. I couldn’t believe the size of the fish! But he didn’t want to surrender and made several blistering runs for the channel. Please don’t come unbuttoned now ….. Eventually I backed off onto the bank and had it on it’s side. With water covering the head, I set up camera for a few quick
I tagged the fish before releasing it and took the fork length. 69cm. A personal best for me by far, with the overall length just over 70cm. Stoked!