Barrel Mission III – Cape Jaffa 13-14 October 2015

With a break in the weather and a couple of days up our sleeves we did an early week trip to Cape Jaffa, we knew the weekend had been crazy and unfortunately we had too much on to be able to get down the SE.
Mum and I headed off Monday night after a meeting, we jumped in the car and the radio was playing ” I’m  just a girl”… Mum and I looked at each other and said it’s going to be a good trip! Arriving at Cape Jaffa around 2am Tuesday morning.  We pulled into the caravan park, crawled into the boat and hit the hay ready for the next morning.
I was on strike and excited… launching we headed out until we saw the usual action, birds diving, dolphins and whales. We had just received our new lures that where on order and we were pumped and ready to go.
We trolled for about an hour and then zzzzzzzzzzzzz double hook up… Mum and I just looked at each other …..Noooooo, we had to just suck it up! Bugga mum’s busted off, but mine was still on. I got my harness on and set up … OMG the power of this fish was unbelievable.
I settled into a nice rhythm and within 30 mins my big fish was on the surface, and so close… I yelled at mum to get the gaff as I was up to leader and it was looking like a cracker fish. A couple of delays and gaff issues saw it swim back into the depths and that was the beginning of my world of pain….
I managed to get the fish up to the surface again, and let me tell you with only 2 of you on board it’s not easy. By this time my lower back was in pain, and the pressure of the fish was ridiculous. Down it went again by this time mum was telling me pump and wind Renee, just little pumps and winds and this resulted in world war 3 on the boat and we were lucky no one else was on board.
Finally I had it back to the surface and by now I was in a world of pain, I had my fish right next to the boat again and then a dolphin came swimming up to my line, turned around a flicked its tail a couple of times against my line trying to cut me off. Noooooo
Close to tears and only an hour 10 into the fight… the dolphin went away and the fish was still at the side of the boat, then I made the biggest mistake ever!!! I sat on the esky to get some leverage and heaved in the last few winds ….. SNAPPPPP the fish went straight under the boat and cut off…. (Ren sulking again….) not a word was uttered 🙁
After a few minutes we re-grouped and lures where back in the water!! Zzzzzzzzzzzzz off it peeled again, which was short lived as it busted off… and again!! Lines in again Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz mum took up the fight 20 mins in. gone  busted off again… this continued for another 4 fish.
By this time is was getting on and we decided we should call it a day and get back in before dark.  Arriving back at the caravan park, people had rocked up from everywhere to fish the next day.  We spent some time chatting to the guys from snapper safaris who were a real cool bunch. They were barrel virgins and hoping to land their first as well.
We had a few boats out the next day working together where fish were hooked up and all of us keeping in touch.  Mum and I headed out to the same area we were the day before, activity was in a little closer so we dropped in the lures, Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz off it peeled.
Mum on strike we were on again…. Settling in Mum had a good rhythm going, and hour in and we finally had it to the surface, trying to back up on it went deep again and stayed there!!! 2 hrs in and the fish was still swimming deep we had managed to get it back up again for it to go back down deep again.
We had this fish to the surface 5 times now, and I thought back to some a fight some other guys had with 2 on board and the epic battle they had that took them into the dark and some 10hrs later… what we were doing clearly wasn’t working. 3 hours and 45 minutes in and I could see mum was getting tired.
The fish would come to the surface and we would back up on it and it would go back down, I had then establish that we needed to get it to the boat from on the surface.  The Flying gaff was tied off to the side of the boat and I had it ready to go, within seconds I had a clean strike and the fish was gaffed.
Letting off some line, mum took a breather while I held the robe and fish.  Mum then grabbed the main robe while I got the other gaff and gripped its tail and the tail wrap was on and finally a barrel was tied to the side of the boat.
At this point we put out the radio call that we had landed it finally.  Michael, Franko, Deldie and Scotty from Snapper Safaris II headed over and a couple of the boys jumped on board to help us pull her over, and take some pics for us J  they were just as excited as us. (Thanks guys it was really appreciated)
They still didn’t have a hook up at that point, as we were heading back in we lent them out lethal weapon just in case it brought them some luck as well. It didn’t but they hooked up all the same and Scotty managed to land a nice fish as well – so well done guys!
On our way back in we flicked over radio channels on the off chance someone was at Causon Havoc… no one was there but we heard a familiar voice over the radio “that sounds like justagirl” why hello Mr Bell, so we had a quick chat to Tony filling him on our trip as we were excited to be able to share it with the team down there.
Back at the Cape Jaffa Caravan Park, Chad & Kristy arranged for us to head down the quarry to get our fish weighed.  Thanks for arranging it and being part of our excitement 🙂
Down at the quarry the guys down there grabbed the crane and loaded her up, 99kg bled not quite the 100+ we were after but a nice fish all the same… and we aren’t going to split hairs over 1kg as far as we are concerned it’s a barrel!! (Despite a lot of talk about it’s not 100kg… ain’t nobody got time for that!! 😛
The guys at the quarry thought it was hilarious and didn’t expect to be doing that for a couple of girls but thanks for your help guys.
Nathan rocked in with his fish also and weighed in at around 120kg and was another nice fish, we chucked both fish onto he back of his Ute and headed into Kingston to clean them up before the long trek home.
People came from everywhere at Kingston as we pulled into the wash area with 2 massive tuna on the back, and after filleting it’s fair to say it looked like a murder scene, but the birds where very happy with their dinner that night and nothing went to waste. It’s important that you get yourselves some tuna size knives, this job then becomes easy We got a couple of beauties from Taylor Marine on Victoria RD, They sell Pro fishing  supplies and for $62 for a machete type knife that carved up 2 barrels easily  it was well worth it. I think this is why fish are getting left behind and or not filleted properly. Get the right tools for the job guys. Oh and tell them justagirl sent you 🙂
WOW just WOW… what a couple of days, as we cleaned up and jumped into the car to head home the radio switched on and I’m just a girl was playing again… mum and I looked at each other, laughed and high fived and headed home!!
It’s taken us 3 days to get over the pain…. But hey you never know what’s around the corner…. 😉
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