The fish are getting bigger. This day it was planned to fish again for GT in the hope to get at last the big GT we were after. Itu was unfortunately already booked by another client. It was planned to fish more days with him but the weather really balked my plans. So Rua saved the day once more and came together with Shaka, a funny guy that is also guiding for Itu. The weather was much better than the days before but not fully perfect. At least the wind came from a direction from where the flats where sheltered by the islands. Good but not perfect
Again fishing on the reef next to Ootu Beach between Mangere and Papau. This was already the reef where I caught my first GT on the second day. The waves and the stronger wind made the exercise this time a little bit more complicated. But we were a good team so lets see what happened. Rua started to push the boat against the wind towards the reef, he and Shaka looking for the silver-grau shadow of a GT. And also this time it didn’t take long since the first GT came by. Rua spotted him behind a coral. The GTs behaved really different than I expected. I thought this are nervous predators always on the search for an easy meal. I was completely wrong. The bigger ones behaved really like ambush predators. But maybe they were just sleeping, who knows.
At least this one behaved as I hoped once he saw my fly. I made a long cast aside of the coral and stripped the fly past him. He didn’t react immediately but maybe 5-6 strips later, the fly already did past the coral a few meters, the GT started, turned after the coral towards my fly. My heart made a leap. Incredible how fast they can swim. You see the big massive body shooting towards the fly, almost half outside the water. Shortly the fly surfed on the wave, the GT pushed ahead of him. Even if this scene was quickly over, I still can remember the GTs open mouth and also when he devoured my fly. Man that was a take. Line strike? Not needed!, just hold on the rod, reel and line and hope that nothing fails. This time I didn’t made the mistake to fish without hand gloves but the line burned the rubber on the inside of the hand gloves so that you can see the line path on them. The GT took immediately all the slack line I had around my feet. Like a bonefish just a many times stronger. The difference compared the fight a bonefish is that you can really tighten the drag. Remember, GT fishing is with 70lbs fly lines and a 130lb leader. That will not break no matter how strong your reel drag is set. And you really need a strong drag. Every meter a GT takes increases the risk of loosing him on a coral. I had the drag really tightened and once he was on the reel the rod was straightened to an absolute straight line. The fight was on. Even the drag was fully tightened the GT had no problem to take line from the reel but he tried his luck more by swimming to the sides.. That’s the method I was reading from the experts. Minute for minute, meter for meter, I reeled in the GT and it didn’t take long and I had the GT in front of me. The moment I grabbed his tail, all my worries flew away. I was happy. A few photos and I released the GT back to his element. Rua estimated him to roughly 15 kilo. Unfortunately we didn’t measure him to see his length but that’s was just a irrelevant fact in that moment. One dream came true.
We tried one more spots to get another GT but we were only successful to hook up a good size bluefin trevally. A really nice catch but compared to a GT not very spectacular. It is really astonishing how fastidious you can get after such a fish. But I almost forgot, this was not the only GT on this day. We decided later to continue the day with the search for bonefish, so we headed for the flats. Immediately on the first flat we saw a small group of bone fish swimming around. I tried to cast for them and a few casts later there was something on. It wasn’t a bonefish. Something grabbed the fly faster than the bones could. It was a very nervous fish that tired to escape in all possible directions. Firstly we thought we hooked up one of the all time present yellowfin trevallies but once in my hand I realized that it was a baby GT, slightly bigger than a A4 page. Sweet!
But lets continue the day with another superlative fish. Yes the GT was not the only trophy fish for me. After lunch, later that day we continued to fish for bonefish. Rua was on his sighting platform and I was with my thought still at the GT I hooked in the morning. Rua spotted fish after fish but I didn’t had the luck to hook them, I was for sure not fully concentrated. Till one bonefish that came by and took the fly. Instantly it was clear that this was a bigger bonefish. The reel was screaming like a supercharger and I saw unexplored backing on my reel. A new record!!! The first flight was for sure not shorter than 200 meters. Rua estimated that the Bonefish reached already the end of the flat and started to go deeper into the lagoon. That’s a bit dangerous since there is a chance that he could cut me of on a coral. Luckily the bonefish stopped and I could reel in some line. I had maybe in 100-120 meters when the bonefish started with another flight. Strong again but not that long as the first one. Again reeling in, another flight, reeling and reeling. That’s really is a sport for men :). 10 minutes later I had the bonefish around me and another 5 minutes later I was able to surround his tail with my hands. What a massive bonefish, for sure 10lbs. My first double digit bonefish?. Rua confirmed, it was my first double digit bone. Yeah!!!
What a day. And it continued with one more bonefish and some yellowfin trevallies. That was a day how a fisherman wants it to have at least once on a trip.
Next Chapter: Reef fishing