“Accept The Challenge”
Fishing is a huge part of my life, and when I am not wetting a line I can be found reading, writing or compiling information for my next challenge. A challenge is an invitation to engage in a contest and the piscatorial world invites me to these contests with a myriad of variables that can foil your ambitions without apology. Some of these variables I speak of are the weather and tides, equipment failure, geographical anomalies and elusive species that require many hours of persistence to conquer. It is this personal perception of a contest that drives my fishing obsession and I gain an immense satisfaction from accepting and overcoming these challenges.
My latest challenge has been to catch a legal sized Estuary Cod from the Kayak. In the past month I have caught around Twenty but all undersized usually by only a centimetre or two, I have been targeting them at the last of the outgoing and the first of the incoming tide along an oyster encrusted rock wall in the Pioneer River. During this month long challenge I have been bricked several times, a common problem with targeting such a species that resides within the crevices of razor sharp oyster rocks, these fish hit the lures hard and dive back into cover snagging you in the process. The first time this occurred I inevitably wound the drag up on my little Shimano Aernos 2500 loaded with 6lb Braid and 20lb Fluorocarbon leader when the lure was hit with such force that the outcome was a major equipment failure resulting in my reel being snapped off at the rod.
This is when the challenge really commenced. This fish had not only won this battle but it had totally destroyed one of my favourite reels! This had got serious, very serious. The very next time I went out I had a plan, I knew where the fish were so that was not a problem. I knew what lure to use so I had that covered also and now I had my Shimano Caenan Baitcaster outfit loaded with 30lb braid and 30lb Fluorocarbon leader with a fully locked drag. This time on a higher tide last of the incoming first of the outgoing with a stronger current, I used a 5/8″ TT jighead with a 4″ Atomic Prong S.P. After 3 smaller versions I finally landed my first legal E.C. of 45cm Not a big fish for the gear but they fight dirty and with razor sharp oyster rocks everywhere you can’t give them an inch!
Soon after I banged into what I thought may be a Fingermark or Mangrove Jack but unfortunately a 46cm Blubber-lip Bream also known as a Brown Morwong came on board. Terrible eating qualities saved this fella’ from the table and he was released to disappoint another angler further down the track.
Some people fish to catch a feed for their family, others fish for a chance to land the “next big one”, some may even fish for the prime purpose of having something to write for their next article. My fishing comes from somewhere much deeper, a family tradition, a salute to my ancestors, to honour my childhood but most importantly of all it is to accept an invitation to a challenge. Sometimes I may win, sometimes I will lose but one things for sure, I will keep on fishing!