I took Bob Stephens and two of his associates out in what looked like being a very ordinary day according to forecasts but ended up being one of those better days to be at sea.
We started as usual catching slimies in case we couldn’t find any out wide and then set off to the grounds. We ran some small lures around the FAD even though it didn’t look very fishy and got the expected result so pulled in the gear and ran out to where the water changed colour.
From 80 fathoms out the temp. kept rising until near the shelf it was over 26 degrees and running South at a rate of knots with not a sign of bait except for a few flying fish. It was about that time I received a phone call from Fisheries of all people, very strange, anyway it appeared that the FAD off Port Macquarie had come adrift and they had tracked it to somewhere around the ‘Car Park’ and that at mid-day it would ping them with its current position. They asked if I could locate it for them and retrieve the transmitter. All I could think about was in its travels it must have attracted a lot of Mahi Mahi, maybe a Marlin or two or even Wahoo, I really wanted to find the FAD.
We continued on seeing nothing and then just before mid-day I saw a Yellow dot in the distance, we’d found the missing FAD, I couldn’t believe it, expectations of some good fishing were now rising exponentially as we drew closer. You wouldn’t believe it though, I couldn’t believe it, the only thing there were some small Dollies of which we caught a couple. Anyway after a lot of effort from the charter and the long suffering Ron Kovacs we retrieved the transmitter and continued on our way.
Fisheries rang back shortly after and were very happy that we’d found the FAD and retrieved the transmitter. In return they told me that an eddy was developing South of the lighthouse and pulling warm water inshore.
As we entered the area we started to mark bait and the birds were actively searching, it was very fishy and to prove it we had a Marlin first hit one lure which it followed for a while before disappearing and hitting the rigger hooking itself securely. A short time later another strike resulted in a nice Dolly and the further on we had a crashing strike from an unseen fish that screamed off and then just dropped off, beats me how that can happen .
With a couple of storms building onshore it was time to go, it had been a long but satisfying day.