After a sensational trip last year, our friends from Italy – Andrea, Pietro, Luca and Carlo – were back this season to try and better their records and see if this round could top last season. They would be fishing on the 37-foot Reef Raider and with four anglers on board it was going to be a comfortable few days. They started off their trip with clear skies and a 5 knot wind gently blowing from the north east. Pietro, as well as the rest of guys, takes his fishing seriously as also his golf, which he plays at professional level. Gian Luca loves his big poppers and stick-baits which are highly recommended when fishing for Giant Trevally in these waters. The guys were really well kitted and knew how to fish, which makes a big difference when you chase GT’s and dogtooth tuna.
We started off the trip popping for most of the day, with some jigging thrown in. It was a good day activity-wise, with 19 Giant Trevally and a big barracuda, that was over the 20-kilo mark, for Luca and a couple of bluefin trevally, green jobfish and red snapper.
The next two days were not much of a numbers day but with a 30-kilo plus specimen and a missed opportunity at another fish that might have been bigger, the large Giant trevally were telling us that they were around. The dogtooth tuna were always chipping in to add to the variety of fish, which is always a welcome break. The boys had five tuna amongst themselves and two sharks to make the day more exciting. The bigger of the sharks needed a bit of brute force to haul its 70-kilo body to the surface and as usual the jobfish and bluefin trevally wouldn’t ignore poppers or jigs that came by their way. The fish were not around the bait and casting into bait schools were not as productive as we expected it to be. We did manage to get a few explosive strikes from decent size GT which unfortunately did not convert into solid hookups.
No matter what we did and tried, we managed to land the smaller fish only. Either the big ones were not too interested in feeding or the smaller fish were getting to the lures first. Pietro did manage to get the hooks into and land a nice GT that came in at over 35-kilos, but this was to be the biggest GT of the trip. Over the next couple of days, the action that followed was probably not as exciting as it was for the group last season, but it was good fishing nevertheless and we did rack up the numbers. On some days the fish seemed more active in the morning and became sluggish as the day progressed and the following day would be just the opposite. When the fish were on the bite the action was good and we had multiple hook-ups on occasion. With three anglers posing with the landed fish, it made for a nice picture. Andrea put a nice dark grouper on board and the shark saga continued with a similar large specimen on the final day as well.
On the last day of their trip we had a few unseasonal rain showers and the winds picked up as well, which made the fish go off the feed. We would have loved to see Andrea with a new personal best for his birthday but that did not happen, although this year he did overall put a few more on deck than last year. Next time perhaps.
This is the strange thing about fishing: when you expect one result you do not always get it; something quite contrary happens. This is fishing and just another reason we keep coming back for more.
Tight lines from all of us at team GFA.
Popping Rods: Smith Tokara, KOZ Expedition, Racepoint 200
Popping Reels: Shimano Stella
Popping Lures: Patriot Design, Hammerhead, Craftbait, Deldavo 180 stickbait, Gamma 160/200, Blaze 200 Sinking, Siren, Pandora.
Jigging Rods: Valley Hill exploder, Temple Reef, Shimano Blue Rose
Jigging Reels: Shimano Stella
Jigs: Drift tuna, Blue Flame, Butterfly and Benthos
Species landed: Giant Trevally, Dogtooth Tuna, Bluefin Trevally, Barracuda, Bohar Snapper, Grouper, Rainbow runner, Green Jobfish, Rusty Jobfish, Shark, Titan Triggerfish