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3 Days in Apollo bay

Reports from the rest of Victoria that do not fit anywhere else.

3 Days in Apollo bay

Postby GawaineBlake » Thu May 05, 2011 9:38 am

we were chewing at the bit to get back down after the loss of the massive bluefin the week before and had made the descion to change from Stellas to Tiagra 50w lrs loaded with 37kg on our new Nitro "Tuna Winch" 24kg full rollered rods. It was a very hetic week running around picking up rods then meeting up with Alex from prestige fishing who got us geared up with wind-ons crimps and clips.
The phone call came that our reels were in at Tackle world and were getting spooled up, a quick phone call had the baby sitter lined up ( because Kylie was working till midnight) and i'm on the road.
Arriving at Rich's we pack his car and boat then off we go to Apollo bay seeing us in the boat ramp acrpark at midnight, into the swags for a few hrs and up at 5am.
The ramp was loaded with boats but tempers were good, and after around 1hr we we off with Good mate Clint with his Crew joining us in the convoy out to BigReef
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Day One
not long after arriving at Bigreef we had our spread of lures out and were working the contor lines and numerous patches of bait on the sounder, just waiting for the seals and dolphins to do there job and herd up the frantic bait into tight balls where the arial attack comences from the Gannets, turns and albatross.
The problem was with over 120 boats in such a small area and every one wanting the chance at fighting these beasts, the slightest rise or sign had boats charging towards it and putting them back down.
Slightly south of the main pack we found a bait ball getting worked by 5 seals keeping it in a tight ball near the surface with Turns dive bombing form above, watching the turns i noticed the fish they were catching was only small 3-4 inches long.
A quick lure change and we had a Richter crome jet head out back in shot gun howl and Rich is on
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Moving quickly we had the boat over the fish, to keep us from getting cut off by other boats.
After a Short fight Rich boated a very nice 50kg model, so some quick thinking and watching the sorrounding wild life had paid off.
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The rest of the day was un adventfull for us but we did see many fished hooked and lost due to some very questionable boat drivers.
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Kalvin Bertacchini hooked up amongst the pack

We decided to head in to where Rich had hooked the fish the week before away from the crowd, as we got closer we could see a boat in the area with birds every where but they were wheeling around high and we could tell what ever had just happened we had missed it.

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Getting away from the pack had paid off nicely for them with what was later weighed in at 125kg

Day Two
saw us up early and on the water well before light, we cruised out to bigreef in light rain what might have well been razor blabes in an open boat that time of the morning.
The first signs did not happen till and 9am when all the boats had turned up and today they were charging the bait balls in desertaion and utter stupidity.
As soon as the bait came up a boat would charge it full noise and then throw pilchards into it, as you can guess myself and Richard decide to go else where it was mid afternoon when we found the signs Seals working hard on a bait bal so keeping our distence and doing the odd drive and then straightening up which drag the shot gun straight over the edge of the school .
then it's mayhem with tuna every where 6-9 foot long charging bait and getting air bourne.
Shot gun howls and i'm on only for it to pull the hook in seconds but the tuna are still smashing up all around the lure so i starting jigging it egi still and nearly had the rod ripped out of my hands i'm on again.
It went hard taking 200m on it's first run than settled into its slogg down deep
Rich got me back over the fish and we started gaining line then a big head shake and it goes again, then nothing it has bit me off through 150lb jinki
devastated we head in.
At the ramp there are plenty of Barrels brought in and a Mate Tristen managed to get onto one in the mayhem which went 127kg
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We end up spending the night with Matt hunt and Alek out of dinner and afew drinks he pepped us up and we had plenty of laughs.

Day Three
saw us up late and not leaving the ramp till 8am, this time with regan onboard too, he was full of beens and very pumped.
We got out to bigreef and saw a bait ball worked it with one other boat for around 1hr with a few sightings of tuna but no takes, we didciede to try and get some livies heading away from the bust up we sounded up a patch of bait down around 25-30m quickly catching 15 we head back to the bust area and start a drift along side the working seals with our live baits getting slowly stripped out 2 mins and my tiagra howls i go into half strike and Rich is on the wheel, Regan get the harness on me and i up to strike and now the fight is on.
4km the fish drags us and slowly we work it back towards the boat, i can see it up high just under the surface 30m out it's huge over the 100kg mark it then changes direction and heads low big head shake and gone, the hooks pulled i'm now in dispare i can not believ i have had the chance with 6 barrel this season and not con verted.
We quickly motor back to the seals and get our baits back in the water, with Regan pumping me and Rich up again.
Rich looking over the side says "i just seen a Tuna swim past"
Seconds later and my rod howls again this time it feels good the fight goes for 1hr ten and it's boated My first barrel with two great mates we are pumped over the moon.
What a pleasure it was to use such an easy going rod as the Nitro Tuna Winch, after last weeks 2.5hrs on a jigging rod designed for short fights and fast action you get to appreciate a propper purpose built game rod.
Some quick hugs and high fives i ring Kylie then matt hunt and we decide to head back the 7km for another crack, this time Richard throws his bait in and a Albistross ripped it off his hook.
I say "if my rod goes off it's your any way but put a pillie on two rods in the water is better than one" 5 mins goes by then Rich is on me behind the wheel and regan clearing the deck, Rich goes well on his fish and in little time we have it close to the boat , i hand over to Regan and get ready to gaff. With some very handy driving we get on to of it and boat our second Barrel.
It is very hard to exsplain how this feels becuase it is still very surreal.

It has been an awesome chase for Me and Rich and we have had great support from our familys to be able to do it
Regan you are a bloody champ and with out you this would not of happend thankyou.

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Re: 3 Days in Apollo bay

Postby Abbas » Thu May 05, 2011 9:45 am

Awesome stuff mate!! great report!!
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Re: 3 Days in Apollo bay

Postby GawaineBlake » Thu May 05, 2011 10:00 am

There has been a few people asking how we do or what lures we prefer to run so i have picked out my top favorites and where to run them i'll do it in another post in the next day or so
Cheers Gawaine
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Re: 3 Days in Apollo bay

Postby rockcod » Thu May 05, 2011 12:55 pm

Nice report mate, good effort. Tuna steaks all round for a while!

Cheers,

Dave
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Re: 3 Days in Apollo bay

Postby mrfisho » Thu May 05, 2011 3:17 pm

Great report Gawaine .. water looks almost to good to be true for offshore work.. looking forward to your post on the lures and rigs you used.

cheers
Mick
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Re: 3 Days in Apollo bay

Postby RobsMob » Thu May 05, 2011 3:59 pm

good ready blakey. We said is would be good to see a barrel in a gunshot.
hopefully mine next.
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Re: 3 Days in Apollo bay

Postby hackjob » Thu May 05, 2011 8:14 pm

GawaineBlake wrote:Seconds later and my rod howls again this time it feels good the fight goes for 1hr ten and it's boated My first barrel


Well done dude !!!!

What an awesome read (read it twice .. got my heart pumping both times)

Could not ask for a better couple days fishing what a great fishing trip ..
I think there's some fish somewhere else.. you should try there.
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Re: 3 Days in Apollo bay

Postby Linford » Mon May 09, 2011 4:49 pm

Gawaine,

In the hunt for a new stick for a 50w lrs. Was looking at the Tiagra T-curve but the Tuna Winch has caught my eye!. Haven't seen any around my local haunts.

Distibutors? Cost?

Thanks

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Re: 3 Days in Apollo bay

Postby fishsnatcher » Mon May 09, 2011 4:59 pm

Nitro Rods are distributed by compleate angler not sure on costs. This was our first trip with the Tuna Winch and we were most impressed to feel its true potential get harnesed up and put it under some serious load.
Cheers Richard
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Re: 3 Days in Apollo bay

Postby GawaineBlake » Mon May 09, 2011 5:27 pm

Nitro Tuna Winch
With the growing popularity of anglers chasing south bluefin tuna in Bass Strait, it was only a matter of time before Nitro produced its own specialty game rod - the Tuna Winch.

The Tuna Winch is a 24kg IGFA Class, fully rollered 5ft 7inch, Stand-up Stroker game rod, that’s designed to tackle giant southern bluefin, yellowfin tuna and pelagics game species that suit 24kg line class. Built from the indestructible Torayca® carbon fibre, the same epoxy toughened advanced pre-preg, composite material that’s used by the Boeing Company for structural applications in their next-generation 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

The Tuna Winch comes fully mounted with AFTCO’s Heavy Duty roller guides which feature AFLON™ high performance bearings. Also featured is Nitro’s ‘Winch-Grip’, a finger-contoured fore-grip that eliminates the tendency of the hand to slide down the grip, thus ensuring maximum leverage is maintained during a sustained fight. Additionally, the flattened upper surface of the Winch-Grip’ allows the line to be pinned under the thumb to apply controlled pressure when pumping on a big fish.

The heavy duty reel seat features fully machined anodized aluminium body and hoods with dual locking rings. The gimbal is similarly machined, anodized aluminium with a snug fitting durable rubber/vinyl compound textured butt cap for protection.



Model Length Sections Line Lure Weight RRP
Tuna Winch 5'7" 1 24 kg N/A $499.95
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