Sunday, 18 August 2013


After a great night’s sleep with fan ALL NIGHT and a huge comfy bed, it’s time for our first fishing trip at Wilderness, but the weather has turned a little nasty and there is a very large swell rolling through which apparently is unusual (maybe my bad juju is back?!) and pretty much hangs around most of our stay. 

 This island is at the bottom of the Western Province and is exposed to open ocean outside of the lagoon, but there are 2 smaller islands not far offshore that provide some shelter and we fish around those for the first day casting big poppers in search of some Giant Trevally. 

There is not much action on the first day, and the rough seas are making it hard to get into the places we need to be, but as usual the scenery is awesome, with some towering cliffs here that we hadn’t really seen at the northern end, and just being out there is enough.

Now it’s only our first day and John not only has us in stitches with his casual attitude and sense of humour, he also scares the crap out of us and makes us question his skippering abilities.  We are trolling around one of the islands and are quite close in when we suddenly find ourselves heading straight for land and a nasty looking reef ledge.  We figure it’s all part of his strategy and let it slide but we are all warily looking at each other. 

We can take it no more and all yell ‘JOHN’ simultaneously and he seems to jolt awake, looks up from his daydream and steers us out of disaster with a millisecond to spare, literally a foot away from hitting the reef.  He gives us this funny little grin, which barely leaves his face the whole time we fish with him and says in his uniquely squeaky voice ‘aaah,  it’s ok.  No problem’!  

 We’re all just thinking ‘fuck, this ocean is gnarly enough as it is, without some amateur, suicidal skipper at the helm’!  The next couple of days are basically the same, we cover similar areas with not much success, all keeping a watchful eye on John as he steers us right into some nasty surf for us to throw lures on the back of, one wrong move here and we’re all dead. 

We finally get a chance to venture further up into the lagoon to throw lures and we are not disappointed, John is fairly new to it all and we spend most of the week teaching our ‘guide’, it’s all good fun though. 

 We quickly start nailing some of the species we came for and the fishing and locations are as awesome as we had hoped.  Some of the places we fished, we were the first people to ever throw a popper at, which is rare these days and a great position to find yourself in as a fisherman. 

We all started getting into some big red bass, a real trophy fish and a hard fighter, especially when you’re hooking them right on the reef edges then trying to wrestle them away from disaster. 

 It is a real visual, exciting style of fishing if you have never tried it, your lure splashing across the surface while you watch on in anticipation, hardly daring to breathe, then ‘BOOF’ a big explosion of water, your lure is gone, the rod is bent over and the fight is on.  Nothing beats it.
Captain John