The first (of two) trips to Rompin planned for this year. I was still buzzing with anticipation following my first tuna trip in 5 years (Cape Town, see previous entry). This was a weekend trip planned with my two son’s, Sion & Ceri. However, a teenage tantrum resulted in my eldest opting to miss the trip and basically waste his weekend …… (one day, when he’s older, he’ll realise what opportunities he’s missed …!!!).
Day 1 – 4.08.12 Weather: Calm Water Temperature: ~30°C.
– I spent c. 4 hours intermittently popping at the bow. I managed to raise a number of fish, and had 3 good follows, with a sail & bill appearing behind, and slashing at, the popper. Still no hook-ups, but getting close.
– Ceri (who’s got considerably bigger and stronger since last year) did an admirable job fighting 5 good sails on livebait, landing 3 and pulling the hook on two.
– We got a double hook-up on decent sized sails, landing both simultaneously (picture)
– We managed to catch about 25 sotong (squid) whilst drifting for sails. The captain noticed that squid were hitting his sabiki, so we switched a couple of bait rods to squid jigs and started catching regularly throughout the day.
We finished day 1 with 5 sails from 7 hook-ups and a total of 8 strikes.
Day 2 – 5.08.12 Weather: Calm Water Temperature: ~30°C
– I again spent c. 4 hours total intermittently casting poppers throughout the day. I was rewared early on when I got a follow that suddenly hit the Yozuri Hydro popper (Green Mackerel pattern). Fish on – my first sailfish on a popper!! What an excellent start to the day. To make things even better I took the fish on 20lb line on an old Penn 6500SS and a new ProTech IM-7 graphite 12-30lb class rod – this is an excellent light tackle set up for Rompin sails. The fish gave me a really good fight, ripping off hundreds of metres of line on the first run at the bow and then settling down to a protracted battle off the stern. The fish came in still lit up (picture) for a quick photo and release. The popper didn’t fare so well – the through wiring was partially pulled out at the back!!
– Action was more lively today. We got numerous strikes and follows on popper. On a number of occasions we teased a fish up with the popper and then threw a live bait out that was usually pounced upon immediately. Infact, we caught the majority of fish on the casting rods this trip, either casting at fish or free-lining a live bait and keeping the rod in-hand. Excellent!!
– We opted to release most fish in the water this trip. We managed to get some good photo’s from the roof of the covered portion of the boat.
We finished the day with 9 sails caught and released (5 for me, 4 for Ceri) out of a total of 11 strikes, 9 hook-ups. This was one of my most enjoyable trips to Rompin to-date. I’m eagerly looking forward to the next trip in late October – hopefully we’ll be able to pick up a couple of tenngiri (aka kingfish, narrow barred Spanish mackerel), as it will be the peak time for this species.
Trip Summary: 14 sailfish C&R c. 25 Squid