Of course the main purpose of my trips is to attempt to catch big fish from the shore!
But it’s always a bonus when the environment around you is beautiful and makes the rest of the trip a pleasure.
When I had arrived on the island I needed to estimate what food I would need for my stay, so being a big fruit eater it was a nice surprise to find mangos, avocados and papaya growing naturally on the land!
I had also brought kilos of apples and oranges to munch through during rests on my spinning sessions.
8 hours out in the boat island hoping and spinning is fun but exhausting and it’s vital that you eat well to keep your energy levels balanced and high.
It’s also interesting to see the nature and creatures around!
In the bathroom I had a scorpion living between my window and mosquito netting which I always kept a close on eye when taking a shower, and just outside you would find poison arrow frogs hopping around enjoying the afternoon rain.
These have a deadly poison that tribesmen would use to lace the tips of there spears.
On many even small islands I startled large lizards basking ion the rocks in the sun and wondered how the heck they got out there!
As it was rainy season there I experienced some huge thunder and lightning storms. We was only caught out on the boat once in a heavy storm with Victor assuring me of how rarely boats get hit by lightning, which made me feel only marginally better!
Although i am very used to be out on slippery rocks in swell im 100% aware of the dangers involved and do everything possible to keep safe!
I carry a marine radio and emergency location beacon which I hope never to need! These I believe are essential items in a rock fishermens equipment.
I always wear a light flotation jacket that also gives you padding should you slip and fall.
With fishing slow I asked if it would be possible to go out to a few rocks 25 ks out to sea I called
I had checked the weather and the sea state was small with no wind.
We set out early and after 1 and and a half hours we arrived.
It’s quite daunting being out alone on the rocks.
After dropping me on rocks and Islands Victor would usually troll a lure behind and spend the morning circling some spots.
I hadn’t seen him sometimes for hours but so far out I certainly felt more vulnerable.
The conditions of the sea was great, a 1.3 meter swell and no wind.
This also meant boiling weather. During the morning I went through 4.5 liters of water and always felt thirsty!
I decided to stay at one spot and wait for passing fish!
The place had a great potential for big fish, and on this day I managed to catch a couple of Snapper and a nice blue Jack.
I would certainly look forward to returning should the conditions allow.
After many days trolling with just a small Snapper to show and much wasted fuel Victor decided to call it a day. I also felt safer with him anchored up where he could keep an eye on proceedings.
The next couple of days resulted in some more needlefish and Snapper, but still no Roosters, I hadn’t so much as seen a fin break the water! I was beginning to feel they just weren’t around this time!
Tomorrow was my last full day and We planned one more trip to the far out rocks!
We set out early and soon realized after the storm in the night that the seas were really big and there was a serious swell coming through.
Knowing it would be dangerous for us both to try and get onto rocks in this swell and the risk of damaging the boat, we stayed around close.
Many of the normal islands I fished were out of bounds and after fishing an island I called Snapper island and catching a lovely stripped Snapper, Victor turned and said it’s time to go home!
I was reluctant to return being near the end of my trip and spotted an island and asked if he could drop me at the back of the island for one last try as the swell was more sheltered.
The surface of the water was smoother and looked great for my Samson Surface Enticer.
After 30 minutes fishing the high tide I saw the site I had been waiting for. A big dorsal fin breaking out the water and a very large Rooster fish chasing my lure.
My heart was in my mouth as the Rooster dodged and weaved all around my lure deciding weather to hit it or not. The chase started right out the back and continued all the way in.
Roosters are certainly not the easiest fish to hook on a lure and will often chase a lure all the way to shore only to turn away at the last second.
With just 15 meters of sea left the Rooster finally hit the lure!
Yes! I was on with a Rooster and it was a big one!
But my joy was short lived as after a short tussle it managed to slip the hook.
It was a real shame as I felt I was in a good spot to be able to land a fish if this size.
Well at least I knew they were around!?
With time not being on my side, as I knew Victor wanted to get back to eat, I started to cast furiously again working my way along the rocky shoreline.
Not 30 minutes had passed and I saw the second Rooster of the trip dorsal fins break the surface and chase my lure.
This time there was no long chase it hit the lure and I was on again!
Excitement and Please don’t come off are the only emotions I remember feeling!
This wasn’t anything like the size of the first hit but I would be more than happy to get it in.
Fortunately this one stuck! These fish fight very hard and I was happy to land it take a quick photo and get it back.
It’s vital when you catch a Rooster fish to get it back in the water as soon as possible. This is a fish that really doesn’t fair well out of water and normally needs a few minutes of assistance when returning!
Well I was happy now! I had a Rooster and was leaving the next day!
We had arranged to have a quick fish around the close by estuary and then pack and go.
After finally hooking the rooser all plans changed and I decided to return tomorrow for one last try!
Well I was well aware of how disappointing it can be when you expect the fishing to be as good it was the day before, or better as I was going at first light., and it just doesn’t happen.
From my experience I knew that this is often not the case!
I also knew how Roosters can be here today and gone tomorrow, literally 100ks away!
Nonetheless first light and I was being dropped on my new favorite island.
The first action was a nice needlefish! Right in the mouth! As often these can be foul hooked. After some great acrobatics I brought the fish in for a quick photo and off he went!
A few hours later and a few follows it was a nice Jack. This one caught me out daydreaming. I was looking for a dorsal fin when jus at the edge boom the jack hit!
This is another reason to work your lure well right up to the shore.
You never know if a fish will hit on the first or last turn of the handle.
When fishing for Roosters I tend to work the lure with a steady medium to fast retrieve with gentle pulls of the rod tip to change the speed of the lure and it give it a nice fleeing fish on the surface effect.
When I get to the last 10 meters I slow it down and Tweak it through with is certainly worth doing as many hits come from far out or right in close where predatory fish are patrolling the edges.
The last day was turning out ok and a good call to return.
With very few pauses to load up on fruit I continued casting knowing at any minute Victor would be bringing the boat over. He needed to pick someone up and said 1.00pm was the limit and also I still had to pack and leave!
But there was one last surprise for me in store!
As I was retrieving my lure I saw only what I can say looked like a huge goldfish following my lure!
It was a much brighter orange to the Cubera Snapper I had caught on my last trip and and I was quickly running out of water.
I continued to tweak the Enticer between surface and topwater and then all of a sudden I was on. I didn’t see the last movements of the fish but certainly felt it!
Please don’t come off I thought again! as I knew it was the fish of the trip!
Thank God again it stuck and after an intense hard fought battle keeping it out of the rocks I landed this lovely Red Snapper another PB.
After another quick photo session the Snapper was back in the water and swam of strong without needing any assistance from me!
The end to a great days fishing!
It had ended up being a great trip again with a nice variety of fish caught from snook jacks and a big Ray in the estuary to needlefish and 4 specie of Snapper including mullet Snapper red snapper, stripped Snapper and Cubera Snapper.
I had a nice Sierra and of course a Roosterfish!
As I left the island I was sure I would be back again chasing that big Rooster! A definite good reason to return!