Although I am very used to being out on slippery rocks in swell, I am 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 I never need to use!
I always wear a light flotation jacket that also gives you padding should you slip and fall.
These I believe are essential items in a rock fishermens equipment!
With only a few sessions left it was increasingly looking like I wouldn’t see any Roosterfish or large Snapper.
The smaller Snapper were great fun and although I had had a lot of fun catching plenty of them, it was bigger fish I had come to target!
On lighter tackle the smaller snappers and needle fish would be a good challenge, but as you just never know when you will get that big hit it’s important to use the right gear to give you the best chance in keeping the fish away from the reefs and landing them around the rocks.
Tomorrow was my last full day and We planned one more trip out to the rock I had tried some days back 40ks out to sea!
We set out early but soon realized that after the storm in the night the seas were really big and there was a serious swell coming through.
Knowing it would be dangerous to try and get onto rocks in this swell and the risk of damaging the boat, I decided to stay around the more protected islands.
Many of the normal islands I fished were now out of bounds with the increasing swell. I headed for a spot I called Snapper island, and managed through the morning to catch a couple of medium size snappers.
With time running out, I returned to the boat where Victor suggested we call it a day as he thought it was too rough.
I was reluctant to return being near the end of my trip and scanned the coastliline looking for another island as we headed back towards home!
About 3 kilometers from home I spotted an island that look sufficiently sheltered and asked if he could drop me at the back of the island for one last try!
The surface of the water was smoother and looked great for a Surface Lure. The water was clear with a slight tinge which just looked like Rooster territory.
These fish are real predators and spend there time patrolling rocky shorelines, and beaches hunting bait fish!
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 down.
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 at last 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 on my side, I started to cast lures relentlessly, working my way along the rocky shoreline. I knew Victor wanted to get back to eat soon and would have about another half hour or so.
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 hard almost immediately 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 fish, but I would be more than happy to get this one in!
Fortunately it 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!
I had arranged to have a quick fish around the close by estuary and then pack up my things and catch the bus.
After finally hooking the rooser all plans changed and I decided to return tomorrow for one last try!
I was well aware of how disappointing it can be when you expect the fishing to be as good as it was the day before, and it just doesn’t pan out that way.
Theoretically tomorrow should be better as I would be there early and have much longer to fish!
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 Jack. This one caught me out daydreaming. I was looking for a dorsal fin when just at the edge of the water, boom the jack hit!
This is another reason to work your lure well right up to the shoreline!
You never know if a fish will hit on the first or last turn of the handle.
A few hours and fish follows later and I was into my next fish, a 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 it went!
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 which 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 in store for me!
As I was retrieving my lure I saw only what I can say looked like a huge goldfish following my lure! but I was quickly running out of water!
I knew it was far to bright to be a Cubera Snapper but knew it could be the fish of the trip!
I continued to tweak the Enticer between surface and topwater praying it would take it, when 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!
Thank God this one also stuck, and after an intense hard fought battle keeping it out of the rocks I landed this lovely Snapper!
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 perfect 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 also had a nice Sierra and of course the Roosterfish!
As I left the island I was sure I would be back again chasing that big Rooster!
Definitely a good excuse to return!