I want to recount one of those moments of awesomeness I mentioned in my first blog. This moment occurred at a place that has become affectionately known as the "Hurt Locker". This location earns its name from the fact that nearly every time a cast was made something was going to get hurt, either your hip pocket from lure loss, or your arms and back from hooking up to one of the local residents. We found this location purely through exploration spawned by the necessity to find some calmer water, and some fish. The "Hurt Locker" is a lagoon so as the tide drops the water in the lagoon flattens out and fishing becomes quite comfortable regardless of the external sea state.
As we entered the narrow mouth the guys started casting towards the edges of the lagoon, it only took half a dozen casts before the calm surface erupted into a ball of white-water the minute the lure hit the water, in the middle of the commotion a thick dark back materialised followed by a large mouth wide open; the GT of 30+kg engulfed the lure and made a run for cover. On the working end of the rod was Luke, as the GT made its lunge back home it managed to drag Luke from one end of the deck to the other, no mean feat as Luke is a solid lump of a lad. All too quickly everything cut loose as the fish won its bid for freedom. Luke composed himself as he picked himself up turned to me and said "Harry I can't believe it! That was amazing! I was just a passenger!" I live for these kinds of reactions from clients, the sheer disbelief of the power these fish possess. We pushed our way further into the lagoon the guy's had switched to light tackle for a break and we landed some nice reef species and got smoked by a few large GT's in the process. All the while we could clearly see several large GT's cruising the edges.
It seemed to me the fact these fish were all quite large was a promising indicator that these guys weren’t here by chance, they were waiting for something, my guess is for bait to make it’s way off the reef flats and into the lagoon with the falling tide, and these GT’s attended this location regularly in other words they were residents. We had to get out of dodge and rendezvous with the mothership. On the trip back I couldn't stop thinking of what I had seen in the lagoon, and the nature of the structure there led me to believe there had to be more big resident GT's there... I decided I was heading back tomorrow with the next group of clients. I needed to check this place out again.
The next day I was up early and so were my clients, they had heard about the events of the previous day and told me that they wanted to return to the scene of the crime, it didn't take any convincing for me. We departed straight after breakfast and made the half hour run to the lagoon. We had a few casts on the fringing reef while we waited for the tide; the going was slow. When we could get in, we navigated through the mine field of bommies deep into the heart of "Hurt Locker", as we picked our way through again we could see large GT's cruising the shallow waters. Once we commenced fishing, it only took a couple of casts before Dan's lure was mauled by a pack of GT's all of whom were over 25kg. Everything came up tight and Dan was locked into battle with his first ever GT, and what a 1st GT it was. A 10-minute chase ensued as we followed the fish across the lagoon trying to keep Dan's line clear of the razor sharp coral bommies. Once boated the fish weighed in at 32kg a brilliant effort for his first GT and all the while in less than 2 metres of water.
Dan went on to catch 2 more GT's that day both in the high 20kg range, the other boys, boated fish in the 20's as well. When they weren't landing fish they were losing lures to some very large beasts in some very tough country. The rest of the day became a blur of explosive surface strikes, screaming drags and stretched arms. At the end of the day we returned to the mothership with happy but sore anglers and tackle bags that were somewhat lighter than when we left.
I haven’t had the opportunity to go back and check out my theory of the “Hurt Locker” and whether those GT’s are in fact local residents, but I am looking forward to the chance when I get it.