My Hervey Bay Experience

As i have done majority of fishing in the estuaries and in small creeks and dams me and 2 of my mates thought it was about time we broaden our options and put our skills to the test and give ourselves a go at targeting offshore fish so with a few months of planning and a bit of research on the internet we decided to head out and try Hervey bay.

 

The target species for the day were Tuna and see if we can pull off a big reef fish as i have never caught either. So as we arrived at the boat ramp we were greeted by our guide for the day Tri, as we were heading out he gave us safety procedures and then it was go time and all us boys were just itching to get stuck into a fish. It wasn't long into our drive until a school of longtail were seen completely airborne out of the water and the huge panic of just getting a rod out there began, using stickbaits my mates tried ever so desperately to hook one, i on the other hand threw a 5'' flickbait plastic and not even a few cranks in and i was on. and from its first run it was just an experience in itself. Nothing like the bass on spinnerbaits that i get in the creeks. after 10 or so minutes and arms pumped i landed my first Tuna.

A 10kg Longtail
 

After the longtail all of the boys and i Managed to stick a few hooks into some Mac tuna which were still a load of fun and by that time i thought the day couldn't get any better, but that's where i was wrong.
As we arrived to a reef there were still plenty of birds insight diving and swooping over the top of tuna. The boys decided to put on 40gr jigs and i put on a 20gr and i was warned that because we were in about 15-20m of water and we would be drifting that it could become difficult keeping my jig in the zone but i gave it a go anyway. So i pulled out my 20gr Damiki Backdrop straight out of the packet with the stock assist hooks on and away we went looking on the sounder we couldn't believe our eyes with the amount of fish bunched off on the bottom, if we couldn't get a fish there we had no hope but minutes later i saw myself bring up a small nanigai which was pretty cool because micro jigging was all new to me and after watching countless videos on the internet of people slow jigging and speed retrieving i thought well the fish are on the bottom and if they are not actively feeding then one quick rip and sink back down hopefully will be enough to get them going. After a few drifts and we all managing a few small reefies we started running into some of the better fish like this nice sweetlip.

 

After that drift on the sounder it looked as the fish started pushing off the bottom into the middle of the water column so i dropped down and cranked it up as fast as i could and that's when my rod buckled and then i experienced a few sharp short runs which had me confused onto its species until it came up and i realised i had my first mackeral on a jig which i was pretty lucky to not get bitten off so with that on board the boys hooked into some as well although they went huge fish for me this was a whole new ball game and a achievement for me because by this stage i had 2 species of tuna Mackeral and Reef species i never thought i would ever catch in my life. After my first, a few pics were taken then next drop a replica mackeral jumped straight back on my jig and i couldn't believe how good this type of fishing is. I will always love my Bass fishing but this is something else.
 
 



On the next drift our guide decided to spot lock his electric because there was fish on the bottom it looked on his sounder as though there was a thick blanket and that's where we managed a large abundance of nanigai but it was my mate Callan that came up trumps jigging a 40gr backdrop through them all and landed the biggest one out of all of us which was a definately a fish to be proud of.
  

After the hype of that outstanding fish we all settled down to eat lunch then to get straight back into it. again we started drifting and i was staying persistent with the 20gr when all of the sudden i did one hop that would unexpectedly change everything as i was totally unaware that i just hooked a fish of a life time. as soon as i loaded up we all knew it was going to be something big with guesses of what it could be flew all around the boat just stopping it from pulling drag was the harder part as it did not want to come up then i felt consistent tail thumps and i personally thought here's the Golden iv always wanted after the bulit up anticipation it started to come up and to my surprize i just saw a long light creature so i thought reef shark or another mackeral and the guide rushed to the net faster then he had all day and as soon as it was in the net he said look at the size of that Bonefish. In shock everyone was so surprized high fives going everywhere as we couldn't believe that i had just caught a Bonefish on a 20gr Damiki Backdrop!

 

After that fish we were hopeful to get into more fish but they began to scatter and the bite died down dramatically and the fish started to disapear from the sounder so we spent more time chasing mac tuna before it was time to call it quits and head back but this was a trip of a lifetime for me and a day i will not forget in a long time with many firsts, heaps of laughs and heaps of hard fighting unexpecting fish. i definitely am a huge fan of the Damiki Backdrop Jigs and don't think i will want to use any other. I am already trying to see if i can organise another trip because there is no words to describe what it was like to a bass & jack fisherman like me. So Hervey bay was a huge success for all of us!

Darren Rama

QLD Team Member