Jack Auld Fishing Portland With Paul Hourmouzis
12 April 2013
The weather may have finally started to cool, but the action has well and truly hotted up on the south-west coast. With a forecast dominated by a slow moving high, the conditions looked irresistible, so I tentatively locked in the weekend. All I needed was a fishing buddy, so when Jack Auld approached me, that turned into a full-on commitment!
Having spent countless hours preparing, rigging outfits, topping up on essential (and non-essential) gear, it's always comforting for a relative newcomer to the offshore scene to have experience on board. And after having trim tabs fitted by the Haines Hunter Aftercare Centre a few weeks ago and still unsure of their correct use in all manner of conditions, I knew there would be plenty of learning along the way. As it turned out, we learned a few very valuable and hard lessons - but more of that later.
On Friday we made the decision to fish out the back of the horseshoe, working in between 800 - 1,100m depth. Our spread consisted of a range of Pakula skirted lures and Rapala X-raps. Things were slow to begin with for the first few hours with a few missed strikes to begin with. I remember Jack talking about a 2pm bite time and sure enough, the fishing really fired up. The highlight of the day was a 7 way hookup of Albacore of around 20-25kg. With four of the lines tanged including braid in the mix we somehow managed to land all 7. To say this was an adrenaline rush was an understatement!
Having worked our way out to around 42m offshore and with a 15-20 knot easterly blowing, we were set for a long run home. Taking the wheel I could only manage around 10-12 knots against 1.5m seas, which would have taken over 2.5 hours to return back to the harbour. At this time, I suggested Jack take the wheel, so I handed over my prized Haines Hunter 600 Classic and he duly got us home in around 90 minutes. Remarkable! What a well-trimmed boat and certainly a remarkable learning experience!
On Saturday we were presented with more favourable conditions but a long launch time with around 350 other boats in queue.
With a dodgy tide, I wasn't overly optimistic, however after making our way out to similar grounds and after about 10 minutes Jack's Stella 20000, sporting a Pakula Fluzi in Illusion screamed from above our heads in the rocket launcher. Jack removed the rod from the holder with some difficulty and I began clearing the lines. However the fish kicked into another gear. Before I could react, the spool was emptied in around 30 seconds. Another lesson learnt - never bring a knife to a gunfight!
Throughout the rest of the day we caught and released an abundance of bluefin and albacore, heading home early to avoid the crowds. Sighting a southern white whale along the way made it even more special.
All in all this was a most memorable weekend of fishing - one that won't be forgotten in a long time!
Until next time Jack!