When you manage your own business, you pour everything you have into it to make it work... that means crazy long days back-to-back, and, for me, hiding away to focus and get sh*t done. So, from time to time – especially when the sea is flat outside – I tap out and take a morning off to go adventuring myself...
This particular adventure was two weeks ago. I beat the sunrise to jump in my @wildernesssystems sea kayak and paddle across to a nearby favourite spot. The paddle alone was spectacular as over 20 Green sea turtles popped up near me, bait balls of feeding slimy mackerel enveloped my dipping paddle with every stroke, and small mack tuna jumped clean from the water across the horizon.
As I neared my destination, I noticed a +80cm cod beaching itself whilst gorging on jelly prawns… It was huge! I dragged the kayak up onto dry land, and reached for my rod – not for the cod, but for all the other fish going nuts nearby. As I raised it to cast, the spool and cap COMPLETELY fell from the reel, and bounced into the water… I got the spool back, but it wasn’t going to work anymore. All that way and now I wouldn't be able to fish :(
I did have a Plan B though. Since we were kids we’ve been taught to shoot bow and arrow, so I’d strapped my bow-fishing rig on the kayak too, and now reached for it instead. As I peered into the water from the nearest rock, I saw a black-spot tusk fish about 1m deep, and had a fleeting shot at him… I thought no way I’d miss, but sadly I did. What happened after that you can see in photos, but all I’ll say is I only had 3 more shots… And that day I scored a 75% success rate.
Note: The fish in the photo are trevally, they’re legal size and I used every part of them for food, and the frames for crab pot bait.
Their fillets are great fresh, pan fried in butter, lemon and garlic; though trevally also makes amazing Nemis (sliced thin and "cooked" in vinegar), and Fijian Kokoda (fish cooked in lemon juice, then soaked in coconut milk). I only took two, though I saw a school of over 100 big trevally – so I did so knowing it was a sustainable take. I don’t usually keep trevally though, and won’t again. This was a one-off, and I prefer catch and release with these big guys. Also, no, they’re not GT’s.