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Author Topic: Jet Ski Social Ride Fishing Stories, or "Secret Ski Business"!  (Read 4301 times)

Offline auhazie

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Jet Ski Social Ride Fishing Stories, or "Secret Ski Business"!
« on: February 22, 2017, 04:33:29 PM »
Hi fellow fishing skiers and wannabes!

Mandy suggested we all share some fishing tips and stories, so I am very happy to finally be confident enough to actually contribute something to this web group. I hope you enjoy my true story:

After my first 4 months of JetSki fishing trips, some with jetski club buddies, and many on my own, I feel like I've reached some sort of a milestone recently.

When I bought the ski, fishing was always the goal, and I didn't want to just catch whiting and bream. My goal was "real" fish, something I couldn't catch off the beach. Big suckers! I envisaged a freezer fully stocked with exotic reef species, my wife welcoming the great hunter home after his latest expedition, whilst my sons gladly washed down my fishing chariot!

Alas, then reality struck me. This is a little harder than just getting out there. Fun, but also frustrating.

I had several trips chasing mackerel, first coming back with nothing, then eventually some success with mixed catches of schoolies, spotties and bonito. Then more empty esky trips. The family was losing interest in what I was doing. My wife even said, "Well, just sell the Jetski if you want. No biggy!".

But I am not a quitter! And this Jetski was my baby, my outlet, and, to tell you the truth, I really enjoy getting out there, even if I do come back empty handed so often! I was thinking about just buying worms and heading over to the Sandhills to get some whiting.

I was very determined to catch a tuna. After seeing some huge tuna schools chasing bait and jumping around all through the bay, I just HAD to get one!  It became a bit of a mission to "prove myself" to my sceptical but supportive wife -that I could actually fish!   

There was lots of research and mental rehearsals at night trying to get to sleep as I planned out how I was going to get a tuna.  I figured just ONE big tuna would mean I could come home to prove I was right with this Jetski thing. It was not just a midlife crisis!

So then...2 weeks ago I'm somewhere in the shipping lanes near Tangalooma. I see sea birds going mad. I raced up, cast into the thrashing water with the new heavy duty rod and reel combo. I actually managed to throw the lure directly in front of the bait school-  some franctic winding- and then - wham!

It finally happened. I hooked something big and heavy on the 55g silver metal slug. Lots of line started spooling out, then the amazing sound of a screaming  spinning reel under load. Then a surprising fight,  and soon I saw the fish under the boat.

But then - oh no! I've been "sharked".  This is the Bay's taxman!  Some sort of shark took my catch..

Must say that rattled me a bit. It was a big tuna too, probably in the 15-20Kg size,  and all I ended up with was a head that weighed around 9Kg! And a LOT of blood splashing around the footwell of my ski!

One minute I saw an entire long tail tuna (northern bluefin) at least 1200mm long doing a final run away and down from the ski, then the line got a fair bit lighter. The next minute  I am lifting just the big head-still heaving and looking at me in shock- into the footwell.

Wonder how big the shark was...never saw it. Scary thoughts..

The things that go through your head. An unseen monster lurks somewhere down there!

I was thinking about keeping the tuna head to prove to my wife I could catch something big. Well nearly caught I guess. Does a "landed head" mean something? :)

I took a photo and unhooked it, and this thing was almost a two hand lift it was so heavy! Then the  "bloody " thing slipped straight out of my hands and promptly sank like a stone! That settles that. It's getting close to the time I should go home. Damm!!



After a ski splash down a few hundred metres away to clean out all the blood, I saw bird activity over more bait schools.  I stuck around and after a few more encounters with the schools, 30 mins or so later I got hooked up again. Another Northern Bluefin for sure.

The fight took about 15mins and at first seemed to be a bigger fish than the last one. It turned out I actually managed to just "jag" it on the side of its body! It fought like a fish twice the size, running at least 200m of line off my reel in its first run.  With its full body leverage, it was able to zoom off like it had the afterburners on!

My 50lb braid and 60lb fluorocarbon leader held up well, and because of the shark lurking unseen somewhere near, I cranked this one in as fast as I could. I ended up with sore arms and sore stomach due to the leverage this thing still had on me.

I was slightly disappointed that it was smaller than the first one, but hey, who's complaining? This time I got the "whole" fish! My first big tuna! Yippee!

Especially satisfying as a professional looking open fishing boat with 2 blokes in matching dyesub fishing shirts were trying like crazy on the same school. They just couldn't get close enough to hook up. Tuna swim so fast that one minute you're near them,  and the next they can be a hundred metres away!  You look up and the birds have literally disappeared.

But a jetski is so nimble and good for this.  I can lean the rod against the handlebar while I'm racing from spot to spot, and as soon as I'm close, I'm off the throttle and  casting before I've even come of the plane..

I was warned by a friend that hooking a big fish was one thing, but what was I going to do to actually land it on my Jetski when it came to that?   Luckily the fish was totally exhausted and nearly expired when he came alongside. I just lifted it in to the footwell by the tail and my line.  The lure fell off just after I took the weight off the line!

I've been thinking of other methods of landing for more spirited catches for future trips.  On a Jetski you don't really have enough hands to use a gaff hook properly. On all those fishing shows there is someone else onboard to gaff the big fish!   And a net for a fish this big is only good if you can use two hands too. Mind you, in this case the net would have to have an opening wider than the JetSki!

Letting go of the rod is not a good thing as if the fish takes off it would likely pull the rod over and into the drink, snapping rod holders, or worse pulling the entire fishing esky off! You've got to keep tension on the line, while allowing some drag tension for a run, or these fish can flick the lure off too. Maybe I'm overthinking it.

So....the tail lift technique seems fine. But images go through my head of a shark deciding the game was not over yet-  and going for the fish as I lift it! Thankfully that didn't happen on my first landed big tuna.




So, picture me with a big smile as I cruise back to Manly. The sea seemed to smooth out for my triumphant return, and I opened the throttle wider - as if fuel was free!

I got someone on the ramp to take a photo of me and my first big tuna! My wife emailed the shot into the Sunday Mail -and they used it too! Have I made it now that I'm on the fishing page in the Sunday Mail?


Jetski fishing is fantastic! Happy to share my experiences if anyone wants to do the same sort of thing. Gear, knots, lures, safety gear and procedures, etc. It was a big learning curve for me, and plenty more to learn.

My trips have been regularly a 90Klm round trip, so have managed to figure out the most economical speed for fuel efficiency, and how to be able to get in front of the bait schools without spooking the fish or the birds, what weather is good, where are the marine parks and go slow zones, etc. 

I've clocked up over 65 hrs motor time in 4 months fishing now. I have many little tips -like my tether to the kill switch that is long and strong, and attaches to my life jacket. That way it doesn't tangle with the fishing rod and line - and I won't forget to re-attach if I'm busy chasing the schools. Safety first...

It's really great fun to fish from a JetSki, and I reckon it's the best/easiest way to fish for the pelagics-as long as the weather's not too bad! Still a little bit of prep for each trip, but worth it when you get fish that big. The challenge to find the fish and be in the right place at the right time is quite fulfilling. And when you can't fit the entire fish in your fishing esky, you know that's another good problem to solve for the next trip too.

I would really like to get some "Tubbies" to attach to my ski. Shoreline Yamaha Brisbane import these sexy and functional fishing storage boxes to attach to Jetskis.  A set of these will take away many of my storage and safety concerns. The price is just a bit out of reach for me...well, the justification to divert funds from other more family-centric priorities is the issue really! But if there are any sponsors out there looking for somebody to be a moving floating speeding but responsible fisher-billboard, or any other such thing you want me to promote-  I am open to offers! Or maybe a trade of time or services?   I don't mind writing a yarn or too either in case you haven't realised yet! Please pm me! ;)

Anyhow, thanks for reading and I hope the newbies get something out of this true story. If anybody is out in Moreton Bay, I'll be the guy chasing the sea birds somewhere near the shipping lanes on a red Jetski. Come over and say hello -but just not while I'm racing to the next flock of diving birds!

I no longer feel like the newbie. It was embarrassing anchoring next to these great sports fishing boats and pretending to know what I was doing! But now I think I've earned a little "sea cred"!! That could be the title of my imaginary fishing show- "The JetSki Sea-cred"!

Happy ski fishing!

Thanks goes out to my many helpers in my journey: Freddo, Geoff S, iFish, Jordi at Shoreline Yamaha, and the many people sharing ski-fishing tips on YouTube! Thanks also to Mandy and Nigel from the Jetski Club for many other tips and organising the social rides.


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« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 09:55:08 AM by auhazie »

Offline Bootleg

Re: Fishing Stories, or "Secret Ski Business"!
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2017, 07:22:57 PM »
What a great story and impressively detailed too. Congrats on landing your first pelagic without the taxman taking a cut lol.
One day I will try my luck fishing from the ski but for now, just happy to cruise along the waterways with some really nice genuine people.

Cheers gp shk br



Offline David & Megan

Re: Fishing Stories, or "Secret Ski Business"!
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2017, 08:12:14 PM »
Well done keep it up great reading. Look forward to hear about the next Big Catch!


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Offline Aaron

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Re: Fishing Stories, or "Secret Ski Business"!
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2017, 08:44:21 PM »
That certainly is a great report big congrats on your first tuna.  Yes the fishing learning curve is steep and can be very frustrating.  I used to fish blue water from a 6.5 metre boat so adapting to the ski has been a learning exercise.  But alas I have had a terrible run with getting out there.   First I sold the boat and bought a ski and went about setting it up for fishing. Got a sounder, a vhf radio and EPIRB fitted some navigation lights.  Next I had a fishing rack custom made to fit my esky.  Well first trip for the rack was to transport an esky full of tasty beverages to Coran cove for a long weekend.  Half way there we went over the wake on a ten metre boat and next thing I know my son is banging on my shoulder telling me the rack has come off.  The rack went straight to the bottom, luckily the esky with its cargo floated free.  I commissioned the building of a replacement much better quality (read expensive)   rack with a much better securing system.

Now I was all geared up again and was waiting for some good conditions that coincided with some spare time.  While waiting I was busy racing my motocross bike when I decided with the help of another rider to park it quite firmly into the dirt. This resulted in a bit of a stay in the hospital nursing 5 broken ribs a broken scapula a bruised lung and a couple of cracked vertebra.  The end result was a very lengthy spell off toys that shake you round.

Fast forward to Xmas 2016 and I am good to go, got out a couple of times after the new year for a nice trevelly and and a mack tuna but was also not feeling the best.  Last week I had my appendix rupture (could have something to do with why I have not been feeling great) and as I needed emergency abdominal surgery I will be off the ski and not fishing for a month or so.

Can't wait to get back out there.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 08:50:33 PM by Aaron »
I am right 98% of the time and I dont care about the other 3%

Offline Velrod

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Re: Fishing Stories, or "Secret Ski Business"!
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2017, 12:18:12 AM »
That's certainly a good yarn and if you would like a student tag along you just say the word and I'll be out there as soon as she gives me a leave pass


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Offline auhazie

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Re: Fishing Stories, or "Secret Ski Business"!
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2017, 11:53:30 AM »
Thanks Velrod, next time I go out Ill try to let you know.

I am fortunate enough to work my own hours most weeks, so will often slip out early and get back mid-morning, especially when I can work into the evening to make up the hours.

So, first light departures from Manly boat ramp is normally the go. Maybe I need some running lights as the days are getting shorter already! 

See you around

Offline auhazie

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Re: Fishing Stories, or "Secret Ski Business"!
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2017, 09:35:53 PM »

Fast forward to Xmas 2016 and I am good to go, got out a couple of times after the new year for a nice trevelly and and a mack tuna but was also not feeling the best.  Last week I had my appendix rupture (could have something to do with why I have not been feeling great) and as I needed emergency abdominal surgery I will be off the ski and not fishing for a month or so.

Can't wait to get back out there.


Hi Aaron
sorry to hear about your misfortunes.  But I hope you are looking forward to better luck from now on!  It can only get better, right? :)


I think the reason I didn't go out and buy a new fishing rack myself was that I was not sure what I wanted and whether it would suit what I was doing. I had already dreamed of getting Tubbies from Shoreline,  so I didn't want to spend too much to start with. So I used a esky I already had and copied some other designs I saw.  It's worked out well so far. I figure one day its going to fall off and as long as my new rods are not lost -or there is no fish in there- I won't care too much! That reminds we I must move the rod tethers to the ski and not the esky just in case!


Thanks for the kind words about my experience. I really enjoy telling stories, but sorry if  they make me sound a bit wanker! I am just pretty happy to be able to get out there and have some success.


The whole jetski fishing thing has given me something major to look forward to each week, but I need to learn more before I am at the level I need to be. I guess it'll come with time, and right now the weather is the thing stopping me going out more.


You sound like you might have some experience to share for North Straddie reefs? I am looking for someone to show me the ropes of safe crossing of the bar and fishing some of the close reefs. Is that something you've done yet on a ski or your boat?


Cheers
Paul (auhazie)


Offline Aaron

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Re: Fishing Stories, or "Secret Ski Business"!
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2017, 09:03:39 AM »
Hi Paul  no need to apologise for you enthusiasm and excitement of scoring a big goal in world of chasing trophy fish. I remember the when I got my first big Wahoo, I was out in the boat by myself trolling off Wide Caloundra the sea was glassy flat the sun was shining the stereo was blasting out some Gunners and I was just enjoying life when the off side reel started to scream in protest as line was ripped off it at break neck speed. I dropped the boat back to a slow idle and franticly retrieved the near side and shotgun lures the whole time watching line disappear from the TLD. After what seemed like an eternity I had the deck clear and was able to put the boat in neutral and grab the rod that was hooked up and as soon as I moved the leaver up to full drag I knew it was a big big fish. The initial run must have tired the fish as with full drag I was able to turn him reasonably easily but I must have had 400 metres of line out. After about twenty minutes I had the fish within twenty metres of the boat when it took off at and I could feel the panic in the line but before I could think to free spool to give the fish a chance  to out run the tax man I had payed my GST (grey shark tax). I did boat a large Wahoo  head  that still had enough meat for a couple of feeds.

 I don’t have a lot of experience with reefs off north Straddi my usual hunting ground in the boat were cape Moreton and out of Mooloolaba. Let tell you bar crossings are on a ski are decidedly less scary than in a boat, as the ski is quicker and more nimble. Plus you haven’t got anybody else’s safety to worry about.  In fact taking the ski through the bar is downright fun and there are techniques you can employ so you are not launching into the air off waves with the fishing gear on board. 

Once I am back to fit which should only be another two weeks I would be more than happy to go fishing with you off shore.  My goal this year was to bag a black marlin but they were not around in numbers this year must go with the saying “drought on the land equals a drought on the water” as all reports have been a bit quite.  My ultimate goal is to do some adventure fishing from the ski like Fraser island or 1770 but small steps first. 
I am right 98% of the time and I dont care about the other 3%

Offline auhazie

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Re: Fishing Stories, or "Secret Ski Business"!
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2017, 09:09:53 AM »
Awesome story too Aaron!

When you are fit, let's catch up. It would be great to get the benefit of both your boating and jetski fishing experiences.

 PM me and I'll give you a contact number when you're up to it.

Paul



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Offline auhazie

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Re: Fishing Stories, or "Secret Ski Business"!
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2017, 10:21:43 PM »
"Interesting" day out early yesterday. I'm chasing the birds, bait and tuna at the Beacons as usual. The weather is a bit average and I'm thinking  it might be a bad day out (again!).

I did manage to catch one small mac tuna earlier,  but it wasn't that positive for anything decent. The fish schools were erratic, and there was very few birds leading me around. You could tell that the schools were full of small fish, and with the un-forecasted SW wind chop, I wasn't looking forward to the trip home nearly empty handed.

After a bit of waiting around and watching, I've found a couple of birds following a nice school out a bit further west, and  I've managed to get myself in front of them.

So,  I  have the motor off and ready to throw a lure right into the approaching school.  Suddenly,  four guys on jetskis arrive out of the blue from somewhere far west, and start casting from the wrong side of the school's  direction of travel!

They don't  look like novices as they've all got their stainless steel esky racks in the back.  But the noise they make arriving is enough to wake the dead, and soon the school of tuna are gone. Like me, the tuna were probably thinking "WTF?" And that's the last I see of the tuna. The fish have dived deep and gone.

It's more skis I've seen in one place fishing since I started fishing myself  6 months ago, plus it's very early on a weekday. This is very strange.

What's going on?  It's the sort of stuff that makes me avoid going out weekends, but is it now happening on weekdays?

Maybe it's time for me to discover offshore fishing... :)














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Offline Aaron

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Re: Fishing Stories, or "Secret Ski Business"!
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2017, 10:48:23 PM »
Just because they have all the gear doesn't mean they have any idea.  I will be keen for off shore soon got the ok from the doc to get back on the bike so the ski will only be a couple of weeks away :)
Azza
I am right 98% of the time and I dont care about the other 3%

Offline auhazie

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Re: Fishing Stories, or "Secret Ski Business"!
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2017, 10:48:50 PM »
I'll be waiting!


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Offline Aaron

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Re: Fishing Stories, or "Secret Ski Business"!
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2017, 05:50:43 AM »
Cool, I will be restricted to weekends for a while as we have some chronic staff shortages at the moment.  Once we get past that will be able to get some mid week raids in.
Azza
I am right 98% of the time and I dont care about the other 3%

Offline freddo

Re: Fishing Stories, or "Secret Ski Business"!
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2017, 08:21:35 AM »
Hi Paul,
Fantastic write up, and great to see you land that elusive first fish, I'm back from Holidays abroad and eager to get out again,
The tax man never comes back for the head, I have had a collection of large mackerel heads neatly severed just behind the gills over the years .  It's uncanny the precision the taxman has.

Hoping to get out there as well

Cheers

Freddo


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Offline auhazie

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Re: Fishing Stories, or "Secret Ski Business"!
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2017, 08:46:20 AM »
I'm out today. Very nice on the bay but not much fish action yet. Just sitting near Tangalooma having a break.

See you soon


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Offline Velrod

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Re: Fishing Stories, or "Secret Ski Business"!
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2017, 09:26:26 AM »
I'm jealous


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Offline auhazie

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Re: Fishing Stories, or "Secret Ski Business"!
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2017, 03:47:54 PM »
Other than a really nice day out, you didn't miss much fish-wise. Plenty of bait in the water but not much chasing them. Only two hits on the lures, but zero caught!


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