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Ronan's report


Monday 1st December, 2014

I spent the past week fishing in Exmouth, WA. I had only six days fishing there unfortunately, because my Australian VISA runs out tomorrow. The town is very, very quiet at the moment, almost no tourists, which is great :-)

On Monday when I arrived I had coffee with Jono and then we went chasing free-swimming sailfish in the Gulf. This was very interesting for me - I thought the only way to catch sails is to tease them, which doesn't appeal to me. However this sort of fishing is quite different, and a flyfishing style that interests me! There are lots of bait balls and around the bait balls or even between the bait balls are cruising sails. When they're busting at the surface there is a bit of a race, because everyone wants to throw at them. That's exciting, especially trying to hang on to the front of the boat as it crashes its way there! But even better is discovering a bait ball with sails following, and not even nailing them, gives shots. Challenging shots - true - but shots none the less. I hooked up on my fourth or fifth shot. It was a sail of about 20Kg, but unfortunately just prior to landing a big shark got interested and so we tried to rough handle it and the leader popped. So no glamour shot for the fish!

The following day Jono and I had a "permit-off". The plan was to see who could catch the most permit in a day. Jono said he would catch two and I said I would catch three. However the permit had different ideas and we didn't catch any permit!

Wednesday I was wade fishing, because Jono was guiding. I fished with a local, Shane, and we started by chasing Blue Bones (one shot, no fish) and then everything else - lots of fish, mostly small trevally, queenies, a thread fin salmon, and so on. Nothing that wanted to take 50m of line but it was fish.

Thursday I was on my own. I cycled to a flat, and waited to see what came in. I was hoping for permit. Instead I caught a few half decent size Queenies amongst the sharks. None got sharked although I had a 2.5m Bull swim from behind me and under my rod tip. I was busy at the time watching two much larger sharks cruising a drop off. Anyway, it didn't return to take my leg off - or worse!

Friday I was fishing with a friend I had made from the Claremont Isles trip - Chip. He kindly invited me out to fish with Brett who also guides Exmouth. We went searching for bones and permit first, saw no bones but had a few permit shots - no eats. And then we chased for GTs. Had a few follows but nothing on.

So far this was not looking good! Fish off the beach yes, Sail hooked but no photo, and no permit!

Saturday I again was fishing with Chip and Brett. And finally I got my permit. Superb fish. Nice eat. A relief to get one! A very interesting fish.
And Chip caught one on Sunday when I was in Perth (fishing for puffer fish!).

So - what did I learn? Firstly I learned once again that I lose accuracy on 70-80 ft shots with a short head. I need a long head. My Tech Tarpon Taper shed its skin, meaning I had to fish short heads almost all week! There is no question this limits me. Secondly I learned a hell of a lot of new stuff about knots! Thirdly, I really like Exmouth and need to spend more time here! And finally I learned a lot more about new species. It's a huge learning curve this Imaginary SWF and every time I go I learn lots of new things. Also it was interesting to watch Chip struggle to make shots (of course I gave him a casting lesson, which improved things) - he's only been FFing a couple of years and in this particular type of FFing taking a quick accurate shot is absolutely essential to be in the game.

Today I'm fishing with Mike and Stu for the Carp again. Casting night tonight. And then it's Malaysia!!!

Cheers, Paul


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