We left the Battleship, Paul and Declan on the Rocket C and I was on the Ronan. We all headed up the lake, to the end of a big arm. Then we split up to fish the bays on the way back. I had little hope for the day, because of the dry spell we had. As we split up I said something like “see yous back at the boat with nothing.” As I drive into the first bay, I straight away saw a set of babies. I watched them come up a second time and I moved to where I thought they would pop up again. Getting into position I waited and then I saw them the complete opposite direction. I moved the boat back out into the middle of the bay and watched for them again. I just turned the electric off and hadn’t even gotten the fly out of its keeper, and a snakehead rose a meter off the back of the boat. In a frantic rush I smacked the popper down as hard as I could, (thinking I was too late). But one pop and the fish came up and smashed it right at the side of the boat. I was shitting em, my legs started to shake then my whole body. I knew it was a big fish, it took the most powerful runs I’ve ever felt. It didn’t give up till it hit the net and I was fighting it for nearly 10 minutes. Landed in the net I couldn’t believe it, it was huge. Still shaking and barely able to put a sentence together I grabbed the walkie talkie and said “boys can you get over here and get a photo.” They rushed over, knowing something big had happened. As I pulled the fish out of the water onto the deck, Paul and Declan’s eyes lit up. We got a few photos and a quick weigh (5.8kg), then let it swim off. The fish took off with such power even after a long fight!!
Paul and Declan left me and started fishing again, I had to take a break and come down from the high I was on. A bit of time passed and I figured out what happened, there were two sets of babies in that bay. That’s how they changed direction and moved so far away. The fish that I caught was a free riser. I was so lucky to catch that fish!
I was back into it, on the look out for one of the sets of babies. I found them far in the back of the bay, on their way out. I set up on a tree and waited for them to come past. I saw the babies start to rise around a tree and then the parents rose. I put a cast in and it landed perfect, they both came and charged the fly. One hitting it, I stripped into it and felt tension but only for a split second. I kept popping and the other came up and smashed it but didn’t hook up either. I didn’t get another shot at them, I spooked them pretty well.
The rest of the day was very quiet for all of us, only seeing a couple more fish for the day. I was over the moon with that fish and still am today a year later, I reckon it’ll last a life time. I can still picture it eating the popper at the side on the boat and how I could barely speak on the walkie talkies!