My intention was not to do it in parts and test everyone's patience. Given the time it has taken me to catch up with everything related to work and a general up tick in activity gives me no choice but to take a bite at this elephant in small pieces. By no means am I trying to author a novella, so please bear with me as I get to this is in parts to unveil the ins and outs of my angling misadventures in a far away place I call home......PART 1:
After a grueling set of flights, some delay thrown in here and there, sprinkled with some utterly unprofessional behavior by airline staff, I finally managed to reach India in one piece and for once so did my bags. After a few of days of work, family time with a trip or two with the in-laws, boy was I ready to hit the water.
On one fine, semi hot and mildly sticky tropical morning I happened to wake up the neighborhood rooster. I hit my favorite spot known for GT's where the rocks stick out of water, smack dab in the middle of a crisp clean beach. Man was I happy to be there, a mild breeze on my freshly fully shaven face hitting spots I didn't know existed in a long long time, smell the moist salty air, and not a single soul around to disturb me, I was truly in angling nirvana. All I wanted to at that point was connect with a nice GeeT!
With the rosy daydream still playing in my head, I was all rigged up and ready to make that first cast. >INSERT RECORD SCRATCH NOISE HERE<
First cast and boom! KNOTSVILLA
WTH! This shouldn't be happening to me! I had researched everything and followed every guideline, what had just happened? how could I've caused this? With all these thoughts going on in my head I was also amazed at my uncanny ability to bugger it all up in the very first cast. To my credit however after birds-nesting several times on a nymphing fly rig with 0.006" thin lines so successfully, you'll learn quickly how to get around a knot or two, a million in this case however. So I patiently got to it and started untangling them one by one, I realized that it was probably not bad enough as I was able to work them free pretty easily though it took me a while. All this while I could see the orange halo popping up behind me. I had to hurry up, I wasn't going to let these knots ruin my outing today.
After recovering myself from the knots horror, I started to throw a 2 oz popper farther and further out each time and reeling in under tension. I think this was the key and finally I was able to chuck it consistently without any drama. Slowly but steadily I was gaining confidence in my rig. All this while I was throwing poppers for a good 15 or so mins and didn't feel any takes or any surface activity. Pretty soon I swapped it out for a ~1.5 oz Rapala stickbait in Sardine color. By now sun was almost above the horizon.
To my good luck the bait activity started to pick up and I could see them jumping here and there albeit not in a particular pattern. So I ended up throwing the surface stickbait over them and reeled in through all the commotion. The lure hit the water and dropped the bail, BAM! something massive had just snatched the lure and managed to pull my arms out of the sockets! As you know I am exaggerating here, but I am not, well may be a tiny bit. But the hit was so massive, something that I was never used to. The thoughts in my head at this point, "I was supposed to set the hook, I think I just did it by lifting the rod, not a friggin' trout set man, yank the friggin' rod, that's a fish of a lifetime right there" and so I did. Before all this excitement one thing I had done while I changed out the lures was tightened the drag, please don't shake your heads, I am not sure why I did it either. The result, the line tightened, and the fish decided to head for the rocks. The swell was pretty strong during the incoming tide, I could've swam to the rock to help me fight it better. I ran trying to horse the fish with my rod, the fish however had different plans for me by hugging close to the rocks when it took off while the sticky drag was trying to holding it in place. And then the line snapped......... AT THE FRIGGIN' FG KNOT MAN!
If that wasn't bad, the fish stole away approx $15 worth of leader, swivel, clip and lure along with it.
After that I think I kind of went mental, I wasn't wanting to spend time messing with a FG knot all over again until I was sure I could do it right. So I ended up using a Palomar Knot on the braid to a swivel, tie a 5' FC leader to it and Palomar Knot a TA clip. All this took me a less than 5 mins and I was ready to work the water again. May be the Sardine lure color was the ticket that day, cause since the first bite, nothing seemed to happen and the bait activity died as soon as it started. Having accepted defeat and hanging my head in shame, I slowly exited stage left as the sun was almost beating its harsh heat on my back. If that wasn't bad, on the drive back home I was stuck in a god-awful traffic for a long time.
All in all not a good first outing, but a lot of lessons were thought to me that day. Then I came home to find out that my work cellphone was in my pocket all this time while I was knee deep in water with an occasional swell rising above knee level. The result of which was a water damaged iphone! ay ay ay! So far it seemed to me that I wasn't catching no breaks, let alone a decent fish!
Watch this space for more stories on absurdities while fishing.... Stay tuned as more is to come......PART DEUX:
After an initial round of setback and the unending teething-troubles with the surf setup, I was still determined to catch the one I lost. It very well might have been the fish of a lifetime, made me question my intention to run a light setup like I did, "ALWAYS BE 100% READY, 100% OF THE TIME" -A Wise Angler
. So have my plans to fix the mistake, I never really strategically thought about this process to be honest, however I carried out necessary research but the hands on experiences give this a different dimension altogether.
With that in mind I stepped up my scouting game at every available chance I could take. If I could sneak away from work or family for even a couple of hours I could be found somewhere along west-coast of my hometown, trying to redeem myself. From what I can recall from my early days of fishing with my uncle were the tide movements, the need for a moving tide while targeting the GeeT's. This may not be a necessity along reefs, but at places without this just might be the ticket. The place we used to frequent several years ago is now prohibited to general public and I was in for a surprise. Another long story for another day, I just laugh at it now, but it wasn't funny when it happened, LOL. Long story short, it is now illegal to trespass the breakwater (despite no posted signs), but you can legally fish on the beach side of it.
So naturally I showed up back there at the crack of dawn as the waves started rolling in, again all being done legally. The swells that day weren't bad, but just full moon phase had just passed a couple of days ago and the barometer was pretty steady for a long-long time, was clawing me from within. While it might not have been an ideal time to go find fish, it surely beat sitting at home wondering if it was one! Of course I did all this with all due prior permission from the MRS, I wasn't going to burn my hands again and lose my license to fish, one time was enough. Again, water was pleasant, wind was calm, and it was mildly cooler as well, without a soul in sight for miles together, I was again hoping for my luck to turn for the better.
Having learned from my past mistakes and now with a more hands on knowledge of my surf rod tool, I was ready to take up on this challenge. Got my feet wet to wade into the surf and I could see bait activity ~200 yds away from me, I was already at the legal limit. Boy, I was hoping today I would catch a break from my Shakespearean play of a fishing adventures, but guess not! I chucked plugs, too short. I chucked Rapala x-rap's, too short. I chucked Bomber long shot's, too short. Finally I got a chance to try out the GT Ice-cream. I think I might've emptied the spool if I'd put some oomphf into this next cast, I really wasn't ready for what was going to come next. I see this thing flying out like a missile, playing the "going-going-gone!" commentary in my head. This lure casts into the next continent if you throw it right and know what you're doing.
Despite being pretty intimate with my surf setup by now, I still wasn't going to my back into the cast with this heavy 3oz lure in case something gave way during the cast. But nothing like that happened, the cast went through, still a frog's hair short of the bubbling on water surface. My intention was to cast beyond the action and then pull through it. But I guess I was in for a surprise nonetheless, may be in all the mayhem I was pulling through pretty fast as I could see fish chasing the lure. I didn't want to slow down at this point and lose a strike, so I kept retrieving at the same speed. And then wham! I saw a minor explosion on top of the water and my line went tight. At this point you might be thinking "I hope this guy didn't tighten the drag enough to lose this one as well". Aha! I knew it, despite my best efforts to shoot myself in the foot, I miss sometimes to my utter surprise. This moment was one of them. As you see, when I was rigging up, I ensured that I pulled on the line enough to ensure that the drag was setup right or at the least close to being right. Which came to my rescue when this fish decided to grab my lure for breakfast. I was amazed at slickness of this drag, there was absolutely no startup stick, this reel and this style of fishing was winning me over. The way this fish was fighting didn't seem pretty big for this rod setup, may be it wasn't and I didn't know yet as I couldn't see the fish. Pretty soon I did and when I did, I was petrified of losing it. Waiting for the waves to break-over around the rocks, I jumped into the knee deep water fearing losing this fish if lines were to hang up around the rocks. Grabbed its tail the very first chance I got and held it with my dear life, I wasn't going to lose this one, no sir. Waded back to shore to take this pic.https://instagram.com/p/BdCLE3QhcwO/
Although not a giant or a record breaker by any means at 3KG, I was and still am beyond pleased to have been able to connect with the bad-guy of the reefs, a fish with so much character and fanbase across the globe! To me this was a total beauty, the fish the experience and everything in between. It is catches like these that makes you jump with joy like a five year old again, which I am guilty of being still being one! I had a grin stretching across my face when I finally landed this thing, took a picture and then released it. I still unable shake this feeling off, from the explosion on top water to the drag flicking dance. I wish I could relive it again and again from where I currently am, but alas! I guess it'll have to wait until my next excursion across the pond.
BTW, I took this picture from a phone I borrowed from my mum, my apologies for being gun-shy for not wanting to Baptize it while attempting to capture the release video/pics. But rest assured that this hooligan made it's way back to terrorize numerous mullets!
I returned home with nothing but my washed out footprints left on the sands of a pristine beach still pretty, still clean and hopefully stays that way for a long long time. All I had to show were a pic or two of my exploits and brag about how I caught the rogue of the reefs! My father-in-law was however jokingly displeased and wouldn't believe me until I bring home a catch to feed the family, he was wanting proof that I could feed his daughter in times of a zombie apocalypse. Well that's a story for another day, hope you are pleased at my amateur capacity to make a picture look better. If you'd like to see more, you could join me on IG, if it is against the forum policy to post social media details, you can send me a PM.
Hope to see you here again soon with another slice of my escapades in an angling nirvana I call home. Tight lines...