A few of the boys had been talking about recent trips on the water, successfully raising billfish for the last few weeks and I started to get the itch. The call was made and we had planned to head out, find the bait and hopefully the billies!! The weather was predicted to blow up just before lunch so we had to get out early and not waste any time. Two boats were launched at the local ramp an hour before first light, which would have us in the spot just in time for a sunrise beer as the skirts were deployed..
Within half an hour a bait ball erupted a few hundred metres from the boat and birds came from every direction to join the frenzy. We were in chase of the fast moving fish with the lures still in tow. As we got closer we could see that there were some very large fish amongst the carnage. We slowed down to a more comfortable speed and I walked to the front of the boat holding my popping rod loaded with a large Patriot Designs popper. Before I could even flick the bail for my first cast, one of the rods began singing. The run was short lived and it wasn't long before Kirilee brought a mack tuna to the side of the boat..
This would not suffice as I had promised her a stick face before we hit the ramp. I turned to find the bait but it had dispersed and we were forced to seek new ground. A couple hours of trolling and a beer or two later, we came across a pair of very friendly migrating humpback whales splashing about. We decided to drag the lures around one last ore ship and then get some footage of the whales. Now within 100 metres, the go pro was filming and the pair of whales continued their show. At this point our attention had shifted and it took me a few seconds to realise that we had hooked up and this time it was not a tuna!! The whales were quickly forgotten about as the gimble belt was strapped on and the other skirts were brought in. The initial run had left the spool looking a bit thin so with the use of the boat and a lot of arm pump, we slowly inched closer to the fish. A bill pierced the surface of the water and all of a sudden it was confirmed, Kirilee was in battle with her first billfish. As there was only two of us on the boat, I had been trying to film, retrieve skirts, put gloves on and drive the boat. Somehow we got the fish boat side and once the bill was within reach, it was all over for Mr Saily. We quickly took some pics of the beautiful fish and swam him back to health.
The wind was on the rise so we began in the direction of the islands to meet up with the other boys to see how they went. With not much bait activity, it was hard to track fish but they ended up with 2 double hook ups on the tuna. After a quiet drink within the shelter of the islands, the decision was made to call it a day..