Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Post Wedding Squid

After a big day of marital festivities what better way to wind down than grabbing your best man and going for a squid fish in Western Port in Victoria (yes I am blessed to have a wifey who is very supportive of my fishing passion), tide was less than ideal wind was bigger than predicted and from the wrong direction but hey you cant catch them sitting on the couch in front of the TV so off we went in search of some bigger squid that should be floating around at this time of the year in Western Port. We launched at Hastings in gentleman's hours at about 1030 and headed toward the south, we only ventured about 5 km from the Hastings channel before our first stop. It was then we realised things were gonna be tough, water was dark and dirty, heavy weed lining the area's where squid normally abide and cross wind. Not to be deterred we started casting with the intention of picking a few up on the first drift but we struggled to find any. It took a second drift but we managed to find a lone squid holding on the back of a weed bed near the mud in about 3 meters.

A move was in order and it was decided that we needed to find some clearer water so a trip much further south nearer the entrance was needed for water clarity, we have had substantial rain fall over the past week and we were hoping to get into the faster tidal water where the water is changed over more often and more of the salty stuff would be. Now it should be noted at this point that my best man Dale had not yet been in my boat and was not sure about how dry and smooth the ride was. We packed up and headed south, I was not going too hard with the boat cruising along at about 45 kph when a bigger boat came past me at full noise, I sat in their wake for a while until.............. we poked our heads out past Sandy Point and the straight south wind hit us with its full strength swell had come up to approx 2 meters with a further meter of chop on top, all I can remember seeing was the bigger boat come to a near stop, keen to show Dale how well the boat rode and how dry it was I told him to hang on and hit the first one at about 45kph and past the bigger boat airborn landing nice and soft in the trough doing the same on the next, the look on the faces of the blokes in the bigger boat was priceless. Needless to say we did not quite make it down to the southern end of the bay with waves crashing on the area I intended on fishing so I spun around and had a look look at some virgin water I have never fished and decided to try an old faithful spot.

Dale decided to conduct a boat review on my tub while we were out, here it is and the link to the full review:
having owned a few boats and ridden in a lot guiding or mates boats etc every time a get the opportunity i will post up a little review (have done so in the past on here) and have been hanging out to go for a spin in Ecos black bullet LOIS
Lois is an 18 foot Carolina skiff centre console >>> black over white with the Gancraft livery and is fitted with a 115 optimax and magic tilt trailer
she is fitted with 40 odd litre live bait tank and HDS 7 and HDS 5 networked as well as some other features
Seeing the boat on the trailer the 2 things that stand out are the flared bow and the deepish Vee and the size overall
typically well made and finished American boat with a fully moulded liner complete with casting platform and rod lockers and gear hatches etc
Beamy and stable looking an on water ride was a drooling proposition
Yesterday we launched at hastings in gentlemens hours and she slid off the trailer with minimum fuss and stepping abaurd the stand out feature was the stability with both paul and i on one side in the rear corner she didnt even dip
the driving position is via a bench seat about the size of a 100 letre esky directly behind the console and it easily acommodates 2 people as well as a shotgun seat forward of the console for those that like their eyes to water head long into the breeze
I poked her out the channel and i will be brutally honest on its drive and ride from here
At low speed she doesnt track well and a bit of left and right turning to keep her going straight is required until you get her up to about 6 to 7 knots then she runs her lines niceley
from here on in it gets interesting
the 115 opti has plenty of poke but needs a re prop to get her up quickly or trim down hard until she pops then trim her back (this works well) and i soon had her running at 45 ks an hour over about a foot of chop head on wind against tide and about 12 knots of breeze >>> and i couldnt believe how dry it was
the steering wheel is left of centre (bit like bob Brown lol) so the best drive position is left postion on the seat with the throttle about dead centre >> great view of all guages and electrics and no thumping to speak of
after a quick squirt we had a fish >>> stability is amazing >> like fishing on a pontoon with carter up fron and me mid ship she sat like a rock in about 2 feet of chop
then a squirt to cat bay
nearly flat out up the channel she danced across the top with no whacking and no spray >> yes i was col woithout a cabin blockin the wind but the ride was fantastic
as we turned the corner to head towards cat bay we had a Tournament 2000 bluewater pass us until we hit about 2 metres of swell with a metre of wind abgainst tide pumkin on top
now it gets interesting >>we are now sitting on 47 ks an hour (my boat would struggle at this speed in this slop) and we pass the Tournament and pop clean out of the water and that familiar prop scream tells us we are airborne >> we land like on a big pillow >>> no whak and suprisingly no spray >> and again and again >>we leave the Tournament guys hooping and hollering and shaking their heads in disbelief and continue on
Then paul turns her at 45 degrees to the se oncoming waves and she dances across the top with no fus at all and again no spray >>>
i am actually at this stage dissapointed >>> how can a centre console be so dry in what is basically offshore slop but she is
Then after a quick explore we run back
A following sea and i thought here we got >> we have to get wet here >> 45 to 55 ks an hour on sloppy 2 direction following sea and we get 1 tiny bit of spray
we run all over the place easily and efficiently asnd even have a good look and a bit of a snigger at the new Evolution 550 Centre console when junga calls down to us for a visit
all up this is a beast of an 18 footer and a lot morte like the ride of a much bigger boat
all up we would have racked up 70 odd ks on the water for about 15 litres of fuel

Points for
ride is excellent and incredibly dry for and open boat
stability at rest rivals anything i have been in
cost effective option that would give the bream guys a scare if its windy
great looking and easy to clean with a fully moulded floor
incredible amount of fishing room

Points against
anchor layout needs some mods to accomodate an electric motor up front
you are exposed to the elements
no outriggers LOL
restricted on electrics display size purely by size of the console
lowish gunnels if your fighting a big fish (although sitting in the shotgun seat would be a great option)

the full review and other comments can be found at  Victorian Saltwater Fishing

So upon the arrival at our next spot we found the drift to be perfect and the water fairly clear and not a lot of weed in the water column. However some one forgot to give the squid the script because they were not here. By this stage we only had one squid in the well and things were not looking any better, time to head to Tyabb bank on the Eastern shores of Western Port, Tyabb bank is a known producer of squid but they can be very hit and miss, running out of options it was an easy decision to make. A quick run back past Hastings and start another drift, a quick color change and a few casts later we found some squid, they were nice solid squid but again not the bigger ones we had been chasing. A few drifts and a few squid later we had a visit from the new boat from the Evolution stables and a great looking boat on the water and quiet well thought out design by the boys, this one will be one to watch at the boat shows and looking at the heritage of the boats from the Evolution group I am sure it will have a few awards to its name before long.

The new Evolution

A couple more drifts and it was decided the next move was to Dales Lounge room for a coffee. Another great day on the water even if the squid did not play properly, one thing we
 did notice was the squid that we did catch seemed to be fairly aggressive with only one gentle take, even when an egi was covered full in weed it was snatched, so with a bit of better water clarity I am sure this spot will fire in the coming weeks an I will be there to catch them, I did see a pick of a nice 2kg model that came from Warneet that Dom at Warneet Bait and tackle posted so things are defiantly looking up.

Monday, 30 April 2012

The wedding of Mr and Mrs Kuma

It has been a long time in the making, I have been with my beautiful wife for 12 years and engaged for 8 of those years but on the weekend just gone she made an honest man of me as we wed in Melbourne finally. On the day as most brides are she was stunning, we had a very quiet ceremony with only a small group of people who are very close to us with no fuss and no formalities that come with most weddings. After the ceremony we had an informal reception at the Corner Hotel on the rooftop garden with friends and family before heading home for beer and pizza. What can I say other than it was a day suited to us and reflected who we are as a couple. Massive thanks on the day to me best man Dale McClellend and the bridesmaid Jo Smart, they were a great help to us both before and on the day. Dan Stanilovic one of my closest friends was kind enough to offer to take photo's and offer help with anything we needed in the lead up to the day, Nathan Smart was also behind a lens being the wedding papparazi so a massive thanks to all who were here to help.  Now onto the important things like fishing.