JACK’S LAP UPDATE 4

FISHING WITH THE BEAR

 

As most probably already know, a couple of week’s ago Trade-a-Boat Magazine held their annual Australia’s Greatest Boats competition in Victoria. I was one of the five judges who had the fun job of putting 10 awesome fibreglass and aluminum boats through the wringer. As an added bonus though, the dates also “coincidently” coincided with the Port Phillip Bay snapper run! I was definitely going fishing…  

 

Behind the scenes of Australia’s Greatest Boats.

 

With the Jack’s Lap Stabicraft already down in Victoria for camera boat duties. It didn’t take much to talk local Port Phillip Bay fishing veteran, John ‘Bear’ Willis into heading out for an afternoon snapper session. With the Bear looking after my boat at his place, we decided to meet down at the ramp at 2pm to catch the afternoon bite. By the time I got to the ramp though, the Bear was already out fishing – in my boat! He’d caught a whole bunch of snapper and wasn’t budging to come pick me up (a real piece of work, I know). Luckily, I hitched a ride with the boys on the Trade-a-Boat N19 and before I could rig up a rod we’d found the Bear bobbing solo in the bright red Stabicraft. I jumped ship and was immediately regaled with stories about how good the fishing was 10 minutes before I’d arrived – typical!

 

The Bear showing off the haul that he’d caught minutes before I arrived.

 

Still convinced the fish would come back, I rigged up all my light rods and started floating baits down the burley trail. Before I could even get my last rod in the water, Bear had hooked up and pulled in another beauty of a snapper – the bite was on.

 

Back on the bite.

 

The Bear with a stonking snapper.

 

After a few missed hookups, I finally came up tight on a good snapper. Fishing super light on a Penn Regiment rod and Conflict reel, it took me just under 10 minutes to land the 5kg fish in shallow water. John also landed a fish, but eh, we won’t talk about that.

 

Super stoked.

 

I think I win this round…

 

The boy’s in the N19 also into the action with a triple hookup.

 

An hour or so in and the storm clouds were seriously building in the northwest. There was an icy chill in the air that suggested something bad was going to happen real soon. The Bear, content with his catch, suggested we head on in. However, I still had snapper fever and wanted to hook a couple more before throwing in the towel.

 

The bite slowed as the bad weather rolled in.

 

With the heavens about to open at any minute and my stubbornness to stay out for one more fish still strong. The Bear decided to pull out a classic old trick that almost guarantees a bite in any circumstance: eating lunch. Unbeknownst to me, he’d snuck a thermos of boiling hot water onto the boat with two pots of two-minute noodles. Usually the hotter the meal, the better the bite and these noodles were damn hot. As if scripted, I went to take my first bite and as I did, the rod buckled! Between fighting the fish, eating the noodles and pissing myself laughing, Bear was packing up the boat for our speedy departure home. I certainly won’t be forgetting this day’s fishing in a while…

 

  

Always when you’re eating lunch!

 

Running from the storm.

 

 

Is there a fish you want me to attempt to catch? A location I should fish? A photographic challenge? You tell me. Either email fishfingers18@yahoo.com or leave a comment below.

 

Until next week.

 

Jack Murphy

 

© JackMurphy Fishing and Photography

 

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