Last night I saw quite a few elements line up for jew fishing at my favourite breakwall. I headed off before dark and had time to set up and start casting hardbodies about an hour and a half before the high tide change. I got a hit from a soapy with a short run and then nothing for another hour. right on the high tide change i got a solid hit and i had my drag set fairly tight. it went for 2 good runs. he ended up going upstream so i climbed up to walk along the wall with him but then he turned and headed back towards the wall. i kept the slack out of the line the whole time but there i was on my own, the only person on the wall, a 2.5m east swell pushing straight in and smashing on the rocks and the biggest jew i have ever hooked beginning to get washed up against the rocks. my gaff was well out of reach by this stage and my game plan was to wait for a break in the sets and try to get down there and retrieve him. There wasnt a break in the sets for over a minute it seemed and by this stage he had washed in. in a desperate attempt i tried to wash him in to an area where i might have some hope of getting to him but then as the waves receded the trebles came unstuck and i had lost the biggest jew i have ever hooked. I reckon it could have been close to 15kg. hard to tell.
i was a broken man after that. my casts were half hearted and i nearly wept out there on my own at the end of the breakwall. I have obviously gone over it 4000 times in my head but i still cant help but think that in those conditions with that swell the chances of landing a fish that size are slim. perhaps i could have applied a little bit less muscle and let him run for longer so that i could keep him away from the rocks until the break in the sets but i feel he would have gotten washed in anyway. there was whitewater and waves everywhere.
I walked too far away from my gaff as well which was a rookie error but the distance between me and the fish while the waves were crashing in was much longer than my gaff.
anyway i might not go on my own anymore because i cant live through that again! unless anyone has some advice on how i could have played it differently. also looking for some advice from anyone who is experienced at gaffing jew on their own.
I am also thinking about swapping the trebles out of my lures and replacing with single hooks. I reckon if i had got him in the corner of the mouth with a single hook he wouldnt have gotten away.
I just hope that he survived to tell his side of the story!