Having finally replaced my old reel that was seizing up (dropped it in the harbour a year or two ago) with a shiny new Japanese import, I was excited to get out there and break it in! I hadn't gotten out for a fish in a while, but in previous months I'd found the harbour ferry wharves quite productive, particularly on Sunday mornings when the ferries have a late start.
I arrived at the reasonable hour of 7am to a beautiful scene and began flicking a plastic around. After an hour with not a single touch, I switched to a small bit of bread on a size 8 blackfish hook, about 2m under a small float. Still no luck, so I decided to abandon the float and switch to a simple rig with a tiny ball sinker to a swivel, with a short leader to the same hook. This time I set the bait much lower, at around 4-5m. The bite suddenly came on, perhaps in part due to the approaching low tide.
First up was a small bream that was swiftly released. Shortly afterward, I felt a few gentle tugs before the rod loaded up and the drag began to sing. It was a heavy fish, but didn't seem in a great hurry, as it slowly took off downward and away from the wharf. I began to wonder what I had hooked, too slow for a kingfish, and the tugs prior to hook-up and sluggishness suggested to me that it was possibly a flathead. However, I then began to feel definitive tail-beats, and now suspected it was a solid silver trevally. As I worked it back towards the wharf, I could feel my heart thumping in my chest... would the tiny blackfish hook hold? Would I even be able to land this beast? Soon I could see colour; monster trevally! Several times, it would try to make a dash under the wharf, and I had to put my hand over the spool and drag it back out. Finally, after several attempts, I managed to get the fish in the net! Just shy of half a meter; not bad!
I decided to keep that one for a feed, and after humanely dispatching and gutting it, another bit of bread was baited up and set down beside the wharf. Another solid hook-up! This one made a few short, strong runs, and then was worked into the net fairly quickly. A beautiful 39cm Bream specimen. After brief swim in my hands, this horse shot back into the depths to fight another day.
Coated some fillets from the trevally with tapioca flour, salt and pepper, and cooked them in the pan with coconut oil. Delicious! I highly recommend you save the wings on these fish (and flathead too), as it's the best part; sweet, juicy and tender.
Thanks for reading!