Monday, December 27, 2010

Bullied in Bali

Blessed Christmas & Happy New Year everyone! Updates to the blog have been slow of late due to year end work backlog clearance and, the much needed holiday travels.

On a recent short getaway to Bali, my dear wife and I sneaked in a few hours of fishing to sample out the much talked-about waters of Nusa Penida that have produced huge amberjacks, GTs & dogtooth tunas. We had been warned - fast currents also meant using jigs up to 500g in weight.

We enlisted the services of Xplore-Charters, a professionally-run charter service in Bali famous for connecting their clients to some nice fish. I must say that it's really one of the most professional services I've been on so far. Our twin 200hp powered catamaran, Jig-A-Boo, was exceptionally stable in the midst of the big swells on our way out to the fishing grounds.

Our helpful and jovial deckie Risal setting up the gear

Weather was perfect. Currents favourable. Fishing season was at its peak. We also received news that GTs up to 30+kgs had been landed on the last trip out. It felt real good and I was all too eager to pop my heart out and land some nice GTs.

And pop my heart out I did... quite literally

Somehow the fish were unresponsive. No surface explosions behind chugged poppers, no ripping lines and whizzing spools. Silent.

Both Captain & Deckie were scratching their heads wondering what could be the reason for the uncooperative fish. Both were very hardworking in positioning the boat, shifting positions around spots and trying all sort of lures but still - nothing. After 2+ hours of non-stop popping, Capt Gade suggested we try some jigging.

"Depth 80m, fish at 50m!" sounded Capt Gade.

Down went the pearl Williamson Benthos 400g jig. Halfway through the first drift, the rod buckled over and the 65lb Sufix 832 whizzed out uncontrollably. After what seemed like a good 12 seconds and much less line on the spool, I humbly admit I panicked and tightened the drag a little. Wrong move. CRACK!! The main line burst and so did my hope for what might have been a beautiful dogtooth according to Capt Gade.

With not much time left for our short trip, we did a few more drifts got us more bite-offs, unsuccessful hookups and misses - sadly, without even landing one! We headed back to the docks, adding to the statistic of only 4 fishless trips in 2010 for the charter. (Sorry guys!)

It goes to show that there will be some days where fishing will be darn good while others, you may end up just sucking thumbs with zero fish. All in all, it's still better than a day in the office ey?

Special thanks to Capt Gade, Risal, Natalie & Fay from Xplore Charters that provided us with a wonderful professional charter experience for both my wife and I. Kudos goes to the Captain Gade & Risal who have put in all their best efforts to get us connected to fish. Do check out their website for Bali popping & jigging options.

Bali... we'll be back!