Saturday, December 10, 2016

Ascension Island July 2016

A year of waiting has finally come to an end. The journey to Ascension Island was about to begin, time flew by and all of a sudden we were in London having dinner at the Lebanese restaurant.
Seth, Dorian & Arthur signed up for Ascension trip a bit over a year ago. The destination and the remoteness of that forgotten island in the south Atlantic Ocean always been a myth to me not to mention the logistic that you need to go through, a total nightmare but worth all the effort!
We got greeted by our Captain Divan upon our arrival and headed directly to the boat, had a bit of a late start. We were tired exhausted but still have some energy left in us to hit the water.
The late morning start was slow with not much going on except for Dorian that he kept bouncing his jig and using his light tackle set up that he recently purchased; there is no way to drop a jig without getting bit.
From Amber Jack to Black Jack and grouper you can literally jig all day and still catch a fish on every drop. Nothing big but still a lot of fun on the lighter gear when using PE2-3 outfit.

We changed the spot in the afternoon and went to a different location. Seth and I were popping in the front and all of a sudden a silhouette shadow embarked from the water with its full power inhaling Seth’s lure, basically the lure disappeared with that sunset in the background, Seth was on!
Was anyone of us ready for that? The answer was no as the strike was unexpected and that was the beauty of it. He struggled but with a bit of help he managed to seal the deal on the first day and landed a 206 lb Yellowfin tuna on the Race Point 150. The fish measured 73-inch x 47 and by far the biggest landed on the RP 150.
The sickles on that fish were simply amazing and the timing was even better for that lap photo shot, we celebrated our catch at the dinner table dreaming about what tomorrow could bring us. The magic was about to start!
Knowing couple of facts and what people cast for those fish and what they believe - was a challenge. Most guys did their homework reading other people’s posts and believing that pencil poppers should be the only ticket. It sure proved to be an effective lure for the task but in my book, I get all my strikes and hook up on stickbait and poppers, the key for success is to keep a lure in the water as you need to work hard to get a strike!
On our second day we headed right to the spot where we got the strike from the day before and after a couple of drifts and close to 15 feet from the boat I saw a silver flash shadow deep under my lure. I wanted to scream but kept quiet thinking that the guys might think I am hallucinating. All of a sudden that fish turned and went airborne in acrobatic move hitting the head of the Moutoukenmaru 30MM lure.
An unbelievable strike with such velocity and surprise. I set the hook and moved to the back only to lose him in the front of my eyes 20 feet away from the boat with his long glorious sickles sticking out waving victorious - heart breaker by all means!
That was the beginning of a great day with so many strikes to come. This time it was Arthur’s turn and the fish came in like a tornado on his lure. He managed to get a good hook up setting on it and moved slowly to the back of the boat to fight. From the line it was taking and the bend of the rod we all knew it was a descent fish; it dumped half of the spool under heavy drag but the unexpected happen when Arthur’s line dogged inside and the line snapped leaving all of us with an open jaw, that was the end that Arthur had to face.
Another drift and we saw a whole school of smaller size tuna charging our lures close to the boat, Seth and Dorian got tight and they both end up losing the fish to a shark.
We were not done yet! I was at the bow with Set talking and chatting about double strikes possibility. I then turned to Captain Divan to ask him how often do they get a double strike. His reply was “not quite often couple in a season.” Then the unexpected happened!
Both our lure got charged at the same time, mine missed the lure completely but Seth was on, Captain Divan shouted from the tower “it is big! it is big!”
That fish fought like a demon and tested every opportunity she got to gain its freedom. The good thing was that it got hooked on the Race Point 200 which lacks no lifting power and strength. She came up sideway still fighting and budging, it was big and she looked healthy and fat.
With a bit of support we got it in the boat and it measured 77 ½ X 49 inch, Seth was on cloud nine and did not believe the size of the fish.
Set’s been fishing for yellowfin tuna for a long time but this by far the biggest he ever got on a popping outfit.
We called the day off under a beautiful sunset and headed to weight the fish. She weighted 249lb gutted, our appetite was fulfilled and we could sense that glorious moment when you just frame the day in your memory and cherish the comrades spirit among good friend that shared a moment of glory with you, the end was simply astonishing!
Our last day had a late start and we struggled in the morning but the afternoon bite paid off with multiple opportunities. I switched to popper on that day giving the fact that the main bait was black Triggerfish.
My Shell Shaping G2 top in flake black got inhaled on that late afternoon while I was screaming at captain Divan to back up the boat in order to gain line. I could see the color of the spool and all of a sudden I lost tension. I retrieved my line with no tension at all. The lure was gone and the fluorocarbon leader was shaved 4 inches above the swivel. That fish must have inhaled the lure and found that little nick that I had on the line, I bit on my finger because I didn’t change it, I learned my lesson!
Seth was outcasting us with his 80lb Hollow that stood to all strikes and big fish. He was literally getting better chances then the rest of us as he was covering new water on every cast. He got all his trikes on a Heru black pencil popper and I kept on asking what poundage line was he using and he kept on replying 100lb. I was puzzled looking at his spool and my spool and comparing saying to myself how? It is impossible. He suddenly turned to me laughing loudly saying to me I got you there didn’t I!
The longer cast produced the best and Seth worked hard for his strikes. He tangled again with a descent fish estimated around 150lb that we released after a quick snap. He was the only guy that managed to get a strike and land a fish or 2 every day!
The clock is ticking and time was running but I knew deep inside that we still have some shots before the end of the day. I was putting cast after cast and the payback came in.
That fish hit the lure on topwater with its tail and sickles out and stayed up tailing like a marlin. She gave us a great show for about 10 minutes running from left to right till she decided to dive down. After 2 to 3 minutes I subdued the fish and got it to the boat side, the fish measured at 75 X 50 inch hefty and round and yes Solo.
My mission was accomplished and was so happy to finally have a chance to land one of those beasts.
I lay low after and I did not want to cast till we start seeing busting fish on topwater. We rushed to the scene while they were bursting out of the water. Dorian and Arthur made a cast and Arthur got tight to fight a smaller class fish with a lot of stamina to it. That fish fought like a champion and we got it to the boat side. We noticed shark marks on it. We’ve been told that most smaller fish tend to get bitten by shark and that what exactly happened. However, we still managed to release it safely after a quick shot. Dorian was next and out of nowhere he got a great strike with not much of drag peeling. After a quick 15 minutes he got a monster shark to the boat and we safely released it.
That was our last day on the boat and I had such a great time with the guys, I have to admit that they are one of my favorite group to fish with. This is what I call a team work when your mate is happier than you when you catch a fish! Such a great spirit on board that transfer the positive and the good vibe to all.
We met 2 great brothers on our stay that they fished from the shore and had some success on hooking but not landing. I got the pleasure to meet Peter and Patrick who flew from Australia to fish from the rock, those guys showed me how it is done and the safest way to do it in the future from the beach.
They took me out in the next morning and I had it all on video, they sure know what they’re doing and I am pretty much positive that they will succeed in the future on subduing class fish from the shore. The area is very dangerous and I suggest anybody that is trying to fish from the rock to be very careful.
They fish one at a time while the other brother is watching for the swell, and yes it happened when Peter shouted all of a sudden to run for the high ground. We ran without looking behind and when we made it to the high ground the rocks where we stood were covered with 2 meter of water. It would have swept us away in no time. So please, if you tend to do it – do your homework and be careful, it is dangerous!

We rented a car on our last day and headed for the mountain hiking. The view from the top was priceless and we were so happy to get the chance to make it to the top to admire what Darwin had done to the island.
I want to thank our Captain Divan and first mate Christian for their hospitality and dedication to make it happen to us, we shall be back next year and I already get the dates, thank you!
we get a total of 20 strikes which we fought 15 out of it and landed a total of 5 fish J
Tackle used:
Rod: Race Point 300, 250, 200, 150, Carpenter
Reel: Shimano Stella SWB 18k
Lures: Moutoukenmaru, Shell Shaping, Amagari, Heru Skipjack, Hameerhead, Siren, CB One
Line: Power Pro Hollow & Jerry Brown 80lb, 100lb, 130lb
Leader: Saltywater Tackle Twisted Leader
  Tight lines


No comments:

Post a Comment