Sunday, 26 February 2012

The Grunter Run!

There's nothing more exciting than when the Grunter start running.  Every man, women, bunch of kids, cousins and anyone that can possibly hold a line is down there. Baits, livies, lures - it doesn't matter. It's like people are completely taken over by a blindly exciting feast just waiting to be caught.   With Mak on my left, Xav on my right we launched our assault early at about 6am and I threw the cast net and got a good selection of bait.  Dad had gone hunting so it was just us today.  We had a bag of squid incase my throwing arm let me down....My dad taught me to throw them when I was about 8 but he's a lefty so I throw lefty too with a technique no one up here would recognise lol.

We started off the wharf and it wasn't long before Xavie hooked up.  I set his drag pretty loose as he only has 12lb line so pulling up a 50cm grunter looked like he was hauling in a marlin. He was squealing with excitement and at one stage I thought his rod was going to snap in two.  We got it to the surface and this fish was enormous...... too heavy to pull up onto the jetty and the weight of it snapped the line about a metre from the hook.  Devo'd!

Mak was next and her fish was about 45cm but fought like a jack hammer and the same thing - PING as we tried to haul it up onto the jetty. 

Right! That did it.  I launched our last resort - my rod with a 40lb leader.  Grunter number 1 landed aboard but only just....

The tide started to change and the bites were few and far between so we knew they'd moved on.  We grabbed our gear and esky and piled back into the red racer to our new spot (via the servo to get an icecream).  We threw the mud crab pots in our secret spot with some stinky-ass mullet in there and wished them luck!

By 9am we went across the refresh our bait supply and try our luck off the point.  Nothing but snags, catfish and a croc there.  Time to move on.

We launched our attack at Red Beach.  Within 5mins of my live mullet hitting the water, my rod was running!  I had 15lb line on it with a 40lb leader and live fish.  Barramundi - come on!!!!!  This fish was a heavy bastard and wanted to run.....but it didn't jump so I was beginning to get sceptical now.  From behind the bush, Scott our Chemist popped out and I couldn't contain my excitement.  On the verge of snapping the line or yanking the hook from its mouth in sheer adrenaline, I took my time and adjusted the drag on my reel.  Please, please, please just let me see what it is before I stuff it up and now at least I had a witness if it was a record fish.

20minutes later I'm still fighting this monster and as soon as I think I'm winning it'd bloody run again.  A shimmer of silver glitter and what look like black lines down the side appear running parallel to the beach - ooooooh it could be a threadfin!  Yah, that'd be good!  It runs one more time then I wind like crazy!  Both Mak and Xav are frothing at the mouth and I'm yelling at them to hop out of my way - yes it was going to be their fault if I lost it for sure!!!

With Scott still next to me, eager to find out what this monster was too, we finally got a good look at it. 

A stinking Queenie about 75cm long.  It had taken my mullet then spat it out and hooked itself underneath it's carriage so I was hauling this thing in on it's side.   Devo'd.

By 10am it was getting hot and the kids wanted to check their mudcrab pots so I gave my Queenie to a lady down the beach and off we went again to find better luck.

1 small Jenny in the pot and our others were empty with the markings of sharks so I packed up the pots and put them in the boot. 

It was time for the big guns.  Little red car is like a go-cart that gets smashed, crashed and can go through mud puddles with the agility of a 250cc quad.  I took her, loaded with the lines and pots and kids out to Red Bank and from there launched our final assault on the Grunter.

Both Mak and Xav are competent casters now so at least I can put my line in the water without having to stop every 2mins and re-cast them out!  Wooshka, first line took off and I had a good feeling about it.  Yep - a good size grunter.  Then it was the kids - 1 catfish and another grunter.

It was on like Donkey Kong!

For tea we had fresh grunter in the pan with garlic, butter and salt.  Even the dogs got fresh fish for dinner!  Yee Haa! 

(P.S I couldn't find a hat so the fluffy santa cowboy hat had another outing x)

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