Monday morning we are at the boat ramp by 0545 hrs. Gavin was already there unloading his beautiful, large boat, perfect for fly casting with a high, open deck. He also has railings onto which his anglers can lean as they cast and which assist with fish retrieval which is very helpful, especially in rolling waves.
We drove for about 20 minutes straight across the bay, along which are the beaches of Alexandra Headland, Coolum and Maroochydore, and stopped near Mudjimba Island (Aboriginal for Old Woman). There we saw our first long tail tuna feeding.....jumping out of the water and splashing around everywhere. What an exciting sight to see for the first time! It was also amazing to see how the birds took advantage of the food that had been herded together by the tuna.
Gavin is so well known for his fishing skills that another boat followed us out to see where he would go but after we had a few casts without any luck, we moved on to another spot along the bay.
Then the action started! Lando at the front, me at the back and Gavin finding the tuna. Sometimes they were easy to see, a dead giveaway with the birds overhead but sometimes one would pop up right in front of the boat! Lando hooked one up but it got away due to equipment failure unfortunately.....lines can sometimes have other ideas. I was just too excited to get any sort of decent cast out most of the time....I really do need to try and contain myself.
Anyway, it was a most memorable day and a real learning experience for me. Thanks to Gavin for giving me some good advice on my casting and thanks to Lando for the flies and reel. Sadly no fish were landed but that has not diminished my resolve to get back out there again soon! A few photos of the boat, Lando, Gavin and some of the flies we used.....all tied by Lando.
An aside: Gavin has announced an international Tuna Derby which commenced on April 11th. Some more details HERE.