Here we are in Cooktown, and at last, we bought a fishing boat! It’s a Stacer 349 Proline Cartopper with an 8 horsepower Mercury motor. We have been looking for a boat since we started our trip, after visiting Black Point on the Yorke Peninsula. Everyone there had a boat and were catching heaps of fish and crabs. Dad and I could only catch a couple of whiting off the beach. We have been trying to talk Mum into it for 4 months, so finally we can go and catch heaps of fish!
Fishing at Cooktown is great! The first spot we went to was the famous Cooktown Wharf. They say you can catch all sorts of fish there, Barra, Kingies, Queenies plus much more! I caught a sickle fish and Dad caught a Trevally. When we were there, a guy caught a Barramundi under the wharf, using a bait fish called a Pike on a handline. It only took him 5 minutes and bang…a 60cm barramundi!
The next day, Dad and I went to the Lure Shop and bought 2 Cherapin Lures and 2 Warlock Lures. We then went to the boat ramp on the Endeavour River for another go at fishing. I was testing out my Warlock Lure, and within a few minutes I had a Barra strike, but he missed the lure! Then Dad had a go using the Cherapin Lure and hooked it! Lachie helped Dad hold the rod while Dad got down on the bank to pull the fish in. Wow!! Lachie finally caught his first barramundi – it was 60cm!
One afternoon, we drove down to have a look at Archer Point. It is about 20km south of Cooktown, and it’s very good for fishing but it’s choppy and windy all the time. We’ve been waiting for the weather to change so we could take our boat down to try it out.
Finally, our lucky day!! NO wind and NO swell, the perfect weather for fishing in a tinny! It was so flat, sometimes called a ‘Glassy Ocean’. So, Mum and Dad decided we could go we camping there for a night and try out the new tinny. After we set up the camp we took the boat out for the first time. I was trolling and got a massive bite, we hooked him and fought the fish awhile and as he got up to the boat, we lost it! Lachie and I caught a few small reef fish and after a while we went back to the camp.
A little while later, all of a sudden we saw whales swimming out in the distance!! It was awesome, so we rushed to the boat and cruised out to see them a bit closer. It was so cool, they were so big!
The next morning it was another Glassy Ocean. It was so flat you couldn’t hear the water wash up to shore. Dad woke me up at 5am to go out fishing on the boat. Once we got out there, we could see heaps of tuna jumping in and out of the water! Woohoo!! We chased them everywhere and tried trolling through them. We drove through the tuna and one nearly jumped in the boat!
My heart was racing with excitement, and then we hooked one, so Dad had to quickly stop the boat. We were so nervous and Dad was having trouble trying to wind it in because it was so big! Dad just kept fighting and got him to the surface, but we still had to try and put him in the net. The net was too small, so Dad had to grab the gaff, which is a metal thing with a sharp hook. I held the rod and Dad used the gaff to hook the tuna into the boat. When we got the tuna in the boat we were so proud and so excited!!!!
Once we calmed down, we set off looking for more tuna. We eventually hooked another one, and it was heaps bigger – but then it snapped the line. We tried another lure made by my Uncle Leons’ mate, Steve. (He makes lures for a job… Cool huh?)
We then hooked another one again in no time. At first, we thought it was another tuna, but it turned out to be a Mackerel. When it got to the boat it dived down to the bottom and the line was like zzzzzzzzzzzzz for ages! Dad fought it for awhile and pulled it up, using the gaff again. We then went back to show Mum, Lachie and Madi our two big fish!!! The Tuna was a whopping 13kg and 80cm, and the Mackerel was 8kg and 83cm. Both were the biggest fish I have ever caught!!! I can’t wait to go back out again!