What a fantastic end to my year with a trip of a lifetime just before the start to the marlin run off Sydney.
Little did I know what I was to be in for the next couple of days when I slipped away for an offshore trip 44km out from Hillarys Harbour in Western Australia. The aim: to do battle with the all mighty Samson fish (seriola hippos).
As we arrived at our destination we were greeted with solid schools marking up on the sounder in around 115m of water. With excitement and anticipation mounting, down went my first jig. Within minutes of reaching the bottom a bite started that lasted for the next three days. It was the sort of red hot bite that would bring a smile to any fisho's face.
All around me on the trip other fishos were getting spooled, there were bust-offs and broken rods, but my new 250g Jigmaster rod - rated at 20 kgs - matched up with a Shimano Saragosa 18000 spooled with 24kg Rovex coloured braid and a Black Magic 120lb leader held together nicely; it proved to be a perfectly balanced outfit for such a task.
Our skipper informed me it was one of the best runs of larger fish he had seen come over the side in a few years with most fish ranging between the 30 to 40kg mark and some of the fish I took on board were over 50kgs. By the end of the trip my PB was a 57kg monster Samson.
Most of the fish landed were on knife jigs with the River 2 Sea (Sea rock) proving to be the best fish taker, matched up with a 9/0 Saltist assist hook. Solid rings and split rings are a must on these class of fish.
Bigger fish were located beneath the schools and switching to an 8oz TT jighead and a Berkley
Power Grub in Glow all hell broke loose. My line started to sing through the guides as the larger fish couldn't help themselves, taking my offering with gusto.
All fish were treated with the most respect and released to fight another day.
By the end of this magnificent trip I was completely exhausted. My back, arms and legs had me feeling like I'd been hit by a bus and my return flight just seemed a daze - I was still mesmerised by what I'd been through. I'll definitely be going back. The staff from Bluejuice Charters made it an amazing trip, they were a great bunch of people.
For information on Samson fish charters go to: www.bluejuicecharters.com.au