2008/2/23 Almost Landed Trevally
My family and I were visiting Nago, Okinawa for 2 days, so I decided to give it a try on salt water game with my 5wt tackle.
I was considering to attain whole new tackle for salt water game, but my salt water source told that there won’t be aggressive fish eaters such as baracuda or trevally in the area I will be going. So, I’m staying with my conventional 5wt and only picked up Orvis line basket before heading to the island.
When I get to the island the fact which surprised me the most was the WIND. Like Hawaii, wind blows hard from late afternoon which seemed twice worse than any of my previous experience in lake fishing. Another difficulty was in finding good location to fish. I was staying in the middle of national park where fishing is prohibited, so I checked with hotel manager for the time wind is least strong and the closest location I am permitted to fish from shore. He kindly pointed me the direction, and I realized that knowing vital information really is the start.
I sneaked out of my bed early next morning to the cove about 10 minutes walk away from the hotel. The point seemed quite promising with river mouth located at the most inner point of the cave. I began wading and fishing when it’s still dark, then soon I noticed that there was a huge school of small size fish surrounding me.
Wind was still strong, but I went ahead and cast my crazy charlie to the school with few scratching feedback without any bite. Sun slowly rose up and I saw what’s actually going on around the school of fish. I saw tailing fin and the violent boil in the middle of the school of baitfish… I instantaneously recalled a Discovery Channel show in which tropical sharks are feeding in shallow in low light condition. I got scared and considered to wade back to the shore, but my curiosity had beaten my fear, so I stayed and changed fly to rabbit zonker to match the size of bait.
The first cast won the hit, few seconds of sharp tension on 3x tippets, and fish broke the line with a snatch. Changed to 1x and the second cast missed the bite, but I saw black shadow chasing my fly. Few more cast didn’t trigger any action and school began to swim away from beach as light got brighter.
With my best hope, I cast out zonker ahead of the school of baitfish then fly line stopped for a second. That’s when heavy strike came. Short heavy dive and pause. I never had fish like this on my fly tackle, so I tried to pull it with rod action….. which triggered the fish to run… like… something I never experienced before. 5wt rod bent all the way from butt and fish took about 50 yards of backing several times before coming near me. I saw the whole look of the fish which was a trevally smaller than my expectation at about 40cm who pulled harder than 60cm rainbow trout. The problem was… I didn’t think of how to land the fish I caught, so I tried to catch with my bare hand which seemed pathetically impossible. Then hook came out of its mouth and fish ran away… Later that day I checked on the internet in my hotel and found out that fish was called blue-fin trevally.
So, this blue-fin trevally became my “0.5” caught salt water specimen. I need to re-match on my next trip to Okinawa where things are just soooo beautiful and beer tastes soooo gooooood.