(Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)
My mates and I and our girls were fishing off a rock shelf just south of Eden in the south of New South Wales.
It had been a good day's fishing interspersed with 3 strange incidents.
Incident (1) of 3.
While testing my new Shimano rod and new overhead Abu spinning reel I cast out quite high in the air and got a hit even before the lure hit the water.
As the lure was flying through through the air a sea gull swooped and snatched it in mid air.
Unfortunately it grabbed the hooks on the lure and was automatically hooked.
I had no choice but to reel the sea gull in and try and release it.
And that's when the real fun started because as you may imagine the gull was not at all cooperative, flapping it's wings, trying to peck me with its beak and scratch me with it's claws.
It got a few good bites in before I managed to free and release it.
My right hand and lower right were a bit sore for a few days afterwards so I guess that's the price you pay for catching a non fish.
Incident (2) of 3.
The very next day after fishing for about 4 hours another strange incident happened to me.
This time a Scuba diving club descended on us and asked permission to go diving while we were fishing.
Naturally enough we told them that was OK and told them to go in on our right where the rock shelf was low enough for them to walk into the water.
We also suggested to them to go out about a hundred and twenty meters before swimming across the front of us as we were casting out 100 meters and did not want to land a heavy lure on top of some one's head.
Things were going along swimmingly while we were fishing while they were Scuba diving and then it happened ....
My lure was hit hard so I jerked the rod up and hooked it and boy was it heavy and it struggled fiercely as I tugged it in.
After 10 minutes I got it in close enough to identify my catch and it certainly was no fish that I had ever seen before.
Truth was it turned out to be one of the Scuba divers-6' long and 120lbs and snarling at me.
Least this time I wasn't bitten!
Lucky for him I had only hooked a strap holding on his oxygen bottle.
The very next day...
Incident (3) of 3
This one turned out to be a big problem when it was time to release the catch.
Here we all were starting day 3 of our fishing trip and there were two of us on the edge of the rock shelf casting out.
We were spinning for Tuna, King fish or any biggie we could catch.
My mate Dave beside me, who was universally known as Yappy as he never stopped talking, was changing lures and I had my back to him asking the girls if they would like a turn at fishing.
Time for the girls!
Suddenly I heard Yappy's expletive, "Strewth, don't believe this, what the hell's that doing on the end of my line?"
He, like me, had hooked a bird in-flight, bit bigger than my bird though as he had snaffled an Albatross, with at least an 8' wing span.
And so the real trouble began because the bird was
screeching it's head off and sounding worse than Yappy at his worst.
Between the 2 of us we managed to bring it to ground.
Don't know if you have ever had to release a Albatross but I would not want to do it again that's for sure.
I grabbed at one wing after it had flapped it and knocked me to the ground, George managed to grab the other wing.
Tammy and Denise held its head and neck, while Yappy tried to get the lure unhooked.
Took forever as the bird was really fighting hard.
After about 15 minutes we had the lure out and released the bird.
It took off circling around as if nothing had happened.
Did we catch any fish during those 3 days...what do you think?