By Andy Smith
Soon after returning home in early December, I had the urge to get back to Bali and jump on board with Pak Adhek and the crew on GT1. The past two months had provided true world-class GT fishing, with numbers of serious sized GT’s being landed. So, off I went with two returning anglers from previous trips, Craig and Marc and first time (but massively keen!) Toby McClure, a diehard tournament bream fisherman. A near perfect tide window, a day after the full moon ensured we would have huge tides and hopefully, a huge GT bite! The only thing that could throw a spanner in the works…… Cyclone Rusty. The weather in the lead up was ordinary at best, with all water traffic in Bali waters put on hold. Rusty delivered a bumpy and interesting flight into Bali, fingers were crossed for fishable conditions. Day one, low winds with a decent swell running and we headed out to Batu Abah, a known hot spot on the Bali GT radar. IT wasn’t long and the new boy, Toby, came up tight on an ASWB SS120 Momentum sinking stick bait. His first ever GT, and a nice solid number. Would this be the fish that changes a bream fisherman forever?? Just before lunch and Craig follows up with his best ever GT and a beast, also on…. you guessed it! Another ASWB sinking stick bait in the SS130 Scad model. With a solid swell, big tides and the rough conditions still hanging around from the previous few days, it seemed that deep fished stick baits were the key. Adhek had experienced similar feeding patterns in recent times, along with Ebb Tide Adventures Field Staff and well known Bali angler Mark Harris. As the old adage goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Soon after lunch, with a very strong and ordinary front approaching, the call was made to pack it in for the day and head home. It certainly was a long trip home! Day two, spirits were high and the wind had dropped out. Déjà vu, and Toby hooks up nice and early. Sinking stick bait again and this time a beautiful fish around the 30kg mark, although there was some carnage. End result, a bream fisherman that has just found another passion! Marc had worked hard for a day and a half and was rewarded, BIG TIME! Casting his brand new ASWB SS130 Scad off the bow, a deep sink and Boom! His new Carpenter Blue Chaser buckling and PE8 Frog braid peeling off at a rate of knots. A solid fight and the crew slip the net under a cow, 127cm fork and 96cm girth! Feeling a little despondent and now wondering why I stuck with poppers all day on day one, I come up tight on Adhek’s new prototype sinking stick bait, and soon release a GT that puts up a good account for it’s size. The offer for lunch comes in and the verdict from the boys….. “Let’s do one more pass”. I fire a cast straight into the churning water, BANG! Two in two casts! Lunch taken, eaten and I pass my outfit over to Craig with Adhek’s prototype, and bang! He’s on!! This lure is HOT and has already accounted for some serious GT’s. The wash up, (and there was plenty!) sinking stick baits were, well HOT and conditions were feisty!! I can’t wait to get back!!