West Oz Spearing with the Sercombe’s

BY JULIA SERCOMBE

It’d been a while since all the spearing members of the Sercombe family had re-united so when we got together we did whatever we could to make it a big one! Antony had come home to Geraldton after moving to the East Coast and he was frothing to get out in Western waters.

The typical Gero winds meant we could only get out for a couple of local dives. Antony was happy though, he’d been looking forward to shooting another West Australian Dhu fish and the dirty conditions didn’t seem to bother him and landed a 11 kg fish.

The conditions improved and allowed us to dive offshore at the Abrolhos Islands. With the forecast looking to be glass out for the entire day we couldn’t wait to make the most of the day and dived a favourite spot 40NM west of home. The lump was unusually quiet, apart from the local taxmen, who thankfully provided Antony and myself with a couple of their Cobia friends. I managed landing a cobia 13+kg (a new PB and state record) and Antony a smaller one and unfortunately for dad he lost one to make it a trifecta. The day remained quiet until we decided to call it a day and motored home in amazing glass conditions.

We’d been organising a family holiday for several months prior to Antony’s arrival to a family favourite destination, Shark Bay. We packed frantically after a big day on the water and started our journey into the night.

Conditions were looking diveable but not as good as what we hoped for. The swell and winds were meant to pick up and we were worried that it would prevent us from finding clear water. This was certainly the case, with our clearest water being on the first afternoon with mid 20s visibility.  Fortunately this didn’t prevent us from getting onto the fish. We consistently burleyed the water hoping for some monster fish to come through and waited patiently. Early on in the trip Ant and I landed a couple of Pink Snapper (a new PB for me).

As the week progressed the conditions deteriorated butpushed through in search of more fish! One quiet and dirty afternoon anchored on a usually reliable edge we decided to swim about 200 metres west of the boat after to an aggregation of birds were diving into the water which suggested it they could be bombing on a bait ball. Once the bait ball was in sight, within seconds there were sharks, cobia, pink snapper and that’s where I saw a Tuna swim directly below me. I waited for the opportunity to dive with the bait ball getting closer and closer. The Cobia and Pink Snapper had certainly caught my attention but after seeing the Tuna below me I knew I had to wait for what I really wanted. I waited (which seemed like forever) and waited and finally my opportunity had come with several Tuna chasing the bait ball I was able to take my chances and take a shot. I saw the bullet race off and I tried my hardest to prevent it from getting sharked. I kept the pressure on and minutes later I had landed my first Northern Blue Fin Tuna at 16 kg. After losing Dogtooth Tuna and Yellow Fin Tuna to sharks I was very excited to have this fish secure in my hands. After chasing bait balls for the rest of the afternoon it made for a happy boat when Antony also landed a 14 kg Bluefin. Unfortunately dad’s eye sight isn’t like it use to be, and he didn’t see a thing but he enjoyed watching his children successfully land a couple of amazing fish.

Some other great fish over the week consisted of Cobia, Rankin Cod, Coronation and coral Trout and Spanish Mackerel.

To say our family holiday was amazing would be an understatement. Being able to enjoy a destination like that in our backyard makes me really appreciate what we have been given in this amazing country. Whether it’s East or West we are really in the best place and there’s no other place I’d rather be!

‘Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!’ 2 Corinthians 9:15

EBONY HARPER