Winter mayhem with the Freams/Black Label Combo – Mark Bargenquast
Last autumn I took delivery of a new DAIWA BLACK LABEL 701 HFS V2 spin rod matched with a DAIWA FREAMS 4000 reel, a well balanced combo that I just couldn’t wait to test on some good fish. I did land a nice longtail tuna around 8 kg and a few smallish snapper, hardly a test for such an outfit and I was hankering for something larger.
The middle of winter can be a tough time for inshore sportfishing in south east queensland, water temps can drop to 16 degrees and westerly winds can blow early mornings until well after midday. Most tuna, trevally and queenfish species have moved offshore and a few can be caught down deep…….but the westerlies can be a real pain!
The sandy straits can produce some big barramundi and threadfin salmon during the warmer months but the cooler winter waters can be tough, very tough for these guys unless you really know your stuff and don’t mind casting for fruitless hours without result. Well today was different!
I launched the boat with a totally different mindset today, re-thinking tactics, tides and lure presentations and hard work finally got me the bites I was after. The first came after 3 hours of constant casting at what I perceived as a fish holding eddy, all electronics turned off and (I shouldn’t be picky) putting up with a stream of small to mid-sized flathead.
The light weight and great balance of the black label/freams combo let me work the lure for this long without fatigue which itself is a fish catcher as the more casts you can place in a day the more bites you will get, it’s a numbers game.
Well the first good fish was a 102 cm threadfin salmon, a terrific sportfish that put up some powerful runs and head shakes before finally coming to the net, quick photographs before release, my day couldn’t get better could it?
Well another 3 hours, marking a few fish on the sounder, location change and a few more flathead I was about to head for home when I felt a slight tap as the lure sank, striking to set the hook it soon became obvious it wasn’t another lizard, this one had a bit of weight. The fish fought deep and in raging current needed a bit of lift to pull her up but eventually my son Jackson netted a 103 cm fat winter time salty barra, I was stoked!
Definately thinking outside the square and a little bit of patience helped me catch the fish today but the balanced outfit was the big winner for me. Bring on summer!