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Big Waves - Little Boat

Updated: Jun 2, 2022

Sunday 25/08/19 - Had an exciting and harrowing fishing trip this morning in a typical jukung outrigger with a 15 hp outboard. Wayan picked us up on the beach at 5 am for a 90 minute trip offshore to catch mahi-mahi. Susie asked him to see the life jackets - and he had one! So first we motored back to his place to grab ONE more, then headed out. She also asked about running lights - haha - the only electrical devices on board were our cell phones.

There was a quarter moon so it was bright enough to see other boats a fair distance away. Wayan was navigating by the stars, heading almost due north to find a floating platform about 10 miles out. Seas were choppy to start and got progressively worse – we were both totally soaked before long. Luckily the air & water temp were “moderate” so we were only miserable and not verging on hypothermic. (Susie may disagree!)

The target was a large, floating bamboo platform, anchored in very deep water, with many tiny hooks hanging below. These catch small fish which attract larger ones, etc. We actually found it (!) about the same time as a magnificent sun rose over mountainousLombok island to the east.

Upon approach to the area our pilot had unreeled a long line from a hand spool, which had many small dropper hooks on it. After a short while he wound in some of the line with lots of 12” mackerel on the hooks and tossed them in the bottom of the boat.

He proceeded to filet one of the mackerel and hook a chunk on one of the two stout spinning rods he had brought, throw it over and let out line as we continued to motor around in the waves. The bait was barely 50’ behind us before a mahi had hooked itself and began leaping out of the water. Wayan handed me the rod as he rigged the other, and I had a nice battle before boating the first one – about 6 or 7 lbs I guess. We continued to motor around the fish attractor and landed about 9 or 10 more in the next hour. None were very big but still fun.

By now Susie & I had just about enough so he says we will head back and maybe stop at one other place. Well, going back was now almost into the waves and they felt even bigger! Wayan did an admirable job driving with consideration for us, but could only go so-slow and still make headway. Any part of us that might have been dry was now drenched repeatedly!

Surprisingly we felt very safe the whole time. His little “spider boat” handled the waves pretty well and kept on going, with a 15 hp Yamaha outboard. He did have to hand-bail several times so we were not standing in sea water, along with the mahi flopping around beneath my feet!

We did stop for a short while at another platform and hooked more “peanut” mahi until we said that’s it! 14 fish in the boat is plenty for today, and a good day for him. Turned towards shore again and made it back alive about 9:30! We gave several fish to our hosts and Wayan kept the rest, and we headed for a hot shower! Yikes - what an adventure!

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