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Author Topic: Savage Seals  (Read 8917 times)

rogun

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Savage Seals
« on: June 01, 2021, 01:49:22 pm »
Up at 4am, pack the boat with the goodies and off to Pirates Bay for hopefully a Bluefin,
I questioned the stiff early breeze and weather with 3 very enthusiastic gentlemen at the boat ramp upon arrival, they kindly reassured me that it was going to drop out.
These blokes were super keen fishos and were willing to offer some great advice to a novice. Thanks fellas. cool1.

I dropped the boat in and off I went, 4 rods in and 4 lures dragged behind from Yellow Bluff all the way down to Tasman Island and not a touch.

I went around the back of Tasman where conditions were lumpy and looked very fishy for two hits at around midday, without hook up.

Thinking about dragging the lures back around to Munro Bight for a look after around a further hour spent for nothing, I turned the boat South and there was a Humpback Whale
directly in front of me, I watched for about 15 minutes before it sounded and disappeared from sight. That is the first whale that I have witnessed and what a surreal sight.

Leaving the whale and venturing south around Tasman up into Munro Bight and bang, all 4 rods loaded up with school Bluefin.
What followed was in my mind devastating as I watched every tuna attacked and dealt with by seals, all four fish were taken.

I reset and started trolling again and within about 500 meters 3 rods loaded up, and again amongst all of the profanity I yelled at the seals I lost all 3 fish.

Leaving the rods in and leaving the dozen or so seals milling around the boat I motored at speed about half way to the Hippolyte rocks and started trolling again.
I set the last lure in the spread and looked back only to see seals were following the boat furious1.

Once again the rods loaded up and again every fish was lost to the seals, at one point a seal lunged from the water and perched on the transom platform, I grabbed one of my heavy gaffs
and belted it before it slid off the transom platform back into the water. That seal looked every bit like it was wanting to launch right into the boat.

For the days tally, I hooked, and fought 14 School Bluefin, landed 3 Tuna heads, and battled countless seals for zero fish in the freezer. I have never seen so many seals around the boat.
I never thought that seals were so aggressive.

What a long day!

reddory

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Savage Seals
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2021, 03:37:02 pm »
Hell, mate: what a long and miserable day!  I take it you were out single-handed, too: so not much you can really do about deterring the brown dogs when they're that determined.

I used to carry one of those air horn devices (Lalizas make one that really honks), with the trumpet shoved up inside a length of pvc pipe.  If I could get a fish somewhere close-ish to the boat before the seal jumped on it, it was sometimes enough to stick the pipe end in the water and point it towards the seal, give it a good honk, and that startled it enough to allow me to crank the fish in fast the rest of the way and save it.  But that could be a handful when you're out there doing it all by yourself!

rogun

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Savage Seals
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2021, 04:25:35 pm »
Hi reddory,

Gets a little scary when a seal launches onto the transom deck after a Tuna head then looks like it wants to come in and grab the head without fear.
I dont think that I have seen seals in the same numbers before.

I wonder if anyone knows of a deterrent that can be fitted / activated easily onboard to make them back off.

I can just imagine the mayhem of an unwanted guest thrashing about breaking rods and destroying gear before leaving, not to mention
sinking a couple of the large teeth into an unlucky angler.

Shout out to anyone that has any constructive ideas that may help to make them wary.

Cheers

mahimahi

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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2021, 05:45:04 am »
Had a bull seal stalk me all day when fishing in a small tinny off pirates bay blowhole. Everytime I moved it followed, bloody thing even followed me back to boat ramp coming out of water growling and bearing its teeth, seal then jumped in another guys boat tied up to jetty. Another time I was reversing trailer to retrieve boat and a brown dog rammed the trailer!

cal123

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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2021, 12:38:17 pm »
Sounds like they are getting a bit crazy. I had one jump up onto the rear pod after a tuna and a swift tap on the head with a bait board from a mate had him back over the side. I wouldn't recommend that though, it could have gone badly.

mahimahi

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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2021, 07:31:44 pm »
They're certainly not scared, most of the brown dogs would be used to boats and the parents would then teach their pups how to get a free meal. The commercial fish farms use/used to deploy seal bombs (big censored1 fire cracker with a decent kick) to deter them however probably aren't accessible to recreational fishers and may also blow up any tuna in close proximity!

reddory

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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2021, 02:19:46 pm »
Well, as I said earlier, I've found one of those portable air horns (should be on every boat, for signalling in danger or in fog) is very effective.  No good blowing it in the air and hoping to frighten a seal under water: sound doesn't transfer from one medium to the other.  But if you stick it in one end of a length of PVC pipe, and put the other end in the water, so you make the noise under water - it's twice as loud and travels way further than in air.

Of course, if the seal is climbing in over the gunwale, stick the thing in its face and give it a blast.  Failing that, a thwack across the nose with your paddle (auxiliary propulsion; all boats should have them) will generally pull the bugger up short, just enough to gun the engine and throttle away.

I suppose the wildlife bods could say you were harassing the wildlife, but when it comes down to self protection and crew safety, they must come first, for any skipper.

proka

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Savage Seals
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2021, 10:51:52 pm »
One thing we canít say down there is that its the salmon farms. With a bit of luck itís the feed biomass improving thatís feeding the seals. Bit of a double edged sword really. Donít reckon weíve seen so many tuna as we have so consistently in the last few years. Iím 48 and remember the old man coming home with 3-4 60-70kg tuna wrapped in a tarp in the back of the old Valiant after a day down the neck on a charter. Thereís do that 5 or 6 times over the season and same result every time. Seals never seemed to be a problem back then cause the fisherman used to deal with them accordingly.

Theyíre getting more prevalent further up the coast around Orford, Triabunna and round the back of Maria and Schouten. They also seem to be more aggressive coming right to the back of the boat with teeth barred. Stinking things.

Now theyíre a bloody menace and only way to get them under control is a Parks sanctioned cull but thatíll never happen because of the greenies.
What has 4,882km's of coastline? think1

meppstas

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Savage Seals
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2021, 10:26:50 pm »
Not a good day at all with 14 hookups for three landed.. I'd been frothing at the mouth with those seals,, furious1

All that time and effort put in certainly ruined the day for you that's for sure.. needed a few of these (see photo)  to turn up for you..

cheers Adrian..

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