|Jet skis have come a long way since their introduction as recreational water craft, and Tom Offerman, principal of one of Noosa's top Real Estate Agencies, certainly gets the most from his.
In the warmer months Tom is up and out on the water before 4.30am at least twice a week, getting in 2-3 hours of fishing before work.
His Yamaha 1100 jet ski has a top speed of 115km/hr so it's a quick run to Sunshine Reefs and only another 15minutes to Chardons Reef - still in sight of land. Apart from the usual safety gear, he carries plenty of iced water and a water-proofed mobile phone.
Through trial and error Tom has perfected his technique for working from such a small craft.
With an Angler 'Jig Stick' mounted in a customised rod holder he trolls at 10-14kms/hr with about 30 metres of 10kg line out the back. A Shimano TLD20 2 Speed reel gives him optimum leverage and control and he only uses Rapala CD18 lures or Halco 'Gold' Twisties.
As soon as he hooks up he switches off the motor, swings around to face the back and allows the fish to tow him in the early power-run stages.
Tom doesn't have room for a large gaff or landing net so his standard procedure is to tire the fish out and 'neck' it when it passes within arms length - this usually takes about 20-30 minutes. As soon as possible after that he drags it on board to avoid the attention of any larger predators that might be looking for an easy meal.
The 17kg Spanish Mackerel in the photo was weighed in at Davo's in March 1997 but prior to that his best results in one outing have been four Spaniards (8-10kg) and on another occasion, two Yellowfin Tuna (14-16kg).
It's hard to imagine where he manages to store his catch but I can assure you it's an interesting sight if you ever spot Tom powering back in over the Noosa Bar after a successful morning.
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