Ron Boileau's story epitomises the the sort of lifestyle that can be enjoyed by those fortunate enough to call Noosa home.

When not rock fishing or early morning trolling for Trevally on the Sound, Ron likes nothing better than to get offshore on his six metre racing ski.

He's slowed down a little from when, just to keep in shape, he and a mate used to paddle from Mooloolaba to Noosa, a distance of roughly 40kms. He now limits himself to trips around the headland and out to Sunshine Reef, taking a handline with him just in case he sees a bit of baitfish activity.

With a comfortable paddling speed of about 10kms/hr he has no problem getting a Rapala CD18 lure to act lively.

Last year Ron was following the birds feeding on a large bait school 2kms North of Hells Gates (off the Noosa National Park).

Spotting three Bronze Whaler sharks working through the centre of the school he decided to troll around the outer edges so's not to offend these rather large, hungry predators by poaching in their immediate area.

With his handline spool between his legs and a 40kg line running across his hip and out the back, he worked the edges for about 45 minutes and was just about to give up and head for home when his lure was monstered by a hungry 15kg Northern Bluefin Tuna.

The fish took off like a steam train and all Ron could do was hang on to the spool and spread his legs in the water on either side of the ski to try and apply as much drag as possible.

Fortunately, at first, the Tuna headed away from the bait school and the Bronze Whalers, effortlessly dragging Ron and his 6m ski behind it before swinging in a wide arc five minutes later and heading back.

It was now just on nightfall and Ron was debating the consequences of being dragged through a school of still feeding sharks, when forty metres from the still boiling waters, the line went slack. Not sure whether to be relieved or disappointed, he started to wind it in then realised to his horror that the Tuna had doubled back and had just passed immediately under the ski.

As he was passing the spool under the water from his right to left hand the fish took up the slack and flipped the long slender craft. Ron found himself treading water with the spool in his left hand and his right arm fortunately draped over the upturned hull.

Somehow righting the ski Ron retrieved the paddle and went on with the chase (or the tow) and twenty minutes later had the exhausted pelagic along side.

He had to hold its head out of the water for another 10 minutes until it was subdued enough to haul lengthwise onto the front section of the ski - head facing forward for obvious reasons. From there it was a relatively straight forward task of paddling the 5kms back to the Noosa Surf Club in the dark!

And what do you reckon Ron did the next day? He went back out there at first light and landed another Bluefin of identical proportions. This time he had his technique all worked out, so it was a pretty ordinary story - and we wouldn't want to bore you with that, now would we?
( Photo courtesy of Sunshine Coast Daily )



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