Fishing Reports - Elusive Reef Trip report Jun 2011

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Elusive reef

Jun 2011



3 weeks

Drive Out Trips

Sitting staring at the computer a shuffling between google earth and the Bom weather chart trying to decide where it was that we were going to get these rods bent into a frenzy…then it all came to me… we met the guests up at the marina and considering the forecast over night I was extremely fired up to get out there. We got the guests on the boat and had the general safety briefing and a quick meal and departed spot on 7pm, we had a very windy forecast for the first 2 days which was going to be easing through the trip to 5-10knts on the last 2 days. So nothing too bad but I was intending to be looking at a new area over those last 2 days zo the excitement was rife.

The steam out to the reef that night was far from what I could call a comfortable night sleep and on arrival we opted for only the big boats to get out for a fish and even that proved to be a challenge but nevertheless the guys set out with good spirits, we still managed to hunt down a few fish here and there and in the horrible weather one of my guys managed to get a 15kg longtail tuna on the light gear which I thought was a mammoth effort. We persisted through the bad weather to what proved to be a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, the fishing improved dramatically and in fact one of the days fishing was one of the best days fishing I can remember this year which is something to be said. It started off fairly slow in the morning due to the high tide which had created some very milky water, so we decided to catch some fish on the flats and managed to catch a few Bludgers before we stumbled upon a little goldfield of redthroat emperors and coral trout which was quite entertaining on the light gear. We had to run away from that action to catch the best of the run out tide, then half way across the channel we stumbled into some longtail tuna which just lost the plot and they went absolutely crazy, it was double hook up madness and there was some quality fish between them too, we would have caught about 12 or 15 before the guys couldn’t hold back any more and GTs were the name of the game. We got our tackle all fired up and the game was on, first cast with a popper for the day and a raging GT got its face out of the water in all fury and destroyed the lure, #1 for the day then.

Unbelievably we fished down the ledge and never had too much success apart from a flying mackerel which we took home for dinner that night, we headed off to what turned out to be insane carnage, I stared at the google map and tried to picture where these creatures would be hiding, picked the spot and again first cast we had a quality fish up that ended up spitting the hooks half way back to the boat, a little way down that ledge we hooked another and got bust off in the reef, a little disappointed we ventured off a bit further towards a point, the guys sent their lures flying straight into a war zone, the water turned black with GTs behind every lure and somehow between the carnage we only managed to boat 1 fish but the excitement on the boat was just crazy we had GTs swim right up to the boat charging down lures, a 28kg fish to the boat and a couple of pics before we drifted onto the next point…absolute carnage again the guys casted and the amount of GTs that peeled away from this edge was crazy there would have been 50 GTs all trying to get in on the action first we managed a double hook up and got 2 solid fish to the boat and miraculously we had somehow, perfectly timed, drifted onto the next point….game time again! I couldn’t believe how many fish had stacked up along this edge, they were just hiding out of the current in these eddies alongside the reef. The rest of the day we could just not go wrong and by the end of it which turned out to be a glass out it just felt surreal and unfair like we were taking candy from kids, we caught everything you could imagine and some quality fish too everything from goldspots to mackerel to quality GTs redthroats, trout, tuna and everything in between, the trip back to the mothership we were even surprised by a humpback whale doing some aerial stunts for us, the drinks on the top deck that afternoon went down a treat, we finished the last day off with a repeat of the day before fishing followed by a glass out steam back into port, you couldn’t plan a better finish if you tried.

It almost felt unfair to wake up that next day and say goodbye to a group of anglers when the weather was so good, I immediately checked the following weeks weather and had to calm myself down, 5-10 knots all week, I sat down with the guides that evening and together we came with an assault plan to make fish feel sorry for themselves, we collected the new shift of guests at the marina had the briefings and a fantastic dinner that Jimmy prepared and headed off. The fishing at the first place we stopped at was a nice warm up start and we decided to move our anchorage a little further north the second day it was on for young and old we had a slow start until we found where the fish were hiding and the end of the run out proved unbelievable fishing, the guys on my boat got that excited we somehow managed to break a rod and throw another into the sea between the cast for cast GT carnage we stopped our fishing session due to loss of gear and just plain fatigue at 3:30pm and somehow managed to put 24GTs a solid trout of 10kg, giant Spano of 25kg and a full bag of other stuff in the mix, the guys were that spoilt that on the run home we practically ran over shoal and shoal of Longtail Tuna and just watched them deciding that a cold beer back at the mothership was the better plan. The vibe back on the mothership felt alive as everyone waited there with baited breath for the boats to come back to see how each other’s day had been, it seemed that everyone had done just as well, what a week of fishing we had to look forward to….Waking up the next morning to a flat glass out ocean and walking down to the smell of bacon and eggs on the go is the only way to start a day, we managed to get a couple of solid fish too on the trip and I had one occasion off the top of my head when one of my guys Grant managed to get a fish of 40kg and after a quick celebration and a few cracker photos we went to another bombie and first cast double hook up 36kg and 33kg my camera was on fire and barely had a chance to cool down all day, that particular morning was some of the best GT fishing I have seen yet the fish weren’t there to play games and they just had anger in their minds not eating the lures but killing them would be a better description, we ended up with 20 fish in just 4 hours of GT carnage fish getting fully airborne in greedy attempts to engulf what seemed to be the last feed they would ever get.

The photos that are in the slide show are just an example of how an excellent fishing trip panned out. Sitting here writing this I’m already getting fired up for the next charter which is sure to be a cracker Frederick/Elusive reef wahoo be careful we are on the way…

Tight lines guys
Glanville Heydenrych


Drive Out Trips June 2011

By Nick, Nomad Pro Guide: profile page >>

June 25 – 30 middle island crew

The Middle Island Crew from Kalgoorlie were in high spirits and roaring to get out to Bugatti as soon as possible. The weather on the other hand had a bone to pick with us and we had to contend with a 25 – 30 knot south easterly on the way out. This is never a pleasurable experience on any vessel however there is light at the end of the tunnel as once you get to the reef things seem quite peachy as the swell dissipates and it’s only the wind you have to deal with which is not a bad compromise. Waking up on the first morning on arrival there were bodies lying everywhere including two guys laying in a pool of water on the back deck and Scotty lying under the dories on the roof trying to elude the sneaky sea sickness that was making a presence during the trip to most onboard. Once the anchor was down we did a head count of who was still alive and ready to fishing and off we went.

Most of the outside edges were unfishable due to big swell which meant most of our time was spent in blue holes and on top of the shallows which is what seemed the fish had in mind too. We were kept busy on the flats and in blue holes with bludgers, gold spots and other reef species. On the second day on Peters boat he saw packs of big Chinaman in a hole trying to attack poppers and stickbaits thrown at them some of them up to 7 kilos and when they are that size they really are a hard fish to contend with on the shallows. We had relatively big tides this week which allowed us to get our shoes on and go for a walk on the reef casting into blue holes, which I must say is one of my all time favourites. It is such an awesome experience to take a walk onto the reef and cast into these holes and going head to head from a stationary position with these brutes of the reef. It really does put their strength into perspective and when Kevin hooked up in one of the hole it was quite amusing watching from the boat as he hooked up and then got taken for a ‘walk’ and then what looked like him getting busted off only to be shot straight up again with his rod bent over and managed to land a decent 30 kilo specimen.

A big thank you must go out to the Middle Island Fishing Crew for their generous donation to the Mackay Volunteer Marine rescue services and really goes along way ensuring the safety of all boaties in the area. The Middle Island Fishing Crew travel around Australia on various fishing trips and also hold a Banquet once a year for all their members which is around 700 strong I believe! They raise funds for charity and volunteer services and donate on their travels which was really great to see. A big thanks to the Admiral – Brendan Jones and his commanding officers for what turned out to be a great trip considering the testing weather conditions. There were over 80 GT’s caught that week and heaps of other species including big Chinaman, Spanish and various reef critters. There is nowhere else in the world that I know of that you can still come home with numbers like that when the wind blows 25 to 35 knots all week so great to see those stats. Another day at Bugatti……

Tight Lines

Nick Milford.

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