Fishing Reports - Jewell Reef Oct 2008

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Ultimate Adventure Jewell Reef Oct 2008

By Nomad Crew: Browse crew >>

Jewell reef
Oct 2008
4 weeks
Nomad Ultimate Adventure


All I can say is that any location where you can go out and catch 15 GTs before lunch with the biggest one around 50kgs, and then troll around for the afternoon and catch 2 black marlin, with one over 1000lbs is going to be pretty hard to beat!

I’m not sure of anywhere else in the world that you can experience that sort of fishing action.

This was one of the best blocks of trips we have ever done, and it seems hard to believe, but the fishing has just gotten better and better on each trip this year.

The short version of this block of trips was that the wind blew incessantly for all but the last 3 days, but the fishing was absolutley spectacular on the whole. As many of the guests put it, this block of trips lived up to the hype!


Week 1

The guys in the first week did it very tough with the weather. The fish were there in good numbers but the weather made life challenging. With wind between 30-35 knots for most of the week, every big fish was a serious challenge. We had a varied group of guys, with Ek and a few friends from Thailand, Graham and his 16 year old son Josh from South Africa, and The rest of the group mainly made up of Australians. Nearly everyone on this first week was a return guest from the previous year.

This group was mainly interested in GT fishing, and the casting of lures in such high winds proved challenging. There were some excellent GTs caught during the week, with Josh landing the fish of the week, a GT around 38kgs.There were some monster spanish mackerel around this week as well, and there were numerous mackerel over 35kgs landed, and one unlucky angler even retrieved the head only of a mackerel that would have been over 100lbs.

There were also some prolific coral trout sessions during this week, with catches of 15-20 trout per day recorded, and some trout were well over 10kgs. The procession of large maori wrasse also started in the first week, and it continued for the whole trip. We have never seen so many maori wrasse as

Graham was interested in trying for a black marlin, and Saltaire went out for only 4 hours fishing in 30kn of wind and managed to release an estimated 650lb black marlin. It was Graham’s first ever black marlin and by far the biggest fish of the trip.

All up, the first week proved challenging with the wind, but when we were able to get out and fish, the fish were biting very well. Despite the very average weather, we were impressed that we could still fish this area safely, if not comfortably.


Week 2

The group for our second week consisted of a varied group from all parts, We had Matt Rigney, Bob Stein and Bob Haggadorn from the USA, A father and son team of Ken and John Braithwaite from Canada, another father and son team of Dan and Will Madigan from Australia, as well as Darren, Brett, Chris and Andrew from Australia. Will gets the trophy for youngest fisherman aboard the Odyssey so far at 13 years old, and he absolutely splayed the fish!!

The wind had abated a little for the second week, but not much. Fortunately, it’s much easier to troll for marlin in 30kn of wind than it is to cast for GTs. The first day saw Dan, Will and Darren head out in the centre console and have a great day on the mackerel, tuna and GT population. Will released a GT estimated at 25kgs, which seemed nearly as big as him. Meanwhile the marlin trolling produced a 250lb marlin on the first day to John Braithwaite. At 83 years old, that made him the oldest angler to catch a marlin with us, and he did it in very impressive fashion. Determined would be an understatement when describing John fighting a marlin!!

The next day saw similar weather, and even better fishing. The guys aboard Nomad were straight into a small 200lb black marlin at 9am, and then followed this with an epic battle with another marlin over 1000lbs, caught by Chris Carthew. It will disgust most readers to hear that this was the first marlin ever caught by Chris, on his first marlin trip ever. I can hear the groans already. Anyway, Chris put in a spectacular effort fighting this fish, and the battle raged for a few hours before he finally prevailed.

Brett was next up in the chair and was briefly hooked onto an absolute monster marlin that charged the boat and spat the bait straight back at us. This fish was huge, an easy 1150lb marlin, but unfortunately for Brett, he’ll have to wait for another day to have a chance at his next grander marlin. Being hooked up to 2 black marlin over 1000lbs in one day was spectacular to say the least.

The rest of the week continued in a similar fashion with the guys on the centre console going out each day and catching heaps of GTs, coral trout, spanish mackerel and tuna, while the larger 36ft boats trolled the edge of the reef for marlin. We caught 5 more marlin for the week, with an 850lb black marlin caught by Brett on Saltaire the best marlin for the rest of the week. John also scored another marlin, and at 500lbs, it gave him a solid workout for half an hour before we released the fish.

Dan, Will and Darren had a day to remember aboard the centre console catching 16 GTs in a day, but what was really a 4 hour session. Young Will boated a 30kg monster, and Darren and Dan also had 30kg+ fish to the boat. It was a session that all aboard will remember for a long time.

The combination of GT fishing and general sportfishing from the centre console, mixed with some truly spectacular marlin fishing from the bigger boats was a winning formula with all onboard.


Week 3

The guys on week 3 were all very keen on casting lures for GTs, and they got some of the best GT fishing and general sportfishing that we have ever seen. We had sessions that lasted for 2-3 hours where every single cast had a fish at least follow the lure – I’m not exaggerating here, I mean EVERY single cast for 2-3 hours. This type of fishing occurred on most days during this week, and the fish encountered were a combination of GTs, big coral trout, big Maori Wrasse, red bass, spangled emperor, flowery cod, spanish mackerel, and few dogtooth tuna and long nose emperor. So, while the GT fishing was red hot, the variety of other species was just unbelievable.

Some of the standout captures of the week were James Moran’s 40kg GT on his very first cast of the very first day of the trip. Brandon Khoo landed a Maori Wrasse around 45kgs, which he has been chasing for many years. The guys on the centre console with Jason had a day where the landed 27 GTs up to 35kgs in a single day. That is absolutely amazing stuff, and there isn’t anywhere else in the world where I have heard of that many GTs in a day. There were some more monster spanish mackerel caught during this week, and Konishi landed a huge 30kg mackerel on a stickbait during the middle of the week. Mr Beerman also ended the week, 20 minutes before stop fishing with a 45kg dogtooth tuna caught on a carpenter seafrog popper. The dogtooth was caught casting around the edge of a school of fusiliers inside the reef.

The other highlight was a 2 hr session that Brandon and Jason had in the centre console on the last morning, literally just before the plane departed with Brandon in it. They landed 7 GTs in 2 hrs, with the smallest fish around 30kgs, and the biggest an easy 45kgs. Three of the fish were estimated at over 40kgs – absolutely amazing stuff.


Week 4

Mike Tilley and his mad group of mates from Melbourne and other parts of Southern Australia joined us for the final week at Jewell Reef. Mike and the guys were desperate to get into some big marlin, and also just catch some fish.

The marlin fishing started off well, as did the general sportfishing. The first day out saw the guys land an estimated 950lb black marlin within 3 hrs of putting the gear in the water. They also landed another marlin around 250lbs on that first afternoon.The usual pattern of the centre console heading out for some general sportfishing and the bigger boats heading out for some marlin trolling was provingf very popular again. Some of the highlights of this week were the 45kg GT caught by Barry Walker, just before Terry landed a GT estimated at well over 50kgs. The GT fishing along the outside edge of the reef was going absolutley silly, and it would be fair to say we have never seen so many 40kg+ GTs in a week before.

It would be fair to say that Mike’s mad mates were up against it when connected to 40kg of GT, but to their credit, they did exceptionally well, and many first time GT anglers recorded spectacular catches during this week.

The marlin fishing was also very good, and on the second last day Saltaire had a double hookup on black marlin, with a 250lb and an 850lb marlin both landed. Saltaire was on a roll and went out the next day and knocked over an estimated 1150lb marlin for Mike Tilley. Mike was exhausted at the end of the 2 hr ordeal, but it was a massive marlin, and the biggest we landed for this block of trips.

The week ended with perfect weather and exhausted fishermen. The weather had clamed down for our last 4 days, but the fishing was as hot as ever.

All up, this block of trips will go down in memory as one of our best ever. The fish were consistently on the bite, the wind did blow a lot, but it proved that even in average weather it is still possible to have a great time out there.


Tackle Talk

We’re going to start discussing tackle each month to let you know what we saw, what worked and what did not.

Well, didn’t this lot of trips stir up some debate about the use of treble versus single hooks on lures. Our Japanese friends with Mr Mogi’s group were all using trebles, and the rate at which they pulled hooks on GTs half way through a fight way astonishing. Having used single hooks for a long time now, we see what typically happens over the course of fighting a lot of fish on single hooks, and to go back and use trebles for a week with this Japanese group just firmly cemented the fact that treble hooks simply lose a lot of fish.

What seems to happen if that the treble hooks, when used on large fish, simply get dislodged by the fish during the course of the fight. Why this happens, we cannot explain, but we can tell you that based on simple observations from a massive sample size, we can see that single hooks have a far less likely chance of dislodging during the fight.

Trebles and singles seem to provide about the same rate of initial hookup, but the number of fish that just pull off after 1-2 minutes when using trebles are just incredible.

HOOKS – well, we’ve now managed to straighten out every type of hook made for GT fishing or jigging. It seems clear that if 2 GTs want to both eat the same lure, and you happen to hook 2 fish up, even for a split second, your hooks will straighten no matter what they are. We are serious when we say that we have straightened EVERY hook available on the market.

JIGGING BRAID FOR CASTING – AGAIN!! There were a few problems again with people using jigging braid for casting, and having random and unexplained bustoffs mid fight. Again, the break seemed to occur at the colour change in the jigging braid. Our suggestion is not to use jigging braid for casting, it just continually fails!


Hope to see you all out there soon.

Best Regards,

Damon Olsen and the Nomad Crew.


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