Fishing Reports - October 2015 Claremont Isles & Bligh Reef

 

October 2015 Photo Gallery

 

October 2015 Monthly Report summery by Damon Olsen

October is always an amazing time in the Coral Sea, and 2015 was no different. As always, the image gallery link above tells the story, but the fishing was at times absolutley insane and was very consistent all month even through the smaller tides. The fishing in this area has not changed a bit in the 5 years we have been visiting, and with the remote location and us still being the only ones to fish the area, this seems likely to remain the same way for a long time, which we think is pretty awesome!! We fished the Bligh Reef and Claremont Isles areas with 2 trips in each area over the month. The 4 day trip we did at Bligh Reef was particularly successful, allowing guests to access some of the best sportfishing available  in a shorter and cheaper trip format. We have one of these trips running again in 2016, and may add another depending on demand.

The Claremont Isles trips we started with produced an incredible variety of action around the inshore islands, with big Queenfish, golden trevally and mackerel around the islands on the lighter gear. One of the highlights of the Claremont Isles this year was the light jigging and lure casting over the shallow inshore reefs. Large Mouth Nannygai, Maori Sea Perch, coral trout and big chinaman fish were providing heaps of fun on the 40lb spin gear. Some of the very shallow reef in near the coast produced amazing action when the weather allowed access.

The outer Reef to the East of the Claremont Isles was producing a lot of fish early in October, and the GTs were biting hard on the right tides. There was some 40kg+ models landed casting poppers at the reef edges, mostly on the outgoing tide on the inside edge of the reef. Again, the soft plastic fishing was sensational, with some serious big Maori Wrasse coming from the 30m drop offs along the channel edges.

The weather in October was typical for North Queensland in Spring, with some extended periods of light to no wind, and some extended periods of moderate to fresh wind. The great thing about this area is that even if the wind blows, we just fish the reef shallows on the outside edge of the reef and the fish just love it in the shallows when it is windy. The calmer conditions allowed some exploration of the nearer shore shoals, and we found the bigger GTs hanging on the closer inshore reefs this year, with plenty of 30kg+ specimens landed, and some monsters lost and hooked.

Once we moved further north to Bligh Reef we found similarly good fishing for GTs, spanish mackerel, yellowfin tuna, wahoo and a few big doggies thrown into the mix. One strange event we found at Bligh this year was a cold current washing onto the shallow outer reef edge, and this seemed to make the fish a little less active on the outside edge of the reef, however, we moved 10 miles inshore and the water temp increased by over 2 degrees celcius and we found a big load of GTs and other reef dwellers hanging around these middle area reefs. The Reefs around Forbes Island produced some exceptional fishing this year, and with the stunning anchorage and picturesque afternoon BBQ’s on the beach, this location was a real hit with everyone.

Some of the highlights for me included a 50kg black marlin landed by George Large trolling a deep diving minnow for doggies. There were a lot of little black marlin around Bligh this year and it never ceases to amaze me the variety of species in the area. The yellowfin tuna were extremely active this year  through October and catching 10-20kg fish on poppers was awesome fun. However I think the highlight was the insane action everyone experienced in the lead up to the full moon at the end of October. The reef just came alive and the fishing was truly insane. It is hard to believe there are so many fish on one section of reef some days.

October 2016 is mostly booked out already, but September and November produce very similar weather and fishing, so get in quick if you want to secure a place for 2016 in this special area.

Highlights from the Daily Guides Reports:

Guides Report 30th Oct 2015 – Claremont Isles

Damon – Andy and George were keen for a doggie troll first up but after finding mountainous seas in the channel and having a few passes we decided to head west to find some GTs. After a 10 mile run to the inner reefs, we found GT mayhem and chaos, which lasted for a good hour, and went on in patches all day. George’s 30kg plus GT on the 50lb spin rod was pretty cool, and the pack attacks and aerial assaults from a LOT of GTs kept us entertained all day. It was quality GT fishing with consistent action on 20-30kg fish all day. I think we also found why the outside edge of the reef was fishing so slow. The water temp on the outside edge was 24.4 degrees, but after running 10 miles west and fishing the central reefs we found water at a more typical 26.8 degrees. We are assuming that a cold current has washed onto the outside fringing reef and shut down the bite, and it is amazing that moving just 10 miles can make so much difference. A cracker day and it was great to show Andy and George what some good GT fishing is all about.

Harry – We fished a shoal this morning in search of GTs, and we weren’t disappointed with a hook up on the first cast. We quickly boated a nice 15 kilo GT and got back amongst the action. Soon after one of the boys was hooked into an absolute horse of a fish that took the lure boat side and led us on a merry chase all over the shoal, unfortunately we got cut off on the coral and the fish swam off into the big blue paddock. We dusted ourselves off and continued fishing the shoal boating a couple more smaller GTs. We moved to the inner reefs at lunchtime and were greeted by a Spanish mackerel on our first cast. The next couple of hours saw plenty of fishing mayhem with bait, follows and hook ups a plenty. We however had trouble converting most of our hook ups to landed fish, I guess that’s fishing. We had a spectacular day with plenty of action, which was a great way to finish a trip.

Declan – We started the day fishing the blue holes around Lagoon Reef but with it being a bit quiet we headed west in search of a few GTs. Half way across Damon gave us the good news that the GTs were firing and it was no different for us. First bommie we pulled up on was surrounded by bait and it didn’t take long for the first GT to come onboard. The next couple of hours were steady with GTs and leaping Spanish on every ball of bait. To finish off the day we headed up the flats for a fish catching a few trout and mixed spices.

Tim – Ran to a deep shoal for the first of the run in tide to catch GTs. We had a double hook up and managed to land one of the two. On the next drift we got a double hook up of two very decent sized trout and landed both of them. A light tackle Mad Scad was catching smaller trout at the same time.
We had to head back to Odyssey for the ride to the inner reefs and once we started there it was a GT on the first cast and then Spaniards getting airborne and Trout coming in over the side. For the rest of the day we used plastics and had a blast. Trout, Cod, Spanglies, Chinaman, Red Bass, Wrasse and a very nice Queensland Grouper. It was a very enjoyable day.

 

Guides Report 23 Oct 2015 – Claremont Isles

Lee – This morning we started off fishing plastics with some nice Trout and Red bass to kick start the day. With perfect conditions I decided to take Stuart, Jonno and Brian on the outside to do some casting and drop more plastics. The boys caught some more Trout, Red Bass, Bluefin Trevally and got smoked a few times fishing plastics with 100lb. After getting dusted again I decided to use the boat to pull the fish away from the reefas much as possible, Brian hooked up and I gassed it, after a solid tussle Brian boated the biggest Chinaman fish I’ve ever seen! After lunch I took the boys to one of the most pristine places I’ve ever been to – a cut in the reef that ran for about a kilometre all the way to the inside edge. Not only was it beautiful in there but the fishing was insane! We caught about 15 small GTs and other species of trevally, shark mackerel, Red bass, coral trout, long tom, bluefin trevally and a few other bits and pieces. We finished the day chasing some yellowfin on the outside, we hooked 4 fish but unfortunately the sharks got to them before we could get them in the boat.

Andrew – This morning was quite productive on the lighter gear with heaps of variety coming onboard including some double catches on the one lure of trout and redbass also some lovely bluefin. We the found a nice bommie loaded with fusies and pulled 4 nice GTs off it. This took us to lunch, which we spent in the shallows of Bligh Reef having a snorkel. The arvo was quite productive as well catching about 10 yellowfin – 2 casting and the rest trolling. It was an awesome day in pristine weather.

 

 

Guides Report 21 Oct 2015 – Claremont Isles

Andrew- Today we had 6 guests who were keen on a trip inshore and up the Nesbit River so Lee and myself took the 2 dories in and it was such an awesome day. To start off we went and fished a smaller arm into the main river and it was stacked full of smaller GTs near the entrance which was a great warm up before we started working the snags which was good fun and great casting practice for Jono who hadn’t used a baitcaster much. We managed to get a few mangrove jacks up to 40cm in the process. After hooking a fair few snags we all ended up using the Zman 4 inch diesel minnow with TT 1/4 oz snake heads that are practically “unsnagable” and these worked a treat. We only got one barra out of the main channel of the Nesbit River but the take was awesome. Peter had his plastics bouncing across a log and the barra came out from under it about 2 meters from the boat and sucked it in. It was a nice healthy fish around 55cm. For the day we must have caught 10 mangrove jacks, 30 trevally and the one barra. We made our way back to Morris Island in the late arvo and continued using the exact same 4 inch plastics just with standard 1/2 oz jig head and got a couple of coral trout for dinner.

Lee – this morning I fished with David, Ernie and Derek. We headed inshore to fish the Nesbit River, it was an awesome morning and quite the journey finding an entrance to get in there. It was cool to fish a system knowing that not many people have ever ventured in there. We found some barra, jacks, GTs and some nice Queenies too. We also spotted some sharks cruising around in less than a foot of water which was interesting to see. After we fished the rivers we moved out the front and found some rock bars that we caught some spangled emperor on. Late in the afternoon I decided to move to some shoals near Odyssey, we found a school of Largemouth Nannygai the fish were biting pretty hard and we boated 5 nice fish. It was an awesome way to finish the day.

 

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