Reef and Offshore Fishing


Trout Time

This past weekend Bob and I cruised out to Broadhurst Reef in Alchemy. This is the third trip out to Broadhurst in September of the past three years and each time has seen this reef throw up a great catch of trout. This trip saw us arrive at the reef at about 3pm on Saturday afternoon. The fishing was quite slow and we hunted around some bombies for a few trout. We'd both had big weeks at work so when the sun went down we had a feed and called it a night. Normally there'd be a fry pan and pot aboard, plus some plates, bowls, cutlery etc but I had been so busy lately that we left without any of the fore mentioned items.

Bob had brought hot dogs for dinner and when I realised there were no implements aboard that would enable us to cook our dinner I got creative. I dug out my Ikijimi spike and shoved this up the middle of the franks, fired up the stove and proceeded to cook up some gourmet hot dogs. At least they were hot!

The next morning and we were up with the sun. The wind had got up during the night for a while but Sunday morning was spectacular, and the fish agreed. We both pulled some great trout and RTE, but the trout were the stand out captures. We also managed a nice Spanish and a school of passing mahi mahi provided some short lived excitement but unfortunately Bob couldn't keep his SP lodged in their mouths. Two hook ups and two jump offs!

Our plan had always been to hit the trout and then head off mid morning Sunday to Cape Bowling Green to chase marlin. We stuck to this plan and left the trout biting at 10am on Sunday, only to troll for hours without a look at a marlin, nor could we find the bait so we headed for home arriving back at the ramp about 4pm. 

Despite the marlin donut we had a ball tussling with some great trout, plus battling the sharks for our share of the spoils.


My P.B. Trout

Today I was invited out with Randall and Des to fish aboard Randall's 24 foot "White Cap". The White Cap is a South Australian built fibreglass boat with a cabin, fully enclosed head and small galley. There is plenty of cockpit space for fishing, storage and is powered by a pair of 140hp Suzuki four stroke outboards. A very nice boat! 

We departed the berth about 530 and arrived at Broadhurst Reef just before 800. We sounded up some nice bombies in the hope of a feed of coral trout. The fishing was quite slow but we did manage a good feed of fish. The final tally being 1 x RTE, 2 x Robinson's sea bream, 1 x Spanish mackerel, 1 x unknown (cross between a nannygai and mangrove jack) and 3 x coral trout. 

Randall landed the Spanish after an epic fight on light gear which saw Randall clambering to the bow as the Spanish tried to lap the boat. When the Spanish managed to run around the anchor rope a good half dozen times Randall backed the drag right back and I went forward to help unravel the braid from the rope. We could see the Spanish sitting below and both thought it would soon be over, which it was; with Randall winning the fight. 

Des is a newcomer to fishing but managed the most number of fish, including a very nice RTE and a couple of unstoppables.

I caught the smallest trout at 38cm as well as my PB trout which went 75cm and 15lb - 6.8kg. This fish took half a squid (head end). I had put this bait on a circle hook and left the rod in the holder while a rigged an SP rod. I noticed the rod just sterting to load up so I dropped the SP rigging and grabbed the baited rod. Just as well as the big trout had me straight into the coral. I could feel the leader pulling through the coral and at one point the fish nearly won, but a bit of slack saw the trout come out far enough for me to sunset the drag and go hard. The big trout surfaced with a few scrapes on his flanks from the tussle in the coral.

Despite the low fish numbers I was happy to have caught such a beaut coral trout. My personal best!


21 Trout

Nic, Matt and I headed out to Broadhurst Reef on Thursday afternoon, arriving about 3pm. The first drop was slow so we pulled the pick and hunted up a nice bombie in 35m with plenty of bait showing on the sounder. By 6pm we had about 8 trout and a few red throat too. We didn't fish much into the night as our main target was trout, so we cooked up a meal and went to bed. Next morning the trout cooperated along with more RTE. Many of the RTE were of a good size too. As the morning wore on the count down to 21 trout was on, and when we hit 20 the race was on to catch the last trout. Luckily for me I got the last trout and with that we called it a trip at midday. In total we had 43 fish in the esky; 21 trout, 16 RTE, 1 LNE, 1 green jobfish plus a few other mixed reefies. The area we fished had numerous bombies in 35m of water. Ideal trout country.

On the way out we spotted some interesting looking contour lines about 8km short of the reef, so we diverted on our way home to check them out. A quick sound around revealed fish showing, so we had a quick prospecting drift. Matt and I both dropped a good fish on the drift so we went back around and dropped the pick. Matt hooked a solid fish only to bring the head of a horse parrot to the surface. I followed up with a nice parrot and Nic scored a nice little red emperor. We also lost a number of other fish to sharks. Given we now had 45 fish aboard and still 80 odd kms to get back to the ramp we called it quits. With a bit more exploring in this last spot I think more good fish will be found.

Townsville Nannygai & Friends - 16.4.2011

It had been nearly two months since Alchemy had been to sea and there were a couple of hiccups (my fault) getting underway on Saturday morning, but thanks to our decky friends all was sorted quickly. We got away from the ramp about 5am and cruised for a couple of hours to our spot X. Straight away the fish showed up on the sounder and it wasn't long till we had the first fish aboard.

We've caught good grunter here before but had hoped the fish would have a red tinge. It wasn't long before a couple of nannygai came abord, including this horse 10kg fish to Steve which was a PB for him.
Amongst the nannygai were some fingermark. These are always a welcome surprise.
Not to be outdone, Nic also scored a very nice fingermark.
Craig's turn was next, but he upped the ante scoring his PB nannygai. Craig's fish being the fish of the day at 10.5kg.
Today was a day of firsts. Two PBs and new species to add to the growing list from spot X. The new species was a black jew that took Steve's SP. Steve also managed a couple of fingermark on the SP. The SP was a white "Slam". A great effort in my opinion.
All I could manage was a couple of gold spot cod. First one was around the four kg mark, but the second was a nice fish for the esky at 14kg.
Apart from the fish Steve caught on the Slam, all others fell to squid bait fished on paternoster rigs. We tried to drift but the breeze had us moving too quick, so all fish were caught at anchor with a number of re-anchoring exercises needed.

Thanks to Steve, Craig and Nic for a great day out. The last shot is of the esky and the fish cooling off in a brine slurry. Now the hard work starts!


Townsville Nannygai

..... 20.2.2011


Red is the colour of the season

Once again our friends Bob and Pam travelled to Townsville to spend their holidays after Christmas. A couple of days after their arrival Matt and Laura also stopped by.

The first full day we could fish was the 29th and the weather was great, but hot and calm. We dodged logs and other run off matter and cruised through a couple of squalls on our way to our mark. On arrival things were slow and we hunted around till we found a solid show, so the pick was set. The next hour and a half to two hours was insane. This is when I expected it to be slow as it coincided with the change of tide, but the fish bit their heads off. 

Between the four of us we boated 17 nannygai to 7.5kg, with at least 12 of these above 4kg. There was also the odd school mackerel, trevally and cobia. 

The next day and Matt was keen for a run, so we headed out again in great conditions. This time the current was running very hard and with the variable winds we struggled to stay anchored on the mark. We still managed seven nannygai with five of these ranging between 5 and 8.5kg, a couple of gold spot cod and a nice fingermark to Pam. 

Squid was the stand out bait and the rigs were either a running sinker on top of the bait or paternoster rigs. It didn't seem to matter which was used. I was pleased to have been able to put our friends onto some great fish. Matt was able to take about 10kg of fillets back to Perth and Bob ended up with close on 20kg to take back to Sydney; and we have a healthy supply of prime nannygai too!


Cup Day

Nic and I headed to spot X Monday night and caught four good nannygai and a smallish gold spot cod. We then headed in behind the cape for a sleep. Next morning we fished out the front again for four cobes to 15+ kg, which we all released. We had a quick stop at Morinda shoal for nil then headed out to Broadhurst reef where Matt and I cleaned up on the trout last month. This time the sharks we thick and I only landed one under trout and a good RTE. Nic managed a shark mac of around 7kg on sp. Given the rising tide was in the arvo we didn't get out to the reef till 1pm and as the sharks were a problem we left at 3pm for the long run home.

All up an ordinary trip on the fish but once again the boat performed flawlessly. We travelled 241km for 166 litres of fuel this trip.

Alchemy's First Blood

After the build of our new boat and the long tow home I was keen to get out for a fish. It had been nine months since I'd been to the reef and shoals off Townsville, so after getting home on Sunday with the new boat arrangements were made for a trip for Monday night.

Matt and I launched late Monday arvo and headed for one of my shoal spots. The run was a bit bumpy with about 20kts from the east, but the new Origin handled it nicely. Arriving at our spot about 9pm and the lines went over. Matt got the first fish in the boat, which was a dirty tea leaf trevor. My first fish was what I was hoping for. A large mouth nannygai around 6kg. We opted to drift, but should have put in the time to anchor. By the time we called it a night around midnight, we had four nannygai to 7kg and two good grunter.

Next morning we were underway at 6am, headed for Broadhurst Reef arriving about 8am. We sounded around the 35m line and found some great shows. By midday we had our bag of trout. The trout ranged from just legal to a number of good fish in the 3-4kg bracket. Matt also had three good trout sharked. We also caught RTE, 2 spanish at 14kg, plus a smaller model spanish. The standout fish was a huge moari wrasse that took my pillie that was meant for a trout. After comparing it to the spanish I'd have to call it for about 30kg. Actually I'm surprised I got it to the boat, it was such a powerfull fish. It then took us close on an hour to successfully release the wrasse. We used a release weight with 7 big snapper leads tied to it. We were both relieved to see this great fish go back.

The pics aren't anywhere near as good as Nic was in Brisbane for work, but there is a "deck of death" shot and a few others. So far as the new boat went, well I reckon it was awesome. So much room, the layout with the walk around fish box/work station worked very well and conveniently. The ride and performance was also great.

Hope you enjoy my rough pics of Alchemy's first blood.

Queen's Birthday - 2009

Here are a few pics from the long weekend. Nic and I went to Cardwell. Fished the reef and spent the night out toward the shelf. All up pretty slow and lots of current out wide. Managed a good feed, but two days and half a nights fishing.

Lucinda Offshore - 23.5.09

Yeap, we've been out again and though it was slow given we had three on board we still managed a good feed. We left Lucinda about 6pm Friday night and returned about 5pm Saturday night.

The most memorable things of this trip were;

watching Matt catch some great fish and get smoked on his 110lb hand line
Nic getting done over by an absolute screamer
Me pulling up half a red that had been sharked :-( , then Matt hand lining one up with the shark hot on the fishes fins

the funniest thing; me hooking into a "good fish" on 100lb braid straight after the sharking. i pumped and wound that thing so hard to beat the toothies that i was totally rooted when the fight was over. yes, i beat the sharks and the fish was a 36lb cod. took me about 15 mins to recover! 

most interesting thing was Matt hooking a good fish too, which grew.... he played this for some minutes on the hand line before it shrank. when it surfaced it was a chinaman of some 6-7kg. it had scares and had obviously been in the guts of a much bigger fish. what fish is down there big enough to scoff a 6-7kg chinaman?

all up we got;
0.5 red emperor
8 trout (2 at 4kg)
7 red throat sweetlip
2 long nose sweetlip
2 nannygai
1 unidentified
2 gold spot cod
2 shark macs

Broadhurst Exploring - Aussie Day 2009

Spot X - 30.11.2008

Here are a few pics from todays adventure. The nannygai were tough to find today, though a reasonable size being 4 - 9kg each. Matt and I spent 12 hrs on the water for 9 nannies and 4 grunter. Mixed in were about a thousand tea leaf trevs and about 4 cobia. I managed a 34lb cobe on baitcaster and sp, and can say I was absolutely rooted after that fight. My bc reel was hot to touch as this thing just peeled off 50lb braid against full drag (checkout the pic of the deformed jig head hook). Both Matt and I dropped what I think were big nannies (one each). 

Heaps of bait around, with tuna smashing into it pretty much all day, frickin hot as hell, calm and a good day out even if it was tough going on the nannies. So, who wants some nannygai fillets when I come down at Xmas?

Pin Up!

Broadhurst - 27.04.2008

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