18th October – 28th October 08
Trip report posted at 10:28 am on the 14th November, 2008
This 10 day charter took in the delights of Bottom Fishing at the Swains as well as Game Fishing in the Coral Sea..
Once more to Frederick Reef
The never ending quest for fishing’s Holy Grail
On Saturday the 18th of October 2008 an excited group of 18 fishermen gathered on Kanimbla for a 10 day trip to the Coral Sea. The wind was blowing 25 kts. from the southeast with a forecast that this would continue for a few days. The decision was made to initially go to Swain Reefs. A choppy ride was experienced to North-West Island but then the swells became smaller and a reasonable sleep was had by most.
Sunday saw us at Abrahams Reef where we got only moderate numbers of red throat emperor and coral trout in the morning. That afternoon we went to an unnamed reef, where we caught a few fish. Fish of the day was presented to Allen Pullen [Pud] for a 3.75 kg spangled emperor and also to Sean Cummins for an 8 kg trevally That night we fished in slightly deeper water and caught seven red emperor of which three were kept. Sean caught an 11 kg red emperor and Arman a 5.8 kg fish, with Reg catching the third which was a 4.5 kg red emperor.
Monday saw the wind remaining in the southeast at about 20 kts and we spent the whole day at Sanctuary Reef. Good numbers of red throat emperor were caught especially in the entrance to the reef. Not many were caught in the shallows. Fish of the day went to Arman for his 5.8 kg red emperor. We departed for Saumarez Reef at two o’clock in the morning
Tuesday saw conditions remaining the same as we headed towards Saumarez Reef and Richard caught an 8 kg Mahi Mahi. Bruce hooked and caught an 110 kg [est.] blue marlin, which he played a initially from the rear of Kanimbla before spending most of the time from the bow due to the choppy conditions. He got it in after a 1 ½ hour fight, when it was released. Dave landed an 11 kg Mahi Mahi, before a number of similar fish, some yellowfin tuna, and the odd wahoo – with a size to 15 kg. Dogtooth tuna were caught on jigs and some were lost to sharks. We anchored up near the Northeast Cay of Saumarez Reef where we caught some green job fish and dogtooth tuna before the sharks moved in. Fish of the day went to Bruce for his marlin. We departed at 9 p.m. and headed to Calder Bank, which is 30 km north of Frederick Reef
On Wednesday the wind had turned to Northeast at about 10 kn and we arrived at Calder Bank at 6.30 . There we got a smaller GT and sharks. With the trolling we caught only a few tuna and ascribed this to a lack of current, birdlife, and flying fish. By 9 a.m. we decided to leave for Frederick Reef and Bruce got his second marlin hook up which snapped the line before Bruce got to the reel. At Frederick Reef we fished for green job fish and two wahoo caught by Reg. Shane did 2 laps of Kanimbla while fighting a 12 kg GT on a 10 kg outfit. Fish of the Day went to Reg for a 21 kg hoo.
On Thursday we had an early 5.30 start in the dories. On the troll Trevor and Sean went for hoo, with a 30 kg specimen lost at the side of the boat when it threw the lure. Some of us visited Observatory. Second session was from 9:30 a.m. to 12.30 when TJ and Arman had no luck at finding battle crays under lucky stones [an unlikely story of easy pickings which was told by Bruce Stobo for gullible charterers?]. A few large red bass were lost in one particular hole, which was to be the nemesis of a number of anglers. Kanimbla drifted for a few job fish. Sean and TJ ended up with half a tub of green job fish and trout cod. Many of these were caught on Sean’s soft plastic baits. BBB got an honourable mention to his wahoo. That evening and we celebrated Reg ‘s forthcoming 60th birthday with a cake provided by Steve the chef, and drinks
On Friday the wind was back to the southeast. Reg, Martin, and Dave went to the northern end of Frederick Reef where they boated two wahoo. In the afternoon most boats followed them to the north end of Frederick Reef where they caught some yellowfin tuna. Reg also caught one small wahoo. Sean was almost pulled in by some of those humongous red bass.
On Saturday the wind was still 20 kts from the southeast and reducing in strength in the morning. Three dories trolled for the whole session with not a bite from wahoo. One dory went to the Observatory Cay for a popper fishing session and swim. On Kanimbla they drifted for a white lipper and green job fish in the lagoon. The afternoon session saw the wind increasing again and most dories came back with half to three quarters of a tub of bottom fish. That afternoon saw Cyril with a good catch of white lipper from Kanimbla and Shane and Sean with two wahoo and three yellowfin tuna. That evening the appetisers were prepared by Steve and Sean. Fish of the day went to Sean for his wahoo.
Sunday morning saw a trolling session by Dave and Bruce for a few yellowfin tuna. T. J. and Chris went off the point of the southeast reef corner where they were smoked by some larger dogtooth tuna and sharks. Arman had a good catch of coral trout, trout cod, and white lipper. Martin, Steve, and Reg caught a tub of bottom fish. Off Kanimbla Ross caught a lovely blue spot maori cod. We left Frederick Reef with the benefit of a following sea allowing a comfortable overnight sleep.
Monday, 27 October, saw Shane catching a mahi mahi during trolling as we returned to the mainland. Fish of the day went to Shane for his Mahi Mahi.
Our trip had produced over 700 packs of fish. Dave Fredericks was awarded best older fisherman of the trip for going out in all but two of the dory sessions, and trying very hard to catch a wahoo. A best younger fisherman of the trip was awarded to Sean Cummins for a number of meritorious catches including an 11 kg red emperor. Fish of the trip was awarded to Bruce Robson for a 110 kilogram blue marlin.
The skipper and crew performed in an outstanding fashion that always occurs on Kanimbla.
We arrived back at the Marina at about 10:30 p.m. where we slept soundly until 4:30 a.m. when we arose for breakfast and division of the fish before heading home.