Trip Reports

25th July – 1st August 2014

This weeks crew had a week of almost perfect weather, topped off by some admirable catches and a gentle journey home to Port. Most of the group had traveled with us previously, for some it was their 2nd charter this year , for other the 1st of 2 for the year and for some a new experience.

18th -25th July 2014

Les’Crew from Pally were joined by some new friends from Melbourne, Brisbane & the Gold Coast fro an awesome week of fishing. Great weather , fish, food and friendship!

27th June – 4th July

3 Generations of Bowly Boys, along with friends joined us aboard Kanimbla for a mighty week of fishing.


20th – 27th June 2014

Shane & Muzz’s fishing buddies from Stanthorpe left a cold winter for mild days fishing the Swains.

13th – 20th June 2014

The Lismore Crew made some great catches!


June 2014

Bob & John and their good friends embarked on their yearly fishing trip aboard Kanimbla. Our dear fisherman friend Lawrence, was also making his yearly pilgrimage at the distinguished age of 89.  Never one to shirk his stint in the dories, Lawrence added to the best catch this group have had in 18 years! Obviously fishing is a life affirming pastime.

Next year Kanimbla invites Lawrence aboard as our guest to celebrate 90 years in the company of fishing family and friends.

6th – 13th June 2014

I was sent this by one of our guests , apparently it was a little it was a little rough this week…. Fishing Swains Reef?????

But despite the wind and rain, Reg’s crew had a very successful haul of fish. I have posted some memorable images of the weather to illustrate that even in ordinary  conditions you can still have a great holiday and a great resulting catch. Here is Bruce Robson’s ( guest) trip report:





In trying to think of a theme for the June Kanimbla trip the abovementioned titles came to mind, and as you will have surmised, it was not all sunshine and calm seas. After more than 50 trips on Kanimbla this was the worst week of weather that I or others have ever endured. On the Tuesday of the trip the wind recorded on Kanimbla peaked at 87 kilometres per hour – and yes, most of us continued to fish in the dories.

We started with a gloomy weather report but consoled ourselves that such predictions were often incorrect. Saturday started with showers of rain and we generally fished the drop-offs on the outside of the reefs. Some fish were also caught in the shallows. The fish were generally plump and large coral trout. The days tally was 180 packs which is good for the first day of any trip. Gordon got fish of the day with a 3.5 kg coral trout.

Sunday saw heavy showers and gathering wind with nearly everyone being soaked to the skin despite wet weather gear. We got 160 packs for the freezer and fish of the day went to Grant for a 3.1 kg red emperor.

On Monday the wind surprisingly decreased a little but at the same time the weather bureau gave a strong wind warning from the Victorian Border to Torres Straits – and we were about in the middle. Rain was in the distance so we kept reasonably dry. At lunch we travelled to Sandshoe Reef for more shallows fishing. Dave was awarded fish of the day for his 9.6 kg Spanish mackerel [due to the possibility of ciguatera we do not keep any over 10 kg - as recommended by health authorities]. Bruce Stobo announced that the predicted zenith of the wind would be tomorrow.

Wind to 87 km/hr and rain formed the basis of Tuesday. We fished the shallows and off the back of the reef. We ended up with only 80 packs for the day. It must be said that despite being blown to pieces, or blown over, high wind speed has some [dubious] advantages; such as bait and berley only need to be thrown vertically and the wind does the rest. But it is harder to cut up pilchards when they are blown off the cutting board [and the board is under the deck level] before you can get a knife to them. We had water splashing over the front of the dories inside the reef and had to use the scuppers to empty the bilges. The swells outside the front of the reef looked to be about 6 metres. Anyhow, is such the stuff of legends??? Fish of the day went to Paul for a 2.9 kg sweetlip.

Wednesday started with Bruce Stobo announcing a reduction in wind strength to 40 km/hr – almost a glass out compared to the previous day!!! The sun actually was seen for the first time on the trip. We headed to the old favourite of Sweetlip Reef. The morning provided us with 100 packs and the afternoon with 60 more. Fish of the day went to Sam for a 3.9 kg coral trout. That night we had a sumptuous and varied fish meal which was greatly appreciated by all.

Thursday morning saw a slight increase in wind strength to nearly 50 km/hr as we continued to catch trout and lipper in the shallows at Sweetlip Reef. At lunchtime we packed the gear for an initially bumpy trip back to Gladstone. On arrival at the marina the predicted drop in wind strength had occurred – it was completely calm for the lucky fishermen on the trip that was to follow us.

Total fish count was 790 packs [44 each] and 2 whole trout each.

Prizes were awarded by Reg on the return journey:

·         Fish of the trip [and best Red Emperor] – 3.1 Kg caught by Grant

·         Spanish Mackerel -  9.6 Kg caught by Dave

·         Cod – 1.8 Kg caught by Darin

·         Spangled Emperor – 4.9 Kg caught by Bruce

·         Coral Trout – 4.2 Kg caught by Gordon

·         Fisherman of the trip – Gordon

The crew, skipper, and Reg were all given solid rounds of applause for appreciation of their efforts.


Despite the poor weather we had a great time with excellent friends, and will be back there in 2015.


23rd – 30th May 2014

Rowan’s Crew had a great week. The highlight has to be snagging a Sail Fish!

16th – 23rd May 2014

Martin’s Group from NSW had a good week – a few windy days and a few quiet days but good catches in the end.

9th – 16th May 2014


KB and his regular crew from around Gloucester and Nowra were also joined by a few newcomers from Tassie.

The weather forecast pre-departure wasn’t great, but spirits were still high and everyone was looking forward to an enjoyable week ahead (even the hung over ones!!!).

The trip out was a little bumpy and day one was a bit quiet on the fish, although some good quality were still landed including a couple of nice red emperor, as well as some trout and red throats.

Day two was a better day and some solid catches were had by all with the brave few that ventured out in the dories coming back with good numbers. Trout, parrot fish, red throats, as well as some nice sized Spanish mackerel were all boated and spirits were quite high that night.

Day three started out pretty nice with the wind down, but the forecast was for the weather to deteriorate by the afternoon, so we fished the morning session and headed for some protection over lunch.. A decent amount of fish still came on board for the day with both the main boat and the dories proving their worth. The forecasted wind eventuated by mid-afternoon and the decision to seek shelter was appreciated by all.

On the fourth morning, the wind was strong and everyone decided that the main boat was the place to fish so we headed out to a shoal for the day of drifting. Under the conditions we had, the catches were quite good with some nice trout, parrot and lipper being landed as well as KB’s red emperor.

To say day fives conditions were tough would be kind to Mother Nature, she was being a bitch really!! All in all the boys still managed to get a feed together and kept their spirits up. The day was compiled of main boat drifting once again and a few mackerel as well as the usual trout, lipper and parrot put some good sized packs in the freezer.

 Thursday was again windy and the boys decided to fish off the main boat. We selected a deeper shoal to fish for the morning and on the first drop a couple of nice nannygai were landed and things looked promising. The day progressed along nicely with the guys finding a few small Spanish as well as some great trophy fish including half a dozen more nannygai  and five beautiful red emperors, the biggest going nearly ten kilos.