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Last Couple of Months


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Dean Full Day Trip

Dean booked this one in. We started off trolling minnows on the Gneerings with minnows out. This had been going good for me but with a few gamefish club boats out and only a couple of fish caught between us I decided to head in and try for the spotties. They had moved on as well so we tried to jig some bait. One of the boys ended up getting a grass sweetlip on a 60gm Raider jigging it off the bottom going for a spotty.

Things were tough so we headed south to troll for spotties with pillies. We found a few mackerel pros so had a troll there sitting out the strong SW wind that had been blowing all morning. As it dropped we headed wider. Finally we found the spotties and put half a dozen aboard as the wind dropped. The boys wanted a bottom fish so we headed off to Caloundra Wide. Half way there the wind changed direction and got up making for a rough trip. We got there and then the current was racing. We ended up with a few bottom fish here before finding out the spotties were finally on the chew. We headed back in and smashed them on the slugs casting at the schools getting our bag limit before it was time to head in.



Full Day With George With SQCS Out Of Mooloolaba

George booked this one in. Expectations were high after yesterday's trip but the fishing was slower. We only had to share the spot with one other boat as well. It may have been they needed a bit of tide to start to run for them to fire up. The sounder certainly looked quiet at the start then got better and better.

As it looked better so did the fishing. We started off with a good spotty mackerel before getting a spanish mackerel. A while later we were onto a good double hookup which proved to be spanish mackerel. Dealing with sharp teeth and sharp hooks with 4 people on the deck of a 20' boat made things interesting and one of the spanish I jammed in the berley bucket for a sec to gaff the second fish. I usually half hitch the tail when I do that but the bugga jumped back in the water after a bit of flapping and flopping even after being donged with "The Priest". We missed a few hookups as well whereas the day before once we got into a fight, everything hit the esky.

Things went quiet so we went in closer to chase the spotties. The mob of boats signalled where the action was and trolling through the pack with pillies out we were soon connected. They were busting up on the surface as well and a few good casts saw us with half a bag limit in the boat. They were small fish and we knew where some bigger ones up to 7kg were so we headed off. On the way we ran into more surface schools and had a cast at these which were bigger fish. We left them biting too and jigged some livebait.

We headed to another spot to try for more spanish mackerel just as a big SWer blew up. A big spot nabbed the downrigger bait and it was an easy decision to punch back into the beach to get out of the wind. Once there we set out the livies again to straight away land a spanish mackerel. Off and trolling again and 5mins later we dropped another one. Things went quiet so we went casting at the mack tuna schools for something to do. With time running out we headed back to where the spotties were to finish off our bag limit.



Half Day Morning With Darren With SQCS Out Of Mooloolaba

Darren had booked this one in early and it was looking dodgey on the long range forecast but after a storm the evening before I knew we would get a good morning in. We started off getting live baits. We got to the spot and our mate Jeff had allready boated two wahoo as part of a double hookup, a spotty mackerel and a spanish mackerel so we knew it was going to happen.

We deployed the livies and first bait out was hit. It ended up being a small barracuda. We trolled around and did no good while Jeff kept smashing them on the minnows. That was good enough for us so we changed over too.

Success was instant. In the end we ended up with 5 spanish mackerel, 8 spotted mackerel, a yellowfin tuna and a wahoo. We missed a couple of good hits too. Once the wet set in we decided to head in. A pretty good day.



Half Day Morning With Lyle With SQCS Out Of Mooloolaba

Lyle was back again with Jim and Matt. We started off jigging live baits. This set us up to try for some AJs and Kingfish. Matt was first to strike with a good kingy while Jim had no luck straightening a hook on a good one and losing a couple more on the bite. Lyle didn't miss landing this ripper of an AJ.


Things went quiet so we had a quick troll to finish off the charter. Jim ended up scoring the nice mahi mahi in the picture below.


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Half Day With Paul With SQCS Out Of Mooloolaba

Paul booked this one in. We started off in the spot where we had found the mackerel the trip before. We got them coming up to the baits but they were biting funny and following the pillies. We tried casting slugs at them when they did this but we weren't having the luck like the mackerel pros. We tried a closer in spot and picked up one here on the slug blind casting but all in all it was a tough morning. 4 spotties and a couple of school mackerel.


Half Day Morning With Greg Again With SQCS Out Of Mooloolaba

Greg booked this one in. With him were Mike, John and Shane.

We started by going north to where I had heard a boat had bagged out a couple of days previous. We found heaps of mack tuna schools but no spotties. We caught a few for fun anyway. One was a short lived quadruple hookup with was instantly back to a triple once Greg was nipped off then John and Mike became tangled so we ended up landing only two. We got a few more and started making tracks, casting here and there at likely looking schools.

Eventually we found the mackerel pros and knew we were on the money. They were trolling pillies but we started off trolling livies. That was not the way to go as the spotties must have been wire shy. We made the switch to pillies ourselves raising quite a few, missing some and casting at schools from time to time but only one made it into the boat before it was time to head in.





Full Day With Mark Out Of Mooloolaba

Mark booked this one in. We were heading out to collect live bait but couldn't help having a cast at all the bird schools at Point Cartwright. They looked like tuna schools feeding but when the first three fish to the boat were spotty mackerel we knew we had hit the jackpot. The spots were feeding different so we looked for the bait boiling or random boils here and there and before we knew it we had 15.

We headed out and jigged some livies to try for a kingy or aj. We got to the new spot but had now joy even though the show was good. I was near one of my pigfish spots so we headed there. It was a good move and the piggies were on. We also got a heap of undersize pearlies but one good keeper.




Kevin Full Day Trip

Kevin booked this one in and along with him were Fam and Johnson. We met at the Coast Guard Boat Ramp on Parkyn Parade Mooloolaba and set off out of the Mooloolah river. The water was dirty and brown in close but it cleared up on a good clean edge.

Out in 38m it cleared up again to a tropical blue so I put the high speed skirts out in case there was a pelagic around and we were travelling slow enough in the left over northerly chop from the day before. No joy but as soon I got to the fishing spot we found bait and I marked a marlin on the edge of it. We put the anchor down but Fam went down straight away with sea sickness.

The two boys fished on but it wasn't really happening. I decided a troll was the go as they wanted to taste raw fish so a mahi mahi, wahoo or yellowfin tuna sounded better for doing that than a reef fish.

Early on we caught a mack tuna on a minnow then while travelling with the lead head skirts out we had a double hookup of wahoo. We landed those then put the minnows out. Next lap and we had another double hookup on minnows and I got hit clearing the shotgun skirt. One made its way to the boat and the other dropped off right next to the boat. Next lap and we caught another and the esky looked very healthy. By then the seabreeze was really pumping so we headed in.


John Full Day Trip

John booked this one in. Along with him were his son and a couple of his mates. Seeing as we were punching into the big sea and swell I put a couple of high speed skirts out for travelling. Coming in front of a crab pot float we took a hit and landed this yellowfin tuna.


We got to the wahoo spot and virtually had it to ourselves other than for some spearfishers but it didn't happen for us. The consolation was this good mahi mahi.


We tried a few spots on the way home but only marked a bit of scratchy bait. We need more bait to turn up before things really fire up on the pelagic front.

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Joan Half Day Trip

With red hot fishing on the weekend for other species in the Mooloolaba Billfish Bash Tournament I rang all my regulars to get a trip up and running. Joan was quick to get back to me and she had a full crew after another customer pulled out. We met at the Coast Guard Boat Ramp at Mooloolaba at 6:00am and headed off in the SQCS Stabicraft.

We got to the spot and put out the lures. First pass around the back and we miss something that took 5m of line. Another 200m further along and the outrigger clip goes but nothing. Things were quiet for a while after that. Maybe it was the boat traffic with around seven boats trolling there which was surprising for a Monday morning. We saw a couple of wahoo got caught then it was our turn with a dolphinfish following the close outrigger lure. As it hit I gunned the boat and we had him on. Mark took this one as Haydon had gone down with seasickness.



A while later we were on a double hookup of wahoo. Haydon fought one and Joan the other. One ended up around the prop but we freespooled and it was all good. The first one came aboard then Mark took over for Joan. We got both in the boat just as Mark came down with a case of seasickness mixed with exhaustion mixed with adrenaline rush. With two sick people aboard Joan was happy to call it at 11:20. We were back on the trailer just before 1:00pm. A top morning and lots of good eating fish with the mahi mahi going about 10kg, one of the wahoo was also about 10kg and the smaller one was 8-9kg.



Mooloolaba Gamefish Club Billfish Bash 2010

I was driving the 31' Cabo Lynch Mob for this tournament. Our crew consisted of Conor, Moe and BJ. Kym the owner decided not to fish in the 20knot conditions forecast and he watched the Ashes instead. We were competing against 18 other boats. On the first day 8 mahi mahi went better than the 8kg line class we were fishing and a couple of sailfish were lost. BJ caught one of the weighed dolphinfish with his going about 8.2kg.

Day two and a couple of the Redcliffe boats went vermin hunting. This paid off for them with wahoo and mahi mahi. Dave Trask's 51' Riv Big Business caught a good one of each type of fish to win on weight with not a single billfish tagged. We didn't see a thing all day other than having one garfish mouthed but it didn't even pop a rubber band. The bait was pretty much non existent. I hope it turns up soon.


Hervey Bay Tournament on Fish Whisperer

I got myself on Matt Wallace's 36' Riviera for this one. We had David Granville the old Bluewater Magazine editor skippering for us and the crew consisted of Matt, John, Ian and myself. We headed to the briefing on the Thursday then set off for Rooneys Pt. The first day we fished the shelf off Orchid Beach. Matt ended up getting his first heavy tackle marlin which was the second of the tournament.


A mahi mahi for Matt as part of a double hookup with Ian on the Saturday saw us get in front of Keneka for Champion Heavy Tackle Boat, Champion Boat Over 7m and Matt as Champion Heavy Tackle Angler.


Once things got too rough we came in from the shelf about lunch time to try for a sailfish or a black marlin. We ended up getting about three cobia around this size instead.


On Sunday we stuck to Hervey Bay as it was meant to be super rough. An early mack tuna then a triple hookup of spanish mackerel saw us sitting pretty but Kevin Charteris from Bundaberg in his 20' Pride White Horse II had us on time. Well done Kev and crew. Thanks to John Dwyer for the pics too.


Full Day With Karl & PJ With SQCS Out Of Mooloolaba

Karl booked this one in and wanted to target big fish. Along with him was PJ. Cobia had been going allright lately so that is what I thought we should target. We got livebait reasonably ok then headed to the spot. Another two boats were allready there and we didn't get anything and we didn't see them catch anything but grinners so we headed off to my next spot. It took a bit of anchoring to get on the spot in the wind and current but eventually we did.

First drop here and both of the fellas were hooked up to good cobes. We landed these fish and kept fishing. Grinner after grinner came aboard and sure enough we had dragged anchor on the sand. We re-anchored and a while later Karl dropped another cobe at the boat. Other than grinners and small snapper, tailor and pearl perch things were pretty quiet. We headed to a local reef to finish off the day. Things were busier here but only small stuff came aboard. We did add a good pearlie and parrot here before it was time to come home in the howling NEer.

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Half Day Afternoon With Glen With SQCS Out Of Mooloolaba

Glen booked this one in with his sons. They were up visiting from Victoria. We started off in close to sit out the morning SWer but the boys both came down with seasickness. I suggested trolling the 8mile till it calmed down or they came good as being at anchor is sometimes the worst for being seasick.

We went for a troll and the boys came good so after looking around and doing no good we headed to the cobia spot. They were on and we missed one or two before one of the boys came good and we caught a keeper. After this one we hooked up bigtime. A quite a battle this monster 19.99kg fish popped up. One of the boys hooked it but Glen had to finish it off.



We caught an released another four or so smaller cobia as they had enough for a feed from the first fish caught. All in all a top afternoon.


Half Day Morning With Tom With SQCS Out Of Mooloolaba

Tom was up from Victoria and booked this trip in. We had an ok trip north to the spot I had been fishing punching into the northerly, finally putting the anchor down instead of drifting like I had been recently. The fish were on straight away and it didn't let up all morning. The standouts were this gold spot estuary cod that put up a good account for itself and some stud pearl perch. The flathead were on in plague proportions and in amongst all the little red emperor we also caught some good parrot.






Full Day With Cornel With SQCS Out Of Mooloolaba

Cornel booked this one in quite a while ago and we had been on a couple of cancellations. Lucky we held off as we cracker a glamour day. Along with him were his dad and brother. We started off on the same cobia spot I tried the afternoon before. Straight up and the fish were on.


Resulting in this pretty good cobia to his brother.


Cornel got one as well.


A fair few small fish were on the chew but his dad couldn't crack it for a cobia. We headed to some reef to try for pearlies. They were there as well as the flathead again. The bonus was a nice little bar cod. These are the guys that migrate to the shelf and grow up near 100kg.

We tried here and there on the way back putting together a nice little esky full.

The crew.




Full Day With Matt With SQCS Out Of Mooloolaba

Matt was back again and along with him were Longy and Rob. We started off on one of my cobia spots and sure enough they were on. We were looking good for a bag out but a few missed opportunities and they went off the boil. We did get a few nice ones though. Off to the reef and once again the pearlies and flathead were on. Matt stuck with the plastics which had been producing the better quality and that was the case again, just not the quantity. The bait boys were miles in front today. A good tussle with a little hammerhead shark kept us entertained for 20mins or so before we went back to the reefies. Longy got another good parrot but not as good as the last time they were out. A few pigfish were also caught which are always a good bonus. The weather was good and we came home in record time.




Full Day With Rodd With SQCS Out Of Mooloolaba

Rodd organised this one and came out by himself having his son get sick on him and his mate pull the pin. We started off on the cobia and didn't take long to pull our bag limit. That done and dusted we headed off to try for reefies. The pearlies were on and we grabbed a bag of them. It would have been good to go for a snapper but all my snapper spots had a chance of getting more pearl perch so we decided to try for an amberjack or kingfish. Typically the pearlies got in on the act cleaning up the few live baits we did have. That done we headed off to try for more cobia and they were still on so we let more of them go as well as catching more pearlies. A lot of miles but ok weather a fish coming aboard all day.

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