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Easter Saturday & Sunday At Hervey Bay


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We don’t normally go anywhere for Easter because of the traffic and how busy everything is, however with just the main days off time was limited. James desperately wanted to try out his new combo and Luke just wanting to get out, a plan was hatched. We could have hit Moreton bay but I felt we had a better a chance of catching some tuna at Hervey Bay to christen the rod and reel.

We headed up Saturday morning and had the best run ever up to HB with hardly any traffic. With such a perfect weather day we expected the ramp to be full. As we turned onto Jetty road there were car and trailers for as far as you could see taking up any piece of real estate available. Thinking this may have been case I booked an unpowered site for 2 nights at the caravan park next to ramp. We checked in and got the boat ready. Then a hundred meter drive to the ramp we launched the boat and I drove back to the caravan park and left the trailer & car there for the night.

The weather was magnificent and we were not even 5 km from the ramp when we see the first signs birds pointing to where the fish were. We through a few lures and James catches christens his rod and reel with a 60cm school mackerel which was quickly released. It’s an unbelievable rod & reel combo that he saved up for and bought himself. A Daiwa Saltist Extreme PE-2-4 matched to Stradic 5000FK loaded with 30lb Daiwa Sensor braid. His main target was long tail for the weekend.

As we headed towards the top of Fraser Island we kept stopping at feeding schools of fish. They seem to be on very tiny bait and matching the hatch with anything other than a fly was proving frustrating. With many offerings being refused we kept changing lures to finally I hooked up and landed a small mac tuna.

Mac tuna.jpg

Then as we approached another school the kids were sticking with soft plastics where I changed to throwing a small “Busted” slug. First cast I was on again before they were within casting distance, and another mac tuna quickly released. Time was running out to reach Rooney’s Pont before dark because we were stopping so frequently at all the surface action. When we got to Rooney’s we headed out looking for Spanish mackerel we found some fish and started micro jigging to see what they were.


Quickly my rod loads up and during a very quick first run it looked like we had found our target. The boys tried jigging with soft plastic and I threw on a 6 inch Pink Gobbler plastic with a 6”single strand wire trace on a 1 oz jig head. Once we drift back over the fish I did a few jigs and then a flat out retrieve to the boat. After a few drifts I got a hook up and the Saragossa 5000 was singing to the tune of a big Spanish Mackerel. We were on it for 10-15 minutes when the tail hitting the leader above the wire trace took its toll and inevitably the line was soon wafting in the breeze signalling another lost opportunity.

With the light fading we trolled as we headed back into Fraser Island to bunk down for the night. We cooked up dinner and finished off with some fruit salad and block of chocolate seeing it was Easter. After dinner we played some card games before rolling out the beds for the night. I left one of the boat seats out giving us more room to sleep which was nice.

We woke to an over cast morning and a number of showers around us could be seen in the distance.

calm morn.JPG

We quickly packed up and headed back out to our spot. It took a long while to find any fish and they were scattered and few and far between. We tried jigging and the soft plastics without a hit. Then on a micro jig Luke caught a whiptail. I suggested he put it down on a trace as nothing else was working. He rigged up and let the colourful bait swim down. Less than 5 minutes and a speedster had found its breakfast. Luke noticed the line peeling off faster than the drift rate and clicked over his bail and came up tight. The first run of Spanish Mackerel is amazingly fast and Luke’s eyes and face lit up with excitement. He worked the fish back to the boat like a seasoned angler well beyond his years. The first glimpses of the beast in the water raised the excitement to a new level. James was driving the boat and getting the gaff ready, while I took some video of the moment. When it was close enough the big gaff was too hard to manoeuvre to get a mouth shot. We changed to a small hand gaff and got a mouth shot to pull the Spanish aboard. We were all very excited to see Luke catch his first Spanish Mackerel. We quickly took a couple of photos and got it back in the water a few minutes to recover and off it swam to live another day. A great experience to share with the boys and one Luke will remember for quite a while.




The weather forecast must have changed because Sunday was supposed to be better than Saturday but not long after this the weather changed and we started heading back into the bay. There were multiple showers around and the wind easily got up to 15kts at times. It doesn’t affect the fish much but it does affect how fast we can travel to get in front of them. We saw heaps of long tail schools and I picked up another 2 mac tuna and missed a long tail hook up on a soft plastic. Unfortunately James or Luke could not get a hook up on tuna, but still had a great time and it was a team effort to land Luke’s Spanish.

We headed for home with very little fuel in left tank after travelling 200km for the trip. We had a welcome shower once back at the caravan park and headed to the boat club for dinner before turning in for the night.


Boat Club 1.JPG

We rose and headed off by 7.00am had the traditional Mac's breakfast and beat most of the traffic home by 10.30am.


We love fishing HB and look forward to every trip.

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Thanks Christo,

We would liked to have eaten it but from what I've read about ciguatera toxins it is not worth the risk up there. 

Doesn't seem to worry the pro's. Last trip they were pulling them in and knocking them on the head.

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Here's some photos of the boat, Steve.

Most are when I first got it home in the drive and I see I one the old Hornet is still under the boat port.

I have made a few modifications to it, the first was to swap the motor off the hornet. It now has the 100hp on the back. It's a good bay boat and fantastic in wind under 10 knts and uncomfortable anything above 15kts. I use it for crabbing,prawing,bay fishing, fresh water impoundments and offshore when weather permits.




a (2).jpg



b (2).jpg






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Anthony it a good cross over boat. we use to use swags but they took to much room. We keep refining it to minimise gear as it only a small boat. It is a squeeze with the 3 of us on board but we manage for 1 night. We use self inflating mattress's and pillows and sleep in our wet weather gear in case it rains. Haven't had any problems with mosquitoes by doing this, touch wood. Now that I have the passenger seat removed there is far more room for sleeping.

The kids I enjoyed it so much being at your fishing spot in the morning without having to get up at 2.30am to travel, launch and then travel again to your spot.

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Sounds like you got a really good set up there Wayne! How big is the fuel tank on your boat? Doing 200 kms up to Fraser and back is super impressive! Would love to do it on dad's boat, just unsure if we'd make it there and back.

Yet to sleep on our boat but the Point you mention where you virtually wake up at your destination is extremely ideal.

Keep up the top work! 

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The under floor fuel tank is 120 litres and in decent conditions I get approximately 200km and I carry another 20 litres in jerry's jus in case it roughs up a bit.

I average  around 1.6-1.9km/litre depending on how I drive it. If your unsure tag along with Sam or I one time and have the comfort of another boat with you.

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9 hours ago, Luvit said:

The under floor fuel tank is 120 litres and in decent conditions I get approximately 200km and I carry another 20 litres in jerry's jus in case it roughs up a bit.

I average  around 1.6-1.9km/litre depending on how I drive it. If your unsure tag along with Sam or I one time and have the comfort of another boat with you.

Yeah carrying a jerry or two is always a good idea. Do you know how many revs the boat sits at? We have a fuel tank just over 100 litres and if we sit at full throttle it chews through like a beast but if we sit around that 4500 Rev range, it's pretty economical for a 2 stroke.

Sounds Like a plan. Would be super keen to do a trip like that. Just need to wait until the uni semester ends !

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1 hour ago, STKE said:

Looks like another perfect trip again Wayne. If Burrum was never good to us, Harvey would be the next in line. We just don't like the crowds. 

I don't like crowds either!

We find because we travel to the top end there is not so many people that go that far, so plenty of room to fish.

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A good rev range for my boat is 4200 RPM but I constantly push it up to 4800 because I want t get there quicker.

I found installing a hydro foil on my boat has helped handling and fuel economy. The best I get from it is 1.9km/litre where as Sam is a 50hp and lighter boat newer technology and he can get 3km/litre. Every boat is different. Just fill your tank set the trip meter and do a day running around as usual and then refill tank and see what you are getting.

We will usually say when we are going so when you see a post, contact us and see if it fits with you.


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Sam's boat is a 4.2m renegade and he has been out in 15kts plus wind.

Just have to pick the best weather days and a wind with east in it in case it blows up.

Don't have to go far either 5km from the ramp there were tuna busting up.

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3 hours ago, STKE said:


I need a bigger fuel tank................................. or a bigger boat. 

4.2m boat, 50hp outboard, 50l tank and 4 x 10l cans neatly stored out of the way gets me 230-270km depending on conditions and gear on board. About 130-155km a tank again depending on conditions... Nothing more satisfying than catching big fish in a small boat in shite conditions I reckon. Its not always about the big boats only being able to target the big fish. But if I had the money and storage I am sure I would have a bigger boat more suited and safer for the fishing I do...

Wayne, what a trip mate! Weather looked like it behaved most of the time. Great fish that Luke got, he looks stoked and rightly so. Now you need to get your 4th son (me) onto one :P 

Well written report again and yes it is a great boat to ride in and fish out of. Sleeping not so much but lots better with the seat removed :) 

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Thanks Sam,

You know where they are, go get one:whistle:

James was disappoint with only one small mackerel for the trip and no tuna to really test his gear.

Luke actually hooked 3 tuna and lost them, so we named him tuna loser-Steele for the day:P.

(It's nice to have an adopted daughter, Samantha.)


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