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Hey legends,

So as part of my recovery I am shouting myself a trip on a charter boat out of Townsville for a 5 night live on board fishing trip. They focus on the outer reef in remote areas. They are good operators and we always come home with a stack of fillets. 

This time I am hoping to lay off the booze a bit and target larger fish (yet to see if this will come to fruition). While trout and RTE are great to catch I really want to focus on trophy sized fish. I don't mind if i go all day without catching a fish if it sees me catching one monster fish for the trip. 

My current plan is to take lots of large bait jigs and an aerator and fish lots of large live baits both under a float and on the bottom. Also take large knife jigs for deeper water and put live baits on these as well. 

I only have 40lb overhead and 40lb spinning set up. I am happy to purchase more gear. What should I get to stop the really big ones getting back into the reef? What reels can pack a punch but don't really burst the budget?

Tips tricks techniques to catch the big ones please. What else can I do? 

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@Drop Bear 

Get your self a Talica 16 or 20 add a live fibre venom 50-80lb 6ft rod or similar. 

Fill it with 50 or 60lb braid , use 80lb Schneider leader. Get some 10/0 gamakatsu ouctopus straight eye hooks. This would make a deadly bottom fishing/ float lining  or trolling out fit. 

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35 minutes ago, Cobiaaddict said:

@Drop Bear 

Get your self a Talica 16 or 20 add a live fibre venom 50-80lb 6ft rod or similar. 

Fill it with 50 or 60lb braid , use 80lb Schneider leader. Get some 10/0 gamakatsu ouctopus straight eye hooks. This would make a deadly bottom fishing/ float lining  or trolling out fit. 

hmmmm nice

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Yep plus one for a talica it’s an ideal bottom fishing rig  my boat never leaves home without one. They have gone up in price a bit, if you prefer spin gear then Saragossa packs a punch without the Stella or Saltiga price tag not a bad buy if your not gonna use it all the time if your gonna use it heaps than save for a Stella. What’s the name of the operator your going with?

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I’ve been on few extended trips off Townsville and it’s always been top notch. Talk to the skipper at the beginning of the trip and let him know you got your heart set on a big red. Don’t stress to much about catching your own livies out there as on and extended trio a good operator will take you out to some good ground and dead baits will be fine. Fish your forty pound gear in The shallower ground but once he gets you out in that deeper stuff escpecially around 60 meters fish heavy and be the first on to drop with the biggest slab of hussar you can find on the deck! Hope you have a on a trip mate I’m jealous. Also pack one or two stickbaits coz I’d skip take you into a reef for lunch and a swim I’ve seen horse gt s pulled up while everyone else was eating.

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10 hours ago, Drop Bear said:

 What should I get to stop the really big ones getting back into the reef? What reels can pack a punch but don't really burst the budget?

That depends on how big your budget is! Also do you want to to cast with it or just drop the bait/jig over the side, balloon, and also troll with it?

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Hey Drop Bear

sounds like your trip is going to be a ripper. I don't know much about reef fishing but my Uncle, who was a commercial fisherman, ran 60 and 80lb handlines and caught everything from trout to marlin so I'd be guessing something along the lines of that would be good. 

Also, Sammy Hitzke Fishing did some videos at Swains reef which have a bit of tackle talk at the beginning - 

Cheers Hamish

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16 hours ago, Another Wazza said:

Hi there, similar to cobiaaddicts recommendation, I’ve taken a Talica 12 on a Samurai 30-60lb jig stick, loaded with 50lb braid to the Swains a few times, and on some occasions it’s only just enough. Another favourite I like up there is a 8000 Saragossa on a 20- 50lb venom stick running 40lb braid, it’s a great all rounder, The heavy outfit is a 14000 Stella on a venom GT popping rod running 65lb braid, all of these setups are extremely capable of landing monsters, it just comes down to how much your comfortable with spending, and how often they’ll get used, the outfit I use the most up there is a little 20 year old Abu 6500 on a 6-12kg rod running 30lb J braid, I’ve caught some crackers on that setup, but that’s mainly used in water to 30 metres and less, at the end of the day though, went it comes to fishing gear, don’t be afraid to treat yourself!

Yep I really want to treat myself... but I will really need to budget if I want a 14k Stella... 

I think i will get a Talica 20 and put 80lb braid on it. I have some short stroker rods that I think I can re-purpose for it. 

I have a Saragossa 8000 with 40lb on it so that will be a nice all round type rod, I just want the one that will pull a 1.4m trout out of its lair. I know, quick photo then back, but it would be great to catch one. 

I hope to be using baits the size of the fish I normally catch around here. Fingers crossed. 

 

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13 hours ago, jon said:

Yep plus one for a talica it’s an ideal bottom fishing rig  my boat never leaves home without one. They have gone up in price a bit, if you prefer spin gear then Saragossa packs a punch without the Stella or Saltiga price tag not a bad buy if your not gonna use it all the time if your gonna use it heaps than save for a Stella. What’s the name of the operator your going with?

We are going with Northern Conquest. 

What size Stella? 

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12 hours ago, Ed. said:

That depends on how big your budget is! Also do you want to to cast with it or just drop the bait/jig over the side, balloon, and also troll with it?

Planning to drop, troll, float with this one. 

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1 hour ago, Old Scaley said:

Looking at the website @DropBear, it looks like the charter supplies all the gear that has been mentioned above. Why spend big dollars on gear you might use once a year? 

Because it is so much nicer to catch a big fish using your own gear, and you still get to use it for other purposes when you come back home. If you are a regular fisherman you will use it often as a good reel is a pleasure to use and will last for decades. However if this is going to be  a one trip only, then I agree, save your cash. Just make sure the charter boat has decent gear onboard to use first, I have seen some absolute beaten up junk on some boats. Hence the reason I try to bring my own.

Drop Bear: You still haven't mentioned  what your budget is.

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Drop bear mate there’s not much  that tyrnos 20 with 70lb braid won’t stop. Just need a decent rod to put it on. The old series Terez rods can take a beating are relatively cheap if you can find one. The 40-100lb 6’6 OH is a weapon. I’ve got the 40-80lb and it has stopped reds, big cobes And has enough tip to land tuskies and rte too. Welcome to come have a look if you want Mate. 

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I think that Northern conquest charges about $15/day for rod and reel or their condition but you would have to check, all the pics show spinning gear, but can't make out type or brand though. All the larger reels will catch all the fish you probably tangle with but some are nicer/better to use than others. In the olden days  many a humongous fish fish was caught with just a hand line on a spool with 80-100 plus pound line but we have been accustomed to using high end reels which can cost 500 times more, and big reels are much more fun!

Having said that, I once tussled with a huge ray at Shute Harbour that swam up and took my bait intended for Spanish mackerel, it was on a $2 80lb hand line and after about 25 minutes of getting my arms stretched and many times I thought the line would break, eventually it swam under a moored large boat and went around the oyster encrusted pylons on the jetty and the line did part, even though I didn't land that ray I did have massive fun as well! When I was living in W.A as a deckhand on a cray boat I knew a lot of professional fishermen who still used hand lines and they out fished me 10-1 when I was using a rod and reel. I had fun and they caught the fish!

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12 hours ago, Drop Bear said:

We are going with Northern Conquest. 

What size Stella? 

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Hi mate I’ve been on nc charters on the boat called sir reel. Was a great trip also been on another one of their boats not sure if they still have it it was a game boat riveria type thing for a shorter trip. It was some time ago so I forget which skipper it was, deckies have probably changed since then too. If you are gonna get a Stella I wouldn’t go for the biggest model unless your a dedicated gt fisho with a great back and arms. In all honesty I’d be looking at the 10k to 14k Stella which don’t quote me someone else on here may know I think are basically a similar or same body to each other with different spools.  They have more than enough drag to stop the big ones. And if you plan on casting all day the lower weight will be appreciated. I’ve only recently bought a big dogfight reel but have been using a ten k Stella for over six years and it’s been more than capable at stopping plenty of fish between 15 and 30 kg. But like I said previously a Saragossa will serve you well on a budget if you don’t think the Stella is justified

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Also I have an Ian Miller Shimano t-curve deep jig 400 rated to37kg and 300 to 500 gram jig weight. It came basically free with a second hand torsa. It’s a solid stick of a rod but there not worth bugger all second hand so I just keep it as a back up. As I prefer the Daiwa rods. If you get your hands on a big overhead your more than welcome to borrow it free of charge Mate that way you can spend more dosh on a reel.  Aside from dropping it overboard it’s pretty indestructible and I’m not worried if it gets a few battle scars in return I’d like to see a report with you holding up a stonker and big grin on your dile. All the best mate good luck!!!!

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10 hours ago, Ed. said:

Because it is so much nicer to catch a big fish using your own gear, and you still get to use it for other purposes when you come back home. If you are a regular fisherman you will use it often as a good reel is a pleasure to use and will last for decades. However if this is going to be  a one trip only, then I agree, save your cash. Just make sure the charter boat has decent gear onboard to use first, I have seen some absolute beaten up junk on some boats. Hence the reason I try to bring my own.

Drop Bear: You still haven't mentioned  what your budget is.

Budget is 1 million dollars..... well not really but I want good quality gear that will stop the biggest beasts on the reef. I'd be happy to pay 1k or more. 

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12 hours ago, Old Scaley said:

Looking at the website @DropBear, it looks like the charter supplies all the gear that has been mentioned above. Why spend big dollars on gear you might use once a year? 

How dare you make logical arguments when I want to dream about shinny shinny new gear that I probably won't use much at all haha 

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So I do agree with you but... there is a hire fee for the gear if you don't take your own, I want to fish for big stuff forever, I am a tragic tackle rat and get ripped off and love it, I don't know the quality of the gear on the boat, I already have heaps of stuff that I could take and catch fish but I want to monster out the biggest fish and dream about the gear that stops the one that would otherwise get away.

 

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10 hours ago, Andrew_P said:

Drop bear mate there’s not much  that tyrnos 20 with 70lb braid won’t stop. Just need a decent rod to put it on. The old series Terez rods can take a beating are relatively cheap if you can find one. The 40-100lb 6’6 OH is a weapon. I’ve got the 40-80lb and it has stopped reds, big cobes And has enough tip to land tuskies and rte too. Welcome to come have a look if you want Mate. 

Sounds perfect. I will check them out. Thanks

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24 minutes ago, Drop Bear said:

How dare you make logical arguments when I want to dream about shinny shinny new gear that I probably won't use much at all haha 

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So I do agree with you but... there is a hire fee for the gear if you don't take your own, I want to fish for big stuff forever, I am a tragic tackle rat and get ripped off and love it, I don't know the quality of the gear on the boat, I already have heaps of stuff that I could take and catch fish but I want to monster out the biggest fish and dream about the gear that stops the one that would otherwise get away.

 

Legendary statement!,  that sums up just about everyone walking into a tackle shop!, leave your logic at the door, and go wild!, good luck with whatever outfit you reward yourself with, you’ll love it!

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12 hours ago, jon said:

Hi mate I’ve been on nc charters on the boat called sir reel. Was a great trip also been on another one of their boats not sure if they still have it it was a game boat riveria type thing for a shorter trip. It was some time ago so I forget which skipper it was, deckies have probably changed since then too. If you are gonna get a Stella I wouldn’t go for the biggest model unless your a dedicated gt fisho with a great back and arms. In all honesty I’d be looking at the 10k to 14k Stella which don’t quote me someone else on here may know I think are basically a similar or same body to each other with different spools.  They have more than enough drag to stop the big ones. And if you plan on casting all day the lower weight will be appreciated. I’ve only recently bought a big dogfight reel but have been using a ten k Stella for over six years and it’s been more than capable at stopping plenty of fish between 15 and 30 kg. But like I said previously a Saragossa will serve you well on a budget if you don’t think the Stella is justified

ok great info thanks. I wondered what the difference between the larger stellas was. I probably should look into it more just for fun. 

How did you go on sir reel? Did you catch plenty? 

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12 hours ago, jon said:

Also I have an Ian Miller Shimano t-curve deep jig 400 rated to37kg and 300 to 500 gram jig weight. It came basically free with a second hand torsa. It’s a solid stick of a rod but there not worth bugger all second hand so I just keep it as a back up. As I prefer the Daiwa rods. If you get your hands on a big overhead your more than welcome to borrow it free of charge Mate that way you can spend more dosh on a reel.  Aside from dropping it overboard it’s pretty indestructible and I’m not worried if it gets a few battle scars in return I’d like to see a report with you holding up a stonker and big grin on your dile. All the best mate good luck!!!!

looks like a beast. Thanks for the offer, very generous. I will see how I go. 

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12 hours ago, Andrew_P said:

I saw a couple of The old Style white 40-100 lb ones For $150 at Everton park BCF about a month ago. Might be worth ringing around To see whose got One 

I am colour blind when it comes to rods. I will give them a call, thanks for the tip. 

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12 hours ago, Ed. said:

Have a look at this in the size 20 it is the cheapest I have found and nice specifications: 

or this one at half the price.

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They say max drag for the penn 40n  is 40lbs. Okuma 20 is 25kg (50lbs ish)

Is that enough? It sounds heaps but I am new to this type of heavy fishing. 

I am used to the TLD 25 with a max drag of half of that and it is often not enough, even when I do it up with pliers..... I probably shouldn't do that.

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Yeah mate we cleaned up on sir reel, from big reds to nannygai and huge trout too! I seem to remember the food was great to with plenty of fresh fish and sashimi as well. All the catch was filleted bagged frozen and given to us packed in styrofoam boxes which made taking home on the plane super easy

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12 hours ago, Ed. said:

Have a look at this in the size 20 it is the cheapest I have found and nice specifications: 

or this one at half the price.

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Would the okuma makaira 50 be too much? I could use this for beach shark fishing on Fraser as well. 

Or would this be just crazy heavy?

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1 minute ago, jon said:

Yeah mate we cleaned up on sir reel, from big reds to nannygai and huge trout too! I seem to remember the food was great to with plenty of fresh fish and sashimi as well. All the catch was filleted bagged frozen and given to us packed in styrofoam boxes which made taking home on the plane super easy

Thanks that sounds awesome. I can't wait. A big red would make the trip worth it.  FYI the 2 nannies in my profile pic are from Sir Reel. 

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1 minute ago, jon said:

Anything running 20 plus kilos of drag will serve you well. If your need more you just have to sacrifice the skin on your thumb

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haha ok. #worthit

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On 29/06/2020 at 8:19 AM, Drop Bear said:

Would the okuma makaira 50 be too much? I could use this for beach shark fishing on Fraser as well. 

Or would this be just crazy heavy?

Sorry Drop Bear, did not see your question till just now,  The 50 is a big heavy reel and built like the proverbial tank, only good for fishing from a boat or ballooning from rock and shore. Really if you are going to use this sort of reel it would be advisable to get a kidney harness or full harness and a large gimbal rod bucket. My 50W apparently can pull about 39kg on full, and that is a lot at the end of a 5'6" game rod, the 50 is just a narrower version of the 50W but the drag settings are the same. They are excellent reels but are specialized for the large game fish market as in up to 400+kg type fish.  You wouldn't use them for bottom bouncing or jigging as they are just too  big and heavy.

I bought mine for ballooning for shark off the rocks and beach as well as trolling. To give you and idea of the size, the big one is the Mak 50W, the one in the middle is a Mak 30 and the one on the right is a Fathom FTH30LD2, so there are two 30 sized reels but the Mak 30 is significantly bigger then the Penn, and the Penn is about as large that you would want to use for the general reef fishing off a boat, it is compact and powerful and not too bad that you couldn't fish with it all day. Incidentally the Mak 20 is just a narrow version of the 30 so still a big reel with huge drag. Hope this helps.

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9 hours ago, benno573 said:

not sure what other trophies you are chasing - i used to get one just for showing up in U6 soccer so maybe try that as a back up?

I could possibly sneak you into George's under 6 team (start this Sat morning) if you are keen for a trophy @Drop Bear ....... you'd have to stick to the team rules and not hog the ball though .....

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Spotted a brand new Torsa 20 on Gumtree for $1000 - have heard they are very hard to get hold of but no idea how big/suitable they are and/or whether $1000 is a reasonable price, but thought I'd let you know. @jon from memory you weren't looking to spend that much?

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1 hour ago, kmcrosby78 said:

I could possibly sneak you into George's under 6 team (start this Sat morning) if you are keen for a trophy @Drop Bear ....... you'd have to stick to the team rules and not hog the ball though .....

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Spotted a brand new Torsa 20 on Gumtree for $1000 - have heard they are very hard to get hold of but no idea how big/suitable they are and/or whether $1000 is a reasonable price, but thought I'd let you know. @jon from memory you weren't looking to spend that much?

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Hi thanks kelvin I heard about that one way too much for me. Cheers tho

Edited by jon

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On 15/07/2020 at 11:34 AM, benno573 said:

so what did you end up getting @Drop Bear??

and when is the trip?

+1 to @jon suggestion around using large slabs of fresh fillets for big reds.  hussar works really well, my biggest red to date come on a whole fillet of iodine bream.  failing any of those species being available, up there you should be able to get a bludger trev or something like that that will keep you in fresh flesh baits for days.

not sure what other trophies you are chasing - i used to get one just for showing up in U6 soccer so maybe try that as a back up?

haha ok. 

I haven't bought anything yet. Trip is booked and paid for in October. 

I would like to get a xxos trout... something over 1.2m... just for a photo or a xxos Spanish over 1,6m or a huge GT at or over 1.5m cod 1.2m etc.

What else can you give me wet dreams of?  (dry these days... haha)

 

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If you wanted something big for just game fishing, trolling or ballooning but bigger than the Penn Fathom 30 2 Speed (the one on the right), there is this  used Makaira  20 2 speed in WA $375 delivered you may want to have a look at.

however have a look at the pics I put up,  it will be as big as the middle Makaira 30 but in a narrower spool, so same drag (55lb on full) just less line capacity. It really depends on what your definition is of unstoppable, I mean how big a fish are hoping to stop? But as an all round big reel I would go for the Makaira 30 size as it will give you the extra line capacity.

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This about the cheapest I have found and if you sign up you get another $10 off so it will be $689 and I think that they have either a 5 or a 10 year guarantee .

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