Was in Innisfail for a long weekend visiting friend’s of Claire’s. I got a chance to go fishing, unfortunately I had crippled my back and the idea of jumping into a boat and hunting for some massive barra was out the window. However we did some shore fishing and the target was jungle perch.
I had never really heard of jungle perch before, but apparently it’s quite a popular sportfish. It’s small and very hard to find. So we hit the light gear and went for a bit of a bushwalk. The first cast of the day netted my my first jungle perch.
Got three sooty grunter to back it up too. Aaron (from ACM Custom Rods) also got one, and three sooty grunter to back it up.
Was a bit of a shame to miss out on the planned session, but I got a few fish, remained uninjured and ready to fish another day.
Day One – 13th of September
Up early (Andy, Judda and me) and out on the boat. Was destined for a good day for wind, but a lot of movement would make fishing difficult. We didn’t have any trouble bringing in some Indonesian Snapper between 30 and 35 cm. Nothing great but at least we were getting a feed. We also saw an adult whale fully jump out of water – never seen that in person before, it was great. Got a good feed but didn’t get that photo fish I was after.
Day two – 14th of September
Up early (Brigitte, Judda and me) again but had limited time. Once again just getting smaller fish, until suddenly I was on! The line was screaming and I thought I had a whopper. Hopefully something great and not a shark… Judda was sure it was a shark. It was neither though, a 60cm Trevelly. Good fun!
Not too long after Brigitte was on! I thought it was a Trevelly, Judda once again thought a shark. Both were wrong and she nailed an impressive 101cm Jewfish! A short sharp 3 hours on the water and a decent feed.
Day three and four – 15/16th of September
Did some land based fishing. Got one hit and no other action. I have previously done alright on flathead in that area. Nevertheless since I get flatties in Victoria I decided to hard on barra. Probably silly given I didn’t know what it was doing. But Airlie is very pretty so it was good fun nonetheless.
I loved it in Airlie. It has changed quite a bit, definitely busier. Still, I would jump at the chance to live there again. Then again, there are a lot of places around Australia that I could say that about!
The final full day we had on Hamilton Island we went to the great barrier reef with Cruise Whitsundays.
I have been 5 or 6 times before, so it wasn’t anything that I hadn’t seen before. Claire had a helicopter ride that she really enjoyed, I spent the majority of my time snorkeling, knowing it would be a very long time before I was there again.
On the Friday it was decided we would take a trip on the catamaran “On the Edge” to Whitehaven beach. We had sent out this in the letters we wrote to everyone as part of the wedding invite, so we made up nearly half of the crew. It was an amazing trip. You don’t need a lot to make a great day of Whitehaven, it looks like every single photo of every beach after it has been photoshopped. I don’t even know how to use photoshop, so these photos are just on my small Canon camera.
Before we got there we had a snorkel around Chalkies beach. Pretty good, although I was off to the outer reef tomorrow.
Then we headed over to Whitehaven. I guess not a lot to write about apart from it was really fun, water was amazing, wind was down, everything was great.
Story of the trip is that another crew had found a large turtle on the beach. A shark had eaten its fin off, it was breathing badly. They tried to keep it cool until it decided it wanted to leave. It swam off leaving a trail of blood behind it. Hopefully he made it.
Having day trips organised for the Friday and Saturday (more on my blog) we had one last crack at land based session. The wind was fierce that day and fishing on the beach was next to impossible. We tried a few locations, in the end settled on some rocks next to Catseye beach. Got a few small bites, and Chops managed to land a flathead.
Chops: Flathead, released
Story of the trip:
Saw some whales come through! When we were on the beach with too much wind, a whale and a calf came through, right near the airport. Pretty cool!