I was very fortunate when I was up there that Judda (and Andy and Reef) were able to take the boat into the Hamilton Island Marina and pick me up.
We started some drifting but we were getting absolutely nothing. So we tried to trawl for some mackerel and Judda picked up a 1m long barracuta. Not the best start. I then managed to get a 43cm Coral Trout, which was very nice, and quite surprising on the trawl.
We drifted quite a bit more and were successful in getting a lot of small nannygai, nothing that we could keep. Reef managed to pull up two very nice Grunter (Javelin Fish).
In our last spot we once again managed to hit the small stuff.
Not the best days fishing, but it certainly wasn’t the worst. Just great to get back out there.
Today was father’s day and it was quite special as we got to got to Whitehaven. I definitely think it’s one of the best beaches in the world.
She was very excited about the boat that had “Tiny Tim the Turtle” on it but she got quite motion sick. We got to see a whale and her calf which was very fun. Apparently the calf is always trying to check the boat out, and the mother herds her away. It has been a ritual for the last three weeks.
As soon as she got to the beach she became herself again. Maggie had an absolute ball, and just loved being able to swim and play in the sand. She was building things and going for a swim and just generally having a ball. What made things ever better was the muffin that she was given (and refused to eat on the boat – a definite sign of motion sickness) that she called “chocolate cake”.
Even funnier was when it was time to go back everyone got a squirt with a blue hose to wash the sand off. Maggie thought this was the highlight of the trip. Of course.
Maggie having a swim
One of the professional photos
Claire and I have a connection to the Whitsundays, and Hamilton Island with its airport is the most convenient.
We went there from 30 August to 3 September. Maggie was with us and just loved it all – beaches and pools, her two favourite things.
Our view was great, as was our nightly ritual of having a picnic and watching the sun go down around the Islands.
View from our balcony
Maggie and I during our picnic and sunset ritual
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!