Saturday on the Great Barrier Reef

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 Edge to Whitehaven

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.

Final land based session on Hammo

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.

Me: Nothing
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!


Fishing on my Wedding Day

I was getting married at 2pm, plenty of time for a land based flick in the morning. I also thought that it would read as an omen: a fish would be equal good marriage, no fish would be a bad sign. We hit a sandy and rocky beach, flicking some plastics for not much success. Soon we saw some bait busting up so tried to flick there. Soon enough I caught a tiny cod. Hey, that’s good right? A good omen.

As I wound him in suddenly a little calamari came out of no where and latched on. I tried to drag him up the beach but he let go. I cast the cod back to him and he went it again. I tried again for a fail, but he latched on again to the cod.

We were frantically trying to figure out how we could land it – it wasn’t hooked, and we didn’t have a net or anything. So my mate decided to try to drag a treble lure through it to see if it would hook. It did, but not well, and the calamari bolted.

One final cast of the cod and even again the calamari came back and latched on! The second time we were able to hook it with the lure, and presto, we had a lunchtime feed.

Me: Small Cod and a claim on a Calamari
Chops: A claim on a calamari

Story of the trip:
Who caught the calamari? A lot of debate has raged on this one. Did I get it interested and he caught it? Did I catch it and he landed it?


Bucks day!!

The wife and I are very different in some ways. Whereas she had 3(!) hens nights with various friends in various locations, I did not want one. Strippers? Might as well drink non-alcoholic beer. But she was insistent on me doing something… hey no worries what about a chartered fishing trip?

We set off in glorious weather, having been assured the tides were not ideal. First place we hit a few of the boys pulled up some thumper trevally. The guide was dissapointed and we moved on.

At this point I was thinking of forming a mutiny. Firstly I hadnt caught one yet. What if that was it? Secondly they cook okay if they arent refridgerated. Thirdly nummas/cerviche is awesome. Fourthly how sure he could be we could get others? But no, he wanted it for bait…. so me and Chops (a fellow Trevally lover) waited.

Second place we got, nothing.

Third place we went to, a few of the boys hooked Nannygai. Success!! And a few more… soon we were smashing them! But not poor old me….

Eventually I got onto a 42cm one. Can’t complain. I took a break as I was hogging the rods. I found out later the rod that I had was ordinary, but in 60m of water I couldn’t tell.

Soon my mate tired and I grabbed my rod again… got a slight nibble and I increased the pressure and hooked the fish. Suddenly my whole body was clenching trying to hang on… he pulled off some line, which was funny as the drag was so tight I broke it easily on a snag. I wound and winded. Over and over. We were fighting sharks, and I was doing such and ordinary job of getting him up quickly I didn’t think I had a chance. Wound and wind. Over and over. Soon my whole body ached. The skipper was shouting to me to stop being a princess and ignore that lactic acid. Easy to say… this might seem dramatic but
a) I like a good story
b) It was a really ordinary rod and reel
As I wound that bad boy up inch by inch I was hoping it was something decent otherwise I would look the fool. Part of me wondered if I had a small shark as it kept taking line, and that drag was DAMN tight.

When I got it to the surface…. far out… an impressive (68cm) Coral Trout!!! When I got it in the boat, I mean, wow, what a rush. I remembered why I love fishing, why I love the Whitsundays, and that bait fishing / bottom bashing isn’t all bad!

From then on I hit the beer (my first, stop judging me, fishing comes first on these things) and let everyone have a fish for a while. My cousin pulled up a mammoth Nannygai, otherwise everyone was pretty much hitting one after the other. The trick was getting them past the sharks. I spent a bit of time teaching the newbies what to do, one particular highlight was pulling a fish past two sharks who were charging it.

Soon a few people got tried so I hit the end of the day, managed another 2 keepers and a 50cm sweetlip, which was pretty damn cool.

What a trip!!!

Me: 68cm coral trout, 50cm sweetlip, 3 40-55cm nannygai
Everyone: Lots of nannygai! And some Trevally. One more sweetlip.

Story of the trip:
Clearly my coral trout. I was so stoked with it. The wind was dead, the ocean was blue, just a great trip all around.



Me with my Coral Trout!

The old man looking happy

Cousin Gareth with the biggest Nannygai of the day, think around 80 to 90