August 2015 Guide Report Trip Summary
After a short break down at the Gold Coast for the fishing tackle trade show it was time for another trip to Jewell Reef and the surrounding Islands and cays. For me the trip started in Cairns hopping onboard Odyssey for the steam up to Lizard Island overnight to pick up the group of keen anglers at around midday. Once in the lee of Lizard Island the 3 guides spent the morning getting all the gear ready for the next week of solid fishing.
Before long we had 9 excited guys on board and after a quick lunch we all headed off towards Jewell reef where Odyssey would be anchored for the night. Rather than try find GTs on the first arvo we opted for a leisurely plastics fish in the channels on the southern side of the reef with plenty of fish coming on board and a mix of cod and trout but sadly losing all mackerel to bite offs. The next day was a little windy so we decided to give the flats a go first up with an awesome variety of fish found from big flowery cod to packs of longnose emperor. The GTs weren’t there to play but we had the usual bust off from unstoppable reefies. After that we tried a troll to see if we could get a Spanish mackerel for the chef and on the first run we landed a nice Mackie and a huge red bass. The afternoon proved a bit quiet as we tried to find the GTs but they just weren’t in the mood to play. The order of the next day was to try to catch the monster Spanish mackerel that I had found on the previous charter but it seemed I had a Mackerel curse that day catching just about everything on the troll but a mackerel! A couple of the standout catches were a 12kg trout and a bit of an uncommon capture for us on the East coast a big purple spot cod that took a liking to a trolled hardbody! We then headed off to fish the area around Howick Island which proved a lot more productive for the GTs and even the light tackle fishing was pretty amazing.
We had one day where we started off the day with a couple of GTs then moved onto the light tackle fishing plastics and caught an awesome variety of fish, then back to Odyssey for a bit of lunch then back to the GTs where we had an a great arvo bite landing a fair few fish including a double hook up. After that we went exploring to see if a wreck marked on the chart existed and if anyone was home. We found the wreck pretty quickly and with a sounder lit up it didn’t take long for a few fish to come over the side with nannygai to 10kg and a couple of mackerel all on the plastics. For the rest of the trip we focused on the GTs and light tackle fishing on plastics around the Islands and had a ball with some epic sessions. Before long the 7 days were up and it was time to head back to Lizard to pick up the next lot of anglers for a 4 day trip on the Ribbon Reefs.
On the first afternoon we ran down south to our first stop on the charter but the GTs didn’t play the game for the first afternoon with 2 trout around 10kgs landed and a small GT on the heavy gear. Next day was a lot more productive with a few nice trout landed to start off the day on plastics up to 10kg which the chef was happy about. Then we set off in search of GTs and found a lot on the runout tide with balls of fusiliers everywhere and angry GTs chomping at the bit to eat poppers. On the low tide we were lucky enough to find a blue hole that had some GTs and red bass to keep us entertained for the slack tide. Then it was a solid arvo of plastics fishing with trout and various others coming over the side. Again the next day we went in search of GTs and it was fairly consistent all day finding fish in glamour conditions. Sadly that was the end of the 5 knots and the next day was back to windy conditions so the morning was slow but the afternoon we changed tactics and jigged for some trout then trolled up a big Spanish mackerel. On the last morning we decide to stay close to the boat and see if we could find another big mackerel but first fish was a little better than that with a 12kg dogtooth then a mackerel a short time later and that brought us to the end of the charter.
The next group hopped onboard and we headed back North but with the wind on the first afternoon we struggled a little and only ended up with a few fish on the plastics but one was a decent GT. Next morning was still windy so we headed up onto the flats where we found a good variety of reefies ready to eat anything we threw at them and even found a couple of GTs but only managed to get one to the boat. Again the next day we headed up into the shallows where everything was in the mood to steal lures so we went to the heavy gear and we managed to pull out a nice GT and some trout. The arvo brought some better weather so we headed in search of GTs and found them quickly with bait balls on most pressure points and managed a few for the arvo and some red bass and trout mixed in. Last morning we tried to troll up a few fish for a bit of relaxing and ended up with a trout mackerel and a good GT on the troll and missed a lot more mackerel.
We started off with a 6 day trip to Jewell and Howick Island. This was a consistent trip fishing wise with the guys wanting to chase all sorts of species as well as GTs. Howick produced good fishing as usual along with awesome scenery, the Western Australian boys were into the red fishing so we dropped quite a few plastics throughout the charter for some great sized largemouth nannygai, amongst a heap of other species.
The next four days was a travel trip from Lizard Island to Escape Reef with a few long standing guests, the great weather on the first day let us run all the way to number 9 Ribbon, and the highlight was the amazing weather. The inshore reefs fished quite well throughout that charter for nice sized GTs and good amounts of bait.
The last charter for this block fished Escape to St Crispins Reef. The fishing was good, the weather chopped up a little but all the boys were keen to hit the flats for some good sessions of red bass and trout.
Highlights from the Daily Guides Reports:
Andrew – Today I had hardcore GT fishermen with no runs on the board and on the second day the pressure was on. A slow start saw a few nerves but a bluefin trevally took the edge off. With plenty of casting we started to see some more fish and boated a couple until we hit a corner that looked the same as everywhere else except for the first cast when about 10 GTs came charging off the shallows fighting for the poppers and boom we were on a solid 22kger. This went on for 45 mins and we boated 6 GTs with a few monsters lost! It was an awesome session, after that we had a pretty quiet arvo but everyone was happy ending up with 10 GTs and a couple of other fish mixed in between
Jason – For the first full day of fishing with the new group I had the GT crew on, having a good run out most of the morning we headed west to some coastal reefs, it was an exciting morning with bulk big red bass and a hand full of GTs and 3 metre bull shark. The afternoon was much quieter with a bit of deep water jigging and a lot of casting on the outer edge of the reef. The highlight of today was the glamour weather and a nice banger close to 30kgs on a GT ice cream.
Jason – Today was a good day as we set off from Odyssey on a complete glass out, we headed for the flats and before long we had a couple of nice red bass and some trout on the small plastics. All this was done while waiting for the tide to start to push out, and once this started we set off inshore in search of some GTs. It wasn’t long after we had caught our first GT and we continued on catching a couple and missing a few others. Before lunch I took the guys back to the outside edge of no.5 and trolled skirts til the tide pushed back in. The afternoon was epic, still glass out, we had bait balls after bait balls of fusiliers and the GT fishing was on. Triple hook up, schools of GTs swimming under the boat and mackerel everywhere. Was an awesome way to end the day.
Andrew – Glamour conditions today just like the post card made spotting the pressure and bait easy and the fish were on! Howard a regular repeat guest’s words were “his best day fishing” – weather/company and 10 GTs before lunch!
Declan – Conditions today were amazing with a glass out for most of the day. We had a bit of a slow morning but then moved onto the GTs and found a fair few in the awesome conditions around heaps of bait. We tried to fish some light tackle in the arvo but struggled with a fair few big GTs hooked and lost. We had a bit of fun fishing after dinner with some good fish landed like mangrove jacks and even a couple red emperor.
Jason – Had a great day today as we fished from Escape to St Crispins through the inshore reefs. We had awesome fun on the GTs with bulk bait and fish on just about every bombie. The guys caught a few cracker sized mackies in amongst the action and lost some good lures to them also. Highlight of the day was having a late lunch on a sand cay down near St Crispins, the weather was not the best but it didn’t bother the fishing.