Nomad Sportfishing Adventures has provided pioneering & unique sportfishing adventures to some of the most remote parts of Australia for over 15 years. Exceptional service, quality and value for customers is at the core of everything we do.
Our first priority is to provide you with the very best bluewater fishing adventure holidays available through the use of the latest technology in boats, tackle, techniques and equipment, combined with stunning locations, outstanding service and great value for money. Experienced crew, spectacular locations with the highest quality of service, and of course, awesome fishing, you will have no better host for your next fishing adventure than Nomad Sportfishing Adventures!
Nomad Sportfishing is a family owned and operated business started by Damon Olsen in 2001. Trips were originally run around Fraser Island, in Central Queensland. We regularly caught GTs on poppers over 60kg, which resulted in bookings from anglers across the world. The operation expanded in 2005, when our 80ft Mothership was launched and the charter business in its current form was born.
A keen interest in tackle and fishing techniques has seen us launch our own tackle manufacturing brand in 2015 – Nomad Design Tackle. This brand was born from our years of fishing in some of the world’s toughest environments and testing tackle to the limits on massive fish. We found out very quickly what worked and what did not!
Crafted by Experience is the tagline for Nomad Design Tackle, that applies equally to Nomad Sportfishing Adventures charter trips. Each and every trip and tackle product we offer has decades of on water experience put into the design, development and testing of products and into the implementation and planning of trips. It is more than a tagline, it is who we are.
Our desire to make innovative and better tackle that lasts longer, is technically and fundamentally better and delivers better value to anglers is the core value behind the tackle business. This drives us on a daily basis to make better products that allow anglers to catch more fish and enjoy their time on the water. Currently Nomad Design Tackle is sold in retail stores and through distributors in over 20 countries globally. We operate Nomad Design Tackle directly in Australia and in the USA, and we work with Distributors in other countries around the world to provide a high level of service to retailers.
In 2019 we partnered with Far North Sports Fishing to operate our mothership fishing charters. The Far North Sports Fishing team have been running fishing charters in Far North Queensland for many years and are an experienced team with an emphasis on quality service. Our aim in working with Far North Sports Fishing is to combine resources – knowledge, facilities and crew – in order to continue to offer a premium experience to our valued guests.
Nomad Sportfishing Adventures charter operation started as a pipedream for Damon Olsen in the late 1990s. The goal was to set up one of the world’s premier bluewater sportfishing operations in the pristine and untouched waters of the Coral Sea, far beyond the edge of the world famous Great Barrier Reef.
The idea of building an 80ft mothership, serviced by a fleet of smaller sportfishing centre consoles, and accessed by a 2-3hr floatplane trip into the middle of the ocean was no small feat, and an ambitious goal by any standards. Much of what was planned had never been done anywhere in the world.
In the early 2000s, the dream became a reality, with the launch of the 80ft catamaran mothership Odyssey. Many years on, Nomad Sportfishing Adventures is widely regarded as one of the premier bluewater sportfishing experiences in the world, having been featured on TV shows in over 28 countries, and with thousands of happy anglers having experienced the dream of fishing some of the world’s most remote coral reefs, and some of the world’s finest fishing.
Nomad Sportfishing Adventures was first registered as a business name and started by father and son team John and Damon Olsen in March 2000. Operated by Damon Olsen, the business started out with a 42ft steel hull cruiser and a 34ft Kevlacat fishing around the top of Fraser Island. This area proved excellent for targetting BIG GTs and jigging for amberjack, and Nomad Sportfishing soon found a niche in the GT fishing and jigging market. Early on in the business Tim Baker was taken onboard as deckhand for the Fraser Island trips.
The idea of a mothership operation at Fraser was a good one, but there were challenges. By 2003, the bookings were going quite well, but the weather at Fraser Island was proving a problem, with a lot of charters being lost due to the inability to access the fishing grounds. This led to the decision to look further afield for other areas in which to operate GT fishing, gamefishing, deepwater jigging and flyfishing charters.
After an exploratory trip to the Coral Sea in December 2003, the decision was made in early 2004 to proceed with a large mothership and a fleet of smaller centre consoles to access the remote areas of the Coral Sea. After the exploratory trip, it was obvious that the only way to access this area was by the use of a floatplane or helicopter. Being able to offer easy and reliable access to the fishing grounds was essential, and the use of 2 x 36ft sportfishers and the fleet of smaller centre consoles paved the way for every conceivable fishing option.
After a gruelling year of boatbuilding at the Cairns Custom Craft Factory in Cairns, with Tim Baker and Ed Lester assisting Damon Olsen for 5 months full time during the build process, the 80ft vessel “Odyssey” was finally ready to start exploring the Coral Sea in August 2005. The ensuing years of exploration of the Coral Sea, Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait have revealed a fishery which was beyond what anyone could have hoped for. The diverse range of fishing options, and variety of vessels from which these are available, are unmatched within the Australian Fishing Industry.
In 2006, Damon Olsen’s wife, Claire Gobe, joined the business as office manager and helped establish a new office in Brisbane. The Brisbane office has since been moved to Brendale on the north side of Brisbane, and it is the base for all operations, with the boats working out of Cairns throughout the yearly schedule.
In late 2011, John Olsen retired from his engineering business, and now spends time around the office in what he calls a “senior advisor” role.
Nomad Sportfishing Adventures is essentially a small family business, now employing a total of between 12-15 people annually, and all of its employees pride themselves on delivering professional service, attention to detail, spectacular fishing holiday locations and the highest quality of boats and equipment.
Having grown up in Australia casting lures for barramundi, and anything else that would take a lure, Damon already had a passion for lures and fishing that some would describe as extreme. The charter business had required sourcing tackle from all over the world to find the toughest and the best gear to withstand the brutal fishing in the Coral Sea. Damon put his engineering background to good use and started researching and developing a range of lures and tackle that would be perfect for the demanding predators of the Coral Sea.
With decades of experience on the water watching lures, guiding clients, and learning about fish habits and behaviours, there was a wealth of design ideas ready to be unleashed, but the final product needed to be worthy of the Nomad name and reputation. This was no overnight process, with over 5 years spent on learning the art of making lures, sourcing the best materials, understanding the processes, and finding the best factories and manufacturers to work with. Every lure started with an idea, then a hand drawn sketch before the lengthy process of turning an idea into a working lure. Every design idea had a purpose, which needed to be tested and perfected, which all takes time.
In mid 2015, Nomad Design launched 3 models onto the Australian market, with immediate success and widespread demand for more. This set the stage for a massive launch the following year, with huge demand for products both domestically and internationally. Within 3 months of launching, distributors had been setup in 9 different countries, and the Nomad Design Brand was quickly established as the premium bluewater lure brand in Australia.
Our mission is to use our experience to offer innovative products, which offer quality and value for money, to anglers all over the world. Crafted by Experience means a great deal to us, it is more than a slogan, it has been hard won, it has been earned, through decades of experience on the water starting and running one of the world’s premier bluewater sportfishing charter operations in Australia’s remote Coral Sea.