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Extended Adventure Trips Frederick & Elusive Aug 2013By Alex, Nomad Trip Manager | Pro Guide: profile page >> [/jcolumns] [/vc_column_text] [/vc_column] [vc_column width=”1/1″ last=”last”] [vc_column_text width=”1/1″ last=”last”] [jcolumns model=”1,3,1,3″] Reef/s: Months: [jcol/] Frederick – Elusive Reefs August 2013 [jcol/] Duration: Trips: [jcol/] 3 weeks Coral Sea Extended Adventure Trips (9 days per trip!!) [/jcolumns] [/vc_column_text] [/vc_column] [vc_column width=”1/1″ last=”last”] [vc_column_text width=”1/1″ last=”last”] As I sat in Brisbane and looked at the weather report for the next week I got very excited, light to variable winds and the trip to Frederick was go. As we prepared to land in the seaplane there was not a whitecap to be seen, I think I was more exited than our guests, only because I knew what we were in for. As soon as the second plane landed, we dropped the tows and set off.
The guests were a bit surprised when we started rigging hundreds of wire traces to try and prepare for the carnage. It was about 10am when we saw the Eiffel Tower weather station in the distance and started getting really pumped, the electric purple water, long slow swells and big flying fish carving around effortlessly things looked good.
The first afternoon took a little while to find the major population of fish but when we did it was on. All four boats drifting round each other with multiple hookups and screaming drags, this is what we came here for WAHOO MANIA.
That afternoon one crazy thing happened to me, I was just explaining to the guys that you need to be careful when working stickbaits back to the boat when it happened. A 30kg Hoo jumped clean out of the water narrowly missing Greg and Jason and crashed straight into the boat. It came straight over the engine and crashed under the seat destroying my tackle kit in the process. This thing made a serious mess and must have been quite a sight to see me slipping over in a slime pit trying to subdue this thing. It was an unreal start to a trip.
The next day everyone started off where we left off, having more crazy wahoo action. Kerry lost a nice wahoo on fly and we all enjoyed the amazing takes on the hookless teaser. The weather kept getting better, you know it’s a special week when there is not a ripple on the surface and the dories can comfortably go chasing billfish and big bluewater fish 400km off the coast. And that’s just what they did, Brett got mike onto a nice black marlin of about 200lb on a jigrod, this was after boating a 42kg Gt that morning! It’s safe to say they wont forget that day in a hurry.
The next few days were a blur of airborne Wahoo, screaming drags and lineburning action. I think it was day 3 and we had plans to go chase big yellowfin and doggies on the jig but when we got into the wahoo it just didn’t happen. We spend the next few hours in a fish frenzy. Big wahoo up to 177cm just going nuts, I think we ended up with 30 for the day until the arms were too sore. And boating 30 is hooking about 70-100 it was insane. Then we managed to get stuck into a few hounds as well.
One goal of a few guests was a serious crack at a billfish, so I broke out the riggers but no bingo unfortunately, these two days of chasing stickfaces still had some good action. Yelowfin to 30-35kg smashing skirts and stickbaits kept us entertained while we kept hunting for the billy. It was a bit tough though to hear the other guys smashing the fish. Mick was smashing the Gts getting another two over the 35kg mark whilst Chad was out playing with some more monster Wahoo and got the new PB of the trip a 185cm Monster that would have been well over 40kg.
Earlier in the week the current was coming from the south but the last two days swung around and started pumping in from the North. This opened up a whole new area for us to go and explore and it produced as well. Big yellowfin hung out here, Brett put Mike onto yet another trophy fish, this time a yellowfin of 45kg. This duo was on fire. Mick was hooking some nice fin on the poppers boating them up to 30kg but said they lost an absolute horse of about 50kg when it got sharked under the boat.
Regrettably it was our last full day at Frederick, but it was one of the best days fishing I have had in a while. It is also a day Chad will not forget in a hurry when dehooking a large Mahi-Mahi went pear shaped, I’ll let him explain that next time.
The last full day I had quite a list of fish for the guys to get, Big Yellowfin, Mahi-Mahi, maybe a Billfish and some doggies. At least they weren’t picky.
The yellowfin played the game with some nice 20kg models coming aboard early on before we got nailed hooed and they took a few skirts home. In the haste to get lures back out there we just threw a minnow and stickbait out while I re-rigged like a man possessed. Mid Fg knot Pauls reel started screaming out in protest and to our surprise a Marlin had nailed the Downsider minnow. In some sick, twisted curve ball thrown by mother nature a Wahoo has hit the lure out of the Marlins mouth, needless to say Christmas was ruined.
After we recovered from the Houdini Marlin we made up for it with a nice 16kg Mahi Mahi that put on a great performance, greyhounding around the ocean after hammering the Dogtooth 150.
So we still had Doggies and big fin to go. No problem. Whilst trolling around there were some nice showings right on the northern tip of the reef, just as the reef edge started dropping off to the abyss, perfect place to nail a doggie and get some lactic acid building up in the arms after some deep jigging. First drop and we got monstered, this critter was not coming up without a fight and peeled 50m of line in a heartbeat before straightening the hook. It was game on. We managed to land a couple of smaller models up to 20kg but got beaten by a couple of bigger ones. The call was then made to go throw some poppers and we went in a bit shallower to see what we could find. The beauty of the coral sea is the clarity of the water, the fish can see the lures from so far down and have no hesitation coming up from 20-30m to smash a popper. We found a nice little outcrop coming the brunt of the northern current and it was on for young and old. First few casts and Chads popper was crashed next to the boat by a 20kg doggie that swam away happily after a few happy snaps. Then the bigger dogs came to play we missed setting the hooks on one that displaced so much water it was insane. Then a few casts later Paul threw his popper in the middle of a school of oceanic queenies getting hassled and it disappeared in another huge explosion. The hooks pulled after a brief fight and it was either another doggie or huge Gt. We finished the drift and last cast Chad lost his favourite popper to a big hound around 40kg that popped the leader after a blistering run. It was an unforgettable session with everything coming up on the poppers was huge.
After that purple patch we started trolling back to Odyssey and after 5 minutes had a triple on 20-30kg fin. It was incredible. Halfway back a tailing marlin cruised past showed a brief interest before continuing on its way. It was an unbelievable day but if we stuck a couple of those big hounds and a marlin it would have been one of the all time days for me.
Frederick really is a special place, and I feel so lucky to have experienced yet again with a great bunch of guys on the boat who all had a blast. It really was a great week, Marlin, Big yellowfin, huge angry Wahoo and 40kg Gts. Take me back!
It was a bit hard not to feel slightly deflated after leaving Frederick Reef in glassy conditions to come back to the Hardline, but in the calm weather the Gts come out to play! The new punters came onboard with a group of 6 mates from Victoria, a couple of South African brothers from Dubai, Farmers from Qld and a couple of solo Gt warriors, and with weather conditions looking variable all week things were set for a cracking trip.
The first day things were a bit out of character, heaps of bait but slow lethargic fish that did not want to eat. Not a worry though as the light tackle rods were taken out of the quiver and all sorts of light pelagic critters were tamed. Then a quick blast down to one known doggie haunt and we got a nice puppie on the troll for sashimi, the day was a bit slow for all boats but we could see the ingredients there and the next day everyone wanted to bake a cake.
Day two was much the same weather wise, 5-10 knots of winter bliss on the Coral sea and the boys were excited. We got onto a few gts early with a few of the Victorians losing their virginity to some angry fish. Then the arms were sore and a move to the shallows was called. We caught a few critters but nothing of note until I stumbled onto a gem. One shallow flat covered in some algae that looked average, however all sorts of big reefies were hanging on it. First few casts were a triple on Spangos of about 5-6kg, these things were coming up in packs like Gts and mauling the stickshads. We then lost a few stickshads and I put the call in to Mick who was fishing close by to come drop some off.
While he was coming over we deployed a lightly weighted plastic and found Chinatown. Big angry Chinaman were coming thick and fast and as the flat was mostly broken coral and Algae they had no means to bust us off. It was a true show of the dogged nature of these pretty reef dwellers, they were peeling 40-50m of line in the initial blistering run before slugging it out and coming aboard for a quick photo. We must have boated 10 chinaman to about 8-9kg on the light rods this was insane!
Mick arrived and joined in on the action as well getting a few golden trevally out of the fray as well. It was an eye opener and just shows never disregard a piece of water. The rest of the day was spent throwing poppers until the arms were too sore and we headed back to lick our wounds.
The other boats were smashing the Gts today so everyone was pumped for some big days to come. The next couple of days were a bit of a blur, Gt mania and also trying a few different things. The Victorians were keen to chase some Sails so we did just that. One day we raised 4 and had one cheeky one in the spread for ages that hit two skirts then spat out our bellyflap pitch bait but was an awesome sight. Bretto did the same the next day raising 5 and sticking the hooks into one but it threw it in spectacular fashion after putting on a nice show of acrobatics.
Then the weather went from light winds to no winds, complete glass off. It really is something special to be hundreds of Kms off the coast and get zero wind. So calm you cannot pick horizon, but bait on the other hand shows its self big time.
The surface strikes in the glass off conditions are the sort of life changing experience that makes people addicted to this style of fishing. A bow wave screaming in from 40m away, then head, shoulders and bucket mouth of a big Gt engulfing the lure. Its special stuff.
On this particular morning I had brother Matt and Shane along with ring and now member of the exclusive Pink Buff club, Tiny. I had one of the most enjoyable days fishing with these guys. Crazy fishing, horrible chat, huge amounts of banter and many, many laughs. This day another moment in Gt fishing history was formed. The Simba hold for a photo, stay tuned as I’m sure it will go global rather quickly.
On a serious note though, we smashed the fish today and boated 16 to 28kgs and pulled the hooks on at least 20 with many more takes and splashes. We had one patch on a deeper shoal where the fish were outrageous , we had a couple of double hookups but pulled the hooks. Boated a few but it was the fish we missed that made this spot. One point Matt had just pulled the hooks on a nice fish under the boat then fired out another only to see a wind knot halfway out. As he began to wind it back in a monster fish tried to nail the lure with Matt shrieking in a manner that I have only ever heard back in primary school when I accidently walked into the girl’s toilets. Everyone on the boat was in stitches all day and it was just an all round cracker day with a great bunch of guys.
The next day was another peach on the brine. More glass out conditions. I had farmers Glen and Nev and aussie Dave with me on the boat and we were all keen to get stuck in. After a few misses and takes we were still on a donut and we made a move to a reef I had not fished before. When we got there I got very excited. It was my favourite kind of Gt territory. Shallow bommies with a heap of current in a nice sandy bay. Things were about to get fun. Each bommie had a pack of fish on them and we wasted no time getting stuck into them. About lunch time we had 8 nice fish to the boat and I mentioned that we might beat the South African brothers tally from yesterday and the dynamic changed. It was now a competition and the game faces were on. In the next few hours we nailed another 10 fish and destroyed a Penn reel. It was mayhem but yet another great day on the water.
The last day was much of the same, big angry Gts that wanted to play but after the huge week the arms were tired and snorkeling was called early. All the boats nailed 8-10 fish and it really was a great week out there.
After a two-day restock we were ready for our last trip of the season to the elusive area. It was a corporate trip with Onesteel and they were in for a treat, still Mother Nature was happy with us and the weather was glorious. Everyone got stuck into the fish early with the Dories finding some amazing blue hole action getting a handful between 30-40kgs and many more smaller models along with bludger and goldspot mania. Out on the edges Chad and I had heaps of bait to play with and the fish were hungry and angrier than last week. One spot I fished was insane; bait schools with a patch of rainbow runner bubbling between them. I told one of the guys to fire a cast into the runner for a change and a pack of 40kg fish fought over the lure until one nailed it and took it home as a keepsake. We smashed the fish until the arms were sore and went back for a beer.
The next day was the same, hungry angry fish that wanted to play. We started off a bit slow but after lunch things hotted up big time. The guys were talking shop over a sandwich and I threw a cast out just to see what was happening and a monster nailed it. I thought I had gone soft as I had not caught a Gt in a while but this thing turned out to be a 40kg monster that went very hard.
We then got stuck into a patch of bigger fish around one tiny shallow drain in about 6m of water. Every drift we hooked and either boated of lost a nice fish. We got 2 others over 30kg and got schooled by 2 more. One we fought for about 10min and chased it around some danger country only to have it pull the hooks under the boat. The drive home was great, dodging pods of mother and calf humpbacks that were resting in the shallows. These guys were all done by 3pm and for the first time in nomad history we left the reef early when the thought of picking up another rod almost brought the guys to tears. Another amazing trip with about 70-80Gts being boated in 2 days. It was good stuff.
Now we are about to head north to go and play with the plethora of critters up there that will no doubt lighten some tackle boxes, stay tuned!
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