September 2015 Guide Report Trip SummaryAndrew
This block of charters started off with an amazing week around the Jewell Reef and Howick Island area with no more than 10 knots of wind and some epic fishing sessions thrown in. The guests onboard that charter got to experience some amazing fishing from catching GTs off a pristine sand cays to popping areas with patches of fusiliers everywhere on the surface and some crazy blue water sessions with mackerel, yellowfin tuna and a massive wahoo all caught within an hour. Not to mention the amazing fresh food this provided and enjoying it while watching the sunset off a sandy beach with a great group of guests and a beer in hand. In between all this madness we also had some crazy times fishing Zman soft plastics in the deeper channels where we were getting blown away by some XXL fish and landing some monsters as well. Some of the more memorable catches were some huge 20kg plus flowery cod, multiple 12kg+ coral trout and multiple 15kg+ Maori wrasse. The next week the weather had picked up but this wasn’t going to worry us too much with loads of shelter in and around the Ingram Island area we still had some awesome GT and Spanish mackerel sessions landing 10 fish in an hour and a half with a few monsters getting off mid fight. Although there was a lot more shallow water fishing going on targeting GTs and queenfish around the sandy cays and coral trout, redbass, long nose emperor etc on the reef shallows. The marine life was thriving in and around these areas seeing multiple turtles, stingrays and dugongs almost every time you would venture near the flats. I also was fortunate to celebrate the 50th birthday of a regular guest of ours and someone I have fished with a lot since working here, and having his son and close group of friends on board was a great experience and they all had a fantastic time and are planning another “boys” trip already which I hope to be a part of again.
The best thing about this area which we experienced this trip was the fishing diversity and the options to catch most species we target here at Nomad in any weather conditions.
The first 6 day charter of this block was one of the most outstanding charters this year. Not only were they the best bunch of guys but the fishing was awesome and had glass outs every day. The highlights were the insane offshore fishing for big pelagics and large trout and also coming back to Ingram Island where we had beers and nibbles on the beach watching the sunset after each day’s fishing.
The next charter was a 2-day corporate trip with the One Steel boys. We dropped a lot of plastics in the channels of Jewell which fished well for all sorts of reefies including some good Maori wrasse and large mackerel.
The last charter for this block was for 4 days and we moved back to Ingram Island. Unfortunately we only managed to fish 2 days with bad weather moving in and forcing us to cut short the trip. Two days were spent GT fishing both mornings and finishing the afternoons with light tackle plastics in the shallows for an abundance of species and small GTs.
Highlights from the Daily Guides Reports:
Harry: Glamorous weather today to kick off the charter here at Jewell Reef. On our trip down to Hicks Reef we were greeted by a pod of humpback whales slapping their pectoral fins enjoying the fantastic weather. First pass we encountered some nice GTs around 20 kg. The water started to slow so we headed up onto the flats for some light tackle action. Seth did battle with a good sized chinaman and a stomper coral trout. Joel and Allen battled some long nosed emperor and more coral trout. With the run out tide in full swing it was back to popping the inside bommies for GTs. After lunch with the water level dropping we fished a couple of drains of the reef with light tackle targeting coral trout and Maori wrasse. We spotted a massive green turtle here. We trolled the slack tide for a couple mackerel before making the run back to Jewell Reef.
Andrew: It was a quiet start to the morning popping the outside edge for only a few red bass and a couple of GTs having a look so I headed up to a spot us guides know that is consistent with nice pelagics for a troll. It wasn’t long before we had a triple hook up on Spanish dropping one and busting the braid on the other 2 possibly due to sharks or other fish biting them off so a quick re-tie and we were back into it landing a nice 10kg mackerel before getting popped off on something big. So we ended up with a stickbait in the water which was getting smashed by the spaniards, some jumping higher than 2 meters, but the sharks were pretty savage so I headed a bit deeper in search of a yellowfin. Something grabbed the diver and started screaming off drag with a blistering run and after a 10 min fight I saw it was a massive Wahoo lit up in the water we managed to land it and we estimated it to be about 50kgs and over 2m long. The afternoon was pretty red hot as well popping for GTs with a fair few bait schools hanging around with plenty of GTs landed!
Harry: We ran the inshore line today, after an awesome sighting of several big green turtles cruising the flats we popped for GTs along a nice pressure edge it was on fire plenty of GTs around the 20kg mark hitting lures on every cast. We boated four early on and then got over run by red bass. We moved further along the ledge to escape the plague of red bass and immediately boated 2 more solid 20 kg GTs. With the change of the tide we headed to a nearby sand cay where my crew had issued themselves a challenge of landing a metre plus queenfish. The challenge unfortunately fell short but only by 5cm! The boys were happy with plenty of queenies in the 70 – 80 cm range landed so we finished the day with a few last casts at a nice pressure edge on the way back to Odyssey.
Andrew: It was quite windy out at Jewell Reef today but with an easy going group of guests it was still an enjoyable day. First thing this morning we went and trolled a channel entrance but only had one bite so we flicked some mad scads against the edge of the channel and caught a nice mix of reef species. After that we met up with the rest of the guys for lunch and had a snorkel up on the shallows checking out all the colours of the corals and all the fish species. For the afternoon we did some more trolling for a couple of mackerel then some plastics fishing for trout, emperors and Maori wrasse. After that we hit the flats for the arvo and caught a few more mixed reef fish
Damon – High expectations on the first day with Darren from South Africa a GT fishing newcomer. He was broken in after just an hour with a solid 25kg GT, and the action continued all morning with Howard and David into some good fish. Lots of variety with cod, bluefin, mackerel and GTs all morning. It went quiet for an hour before lunch so we anchored right in the reef and ate lunch, having a quick cast in the little blue hole before we left produced a red hot session lasting an hour with red bass, coral trout, spangled emperor, bluefin, Jobfish and a host of other species. This little reef hole was on fire and I reckon we pulled 50 fish in an hour, which was incredible. Staying anchored in the lagoon in flat calm water and catching a heap of fish really made for an awesome day, and the afternoon was spent doing much of the same.
Damon – the wind was pumping today, and it was always going to be a challenge. We managed 4 smallish GTs from the front edge of the reef in the first 2 hours and also went right up a little creek on Howick Island which was very scenic. We came across a little drain on the reef edge on the falling tide nod decided to anchor in there and try to repeat the previous days performance. We got lucky and after anchoring, the first cast produced frantic action on GT’s, red bass and a variety of species. This went on for an hour or so and obviously got the local Qld groper interested. The groper ate a mad scad 115 lure on the 40lb spin rod and an epic hour long fit ensued with Brian getting very lucky and landing a fish of a lifetime in the form of a 70kg Aldo groper on 40lb gear from 2m of water. The fish was released after a few pics, and it was celebration time back at Odyssey. An amazing fish and something special to experience.