Fourteen anglers have just returned from an awesome fishing adventure as Reefari Fishing Charters paired their 33ft Cougar Cat with the 80ft Centurion mothership to spend 5 days and nights fishing some remote reefs up to 200 km’s out of Mackay.
After steaming 12 hours through the night the group woke up to day 1 with the daylight breaking over the remote Trogabee reef and one real big problem…
“Where do I start first?”
I mean picture this; the water glassing out, you’re standing on a mothership that has all the comforts of home except you are 180km out to sea in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef and you have a high speed 33ft Cougar Cat and 3 other dories at your beck and call and a pile of fishing gear that you couldn’t jump over, the biggest problem you are faced with is “Where do I start first?”.
The fishing party quickly broke into smaller groups that took turns to fish the deeper waters aboard Reefari’s 33ft Cougar Cat “Raptor II” for some awesome Red Emperor fishing while the others piled into some smaller dories to fish the shallow reefs for trout, red throat and some unbelievable sessions on massive schools of trevally taking anything from poppers, minnows, slices and soft plastics.
When the team on one of the dories landed a 25+kg Great Barracuda after it put up an unbelievable aerial display in the fight they soon found themselves drawing straws on who was going to put their hand close enough to the massive rows of teeth to install the lip grips before the photos could be taken and the fish set free to fight another day.
As dark fell and day 1 drew to an end everyone was sitting around the dining table weary and sharing battle stories from the days action, we still managed to get a crew together to head out for a night session on big Red Emperor and Spangled Emperor.
By 11pm on the first night with more fish in the esky and everyone being stretched to their limit on some trophy fish, a pile of massive sharks had moved in, Raptor II returned to the Centurion for some more drinks in air conditioned luxury and a bit of sleep before it all started again on day 2.
Day 2 saw the excellent fishing continue. The Reds out in the deeper water were chewing their heads off and getting bigger and bigger with a couple of monster reds pushing over 10 kilos.
The Coral Trout and Red Throat were quality and still being pulled madly from the shallow reefs around the mothership. By the close of day 2 the Centurion and Raptor II had met up on Eaton reef further to the south where again the fishing continued into the night.
Day 3 saw the team on board Raptor 2 trolling the deep water around another far flung, Denton reef and when we ventured into a school of Yellow Fin Tuna the mayhem that broke loose with multiple hook ups and ratchets screaming had to been seen to be believed.
By the time we were done, all on board had wrangled themselves a tuna and 1 lucky punter also came out with a nice sized Spanish Mackerel. The afternoon session on Raptor II was again targeting the Red Emperor and a few Nannygai out in the deeper water while a hot session on Red Throat and Spangled Emperor erupted from the back of the Centurion mothership.
Day 4 on Raptor II was a day to remember for all and cemented the nickname of a couple. The Red Emperor fishing that had been hot all week continued into day 4 as yet another new bommie was found and produced some more excellent fishing. Linc continued with his double hook ups (an amazing 5 in a row) and then firmly secured the “2 Heads” nickname when he landed a double header of 60cm+ Red Emperor.
Dave found himself in a cod hole and when he dragged in his 2nd and biggest cod of 18kg his nickname of “Captain Cod” was also secured. With the guys arms and backs aching from pulling some of these massive fish out of 50m of water they elected for an “easier” afternoon of trolling.
This change in approach only saw more reels screaming and more arms aching as the guys hooked in to a hot session on Spanish Mackerel, the only safe place to rest up was back on the mothership where you could hide without dangling a line in the water, so that is where they retired for the remainder of the afternoon to recharge on a few cold ales.
Day 5 was spent fishing one of the local islands, Penrith Island for Trout and Red Throat, and before you knew it the 5 magical days fishing the pristine waters wide of Mackay had drawn to an end. Another top mother shipping adventure with Reefari and Centurion charters had run its course and while still charged with the mountains of new fishing memories plans can now begin for the next big adventure.
Well done to the team on Reefari for organising another top fishing holiday.
Mackay Game Fishing Club