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Thread: Whitsundays 21/22

  1. #1

    Whitsundays 21/22

    Well - lets just say that my Whitsundays trip was memorable in so many ways - sometimes for the good & sometimes for the bad ……. If anything it made me take stock & think of my future trips to NQ. We left Sydney as planned (5am Christmas day) got through the Border ok with no cars ahead & proceeded to our overnighter at Caliguel lagoon (Condamine) - lovely spot Caliguel lagoon.jpg . Up early & proceeded to Airlie beach along the way meeting a torrential downpour which lasted overnight & into the morning .
    Monday saw the start of the dramas - I left the trundle drawer opened when we left for the boat ramp only to see the damage as we pulled into a garage for fuelling. 2 hours were lost trying to remove the drawer ( the damage may run into several thousands if not requiring a whole new tray).
    Taking a deep breath we headed over to Naris beach (at least the rain stopped) - we set up camp camp.jpg & later decided in perfect conditions to go & have a fish at a nearby shoal . I didn’t really fish but my young bloke was blown away by at least 3 fish that he couldn’t stop on 40lb ….. no fish landed but a really nice evening.serenity.jpg
    Over the next couple of days we did some exploring / snorkelling & a trip to Hammo for our day 5 covid test (thankfully that was no longer a requirement). We did have one afternoon fishing session at an islet near Edward Island where the fishing was hot - once again I didn’t fish much (helping my young bloke) but he managed to get the runs on the board with a really nice trout & a leaping Spanish mackerel Jakes 1st trout .jpgJakes 1st mackerel.jpg… enough fish for us for the next week . There were lots of bite offs , bust offs & when I did manage to get a line in – I destroyed a very nice rod when what I assume was a GT took a sharp dive breaking the rod just above the foregrip . It was a surprise considering that I was only fishing maybe 4-5kg of drag (Daiwa Certate 4000) … we’ll have to see what Mr Miller says.
    We did get hit by some heavy rains & winds just before New Year ….. a lot of rain actually which has certainly made me think about adding a auto bilge pump - it’s not nice getting up at 3am in pissing rain to haul the boat in & run the bilge pump. ( did that a few times over a couple of nights). Still managed to do stuff - snorkel around Butterfly bay & out to Border Island which was pretty good till the spring tides & wind change to the NW reduced visibility .
    We did get out to Black reef for a day Black reef.jpg– did some more snorkelling … plus fished the reef flats getting a few red throat & grassies on subsurface lures (Westin swims) . Managed to get some lovely squid too. Then while my young bloke snorkelled the reefs edge I did some bottom fishing getting plenty of small trout , the odd red throat , Spanish flag etc …. Nothing to write home about but it was a good feed for the next few nights.
    The pain in the bum was dealing with the wind direction change to the NW – specially on the spring tides at 0.3m . The continual loop anchoring 120m of rope worked for the majority of the trip but the last 3 nights I had to drop the boat on the sand …. No big deal though it just meant later starts .
    The woes did continue – the 3D transducer was ripped off its mount ( pulled screws) so I had to tie that thing off for half the trip . A second transducer was damaged on the falling tide .
    Oh & while the march flies were pretty well absent – I got smashed by sandflies …. Specially getting up in the middle of the night to adjust the boat ( I should have used the Bushmans) .
    The last day we attempted to get out to bait reef on a 10-15knt NW - we made it … but holy hell . It was still an hour to the top of the tide & there was the best part of 1.2 m of swell coming over the reef .. it was ugly & sitting on the public mooring was dangerous with the odd greenie coming over the bow . I made the decision to get out of there rather than wait it out for 3 hrs plus – but even exiting the reef was akin to a bad bar crossing on a run out tide …... we headed back to snorkel the Manta ray bay area & give George the Māori wrasse the remainder of the bait / squid we had . He is a magnificent fish & very friendly . It was also pretty cool hand feeding a particular black GT which was like feeding a pit bull (except that it too slowed down & put its head out of the water like George waiting for a feed.GT.jpgGeorge the Wrasse.jpg
    Next morning was pack up - talk about sweat ….. as the boat was still sitting on the sand we loaded all the heavy stuff - once the tide came in it was pull the anchor in then nose the boat into the beach to pick up the last of the gear & young bloke (easier said than done with ½ m waves & a 15knt NW wind . Back to Airlie & on the road by 12pm heading to Rockhampton for our motel then the 18 hr drive back to Penrith
    Now the clean up & repairs .
    As mentioned earlier - I’ve come to the conclusion that these trips are no longer for me (not the island camping anyway) . It’s a lot of gear to take (specially in 1 trip) . Dealing with fringing reef & low tides .. nahtides.jpg . Running generators to charge batteries for the leccy & fridge / camp every day is a chore. Most of all the benefit (other than isolation) just doesn’t justify it – not if the reef is your target destination. Yes you can get some good fishing nearby but this trip was more about my young blokes passion for reef snorkelling(coral & fish) ….. so my fishing took a back seat - I could have thrown topwater on numerous occasions but didn’t - I’ll leave that when I’ve got another fishoe with me. It was still a great trip with my young bloke & I know he had a ball .

    Chris
    Give a man a fish & he will eat for a day !
    Teach him how to fish
    & he will sit in a boat - & drink beer all day!
    TEAM MOJIKO

  2. #2

    Re: Whitsundays 21/22

    Fantastic report mate , looks like you and your son had a ball , Matt
    A bad days fishing has got to be better than any day at work......


  3. #3

    Re: Whitsundays 21/22

    Good report mate and I can appreciate the effort of remote and island camping. It was a pretty ordinary period for weather too. I’m sure the memories of the bad bits will fade and you’ll be planning another trip in no time, probably pre-summer! Cheers

  4. #4

    Re: Whitsundays 21/22

    Quote Originally Posted by Kev_McC View Post
    Good report mate and I can appreciate the effort of remote and island camping. It was a pretty ordinary period for weather too. I’m sure the memories of the bad bits will fade and you’ll be planning another trip in no time, probably pre-summer! Cheers
    August

    Chris
    Give a man a fish & he will eat for a day !
    Teach him how to fish
    & he will sit in a boat - & drink beer all day!
    TEAM MOJIKO

  5. #5

    Re: Whitsundays 21/22

    Thanks for sharing Chris . Top report.

  6. #6

    Re: Whitsundays 21/22

    Good report Chris but Na not for me too any problems.

  7. #7
    Ausfish Silver Member Ducksnutz's Avatar
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    Apr 2017
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    Beachmere
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    Re: Whitsundays 21/22

    Hey Chris,

    Great report mate! Out of curiosity, was it the “Beast Buster” from Ian Miller’s production rod that you snapped?
    Matilda

  8. #8
    Ausfish Addict disorderly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    In the Jungle

    Re: Whitsundays 21/22

    Looks great, mate...thanks for the report...

    Hard yakka for dad but the end result is some priceless quality father/son adventures that create memories forever ..

    How good is George..!..i'd love to swim with a cool critter like him..

    Has the boy got a Go Pro with a waterproof case ..?.be nice to see some underwater pics next time....

    Nice job Dad..

  9. #9

    Re: Whitsundays 21/22

    Great report Chris. Memorable father son time together. Despite the few problem.s, I am sure you will remember the good times together. Great pics too. Cheers SS

  10. #10

    Re: Whitsundays 21/22

    Quote Originally Posted by disorderly View Post
    Looks great, mate...thanks for the report...

    Hard yakka for dad but the end result is some priceless quality father/son adventures that create memories forever ..

    How good is George..!..i'd love to swim with a cool critter like him..

    Has the boy got a Go Pro with a waterproof case ..?.be nice to see some underwater pics next time....

    Nice job Dad..
    I had issues with the gopro but we did get a couple of shots last time - He is even more impressive underwater

    George.jpgGeorge 2.jpg
    Give a man a fish & he will eat for a day !
    Teach him how to fish
    & he will sit in a boat - & drink beer all day!
    TEAM MOJIKO

  11. #11

    Re: Whitsundays 21/22

    Quote Originally Posted by Ducksnutz View Post
    Hey Chris,

    Great report mate! Out of curiosity, was it the “Beast Buster” from Ian Miller’s production rod that you snapped?
    "Toad" one of the custom rods

    Chris
    Give a man a fish & he will eat for a day !
    Teach him how to fish
    & he will sit in a boat - & drink beer all day!
    TEAM MOJIKO

  12. #12

    Re: Whitsundays 21/22

    Hi mate did you get to christen the new talica / anthem combo?

  13. #13

    Re: Whitsundays 21/22

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy C View Post
    Hi mate did you get to christen the new talica / anthem combo?
    A couple of 100cm Spanish whilst trolling - but didn't really use it much .

    Chris
    Give a man a fish & he will eat for a day !
    Teach him how to fish
    & he will sit in a boat - & drink beer all day!
    TEAM MOJIKO

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