Wow, has it been a month since my last update?
After finishing our trip with Steve and Catherine on a high with 2 really big fish, we couldnt wait to get back out for another trip, this time with Dave and his friends from Canberra.
This was Daves second trip to the reef this year, and decided to come back and fish on TRADITION this trip to try for a big one
Well, with a few good fish seen in the middle, I headed out there for a day or two. The weather was flat calm, and with only one other boat around who had not seen anything, I headed up Number 3 Ribbon and the water was getting better and better the further I went. After a little time in the opening between #3 and #4, I headed up a little bit further on #4 and got the bite we were looking for. Dave fought a really tough fish for an hour or so with some blistering runs and big 30 foot long jumps. An awesome big fish for Dave, just what he had been dreaming about, a solid 900 lber!!!!
The rest of the trip was a bit slow, with a few smaller fish bites, but lots of big mackerals, and nice weather.
We spent a day with the Atlantic Princess and her guests, light tackle fishing and snorkelling, after a rough start to the day, it calmed off in the afternoon for a wonderful day with the boys.
Our last big trip out of Cairns started after a week off due to bad weather, and we spent a week out wide. We visited the remote atolls of Holmes Reef, Flora Reef and McDermott Bank, all of which are about 100nm from the mainland, and well within the range of TRADITION.
The fishing is as diverse as the reefs are, dogtooth tuna, yellowfin tuna , GT’s, jobfish, blue and black marlin, coral trout, the region has it all.
We caught about everything on offer, with lots of GT’s on poppers, jigging jobfish down on McDermott Bank. Where the water was alive with fish, dogtooths, schools of scad and rainbow runners on the surface and some nice yellowfin tunas just off the edge. We also managed to harrass the schools of yellowfin tuna and ended up with plenty for the table. The spearing was also better than most of the season, with lots of big trout in the shallows and deep water alike.
We didnt get a shot at any blue marlin, but did manage to get a few bites from blacks, and caught all 3 of them. A small one on the way from Flora to McDermott Bank, and then on the way in to the edge, caught one about 450 that just stayed on top and screamed off line while we chased her all over the ocean. And later in the day we had an awesome bite from another big fish. She crashed the big bait, and just kind of sat there swimming slowly out to sea. With sustained drag and some great angling, up she came, shallower and shallower on each run, till we got her up close enough for a good look. Lots of color down deep, and when she stuck her head up, WOW, another really big fish.
The boys tagged her and we pulled her next to the boat for a few pics before letting her keep going on her way.
A really nice big fish, and our 3rd solid grander of the season. An awesome way to end our heavy tackle season.
Overall the fishing was great early with the warm La Nina water in Sept and Oct, which just got warmer as we finally got into the calm November and December weather. The top and and middle never really fired like in past years, whilst Opal Ridge and Linden Bank were the most consistent all season. But saying that, I spent a lot of time up on Number 10 Ribbon Reef, and we had some incredible fishing up there, including many fish over 900, 7 bites in one day, and caught some monster fish at the Marks and up on 2nd Corner, the highlight being Georges big fish, which was our biggest of the season, an awesome big fish.
TRADITION experienced one of the best seasons of the fleet, with consistent bites and lots of big fish this year with all of our wonderful clients.
I cant wait for 2011, and have a few openings available if you have not already booked for your trip to the Great Barrier Reef !!!
Capt Tim Richardson