It was time to bring Professional Boat Care customer Jim’s ‘Tsukiji’ home after her Cairns marlin fishing expedition late last year. I flew into Hamilton Is to meet Jim who was already onboard for an immediate departure for Middle Percy Is for our first night. ‘Tsukiji’ had already weathered the first cyclone of the year in Able Point Marina at Airlie Beach and neither of us wanted to risk another. We had picked a perfect weather window for the 4 day passage, and we were all keen to do some heavy tackle marlin fishing along the Continental Shelf on the way south.
Day 2 saw us slip into Roslyn Bay Marina late morning to refuel and pick up a mutual old friend ’Brodes’ who was ‘chomping at the bit’ to pull on a few fish. We left the marina around 1pm giving us about an hour spare for a quick troll on a secret spot I have in the Bunker Group from my old commercial mackerel fishing mate Peter Stevens. I kid you not, the lures were in the water only a couple of minutes and we had a double hook up on Spaniards! With fish meals now taken care of for the trip, we got our lines in and steamed for Fitzroy lagoon, our anchorage for the evening.
Day 3 saw us leave at first light to fish our Red Emperor marks east of Lady Musgrave but they didn’t produce this time and being a delivery we needed to keep the miles south ticking over. However, east of Lady Elliot Is I had to pull the throttles back and get the heavy tackle lures in the water. Sometimes all the indicators of fish show at once – we had inky blue warm water, birds, dolphins and bait on the sounder! Within 30 minutes we had a couple of nice by-catch fish onboard – a Wahoo and a big Mahi Mahi, so things were looking good! However as is the way of deliveries we had to keep steaming south and soon left this lovely patch of water for cooler, dirtier water and everything seemed to shut down. I wasted little time trolling this stuff and we decided to get the gear in and run to Breaksea Spit off the top of Fraser Island. This area is so remote and un-fished, it rarely disappoints. As was the case this time when I found good clean water again, bait and birds. We raised two small black marlin and released one on light tackle. From here we ran to the magnificent Rooney Point on the NW tip of Fraser Is for the evening. Rooney Point is an amazing place where small marlin are regularly caught within metres of the beach, and massive sharks, humpbacks and anything else big lurks! – Not a great place to swim!
Day 4 saw us run pre-dawn down to Urangan Marina in Hervey Bay to refuel. We then steamed down the Great Sandy Straits and out over the Wide Bay Bar on the top of the tide. On our way east to fish the Noosa Canyons we stumbled across some big Yellowfin Tuna feeding on the surface, but no joy hooking one. Sadly, the further wide we ran the greener and cooler the water turned as we were obviously entering a big back eddy in the currents. This basically cancelled our plans and high hopes for these grounds so we decided to run south and try our luck off Cape Moreton’s blue marlin grounds before running into Moreton Bay and back home. The only fish we raised this day was a 250lb Whaler shark which ate a lure!
Who said delivery trips can be boring!!