It was a very dejected Gavin Houstin who phoned Action Charters at short notice to inquire about the possibility of a charter the next day. Apparently Gavin and his three mates had traveled all the way from Mackay to Yeppoon armed to the teeth with fishing tackle in preparation for a week’s fishing only to have their charter cancelled at the last minute.Luckily for the guys, we had an opening and while the tides weren’t the greatest due to the full moon, the weather was perfect.
Our departure from the Mackay marina at 0600 coincided with the low tide, so knowing the next few hours would have us battling strong currents the decision was made to crack open some of the boys new lures and target Pelagics on poppers and stick baits and try and tempt a Spanish Mackerel on trolled lures and jigs. Unfortunately, while we certainly had current we couldn’t find the other necessary ingredient – bait.
After working our way east from Keswick Island and Silloth Rocks, we were about to pull the pin and head into the shipping channel when a last drift around Calder Island had surprising results. Shannon had changed from a knife jig to a soft plastic on a light weight jig stick and on the second drift was suddenly bent over the side trying to keep the line away from the hull as a rampaging fish attempted to empty the spool. With the 25 foot Contender proving the ideal platform for Shannon to follow the fish as it took him around the boat, it would be five minutes before the silver side of a 15 Kg Jewfish appeared on the surface.
With the flood tide now easing and smiles all-round, lines were re-rigged with paternosters as we headed out to start the search for bottom dwelling table fish. Throughout the remainder of the day a nice bag of Nannygai, Coral Trout and Grassy Sweet Lip was put on ice. Of interest was the capture of the Nannygai which appeared to coincide with a reduction in the number of whales sited out wide. The jury is still out on the whether the large number of whales contributed to the shutdown in the red-fish bite over the last couple of months or if this was due to other seasonal conditions but we will certainly monitor it with interest during whale season next year.