Hello again and welcome to the July edition of “On the Chew”. July has been another sensational month for fishing in Mackay and with some absolutely glass calm days to compliment. Reefari charters once again had a very busy month with many day and 2 day charters heading out to the great blue beyond.
July has been a very diverse month species wise. This is often the case during this time of the year with the water temp changing and the winter species such as Spanish mackerel and snapper become ever increasingly active.
Winter is also the best time in central QLD to get amongst some of the hottest Red Emperor fishing that is available. At this point I would like to dedicate a substantial part of this article to a particular 3 day trip from early in the month.
We left Mackay at 9 am on the Sunday with only 4 guests aboard our 41foot Stebercraft – Mako. Anticipation was high as none of these guys had never caught a big red and I had assured them that there was a very good chance that we would get a few. As we steamed out of the harbour, we gradually watched the 25 knot SW’erly drop down to almost nothing and by the time we got to the other side of the islands the weather gods were definitely smiling upon us.
Upon reaching the reef, we dropped anchor on a couple of bommies that are well known to me as prime red country. Initially we were getting some big red throat and some yellow sweeties but as time progressed we started seeing half fish or no gear coming up almost every drop- bloody Sharks, time to move. With the sun setting we moved the boat to another place out in the open water. With barely 5 knots of wind blowing we knew that it was going to be a beautiful night. We dropped anchor and all sat down for a nice roast dinner.
Once again the gear was off to the bottom and the result was instantaneous. The first drop was a four-way hookup and every fish to hit the boat was an emperor of about 5 kgs. Immediately we were all back down and the same result repeated. My first thought was ok there must be a few here but for the next hour there was nothing but red emperor coming over the side.
I truly have never experienced fishing like it. I mean you hear stories from your old man about fishing like this but until that night I could only imagine what it would be like. After the first hour the reds started to move away and the nannygai and spangled emperor came onto the chew and once again it was as quickly as you could get to the bottom.
I was fishing with a handline and at one stage there it took me 6 drops to get a tangle out because the big nannies kept grabbing my bait (which by the way was the same bait for all 6 drops). As a summary for the night we nearly bagged out on reds up to 8kgs, we nearly bagged out on nannies and we got 2 dozen or so big spangles. It really was Mackay’s fishing at its absolute best.
The next few days saw even more big reds with the biggest one going 15kgs. With plenty of reef fish in the esky we did a heap of trolling through the deep channels and along the reef edges.
We got quite a few nice trout on the lures and then a massive run in the deeper water turned out to be a 10kg yellowfin tuna – just to spice thing up a bit. We spent the next night anchored up on a shoal in 25 meters and got stuck into the Venus tusk fish and yellow sweetlip.
We were also thoroughly entertained by a 12 foot long great hammerhead shark that our customers nicknamed Bruce. He would follow the fish all the way to the surface at high speed and then turn away at the last second with a massive power turn.
It was pretty awesome to see. We returned to the harbour with our freezer full of fillets and some stories that I will be able to pass on to my kids.
Day trips have also been popular with many happy anglers coming back with mixed bags of nannygai, coral trout, big emperor and many grass sweetlip. We also got another big goldband snapper, which I must reiterate is an extremely rare thing to see in such shallow water. Also plenty of Spanish Mackerel about, with most days, some great hookups and good fish coming aboard.
We also sighted Migaloo the white humpback whale off Chauvel reef on the 12th of July, He was southbound and was traveling at about 10 knots. There have been many whale sightings so far on our day trips with an estimated 10 000 whales migrating north this year.
Reefari Charters has also added yet another customized fishing machine to its fleet. The MV Brute Strength is a custom 6.1 metre center console that we are running specialized sport and game fishing charters all around the Mackay area.
Because boat is trailer able, many different locations can be accessed and with a top speed of 40 knots it is sure to get you to the fishing grounds quickly and safely. Available for a minimum of 2 people and a maximum of 5, personalized service is also assured.
Anyway guys and gals
See you all next month