The finished product with all the decals on the satin black background. It came up a treat.

Boat outfitters outdo themselves

What is 2023 going to bring?

Hopefully, with a bit of luck, some good consistent weather, but I won’t be holding my breath.

I managed only a couple of days on the water since writing my last article. The fishing was quite good, with a few nice flathead caught still, even though the water’s warming up.

All the usual techniques worked quite well – such as casting at the drains at low tide and working the mangrove line at high tide.

Kiri caught a nice southern bay flathead on a Zerek Tango Shad.


The water was rather dirty around this end of the bay due to the weather we’ve had. It will probably stay that way for a while, so darker coloured lures will definitely work best – whether a soft plastic or hard-body.

As I said, I think the dirty water will continue over summer, simply because of the wind we’ve had, which stirs things up.

From what I can see in the shallows around the bay, it’s like a layer of silt, which may have been left from all the fresh we had throughout 2022.

Plenty of good bream were up around the shallows too and they’ve been quite happily taking a lure, but some nice fresh bait such as mullet fillet, squid or pillies has also done the trick.

Hopefully, a few speedsters in the form of mackerel and tuna should turn up in good numbers this month, so if chasing them, I’d look from around Peel Island and northwards.

Look for clean water, as that’s what they prefer and, as usual, look for birds working.

Anyway, there are a couple of options for summer and the school holidays.

As I said, I didn’t get out on the water much prior to writing this, so let’s hope the weather plays the game this month and we can all get out on the water a bit more.

Nick scored a decent 69cm flathead on a Zerek Bulldog Crank.


I was looking at getting a slightly bigger boat to take a few more people and explored a fair few options but unfortunately everything I looked at was slightly shy of $100,000 completed and, if being in the charter game for the past 14 years has taught me anything, I felt there was no way of making that money back in the short term.

So, I explored the options of a second-hand boat and came across an old Aussie Whaler, which for what I do was ideal because it’s basically a big square platform that allows plenty of deck space for everyone to fish from.

The old Aussie Whaler before any work was done to it. Pictures make it look a lot better than it was. It had heaps of chips and scratches in the gelcoat.


It was a boat-licensing vessel for many years and has been reasonably well looked after – it’s a centre console with a 135hp Mercury OptiMax on the back, which will be replaced with a four-stroke in time, but it’ll do the job for now.

We’ll do it up but not spend a ridiculous amount of money on it, so everything will be to get the best bang for our buck with the best impact because, at the end of the day, the boat has to look good, be functional and reliable.

So, the first thing on the agenda was to strip everything not needed for fishing charters, which took a while, and then I assessed the boat. I realised that the gelcoat had lost its lustre and shine.

Tony put the satin black wrap on.


We possibly could have buffed it a bit, but it had a few chips and scratches as well, so in the end we decided not to spend a heap of money on painting it and went with a wrap. I called my long-time friend Tony from Underwood Same Day Signs on 0418 452 054 and told him what I was after.

He came up with a design that I was very happy with, and as a mobile business, he also travelled to the island I live on to do the job, which helped me out immensely.

After a big day, the wrap looked absolutely fantastic and changed the boat’s appearance so much for the better – 1000 percent, money well spent – a big thank you, Tony.

Tony put the details on top of the satin black wrap, so that if anything’s damaged, it can be removed and new ones put on without the boat being out of commission.

The next thing on the fix list was the floor. This boat had done a fair few years of boat licensing, so it had had plenty of foot traffic over that time. It was looking a bit sorry for itself and the easiest way to give it a facelift was to put nice ethylene vinyl acetate flooring in.

Before getting to that point, I’d done a bit of research on which company to use, including one on social media that had very good reviews.  I dropped in to see Deck Armour and they were so helpful and a pleasure to deal with.

They even came down to the pontoon at Redland Bay to measure everything up, which saved me a trip on the barge. Then once that was sorted, I took the boat over to Redland Bay to their factory.

They came up with a design – that was way better than mine – then went to work. I came back a few days later to pick up my boat and it was totally transformed. The flooring looked a million dollars and changed the boat completely.

The before picture of the old floor.
The after photo – super happy with the results of Deck Armour’s work.


The EVA flooring was super soft, which was a welcome surprise to me, and will be great to work on. Deck Armour assured me that it’s also durable. With this product, they turned what was a very ordinary floor into a piece of art. I must thank the crew from Deck Armour at Redland Bay – an awesome job.

I can’t thank you enough and cannot wait to get customers’ reactions on it too.

The other thing on the boat we talked about already was the custom-made bait board for the back. This product from Bait Mate will make a huge difference.

I had it built to a certain height so I won’t have to do too much bending to get tackle – most know I have a bit of a dodgy back and the custom height of the bait board will help me immensely.

So far, this is all the work we’ve done to the boat. If you need any quality work undertaken, look up the businesses that have helped me.

They’re local, do brilliant work, the prices are fair and, most of all, they’ve been a pleasure to deal with – nothing was too hard for any of them. I’m very happy with the outcomes.

The before picture of the old floor.
The after photo – the crew at Deck Armour completely transformed the inside of the boat. It was definitely money well spent.


We still have a few more things to purchase and do to the boat but will possibly talk about those in next month’s article.

The whole reason for purchasing a new boat was to get back to taking up to five passengers fishing.

Hopefully, by the time this article comes out, we will have achieved that goal.

As we all know, with our jobs and our lives, we are time poor, so if you can learn more to optimise your time on the water, then why not?

Remember, knowledge is the key.

Until next month, stay safe on the water and, if you’re interested in any of our tuition classes or you want to do a fishing charter, give me a call 0432 386 307 or send me an email at or check out the Facebook page Seano’s Inshore Fishing Charters and Tuition.

About Sean Conlon

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