With the forecast showing a good weather window for Seventeen Seventy over the full moon in January, Jeff Sorrell decided it was the ideal time for the first trip of the new year. Seventeen Seventy offshore
A quick phone call to club member Steve Watson soon had a crew put together, with Steve Barber being the third to take up the offer. Seventeen Seventy offshore
Arriving at the ramp shortly after midday, they had the boat prepared and were in the water and underway in no time. Seventeen Seventy offshore
Their first fishing spot was in 50m, where Jeff had caught some good fish in the past.
First bait in the water had him hooked up to a decent fish and with the head shakes they’d called it for a tuskfish.
With the fish halfway up, the all too familiar weight came on the line and Jeff knew he’d been taxed – not the best start to the trip.
Subsequent bait saw a couple of smaller fish make it to the boat but any sizable fish were grabbed within a few meters of being lifted off the bottom.
They kept moving around hoping to find a spot with no shark activity, though unfortunately the crew found them everywhere and very aggressive at that.
Jeff moved the boat to sit over an isolated patch of rock where he’d caught a few nice red emperor on previous trips and both Steves were keen to put a red on board if possible.
The sounder showed they were home, but it also showed that sharks were in attendance.
By the time the sun had set, they’d hooked four good reds, however none had made it to the surface, so they called it a day and headed for the Fitzroy Reef Lagoon.
It was a fairly windy night in the lagoon with a bit of chop on the water the next morning, and this combined with the swell coming from Ex-Tropical Cyclone Seth made for a steady run out to where they intended to fish.
A lot of moving was required during the morning because each spot tried saw one or two fish coming when the tax men arrived to take any decent fish hooked.
It’s always frustrating knowing that there are some great fish biting but slim chances of getting them to the boat.
After lunch, the crew moved south to a deeper spot that has a very flat rubble bottom with lots of wire weed.
The sounder showed good fish life but most importantly, none of the dreaded red slashes sitting above the fish.
This allowed the fishos to enjoy a few hours of great fishing without a single loss to sharks.
On the first drift, Steve W managed two nice pearl perch, with the biggest in the 60cm range.
Jeff put a 69cm red in the box and Steve B also managed a couple of nice fish, despite being a bit under the weather due to the sea conditions.
By late afternoon, they’d boxed around 20 decent fish and, with the fishing slowing down, it was then time to chase redthroat emperor.