Welcome back to the Abrolhos Islands!
Wow I can’t believe we have started our Abrolhos Islands charter, the year is going so fast. We couldn’t be happier to be back out doing charters to the beautiful Abrolhos Islands. We start the season with a special customer Jason, this trip marks his 10th consecutive year with us aboard Blue Lightning Charters. As the organizer of this trip Jason brought along some old faces as well as some brand new faces, including couple of first timers to the Abrolhos Islands.
Day 1- Abrolhos Islands winds are a blowin’
Unfortunately the weather was not on our side on day 1 with very windy conditions blowing 30kn SSE. We made sure everything was secure before we made our way out of the Batavia Coast Marina. The wind was behind us, which made for a more comfortable ride. We started off with some trolling to try and stretch the guy’s arms. Jules hooked a Spanish Mackerel but unfortunately it decided to spit the hooks close to the boat.
We dropped the lures back into the water for only a minute when another Spanish Mackerel jumped onto the hooks, although it was only a baby, so back it went to swim for another day. We carried on to the shallows to jig a few spots with Brad not waiting long to hook a Spinner Shark on his lightweight Gomoku rod. He put up a valiant fight but unfortunately the Spinner Shark, spun one time too many and snapped the line.
Abrolhos Islands species fun
We moved into deeper water, which proved to be a great option with Jules catching his first ever Coral Trout as well as a Spangled Emperor. Damo had a great afternoon with a great sized Pink Snapper. The rest of the crew finished the session off with a couple more Spangled Emperor and Red Throat Emperor. We ended the day heading off in search of the islands, and so the guys could visit the local pub on Pigeon Island.
Day 2- Jigging in the Shallows
Day 2 arrived bringing with it 28-30 knot winds. We headed out into the not so pleasant weather for some jigging grounds in the shallows. This session saw trip organiser Jason snag a beautiful Pink Snapper, with the rest of the crew reeling in a heap of Baldchin Groper and Spangled Emperor. We headed out deeper to the 20m area which proved great for Dave, catching his first Dhufish for the trip and his first ever Samson Fish. Brad was stoked to bring up a nice size Coral Trout, while Mick was equally as happy with a huge Baldchin Groper. We headed back to one of our favorite spots for a swim and a dive for Crayfish to finish off another awesome day at the Abrolhos Islands.
Day 3- An Abrolhos Islands fun
We awoke to much better weather on day 3 and decided to head off for a troll out of the islands, chasing some Spanish Mackerel. Dave O was first to reel in a fish with a nice Spanish Mackerel, quickly followed by Jason and then Dave with his first ever Shark Mackerel. Once the boys had a chance to play around with the mackerel we headed off to the shallows which resulted in a healthy number of good sized Baldchin Groper which was a lot of fun for the boys.
After a while we headed out to deeper water, which produced good sized Dhufish for both Tim and Dave O. Mick was equally happy to pull aboard a huge Pink Snapper from a OctaJig. Day 3 saw a nice array of fish pulled aboard including Dhufish, Pink Snapper, Spangled Emperor, Breaksea Cod and Tomato Cods. We headed back towards a mooring for the night just in time to see the beautiful sunset. The Abrolhos Islands really know how to put on a show.
Day 4- Abrolhos Islands turning it on
What a beautiful morning with an amazing sunrise. We started the morning with a jig and plastics session. I decided it was time to get my new rod and reel out. I was lucky enough to get an awesome rod and reel from one of our lovely customers Graham (thanks again Graham). On the way back up 10m below the boat I got a hit, and what followed my plastic to the surface was not what I was expecting… a school of Dolphin Fish (Mahi Mahi) appeared. I hooked one and it decided to do some acrobatic jumps out of the water putting on a real show for the whole crew. Unfortunately for me during the show my Dolphin Fish threw the hooks. I had other follows but didn’t manage to hook the others. Brad on the other hand was able to entice a Dolphin Fish, and caught his first ever Dolphin Fish on a plastic. Way to go Brad!
After such a surprising session with the Dolphin Fish the whole crew were excited so we decided it was time to get the big girls out and troll for Marlin. We trolled for a few hours, but unfortunately no Marlin were hungry enough to eat any of the lures.
It was Brad’s day
Heading back towards the islands we stopped for a bottom fishing session. It was definitely Brad’s day, as he caught
– 2 Spangled Emperor,
– a Dhu Fish and
– a Pink Snapper,
and yes, you guessed he caught each of these awesome fish on the same trusty plastic that caught the Dolphin Fish.
Abrolhos Islands mixed bag
Day 4 was a great day for Brad and his favourite plastic . The afternoon session produced species including Baldchin Grouper, Coral Trout, Spangled Emperor, Dhu Fish, and Pink Snapper. Jason, the pro, caught 3 North West Blowies one after another, he definitely did not get angler of the day for that effort!!!
The day just kept getting better
The fourth day of the Abrolhos Islands season turned out to be a great day fishing at the Abrolhos Islands and to finish off such a magical day on the water we decided to snorkel for some beautiful WA Crayfish for dinner. The Abrolhos Islands provide some stunning spots to snorkel. Dave said “That was some of the best coral I have ever seen”.
After a beautiful dinner of surf and turf and plenty of laughs, Brad decided he would drop his trusty plastic in. Nobody could believe their eyes when he caught a Dhu Fish at 8.30pm from the mooring, which he released to swim for another day. He cast for one final time and caught a Cuttle Fish! Brad was definitely angler of the day, and the smile plastered on his face said it all.
Day 5- Abrolhos Islands with not a breathe of wind
We woke on day 5, the final day for this, our first charter of the Abrolhos Islands season, to an absolute cracker of a morning with no wind. As the full moon disappeared, the sunrise appeared making for a magnificent morning to wake up early to appreciate what nature at the Abrolhos Islands has to offer. Days like this are the reason I don’t want to go back to land.
Before we made our way back to Geraldton, we still had some fishing to do. Unfortunately trolling proved to be a quiet way to start the day. We switched over to bottom fishing and to begin with it too was quiet, we anchored up in the shallows, and before long the Baldchin Groper were on the bite, making for some happy anglers. Before long a pod of dolphins came towards the boat. It doesn’t matter how many times I see dolphins I still get soooo excited. I never take seeing anything on the ocean for granted.
Coral Trout fun
A few of us decided to go for a snorkel, it was one of those days when the water was calling our names, it was so clear and a warm, the perfect day for a swim. After our swim we reboarded Blue Lightning III and went into deeper water to see what fish were hungry. Dave and I both caught a Coral Trout each.
What will the Bait fish bring?
Next the crew decided to go for a troll as we could see a lot of bait fish on the surface, and it wasn’t long until the reels went screaming off and we had a 3 way hook up Tim, Brad and Jules. Unfortunately, Jules threw the hooks. But Tim and Brad had luck on their side and caught a Yellow Fin Tuna each, their first ever. Damien hooked up to a couple of School Mackerel. Julian’s line went peeling off once again and he managed to land his first ever Yellow Fin Tuna, which was released to fight another day.
All Good things come to an end
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, it was time to make our way back to Geraldton. 5 days out at these beautiful islands go by way to quick. This 5 day charter produced a lot of firsts, personal bests and new species. The Blue Lightning team loves seeing our crew catching a fish for the first time, their smiles and appreciation are unbeatable. It was a pleasure having this group onboard. This crew shared many good laughs and fun times. We look forward to welcoming a few of this group to the Montebello Islands in October.
Until next time, happy fishing
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