A Montebello Islands Celebration
This week’s charter was organised by Ken senior, a Blue Lightning regular who decided a Montebello Islands fishing charter was the perfect way to celebrate his 70th birthday. He brought with him his 2 sons and a few of his fishing buddies for some great bonding time exploring and fishing the incredible Montebello Islands. Four of the crew had been on board Blue Lightning Charters many times but they brought with them three newbies who had never before encountered the magical Montebello Islands.
Day 1 – Beautiful weather
To kick off the celebrations we were greeted with nice weather as we made our way out of Dampier to the beautiful Montebello Islands. As always we tried to make the most of every possible moment of fishing and fished our way across to the islands.
A Bottom Fishing Bonanza
For our first session we decided to get stuck right into bottom fishing with jigs, plastics and bait. The guys had a hot session stretching their arms on lots of Trevally and a great array of other species keeping them very busy. Ken Senior was impressed to reel in a great size Coral Trout. Meanwhile Alex was all smiles after also managing to reel in a very good sized Coral Trout on a jig. The crew finished session with Rankin Cod, Coral Trout and Spangled Emperor as well as some great smiles ?
Montebello Islands fishing fun
The rest of the day continued in the great way it started with some seriously fun fishing sessions. As always Chad and I were stoked for the boys to get themselves some great firsts, it’s the highlight of our day seeing fishing bucket list items ticked off. Alex caught his first Coral Trout on a jig and his first Rankin Cod on a plastic. Trevor was also a happy fisherman picking up his 1st Spangled Emperor and his 1st Trevally. The firsts just kept coming with newbie Tim picking up his first Rankin Cod, Golden Trevally and even a Brassy Trevally.
As the day was getting on the crew decided it was time for a trolling session and to make our way further West towards our island home the incredible Montebello Islands. It wasn’t long before the lines were peeling off with a double hook up. Unfortunately 1 was lost, but Tim was in luck, catching his first ever Shark Mackerel.
Welcome to the Montebello Islands
As we headed into the Montebello Islands we were welcomed by launching Tuna. It was a pretty special moment to see these fish leaving the water as if to put on a show for the crew. Soon we pulled up alongside the Cod Cave and the crew were excited that Kodak, the Queensland Groper was there waiting for us. I love coming out every week just to see him. While everyone else has cats and dogs, we have a very big fish, and yes I do talk to him a lot.
We woke on day 2 to a windy day. Lucky for this crew though Chad and Bill are always looking to improve Blue Lightning Charters and recently purchased another boat to add to the fleet. Welcome Global Venture, our 4th boat here at the Montebello Islands, adding to our already impressive fleet Global Venture is a 12meter aluminum vessel powered by 2 Suzuki 300 Outboard Motors. She is the perfect addition to the fleet with her width making it easy to pass other anglers on board and her low clearance allowing us to maneuver her in close to the islands to take advantage of the awesome fishing here at the Montebello Islands. The windy conditions provided the perfect opportunity for her to show what she was made of. We spent the day in the shallows searching for Giant Trevally (GT). Unfortunately Troy lost an elusive GT and no others came out to play with us. But it was a great fun session on Global Venture, with Captain Chad showing us exactly what she is capable of.
For our next session the crew decided it was time to go trolling. Troy and Ken Junior were first up, catching themselves a Coral Trout each, one on a Rapala CD14 and the other on stickbait. Before long Ken Senior landed himself a Spanish Mackerel and a big smile.
The crew were keen to take advantage of some great Montebello Islands fishing and so we moved onto a casting session. Troy and Ken were both impressed with their efforts catching themselves a Long Tail Tuna each. Tim was also a happy fisherman landing himself a sweet Gold Spot Trevally. It was a fun little session with a good array of species being caught including Coral Trout, Trevally, Tuna and even Spangled Emperor. It was a fun way to end what was a very windy day at the Montebello’s. ☹
Montebello Islands Wildlife
We were hoping to add some squid to the days tally and our entrée but unfortunately Alex’s line snapped, how was the knot? The Monties weather might not have been playing the game but the wildlife sure was with the crew were lucky enough to spot turtles and dugongs on their afternoon adventures. The guys said “they really enjoyed the day in the shallows, and really enjoyed the boat Global Venture. The perfect vessel for casting out of as she has lots of room”. Thank you Alex for cooking a beautiful curry for dinner.
We woke on day 3 to 16KN + NE winds. We decided to head out fishing as the weather forecast suggested the wind would die off as the day went on, or so they say. It was a bit of a messy sea as the swell was coming from the south and the wind the other way. But as always we made the most of it. We were treated to some Dolphins riding the bow wave, which is always a highlight for the crew on board.
Trolling for Mackerel
We kicked off the day’s fishing with a trolling session and within seconds lines were peeling off. The crew had fun catching Spanish Mackerel and Shark Mackerel.
It was time to move on and try our hand at bottom fishing. Clay kicked the session off with a bit of a laugh. He was tying a plastic on, when he checked to make sure it was on ok, but instead it snapped and landed in the water. Decky Sam said “that was one unlucky plastic”. Alex was next up catching a Rankin Cod none of us could believe our eyes when we realized Clay’s lost plastic was in this Rankin’s mouth! Now that is one hungry fish and one lucky plastic! It was a bit of slow session by Monties standard but the crew did manage to reel in some Rankin Cod, Crimson Sea Perch, Chinaman, Coral Trout, and Spangled Emperor, proving even a bad session here at the Montebello Islands is better than fishing many other places.
The crew were excited to get started fishing on day 4 with a big day of fishing outwide planned. The day began with a good laugh after Trevor put his belt on backwards. It was a fun day for the crew catching a pretty great array of Montebello Islands species including Long Nose Emperor, Red Emperor, Chinaman, Robinson Sea Bream, Spangled Emperor, Rankin Cod, Coral Trout, Coronation Trout, Red Throat, and a Finger Mark. The crew were all smiles as they returned to the Cod Cave for some food and a good night’s sleep in our own little slice of paradise.
We arose on day 5 of this 7 day charter to yet another windy day with 25kn S. The crew decided to take advantage of our knowledge of the Montebello Islands and their history with a tour of the nuclear testing sites. They were in awe of how well the islands have recovered from the effects of the tests and how stunning the scenery on the islands is.
Heartstarter does her thing
For the first fishing session of the day the crew boarded our Boston Whaler, Heartstarter. The crew had heaps of fun on Heartstarter catching species including Spangled Emperor, Charlie Court and some Squid and of course enjoying plenty of laughs. Before heading back to Cod Cave (our pontoon at the Montebello Islands) for a delicious lunch. The crew were all very excited when Fuji the second massive Queensland Groper finally came to the Cod Cave for a visit.
Afternoon fishing fun
After a quick refresher the boys were keen to head out for the afternoon. Trevor, Troy & Tim headed out aboard Heartstarter. They had a good little session fishing in close to the islands, landing themselves some big Brassy Trevally and some nice Spangled Emperor to round out their session.
The second group, Clay, Ken and Alex spent the afternoon on the islands, fishing from the beach. They managed to land themselves some Queeny’s, Coral Trout, Gold Spot Trevally, Golden Trevally and some Charlie Court. Despite the wind the day turned out to be a fun day of fishing at the incredible Montebello Islands.
That pesky wind was at it again as we woke on day 6, with 22kn+ plus. Again the winds were expected to die down as the day went on. While we were waiting for the wind to subside the guys decided to do a spot of beach fishing to make the most of the Montebello Islands they were all very happy to catch some Spangled Emperor to add to their tally.
An afternoon aboard Blue Lightning III
After a fun little morning on the islands the crew headed back to the Cod Cave for some lunch and a quick rest before heading out on Blue Lightning III for an afternoon of fishing. We kicked off the afternoon session with some trolling with the crew catching Spanish Mackerel and Shark Mackerel. The next session the guys decided to try for some bottom fish and they weren’t disappointed. They managed to reel in some classic Montebello Islands species including Rankin cod and Chinaman.
Day 7 was upon us already ☹ the whole crew were sad as the charter had flown by and it’s never easy leaving these incredible islands. The crew decided to try their hand at casting. Unfortunately the crew lost a GT and although their were a few other swirls it was not the boys lucky day and they got no hookups. For the next session the crew decided on a bottom fishing session. It proved to be a great option with crew reeling in a good array of species including Rankin Cod, Spangled Emperor, Scarlet Sea Perch and Coral Trout.
As we moved between bottom fishing grounds we began trolling lures hoping for a bill fish. When two lines went screaming off Trevor and Tim were on the rods. Both were stoked to catch a Yellow Fin Tuna each. It was a great end to a fantastic charter with a great bunch of blokes, we hope Ken enjoyed his birthday celebrations. And just like that we were back to Dampier where it all began.
Our island paradise
As our regular blog readers will have gathered we see the Montebello Islands as our home. We live here more than anywhere else. We love the Montebello Islands and have so much passion, respect and care for it. There’s nothing better than showing our customers how amazing this place is and welcoming them to our home (Montebello Islands), our vessels and into our family. We love it when our customers feel they are part of our family when they are on charter with us. We absolutely love what we do, and get so much enjoyment seeing others experiencing the Montebello Islands, our own little slice of paradise.
Chore day out the window
NB: on our chore day between charters we gave into temptation after some seriously amazing weather conditions. We headed back out for a casual day of fishing, you can’t let awesome conditions go to waste! It doesn’t matter how often we fish at the Montebello Islands we just can’t get enough, even after 11+ years!
Until next time, happy fishing
Don’t forget Blue Lightning Charters is now on Social media check us out at:
For more information on one of our incredible WA Fishing Charters to the Monties check out our Montebello Islands destination page here or contact us at via our contact form.