This week’s crew of anglers were mostly Blue Lightning Charters regulars who travel from Melbourne on an annual basis for a Montebello Islands charter and we were very excited to welcome them back on board. This year they brought along two Montebello Islands newbies to experience the incredible fishing for themselves.
For day 1 we were lucky to have a smooth ride out to the Montebello Islands. Mark’s reaction upon entering the islands was priceless “It’s awesome seeing the islands” with Andrew exclaiming he “didn’t think the islands were so big”. The crew caught species including Rankin Cod, Shark Mackerel, Mack Tuna and some quality Trevally. With sessions including trolling, soft plastics and jigs, the favourite equipment of the day was plastics particular a 4 oz jig head. Graeme, the trip organiser was excited to be hooked up to a Sailfish on a jig, but unfortunately it didn’t last very long.
The crew kicked off day 2 with an early start heading out wide. They were stoked to hook some impressive GT’s but unfortunately they were lost after putting up a strong fight. The species list for the day though was seriously impressive with the crew catching Yellow Fin Tuna, Sailfish, Spanish Mackerel, Wahoo, Rainbow Runners, Mack Tuna, Golden Trevally, Coronation Trout, Long Nose Emperor and Flute fish. Shane managed to score his first ever Yellow Fin Tuna (caught on a Nomad Stickbait). While Andrew had an awesome day catching his 1st ever Wahoo on a stickbait, his first Spanish Mackerel, as well as his 1st ever billfish, a Sailfish on a switchbait. It was a sensational day with lots of bait and flying fish making an appearance, and a Marlin that popped up 3 meters from the boat, but didn’t want to play the game.
Graeme said he “had a ball” after catching his personal best Spanish Mackerel. Meanwhile Pete’s highlight was seeing a Sailfish free jumping. Andrew’s comment made our day though stating it was a “fantastic day, I will never forget”. The crew used a mix of trolling teasers, switch baited Sailfish, plastics, jigs and even hard body lures throughout the day.
For day 3 of this week’s charter the crew decided to head out on Global Venture to fish in close to the Montebello Islands. They spent the day casting and popping, landing a quality Giant Trevally (GT) and Spangled Emperor and Chinaman. Adam was in luck catching his first GT in the 20kg + range on a Reef Edge Brown Popper. Unfortunately while they spotted plenty of GT this was the only 1 landed for the day. They had plenty of fun, however they did claim a number of poppers for the day. We were all impressed to see a few Spanish Mackerel flying through the air to try and get the poppers. Decky Sam was stoked to catch a Spangled Emperor on a squid jig before the crew had some fun catching and releasing Spangled Emperor and Chinaman from the Cod Cave.
Day 4 was another great day of fishing at the Montebello Islands with the crew catching an impressive mixed bag of species despite being windy. The crew caught species including Spanish Mackerel, Shark Mackerel, Rankin Cod, Spangled Emperor, Coronation Trout, Gold Spot Trevally and Long Nose Emperor. With a mixture of trolling as well as plastics and jigs being the favourite equipment of the day. Hitchy hooked a catch of the day an 80kg+ undefined species, himself, to give us all a bit of added entertainment for the day. Mark was stoked to land himself his first Spanish Mackerel, stating it was “awesome to get my first Mackerel”. While Graeme scored himself is biggest Rankin Cod to for the day, before getting spooled later in the day. It was another fun day of fishing for most althought a couple of the boys may have been hurting from the previous night as they failed to consume any alcohol all day.
This crew was keen to spend day 5 of their Montebello Islands fishing charter casting and popping, utilising Orion stickbaits, custom rods, Stella reels and a selection of soft plastics the crew caught Spanish Mackerel, Rankin Cod, Red Emperor, Long Nose Emperor, Coral Trout, Spangled Emperor, Bludger Trevally and Red Throat Emperor. Pete’s Rankin Cod was the biggest of the day and his personal best. Graeme was a stoked to beat his personal best from earlier in the week with an even larger Spanish Mackerel. Mark gave us all the giggle for the day doing an impressive cast and hooking Andrew on the back of the shorts. It was Westy’s day though when he finally picked up the number of red fish he had been searching for.
For day 6 the crew decided to head out aboard Global Venture for another day of island fishing. This time the list of species was a bit shorter with the crew catching Golden Trevally, Gold Spot Trevally and Shark Mackerel from trolling and casting in the shallows. The crew had numerous follows from GT’s but no hook ups. The other trevally species were hooked on a range of poppers. For the afternoon session the crew headed to the islands chasing GT land based. Hitchy said “we hooked 4 big fish and sighted many others, but unfortunately lost them to underwater obstacles. It was awesome to see. I was amazed at the frenzy. To be so close to your feet but yet still so far away was amazing to see.”
What a morning! On day 7 we were lucky to see dolphins and turtles to kick start our day. As the crew got into their fishing they tried their hands at trolling, plastics and jigs catching themselves Red Emperor, Spanish Mackerel, Rankin Cod, Coral Trout, Sailfish, Long Nose Emperor, Gold Spot Trevally, Golden Trevally. Blue and silver jigs were the equipment of the day. Mark was impressed to catch himself his first Red Emperor which was a good size, before a Cobia swam past to tease us all. Graeme landed a nice size coral trout, within seconds dropped it again and he caught a sailfish on slider jig. It was Graeme’s 1st Sailfish on a jig for his 181st sailfish! Another two Sailfish followed Graeme’s however they weren’t hungry and didn’t take the stick baits and Sailfish poppers we were offering.
For the afternoon session the crew decided on a land based session. With 3 GT hook ups, things were looking promising but unfortunately it wasn’t to be with none landed. A Mackerel was also in the mix chasing a lure but not taking. The crew were amazed at how alive the ocean at the Montebello Islands was spotting Manta Rays, Dolphins, Turtles and the occasional shark.
The dreaded final day of charter was upon us but this crew decided to make the most of it, spending the day casting, popping and trolling their way back to Dampier. The crew caught Spanish Mackerel, Mack Tuna and Bludger Trevally. With Bludger Trevally out in force. It was an exciting run back to Dampier with the crew being treated to a show by three Sailfish who were free jumping. Graeme said it was a “great trip, with a great decky, great people and I’m sad to be leaving”
Graeme: Sailfish on a jig
Hitchy: seeing the activity of the GT during the land base session
Adam: I never knew Gt’s had engines for guts until I caught one…… Toughest fish ever.
Pete: over all trip another fantastic trip as good as the year before
Westy: the trip was hot stuff
Mark: Fantastic personal experience for my first offshore fishing trip.
Until next time, Happy fishing
Don’t forget to follow Blue Lightning Charters on social media:
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.