Our awesome Montebello Islands fishing charter season continued this week with a group organized by the team at Compleat Angler Wallaroo & Moonta (South Australia). This crew was made up of 6 people who had visited the Montebello Islands with Blue Lightning before and 2 guys who were new to the islands. It was great to be see the returning crew and awesome to meet the newbies and introduce them to everything the Montebello Islands have to offer.
Day 1- Bottom fishing
We kicked off the charter with an early morning as we headed out to the islands to get the most out of our time. The guys trolled with lures as we made our way towards the islands. Simmo picked up a Wahoo and the others managed to reel in some Mack Tuna. Before long we decided it was time to try a Bottom Fishing session. It was a really great session producing plenty of species including Rankin Cod, Coral Trout, Spangled Emperor, and plenty of Trevally species including Gold Spot Trevally, Bludger Trevally and Golden Trevally. It was a great way for the crew to stretch their arms and really get into the fishing up here in Northern WA. Simmo accidently jagged a Coral Trout with his jig, showing us all a new way of catching one.
We ended the day with another Trolling session. This time we trolled using some nice hard body lures, this produced Spanish Mackerel and Long Tail Tuna. As we entered the Montebello Islands we were welcome by a couple of whales and then made our way to the Cod Cave (Blue Lightning’s Pontoon) for some chill out time before dinner.
Day 2- Bottom Fishing
We started the day off with some Bottom fishing. Twitch kicked his day off with a Red Emperor on a jig. This session was very productive with the crew catching Red Emperor, Spangled Emperor, Long Nosed Emperor, Chinaman, Robinson Sea Bream, and lots of Trevally!
A Giant Trevally Session
For the afternoon session the crew decided to spend some time casting and popping for GT’s in the shallows, which the guys were pretty excited about. Poor Twitch had some competition with a big Cod trying to eat his GT, luckily though he managed to keep it away from the Cod. Before long there was a school of GT’s around us. Twitch managed to land himself a 20kg GT on a Battle Craft Popper. John and Daniel also managed to get themselves a GT each. John’s GT was caught on SFT Popper, and Daniel got his on a Pelagic Popper Warrior. The session was a bit of fun for John who managed to hook himself a big Spanish Mackerel but unfortunately a shark decided he was hungry too and took a bite out of the Mackerel’s side. John still landed the Spanish Mackerel it was just missing a bit.
Never enough fishing at the Montebello Islands
Once we arrived back at the Cod Cave, Twitch, Daniel and Dale decided they had not had enough fishing just yet and went ashore to Alpha Island for some more fun. They had a heap of fun catching and releasing Coral Trout. Daniel got smoked by a Red Bass. The excitement continued when we had a couple of Hammer Head Sharks come visit the Cod Cave, lucky for us we had the safety of the cage to take a dip and refresh.
Day 3- Awesome conditions
Woke up on day 3 to a great day in paradise with not even a breath of wind, it really doesn’t get any better. The crew decided to spend the first couple of hours enjoying a Reef Fishing session which was a little slow though the guys did manage to get a few. Then it was like someone flicked the switch and the fish were suddenly very hungry. The boys caught an awesome array of species including Maroon Sea Perch, Rankin Cod, Chinaman, Red Emperor, Spangled Emperor, Long Nosed Emeperor, Coral Trout, Golden Trevally and Scarlet Sea Perch. The sharks also passed by for a visit. Red Emperor were the dominant species for the session.
Not so calm trolling
By lunch time the guys were exhausted and definitely needed a rest. Chad suggested the boys have a quiet lunch while we go for a Troll. The quiet lunch turned in to chaos reels peeling off everywhere and boys tossing their lunch to the side. The boys managed to reel in plenty of Mackerel and Mack Tuna. After a great day of fishing and beautiful weather it was time for a swim off the Cod Cave, it was a great way to finish off another awesome day at the Montebello Islands.
Day 4- Giant Trevally fun
We kicked off day 4 casting in the shallows. It didn’t take long for Simmo to get in on kick off the action, catching a Chinaman on a popper. Twitch hooked up to a GT but unfortunately lost it after the GT did it’s thing and buried its head down like a bulldozer. That’s why we all love GT’s so much they are so unpredictable and give up such an epic battle.
For the next session of the day we swapped over to lures to try our luck at a Sail Fish. The lures were not in for even 5 minutes and a Sail Fish came up, it took a switch bait and Paul caught his first ever Billfish. This is one of many reasons we love what we do! The adrenalin rush and excitement of helping some nab their first Billfish never gets old! After the excitement of Paul’s first Billfish we decided it was time for a Reef fishing session which produced plenty of awesome Montebello Islands species including some sweet Rankin Cod. Dale provided the entertainment for the evening as he poured an icy cold bucket over Twitch as he just gotten out of the shower we all had a good laugh!!!!!
Day 5- Island day
We woke on day 5 and decided that today would be “Island Day”. John, Dale, Daniel and Twitch headed out on Heartstarter for the morning session. Twitch got a Blue Bone on a stick bait and also managed to land himself a 15kg GT on a popper. After some fun fishing which proved very successful with plenty of Blue Bone, they decided it was time for a little snorkeling session. They were hoping to get some Cray Fish for entrée, unfortunately they came back with none. They did see plenty of Blue Bone though which was pretty cool.
Paul, Simmo Ray and Nick spent the morning on the shore doing some beach fishing. They also had a great session with Nick reeling in a Gold Spot Trevally, and Ray landing a Coral Trout, Spangled Emperor and Blue Bone. Paul was somewhat unlucky only getting a shark, it was exciting though.
After a nice refreshing lunch at the Cod Cave the guys swapped over. John, Dale, Daniel and Twitch had an eventful afternoon on the shore, seeing a big school of GT’s. Seeing a school like this always manages to get a fisherman’s blood pumping. The thrill of a battle with a GT is almost indescribable, the way a GT pulls and dives down, hiding in reefs and rocks. A GT is a challenge even for the best fisherman. Twitch got a little scared when he saw how big one of the GT were, as he only had his 30 pound rod.
It was a really fun session, Dale got smoked by a shark and John got a nice size Spangled Emperor on a stick bait. Daniel managed to reel in a Trevally and Twitch got himself a Mangrove Jack. Unfortunately, the guys on Heart Starter had a slower afternoon, with Simmo catching a Gold Spot Trevally. It was great to hear all the stories of the day’s adventures over a few cold drinks throughout the evening.
Day 6- Trolling
We kicked off day 6 with a session trolling for Mackerel. What a hot session it was. The boys were kept very busy with lots of Spanish Mackerel being caught and released. John got the crown for the biggest Mackerel at 25kg on a Samaki Pacemaker red and white.The rest of the day was spent casting, and trolling in the shallows. While a couple of GT’s poked their heads out they were not interested in the poppers or stick baits. A great consolation prize was that the boys caught lots of Golden Trevally. Paul also got a Coral Trout while trolling on a Zerek Speed Donkey. Dale also got a Coral Trout while casting on a Nomad Maverick.
Day 7- More time to fish
We woke on day 7 to every fisherman’s dread, a very windy day with 25kn E (the direction of Dampier port). Captain Chad decided it was best to wait until the wind subsided before we made our way across back to Dampier. 4 of the guys decided it was time to catch up on some R&R after an action packed and exhausting week at the Monties. The other 4 decided to try their luck at more GT’s fishing on Heartstarter. Before long it was clear they were in luck. Daniel reeled in a 20kg GT on an Ocean Stick Bait. While Twitch managed a 12kg GT on a Nomad Dog Tooth Stick Bait. One of the highlights of the trip though was Nick landing his first ever GT on a Nomad Madscad. On top of his GT, Daniel also landed a Mackerel on a Stick Bait. During this awesome session the boys had the privilege of seeing a heap of turtles on the beach which made this final session even more special. When the crew returned to Blue Lightning and I asked how the session went Daniel remarked at how good Chad is at driving and maneuvering the boat around the reefs and swell to get the best out of the fishing. It was awesome feedback for Chad.
After lunch it was time for some golf with floating balls off the Cod Cave. As I was writing that Dale was the worst golfer hitting the golf ball on a 90 degree angle, with the ball only going 2m and managing to hit the side of the dinghy, our Decky Brendan decided to challenge him for the title hitting the ball and somehow managing to let go of the golf club. The club went flying through the air and nearly went further than his golf ball, good on ya Brendan. As the wind subsided we decided to make our way across to Dampier, bring another awesome trip to an end.
Good fishing and a great week
All in all it was a great week with lots of laughs and good fishing. The boys were stoked to get a few GT and the Sailfish to top off an eventful trip. The crew loved the flexibilility of telling us the their favourite types of fishing so we could customise their trip based on the conditions and their preferences. We look forward to welcoming them back on board Blue Lightning again.
Until next time, happy fishing