Mackerel and GT adventures at the Montebello Islands

Giant Trevally PB Montebello Islands WA fishing charter

Mackerel and GT adventures at the Montebello Islands

This week we welcomed Graeme back on board Blue Lightning Charters for his 5th trip to the Montebello Islands. This time Graeme organised a group of 7 mates that had never been to the Montebello islands before. They Really came prepared with lots of fishing gear. The final count was 24 Shimano Stellas alone on board!


Day 1- The fun begins

As always we left Dampier bright and early on day 1 aboard Blue Lightning. The guys were roaring to go. We started the morning off with some trolling with the guys getting Mackerel, and Bludger Trevally. Shane and Adam both catching their personal best, Spanish Mackerel on Halco Green Yellow 3m.

Next, we swapped over to bottom fishing with the guys pulling in some Rankin Cod, Coral Trout, and Brassy Trevally. Shane caught a nice size Coral Trout on a 200g Silver Knife Jig with Anton catching another Coral Trout on a soft plastic.

First impressions

As we entered the Montebello Islands archipelago I asked the new guys what their first impressions were. The comments ranged from “I didn’t expect the Monties to be so big”, to “its bloody awesome”, to “I’m blown away by the size and how many islands there are”. It really made my day, as it does each time we introduce a new crew to this incredible island paradise. Chad was stoked that they loved the Blue Lightning pontoon affectionately known as “The Cod Cave”. The highlight of the day goes to Decky Brody, for putting a lure out for the guys with no hooks on it. Well done Brody, that will definitely catch the guys a fish J


Day 2- Heart Starter in her element

Day 2 was destined to be our Heartstarter and island day due to the winds being SW 28-30KN. Graeme, Peter, Tom and Westy headed out on Heartstarter all rigged up for a day of popping for GT’s and trolling for mackerel. Peter got his first ever GT on a Halco Rooster Popper Gold. Later, trolling produced some Mackerel. While they were out, Decky Brody went for a dive in search of some cray fish for entrée.

Windy Fun

Adam, Anton, Shane and Hitch spent the morning discovering the beach and fishing on Trimoiulle Island. After lunch, they swapped over with half the guys enjoying a relaxing afternoon at The Cod Cave while the other lads had the afternoon on out on our Boston Whaler Heartstarter. Anton caught himself a very good size Coral Trout from Heartstarter. The afternoons trolling adventures produced a number of different species of Mackerel, making it a fun little trip for the lads.


Day 3- Trolling

We awoke to another glorious day, although the winds were packing a punch reaching up to 30kn! That didn’t stop us from heading out for a troll around the islands. Westy and Shane picked up a Coral Trout each, while Anton was stoked to nab a Rankin Cod. Tom took catch of the day with a 20kg GT caught on a Halco Minnow while trolling. They also caught some mackerel.

Bottom Fishing

For our next session the boys decided to try some bottom fishing. The bottom fishing sessions saw a range of fish caught ranging from Spanish Flags, Long Nosed Emperor and even Estuary Cod. In the afternoon a few guys relaxed onboard Blue Lightning III, taking in the incredible scenery the Montebello Islands have to offer, while the rest went for a fish off the beach. Adam caught and released a small Rankin Cod. We decided to spend the evening enjoying a few friendly games of Uno. Decky Brody was on fire, winning lots. I’m sure he was cheating lol.


Day 4 -Stick Baits and Poppers

We woke on day 4 to another windy day with 20-25kn WSW winds. We started the morning off casting stick baits and poppers. Graeme had 2 Spanish Mackerel hit his stick bait, understandably that did not last long. After a few more hits of Spanish Mackerel on stickbaits, we changed over to Trolling.  The guys caught up some Shark Mackerel to kick off the Trolling session. Next the reels went screaming off. Anton and Peter were hooked and had a fight on their hands which ended up with the boys releasing two 30kg GT’s! Way to go guys. Hitch also had a good session getting a good size Spanish Mackerel on a Halco Diver. Tom caught a nice size Green Job Fish on a Purple Halco.

Bottom Fishing

For the next session of the day the boys decided it was time to try their hand at some Bottom Fishing using jigs and soft plastics. Catch of the day goes to Westy with a Red Emperor on a Gulp 7 inch Jerk Shad Pumpkin Seed. There were lots of Golden Trevally around to stretch the boys arms. The guys finished off this session with Rankin Cod, Red Emperor and catching and releasing lots of Golden Trevally. To finish the evening off the guys caught a couple of squid off The Cod Cave.


Day 5- Shallows

We woke on day 5 to 22 knot Southerly winds.  We decided this provided the perfect opportunity to spend the day trolling and fishing in the shallows. The boys had some fun while Trolling, which produced some Coral Trout, Mackerel and a number of different Trevally species. Later in the day fishing in the shallows produced plenty of Golden Trevally. Graeme was a very happy camper getting a very nice sized Coral Trout.


Day 6- The winds ease

We woke on day 6 very excited. Yay! The winds were starting to ease off at 18kn S and easing as the day goes on. We were particularly excited to take advantage of the better conditions. We kicked off the day with a Trolling session. Tom was  stoked to catch a Blue Fin Tuna on a Rapala Lure. For the next session the boys chose to do some Bottom Fishing. They were happy catching some sweet Monties species including Rankin Cod, Chinaman and even Long Nosed Emperor.

The Shallows

For the afternoon session we decided to cast stick baits and poppers into the shallows. We were all very excited when we had a school of GT’s come to have a look. Much to our disappointment though they decided they weren’t hungry and just came by to visit and tease us all.


Day 7- Awesome Weather

We woke up to a beautiful day in the paradise we know as the Montebello Islands. We started the day casting stick baits and poppers around the shallows. Graeme was happy after he caught a coral trout.

Bottom Fishing Fun

On the way out to the fishing grounds the skirted lures were put out to try our luck at some Billfish. To all of our excitement, Graeme saw a Marlin but unfortunately it shyed away. It was followed by a good session of bottom fishing though with a great range of species being caught including Rankin Cod, Spangled Emperor, Chinaman, Scarlet Sea Perch and Cobia.

GT Giant Trevally =Giant Fun

The boys decided to try their hand at a trolling session next and boy was it a hot session on Mackerel. The guys were really excited, with triple and quadruple hook ups. Mackerel sessions don’t come much better than this. We were very glad that the Monties were finally starting to turn it on for this great bunch of guys. We finished they day off by casting poppers and stick baits for the ultimate GT. Shane caught his first ever GT on a Nomad Popper. You could say he was over the moon with excitement. This fish was well deserved and we couldn’t be happier for Shane. Shane couldn’t wipe the smile off his face once he landed the GT, it was priceless. All he wanted was to catch and release a mighty Giant Trevally on this trip and he definitely got his wish.

The experience of a lifetime

After dinner on day 7 I finally got to experience something I had waited all year to experience. I have been nagging Chad asking that if we get a nice night with a bright moon I would love to go and see the turtles hatching. To be able to experience this would be one of those moments you would never forget. On day 7 we were lucky enough to have the perfect conditions to go and explore the beaches and to try our luck at seeing the turtles hatching. It was a beautiful still night with moon so bright you could see everything on the beach. Unfortunately there was no activity on the first 2 beaches. On the 3rd beach we were in luck. There were 4 baby turtles leaving their nest for the big ocean. What an amazing sight to see. I was like a little kid at Christmas, it was so special. We were even lucky enough to see a turtle laying her eggs on the beach. What an experience! We definitely get to see & be a part of some amazing things out here at the Montebello Islands. I was left feeling very lucky to be able to experience something so special. What an amazing day and night at the incredible Montebello Islands.


Day 8 – Home time

We had a great start to day 8 with Graeme seeing a good size GT just cruising past The Cod Cave. We decided to spend the morning casting poppers and stick baits. Graeme told us he saw a GT come and have a look but he was not interested in our stick baits and poppers. Before long it was time to make our way back to Dampier. On our way back to in we stopped for some trolling and what a hot session this was! It kept the guys very entertained as they had lots of fun catching and releasing plenty of Spanish Mackerel, Tuna, and Bludger Trevally.

Round Up

This week we had a great trip with a great group of guys on their 8 day fishing charter. It provided quite a few windy days which made it challenging as the fish weren’t always co-operative. We were fortunate to have the benefit of our Boston Whaler Heart Starter allowing us to fish for the mighty GT in the shallows and around the islands even on the windy days. Over the last 10 years here at the Montebello islands we have worked hard to provide our customers with the best possible experience. This meant that all-in-all we made the most out of the situation with the guys having a fun trip catching some great catches including plenty of personal bests, and a great range of species including GT’s, Rankin Cod, Red Emperor, Coral Trout, Spanish Mackerel just to name a few.


I asked all the guys of a highlight of their trip and suggested it could be absolutely anything:

Shane – 1st ever GT

Tom – catching his personal best GT, I was even shaking at the end of it

Westy- being here with a great bunch of blokes with the same interest, and all easy going. Great trip

Adam – fishing 8 days with my son and best mates, witnessing the turtles hatching. Fishing was the bomb

Hitchy- seeing Peter and Anton loaded up on the 2 big GT’s and seeing the turtles

Graeme- great bunch of guys and seeing the guys enjoying the trip.

Anton – The whole trip and of course my GT, being here with mates and the great friendly staff.

Peter – catching a GT

Decky Brody – seeing Shane get his first ever GT as he was over the moon

Leah – was the turtles of course and I was also very lucky to receive a custom made rod and stella from Graeme. I cannot thank him enough for this amazing gift.

Captain Chad – seeing the guys catching their personal best catches which makes my job pretty special.


Finally, I want to say a huge thank you to Graeme for organizing such a great group of guys and also for my amazing rod and reel, I am one lucky girl.

Until next time, happy fishing


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For more information on one of our incredible WA Fishing Charters to the Montebello Islands check out our Montebello Islands destination page here or contact us at


There are 2 comments
  1. Peter O'Neill

    Hi Leah

    Great report enjoyed all the photos, missing you guys , hard to go back to work this week only 10 deg tomorrow , hope to catchup on the next tripand thanks againg for looking after us so well and providing some great fishing opportunities and memories

    • chadleah

      Thanks Peter. It was great having you onboard!