Our group this week was organised by Darrell for a very special event, his Dad’s 80th birthday. Darrell and Barry came from Melbourne and were joined by Barry’s brothers and some friends in Geraldton. It made for a special charter with everyone together. Barry and his brothers were raised in Geraldton and had spent a fair bit of time around the islands. Taking them back out to the Abrolhos Islands was something very special, and we enjoyed hearing all their stories.
Heading back to the Abrolhos Islands
We headed out of Batavia Marina on a beautiful day ready to see what the ocean had in store for us. We started the morning off with trolling and it wasn’t long and we heard the reel peeling off. Mark was first up fighting a Spanish Mackerel, unfortunately a shark decided he was hungry and ate half of Mark’s Mackerel.
Next on the rod was Craig, he managed to get himself a School Mackerel. Before long the lures went screaming off once again and Darrel caught a Spanish Mackerel. Closely followed up by Barry who caught a big Spanish Mackeral, which was a perfect way to start his 80th birthday celebrations.
The line went screaming off, but it was a bit different from previous runs. Paul was up on the rod and low and behold he reeled in a Coral Trout, his first ever on a trolling lure. This session also proved fun for Mark who landed a whole Spanish Mackerel being his first ever. It was a very hot session of trolling with double and triple hook ups.
After the guys had had all the trolling fun they could handle for the time being, it was time to swap over to bottom fishing. The first few drops bought up lots of undersize Pink Snapper, which were swiftly released to grow bigger. Mark decided he wanted to try plastics for the first time ever. His experiment paid off, getting himself a nice sized Dhu Fish. A couple of drops later he was lucky enough to get another Dhu Fish on his plastic. Not to be outdone, Graha snagged himself a Dhu Fish. The bottom fishing session ended with the boys catching Pink Snapper, Dhu Fish and Baldchin Groper.
Big Pigeon Island
We stayed the night at Big Pigeon Island. Thank you Macca once again for letting us stay on your jetty. The local pub is now closed but I showed the guys anyway as its still interesting to see the outside and the old school on the island.
Day 2- unexpected wake up call
The morning of day 2 rolled around with Captain Chad and I woken by a distress call on the radio in the early hours of the morning. We woke all our customers and made a plan to assist the vessel in trouble. We subsequently spent the whole day assisting the distressed vessel. We send a huge thank you to our customers and all involved for their help and understanding in what was an unexpected event.
Captain Chad’s Call
Captain Chad decided that as tomorrow was supposed to be the last day of the charter, and what had unfolded today, that he would extend the charter an extra night so this great crew could enjoy another full day out at the Abrolhos Islands. We decided to spend the night at Pigeon island.
We woke on day 3 of the charter to another beautiful day at the Abrolhos Islands. The sun was shining and the birds were happily chirping away, it was time to push off and head out fishing.
We started the morning off with a bottom fishing session. It was a bit quiet unfortunately this morning but we did see a few Pink Snapper getting around the boat. We made a decision to anchor up in the shallows where the guys were having fun catching Baldchin Groper. After sharing many stories of the good old days Captain Chad and Graham decided to go old school using a hand line to catch their Baldchin Groper.
Exploring Abrolhos Islands history
We showed the crew Beacon Island and Long Island, where the survivors of the Batavia took refuge and where the murders took place back in 1629. We then made our way to the Middle Group where we stayed on the mooring at White Bank. The guys had lots of fun fishing off the mooring catching some Pink Snapper.
Day 4- Bonus day
We arose on day 4 to a beautiful sunrise. It was decided that we would kick the final day off in a great way with a big cooked breakfast. As the crew were eating breakfast we made our way past Big Rat Island and Little Rat Island on our way to the Anemone Lump. The guys were pretty impressed with the big fish coming up to them while they were snorkeling the Anemone Lump including Spangled Emperor and Baldchin Groper.
One last fishing session
As we started making our way to mainland we stopped for some fishing. I decided that as I had not had a fish in a week or more that it was time I had a drop too, using a plastic. As soon as I hit the bottom I was hooked up to something decent on my light gear, landing a good size Pink Snapper. I dropped again and as soon as I hit the bottom I was on once again on another Pink Snapper. The other guys also caught a few Pink Snapper as well as some Baldchin Groper.
Southern Group memories
Before we made our way back to Geraldton, John wanted to go and see the South Islands. We went past them, so the crew could see if it looked familiar to them, from last time they were here many years before. It was awesome hearing their stories and memories from these beautiful islands where Chad and I have shared so many memories with our awesome customers. It was yet another great trip with a great bunch of blokes, seeing them come together father and sons on a special trip was priceless. These are memories they will have forever.
Once again we thank our customers and all involved in assisting the vessel in trouble.
Until next time, happy fishing
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