Fantastic fishing at the Montebello Islands WA
After a couple of days break to catch up on work on land the Blue Lightning crew were eager to get back out to the Montebello Islands and see what they had in store for us this week. We welcomed a great crew of electrical tradies from Southern WA on board. It was particularly exciting to welcome these guys as only one of them had ever visit the incredible Montebello Islands before. Regular blog readers will be well aware the we LOVE showing fresh customers what the Montebello Islands have to offer.
After a delicious meal on the eve of night one we got a good night’s rest before we left Dampier to make our way out to the Montebello Islands. The morning of day 1 is always part chaos and part excitement and anticipation as we wonder what these incredible islands will bring us this week. To make the most of every moment in this fishing paradise, we fished our way across to the islands. After all you wouldn’t want to miss a moment of the fishing action!
Montebello Islands fishing kicks off
For our first session of the charter we decided to go trolling. It was a bit on the quieter side, but the boys did manage catch a few Shark Mackerel.
We steamed on towards the Montebello Islands, stopping at a couple of good looking bottom grounds to see what the boys could jig up. Tommo was first up on a jig, hauling up his first ever Rankin Cod. The boys were rewarded well for their jigging efforts with Red Emperor, Rankin Cod, Coral Trout, Golden Trevally and GT all making an appearance. Todd was a very happy fisherman after he snagged a GT on a jig. It was a promising session with the boys recording a few firsts. Ryan, Chris and Tommo all caught their first ever Rankin Cod on jig.
Trolling Hard Body Lures
To round out day 1 we thought we would have sessions trolling hard body lures. The crew didn’t have to wait long before the first line was peeling off the reel. Tommo was the lucky first again catching his first ever Yellow Fin Tuna on a Halco Crazy. Before long Cramer scored his first ever Yellow Fin Tuna. The boys and the Blue Lightning crew were over the moon to be seeing so many firsts and it was only day 1. The boys finished the session with a few Spanish Mackerel and Shark Mackerel.
Welcome to the Cod Cave
It was time to make our way into the bay we call home at the Montebello Islands. It was yet another breathtaking moment as the new guys were greeted by the beauty and scenery of these incredible islands. It’s one of my favourite moments of any charter and always serves as a reminder of just how special our island home is. The Blue Lightning pontoon, the “Cod Cave”, was a welcome sight, as we pulled up alongside for the boys first night.
The crew decided that day 2 would be our designated Heart Starter day. It was a great opportunity for the guys to spend the day on our boston whaler “Heart Starter”. Heart Starter is the perfect vessel to get the crew in and around the islands searching for GT’s, snorkeling and exploring the Montebello Islands.
Great Montebello Islands fish species
Cramer, Wes and Bodge went out first on Heart Starter as they were pretty eager to go snorkeling. They had a great little session, they were lucky enough to see Coral Trout, Giant Trevally (GT) and turtles just cruising around. The marine life here at the Montebello Islands is something to be admired and the guys were impressed with the variety of species they spotted. Bodge caught a Crayfish, which meant were all looking forward to popcorn Crayfish for entrée.
Beach fishing at the Montebello Islands
Meanwhile Todd, Ryan, Chris, Scragger and Tommo had fun casting off the beach. Todd managed to land himself 2 Coral Trout, and a Spangled Emperor on a Halco Gold Bomber. Chris used Cranker Crab which appeared to work well for him catching Coral Trout and Blue Bone. Ryan took the opportunity to go for a swim in the stunning (and warm) turquoise water.
After an eventful morning it was time to head back to the Cod Cave for a well deserved lunch and cold beverage and of course to share stories of the morning’s adventures.
Heart Starter showcasing awesome Montebello Islands fishing
For the afternoon session the guys swapped over, with the island crew now on board Heart Starter. The lads were stoked to have a hot session. Todd caaught a big Spanish Mackerel weighing in at 18kg (I claim some credit for this one as before he headed out he asked me what lure he should use. I must have chosen the right one J ). Ryan landed himself a Shark Mackerel. While Tommo was in luck catching himself 3 bucket list species Coral Trout, a GT on a Rapala Xrap Blue Beast, and a Spanish Mackerel on a Rapala Green. Chris was another happy fisherman catching himself a big Gold Spot Trevlly and the biggest Spanish Mackerel he had ever caught at 20kg. Scragger rounded out the crew with his 1st ever Spanish Mackerel.
Beach fishing the Montebello Islands
Meanwhile the beach boys Kris, Wes and Bodge tried their luck searching for mud crabs. Unfortunately it wasn’t their afternoon and they didn’t manage to provide any mud crabs for entrée. They did have fun exploring the amazing Montebello islands while searching though so it was still a fun afternoon for them. We topped off the day with sashimi Yellow Fin Tuna, popcorn Crayfish and Squid for entrée followed by an amazing curry with fresh fish, Cray and Squid for main. It simply does not get any better for dinner.
Day 3 started in a typically incredible Montebello Islands way, as we made our way out of the bay we saw a big Eagle siting in its nest. It was awesome to see such a majestic creature, just chilling out enjoying the Monties. We were all on a nice little high. So we decided to kick off the fishing with a plastic and jigging session. Tommo was first up catching a Red Emperor on an Abrolhos Tackle Soft Plastic. Bodger got reefed but he managed to get his fish out and was rewarded with a good size Rankin Cod, that was well and truly earned.
The Marvelous Montebello Islands continue
The Montebello Islands weren’t finished with us yet. As we looked around we were surrounded by Whales, everywhere we looked there they were breaching. Their shear size and presence had us all stunned. It doesn’t matter how many times I see these incredible creatures, I never get tired of them. Once we all settled and the whales had moved on we finished the good little session of fishing with Rankin Cod, Red Emperor and Coral Trout. We swapped over for a quick session on hard body lures. Tommo caught his 1st ever ½ Wahoo, after a Shark decided he was hungry too. 😛
Casting in the shallows
For the afternoon the guys decided to have a session casting in the shallows for Giant Trevally (GT). The guys were quite excited, as they proceeded to cast poppers and stickbaits with determination on their face, keen to land themselves a GT. It was a fun session with the boys getting quite a few follows. Cramer was stoked, catching his first ever GT! Once he had caught his GT he swapped over to using soft plastics and landed himself a nice Coral Trout, it was clearly an awful day for Cramer ;). It was awesome seeing everyone take such delight in seeing the GT, Trevally and Mackerel come out and chase the poppers and stickbaits after they were cast. It’s an absolute highlight to see our awesome customers experience moments like this for the first time. With a few more GT’s caught it was time to make our way back home to the Cod Cave to share more fishing tales, a good meal and a great sleep in absolute serenity.
As day 4 dawned the crew were up and ready for another fantastic day fishing at the Montebello Islands. The crew from Southern WA decided it was a great opportunity to try their luck trolling. Tommo was in luck yet again, kicking off the day with a Spanish Mackerel. Soon Todd added to the tally landing himself a Spanish Mackerel. It didn’t take long for the chaos of a triple hook up to take hold. Todd, Wed and Tommo managed to land 2 from 3. Ryan and Todd rounded out the session with Spanish Mackerel each. It was a really fun session for the boys with all Mackerel being released to swim another day.
Jig & Plastics Session
For our next session it was time to drop down for a jig and plastic session. 3 of the guys got chopped off by Mackerel. They were definitely hungry. We weren’t giving up though with the plastics and jigs eventually producing Spangeled Emperor and Coral Trout. Tommo also managed to catch his first ever Gold Spot Trevally.
Trolling for Montebello Islands Coral Trout
As the session drew to a close we decided it was time to move on troll for some Coral Trout. As always the Montebello Islands decided to put on a stunning show as we were lucky enough to see 3 Dugongs. This was proving to be another sensational charter with plenty of awesome Montebello Islands surprises. But back to the fishing… Ryan scored himself a Coral Trout before Tommo reeled in some fantastic….seaweed J Bodge was in luck getting himself a great Coral Trout.
Next up it was time for some casting with Todd getting himself a Spangled Emperor, followed by his 1st ever Chinaman, and a Coral Trout. Before long Captain Chad spotted squid in the water. Within seconds I handed him a rod and squid jig and he proceed to catch a Squid out the window. Bodge followed Chad’s example also landing a Squid. Entrée was looking good.
Pristine Montebello Islands water calling our name(s)
The water was looking pristine and clear so the guys decided to go for a snorkel. It turned out to be a great decision with the boys having a great time seeing Coral Trout and even a big GT swim past. They had liked the popcorn Crayfish entrée so much the other night, that they were determined to get a few more. To make it an even better session they did manage to catch a few Crayfish for entree.
Stick Baits & Poppers
For the final session of the day the boys decided to cast sitck baits and poppers before we headed back towards the Cod Cave. It was yet another nice little session with the boys reeling in Gold Spot Trevally, Spanish Mackerel, Shark Mackerel. It was a glorious afternoon on the water topped off by a delicious dinner in a breathtaking location.
The group decided that day 5 was the perfect time for an early morning start to make our way out wide. It was a seriously awesome idea with the weather turning on an amazing morning. To kick off the day’s fishing we stopped for a jig and plastics session. Chris was first up landing a Long Nose Emperor with Wes the next up with his own Long Nose Emperor. Grant was also in luck reeling in a Rankin Cod. I also had my first drop for the trip landing myself a sweet Coronation Trout. While we were fishing we had an incredible Pilot Whale stop by to check us out, it circled Blue Lightning a few times before disappearing out of sight. It was another breathtaking reminder of the incredible marine life that call the Montebello Islands home, this eco-system still blows my mind even over 10 years of charters up here, it really is something so special I can’t put it into words.
The ultimate fishing sight ?
It wasn’t long before we saw the ultimate fishing sight… a Sailfish free jumping. It suddenly became hectic on deck as we all rushed to get the Billfish gear out. The switch bait was dropped in and we were all very excited to have hooked a Sailfish. Unfortunately this one wasn’t meant for us and lost it. The great thing about fishing is that there is always another one out there, and it wasn’t long before we switched bait and Tommo was hooked to his first ever Sailfish. The energy onboard was electric with Tommo putting in a sensational fight catching and releasing his first ever Sailfish. Not only was Tommo completely stoked but so was the Blue Lightning crew, it is seriously the best feeling when customer’s catch their first of a species, especially when it is one of our all-time favourites. We were certainly all smiles.
Plastics & Jigs
It was time to move on and swap over to the trusty plastics and jigs. Chris scored himself a Corantion Trout, before Bodge scored himself his first ever Gold Band Snapper. He also managed to reel in his first ever Red Emperor. Long Nose Emperor proved to be the predominant species in this session. The boys did catch a great mixed bag with Rankin Cod, Coronation Trout, Coral Trout, Red Emperor, Spangled Emperor, Crimson Sea Perch, and Gold Band Snapper. To top off the session Wes caught not only his first ever Red Bass but a total of 3 Red Bass which were all released.
The crew made the decision to change over to trolling. Bodger was first up landing himself a big smile and his 1st ever Wahoo. Shortly after it was Chris’ turn with a Giant Trevally before Tommo scored himself his 1st ever whole Wahoo. Grant then reeled in a Wahoo for himself. The great fishing just kept going with Cramer landing himself a sweet 20kg Spanish Mackerel and Scragger a Wahoo.
What about the Wahoo
Chris was next to land himself a Wahoo. Todd then caught his 1st ever Wahoo as well as a Long Nose Emperor. It was Wes’ turn on the rod having a great battle and reeling in a big Spanish Mackerel. With yet another first Ryan caught his first ever Wahoo, as the smiles on all our faces grew. Little did we know we were in for even more firsts with Bodge scoring his first Gold Band Snapper, as well as his first Red Emperor and a Wahoo. Cramer added his first Coronation Trout to his tally while Todd caught himself a Wahoo. Tommo got his first Sailfish, Wahoo, Long Nosed Emperor and an impressive Coral Trout. Finally Wes managed his first Red Bass. After a sensational day of fishing like this you can see why we refer to the Montebello Islands as a fishing paradise. As we returned to the Cod Cave we were all smiling and in complete awe of these amazing islands and all they have to offer, completely exhausted we retired for a good night’s rest.
For day 6 the crew decided to take advantage of the Blue Lightning Boston Whaler, Heart Starter. Chris, Tommo & Todd headed out first. Todd was first up catching his first GT on a stick bait. The session also got a number of Shark Mackerel and Spanish Mackerel for the boys. Chris was disappointed to lose a good sized GT after it pulled the hook. Yet again we were treated to the stunning sight of some whales passing by the boat.
Exploring the Montebello Islands
Meanwhile the remainder of the crew explored Trimoulle Island, the site of the nuclear testing at the Montebello Islands. They had a great time exploring the history of this breathtaking island.
Snorkelling the Montebello Islands
For the afternoon session the boys headed back to the water for a snorkel. They saw plenty of female Crayfish as well as some stunning Montebello Islands Coral Trout. They were also lucky enough to spot heaps of Lion fish and Mangrove Jack. It was Wes’ first opportunity to search for Crayfish and he was all smiles. For their last night at the islands the boys were treated with sensational weather, the Montebello Islands were really showing off this week J
Day 7 crept up on us as we had so enjoyed every moment of this incredible charter. The boys decided to kick off the final day stick baiting, although some of the guys threw some plastics and jigs in the mix. Scragger managed a sweet Coral Trout on a plastic. While Tommo scored himself a GT on a stick bait. And just like that we arrived back into Dampier with plenty of sensational fishing stories, and memories of the incredible Montebello Islands that will last a lifetime.
Until next time, happy fishing
Tommo-the whole day fishing out wide
Scragger- fishing out wide
Todd- Sharing the trip with my brother and uncle, the hot stick bait session with the Mackerel and my GT
Ryan- Everything was amazing
Kramer- being back in the water
Bodge- Tommo catching Crayfish
Wes- Night 6 when it glassed off
Chris- The hot session on Heart Starter
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