2010 to 2013
After moving to Emerald, the fishing and boating really died down. The trips became much less frequent. But there were still a few good ones.
Soon after, like a couple of days, moving to Emerald, Gamble took me out to collect his redclaw pots he placed out the day before. It was cool. He had a 4m runabout with an old 2 stroke 40 Johnno - he liked to refer to it as 'The Trawler'. As we scooted around gathering his opera house pots from the lilly-pillies, the trees and open spaces we gathered quite a collection of redclaw. We split the catch and Shell and I made a few redclaw pizzas. They were pretty good - but after the 3rd day we were red-clawed out and didn't really bother hunting any more for the next few years!
Another day, roughly February or March, we took both my boat and Gamble's to Fairbairn Dam for a quick fish and to have a go at tubing. I tried fishing, briefly around the rock ledges and around the sticks further out, but couldn't find any fish at all. Gamble was in tubing mode. He had two tubes and enjoyed giving the 40hp Johnno a workout. Brett and Gamble's brother Stuart had goes, at quite hectic speeds. Shell and I were much less adventurous, asking him to take it easy "Sure, sure," he replied. He did take it a bit slower, but geez there was some speed. It was bloody awesome, as we were holding on for dear life! A great day, and even though we didn't come off, we had sore muscles for the next week. Great core workout!
While we were caravanning at Cairns I took my 375 tinny. Our caravan park, Coconut Resort, was only about 5 minutes from Trinity Inlet boat ramp. On our first adventure in the boat was Shell and Loz. I picked them up from the pontoon, just in case there was a resident croc watching me at the ramp - bit eerie. We headed up the creek a little and around a bend. I saw some structure along the bank, but didn't want to anchor too close to the trees ('cause of crocs) and casted towards them. A little down from us they were catching nannygi which I thought was surprising as it was a pretty murky creek. About half an hour later, another boat comes around the corner saying there is a croc basking on the bank - 3.5m was his call. We headed around for a look, and sure enough there it was. Shell wouldn't let me drive close, but it was happy enough basking on the bank. Now I knew there'd be crocs in the inlet, but this made it all the more real. As well as a story a local said of a man getting attacked in a local drain cast netting - he'd done the same thing 4 days in a row, on the 4th day he got attacked. From here we headed back to the ramp. It was good to get the rig on the water - 1500km from home!
I got out a few more times, solo. An early morning trip was quick eerie as it was quiet, foggy and the tide was really high, meaning the crocs would be in the water rather than basking. I really didn't enjoy leaning over to bring the anchor in at these times! I managed a decent grunter of 53cm over a sandbar and a couple of smaller ones. I also tried out the front near past the harbour - but I couldn't lose a bait.
I took Mum and Peter for a trip too, when they arrived. I tried a quick fish where some mouths met each other. There was some boofing going on, likely barramundi hitting mullet, but my baits weren't very popular. They enjoyed the scenery and the atmosphere.
As I wasn't getting out on the water anywhere near as much as when we lived in Hervey Bay, I organised for a full-day fishing charter from Scarborough. The cost was about $180 each. Quite a few of my mates joined in - Paul, Fatty and Mick. I barely got any sleep at all that night, maybe 2-3 hours. I was far too excited. Paul picked me up and he too was pumped. We made our way to Fatty's to pick him up, and he may have had to make some last minute changes to his make-up, as we had to wait a couple of minutes!
It was an early leave from Scarborough Marina, and we headed for Caloundra Wide to Moreton Island area. The weather was spot on with clear conditions and ideal swell and tides.It was a bloody good trip with us all bagging out on pearlies, getting quite a few trag and some reefies such as emperor sweetlip, fingermark, parrot and stripies. It was a fair way to wind all day, but the action made up for it. The deckie was kept busy all day long, either taking fish off lines or changing tackle over. We all took our fair share back at the wharf and headed to Fatty's to do the filleting. We cooked up some fresh fish for weeks!
Bagman Fishing Charters
After the awesome trip with Incredible Charters, Col offered to take us out on his dad's boat - 'Bagman'. A 10m cat with twin 250hp 4 stroke Yamaha motors. It had recently been fitted out with the motors and we were keen to go on an overnight fish. Carl wasn't able to join in for Incredible Charters so he jumped at this chance. So did Fatty and Bra. Col also had his son Brian and brother Pete onboard. We were all pumped.
Col got hold of a decent live bait and dropped it down. We all baited up and hoped for the best. We got a few smallish reefies - pearlies, parrot and sweetlip. Not too long later, Col's overhead reel was screaming. He was onto it. A good battle persisted and eventually Pete was able to put the gaff into a good snapper. Celebrations were had! Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of a photo. We got a few more pearlies and then Brian was keen to get some teasers out and do some trolling. An overhead near Carl went off, and he jumped at it. Pull and wind, pull and wind, he did for quite a while - about 10 minutes later he had a decent size mac tuna on board. He got some photos and it was chopped up for bait.
Earlier in the day it was too still, as we fished to sunset just off Moreton Island the seas picked up a little - we were quite hopeful and there were quite a few peckers, but no keepers. We headed for Tangalooma to anchor up for the night. Bagman was definitely comfortable enough, as we cooked up a feast - enough rib fillet steak to feed an army. The next day we had another shot at the reefies and a troll, but didn't manage too much. We re-filled at Bribie Island, split the fuel bill and headed back to home. A great trip out, some fish for a feed, and memories to last for ages.
It was a very quiet year on the water. I got out a couple of times with mates in Redcliffe. I took Loz for a bit of fun at Fairbairn Dam. But mostly I think Gamble and I took the motorbikes on day trips, finding new riding spots.
On the school holidays we headed to Redcliffe for a couple of weeks. I towed the 375 tinny down as we stayed at Shell's parents place. My mates organised a little convoy one weekend, as we tried the front of Margate/Scott's Point, the Wells and the Pine. I got a wobbe-gong shark, Bra and Gamble got a decent snapper, and Fatty and Carl not a lot. We headed for the Wells. Gamble got dropped off at the ramp, and Bra picked up Lea. We got to the Wells and the bream were on the bite. I got a few and released. Carl got a bream, but snapped his rod in the process - poor bugger! Then Lea showed us all up getting a good flathead.
I got out again with Shell's dad, David. We tried the front of Margate/Scott's Point and Fatty was out there too. Fatty managed a decent cod. David and I decided to try Otter's Rock and I'm glad we did as we got a couple of good snapper and David got onto something that he couldn't stop! It was another good day on the water.
Looks like it was a very, very quiet year on the boating front. I can't recall or find any pictures of any trips at all.
Back home at Hervey Bay
Not long after returning back home to Hervey Bay, Carl visited for a couple of nights for a fish. We went out early on a Saturday out the front of the pier.On our way out we saw a massive spanish mackerel leap out of the water, about 50m in front of us. This got us extremely excited. We fished for a couple of hours and had a couple of big runs. We caught a couple of small school mackerel - but they were too small. We caught a cod - just over legal - about 43cm. And we caught a just legal sweetlip. I cleaned the boat up and Carl cleaned the fish for fish & chips for dinner. It felt good to be back in Hervey Bay and fishing again! You beauty!
Round Island with Loz
During March and April, I took Loz over to Round Island a couple of times. Callum and Shell came for one of the trips too. It's only about 1km from the harbour - but it gives the kids the feeling of being away from the mainland, and it's small enough that they can walk around it in about 10 minutes. They could explore the rocks - looking for small crabs, look for shells and see a little variety. We found an old bench seat which looked to be popular with the birds. Or rather the branch above it was. While we were around Round Island we tried for some whiting. We got a couple but not enough to make a decent meal.
The rest of the year seemed very quiet. We bought some SUPs and a kayak - which meant that the boat went on the back burner.
Soon after our Agnes Water/1770 trip at Easter, I bought a Malibu X-factor kayak for a really good price from BCF. I added a comfortable seat, put in a couple more rod holders and bought a trolley. I took it out the front of Shelley Beach, Urangan one morning and got a few whiting. Some were really quite decent. There were also a couple of toadies around. There is a video below that I took with my new GoPro. The songs are quite catchy and supposed to be a bit silly - love it!
We took the SUPs out quite a few times this year. Below are a few of the videos that we took on the GoPro.
My mum visited us in Hervey Bay and had her first go on a SUP - she really enjoyed it.
Shell organised a Father's Day SUP from Enzo's at Scarness. We took one of our boards and hired one of their Red Paddle boards (as we were interested in buying one). We spend the morning paddling around the jetty and shallow areas.
A few of us locals headed to Oregan's Creek at Craignish.