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Bugatti Reef Fishing Trip -Week 1 April 2012

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Joined: 24/Dec/2008
Location: Australia
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    Posted: 06/Jun/2012 at 11:42pm

Bugatti Reef  Week 1 April 2012

By Nick, Nomad Pro Guide & Trip Manager

Friday the thirteenth and a scheduled strong wind warning in place for the Great Barrier Reef forecast is not exactly how you want to start a trip. Due to these extream conditions we were forced to call off the first day of the trip but we had the green light to make tracks on the following day. We bunkered down for the nioght and were all keen to see the conditions in the morning.The wind has eased somewhat and we had a course set for the Northern Bugatti System, you can imagine by now that a false start has really got the guys roaring to go. 

Setting out on the first day the wind was still up and was going to be on the fresh side of the scale for most of the week. Nonetheless we had positioned ourselves in an area where we could fish comfortably in these conditions. The reports coming back from the boats were all good with a decent number of fish being seen all day and some decent specimens being boated in between. Keith, Ben and Dave were on the contender with me today and much to their amazement we were just warming up. It is amazing how these fish can break even the biggest guys in no time! After regrouping back Odyssey in comfort everyone was still amazed that there was so much fish seen and boated despite the conditions. 

A relaxing day up in the shallows was on the cards for Mike, Robert and Julien who were keen to get stuck into some species on the light gear. Drifting across the flats is always exciting as your reaction time has to be so much quicker to get the fish out of his hole. On one particular drift Mike had hooked a nice Wrass which had surprisingly taken him into a dark crevasse, I wasn’t going to let this one get away as we had lost a number of fish along the way so we backed off the drag drove up to the spot and I threw the anchor down and started getting fins and a mask ready to go and have a chat with this wrass and explain that we only wanted a picture! Just as I was going in the braid must have caught the edge of the reef and popped off which made it pretty difficult to see where he was hiding and we called off the search. We still managed to pull a few decent fish from there hiding places which made for some great sport in the shallows as always. 

Moving north on the last day we had some distance to cover and on arrival all hell broke loose with Les managing to entice a healthy 35 kilo GT to swallow his popper and start causing some serious pain. With the battle on in Les’s head telling his body he cant go on was somehow muted by my screaming in his ear with words of encouragement…”go, go, wind, wind!!” It is amazing to see from time to time how these fish can truly cripple a man and have him crunched up under the gun whale emitting what seems to be the sound of a woman giving birth! 

With the week of weather we had this week which at times was challenging it was nice to see the amount of fish in the area and how active they still were with all boats coming home with decent numbers of GT’s, Longtail Tuna, and not too mention a beast of a spannish mackerel topping the scales around 30 kilos! 


Nick Milford  

Bugatti Reef Week 2 Aug  2012

By Glanville, Nomad Pro Guide 

Well to start off saying that this charter was completely unreal and some of the best fishing i have been privileged to witness is a mild understatement, it was AMAZING!!!! 

I know this wording may have been used in all sorts of descriptive adverts but to try find the words to visually describe the events of a mind blowing week that left your brain hurting each night with excitement and kept the adrenaline pumping through the body like a toxic chemical, the thoughts running through my mind on each night whilst rolling around in bed was could it possibly get better???? It did every day!!!! 

Enough with the teasing… We started off the charter from Hamilton island and were scheduled to fish the reefs just to the North of Bugatti an area we had been before but had never had the luxury of fishing in glass out conditions and that gave us the opportunities to discover new spots we hadn’t seen. 

Once we had the guest on the mother ship we had the standard safety briefing and a gourmet dinner that was something that really made the taste bud get excited, after that we had a keen bunch of anglers ready to rock and roll and the journey began, a 12 hour steam out to the area where we looked at covering. Waking up to a calm sea was quite a novelty and always is when out on the reef, we zigzagged though the reef in search of an anchorage and the sight of fusiliers busting up on the numerous pressure edges around us was a little too much to take in and the craziness officially began, the guides hurried to get a rigged lure on a rod and a cast was fired from the foredeck of Odyssey bit of a pity that the lure hit the water and was instantly destroyed and a nice GTs was landed by Alex on the duckboards, we had to hold the excitement to get the anchor down where the guides worked like well oiled machines to get their boats in the water so they could get the hunt on and it wasn’t long before boats were burning out in all directions, minutes later the radio was on fire with reports of guys getting smashed by Gts, I took a burn a little further to the north and funny enough the game was on first spot we stopped at lures went flying and double bending, we sat down for an early lunch going over the mornings events and what could the arvo bring more chaos? 

It began straight off the bat and 2 double hook ups off the bat straight after lunch is how it began…when you have a bunch of bruised anglers call it a day at 3pm and beg for a cold beer you know it’s been a fairly busy day… I couldn’t wait for everyone to get back to the mothership and the looks on the guys faces was something so epic you couldn’t help but laugh, a smile from ear to ear and the words that followed to explain that was quite entertaining,  some of the excitement that was delivered from the guest over a few cold beers was unreal. 

The next day began with even calmer weather and a group of guests that i think were a little nervous to start the days angling…it went off yet again and the fishing just seemed too good to be true, the amount of bait that was frothing around the edges of bommies was simply unbelievable there was just far too much, every spot I pulled up to I had the thought, are you serious there is more….by 2pm this day I had my guys hang up their gear and were done with catching GTs, ha well that’s what they thought anyway, we took some lighter gear into the shallows to pursue a few gold spots and shark mackerel, which was a fairly easy task and straight away the poor 5000 stellas were put to work, to cut a long extremely funny and let’s not mention an entertaining story short between 2 and 4:30pm that day we boated a further 7 GTs on the light gear up to 25kg fishing with Stick Shad 114, thought I wouldn’t  bother mentioning the numerous other macks and goldspots… on the short trip home a shoal of tuna busted up and I turned to the guys and the look on their face was priceless they really didn’t want to cast but the natural urge took over which resulted in tuna frothing behind the small lures….one tuna was boated and the other seemed to be a little stronger, it turned out to be a GT, I boga gripped the fish and before I took the hook out had a solid scan around the boat and never spotted a piece of reef anywhere near, quick breeze over the sounder and 50m of desert beneath…fantastic Gts around these parts are now pelagic, something new happens every day on the water, an entertaining way to end the day. 

“What do you want to catch?” was my first call to the guys on my boat the next day and the response i got was evidently something that wouldn’t hurt to start, perfect I had just the plan, shallow water flats fishing should be a nice way to take it easy and catch us a few fish for the dinner table, it started off fairly well and the red throats seemed to be playing the game and by 10am we had about 10 redthroats, a massive yellow lipped emperor a few trout and a mixed bag of other fish including another, guess what? 

A GT on the light gear which came out of a metre of water, we dropped the red throats back at the mother ship to get prepared for dinner and the next plan that day was to try catch a few longtails for some sashimi, as I burnt out the channel and directly past a shoal of fusiliers frothing on the pressure edge, the guests looked at me as if I had just killed bambi!!! Out came the big guns and what was supposed to be a quick sniff for GTs resulted in chaos, every bommie was just loaded and pack attacks of angry Gts getting their backs out the water in a competed event to kill the lure before the challenger next to them…after catching a few we moved to a new reef and was completely different structure but still loaded with bait but a lot shallower, big fish country, the words were barely out my mouth and we had a solid 35kg fish charge towards John’s popper and a solid 30kg on Nicks, bust of one and pulled the hooks on the other unfortunate but standby… it wasn’t long before the same happened and i considered ourselves lucky this time we started fishing a new bommie and what followed was boarder line scary GTs started coming from all angles there would have been 20 of these creatures packed up against this bommie in 5m of water and somehow the beast of the pack managed to barge the babies out of the way and get its full gob out of the water and obliterate the lure which disappeared into a hole of hell, rod bent over, reel screaming and tears falling the battle began!!! 

Just quietly at the back of the boat it seemed that another pack materialise out of nowhere and the white water and shout of excitement explained this in full, bang and another solid fish charge the peasants out of the way, a proper double hook up, the fish turned out to be a solid 38kg and 30kg specimens, a good double under any circumstances, with the day drawing to a close it seemed as though there was enough time to sneak in another 30kg model before we left and the very next bommie delivered the goods, steaming back to the boat on a glass out ocean reflecting the sunlight of an orange glow off the water is something that sticks in your memory as a guide, let’s not begin to mention the more than 20 GTs that had taken pain previously in the day, and that doesn’t take into account the unreal fats fishing that kicked the day off. 

It was all about the shallow flats the next day in search of trout and Redthroat again and this was the day that will stick with me like a memory from yesterday, we knocked off 6 or 8 species in the first half hour of fishing which just shows what an unbelievable place the barrier reef is not only does it have the excitement and adrenalin rush of GTs getting their angry faces out of the water on surface lures, what happens beneath the surface is a whole different ball game and one that will keep you just as much on your toes it is just as special and the variety of fish is just unreal, every cast seems to produce a different fish. We decided to move to a new reef as the tide began to change and straight away a GT charged down the small stick shad down in a meter of water, then a solid Barracuda, after that a short move and we began casting, what popped up in front of me was beyond words this giant blue/green creature which nearly resembled Shrek came and sucked in the stick shad like it was part of its diet…that whole ordeal ended in approximately  5 seconds as that fish, a solid 40kg mauri wrasse tore off into the reef, what followed that day was unreal and I’m not going to begin to explain the what unfolded in detail cause you will have to take the day off to read the report as it needs some description let’s just keep it short and say that we ended up sight casting to giant wrasse on a tiny piece of reef, not one, maybe 30 individuals!!!! They just seemed to be everywhere and the amount of them was something really interesting that not counting that some of them were the size of the door you open to get in your house, the fish averaged between 15-80kg some, the one particular big fish was incredible to see that fish swimming in 2 m of water i would have payed my salary to see exactly how big that fish was. 

You know what the best thing is about this is that the barrier reef is right on our doorsteps, we pretty much have the best fishing destination with more option than you could poke a stick at, I for one can tell you that I have never ever dreamt of seeing fishing action like I have experienced whilst working here and the beauty about fishing on the barrier reef is that it doesn’t matter what the conditions are there is always a spot to hide a and guaranteed there will be some fish willing to play the game… we were averaging around 20-30 GTs a day this last week and could have caught a lot more but after 3 days of this I was battling to get my guys to cast lures at Red throats cause their bodies were hurting that doesn’t take into account all the other species that make up you day and that’s not to mention the clean water and drifting over bits of reef that look like a painting to try describe the coral. 

Every time I write these reports it makes me look forward to the next charter knowing that without a doubt there will be some quality fish to catch somewhere. 

Anyways that’s that for this one guys tight lines.


Edited by Nomad Sportfishing - 06/Jun/2012 at 11:48pm
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