Almost a month had passed over the Christmas break and all of the guides were starting to get the ‘itch’ again. Just as well we had an early charter this year dodging the low pressures off the central Queensland coast this time of year can be pretty interesting, but the GT’s will still be there waiting for us. Loading up the boats in Mackay the weather was looking pretty good with the radar clean of all signs of wind and anything nasty, the spirits were high and we were all busting to get out to the reef as usual but had the ever anticipating journey out to Elusive Reef in preparation for our outward expedition to the outer edge of the barrier reef where we had never fished before.
The first couple of days things were looking good, we had some good tides and comfortable conditions. The fishing all round was steady with most of the boats seeing their fair quota of fish but some of the guys finding it hard to stay attached. We were on the move none the less which always kept us in high spirits as we would eventually find some fish that were willing to play the game. Moving some distance each day with Odyssey flagging us to new anchorages is a really unique way to cover ground out here and fish new territory we are extremely lucky to be able to fish this way. Each day brings new surprises and new fishing techniques that you can try allowing you to target a variety of different species if need be. I remember one day with father and son team Greg and James and Dave. B were fishing with me, we had a decent run towards the east in the morning to get to some new unfished ground where we had to stop for 15 mins for a time out from the rain that pelted down on us on the way over. After recuperating we started out GT hunt and in no time at all we had found a patch of fusies boiling on the surface as the lures hit the water bang bang double hook up now we are talking, this set the pace for the rest of the day. With a few closer reefs producing the similar results we had come to around lunch and what better time to not waste any time while eating and stick some trolling rods out, 10 mins later Young James was crippled over the gunwale of the contender with line being peeled of the stella at a blistering pace, his now soggy sandwich lies destroyed on the floor after the chaos but no one actually cared as after the 20 kilo wahoo was pulled on deck he defiantly wasn’t hungry any more that’s for sure with a fish measuring in as almost his height you got to be happy with that what a cracker fish! Just up ahead was a shoal which we decided to have a quick pull passed and we stumbled upon a hungry school of doggies – after landing the first one on the trolling gear they were all under the boat so in the frantic mayhem the only “appropriate” rigged rod was a Yamaga Blue sniper 75/4 with a tiny sport size slug on the end but hey no time to waste! The slug didn’t even get 10 meters down and it got smashed handing it over and getting the guys to drop more ready to go slugs we were in the middle of a mad doggie session. When session switch on like this you need to make hay while the sun shine don’t waste too much time getting the “right” lure on when they are like this try whatever you have rigged on first, you’ll no doubt be bending in no time! Amidst all this action we then decided to drop plastics and Okta jigs on the same shoal which produced some quality trout, red throat and my most memorable catch -- yes and Octopus on an Okta jig! Ha ha.
With the week coming to an end we were slowly fishing our way back west towards the coast in preparation for the overnight trip back to Mackay on Odyssey. This last day something special happened, I’m not sure what but the heat turned up somewhat and the fish were angry. I had Bruce, Chris and James onboard this particular day and they were already wounded soldiers at the beginning of the morning from the whole week of punishment. The morning fired with fish everywhere at most spots and the guys having to pace themselves and a lot of slave driving from my side to keep casting. By lunch we stopped for a time out and already having 13 GT’s we went for a swim in an awesome sandy blue hole and rested, we were to meet Odyssey for a slightly early departure to get boats loaded before dark so we fished our way toward the meeting point and much to the guys reluctance to cast the fish were there and hungry. They finally decided to pull the pin and we were to stop fishing and go ahead of the mothership and wait for her to get to the meeting point. On the way however there was a little reef that wasn’t too far a detour and it would have been rude not to have a cast, Bruce and Chris looked at me with desperate looks on their faces and knew what I was up to – “one more cast come on guys!” What was about to happen was probably one of the most insane GT sessions I have ever seen! We were hooking and dropping up to three GT’s in one cast amongst the rest we were landing with sharks, spannish makeral and trout all having a go! With Chir’s lure only having one hook left on it no time for a lure change just “keep casting!” on again and again – with Odyssey now waiting for us to get back I had radioed through to Captain Andy to please hang on I couldn’t tear myself from this crazy action and somehow these broken soldiers found some more fight somewhere as they managed to land another 9 or 10 fish in the space of an hour and we must have lost the same. Getting back still shaking that is definitely a session that I will never forget and again if that ever happens – make hay while the sun shine cause time like that are few between. What a way to kick start the year! 2012!