The weather has been patchy of late and the bayside of DI Point has been a real pain to launch and retrieve the boat over the past few months with very little protection due to massive amounts of sand being washed away through out the corner of the bayside making the launch/retrieve only possible near the toilet block, which is more open to the swells and chop. I would advise those who wish to launch/retrieve at DI and haven’t had a lot of beach launch experience to avoid doing so until the sand builds back up in the corner of DI and allows a little more protection. The beach dump has been pretty severe and many boats have been swapped and also many 4×4’s getting a bath. Salt water is getting as high as halfway up the doors with waves sweeping up the steep beach. At this stage heading out the wide bay bar would be the better option especially if you do not have an extended draw bar.
I was beginning to think the weather would never allow us to head wide and the last trip wide was several months ago. Finally last trip we had that window of opportunity and we headed out with calm seas and this would be the day to head wide to some ground about 10km from the shelf. We dropped the lines and big Hussar, Moses Perch, Maori Cod and small Pearlies were being pulled aboard but Red Emperor was our target so we worked our way north and fished a big pinnacle, which has always been loaded with big unstoppable fish.
The first few drops resulted in quick bust ups and also big Wahoo following the baits. A few quick trolls resulted in a hook up but the fish spat the hooks within seconds. I went back and tried some deepwater jigs and within seconds I was hooked up to a freight train that eventually straightened the hooks. Another jig and another freight train but after a short fight Sharks soon nailed it. I put another jig on and this time no takers but looking over the side of the boat I could see about 15 massive Rainbow Runners, Big Wahoo and following them were Sharks. I dropped the jig again and this time got nailed mid water and I had the drag almost locked up and just as I thought I had this fish coming I got hammered by a Shark, which let go of my fish seconds later so I wound like mad but the Sharks soon grabbed it again and this time I had no chance and was busted up.
By this time we had enough and headed off looking for grounds further north both on the inside and outside of the shelf and while doing so came across a very distinct current line which I was hoping wouldn’t be too strong making the trip a waste of time. We found a little bit of reef and some fish in 110mtrs of water and pulled some nice Pearlies but once again the Sharks found us so we headed back in closer to some ground in 65 mtrs where we had pulled Reds before. After a good look around it wasn’t looking good for us so we anchored up on a little show just before dark where we wanted to spend the night. Things were very quiet and the current had picked up a little but wasn’t bad and after a short period I hooked a decent fish and up come a 65cm Red and I thought yahoo about time but that was it for about half an hour when my Father got hammered by a big fish and calls it an Amberjack or something similar. After a good fight a nice sized Yellowtail Kingfish was pulled aboard and some photos were taken just before dark.
By now we were starting to think this might be the trip we could come a gutsa and fail to find a few Reds. We pulled the pick and moved to another patch of reef close by where we had pulled good numbers of Moses Perch and Hussar before. The Current had picked up a little more but was still ok and with my father using a paternoster rig and myself and friend Andy using a floating rig we all put on dead yakkas and dropped the lines. After a few minutes the old boy connects to a solid fish and a nice red comes aboard.
Seconds later I connected as well and so too Andy and we both raised nice Reds. The reds weren’t big but just nice solid fish around the 7-8kg mark and it just turned into mayhem with triple hook ups and a fight to net your own fish. This is what dreams are made of. Catching reds one after the other and you couldn’t get the bait to sit on the bottom for more then 5 seconds before being inhaled and the best part was there was no Sharks for once which meant I used 30lb mono line the whole trip making the fishing a lot more fun. We lost a few good fish due to hooks pulling but we still had them coming aboard thick and fast and they were getting bigger and bigger. At one stage my father had just pulled a good Red and as hard as it sounds I like to get my pics soon as they have been caught or otherwise you forget and the fish looses all its colour and gets bent up in the esky so after I got hit and lost my bait (so I thought) I put the rod in the rod holder and took some pics of my father’s Red. Minutes later after netting more fish, taken pics and stuffed around I picked my rod up and started to wind it in only to find the rod loading up with a decent weight and me thinking hey this feels big. After a solid fight the biggest Red of the trip is safely pulled aboard and now has me thinking of putting the rod in rod holder more often.
The Red mayhem continued for well over an hour and the boat had Reds laying everywhere with them on floor, in the anchor bin and sticking out of the full unorganized esky. We soon reached our bag limit of reds, which is something that often doesn’t happen.
By now the Current was running extremely hard and almost un-fishable and with the bag limit reached we left the Reds biting and headed for DI arriving back into the bay area about 10.30pm that night and feeling totally stuffed.
The next morning we headed for the close in grounds and had a quick fish around the 8-mile grounds and first drop my father picks up a good Knobbie while drifting away from the reef on a paternoster rig.
We picked up some squire and sweetlip before heading back in closer checking out different spots before fishing on a little patch of reef in 55mtrs of water. These areas have been holding nice Nannygai and this trip was no different with some nice ones coming aboard if you could get the baits through the madly feeding squire. Using whole dead yakkas certainly gave the nannygai a better chance to get to the bait and we pulled several nice Large Mouth Nannygai and I dropped what felt to be a ripper Nannygai but pulled the hooks mid water but that’s fishing. My father soon made up for it with a corker large mouth and with no yakkas left and ice getting low we made the call to head home.
For those who want to catch reds it might seem by reading these articles that catching these Reds was reasonably easy but it requires lots of time, traveling and persistence before you might even find your first Red. This trip took us more then 12 hours before finding the first Red and required the distance of 170km for that day. The ground past the 30-40km area can be very frustrating as you seem to loose the common species in numbers and your catch can look pretty poor if you can’t find the reds which is a massive possibility.