After lots of planning and preparation we launched my 7mtr Riptide Platey with a single Suzuki outboard from keppel bay marina Yeppoon and headed 200 plus km (120 nm) to the swains reef. I had two other mates heading out in their big 30 & 40 foot cats as well so it was nice knowing we had that added safety aspect if any of us required it. I had close to 800 ltrs of fuel on board not to mention loads of gear, ice, bait and 4 blokes which really loaded the boat up.
This trip I had Dad, Macca and also my mate Corey who would come along to film/fish the trip. We aimed for the swains around midday in nice conditions but this slowly deteriorated and greatly increased our arrival time to the swains. After almost 7 hours of travel we arrived at the swains in the dark and anchored behind one of the reefs for a well-earned rest.
The next morning we woke up in glorious conditions and applied the same techniques for chasing red fish that I do in other areas which saw us find fish relatively easy. We soon had red emperor, large mouth nannygai and coral trout coming over the side one after another before moving away to spend some time in other areas. We didn’t find a great deal for our efforts but came back to the first area and sounded up more new rocks that produced an epic session on nannies and reds on dark. With a great box of fish caught we soon decided to leave them biting and head in behind one of the reefs for a sleep.
After getting some weather updates from some mates via satellite phone the forecast had changed for the following day which saw a solid 15 to 20 knots blowing which meant we had to hide behind the reefs and chase trout and red throat in the shallows. Unfortunately the sharks were pretty bad in the shallows but we managed to catch some good fish and also had a fun jigging session catching a variety of trevally on the new mustad jigs. A quick troll in the afternoon produced a couple spanish mackerel and several shark mackerel before we pulled the pin and anchored up for the afternoon in one of the reef lagoons.
The next morning the wind had backed out and we had that morning to get back to Yeppoon before the SW wind would get back up around lunchtime. We made an early morning getaway and I sat on 28 to 30knots trying to cover as much distance as possible in the shortest amount of time while still getting 1 to 1.2km a ltr. After several hours of travel the sw wind slowly started to get up and 70km from Yeppoon we ran into a solid 20 knots of SW wind which slowed us right up and added a couple hours to our trip but we made it back in reasonable time considering.
It was a great adventure and something we can now tick off the bucket list. Although we only got to fish for 2 days we were rewarded with some really good fish and memories with mates and my Dad that will last a lifetime.
To do a trip like this can be very nerve racking and I was putting a huge amount of trust in my single Suzuki outboard along with many other aspects of my boat. I was more comfortable knowing I had mates heading out there as well but the reefs and distances between them are so big that you can’t see from one reef to the next so unfortunately radio contact between boats was almost non-existent.
Taking a Satellite phone out there is a must for weather updates and regular communication. I hired one from Sat Phone Sales and it was a huge piece of mind having that with us and working around the weather forecasts. I have never been one to be worried about the large distances and remote areas that I’ve fished offshore for the past 25 plus years but it’s honestly a very daunting place to be and not for the faint hearted.
It was great to capture this epic adventure and the follow up trip to the Shoalwater bay area on camera. We captured some great fishing and the underwater footage of Trout, Reds and Nannygai is like nothing ever seen before. it’s now available on USB and Online/Download at – https://wickedfishing.com.au/product/swains-shoalwater-trailer-boat-adventure/