Big Red Emperor, Bar Cod, Pearl Perch – filming a school of 70 plus Red Emperor with the FiFish V6 underwater drone – June 2021

We had a wicked trip off Double Island Point recently. With great conditions we headed wide with the idea of deep dropping majority of the day in areas that I hadn’t fished before. As I was travelling at 20 knots I ran over some good fish life in 180 mtrs and spun the boat around and went back for a look. There was lots of live bottom spread out over a fairly large area and I could see good fish situated throughout the area as well. The first drop resulted in some quality pearl perch coming over the side and this continued on with more Pearl Perch, Comet Grouper and small Bar Cod being caught. I decided to push on further and go looking in 250 to 400 mtrs of water. After a few hours of sounding I had marked out several spots which produced a good number of big bar cod.

With great conditions and happy with our results I decided to came back in closer to chase some reds in away from the strong current. The first spot didn’t disappoint and I managed a 13.94kg red among some other reds over 10kg before leaving them. While heading to another spot I ran over a new rock that was only about 1mtr high but it had a couple of good fish sitting on it so we had a drop. I’m glad we stopped as the oldman hooked a beast that had the venom rod buckled over and line screaming off the reel. It turned out to be a horse red of 15.09kg and 94.5cm which was bloody awesome to see him get.

Happy with the 8 reds we had on board I went passed another rock and said to the boys if it’s got good fish on it I will put the underwater Fifish v6 drone down as we had minimal current which is rare for that area. The Furuno lit up like a Christmas tree and with the sun about to go down I quickly pulled the drone out and sent it down 60mtrs before we ran out of light. As I came down onto the rock I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. A blue moari cod to the left, a green jobfish to the right, amberjack and reds in the middle and then i turned the drone to the right to see something that every red fisho would dream of. Right there in front of my eyes was 70 to 80 big red emperor with a mix of morwong among them.

Having lived and breathed these fish for over 20 years I can tell you there’s no better sight than seeing an epic school of reds like this swimming around in their natural environment. The feeling and the reward is hard to explain and although a few years back I captured similar sized schools of big reds on camera it was great to back it up and also have the maneuverability of the drone to film them really well. Click on the link for more details on the Fifish V6 underwater drone which is available at Underwater Australasia –

Unfortunately on all occasions there has been a downside to filming them. Spots that have held these fish for 9mths to 18mths after I’ve found them have moved on as soon as I’ve filmed them. You can see the fish look somewhat nervous and begin to slowly rise and move away from the rocks when being filmed. This time would be no different and the next morning when I drove over the spot they were no longer there and had once again moved on. What an awesome trip and what an experience to drive the drone around a school of reds like that. Simply frigging awesome.