Bernard Kong tells us his story about his recent trip on board the Nomad mother ship.
After a year of anticipation and excitement the day finally arrived. The trip of the year with Nomad sport fishing adventure. Target species GTs (Giant Trevally). I fished for GTs in Fiji last year but the excitement was totally different. It was like I never knew what to expect. Five days on board a mother ship, fishing pristine ground that no boat can reach and the hardest part to cope with is the stretching of those arms.
The trip was planned in such a way that we would have a day before and after on Hamilton island. It was hard to believe that just 2 hrs away and the temperature was so different from Sydney. The sun was scorching and hot on Hamilton Island. We arrived, met up with the other guys, checked in and everyone headed over to the local tavern to have a feed and to tell a story (as all fishermen do!), not knowing what the next few days would bring.
The next day we were split into two groups. 1st group would fly in on the float plane to the mother ship at 10am and the 2nd group pick up would be 1pm. The flight took about 45min and the view from up there was stunning. One could see reefs, bommies and whales. I must say the Coral Sea has so much more yet to be explored. Upon arriving on the 80ft mother ship that we would call home for the next 5 nights, everyone had a quick briefing and we were off to wet a line. At our disposal we had 1 x contender, 1 x noble (tight stick), 2 x ocean whaler (red dory & blue dory). Everyone would be paired into 3s and fish from different boats on each day with a different skipper.
On the first two days, GTs were everywhere. Everyone caught fish on any popper or stick bait thrown at them. We casted at solo bommies, reefs edges and shoals. The plan was to fish the area and start to move up north. We would fish each day while the mother ship moved and re anchor for the night allowing us to cover new ground and see more of the pristine area. The highlight of the first two days was a 40kg GT being caught by Steve who had never fished for GT before.
On the third and fourth days things started to get tough. Firstly arms and bodies started to ache, secondly the GTs did not want to play. You could cast a 120g to 150g popper hundreds of time for a GT to finally come up, shadow your lure and turn away. We saw heaps of GTs but just couldn’t convert them into strikes or keep the hooks in them. The weather on these two days were stunning. Winds – 5knot. Seas – Less than a metre. It was like a large mirror which made things dangerous. The skippers struggled to locate the bommies or reefs while travelling from spot to spot.
Day five was the day that everyone would remember. Everything just clicked into place. Fish bit, lures worked, hooks stuck. It was also surprising that all four skippers fished different structure on that day, blue holes, bommies, shoals and edges. The blue holes are awesome fun but hang on, The GTs would go up into these reefs and feed at high tide and dominate the deep blue hole within the reef. Blue holes are usually the “go to” to find big fish as they feed on bigger bait like blue spot trevally etc. Some of the guys were even spot casting for GT on the flats by casting a pencil (skip on surface like a gar fish) to them and once the lure landed they would emerge from every coral on the flat.
Over the five days we saw some big GT come up on our lures which the skippers estimated to be around 50kg to 60kg. The other by catch we caught in the course of casting for GTs were big Spanish mackerel, red bass, trout, blue spot trevally etc.
Personally the experience was awesome. Food on board the mother ship was great, staff were top class and the company was phenomenal. Food wise we had fresh Spanish mackerel sashimi, steak, fish & chip, bacon & egg, pancakes etc. Upon returning from fishing, a wet cold towel would be waiting for us with snacks & a beer too. What more could someone else ask for.
Overall THUMBS UP!!