I'll try and keep this short, but l really would love to share this 16 day experience with you all, and will post many photos and less writing
Most of you that know me, know how much time l love spending in North Queensland..... The many great fishing opportunities, the wonderful people, warm climate, and beautiful environment just keep me wanting to get back up there. One of my most favorite places though is the Great Barrier Reef, and l was recently invited to spend 16 days with my good friend Capt' Dan on Moana III, his partner Kylie, and Tom on his first trip as deck hand on Moana.
We were heading north from Cairns to Lizard Island, and we were joined by Lorraine (the boat owner) and Dan's two children Betty and Douglas, for a couple of days gathering bait as we made our way up to Lizard Island for the 23rd Black Marlin Lizard Island Classic.
It was great watching Dan's kids bring in many mackrel, and gt's, but also being made aware of proper fishing and handling techniques, to ensure release of fish in good condition. They were also made aware of taking only what is needed whether it be for bait or a feed.After we finished gathering the bait for the day more fun was had gilling and gutting by Tom and myself in preparation for stitching them up to swim or skip for the tournament to come.
We fished the 23rd Black Marlin Lizard Island Classic over the next seven days, and even though we were up early every morning start fishing was not until 10:30am each day. This spare time in the morning was spent engaged in many other activities available when 'live on board' charters are made. Sport fishing, catching Gt's with poppers around bommies and bait schools, snorkeling, spearfishing, feeding gropers, or just kicking back after a hearty breakfast, before we get to our start fishing spot.
We only Caught l marlin during the tournament, with the winning boat catching 10 marlin. This put us about 3rd last from 28 boats competing the tournament.
As you can imagine, living on a boat for a couple of weeks gives one the opportunity to catch and eat fresh fish. as much as l love to eat Spanish Mackerel, Dan and Tom would occasionally provide Kylie (our cook) with some coral trout obtained by means of some spear fishing. I think coral trout is now one of my favorite fish to eat....YUMMY!!!
Dan and Tom liked to have a spear fish whenever the moment presented itself, and l would tag along to film some of the activity, or get a few shots. It was amazing to see how quick the reef sharks honed in on an injured fish, or picked up the scent of a dead one.
On my last day Tom and l went for one last dive. He was quick to snare a nice coral trout, which he would suspend under a float, and continue on in search of more quarry. But on this particular dive we were attracted by some commotion at the float, and soon discovered a few reef sharks making a meal of the trout. We quickly decided to head back to the boat when a fairly large bronze whaler shark turned up on the scene....l wish l had my video camera on that dive. All we were left with was the trouts head.
Here is a short video clip of the trip...feel free to ask any questions, and l will answer them for you as best as l can.