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Carnarvon Trip Report 2013

5 Aug 2013 10:32 AM - 5 Day on a live aboard fishing around the islands off Carnarvon proved to be a lucky dip of species.
This little Black Marlin had everyone on board excited.
Rankin Cod and Snapper, two very common species this trip.
One of several species of Trevally encountered through the week.
While jigging accounted for most fish they were still happy to eat well presented plastics.
Several Golden Trevally fell to the small jigs too.
Sleeping arrangements were tight but comfortable.

With the wind dying down a little we pointed the bow of the Shikari Charters Liveaboard vessel Temuri J into the swell and headed to a patch of fish we couldn't safely fish the previous afternoon.

Once again the sounder showed a mass of fish hugging the bottom. As jigs found their way into the school shouts of excitement drifted down the gunwhale as one by one we hooked up. It was crazy fishing and just a little daunting as the light Nitro travel rod I was using pulled down into a serious curve as line left the spool in a slow steady run. It didn't take long for the fish to reach structure and I was left winding up slack line and looking for another light jig to tie on.

As I got my gear sorted for the next drop around me fish were being landed. Unlike most fishing where you will drift over a school made up of a single species of fish this was a real lucky-dip. On that particular drop we landed four different species of fish that included snapper, rankin cod and couple of species of trevally.

That seemed to be the norm too. Over the course of five days we caught approx 33 species and over 25 of them jigging. The range of species was very broad too with a short stint in the bluewater seeing three black marlin raised and one released. There were yellowfin tuna, longtail tuna, a host of trevally species, snapper, rankin cod, gold spot cod and a load more I'd have to look through pics to remember.

While the bulk of the fishing we did was jigging we also picked up fish trolling and threw in a small amount of casting and general bait fishing. One thing that was a big departure from our previous jigging trips to the west was the size of the jigs. With the shallower water being fished we were able to mostly fish jigs from 50-150g. 

The trip was hosted by Al Bevan of Shikari Charters' fame and will be his new winter venture for the next few years. Dates for next years trip will appear on our "Tag-along trip" page as soon as we have them locked in.

It was quite clear that while we had a very good trip with a vast range of species encountererd we really only just scratched the surface of the place, especially the bluewater and land based options in the region.

I know I'm really keen to check out more of the bluewater options. That one quick session on the local Black Marlin population left me wondering how good this place could be. On another day we had two sailfish come through the spread while running lures inside the islands.

There are some areas where shore based fishing would be allowed and the addition of a Southwind tender for next season will make this a fun option for those needing to get a bit of solid ground under their feet. It would also make casting poppers and stickbaits at various headlands and rocky points very accessible too.

A technique that we will certainly be doing a lot more of was the light or "Micro" jigging for the reef dwellers. Even fished in the shallows at night these mini jigs accounted for loads of fish and made for real exciting fishing on the lighter tackle used to deploy them. Yet another technique to master and a whole other range of gear to get our heads around.

For more information on fishing the region get in touch with Chris Baty at the shop.

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