Boating and Off-road
A nice Spanish mackerel from the Mackerel Islands
- Published: Wednesday, 05 June 2019 16:04
If you have your own boat and are looking for a fishing trip that’s about more than just fillets, then the All Boats and Caravans/Western Angler Celebrity Seafari to the Mackerel Islands might be just the solution.
This year's trip, from August 10-18, features a special guest in former Fremantle and Collingwood star James Clement.
Clement, who played 230 AFL games and was twice named All-Australian, has long been a keen recreational fisherman and now also works in the commercial fishing industry.
Having been to the Mackerel Islands before, he’s super keen to get back there on a pure fishing trip.
“I have been there before,” Clement said.
“I even took the family there for a holiday a couple of years ago just after it reopened.
“It was fantastic, we found lots of fish and I love top water mackerel fishing.
“Late in the day, we fished spots like Rosily and the Supermarket, the kids would have the trolling rods and wind the fish in when they hooked up, while I would chuck stickbaits and poppers.
“I spent a lot of time trying to get aerial strikes from mackerel, it was awesome.
“We caught some great fish that way and also did a fair bit of jigging and soft plastics, catching some good coral trout, spangled emperor and other things.”
The week is based out of the comfortable accommodation at Thevenard Island and includes a welcome barbecue, with a chef preparing all meals each day.
The trip also includes accommodation and dinner at the Carnarvon Motel, which has secure parking for cars and trailers, on both legs of the adventure.
There is secure parking in Onslow, moorings at Thevenard, and you can refuel at the island each day.
Boats travel across and back in convoy and there are plenty of activities during the week, including a quiz night and sportsman’s night at which Clement will recall some of the highlights, and lowlights, of his time in the AFL.
Everyone receives a gift bag, including a souvenir shirt and some tackle, and there is an awards night at the end of the week.
Having stayed there before, Clement knows it’ll be a great week on and off the water.
“The facilities are fantastic – frankly it puts Rottnest to shame the quality of the accommodation,” he said of Thevenard.
“It is perfect for a boy’s fishing trip like this, but it’s worth pointing out you can also take the family there.”
The Seafari concept to the Mackerel Islands is certainly not a new one, but the mix of seasoned anglers and skippers, fishing and sporting personalities, great location and superb fishing has proven very popular over the years.
Former Eagle Ash McIntosh was the guest last year and had a ball, catching tuna, mackerel, queenfish and more.
Clement said he was looking forward to worrying about nothing but fishing for a week.
“Fishing when the sun goes up until it goes down, with no other commitments, sounds great,” he said.
“And then chatting about the experience over a couple of cold beers and a feed at night, it doesn’t get any better.
“There will be a heap of guys there from different backgrounds and it will be a great chance to meet a bunch of new guys through the shared love of fishing.”
Last year’s trip saw plenty of mackerel caught and Clement can expect a lot more surface action in August, as the week was chosen to coincide with perfect tides for pelagic fishing.
Anyone keen on fishing this area, but a little bit daunted by the prospect of trying to find fish in new ground, will be able to receive plenty of guidance.
Western Angler columnist Darryl Hitchen has no peers when it comes to knowledge of this area and will be there to assist other anglers with advice and spots, and will also be available to fish with different crews during the week as well.
Caption: James Clement with a nice spanish mackerel from a previous trip to the Mackerel Islands.