Sunday Times Column
Big gold-spot trevally caught at Mackerel Islands
- Published: Wednesday, 14 March 2018 21:06
If you have your own boat and are looking to expand your fishing horizons, 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 18-26, features a couple of special guests who will be visiting the Mackerel Islands for the first time.
Having just called time on his playing career, former Test batsman and Perth Scorchers star Adam Voges is looking forward to more leisure time and will start by wetting a line at the Mackerels for a week.
He’ll be joined by former Eagles premiership star Ashley McIntosh.
The pair will have plenty of stories to tell and are looking forward to five days of exciting fishing, and socialising, off Onslow.
The Seafari is based at Thevenard Island and is a perfect way for both inexperienced and veteran boaters to enjoy some awesome offshore fishing while enjoying the peace of mind that comes with safety in numbers.
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.
Last year’s trip saw plenty of good red emperor and big rankin cod caught, particularly by those who listened to the tips from the Western Angler team as to where and when to fish around the islands.
Spanish mackerel were as prevalent as ever, while the fishing in the shallows was great for queenfish, trevally and shark mackerel.
Although the main purpose of the trip is fishing, the social side of these weeks is almost as important.
A chef prepares all meals, including breakfast and lunch, although you can choose to self-cater if you prefer.
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 guidance on and off the water.
Hitchen cherry-picked the dates for this year to coincide with the best tides for local fishing.
He is one of several Western Angler experts who will be on hand to offer advice, or even go fishing with you.
Of course, you might also want to take Voges or McIntosh out for the day and get the ‘real’ story behind their sporting careers!
These sorts of trips offer a great chance for inexperienced skippers to join up with other boats and enjoy the safety of not fishing alone in unfamiliar waters.
The beauty of fishing around Mackerel Islands is the incredible range of species and wide range of fishing locations both north and south of Thevenard, and even around the island itself.
Offshore options include trolling for mackerel, wahoo and tuna, as well as the chance at a billfish, like the one Merv Hughes caught on a popper a few years ago.
Those looking for a feed of quality bottom fish can target species like red emperor, spangled emperor, coral trout and rankin cod, or even head out wider looking for deepwater species like ruby snapper, grey-banded cod and gold-band snapper.
There is also some fantastic light tackle fishing just walking the shore around Thevenard and a feed of squid can be caught from the jetty.
The resort facilities at Thevenard are first-class and it is a delight to spend the week in your own self-contained beachfront cabin, waking up each morning to the view of the sun rising over the ocean and your boat bobbing on the mooring.
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 Voges and McIntosh will tell some yarns from his colourful career.
Everyone receives a gift bag, including a souvenir shirt and some tackle, and there is an awards night at the end of the week.
Caption:Boatmi2018b. Steve Hart with a big gold-spot trevally caught in the shallows at the Mackerel Islands.