Sunday Times Column
The good old days are now !
- Published: Wednesday, 26 September 2018 20:46
The good old days are now if our seafari to the Mackerel Islands last month was any indication.
I’ve been visiting Thevenard Island for 25 years, but it was my first time there for a couple of years and a forecast of windy weather had me a tad apprehensive as the long drive north to Onslow loomed.
In the end though, I needn’t have worried as it turned out to be a superb week on all fronts with around 60 Western Angler readers.
It was a good crew of fishing-mad blokes and a couple of their partners, with former West Coast star Ashley McIntosh as the special guest and my roomie, the weather was fantastic and the fishing was out of this world.
I can’t recall better fishing on any of my previous trips to Thevenard, with every day producing almost non-stop action.
After four days of solid lure casting and arm-stretching battles with the locals, by the time the Friday came around I was just about spent and was glad of a windy morning which enabled me to stay onshore and just go for a flick from the beach.
Glenn Edwards and I started the week on the Monday by working the shoreline at a nearby island with stickbaits and getting some frenetic action on big schools of metre-long queenies which we could see under the boat as we cruised the shallows.
Shark mackerel also turned up, along with golden trevally and we had four or five hours of fun before heading out into deeper water to find schools of hungry spanish mackerel which hit everything we threw at them.
We had them leaping out of the water next to the boat to hit surface lures and while they weren’t big fish at around 6-8kg, they were in plague proportions and we released every fish we caught.
The next day Glenn, Ash and I head to another island for similar lure casting action when the wind eased off around lunchtime, this time getting lots of trevally and a couple of big longtail tuna in just a metre of water, along with a solid cobia.
The third day was another windy morning, but the afternoon saw Glenn and I pulling plenty of goldspot and golden trevally off baitballs, along with a 15kg spanish mackerel.
Thursday offered superb weather and Glenn, Darryl Hitchen and I were joined by youngster Joe Evans, who wanted to learn more about lure fishing.
We started in the shallows with plenty of trevally, before heading to Rosily Cay to deploy the trolling rods to find some spaniards and it only took a few minutes before my X-Rap got nailed.
That set the scene for a day of trolling and casting for spaniards to 15 kilos, along with a few longtails and the odd shark mackerel.
Joe was thrilled with the excitement and this time we kept a few macks for the cleaning table.
Glenn and I enjoyed as good a four days of lure casting as you could imagine, and several others boats did the same, including Steve Hart and Tyrone Yahiya from Tackle HQ.
Even the Friday shore bash went off, with seven of us getting queenfish, golden and giant trevally, and school mackerel in a couple of hours at the west end of Thevenard.
Those who bottom fished were rewarded with loads of rankin cod and spangled emperor, some solid red emperor including an 8kg fish for Matt Polglaze which won him a Shimano combo for fish of the week, some thumping coral trout to six kilos and unusual numbers of chinaman, while those who went wider got ruby snapper and gold-band snapper.
Often on these weeks a few of the boats can struggle, but with Darryl able to offer advice from his 40 years fishing the area everyone enjoyed plenty of success and the beachfront cabins at Thevenard are a salubrious base for a fishing trip.
Caption: Joe Evans with a Rosily Cay shark mackerel.