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Flinders Reef with Jay and Rob Powell – November 2019

Expectations are always high for a trip like this, however as all anglers know, reality is often very different. This was certainly the exception! These reefs are located around 100-140nm from Cairns and as a result of their remote location are largely untouched by the human hand.

Written by Rob Powell

Just had a fantastic fishing trip with East Coast Angling at Flinders and Holmes Reefs!

These reefs are located around 100-140nm from Cairns and as a result of their remote location are largely untouched by the human hand. We spent the week exploring and fishing a huge array of pristine habitats, from hardline reef edges to massive coral bomboras, shallow shoals and sheer abyssal drops. We were lucky to have a week of incredible weather that allowed us to freely roam across these reef systems and make the most of the opportunity to target dogtooth and GTs on top water and jig. Fishing structure aside, these reefs are unbelievably beautiful places to visit. The crystal clear waters of the Coral Sea provided more than 40m of visibility throughout the trip.

Adam - GT

November 2019

GearSaltiga 6500H, spooled with 80lb Tasline on a Ripple Fisher Ultimo 83M.

Technique – Stickbaiting.

Peter - Coral Trout

November 2019

Nick - Dogtooth Tuna

November 2019

Technique – Jigging.

Expectations are always high for a trip like this, however as all anglers know, reality is often very different. This was certainly the exception! We had an action packed week catching a huge number of dogtooth tuna for the week on both top water and jigs.  Some days the action was red hot, with top water action all through the day and all anglers experiencing some serious smokings by monstrous dogs. Amongst the tackle destruction that is dogtooth fishing, some quality fish were landed. Nick managed an absolute dinosaur dogtooth that weighed in at an epic 80kg! I finished up in second place with a fish of 55kg, while multiple fish of 30kg or so were landed by Dave, Piet and others. 
 
The dogtooth fishing was incredible and accordingly was our focus for the trip. The GT bite was comparatively slow, however all boats saw some quality fish for the week. I lucked out and managed to sight cast and land a fish over 30kg on a coral sand cay in a metre of water!

Rob - Dogtooth Tuna

November 2019

GearJigging Master PE7 Monster Game, spooled with 80lb Sufix 832 on a Jigstar Twisted Sista PE 3-6.

LureShimano Ocea Pebble Stick 200g.

Technique – Jigging.

Rob - Maori Wrasse

November 2019

GearJigging Master PE7 Monster Game, spooled with 80lb Sufix 832 on a Jigstar Twisted Sista PE 3-6.

Technique – Jigging.

Peter - Coral Trout

November 2019

GearSaltiga 6500, spooled with Sufix 832 80lb, on a Jigstar Ninja PE4-8.

Technique – Jigging.

Three Napoleon wrasse were also taken as bycatch for Dave, Adam and myself and were all safely released. We also encountered all the usual reefies – coral trout, red bass, bluefin trevally etc. These were often in the extra large size range. Every evening we also micro jigged from the mothership and this resulted in around 20 different species landed, including some light tackle dogtooth!
 

Rob - GT

November 2019

GearShimano Stella 14000SWB, spooled with 80lb Tasline.

Technique – Stickbaiting

Jay - Coral Trout

November 2019

Gear Daiwa Saltiga 6500H, spooled on 100lb Tasline, on a Ripple Fisher Longcast 82.

Jay - GT

November 2019

GearSaltiga 5500H Expedition, spooled on 80lb Tasline, on a Ripple Fisher Ultimo 80MH.

 

This was far and away the best operation I have ever fished with. Operating in remote places is logistically very, very difficult and needs seriously switched on guides to make the most of a short window of fishing time. Nick, Lee, Flynn and Glanville are the best in the business. Organisation was flawless and they kept us on the fish consistently all week, despite never having visited these locations before. The fishing boats were all unreal and perfectly fit for purpose. In addition to the guides, the mothership Savannah was fantastic, modern and roomy with plenty of space for the crew and anglers (in fact seriously luxurious). We were also exceptionally well fed and watered by Tara and Geanluca for the week, which made for a great way to start and finish a big days fishing.  East Coast Angling are the best in the business and the fishing in the Coral Sea is as good as it gets. I highly recommend a trip!!!
 
On the way home now to lick my wounds from too many encounters with large angry dogs!

Coral Trout

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