Long weekend Coral Coast trip report
During the W.A Day long weekend my finance, Anna, and I decided to do a trip up north to the Coral Coast region around Geraldton. I have fished this area a number of times over the last few years and my fiancé had been up here with me the previous year on her first trip to the region. Our aim was basically to camp and be mobile, moving around exploring the region while also doing some land based fishing.
Our primary target was to try and catch Tailor in the mornings on lures, then spend the day exploring and doing other activities, then set up camp for the night in an area we might be possibly able to night fish. Well Saturday and Sunday mornings fishing turned out pretty good for Tailor with Anna and me landing 24 Tailor ranging from 50cm to the biggest for the trip 75cm and dropping just as many, all on lures. Anna also landed a decent 70cm model which gave her some beef for quite a while. Even managed to have some fun with my little Stradic 3000FJ landing a few Tailor around the 55cm mark on it.
The first nights fishing wasn’t as productive, with the location found to be full of weed, the decision to call it quits came early and it was a night to retire to the campfire and a nice rum….or two. The second night we decided to find a new location and it turned out to be better being weed free and a nice stretch of beach flanked by reefs on either side. After setting up camp and with darkness approaching I set out a whole herring on my beach combo and started the waiting game hoping to try and get a Mulloway but ever dreading the thought a Wobby or Stingray might take it. It wasn’t long after dark that I felt something playing with my bait. Not knowing what it was I struck into it, but found no hook up. So I brought my bait in to check it only to find it more mashed than bitten. So I re-baited and threw it out again.
It wasn’t in the water for more than a minute before I had the 'thing' playing with my bait again. This time I waited for the playing to stop and when I felt the tension on my line go slack I knew it had picked it up and was swimming away with it. I struck into it and found a good bit of weight in it, but my initial happiness was soon quashed by the seemingly dead weight and no fight this 'thing' had. My thoughts turned to a Wobby as the dead weight did have head shakes, so I proceed to try and get it in quick or to get the hooks to pull out so I could return to targeting more desirable species. The fight only lasted for around 5 mins with the suspected Wobby only taking one decent run right at the end when in the shore break. Such was my dismay that it was a Wobby when Anna offered the spotlight to aid me in landing it I told her not to worry as it was only a Wobby and might be lucky if it threw the hooks right in the surf zone. Well was I surprised when in the darkness I went down to the break to drag the now beached Wobby up only to find shining in the moonlight a big fat Dhui!!! I was completely shocked. Even Anna was speechless when I got it back up the beach. I think we both just stared at it for a minute with mouths wide open.
Eventually reality kicked back in and there was some hollers of excitement with the mad scramble to find the camera. After a few pics I made the decision to keep the Dhui and after quite a while cleaning it on the beach, some fresh Dhui was put onto the camp hotplate. It couldn’t get any fresher and it tasted absolutely beautiful. The Dhui ended up being 88cm and weighing 11.5kg, which funnily enough makes it bigger than any Dhui I have ever caught, even off my boat! It is a catch that I will never forget and I am sure one not to be repeated by me for probably a very long time.