Lucky Tim and Brad do the montebello Islands

Where do I start? Lucky Tim and I kissed our very understanding ladies on the cheek late Sunday night on route to the Montebello islands some 60 nautical miles off the Dampier coast. We had originally planned to head out a few days later however a fine weather window and some more favorable tides were too good of an opportunity to pass up.

We launched at fortescue on the high and were greeted with less than favorable conditions. The wind had come up and we only managed to make it to shoal island at 6 knots some 12 miles from the launch. We decided to pull in for the night and hope for a nicer morning, neither of us complained about the wet swags we had to sleep in that night.

Well we woke to some pretty awesome weather and were on our way pretty early on route this time to the montes. We made it within a couple of hours, the old rig was loaded with a lot of gear, probably over her limit but she handled it well enough, after all we had to be self sufficient for 5 days in total. On top of the camp gear we had 10 jerries of fuel , 2 large eskies full of block ice and all of our fishing gear.

our home away from home, not a bad view eh?

After arriving at the montes we set up and spent the first afternoon exploring a few areas inside the islands. We found some amazing ground and ledges holding massive amounts of large coral trout. We speared a trout and took a cray for dinner. We had planned to “live off the land” as much as we could, we had only taken water a few snacks and the marinades and sauces required to cook up seafood. On the first night we had satay cray and coral trout skewers. On other nights we lived on fresh coral trout sushi and trout and cray teraki skewers. Yumo!!

Tim the food gathering guru

Some more gathering for the feast

me preparing the meal, not a bad kitchen hey?

Fresh coral trout sushi for starters

The main, teraki cray and coral trout skewers

The rest of the afternoon we spent flicking lures around some of the many bommies and points in the area, we caught heaps of fish on plastics and hard bodies it was heaps of fun. We had an awesome session on plastics and whiptail jigs with almost a fish per cast in a school of goldens. Was a blast!

tim with one of a million trout we caught this trip, most were small but great fun on lighter gear

nice little coral cod

One of many emperors we caught on light gear

Nice little coraly on light gear


another on an SP


Day two we had planned to go out and chase some GT’s. We set ourselves a goal of 10 for the day. We rose to a beautiful morning, and after a feed of fresh pancakes and tinned fruit for breakfast we were on our way. Glen and I pulled a few G’s out of a spot while we were there last time and after exploring that area a little better Tim and I found a few other potential areas. We had to take turns driving the boat while the other cast. I started with an Orion stickbait and had about three GT’s chase my lure down on about the second cast. On the next cast I had about 5 GT’s chase my lure down again but no hook up. Finally on the next I came up solid, a good fish of about 15kg’s made its way to the boat after that.

Tim hooked up next on a black Weezel polecat, I think it was his second cast. The fish fought well and before too long Tim landed his PB GT on popper. Not a bad effort. Well by about 2:30 we had our target ten GT’s for the day, we probably could have easily caught 20 when I think about it, if we had of started earlier and kept going after we got the last, ahh was good fun biggest fish for the session was caught by me and was around the 22-23 kg mark, caught on a silver and green Weezel polecat. The orange Orion stickbait produced a good number of fish as well.

I forgot to mention Tim got bricked by a what could possibly have been a 30kg plus fish on my black weezel. Seems like every time I use a black lure I get horsed. Bad luck Tim, next time mate.

Here a a couple of photos of the GT's, just for the Faulkners, i know they love to look at them over and over again!

number one on an orion 140 sinking stick bait

Tim loaded up

Tim's PB 18-20kg's on a Black weezel Polecat

Loaded up!

What would be the biggest of the session taken on a Green and silver Weezel polecat

G bus

Tims 2nd our 4th taken on the same black weezel polecat

my 3rd and our 5th taken on a Aussie flag coloured Weezel Mink

Tims 3rd our 6th taken on a red Weezel mink

my 4th our 7th taken on the same aussie flag weezel mink

Tims first on a stickbait, our 8th taken on an Orion 140 bigfoot

my 5th our 9th on the orion 140

A hungry number 10 for the session

number 10 of the session

Here are a couple more from another quick session at another area, we used stickies because it was quite choppy and we were pretty stuffed from the day, stickies are a bit easier to work

Number 12 and my 8th, on that same stickbait - the orion 140 bigfoot

We rounded out the day with another dive, Tim once again provided with a couple of nice cray’s to accompany our sushi.

The next day we had planned to go out wide for a jig, although the weather didn’t let us. We instead dedicated some time to searching for jacks and fishing inside the islands. We dived on some new spots and we found some massive jacks to 80cm on a huge ledge in 12m of water. I did manage to catch two on SP’s, biggest however was 52cm. We do know where some massive jacks live now so look out next time we go back. In the arvo we chased some squid on the flats for dinner, we managed 4 nice squid and Tim knocked up a mean salt and pepper squid entre to accompany our fresh coral trout sushi. We headed out to tryal rocks again late in the arvo, I managed another two G’s while time dropped one, not too bad for an hour.

like its puffing on a cuban, a nice fish of around 20 - 22kg's

another shot of the same GT

some of the tools of the trade

A likley looking spot


A nice jack, my first at the montes and on an SP

52 cm jack, released

Another hungry jack!

Spangos were pretty thick, we caught quite a few on SP's

Another trout on SP

A nice final morning

Well on Thursday we wanted to go grab a few trout to take home with us, the wind had come up a bit, that combined with the bigger tides made things a bit tough. We managed a few trout still, it is pretty easy in this place. We went back to camp and packed things up before heading back to shoal for the night. We almost didn’t make it, with the bigger tides we had loaded the boat will all of our gear at the montes and almost got stuck on the reef with the low near our camp site, a few more minutes and we would have been there for another night, can just imagine what the missus would have said.

Lucky Tim doing his thing

A couple of nice trout for the missus

One of the many nooks in the area worth a dive

Tim gives his approval to a great trip

Anyway after a relatviley fine transit through to shoal wherre we spent the night, we came home friday morning. Overall a bloody good trip. 4 days of good food, good company and a bloody awesome location. I realise now how much more time I need to uncover a lot of the secrets of this place, starting to get a few things sussed now. Cant wait until the next time


Brad and Tim

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Date Joined: 13/07/09


Sat, 2009-08-22 15:46

Looks like another awesome trip mate.


Goodz's picture

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Great work with the story

Sat, 2009-08-22 16:31

Great work with the story telling, nice photos too! Sounds like an awesome trip. There will be a lot of jealous metro fisho's reading this who are stuck on shore with this bad weather wishing we were all up there too!
How many hours of travel did it take yous to get to the montes all up?




PilbaraBrad's picture

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couple of hours each way,

Sat, 2009-08-22 16:36

couple of hours each way, probably 2 1/2 but i put 35 hours on the boat in the trip

Lucky Tim's picture

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ha ha awesome report mate.

Sat, 2009-08-22 16:45

ha ha awesome report mate. We're not too sure about the last pic though, Hayley reckons I look like an old man with "no eyes".
As for the trip, highlights for me were the GT popping and the strikes, the meals (if you haven't tried sushi coral trout you are really missing out), the scenery, the company and the spearing, even though my aim was a bit “off” on the last day. Low lights were the weather and wet swag on the first night, plus Brad’s singing for the duration of the trip.
If you haven’t been to the Monties you really need to get there. We had 4 full days but this wasn’t even close to enough. We set our goals before we went and achieved them all but there was still heaps to do.
Cheers Brad for an opportunity to get somewhere I would have never got too otherwise. I reckon we both need to get a few more brownie points for the next trip though. Bring on barra season and a bigger GT.

Feral's picture

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im wondering how much you

Sat, 2009-08-22 17:46

im wondering how much you boys would charge to take me fishing :)

damo6230's picture

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Date Joined: 07/06/08

another good trip and report Brad and Jeff

Sat, 2009-08-22 18:02

4 days of wet cold weather here.......... Some really good pictures there as well. Certainly doing well on the GT's Cant beat fresh seafood. When I spent a summer in Alaska we would head out for weeks living off the land and fresh fish. Certainly a 'wild' experience

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Date Joined: 28/10/08


Sat, 2009-08-22 18:24

Very jealous, great report and great photos!


HuggyB's picture

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magic gentlemen

Sat, 2009-08-22 18:27

Simply magic!

Coral trout akin to blowfish-like plaugue proportions, now that is something else.


                    The Terrorist - coming to a fishing spot near you.........

7739ian's picture

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No more

Sat, 2009-08-22 18:31

questions from me about expensive poppers - great report guys.

shabba's picture

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top report again brad. some

Sat, 2009-08-22 18:37

top report again brad. some awsome pics 2. looks like yous had a ball on the gt's, & trout....

PilbaraBrad's picture

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Date Joined: 16/05/07

yeah mate, hopefully next

Sat, 2009-08-22 20:00

yeah mate, hopefully next time we get amongst those monster jacks! They seem to be my nemesis at this stage

DazSamFishing's picture

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Fantastic. Must have been a

Sat, 2009-08-22 20:09

Fantastic. Must have been a lot of fun. Good on ya!

Pete D's picture

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Date Joined: 07/06/07

Oh, to have a back yard like

Sat, 2009-08-22 20:23

Oh, to have a back yard like that to play in. Come on lotto, then the mothership at the Montes for a few two could pop over to pick up some extra Teriyaki sauce.

Those Weezels are certainly getting a work out - great pics. The first pic is a cracker.

Cheers Pete

Kelvin8r's picture

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Sat, 2009-08-22 20:42

another nice report mate. oh how i miss brads non stop singing...

PilbaraBrad's picture

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raise your glass for the

Sat, 2009-08-22 20:54

raise your glass for the king of the the bar, J R jimmy riccar!

HuggyB's picture

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Let’s take it back to 1982 just quickly

Sun, 2009-08-23 00:55

I came into this world, and my Ma thought
Ima name this little boy Paul
Plain old boring old Paul
And I always thought
If I had a different name, would my life be different?
Like - imagine if I had a name like Jimmy Recard




Love that song! Right up there with "I Make Hamburgers"


                    The Terrorist - coming to a fishing spot near you.........

PilbaraBrad's picture

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ha ha huggy, yeah man a time

Sun, 2009-08-23 20:08

ha ha huggy, yeah man a time me and kelvin have shouted this song out load in the boat

like wirrapunda on the ball!

Paul G's picture

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You guys have it good ,a top

Sat, 2009-08-22 21:05

You guys have it good ,a top report and some great fish,this is by far the lucky country,what more is there to say look farward to your next trip ...


Active Gyp-Rok solutions ,Residential  and commercial ceilings and walls

Faulkner Family's picture

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great write up and some

Sat, 2009-08-22 22:12

great write up and some awsome fish, you couldnt ask for much more than that


RUSS and SANDY. A family that fishes together stays together

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Date Joined: 01/01/70


Sun, 2009-08-23 09:53

Congrats Tim & Brad, a great report and the usual quality pics to go with it!
Plenty of variety and some cracking fish!

jay_burgess's picture

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Date Joined: 18/08/05

Looks like a good trip man.

Sun, 2009-08-23 08:41

Looks like a good trip man. No jigging??

Didn't expect to see so many small Gs, how'd you go with the I Cup??

PilbaraBrad's picture

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Date Joined: 16/05/07

the day we set aside to go

Sun, 2009-08-23 08:48

the day we set aside to go jigging the wind came up so we opted for diving and SP's instead. I dont know how Glen worked that I cup on the PF, i am decided that i am definately getting the PE12 ripplefisher for the BIG hammerheads.
Yeah the bigger ones were there mate but a you should have seen the small ones comming out like packs of dogs, even with bigger lures they didnt seem to care.

Anyway all good still got a few to 20 and a couple above, probably be bettter g fishing with the bigger tides as well.

jay_burgess's picture

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Yeah I told him he was crazy

Sun, 2009-08-23 11:06

Yeah I told him he was crazy using I cups on the PF.

alfred's picture

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That was a great read,

Sun, 2009-08-23 09:02

That was a great read, thanks for sharing. I hope to do a trip like that one day.

Bodie's picture

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Mr Brad, sensational report

Sun, 2009-08-23 09:49

Mr Brad, sensational report mate... and as always some great photos to go with it!!!

Well done, I have not been to the montes but everytime you write up a report, im that mujch closer to going!!!

Andy Mac's picture

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Cracking Report

Sun, 2009-08-23 09:57

Got to love the Montes for the variety, size and quality of fish up there. Those islets make a great looking backdrop too.

Well done guys, lots of planning needed for a trip like that. The rewards are well deserved.



Andy Mac (Fishwrecked Reeltime Editor & Forum Moderator)

Youngest member of the Fishwrecked Old Farts Club

Ozzy's picture

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Date Joined: 11/06/08

Great Report Guy's

Sun, 2009-08-23 11:29

Looks like you had some sensational action on those GT's and Trout,there's only one thing that I am not Happy About though,on that Dinner Table shot you left out the Main ingredient "HeHe" The Oz Man

Colin Hay's picture

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Thanks very much Brad for a fantastic report and some

Sun, 2009-08-23 11:47

incredible photos. I am more determined than ever to get out to the Montebellos now after reading this.
Awesome stuff.


Moderator. Proud member of the Fishwrecked "Old Farts". Make sure your subscribed to Fishwrecked Reeltime

grayzeee's picture

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you guys have just fished my

Sun, 2009-08-23 17:12

you guys have just fished my dream trip
i'd love that


If I spent half as long fishing , as I do reading this bloody forum , I'd be twice the fisherman I am. 

Simo_'s picture

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Great report, You guys are

Sun, 2009-08-23 17:53

Great report, You guys are living the dream.


Bring on April

Kelvin8r's picture

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Sun, 2009-08-23 19:37

J R Jimmy Recard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! raise your glass for the fucken king of the bar!

who da hell????

PilbaraBrad's picture

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sorry mate no token ...

Sun, 2009-08-23 19:59

sorry mate no token ... here!

Adam Gallash's picture

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Sun, 2009-08-23 20:21

No Comment ;(


Site Admin - Just ask if you need assistance

Gully's picture

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Couldnt agree with you more

Thu, 2009-08-27 11:56

Couldnt agree with you more on that one Gallash

Rosco's picture

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Date Joined: 20/11/07

love it

Sun, 2009-08-23 20:44

Gotta love the Monte's . Well done guys. Good weather and great GT's. 4 days...must be just like a dream now? Awesome trip. Definately livin the dream.

Posts: 86

Date Joined: 06/12/07

What rod are you using

Wed, 2009-08-26 08:29

Hi Brad, I was wondering what rod that is in the picture with the Stella. Also what breaking strain do you use on it?


PilbaraBrad's picture

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Date Joined: 16/05/07

Gday mate I use a pe 8-10

Wed, 2009-08-26 09:44

Gday mate

I use a pe 8-10 ripplefisher GT78PF for heavy popping or a GT78XH for pe 10 - 12 extra heavy popping

Tim uses a custom calstar 700H

i use pe 10 130lb varivas mainline



desmond's picture

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Date Joined: 27/12/06


Thu, 2009-10-29 01:29

Fantastic pics!!!

I noticed on the GT poppers you guys used cinched down trebles on the poppers and what looks like jobus on the stickbaits. Any particular reason for that? Did you notice any difference in the holding or hookup?

I'm goin for the Gs in Exmouth so lookin for tips, the trebles look a little foreboding to handle while landing a crazy fish.


Posts: 11

Date Joined: 05/07/09


Sat, 2009-10-31 11:47

desmond check out this link to Nomad fishing these guys have got it right....

Posts: 20

Date Joined: 25/02/13

mate this trip looks epic, i

Tue, 2013-03-26 10:36

mate this trip looks epic, i am sitting here in the desert and dust with a big grin on my face now. one day!

cutter's picture

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Date Joined: 30/12/10

Cant wait

Tue, 2013-03-26 23:49

Awesome pics, Were headin out there from Fortescue early May, how was the boat ramp down there?

t bone's picture

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Tue, 2016-04-05 15:53

 When i get bored at work, i love digging up old threads like this.. :) Great report mate. jealous is an understatment. 

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Date Joined: 17/06/10

A great read thanks

Tue, 2016-04-05 17:44

I'm just so jealous different colours of the trout interesting were they both caught at the one spot.