Ningaloo 2018

 So the annual pilgramige north is unfortunately over for another year... As always, the trip had its challenges and the fishing was different than the year proceding. 

The wind was shocking this year, and the normal pattern of a few days of wind and a few light wind days didnt eventuate. It was a case of strong or stronger wind! We only had a few hours on a couple of days when the wind was below 15 knots, so bottom fishing was a challenge.

The sharks were bad particularly around the new and full moons. In between they were average and we found that sounding fresh ground that hadnt been hit much was the trick. Once a mark had been hit a few days it was unfishable.

The water temp was really high for April, with 27.7 degrees being the norm. We found this pushed many of the fish in closer to the reef and most of our bills were raised in 20-40m of water which I have never seen before. Dollies were thick this year, with us only landing one in the previous five years, it was a nice change. We regularly got them on the troll, or had them school on the boat drifting and very receptive to stick baits which made for great fun!

Macks and wahoo were quiet this year by comparison but this was made up for by the bills. We regularly raised a few a day and this was a learning experice for all of us as we have never targeted them actively. We lost a LOT of fish through pulled hooks and stupid mistakes but landed a few Blacks and Sails, and missed out on a nice blue that was free swimming under the boat when drifting!

Overall it was a fantastic trip in what I consider the best part of OZ! Already looking forward to next year!


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Stevo81's picture

Posts: 1117

Date Joined: 16/04/12

 Another cracker trip by the

Sat, 2018-05-19 21:53

 Another cracker trip by the looks mate! Wind & sharks......a fishing trips two worst enemies


                                   ••••••••  Electrical Contractor NOR  ••••••••

samd's picture

Posts: 25

Date Joined: 30/04/16

 yeh unfortunately thats the

Sat, 2018-05-19 22:32

 yeh unfortunately thats the norm up there! Sharks get worse every year, from what im reading it sounds like everyone is having a bad time! We had to fish deeper than usual to avoid them and constantly work new ground. At least we havent lost a pelagic to them... yet...

Tom M's picture

Posts: 409

Date Joined: 22/09/15

 Appreciate quality photos,

Sun, 2018-05-20 12:01

 Appreciate quality photos, great fish as well, looks like youmade the best of your oportunities.


Tom M

ChrisG's picture

Posts: 533

Date Joined: 30/12/11

 Good report matelooks like a

Sun, 2018-05-20 13:03

 Good report mate

looks like a ripper trip

hard to beat small boat bill fishing in my opinion- cracker!


sea-kem's picture

Posts: 11348

Date Joined: 30/11/09

 Mate some cracking pics

Sun, 2018-05-20 16:10

 Mate some cracking pics there even though you had to work for it. How good are those Pearls on the chew, I rate them in my top 10.



Love the West!

gillyL's picture

Posts: 5906

Date Joined: 26/04/14


Sun, 2018-05-20 16:26



lucky i love to fish because i cant catch any.



Faulkner Family's picture

Posts: 14771

Date Joined: 11/03/08

 Sounds like you guys had a

Sun, 2018-05-20 16:45

 Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun . Some great pics there . Gotta be happy with all the billies you got . 


RUSS and SANDY. A family that fishes together stays together

samd's picture

Posts: 25

Date Joined: 30/04/16

 Cheers guys. It was the

Sun, 2018-05-20 17:17

 Cheers guys. 

It was the first time we have found the Pearlies! We only got a couple towards the ed of trip but I know there they are for nect year.

Yeh, ive caught bills off bigger boats but there is nothing more satisfying than a DIY! Its so rewarding knowing you found the fish, got the lure selection right, then stayed connected. We definitely learned a lot for next year too

Posts: 244

Date Joined: 26/03/17

nicely done! glad you did

Mon, 2018-05-21 11:41

nicely done!
glad you did better than us...we were up last week and couldn't even get out in our boat due to the wind :/ what little we did catch went to feeding the sharks!!

Colt_Striker's picture

Posts: 586

Date Joined: 26/07/09

 Great write up, top fish &

Tue, 2018-05-22 07:22

 Great write up, top fish & pics