If you've ever dreamed of land-based fishing the Quobba coast for pelagics like spanish mackerel, here's a short recap of our latest North-West Safari to get you pumped. At Perth Fishing Safaris we run North-West Safaris throughout the winter and Summer months. Winter is all about chasing spanish mackerel on spin and gas (helium ballooning), and there's always a chance of bycatch such as tuna and cobia. We also fish the stones in the afternoons for reef fish such as spangled emperor, snapper, baldchin groper, rankin cod, and more. In summer our main target is cobia on spin in the mornings, then reef or beach fishing in the afternoons.
Our June 2018 trip began at 3am on the 12th June. All 4 clients lived north of our departure point at Hillarys Marina, so I picked all of them up on the way. First stop was Dave Little's house. Dave was super pumped as this trip was his 40th birthday present to himself. Next stop was Koby Philips house, then last was Alex Carter's house where Will Smith was also waiting. After a quick game of Tetris trying to squeeze all everyone's gear into the Prado we were off. The lads were in a mixed state of excitement and anticipation as we headed north.
Fast forward 10 hours of driving and we had arrived at our accommodation at Quobba Station. We spent the next 4 nights in one of two chalets that look out over the ocean. Between sessions the boys would sit on the porch and watch whales migrate up the coast and keep a watchful eye out for fish bust ups.
Our first session was 30 minutes after we arrived. We literally unpacked the car, packed all the essential fishing gear back into the car and hit the dirt road. Rather than going into full details about each of the 8 sessions we had, instead I'll keep it short with some photos and simple description of some of the fish we caught.
Session 1: Day 1 Afternoon
Four casts into the first session and I was connected to this 16kg longtail tuna. P.S. 3rd cast was a spangled emperor!
Will and Alex with a pair of reef fish, a spanish flag and spangled emperor.
Alex with a very rare catch off the rocks, a Robinson's Sea Bream.
Alex with a better quality spangled emperor. This fish took a slab of mullet on a paternoster rig.
Yours truly with a decent spangled emperor after dark.
Our tally for the first evening on the stones was 1 longtail tuna, 6 spangs, 1 spanish flag and 1 robinson's sea bream. Plus many more big fish lost, as per usual!
Session 2: Day 2 Morning
Day 2 started with a spin session off a well-known ledge. We managed to land 2 macks and collectively lost/missed about 5 good opportunities due to the hooks not setting.
First mack of the trip went to the guide... Sometimes you've gotta show them how it's done! Hooked in the side on a placcy!
Will was the first of the boys to land a mack. Not a bad specimen and his first ever, at just over 10kg.
Session 3: Day 2 Afternoon
Day 2 finished with another session on the stones at the same location as Day 1. The swell had dropped and the wind was low, almost too perfect for fishing as the fish activity had dropped a bit.
Koby with a nice spangled emperor after dark. His first reefy landed on the trip, after losing many fish to bust offs.
Alex with a solid bonefish caught on a small piece of occy.
Another nice spang for the guide, my 5th for the trip. This fish was around the 3kg mark.
Session 4: Day 3 Morning
Day 3 started with a change of pace for the lads, I took them to a spot that has always produced well for macks. We spent the morning ballooning. It was a little slow-going but despite missing a couple of big hits we still managed to land a mack, this time for Dave. All Dave wanted from the trip was 1 mack for his 40th birthday. Well, we got it for him and he was one happy camper after that!
Dave with his first ever spanish mackerel. Happy 40th birthday mate!
Session 5: Day 3 Evening
By day 3 afternoon the fishing had again slowed down. We still managed a few nice fish and got blown away by a few more. Getting smoked by big fish is standard issue for Quobba reef fishing! To top off a successful morning for Dave, check out the beast of a Giant Herring he landed in the arvo!!
Slab of a spangled emperor for the guide, approx 3kg.
Dave struck gold with this absolute horse of a Giant Herring to top off a great day. Measuring in at 107cm and 7kg.
Session 6: Day 4 Morning
Koby with a smallish mack caught on spin using a blue coloured Halco Max.
Session 7: Day 4 Evening
This was a pretty intense session on the rocks at a spot south of the Homestead down near the blowholes. The boys caught a couple of nice reefies but we didn't get any pics. The fishing was too hectic and went a little something like this... Climb down to the lower ledge, cast your line in, hook up solid, get smoked within seconds, scramble back up the rocks to tie another rig, repeat.
Session 8: Day 5 Morning
Being our last session at Quobba with an early departing looming, we opted for an easy morning of ballooning. We needed to be in the car and headed back to camp by 9am, so we woke early, arrived in the dark and began rigging up. Two of the boys were rigged and ready before daylight, so I got them into position and ready to send their first skip bait out at first light. While walking back to the car after getting Will into position, Koby and I could hear Alex shouting "I'm on, I'm on". It was still dark and we couldn't see him exactly, but we ran over to discover Alex hooked up already. He was so eager he had sent out his balloon in the dark and hooked up within minuted of his bait being in the water. The fish was landed and weighed in at 12.5kg. Although not a huge mack for Quobba standards it was the new fish of the trip and a good way to start the final day. Shortly afterwards Koby landed another nice mack, this time with the rear end bitten off by a shark. It was another nice mack and number 6 for the trip. Unfortunately for Koby the fish only weighed in at 12kg, just shy of scoring himself the front seat for the drive home!
Alex with his early morning mack on gas, a decent fish a 12.5kg.
Koby got ripped off by the tax man, narrowly missing out on 'fish of the trip' with this 12kg spanish mackerel on gas.
This should have been 4 macks in this pic, but 2 were lost due to silly mistakes. I'll let Will tell you about that!!
After landing these two nice macks relatively early on the last day, the lads continued to hook and lose 3 more macks before we left them biting at 9am. Two fish were lost due to angler error and one was lost to sharks. What a great way to end the trip with a hot little session of helium ballooning for macks.
A table full of mack fillets for the lads to take home to their families.
About 10kg or more of reef fish fillets, mainly spangled emperor.
If a guided land-based game fishing trip like this is of interest to you or to you and your mates, get in touch via our Contact Us page to make a booking or find out more. Our North-West trips book out very quickly, often 6 months in advance, so get in touch early to secure a spot. We have 2 vehicles and 2 guides and can accommodate up to 8 anglers, 4 anglers per vehicle/guide. For more info and pricing visit our Tours page.