Our July 2018 North-West Safari was always going to be a special one. Fishing legend and TV host Steve Starling was to join us for the 5-day trip with his cameraman Gav from The 4WD Adventure Show.
The pair had a goal of filming 4 episodes for the show, so prior to the trip it was decided that we'd do a Perth Metro inshore boat fishing shoot to try and get the monkey off our backs. The target was pink snapper, samsonfish and WA dhufish. Starlo opened the account early with a brute of a sambo on a Squidgy soft plastic. It put up a tough battle in the shallows (only 12m of water) and had him in the reef at one stage. Starlo stayed calm and eventually had the fish boatside. After a few of words for the camera and a couple of happy snaps the rogue sambo was released to fight another day. This was the largest fish ever caught and filmed for the TV show, so we were off to a good start! Shortly afterwards I landed a nice table-size WA dhufish on a 7" Z-Man Jerkshad plastic. Starlo did his piece for the camera and we decided to keep that fish for dinner. Those were the highlights of the session and unfortunately no snapper were around, but the boys had plenty of footage for an episode so we called it an early morning and headed home.
Steve 'Starlo' Starling with an estimated 15kg Samsonfish caught while filming for The Offroad Adventure Show.
Session 1: Day 1 Afternoon
After meeting at Hillarys Marina car park at 3am, and slogging out an 11 hour drive, we arrived at our destination - Quobba Station. We took the boys down to the Blowholes for a quick look, and took the token photo in front of the 'King Waves Kill' sign. Our accommodation for the trip was the southern Chalet, overlooking the water with 180 degree panoramic views of the ocean.
After unpacking the 4WD and re-packing the fishing gear back into it, we headed off for an arvo session on the stones. This turned out to be one of the most insane sessions we've ever experienced with Perth Fishing Safaris clients. The lads were throwing hard-bodies and metals for pelagics and were hooking up left, right and center. Many good fish were hooked and lost but collectively the crew and Starlo managed to land 2 cobia to 16kg, 2 longtail tuna to 10kg and a spanish mack. After dark we fished for reefies and added 2 nice spanish mackerel to the tally. What a way to start the trip. It was one of those unforgettable sessions where the fish were biting hard and everyone was having fun.
Land-based fishing trifecta on the first afternoon for the boys. Tuna, Spanish Mackerel and Cobia!
16kg Cobia for customer Pierre. This was the one fish he wanted to catch on the trip, he did it on the first afternoon!
A beautiful big Spangled Emperor caught off the rocks by customer Sandya. Stoked!
Customer Phil with his first ever Spangled Emperor. His second fish after landing a 12kg Cobia earlier that evening.
Session 2: Day 2 Morning
For the first morning session we headed to one of our favourite spinning ledges with the goal of getting the boys onto some spaniards. Starlo's goal of the trip was to land a land-based spanish mackerel on spin, a bucket list item for him. Low and behold the first fish of the morning was a 9.5kg spansih mackerel for Starlo on a Mustad BigEye Bucktail jig in chartreuse. It was a fantastic capture and we all look forward to watching it on TV when the episode airs later this year.
Steve 'Starlo' Starling's bucket list fish, a land-based Spanish Mackerel.
Second fish of the morning was a 15kg spanish mackerel for customer Daniel on the drone bait! At the time I was hooked up to a mack on spin and guiding it towards the rocks. When Daniel's rod buckled over he thought he had tangled in my line so he didn't strike. We soon figured out he was onto a fish of his own and he gave it everything he had to bring it to the rocks from 450m out! The mack took a fresh watson's leaping bonito caught earlier by PFS fishing guide Che Carson. When the mack came up over the edge on the end of the gaff Daniel was ecstatic. Drone fishing for macks was something that Daniel and I had been practicing for before the trip, and to achieve it on the first drone drop of the morning gave us both a huge sense of accomplishment.
Drone fishing for Spanish Mackerel! Customer Daniel with a 15kg mack caught using the drone to drop a bait offshore.
Unfortunately that was the best fishing we were to experience on the trip. By the afternoon of Day 2 the swell jacked up and really limited our options. We caught the odd fish and lost another big mack on the drone, but nothing was landed to write home about. During the rough weather we had a a whole day off on Day 3. The boys got to catch up on sleep and we spent the day chilling out and playing poker. We cooked up a mad feed of fresh fish and the boys took the opportunity to hang out with Starlo and share stories over a few frothies.
Perth Fishing Safaris' fishing guide Che Carson with a Mack Tuna caught on a Halco Max 130 bibless minnow.
If a guided land-based game fishing trip like this to North-West WA 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.