My name is Shannon, I'm a 26-year-old carpenter who's passionate about fishing & has grown up in the Byron area! Every year I need to scratch the itch of chasing big fish in remote places, and the Cape is one of those places. It tests you and all your equipment to the max!
How did you first come across the idea of going on a trip like this?
Once a year me and two mates plan a massive fishing trip taking out a boat all the way from Byron up to Cape York ( 50 hours driving each way ) to fish some of the best reef flats Australia has to offer. But it's not just about the fishing, it's about the whole trip - completely escaping reality for weeks at a time!
North Queensland has some of the best fishing in the world, which is one reason to consider. But it's not just about the fishing, it's about the whole experience of being somewhere so remote where there's no help at all!
How was the drive up? You're from Byron so it's a very long way to the Cape!
We had a few hiccups on the way into the Cape. We got stuck a fair few times in the soft sand, blew out one tyre and had another wheel come off the boat trailer all together! Lucky we were only an hour out from our destination. We came over-prepared with 2 spare tyres and 2 additional hubs for the trailer. We were towing a lot of petrol (400L plus 100L of water) all in the trailer, so definitely didn't help the wheels out. After loads of banter and a few speedbumps, we finally arrived!
How was your first day out? I bet the nerves were going wild!
First day on the water we fished the same reef we had fished the previous year and had some excellent sessions, but the first day was not as good as the past year. Later that night we decided to head further north on the boat and further out to a new reef that we had not fished before (which happened to be a monster blue hole)
We started off jigging in the deeper waters around the reef flats to see what we could find, it was none stop action pulling up all different species. The highlight jigging species for me was getting a 30+ kg cod on the micro jig setup in 100 m of water on the MAS Pe3 Jig Rod.
Did you have any personal goals for the trip?
We all had one species we wanted to tick off the list, which was a Wrasse on stickbait! We all managed to get one which was pretty special! They were pretty insane on the flats, multiple double hooks ups and so many follow's by big Wrasse, we couldn't even count!
We were dusted by a massive one probably around 40kg, which was pretty insane! It didn't even know it was hooked until it took it's first to run straight under a bombie.
What was the stand out lure for the flats?
Death wobbles in 120 and 90mm were the standout lure by far! They are the ideal lure for Reef Flats, everything seems to eat them.
It wasn't until the second day that we decided to get right up into the blue hole. We snuck up on the high tied, and that's when the fishing turned insane! It was almost every cast we where hooking up to big Trout, Wrasse, Red Bass, big GT's or emperor. In just one session, I lost over 10 lures, most of them being death wobbles. They where getting smoked on the reef, we managed to land 4 good wrasses that day and heaps of solid trout around 80+ cm and most were on the death wobble (even using the smaller 90mm).
Tell us about your Topwater Yellowfin experience on the corner of a pressure edge?
Haha, experienced a crazy session on the YFT!
After fishing the flats on the run-out tide, we headed back to the depths, to try jig up a doggy. While we were out there, the birds started to dive just a few hundred meters from us. We drove over to what looked like a big tuna school. Every now and then it looked like a bus would run through the bait school, it was massive tuna eating whole rainbow runners off the top!!! We managed to hook plenty of BIG fish in this session, but only managed to land 30kg+ models. Some of the other fish we where hooking seemed unstoppable!
Overall, sounded like an amazing experience. What advice can you offer to people heading to remote north QLD?
We had such an amazing few days fishing, memories we'll hold forever! We landed over 100 fish in the 4 days we were on the reef! The fishing was so good, we forgot to film most of the time haha.
To anyone wanting to explore Cape York, we'd highly recommend your trailer is beefed up with added clearance. Also, take loads of spare parts for anything that could potentially break! If it wasn't for our spare parts on the last trip, we may have never reached our destination.
Preparation is key, triple check everything & enjoy the long drive haha!
WRITTEN AND EXPERIENCED BY SHANNON HEND