The reefs of North Queensland are arguably some of the nation’s best fishing grounds. One minute you can be in crystal clear water — no deeper than a couple of metres –sighting beautiful reef fish around coral bombies… and the next you can be out wide, patrolling the current lines on the hunt for world-class pelagics.
There are only a few boats that can get out that far, and Norkat II is one of them. Captained by Troy Griffiths and the crew from Reel Deep Charters, this 72-foot mother boat has the capabilities to take you — and 10 of your best mates — to these magical fishing grounds. She’s supported by two six-metre dories, meaning you can access all the secret spots that this experienced crew have up their sleeves.
A trip to the outer reef takes no less than four days, which means you need to come prepared. Everything from little plastics, to huge dumbbell poppers have a use out there.
Zman make an extensive range of soft plastic lures, ideal for a touch of reef fishing. You hear the term “match the hatch” bandied about when it comes to lure fishing. This means finding a lure that replicates the size, colour and shape of the bait fish that your target species are feeding on. Another tip is to match your jig head weight with the depth your fishing, while also keeping in mind what the current is doing. You want your plastic to naturally make its way down the water column, rather than rocketing down there.
If we’re talking pelagics, we have to talk stick baits and poppers. Halco make a range of Rooster Poppers that big GTs and mackerel can’t get enough of. Their big, cupped faces create a fish-alluring splash on the surface every time they are “blooped” back to the boat. Remember, if you see a fish chasing your popper or stickbait, keep up your retrieve rate. Could we also recommend a couple of Fish Inc stickbaits? The good thing about these is that you can work them quickly, enticing pelagics, or slow up your retrieve to lure out reef monsters, hiding amongst their bombies.
BCF is the place you can find all the gear you will ever need to tackle the Coral Sea. If you are planning on gearing up, it’s worth asking the team about terminal tackle, as well. Our crew used 80-pound Daiwa J-Braid across all their outfits. You need to pick a line that is strong enough to winch in North Queensland’s best.
Don’t think twice about calling Troy for your next big offshore adventure. It’s one of those “once in a lifetime” experiences that any avid fisho simply has to do. So go on, grab a bunch of mates, get aboard Norkat II, and make all your fishing dreams come true!