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Big Cat Reality Takes on Wreck Reef

By Sean Conlon

The trip of a lifetime? You bet!

Big Cat Reality Fishing Charter's Wreck Reef excursion is one of those trips any angler keen on bluewater, reefs and big fish simply must do.

I was lucky enough to be invited on the 2016 trip with Wilson Fishing where we got to test, evaluate and try to break a lot of their existing and new gear. This included Venom rods, Zerek lures and Mustad hooks and accessories.

This was going to be quite a trip.

Heading Out

The first thing on any fishing adventure is the weather and as we headed out from Bundaberg we had a lovely forecast of 25 to 30 knot winds and 2-3m seas all from the Southeast. We were going to take it on the starboard side all the way out to Wreck Reefs.

As we departed Bundaberg and skipped through the leads of the Breaksea Spit, old Mother Nature quickly let us know who was the boss. The forecast was spot on and for the first 20 hours of the trip we got pummelled. I wasn't feeling too bad but by the last 10 hours I was feeling pretty second hand. In fact most of the crew were doing it pretty tough. It's an epic trip simply getting to Wreck Reefs and I must admit when we got there and stopped in some calm water I was pretty happy to be there.

After a long trip all the boys were pretty keen to get out there and before we knew it we were heading out to have our first fish at Wrecks Reef.

There were 2 people allocated to each Dory so Clint from Wilsons and I jumped in and took off to find ourselves a nice little spot to troll some hardbodied lures.

We came across a nice spot at the end of the reef where there was a bit of wind and current moving around causing a bit of a pressure point so we tied on some Zerek Pelagic Zs and deployed them on the trolling rods. I think we went about 50m and the Venom buckled over in the rod holder and mono was screaming off. I quickly grabbed the rod and I was on; my first fish of the trip.

It felt like I'd hooked a bus but unfortunately it didn't last long and I donated my first lure to the reef.

Now it was just a matter of tying on another lure getting it back in the water and Clint put us back on the same troll line and it didn't take very long and that same rod buckled over again. Just like the first fish it felt like I had a bus on. It gave me heaps I was huffing and puffing and before long a solid dogtooth tuna was at the surface.

This was the first of many fish that I hadn't caught before and Wreck Reef is certainly the place to add to your catch lists.

Unfortunately the wind was pretty persistent from the north-north east at around 20 to 25 knots and that shut down the next day's fishing.

We tried to head out and do a bit of jigging and a bit of trolling on the mother ship but in the end the weather pushed us back into the relative calm of Bird Island. The wind backed off slightly later in the afternoon and with the lower tide there was less of the southeast swell pushing in so we were able to deploy the dories and head over to Bird Island and have a fish from the beach.

We had a great afternoon session casting poppers and stickbaits. I was lucky enough to catch a GT around 8kg and it was one of those moments that I've always dreamt about doing and that was standing on pure white sand casting into gin clear water. I had made plenty of casts when I looked out into an area and saw a small section of coral in amongst some nice white sand. I made a long cast and as my lure hit the water I gave it a couple of twitches and the GT just smashed it on the surface.

After that we all got back on board the dories and headed back to the mothership for another night of food chatting and planning the next day's adventure.

Options Aplenty

The rest of the week did not disappoint with the weather starting to settle and the fishing starting to improve.

I had a couple of goals on this trip and one was to catch a serious wahoo. I'm happy to say that with the knowledge of Wilson Fishing's rod building Guru Clint skippering, we managed to tick that off the list.

We also managed to get a very big sailfish to the boat, a highlight that will live with me forever!

In fact this trip provides so many options it's a little daunting.

The only thing this trip really lacks is the ability to collect plenty of fillets. Sure you can catch and keep wahoo, dogtooth, Spaniards and the like, but it's almost impossible to land red fish such as coral trout that are not so large that the risk of ciguatera poisoning is very real.

But that's not what this tip is all about.

This trip is all about catching a lot of very big fish on lures. This trip is about experiencing fishing as it likely was before we colonised Australia. This trip is about visiting a place so remote it takes a day and a half just to get there! This trip is about fulfilling lifetime dreams.

Simply put this trip is amazing.

Lifetime Memories

The last thing left to do was to make our way back to Brisbane.

This was an adventure that will stay in my memory for the rest of my life and an adventure that I will tell my grandkids about. It really is the trip of a lifetime!

If you ever decide you want to do an adventure like this, it's definitely worthwhile. It is a hell of a lot of fun and it's something that you'll have to do at least once in your life and Big Cat Reality Fishing Charters can help make this dream come true.

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