Saumarez Reef '01

Kanimbla Charter

17-24th November 2001


Our deckhand Joel with a nice jobfish

Another awesome trip. 16 of us departed Gladstone late Saturday afternoon in glorious conditions. Due to a forecast brief deterioration in the weather we spent Sunday at the Swains Reefs while our Captain Bruce Stobo assessed the latest weather reports. The pending change didn't look too bad so Sunday night we ventured on to Saumarez Reef. We arrived in the early hours to be treated to a marvel of nature and astronomers delight. We had heard news that a major meteor shower was predicted which had the scientific world buzzing. By good fortune we had cloudless skies, no smog or city lights and the top deck of Kanimbla made the perfect viewing platform. Very spectacular!

Another interesting occurrence that night was when the skipper was 'king hit' from behind while standing on the deck. He spun around fearing a mutinous crewman, stray meteorite or even an angry sea ghost to see nothing.Upon looking down however, there laying on the deck was the culprit, a large 'kamikaze' flying fish which finished up rigged as a troll bait.

The fishing was again fantastic, the usual Coral Sea sportfish were in attendance although billfish (0) and wahoo (3) were quieter than usual.Nevertheless plenty of dogtooth, jobfish, cuda, yellowfin, GT's, dolphin fish and reef fish such as coral trout, coronation trout, cod and japanese sea bream kept rods bent for the rest of the week.

Notable captures included John's 36kg dogtooth, Paul's 26kg Giant Trevally, Bill's wahoo and Richards 22kg yellowfin.

Sharks were thick as usual. One was the biggest tiger shark I have ever seen. We were releasing a couple of yellowfin from one of the 4m dories when a massive brown shape materialised a few metres behind us. I am not game to estimate it's length but it was clearly much longer than the boat. It's head over a metre wide, it's girth huge. A 3.5m tiger I hooked the next day from Kanimbla looked a baby by comparison.

Thursday night we departed Saumarez for a comfortable overnight cruise to North Reef which is situated to the north of Heron Island in the Capricorn/Bunker group of reefs. Some enjoyed a leisurely day spearfishing for trout and cray while others fished or explored the small island and lighthouse before we left that night for the relatively short trip back to Gladstone.

Once again Kanimbla's crew excelled. Chef Steve kept us well fed, I think we all put on a couple of kilos. Adam and Joel were tireless in their duties as deckhands and Bruce's captaincy was again superb. Many thanks to you all.

Geoff Weston

Above (from left) John H with a good sized dogtooth tuna. Bill and Meredith holding their 10kg jobfish and dogtooth. John W and his big coral trout. (click to enlarge)

Above (from left) John H and Dave with a couple of nice dogtooth. Gordon and his dolphin fish. Richard looking tired but happy with his 22kg yellowfin tuna. (click to enlarge)

Above (from left) Rohan and Paul with a quick snap of their joint effort GT prior to release..... Crikey! My imitation of the 'Crocodile Hunter 'with a sea snake.....A family affair . Myself , brother John and father Lloyd with a mixed bag of reef fish. (click to enlarge)


Bruce Robson is a Kanimbla regular who has visited Saumarez so many times he just about needs a Postal address there. He was fortunate enough to be aboard this trip and another a week later where they managed to revisit Frederick Reef. His very informative accounts of both trips can be found here. BRUCE'S TWO TRIPS