THE-CAPTAIN-LOGO-small

Fraser Island is full of salty drama. It was named after Eliza Fraser, who was shipwrecked off the coast in 1836. She took refuge on the island and, as the story goes, was captured by local Aborigines and made to work for scraps before eventually being rescued. The geography is just as dramatic. The volcanic rock at Fraser’s core is disguised by 750,000 years of nutrient-rich sand. This sand contains a fungus that supports the phenomenal plant life – and Fraser has some spectacular growth rainforests, dense mangroves and crystal-clear freshwater lakes – think Tom Hanks in Castaway. But we weren’t here to watch flora grow, we were more interested in the underwater fauna… black marlin, specifically.

IMG_5987-1080x675

 

NATURAL SPECTACLE

Every year at Fraser Island, an amazing natural spectacle occurs. Juvenile black marlin head to the sandy shores to feed and it’s not uncommon to see them in waist- deep water! The crew from Simrad and JSW Powersports had their own Castaway adventure on Fraser planned – and the call came through to The Captain’s crew to come along. We couldn’t pack our spinning sticks and boardies fast enough! Instead of an outrigger canoe though, our ride was a Sea Fox 220 Viper. No complaints here…

THE TEAM: A SKULK OF SEA FOXES

IMG_6681

Name:  

Travis Godfredson

Crew:  

Captain’s Crew

Signature move:  

Fears no shark with Go-Pro in hand

Favourite part of Fraser:

Underwater seduction

Favourite thing on the Sea Fox:

Rear middle seat at transom – when Jase is driving

IMG_5774

Name:   

Jack Murphy

Crew:

Captain’s Crew

Signature move:

More lure rolls than a tackle shop

Favourite part of Fraser:

Underwater photography opportunities

Favourite thing on the SeaFox:

Comfy, sexy and eats up wind-chop for breakfast

IMG_6748

Name:  

Trevor Blackstock

Crew:  

Simrad

Signature move:

Storing his tackle in live bait tanks, which subsequently filled up

Favourite part of Fraser:

You can’t beat watching a couple of black marlin attack a stickbait on the crystal clear flats of Fraser!

Favourite thing on the SeaFox:

Maneuverability and fish-ability. I love the big casting platform up the front, and the seats at the back that fold to become another casting platform

IMG_6831

Name:    

Jason Hedges

Crew:

JSW / Sea Fox

Signature move:

Commitment to finding current lines and bait – and then finding fish

Favourite part of Fraser:

Game fishing with a tropical back-drop

Favourite part of the Sea Fox Viper:

Driving it like you stole it in any conditions

 

SETTING THE TRAP

In our excitement packing the bags full of Mirco Chubbys and Cockroaches, we almost missed the flight. The old Land Rover pulled into valet parking and I threw the rusty keys to a bemused attendant. Three hours later, we were in Hervey Bay, lips firmly attached to icy Coronas. We spent the evening with Simrad’s Trevor Blackstock and Jason Hedges from Sea Fox, tying plait doubles, comparing rods and pretending to be much better fishermen than we actually are.

IMG_6177

We hit the bay in the morning attired in our favourite fishing shirts, skimming across a nasty tidal chop at a comfortable 30-plus knots. It felt like the shortest 30nm I’ve ever travelled. Jason, our skipper, looked like an F/A-18 fighter pilot, nonchalantly blasting past small centre-consoles and leaving overladen tinnies in our wake. On arrival at Rooney’s Point we deployed a spread of Pakulas along with a new Pakula bird and strip teaser. It was a disco out the back of the Sea Fox – and every marlin in Fraser was invited.

IMG_6265

SHALLOW-WATER SKIRMISH

After 30 minutes, a small black marlin grabbed the long rigger with such vigour that the little Tiagra 16 sounded like it was about to grow a pair of wings and take off. I grabbed the rod as the fish greyhounded across the surface, back-flipping wildly like an out-of-control fire hose. After a short but exciting fight, the unpredictable marlin swam towards the boat, arcing around the bow. Lit up like the neon lights on an illegal street-racer, we donned fins and masks, and jumped in to film this incredible specimen. I scored the photo of a lifetime – the shot you can see on this cover. It was one of the coolest underwater experiences ever!

IMG_5911

TROPICAL PARADISE

Over the next few days, Fraser turned it on. The weather was all glamour and we spent more time in the water than out of it. The place is more photogenic than Miranda Kerr – we burnt through our cameras’ memory cards faster than we could replace them. We glided with giant turtles, explored sunken wrecks and cast poppers in crystal- clear, knee-deep water from the shore. We continued to target small blacks on the flats while catching Spanish mackerel and red emperor in our spare time. The place is seriously versatile, not just from a fishing perspective, but from an adventure aspect. If you don’t want to go by boat, you can even take your own 4WD onto the island and find your own patch of paradise – there’s 1,840km2 of soft white sand to explore. If you’re planning a hard-core fishing trip or a simple family getaway, Fraser Island is your ticket.

To read this review on The Captains website find it here.

IMG_7002