Something I’ve been trying to do regularly is head north during the cooler months, to experience some of the fishing that the tropical regions of Australia has to offer.
Hervey Bay is a place that I have found not only ticks all the boxes fishing wise, but is also an easy trip for a few nights away, with direct flights and basic accomodation close to the marina, it’s an affordable way to escape for a weekend to get into some fantastic fishing, which at times seem a world away from my local fishing opportunities.
In recent trips I have used the guides at Hervey Bay Fly and Sportfishing, they are fantastic to deal with and use their many years of experience fishing the area to maximise my chances of catching fish, even when things are tough.
I personally enjoy casting lures at surface feeding fish, as well as sight fishing the shallows for cruising fish if the weather permits, but one thing I’ve learnt when fishing Hervey Bay, is you just never know what species of fish you might encounter, and in what circumstances.
One fish that so far had eluded me on previous trips was a Longtail Tuna, I’m sure I’d been hooked up before, however pulling hooks and being sharked meant I was yet to land one.
So that was my goal for this trip, although my expectations were tempered after my guide for the day, Murray, informed me he hadn’t seen any in the area for a number of weeks, and added that even the seemingly reliable Mac Tuna had been difficult to tempt.
So while on the ride out of the bay I was very pleased to see on the horizon numerous schools of fish busting the surface with birds working above them.
We quietly moved into casting distance of a small school, and it wasn’t long before I was hooked up. After some fast runs and a solid fight, I landed the first fish for the morning, a quality Mac Tuna.
Although it took some work, we were able to hook and land several more Mac’s throughout the morning.
Things became exciting when my guide Murray told me that the next school we were moving up too were in fact Long Tail Tuna.
This was the opportunity I was waiting for, and my heart was racing as we moved in closer, and I waited as long as I could before making an accurate cast right into the school.
A few quick winds to get my stick bait moving was followed by and explosion on the surface in front of me, before I knew it I was hooked up to a solid fish, the fight was hard and lasted a lot longer than the Mac Tuna’s I’d previously experienced.
I was very happy to finally see Murray tail the fish and bring it on board the boat, after several high fives and a few quick photo’s, I speared the fish back into the water and watched it swim away.
We continued on a great days fishing, and the feeling of satisfaction to have finally landed one of these fantastic sport fish has stayed with me for many weeks after.