June deep sea fishing finishes with a Bang!

Another amazing weekend of deep sea fishing and fun this last weekend of June! Exactly the type of weekend we would all  no doubt love to be able to replicate every time. And what a great way to finish the June Fishing month! (Next Saturday is the 1st July already!)

One of the groups we had the pleasure of hosting the last weekend in June.

It sort of seems like ages since we had a full weekend of fantastic weather conditions here on the Sunshine Coast. The month started beautifully, and now has clearly ended in a similar vein. It was the middle bit that wasn’t that great…. Mind you, the guys at BOM didn’t help. June would have to be one of the worst forecasting months they have had in memory! Days forecast with 40 knots and 4 to 5m swell turned out to be 10 knots and 1m swell. (Just a tad off!!!….) and the one time they forecast perfect conditions – for our overnight deep sea fishing charter of course! –  they were off by about 15 knots as well! Luckily we had a pretty hardy group aboard!

At least this last weekend we had lovely conditions. The seas were calm with a gentle rolling swell. The fishing was really good, and we had a great bunch of guests to join us this weekend.  We were lucky enough to be out on the water to experience a wonderful sunrise and finished off the day with a cruisy sunset deep sea fishing charter on Saturday evening.

 

The wildlife seemed to also be enjoying to conditions with our regular visiting dolphin (we have nicknamed him Crusty because of a growth on the end of his nose) being just one of the highlights of the day.  Zoe, the newest member of our team, was delighted to be able to feed and film our regular visitor.

Crusty the dolphin turned up again looking for a few pillies!

We are now also starting to see a few more whales as we head out, but they are still mostly out wide. So we will continue keep an eye on them and will let you know when we will be starting our whale watching cruises.  Pelicans, al other birds resting on our rails all added to the delight of the being out on the water.

Saturday and Sunday were both Full Day deep sea fishing charters.  Our angler guests had a great weekend of fishing the Barwon Banks, pulling up a wide variety of good fish – red throat Emperor, Moses Perch, Maori Cod, Pearl Perch, Snapper, just to name a few. The conditions were in fact so gorgeous out on the water that we decided to “put it out there” and do a “Sunset Fish and Fun trip” (Still working on the name. Any ideas are welcome!) on the Sunday.  Everyone on board for that trip had an enjoyable time so we will be expanding on this, and most likely make it a regular thing but including a BBQ as well. Keep an eye on this space for more!

One of the BBQ lunches on the weekend. The crew cooked up a storm!

We left at 3.00 pm and returned at 8.00 pm. The crew said they could have stayed out longer as it was just nice being out there, and in addition the fish were biting well!

We have re-introduced our 9 hour sunset-evening charters for winter.  These depart at 11.00 am and return at 8.00 pm and are already filling up fast.  Grab a group of friends or hit the boss up for a corporate outing, you’ll have a ball with us out on Crusader 1!

Our July overnight charter booked out so quickly – first to be fully booked in fact – that we decided to set another July date to give everyone the opportunity to jump on board.  The next trip is scheduled for Monday 10th July returning Tuesday 11th July, 2017. Only half full at this point so if you are interested give us a yell!

If you want any further information about any of our trips just give Paddy a call on 0412 155 814 or email us, we will get back to you.

 

What an absolutely beautiful weekend of deep sea fishing we had up here on the Sunshine Coast!

This Saturday started off with a full day (9 hour) deep sea fishing charter, with the majority of passengers being from a fishing club! Obviously our crew felt even more pressure to perform given this. The weather was a little worrisome to begin based on the forecasts, but as has been the case too regularly, BOM was well off track and it soon turned into the most beautiful day.  So much for the 80% chance of rain predicted!

A stunning morning as we head out to the Barwon Banks

The decision to head to the north end of the Barwon Banks proved correct, and we stayed there for the majority of the day as there was so much action. Our crew were kept super busy helping our guests in every way possible to get fish on and indeed off the hook.  With heaps of fish coming up, the day once again passed so quickly.  Fish species caught included: – Fusiliers,  Snapper, Tuckies, Pearl Perch,  Moses Perch,  Grassies and the usual huge heap of bream and whip-tail. All in all lots of action to keep everyone busy and entertained! A deep sea fishing trip that we all aspire to!

The crabbing side was not as successful.  It’s actually been a slow year in general for the crabs to date, but we did pull up, and couple of Spanner Crabs, as well as sea urchins and star fish!

An Okuma offshore Rod & Reel Combo was given away to the fishing group as part of our appreciation for booking with us and Brian was going to put it towards the club. Lots of smiles, high fives and thank you’s to our fabulous crew as they walked off with a bag full of quality fish.

Toby, giving Brian a Rod & Reel as a gift for booking the boat with SCA.

As part of our full day and longer deep sea fishing charters we always make sure our guests have plenty to eat. This includes an array of meats on our custom marine BBQ. Always a huge hit with all aboard!  Cakes, platters, fruit are available throughout the day so no one ever goes hungry on our charters. We enjoy watching satisfied customers sitting back in comfort on the way home after a full day of activity and food, taking in the beautiful day, fantastic coastline views, a few drinks and lots of stories to talk about.

Sunday mornings 5 hour deep sea fishing charter saw us head straight out towards Murphys before the sun rose. Murphy’s tends to work well at sunrise and sunset (Less so during the day we find) to hopefully take advantage of that.  Being just a  5 hour trip we need to make the most of the rather short amount of time available. These short deep sea fishing trips are always a lot more difficult to make as successful compared to trips with longer times of course. But (almost) everyone was successful in taking home fish on the trip. And one very large Amberjack was the reward for the early venture to Murphy’s. A couple of spanner crabs made sure nobody went home empty handed. These short trips are much more about the experience than about the result. In keeping with that our guests consisted of quite a few holiday makers, getting in before the busier period in a few weeks. The absolutely beautiful weather conditions and amazing water clarity didn’t help the cause on Sunday. Rougher weather always fishes better. But it was hard to imagine a nicer day out on the water!

Overall the weekend provided the most glorious weather we have had for a long time! The best place to be is on the water when it’s like that.  It was a bonus that the fish still “played the game” topping off a fab weekend of deep sea fishing!

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There have been some recent warnings about the Mooloolaba Bar crossing and how the sand has moved making navigation quite dangerous.  Apparently dredging is set to start on the 1st of June 2017.  For us all the hard work in getting our flybridge rebuilt is now paying off.  It allows us to steam out having full visibility ensuring the safety of our passengers, crew and vessel. As we head out before the sun rises, visibility can be difficult at the best of times, particularly in winter. Add in typically foggy boat windows and early morning surfers taking chances surfing right across the river mouth (without any way of being seen) and you can understand the benefit this has added to our operations! No doubt the added visibility will also be a huge bonus this whale watching season too! Not yet finished but at least operational, it has already become a key safety feature for us!

 

A lot of sanding, polishing, fiberglassing, and rewiring has gone into getting the flybridge up to modern standards and reliability. The dashboard part is now finished and the work remains on the deck and sides.

We are getting ready for the 2017 Overnight Fishing trips!

Been thinking about how you could do something very different this winter for your fishing trip? Here at Sunshine Coast Afloat we have been experimenting with 18 hour overnight charters for the last few years. I say experimenting because it does take a lot of effort to get such long trips exactly right. Weather, locations, passenger and crew numbers, departure and return times, even the supplies needed on such trips needed are all key components that we have over that time tweaked, changed and improved upon over that time. The reason for this extreme effort? Because these trips are REALLY SPECIAL. To us as well as our customers! They are the trips we do not want to take any chances on. The trips which we want our customers to know that every aspect has been put under a microscope for, all with the focus of ensuring it is as close to perfect, for them, as any outdoor activity can get to!

One of the additions this year is simple. Advance booking notice to our regular customers and those that have requested the dates when available. That email was sent to everyone a few days ago. On Monday (3rd April) the dates will go live.

Another, much bigger change, is the manner in which we are now using the moon cycles and trip options. Because we have learnt that the weather forecasts HAVE to be stating perfect conditions for these trips (No room for guessing/hoping), which of course means that we have a very large percentage of these trips being cancelled due to weather, We have this year set 4 trips per month. 3 to 4 days before the Full Moon, 3 to 4 days After the Full Moon, and then as a backup, the same time frames for the NEW MOON in the same month. We hope that this will stop the “no charter this month” situation we found ourselves in so often last year. The reality is that we will work on one trip a month still, but have up to 3 alternative time frames in most cases should the weather forecasts not align perfectly for the main dates.

Another major change is the onboard equipment for cooking. We tried a normal marine BBQ – too small. We tried a full size “normal” outdoor BBQ – too unreliable in the conditions out on the ocean. All in all the only real option was to have a custom made marine BBQ. One made for marine conditions, but in a size that allows us to cook for 12 people in comfort and without sacrificing anything!:

 

As well as this, we are in the process of upgrading our fishing tackle (again). Although we will remain loyal to our main gear as supplied by Rapala for the Okuma Reels (overhead and Spin), we have recently started testing the newest releases they have available. So far so good, but these much stronger reels have shown some issues with the rods we have been using for the last 2 years. As such we are currently in the process of testing a higher quality range of rods to make sure that if you wish to use our tackle on any of our trips (you are more than welcome to bring your own on our charters!) you can be assured that you will be using premium gear!

There are a few more changes that both have been made and that are in the process of being made, but more on those in other posts!

Does this type of trip sound interesting? You can find more detail on them here: OVERNIGHT FISHING TRIPS

Want an email on the dates? Just fill in the form on the right hand side of the product page, email us via [email protected] or call us on 0402 625 825  We are here to help!!

 

It seems like a LONG time since we have had truly pleasant conditions on a weekend. For the last 5 months the swell has averaged close to the 1.7m mark and winds have averaged around the 18 knot mark! Tough conditions for anyone heading out deep sea! But the forecast for this weekend looks near perfect for deep sea fishing!! :

Sunshine-Coast-Weather-Forecast-for the 27-Nov-2016

The reason I have only put up Sunday’s forecast is because we are already fully booked on both trips for the Saturday, and I would hate to give anyone a false impression that they could still get a spot on one of those trips. However, as is common this time of year so close to the school holidays, Sundays trip is only half full! Just the one trip at this point. a 5Hr charter in what are forecast to be the best conditions of the entire weekend! I honestly cannot recall the last time I have seen a forecast stating “Smooth seas, and add in just 7 knots of wind!!  Should prove to be a lovely time out on the ocean!

We are heading out, so if you think this sounds like a trip you want to be a part of give us a call or book online ( Click here for the 5Hr page on our site ). We would love to have you aboard!

It’s that time of year again when Spanner Crabbing will be closed from midnight November 20 until midnight December 20th, 2016. We thought it appropriate to tell you a little about Spanner Crabs that may interest you.

The purpose for the closure is to protect the spanner crabs during their breeding season when they are most vulnerable. The closure gives the crabs a chance to spawn and helps replenish crab stocks. Spanner Crabs are also known as the Frog Crab or Red Frog Crab. The first/front legs are “spanner” shaped and the rest are flattened and have numerous short bristles. The spanner crab’s body colour varies from orange to red. Spanner Crabs prefer bare sandy areas.  They remain completely buried in the sand for most of the day, but they emerge rapidly when food appears.  Sharks and turtles feed on spanner crabs. Both often take advantage of crabs being caught in nets. Spanner Crabs are found around most of the Australian coast from NSW north to southern WA. On the East coast of Australia spanner crabs don’t seem to like to go much further south than Coffs Harbour, and they don’t go much further north than 1770, so typically the main area’s are in pristine unpolluted waters from the top end of Fraser Island to Mooloolaba. They are caught commercially, mainly using dillies, but also as a by-catch of Prawn trawling, off southern Queensland and northern NSW. Mooloolaba currently exports Spanner Crab to Japan, China, Hong Kong, and New Zealand.

shannon-and-spanner-crabs

A crab’s growth isn’t continuous, but from a series of moults that happen when it reaches the size of its current shell. Moulting is triggered by hormones. A new ‘cuticle’ (hard protective layer) is secreted under the old shell. The crab rapidly absorbs water, splitting its shell along suture lines, then backs out of the old shell. Substances stored within the crab’s body are rapidly redeposited to harden the new cuticle into a larger shell. The fluid in the body is replaced with meat during a period when the crab feeds voraciously.

Amazing how nature works!  We hope the crabs spawn well and we get a good season next year.

 

The Sunshine Coast Food Trail was launched by famed Sunshine Coast chef, Peter Kuruvita, at an event at Mooloolaba’s Rockliff Seafoods recently.  There local spanner crabs are featured on Peter’s new SBS TV program ‘Coastal Kitchen’. Visit Sunshine Coast have a new interactive website, which we are part of, that enables visitors to create their own personalised food trail taking in the region’s best producers, markets, restaurants, cooking schools, events, wineries and brewers.

allan-johnson-having-spanner-crabscustomers-and-spanner-crabs

 

 

Sunshine Coast Afloat is our new brand name.

The well known, existing brand names – Fish n Crab Deep Sea Charters, Mooloolaba Jet boat and Coastline Cruises will become products moving forward, rather than stand alone brands. The change has been brought about through 2 main drivers.

  1. Social Media. Social Media is a key component of any modern business. It all seems great to have constant updates etc, but when you think about the various social media forums – Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Instagram, Snap chat, Pintrest, LinkedIn etc etc, you start to get a feel for the almost full time job that it is just to keep all of them going for a single business. Imagine that for 3 (Well, 4. See the next point). Add on websites, brochures, advertising, Tourism and business memberships costs and you can imaginer it can quickly become rather overwhelming!
  2. New Product Offering. Guided Kayak Fishing tours is another new addition to our services. Its becoming very apparent that Kayak fishing is not a flash in the pan phenomenon but a true and rapidly growing sport here in Australia. The Sunshine Coast has some of the best estuary fishing for this in Australia, and there is a clear need for the service. We believe that we have been able to put together the best value kayak fishing offering in Australia! Check it out here!

All in all, we are about to bring the next level of marine and water based tourism experiences to the beautiful Sunshine Coast!

Still not content with just offering the same standard trips as you can find pretty much everywhere else, we remain fully focused on making sure that we do things the way you (and we) really want them to be. Fun, adventurous, adrenalin filled or clam and relaxing. Sunshine Coast Afloat is a one stop location where you will be able to choose the activity that suits you perfectly all secure in the knowledge that from the very moment you find us to the the time you get back home you will have been looked after the way you deserve!

Sunshine Coast Afloat – For whatever floats your boat!