The highlights from July 2017
What a fabulous July we had on the Sunshine Coast! Spectacular weather with temperatures in the mid-twenties, you would think we were in Spring rather than Winter. We have not experienced the normal winter weather at all this year. In fact we are even still seeing some pelagic out there! Overall fishing has not been too bad at all. The crabbing has been rather dismal with only 1 in every 5 trips hitting any real volume of crabs.
The weather certainly resulted in a massive influx of bookings and has allowed us take on a variety of different activities this month. All of which which has kept us on our toes and excited.
The great weather even allowed us to get TWO overnight charters out in July! The first of these being a single group booking, celebrating a couple of birthdays. The other overnight charter consisted of a lot of our regular customers, which is always a lot of fun for everyone involved! Of course both trips were very different, but both successful in different ways. Everyone certainly said they enjoyed the trips and almost all are asking about when we will be doing our next!
We decided to give August a miss – a good call as it turned out – as we tend to experience the strong Westerly winds in that month. In the 3 years of doing these trips we are yet to have a comfortable August overnight charter happen! The date we had pencilled in before we decided to “play safe” saw strong winds and high seas. So we made the right call and did not need to disappoint anyone that would have had a booking!
July saw a massive number of “common” fishing charters completed. Certainly nothing like the 60% cancellation rate due to unsuitable weather the prior months had been impacted by! Perhaps this is also one of the reason the fishing was often much better than expected.
As a company we are always looking at ways to improve the experience we provide us customers. Fishing isn’t becoming any easier with the ongoing increases in boat numbers and without doubt the impact of huge overseas commercial fishing vessels. Large fish grow large for a reason. They have learnt to survive! So catching a large size fish requires more than just pure luck. Skill and technique are more often than not the key. And to assist in this we trialled a number of different “plastics” in July. Some more successful than others. These plastics need to be matched with the correct hooks etc. So we ended up getting our own designs made for us to ensure we were able to get the best possible results. And we believe the result are more than encouraging. We’ll never remove bait fishing entirely, but the impact we are seeing from the plastics is so strong we feel it will become a very key component of our setup moving forward.
Of course this time of year whale watching really starts to hit its strides. Especially towards the end of July into August. The now clearly rapidly growing numbers of whale migrating up the Eastern coastline is making for more and more frequent amazing encounters. Both Crusader 1 and Hela-Va Jet offer very personal and special viewing of these special animals. The growth in our booking for whale watching trips is fantastic and we believe down to both our brilliant crew and the very private feel we have aboard our boats. Our focus is on giving the best possible viewing of the whales, and the only way to do that is have small passenger numbers on our vessels. With some mind blowing encounters already in July we can’t wait till August and September!!
July also saw our 2nd Pelagic Bird watching trip for the year. See the full post on that here. It’s funny how it goes. Fishing and whale watching needs to ideally have light winds, whilst we are told the pelagic birds are much more plentifull with winds speeds of 20 to 25 knots. Both Pelagic Bird trips have seen the most gentle of conditions of course! I bet our fishing and whale watching customers had that same luck every time!
Of course we had a number of other trips on as well. Cruises, Hens and Bucks parties to name a few. And of course a large number of the more common or standard fishing charters. See below images for a few images taken during those trips. Some great fish were caught. Just a bit of a pity the spanner crabs did not play the game as much this month.
Well that wraps up July 2017. A great month by any measure! Here is hoping to more of the same in August!