This Brisbane based company organised a day out on Crusader 1 on Saturday 5th May. The weather forecasts were indicating it would be a great day to be out on the water.  We all knew there was some stronger winds – up to 20 knots were forecast – coming through later that night and the following day but ….what actually happened was a little surprising to everyone.

A stunning morning as we set out. No winds and flat ocean conditions. The fishing was great – lots of good sized Snapper on board, Coronation Trout and the good old Fusiliers.  overall there was lots of action on board and a great vibe.

Toby, Zoe & Dixon were the crew, and made sure the guests settled in for a nice early BBQ lunch followed by platters of dips, cheeses and fruit through out the day.

Unlike the forecasts, the weather decided to hit hard and fast from about lunchtime with wind gusts reaching 30-40 knots! Luckily the group on board took it in their stride as we were headed home when the worse took effect. We simply battened down a few clears and weathered the conditions until we got in.

All in all, a great bunch of guests on board, great fishing and everyone clearly to loved the.day  Gerard received a Rod & Reel as a gift from us for organising the group. It was a fun trip with trophies handed out and a great time had by all. 

If you think a day on the water like this would be something for your company, family of group of friends, look no further than Crusader 1 and our crew .

Fish species
Some of the great fish caught on the day

With all the horrible weather for the first half this year, it’s been difficult for any charter company in SE Qld. Last Friday we were able to get a small “Half Day” – 5 Hour Deep Sea Fishing Charter out, which resulted in a great day for all on board.

We actually had two birthday boys on board at the same time –  Anthony and Nigel who both managed to pick up a nice Cobia (Black King Fish), along with some other fish making their day.

We surprised them both with a birthday cake (and most likely embarrassed them as well!).

It was good to see some ladies on board as well, and for them to be hauling up some good fish proved that deep sea fishing is truely an activity suitable for everyone. They even had a double hook-up.

Cobia was certainly the flavour of the day, and they are a good fish to have on the line.  Hoping to see more as we get into the cooler months.

 

 

A nice way to start Anzac Day!  A beautiful sunrise and looking back on everyone gathering on the beach for the official Remembrance Service in front of the Mooloolaba Surf Club as we headed out on a 7 Hr Deep Sea Fishing Trip.

Aaron pulled together a group of friends for an outing.  He received a Rod & Reel as a gift from us for his efforts and I’m pretty sure he enjoyed the trip as he actually phoned us and thanked us for such a great day. Wow!  You don’t get that often.  Really touching.

Jackson’s Dad Daniel organised a fishing trip for his 10th birthday.  It was good to be able to get him out as we had to cancel on him a couple of times with all this inclement weather we’ve been having of late.  Well, it was a delight to see him hook up the first catch of the day – a nice Pearl Perch, he deserved a hat for that.

Then we had Scott bring his two daughters along and Fiona caught her first fish ever.  Toby was there to help her and show her what to do.Mike, a Sunshine Coast local and regular, certainly knows how to fish and pulled in a couple of great fish as usual.

To top it of the last catch of the day was a nice Mack Tuna so all in all a good day on the water and we are looking forward to seeing some return guests on our overnight fishing charters and whale watching over the next few months.

 

 

What a weekend just past!
Finally a really good break in the weather enabling us to get our guests out!
The results were excellent as we certainly had some great trips.
The cyclones started to impact us as far back as on New Years day, and basically continued to play havoc until Early April (Yes, that’s a touch over 3 full months!), we lost a massive part of the normal summer fishing time.
Our first trip out immediately showed we were already into the changeover to the Winter species.
Not that that is all bad, but the Summer pelagics are always exciting fish to hook!
All in all a mixed bag of fish species caught by the end of the weekend.
A few excellent school Jewfish (aka Mulaway), a lot of Red Emperor (sadly most JUST under the limit), Tusk fish, Parrot fish, Snapper, Cobia, a lot of Red Throat Emperor, and the normal reef fish such as Cod, Pearl Perch, Gold Spot Wrasse, Banana Fish etc. We even hooked a few Coral trout and a Nanoguy! Not a common fish for our region at all!
Just a selection of the fish caught this weekend.
The weekend started off with a 5 hr sunset charter. The forecasts were borderline so we changed it to a sunset charter to get the best of the weather.
Luckily we had picked it right, and it was a good fun trip.
Jamie had a bit of a Bucks get together with some of his interstate mates that could not make the main celebration.
A few others joined the charter & there was some good fishing.
Some of the action as the sun set on the 12th April
Friday was a corporate outing with a great bunch of guys from the Cleveland area.
This charter was a Full 9hr day out at The Barwon Banks. And, like the 5hr it ended up with another lot of good fish on board. Have to say, some of these guys could really fish! ???? ???? ????
Overall just an excellent day out on the water, with a nice BBQ lunch, some great Fishing, and one lucky person walking away with a rod & reel combo compliments of Sunshine Coast Afloat.
Saturday also started with a 5 hr sunrise charter. It’s worth noting that now that the mornings are getting darker we are seeing some spectacular sunrises.
It seems that the fish must be hungry from the extended period of bad weather as we managed another number of beauties being caught on this trip as well.
Michael had organised this for their Bucks party celebration (well, the start of it I guess) and seeing as they had the boat to themselves they  decided to have a great big cook up breaky – bacon, eggs & hash browns. Certainly hit the spot we were told!
Some of the action on the 5hr Charter on the 13th April.
A quick clean up & turn around for a 2 hr cruise which turned out to be another Bucks celebration.
A 2hr Bucks Party cruise
After that we headed off to the back canals to pick up a Hens group. They had rented a canal-front house for the occasion, so instead of them coming to us to board, we went and picked them up from the pontoon attached to the property! Talk about door to door service!! I do wonder what the neighbours thoughts seeing the 55 foot Crusader 1 coming in to moor up at the property! These girls certainly knew how to party. Lots of singing, dancing & screaming.
On Sunday we had yet again another 5 hr (half day) charter to begin with. Luckily once again the Fishing was good. And on this trip his we even managed to get a few Spanner Crabs as well.
Some of the fish caught on the 5hr Charter on Sunday morning April 15
The final trip of the weekend was Sunday afternoon when we finished off with an 80th birthday celebration. Another absolutely lovely bunch of guests. They too incorporated a BBQ lunch, while they enjoyed a beautiful day out on the water with  with family & friends.
All in all  simply a fantastic few days.
We can only hope the weather and this pace continues!

A FREE Rod & Reel for Christmas? Thats right! Summer is on it’s way, and so is Christmas – only about 5 weeks to go as I am writing this!  At Sunshine Coast Afloat, we want to make sure you are set for the best Christmas holiday season yet! Fishing is pretty much the national pastime for Australians. (Well, probably almost every human on the planet!). And we know that as much as we would all love to head out every weekend (on one of our charters of course! ) that is neither realistic or possible.

So if you are looking at heading out over the Christmas holidays we want to make sure you are rewarded! How? Well, as a small local business we need your help to get as many people heading out with us. Be it on Crusader 1 or on our Kayaks. The more the merrier! And if you can help us with that we will help you to keep fishing even when you can’t jump aboard with us!

So now is the time to organise that group of guys (and gals) and book a Fishing Charter on Crusader 1. Get a group of 7 or more together and we will GIVE you, the organiser, a free, brand new, Offshore Rod and reel. Yep, your to keep (or give away if you are feeling like Santa). Retail value of over $100.00

Got way more than 7 People? Get your group size to 14 or more and you actually get go FREE!  Get to a group of 19, and the entire boat is just your group.  You still get the Rod and Reel AND you get to have up to 21 people come on for no extra cost. Thats 3 free of charge (You should be one of them of course!)

A couple of happy campers receiving their free offshore Rod and Reel sets from Sunshine Coast Afloat.

Got an offshore rod n Reel already? Well, how about a japanese made estuary spinning rod designed specifically for kayak fishing? That’s right, you can walk away with a super high quality Japanese Rod and reel set worth well of $140.00 by coming out kayak fishing on one of our Guided Kayak Fishing tours! And in this case its not just you that gets the gear. Everyone in your group does! AND you only need 4 or more people to get this happening! 4 hours of fun and expert assistance on how to get the most out of your kayak fishing.

Another group having a great time on a 4hr Guided Kayak Fishing tour.
(Free Rod and Reel available for direct bookings only. Not available for bookings made via 3rd Party agents and or sites)

The highlights from August 2017

August proved to be another fabulous month here on the beautiful Sunshine Coast. We really only had one (and a half) weekend(s) out due to unpleasant weather.  Although we have not had rain for some time now,  we have experienced a few, shall we say “ordinary” days, with strong winds and swelly seas, keeping us grounded in port.

Whale Watching Trips

On the other side of things, our mid-week WHALE WATCHING trips are, slowly, gaining momentum.  Some of these have been absolutely spectacular to say the very least. Even our bird watching trips (More on these below) have turned into amazing whale watching trips! Have a look at a few of the images and some footage:

 

Hela-Va Jet, our offshore Jet Boat, is getting the same results most trips as well. And when you as close to the water as you are on this boat, the whales really look VERY big!

2 shots of Hela-Va Jet during whale Watching trips

Deep Sea Fishing

With the abnormally high winter temperatures (We have not really had much of a Winter here on the Sunshine Coast at all this year) we certainly have not seen the influx of Snapper and Cobia we normally do.  Most trips are still very much a mix of both Summer and Winter species. Towards the end of the month we finally started to see a bit of a resurgence of the Spanner crabs, even though the vast majority are well under size. At least there are clearly crabs about which will hopefully spawn in November and December to restock the levels back to where they should be.

Amongst our August trips one of the highlights was the 11 hour fishing charter which took us out past the Barwon Banks in search of the bigger fish, and we were not disappointed.  It was actually Angie’s birthday and it was a stonker of a day.

Angie getting her cake (and eating it too!) aboard Crusader 1.

And Angie got in on the fishing action too as you can see below!

A snapshot of some of the fish caught during August aboard Crusader 1.

August in general did see a lot of Tea Leaf Trevally, Amberjack, Parrotfish (Surprisingly so), and Mack Tuna. Along with the usual year round fish such as cod, pearlies, squire, Mowong, tuskies etc.

A snapshot of 2 of the trips results in August 2017 aboard Crusader 1.

This stunning Coral Trout was released back to the Coral Sea to fight another day and the only memory the person that caught it wanted was this picture of it. So I thought I would share it will everyone as these fish are seldom released!

Aboard Crusader we have been experimenting with different styles of bait, and we believe we have found an excellent mix which is seeing great results in most conditions. A combination of our own designs of both hooks and plastics combined with bait is the final result of which our customers feedback has been overwhelmingly positive!

We have had a lot of groups book their trips with us. Our vessel’s size at 55 foot makes it ideal for larger groups to still be able to head out for a day of fun together. We also had another school outing which was again strongly supported by Gary of De Bretts on Parkyn Parade.

Two of the many groups hosted aboard Crusader 1 during August. On the left is a school group from St Teresa in Noosaville.

August also saw another Pelagic birdwatching trip (you can read the full post on that here). Its funny how we all hang out for calmer winds and seas for fishing and whale watching, these guys prefer stronger winds. But so far every trip has seen beautiful calm conditions, making their trips more whale and marine watching than true pelagic bird watching! Ah well, as they say, “be careful what you wish for!”. No doubt they will soon enough have the weather they are currently wishing for.

The arrow shows the Brown Boobie on the Trawler. The passengers carry some of the most impressive camera gear we ever see aboard Crusader 1.

General Trip stuff

Of course the Beautiful Coral Sea off Mooloolaba here on the Sunshine Coast provided for some amazing sunrises over the ocean. Zoe took a number of amazing shots. Here are just 2 of them:

A couple of Sunrise Shots taken by Zoe aboard Crusader 1.

And of course we still had the other usual marine encounters such as dolphins (Yes, Crusty is still visiting us almost every day when fishing!).

It’s a common sight to see dolphins enjoying swimming in the wake created by Crusader 1 as she steams along.

So that caps off another month of fun and sunshine here on the Sunshine Coast. With the September school holidays just around the corner, we can only hope that the weather gods decide to grant us all more of the same.

We hope to see all of you out with us for some awesome fun soon!

TWO BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS and OUR REGULARS HEAD OUT AGAIN

The mainly wonderful weather in July 2017  has allowed us to operate TWO overnight deep sea fishing charters in the same month for the first time ever. Mind you, as kind as the forecasts were we still had unexpected wind hit on both trips.  Luckily although not forecast, it was not enough for concern for to deter the experienced anglers aboard both trips.

The first of the overnight deep sea fishing charters

The first overnight charter was a celebration of two birthdays.  And what a way to celebrate! The forecast conditions were looking perfect nearly all week in the lead up, and all the boys were clearly really looking forward to this overnight deep sea fishing charter. So much so that they arrived in the morning and then waited anxiously till 3PM to board and head out on their adventure!

Two of the fish caught by Tama on the overnight Deep Sea Fishing Trip in July

The scene was set as best we could. The moon cycle, tides, wind, seas and swell were all ideally aligned, but you still wonder Will that mean fishing is going to be good?”

Once out on the Northern end of the Barwon Banks, Crusty, our resident dolphin, as almost always came to the party looking for whatever those aboard were prepared to part with. The crew found good shows on a number of our marks seeing the esky filling up fast with spangled emperor, snapper, moses perch, amberjacks and hussars, to name a few.

With beautiful weather, a few drinks, and Joe and Luke’s two birthdays being celebrated, it was a big night for some and one I am sure those aboard were ecstatic not to have missed out on. After heading back in from the Hards, a bit more fishing proved successful at sunrise. Combined with a big breakfast of bacon, eggs, & hash brown’s I doubt anyone would have wanted to be anywhere else!  We even spotted whales on the way home, which is always a great way to end a deep sea fishing trip.

Jessie cooking the BBQ breakfast on the Overnight Deep Sea Fishing Trip

A fantastic trip. Even the crew “loved every minute of it!”

The second of the overnight deep sea fishing charters

About 6 days later our second overnight deep sea trip headed out. This trip consisted mainly of  our regulars. It was was great to see a lot of familiar faces all together and it was clear they all enjoyed catching up again also.

There are a lot of phosphorescent jelly fish around at the moment along with a good amount of Whales coming up the coast.  This night saw some good snapper & a massive red emperor amongst a good spread of other fish.  Although again not forecast we had bit of rain. Luckily Crusader 1 has a well covered deck area ensuring everyone could stay comfortable and dry. Almost everyone had a bit of a sleep, allowing them to take advantage of when the fish came on the bite. As always everyone loved the BBQ dinner & breakfast, prepared by Zoe on this occasion.

Zoe played the catering host this trip with both Dinner and Breakfast cooked to perfection!

Almost everyone was able to get good fish on board. There was of course lots of banter and fun, and the whales again put on a show on the way home.

A few of the 2nd July Overnight Charter results.

 

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!!