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Hotting up at Hutchies
  |  First Published: November 2013



September and early October saw some very hot and unseasonable weather, 34ºC. This has predictably seen the water temperature jump back up from a pretty warm winter temp. Wahoo are on at Hutchies and the odd yellowfin tuna are keeping the trolling brigade happy.

On the reef lines there has been a continuation of a snapper season that has been out of the box, considering the lack of typical winter water temperature drop. Knobbies ranging from 11kg down to pannies are scattered throughout Wide Caloundra. The pick having been at the 60m line if you work it right along north-south and on the 90m ledge. On a west-east drift has been producing good fish as you drift down the hill.

Good pearlies are taking the bait on the top of the hill and if you continue the drift down the slope, you will find the snapper tending to be holding midway down the slope.

Best baits have been whole squid with a pilly insert and mullet strips. No one bait has out-fished the other so it’s just a case of try each and see what they are after. Pearl white jerk shads 7.5” have also accounted for a lot of fish hitting the box.

Trag jew have been about in good numbers along most lines but in particular 70m and deeper. They have been of excellent size for Wide Caloundra and more like their nearby southern mates. While not carrying the same table raps as pearlies they go alright on the chew and are welcome in the box.

We have tried a couple of exploratory drifts through Hutchies for mixed reefies and as yet nothing of any substance to report so stay tuned on the arrival of the summer box fillers. The odd yellowtail kingfish is being boated but more often on trolled gear at this stage of the game.

Investing in new technology and equipment is a must to provide clients with the best possible day out. I recently updated the sounder on Incredible to the latest Furuno model from an older model. In one trip I have marked more new ground that I have done all year, spotted new lumps and bumps all holding fish nearby to existing marks that the old girl just didn’t have the ping to see. Makes every trip a new day of exploration and discovery and seeing the old ground in a whole new and much more detailed light.

Likewise, new fishing gear is aboard Incredible. A new set of Shimano Tyrnos 30s have made the fishing so much easier with their fast retrieve, meaning quicker and more drifts per day and naturally more fish in the box for the guys to take home.

Finally I will make mention of a recent guest who is an avid QFM reader and school mate of my son Bryce. Nick Khunert came out on a recent trip and bagged a pearlie for dinner. A quiet day on the fish (sorry Nick!) with a pretty ordinary moon phase but that’s fishing! Thanks for coming Nick and keep enjoying QFM.

marina cost

Servicing and maintaining your vessel for offshore operations is critical and, as I am finding, an ever-increasing cost that does not seem to have any foundation. The usual oils and filters are fairly static in cost but what has gone literally through the roof is marina fees.

My vessel isn’t trailerable so when it’s service time I need to lift it out at a marina and change oils and anodes and filters. Averaging 11 hours engine time per trip it’s a frequent event every 6 weeks or so.

I was mortified recently when ringing around local marinas as to the cost of a simple ‘lift and hold’, which involves lifting the vessel and leaving it in the slings for an hour or two while the service is conducted and straight back in the water. It has skyrocketed and seems to me certain marinas are cashing in unfairly on the boating public.

I used a local marina and the cost was about $260 plus $85 for a pressure wash, which allowed 1 hour in the slings. With a howling southerly blowing the oil sideways, it took much longer as instead of simply draining vertically I had to hold the container for the waste and catch it. When it came time to pay I was charged $470! That got me 1.5 hours in the slings and a sloppy Gerni wash. If you don’t pay and contest the charge they hold your boat. I was told that I had gone 30 minutes over my allocated hour and the rate for overtime was $60 for every 15 minutes! Mention the wind factor slowing you down, they don’t care. Mention the wash being done in my hour and I couldn’t work in that time, they don’t care. Put the issue in writing to the General Manager. No response. A law unto themselves with no regard for consumer rights, responsible access to an essential piece of marine infrastructure nor regard for excessive fees and charges. And no there was no one else waiting to go in or come out – it was late afternoon. The boating public have to wear it without any recourse.

I intend compiling a further article on this matter to identify their actual costs versus the fees they charge and detail the most reasonable marina fees and where they can be found. If you have had a similar ‘highway robbery” moment then please let me know on the contact details below. Yes, it’s a cost that is part of the game but that in my mind is outrageous.

Once the steam coming out of my ears died down we did manage to venture out and do some fishing.

1

Despite an ordinary day on the water, Nick Khunert had great fun catching this little pearl perch on the Incredible.

2

Knobbies ranging from 11kg down to pannies are scattered throughout Wide Caloundra.

3

Good pearlies are taking the bait on the top of the hill.

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