Destinations and Travel

Destination and travel articles

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    Costa Del Mar, Shark Men

    Brendan Mason and Randal Bryett get to fish with the National Geographic Shark Men out of the port of Cabo San Lucas thanks to the wonderful folks at Costa Del Mar sunglasses. Big thanks to Chris Fischer, Captains Brett Mc Bride and Jodie Whitworth who with the entire crew of the MV Ocean made this trip so memorable!


    The fish stopped dead in it's wildly zig zagging track.  Its golden tail gently popped out of the water vertically swaying gently like a circus acrobat recovering from brief over rotation from flip to hand stand. With the sandy sediment clouding the water around the business end of the fish it was impossible to see what the big blubbery lips attached to the protrusible jaws were pumping out from the bottom of the flats, however, we knew the safe answer was yabbies or nippers. Yabbies or nippers are the local name for small  burrowing Ghost shrimp that live on the sand and mud flats of Hervey Bay. These soft bodied crustaceans are a staple food of the Golden Trevally on the flats around Fraser Island although they also eat small baitfish and many other shrimp and crabs. Fooling these fish with an artificial when they are focused on pumping the burrows of yabbies is extremely difficult which confirms (1) that Yabbies must taste really good and (2) your casting has to be in the zone. Not just "on the money" accuracy, you better be in Olympic casting form to have a chance to get this gold in hand. My guide Paul said "wait"... The fishes tail slashed in excitement and then dropped beneath the water before continuing on a search and devour swim pattern. The first fish was followed closely by a second and they seemed to be working together in a patterned swim down the flat. Maybe one was picking off bait fish disoriented by the sediments being puffed up in the current or they were just snarfing critters that one or the other missed. A fisherman always likes to see two fish in competition for food as there is at least 50% more chance one will make a greedy mistake. Chances improve even further when there are more fish in the flats raiding party. Paul quipped "quick, lead him by a few feet" I cast the fly trying my best not to make too much movement at such close range. "Leave it, sit, hold on, now strip it slowly, stop..." Paul said. He followed quickly with "He's got it!! Strip tight!". Now all I had to do was land it. That is never a given with Goldens as often you may have just grabbed a little bit of the fleshy lips and not a deep hold with your hookset. The hard running, thudding fight of a Golden will soon sort out any weakness in the connection from hook to backing. All lines were fairly tied and after a huge initial power run, some solid head bumps and a little surface thrashing,  the fish was brought to glove - covered hand.


    We launched into part two of our fishing adventure with a flight from Cairns to the exclusive national park and resort of Lizard Island. Hinterland Aviation handles many flights between various Barrier Reef Island destinations with their fleet of  6 - 20 seat planes. The flight itself is a treat especially for those who may have no experience with the astounding beauty and size of the Barrier Reef. The low flying 14 seater gave us spectacular views on the hour long flight to "The Rock" as it is known to the lucky few who frequent Lizard. Our plane lined up on the single landing strip and winging over the luminescent crescent bay dotted with luxury yachts we dropped between the two peaks and onto the island's windswept tarmac.


    The One! Two! Tropical Northern Queensland Punch

    Part One

    As the big silver cat thrummed through the waters of Cape York Gulf toward Seisia, I reviewed the past week's myriad fishing opportunities presented by Carpentaria Seafaris. CS has been in operation for almost two decades. The brainchild of Captain Greg Bethune, these week-long mothership-based trips allow intrepid anglers to access numerous river systems flowing east to west into the Gulf of Carpentaria. So it was here on the bow, traveling toward the Aboriginal community which serves as the home wharf for our mothership, Tropic Paradise,  that I had some quiet moments to gather up all my impressions from the adventure.



    The trip lived up to it's reputation with many different fish landed. I even managed one of the Permit...a baby....but as head guide and Permit Guru Al Simson told me "ANY permit counts". I definitely want to visit the Seafaris and crew again to add some more species to my list. See all of Greg's  6ft 7inch frame dwarf this fish by clicking read more.


    Island Escape

    Here is a new way to fish in New Zealand . See the video by clicking Full Story

    We invite you to take a fishing trip and discover our magnificent cruising region, all within easy reach of New Zealand’s bustling Auckland city, with our Saltwater Angling Escapes.

    We offer all-inclusive angling escapes which cater for both Anglers and Non-anglers and include first class excursions led by expert guides who travel with you and uncover the mysteries of the region’s wildlife.  As well as going on specialised expeditions like trekking, kayaking and panoramic helicopter flights over the area.

    Whilst the anglers are enjoying their fishing trip on our guided tender boats, our non-angling guests can luxuriate in a gourmet picnic ashore, relax with a good book in the library or laze on a steamer deck chair in the sun... you decide...


    Seafaris DVD and Brochure






    Do remember this picture of Randall and me on the
    cover of Fly Fishing In Saltwaters Magazine Jan/Feb 1999? If you don't, no worries. For us however, it was truly the beginning of AAFC and of another wonderful success story whose theme is Carpentaria Seafaris (detailed info) and our good mate Captain/Owner Greg Bethune. Greg snapped that picture and it became the cover for Fly Fishing in Saltwater the same month we published the first US article on mothership fishing Cape York. Back then Greg had the Capricorn Mist. She was an excellent mothership but a far cry from today's "Tropic Paradise". Greg had the Tropic Paradise built specifically for the territory around Cape York and she is the largest and most comfortable vessel from which to fish these waters.
    Since that trip back in 1998 we have visited Greg's Carpentaria Seafaris (Seafaris Website) numerous times. Although each trip is memorable, the voyage with Jose Wejebe and The Spanish Fly film crew was a blast. Obviously, the trip was TV worthy as 5 episodes where recorded and subsequently aired in 2003/04/05 on ESPN2. That was the first American film crew to capture the Cape York fishery on film. Hopefully too you have seen the 2006 airing of the latest 5 Australian Spanish Fly shows featuring the Coral Sea - another first!





    DVD PREVIEW QUICKTIME or WINDOWS

    We have a new DVD and brochure featuring Cape York, the Tropic Paradise and it is produced by our mate Greg Bethune. This DVD has gives you opportunity to view Cape Yorks many species in action and includes Indo Pacific Permits, Golden, Giant and Diamond Trevally, Barramundi, Cobia, Tarpon, Tunas, Giant Herring and many more. Want to get your hands on this? Then give us a call Office 415 785 2899 Cell 415 308 4544 or email Seafaris DVD and Brochure for more details.

    West Coast Snook in Mexico

    While Randall was busy catching giant tarpon in Florida (article to follow), I went down to the state of Nayarit on the west coast of Mexico. We spent some time fishing in Sayulita and catching roosterfish, jacks, dorado, and even a tripletail, but the real highlight was an exploratory mission into the mangroves in the northern part of the state...

    The River and Reef crew has been busy over the past month, logging a few personal firsts and exploring some new water in the southern hemisphere. Full report coming soon...






    More photos compliments of Spanish Fly here


    When anglers in the Pacific Northwest talk of bluewater fishing, it's usually in reference to a trip to the tropics for glamour species like dorado, marlin, or yellowfin tuna. Ignored are their pelagic cousins who range just outside of our cold inshore waters in the Pacific Northwest...



    Tube flies tied to match the anchovy chum worked well
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