Well our new boat SNAPPER SAFARIS II finally made the long trip to Fowlers Bay at the end of November 2014. Marco (Nautic Star Custom Boat Builder) and Andrew (Nautic Star) came along to check her out and land some fish at the same time. It was a quick overnight trip the boat towed beautifully behind Marco’s F250 ( Yer I had trouble reaching the pedals I will need some sort of led extension for sure boys) thankfully the weather was on our side and after a few hours kip we were on the water heading for De Castro’s reef.
The boat was fantastic cruising at 20 knots for the 60 Kms to De Castro’s reef a beautiful reef system well west of Fowlers. We arrived with perfect conditions light South Easterly allowing the boat to drift along the reef. Andrew was first on using his home made tin lures the Kings absolutely loved um. Marco was using a padanoster drift rig and as we were getting Andrew’s King in Marco’s rod was heading overboard the new style rod holders did the job and to my surprise Marco landed his first King. This 15kg King was heading for the Christmas table so all good. There was a school of Kings following us as we drifted along the reef fantastic fun. Second drift to our surprise we found a school of Samson’s following us Andrew scored again and I was smoked on a blue knife jig too big to stop in shallow water but a thrill for a few minutes.
We left De Castro’s with 2 Kings and 2 Samson’s and headed for the reef systems for a quick couple of drifts. First drift, Snapper for all but as it was Snapper closure so all fish were released unharmed much to Marco’s tears as they were good fish to 7 kgs. Next drift Nannagi for all good fish in perfect condition. Andrew’s home lures were a hit on the reds and Nannagi perfect weight and flash of colour irresistible to the reef dwellers.
Time to head home and see if the old Tractor would pull the boat out of the water on the sand and without missing a beat the old girl did it with ease. Thanks to the BOAT CATCH system (boatcatch.com.au) beach launch and retrieve in soft sand is a piece of cake.
The Nautic Star Custom Boat is fantastic thanks to Marco and his team, also thanks to Mark “Chop” Reid Furuno Electronics, Chris Salt Taylor Marine, Bob and the boys South Coast Marine, Deano Stress Free Marine, Nick Rosewater Meats ( best meat in Sth Aus), Glen Tekspec Print and Web Design, SA Fishing Tackle Agencies, Greg and the team Boat Catch launch and retrieval systems and Svatka who makes sense of the chaos that fishing does bring.
No worries now happy days at Fowlers.
Hope to see ya there soon. Yo
Well it’s been a great season so far with plenty to talk about thanks to all who have been fishing with Snapper Safaris this season and hope to see ya all again.
One of the highlights was a visit from Ruth Hardy whom ‘Ruth’s Cottage’ is named after this beautiful lady. It was great to see her looking so well.
Franko’s group was the first to kick off the new boat and this was fitting as Franko, Sam and Jo ( Allan and Steve were missing from the first team) were the first group to start us off at Fowlers in 2007.
The Tuna were on thick and strong with Jo now in his 70s doing well on his first run of Tuna. There is not to many arousing and exciting sounds in South Aus than the strike and run of a Blue Fin Tuna. We had a great time with plenty of Tuna, Snapper , Samson’s, Nannagi and Kingfish.
Fowlers this season has lived up to its reputation with plenty of good fish caught and lost. We certainly had heaps of laughs especially Stevie losing his trousers when hooked to a good Tuna, classic.
Here are some of the photo’s from this season so far.
Thanks for your ongoing support and hope to see ya all again next season.
We started off with my Hip Replacement and 3 months of agony. I absolutely take my hat, clothes and everything else off to our elderly folks who have this procedure done it certainly tests ones resilience. We tested the new hip out in some good water chasing Blue Fin tuna near KI in late November and all went well. The fish near KI were really good this year and in good numbers.
Finally back home to Fowlers with Mike, Paul and John, beautiful weather and great fishing again. The Tuna were on straight away with some really good Gro Pro videos. The Gro Pro is a fantastic thing with Stan and Mark using it at Pt Broughton in the early days showing me the way. We fished Fowlers through to late January with all crews doing really well.
February saw us back to Pt Broughton for the mighty Snapper. Early reports were not that good with the fish slow to come up the gulf. Lot’s of thoughts on that from everyone but to my mind with Stan, Mark and Damien not showing the way and blessing the water with a gold coin the fish were not playing the game. Not to worry we thought we would sneak over to Arno Bay for a look and thanks to Ash from Arno Bay Fishing Charters we did really well on good fish. We took a slight detour well east of Arno back to Wallaroo to an old spot that we have not fished for years and sure enough it fired with good fish from 8-12 kg reds every time. We stayed at Broughton during February before returning to Fowlers.
March through to May the fishing at Fowlers was fantastic but the weather did mess us up quite a bit. When we did get out the fishing was fantastic with Brad 2 being the best spot for Samson’s, Kings and Snapper. Some really nasty Mako’s really got the blood flowing these blokes are quick and excellent on the plate for sure.
We had a number of people catching their ‘first’ with Sam, Franko, Mike, John and Paul scoring with Blue Fin Tuna and Bob and Liam getting Samson’s. Liam catch was excellent as Bob was on to a good fish drifting past the reef in heavy seas, Liam spotted his on the sounder and bang straight on to a good Samson. Can’t go past the Furuno hay Mark.
The catch of the year I think was shared by Roy who caught a little flathead on a lure of the beach at Scott’s and Richard who hooked a beautiful gummy only to lose it at the beach but soon after landed a beautiful Bronzie at the Dog Fence.
What’s new for this year, well great news boys finally after boring everyone for the last x number of years with stories of a new boat finally Snapper Safaris 2 is coming in December. She is a beauty, have a look at the section on the web site and see what ya think. All we need is a 30 nautical miles unrestricted licence and De Castros reef is on the bucket list. We will check it out in December when the snapper ban is on, map it, then were on. Can’t wait.
Thanks to everyone for your support especially Nick from Rosewater Meats (fantastic meats), Chris for his special marinade, Jacko’s seafood for great bait, Franko, Greeny and Chris for the solar system that makes Fowlers so comfortable, and to my next door neighbours the Gregory’s for great stories and laughs.
Hope to see ya soon boys should be a great year (especially if the mighty Port Power can win the flag) see all ya crazy CAT’S soon. YO.
The season has been a pretty good one with mostly great weather and we’ve been able to hook some amazing fish over the last few months. From the beach we’ve pulled in plenty of fun fish, the likes of Australian Salmon, Snapper, Sharks and Mulloway.
From the boat we’ve caught countless Snapper, Nannygi, Kingfish, Blue Groper, Samson, Harlequin, Blue Fin Tuna, Australian Salmon, Sharks, Crayfish, Swallow tail, King George whiting and the sweet tasting Silver Whiting plus plenty of big hook ups which we never see due to their size.
From the jetty it’s been another great year with hauls of massive squid and tommies plus kingfish, mulloway and sharks.
Fish size are Snapper 2-8kgs, Nannygi up to 5kgs, Kingfish to 45kgs, Samson to 45gks, Tuna to 40 kgs, Crayfish to 6kgs, Sharks to 35kgs, Mulloway to 50 kgs, Blue Groper to 50 kgs.
The Fish taste beautiful and fresh either whole on the coals or battered (Chris’s marinade special batter which really is Maryanne’s, Chris’s wife, special batter) or lightly floured (Sam Madonna’s recipe) or Panko bread crumbs (Lisa RAH ICU ward clerk recipe) then shallow fried and Mr Lee’s special with shallots and soy sauce.
The snapper are fantastic raw using Stan’s (really Stan’s brother Douk’s recipe) and this year we sampled two new dishes. Firstly, Dr Dave’s sexy outré which is a secret but it’s salmon or tuna with a beautiful tomato/avocado salsa and Dr Anne’s raw kingfish and tuna with wasabi and ginger.
Well speaking of food there has been so many fantastic meals at Fowlers, from Ron’s pig on a spit, Leon’s Balsamic Crayfish, Joe’s chicken or Italian fish and chips (in fact Joe and his son Sam have taught me so many cooking tricks) to Chis’ marinade, yer marinade, the best for Lamb on the open coals you could eat. We also can’t forget the salads with Kathy (RAH CTICU ward clerk) salad recipe’s, fantastic. Finally Dan the man forever the most enterprising cook at Fowlers, always requesting the kitchen sink when he goes. When I think there cannot be anything else there is always is with Dan. Dan has cooked Abalone, Fish Lasagne and the Dan Special Omelette for two (13 eggs, yep, 13 eggs as the consistency was not right he told me the next day when I was going to make bacon and eggs for everyone except we ran out of eggs). If I have forgotten anyone, sorry, please write in and tell your story. So forget Jamie Oliver or Master chef the food taste’s so much better at Fowlers combined with a camp fire, clean fresh air and people that enjoy life.
Oh by the way all of our meat and small goods comes from Nick, Rosewater Meats, the best butcher going, fresh is best and cut to your needs.
I’d like to share the video below with everyone which shows just a few takes from our Go-Pro head cameras. All footage is from 2013 and gives a first person perspective on some of the action we come across out at sea while fishing. Enjoy!
Big snapper are plentiful in the Great Australian Bight and even though catching plenty of them goes part and parcel with any Snapper Safaris fishing charters, it’s not all we get up to during our travels. If ever bad weather gets in the way of us getting out to sea among the fish, there’s plenty of action to be had by other means. Even if the weather is fine & your just feeling a little tired from hauling in numerous big kilo fish- going on a four wheel drive mission on the land is a great alternative to the high seas.
The remoteness of Fowler’s Bay is something that has to be experienced to be appreciated. Once we arrive at Ruth’s Cottage there’s often little time to settle in as we tend to focus on getting the boat in the water, anticipating the possibilities of our first catch. Then once we’re out at sea, the land is quickly forgotten in the excitement of reeling in giant sea creatures. When we return at dusk or even after dark, we’re off to bed ready to do the same again the following day. It’s not until we take some time to stop & actually look to our remote environment & consider the land surrounding it.
A 4WD tour of Fowler’s Bay & it’s surroundings is an excellent way to really experience the land & take in what it has to offer. Sand dunes as far as the eye can see lined by endless pristine shore lines that are sure to impress even the most hard to please tourist. As you explore the mostly uninhibited vastness of the coast you’ll experience the inner beauty of the isolation of Fowler’s & how it enables you to disconnect from your everyday life.
While you’re out thoroughly enjoying yourself, you may as well:
However the four wheel drive adventures pan out throughout the day, you’ll be feeling great after an easy day cruising around and refreshed ready for more fishing adventures tomorrow. Get some more rest & relaxation around the campfire & enjoy a meal of delicious fresh fish or perhaps a roast of some kind before settling to bed ready for the next early rise!