By Jason Taylor
I am a pretty frequent visitor to the Pilbara region and Montebello Islands. This year my trip was for two beautiful long weeks. Fishing with Blue Lightning Charters on their 55 foot live aboard mother ship, we did it in style, and for the serious fishing we had a 34 foot Blackwatch, to play out wide on the beakies and a 25 foot center console Boston Whaler to pop for GT’s in and around the shallows......What an awesome set up to fish the remote far north west coast of Australia. On with way out to the islands (6hrs, 120kms), we stopped along the way to have a jig on the reefs in an average 30-40 meters of water. The jigging sessions were out of control with six way hook ups on quality reef species. Coral trout, rankin cod, GTs, red emperors, and many others were all in good supply. On more than one occasion the trevally would cause absolute mayhem with a six way spiderweb of crossovers creating major tangles, but that's jigging!. You can only laugh about it over a quite drink at the end of the day. Top water fishing for the GTs during the first half of the trip was hard work, with numbers down from last year and the fish shut down. Even the occasional catch of XL Spaniards was welcome, a species that we normally want nowhere near the expensive stick baits and poppers with their mouth full of razors! At the half way mark, it was time to return back to port to refuel and stock up on supplies, and to change over the crew. As the second week came around with glassed out conditions, the water turned an electric blue, what a magic place to be. We fished my favorite spot, Tryall Rocks, and it was on! There were some really big GTs around with two of the boys getting well and truly smoked by massive fish. Once again there were some mixed species, red bass, cod, Maori sea perch and the lure stealing mackerel. The fish of the trip was caught by part-time decky, Chris, on only his 6th cast, and he hooked and landed a black beast of 40kg, taking the popper right next to the boat under my nose. All up it was another great sports fishing trip, from sails and black marlin caught on spin gear, coral trout on plastics, flying mackerel on stick baits, to wrestling sharks at night whilst at anchor, cant wait to get back!