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    Gotta love Pilbara diving

    July 04, 2011 5 min read

    The Pilbara coast never seizes to amaze me as a new and exciting spot produces some awesome fish. The talk started on Wednesday as the tides were perfect and the weather was looking awesome with a forecast of 8 knots. As we were looking over the chart plotter at a small island a little further out that we had only ever seen in the distance had some nice ground surrounding the north side with an 8 metre drop off. So the spot was set now the normal 4 day wait checking the boat, gear and usually checking the weather every 2 hours just in case there is any change but come Friday night it was perfect, so the boat was loaded ready for an early start.

    With an eventless hour drive to the boat ramp saw us arrive around an hour before the sun would break the horizon. There was a long but calm drive out to our destination, which saw us arrive just on sun up so we found some reef close to the island to get geared up and a look for some crayfish. I jumped in and was greeted with crystal clear water with surprisingly plenty of fish including good amount of snapper including spangled and long nose all juvenile unfortunately. We dove around and bagged 6 decent crays, as I was swimming back to the boat I spotted 2 nice coral trout sitting around the side of a bombie. We had a newbie (ash cooper) diving with us today who had come out on a couple of recent trips but been crook both times. I called coops (ash) over and showed him where abouts the trout were and which side to stalk them from, as he went down I noticed a monster trout sitting on the other side of the bombie but I resisted to give coops a good chance, he positioned himself perfect and shot the trout through the cheeks landing the nice fish. The larger trout shot of so I followed his direction and found him in amongst some bombies. After spending a while looking for the trout he didn’t show his face so I burleyed up a couple of cray heads and went for a detour swim to see if I could entice him out of his hole. I swam back to the area and spotted the trout from a while away and placed myself to be within range as he slowly swam out from behind a rock so I let fire and stoned him and he was added to the esky, not bad since we were just getting our gear on and getting use to the water.

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    We headed out to some ground on the west end as there was some birds working making this side of the island looking more promising than what we decided during the week with the charts but this wasn’t the case. We jumped in to check it out but you could only just make out the bottom and there wasn’t much around with only weed and rubble bottom after spending a little time looking for ground we hauled anchor. We then headed to the north side of the island and found that the water was much clearer, we drove out to the drop of and traveled along the contour line until we found some good bombies. We jumped in and the water was beautiful, straight under the boat was a nice bombie covered in trout, rooney (cam) was first to dive and he found the largest and took a shot from straight above after a typical trout fight he added it to the esky. I then dove down to check out the bombie, I found that all the trout on it were decent size but they lived to fight another day as a large tusky swam up to me. I lined up and fired but my gun tangled and the spear dropped short which was pretty devastating, and to put salt into the wound rooney swam down and finished the job of for me as the fish hung around. Coops went down and nailed another nice trout, we burleyed for a while but dint see any mackerel and wanted to leave all the trout on the area for another time.

    We headed further along about 300m and found some more awesome ground, there was plenty of bait once we jumped in so we were hoping on getting some makeral. As the same as the other spot every bombie was covered in trout, rooney took the first dive and stoned another good size tusky. I shot a small trevally and burleyed up apart from a few schools of shark makeral there was not many pelagics coming through. We spotted a couple of small red emperor which had us licking our lips but after searching didn’t see any decent fish show up. I spotted a decent size spangled emperor in the burley, I swam down current of the fish and slowly came back up as I came within rang I was stoked that he was still feeding as they are usually very flighty. I took a shot which was terrible hitting him straight in the back, it wasn’t until I pulled him up and got hold I realised how decent it was and quickly killed and put it in the esky.

    As I swam back to the boat a pair of makeral swam past on my right side I called cam over as I powered to the boat to get rid of the emperor and quickly reloaded heading back to where I saw the makeral to find cam was fighting one that he shot. I checked around and to my amaze the other makeral was also swimming just behind the one rooney was fighting, I took aim and fired placing a good holding shot and landing the mackerel. Both makeral were around the same size of about 8kg, we bled them at the back of the boat and continued burleying, nothing much came through so I swam down and stalked a what looked like the biggest trout on the bombie but as I was following him back a monster trout came out from a different bombie.

    I then changed my aim and took fire with a nice shot just behind the eye with a near stone shot. We then headed further along the contour and found some more great ground, rooney was first in and he shouted red and dove straight down. I jumped straight in to find there were 2 but only juveniles, the area was once again covered in trout but we already had our limit. We dove around for another good while looking for reds but only another two jeviniles were spotted but certainly worth more diving in search of big reds. We then headed back to the beach for an arvo snack and a refreshing swim, and then the long haul home with glass out conditions and the setting sun this is why I love the Pilbara.

    Matthew Parker