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Dampier Offshore Fishing for Red Emperor



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Dated: 14th July 2005
Location: Australia/Western Australia /Pilbara Region/Karratha-Dampier
From our Karratha-Dampier Fishing Correspondent Luke Groen
Dampier Offshore Fishing for Red EmperorDampier Offshore Fishing for Red Emperor
The weather has been terrible the past couple of weeks and finally Dad and I were home for the full day so we looked at the weather report to see if the next day was going to be good, so when it said it would be we jumped at the chance.

It was about 7.00AM when Dad and I got to the Dampier public boat ramp and continued to launch the boat. There was not a breath of wind as we motored through the channel so we decided to plot in the marks for one of our outer marks where we go bottom fishing for tasty reef fish.

One hour later the anchor was set in position and out rigs were already baited and going down to the bottom in 45 meters of water. As soon as the baits hit the bottom they were smashed by hard fighting reef fish. As my fish felt decent as it headed for the reef and drag started to peel from my reel. With good headshakes and the fish occasionally tacking out line I knew it had to be of decent size. Minutes later a plump Red Emperor of 7.5Kg and 70cm hit the surface, the same time as my Dads 60cm Coral Trout came up! We looked at each other and laughed as we dispatched both fish into the esky.” This is Great!” we said to our selves as we re-baited and dropped our lines down again. Again as soon as the baits hit the bottom the fish living there smashed them. This time they were certainly smaller but still quite heavy. Just like clockwork 2 nice size Rankin Cod hit the surface and were put in the esky. We were both grinning like girls by this stage and very happy. We dropped the baits down and yet again line started to peel from my reel as a powerful fish ran towards its home. It had all the characteristics of a nice Red Emperor so that’s what I called it for. Once again Dad and I had both our fish on the surface at the same time. He released a Cod while I hoisted another 68cm 7kg Red Emperor aborad into the Esky. Our baits once again hit the bottom at the same time and we were on again in quick success.

The fishing continued to be that way for the entire time we fished there. During the 45-minute hot session we ended up keeping: 2 Red Emperor (68 and 70cm), 2 Coral Trout (60 and 65cm) and 2 tasty Rankin Cod.

We decided we had enough fish for the day so we headed to our favourite trolling spot to see if we could get my favourite fish, the Sailfish! We trolled for about 30 minutes before we had our first Sailfish up in the spread. As he came up and smacked my bait with his bill I dropped my reel into free spool. I could feel him taking line then all of a sudden my line went light. I thought to myself I missed him when all of a sudden when I was reeling in my line I came up tight and a lit up Sailfish came out of the water behind the boat. He actually had the bait in its mouth and was swimming with us! We were using pretty heavy 15kg line so it only took about 15 minutes to get the Sailfish boat side for release. We unhooked him and towed him slowly behind the boat to give him time to recuperate before we let him go. Dad and I looked at each other and said, “Lets get another one!” We went back to our marks and dropped the gear back into the water. It was Dad's turn to get the next one so I took the helm and drove for a while. Unfortunately because we were trolling in the middle of the day our chances were slim of getting another one but still we trolled on. After another 45 minutes or so we decided to pack up all the gear and head in so we could have a late lunch at home! It ended up being one of those dream days on the water!...Luke Groen