When I first heard of Jason Andrews and Rodney Quinton and what they were doing, I was filled with both excitement and trepidation. The question was, do we have two modern day adventurers in the making or do we have a couple of cowboys just having a laugh?
After tracking down and talking with the boys and watching their DVDs, I found my answer.
I was excited about the rawness and veracity of what they were doing, what you see is exactly what happened – no camera crew, no production company and no script. I offered to write a review series for them, detailing their adventures, so here we go.
Jase and Rodo, based in Noosa, Queensland, towed their boat through Central Queensland, into the Northern Territory and finally into West Australia to reach those special parts of Australia that remarkably, few people get to see.
The 4X4 and trailer were already showing signs of an outback adventure, but the truth was that until they leave the 4X4 behind in a safe location and launch the boat, then would the real fishing adventure begin.
Clocking up the kilometers along the Tablelands Highway and then on the Carpentaria/ Savannah Highway they finally reached King Ash Bay on the Macarthur River. After a good night’s sleep and a final check of the gear, the boys would launch the boat in King Ash Bay and then set a course for the Sir Edward Pellew group of Islands.
The early morning sun was getting higher; the temperature was a balmy 32 oC (89 F) and the breeze was barely enough to cause a ripple on the sea. Being late September, Spring in the Southern Hemisphere, the humidity was a mere 76% – a far cry from ‘The Wet Seasons’ 95+ %.
The first stop was the river mouth at a spot known locally as Sharky’s Point. There, they caught a few nice Barramundi. The fishing was ideal with calm waters, a slight breeze that helped stay cool, plenty of fish on the bite and no mozzie’s! (mozzie is Aussie slang for Mosquito) Enjoyable as the fishing was, now was not the time to stock up on fresh fish.
The next stop was David Island nestled between the much larger North Island and Vanderlin Island to the South. David Island is extremely small and belongs to the Yanyuwa Aboriginal People. The Island is essentially a rocky out-crop with a small sandy beach on one side and is only a speck in the ocean, but since they were told the fishing was outstanding, they had to give it a go.
The run from King Ash Bay out the Macarthur River to David Island was around 32Nm and since the water was glassed-out the 150hp made short work of the distance.
Once at David Island, Jase & Rodo were flicking their favorite hard body minnows pulling up Cod, Trevally, Queenfish, small sharks and the occasional Mangrove Jack although there was not many Barra about. What they actually needed was fresh bait, so they found a sandy stretch over on North Island and Jase threw the bait net while Rodo kept an eye out for crocs.
The crocs to look out for in this part of Australia are the Estuarine Saltwater Crocodile, as opposed to Johnson’s freshwater crocodile. Saltwater crocs are more than willing to swim from the mainland to any of the outer islands and North Island is no different!
With a good supply of live bait, the boys headed out to a shoal located 30 Nm out from the Sir Edward Pellew Island group and there they got stuck in to some non-stop fishing action, catching everything from Chinamen to large Trevally, Shark and Red Emperor.
The sounder was glowing with massive schools of Tea Leaf Trevally in the 6 to 8 Kg range. They were guaranteed a fish every drop! It was hot – in fact it was 42 oC hot and the Trevally were just as hot!
By late afternoon the mozzies were getting thick due to no wind so the boys found their way back to North Island to set up camp which comprised only of a fire and their swags. (a swag is a thin mattress and a sleeping bag all in one) For dinner they ate the Trevally they kept and Oysters that they found on the rocks as well as Damper that Jase made in the camp oven.
The next morning they had a proper look around the Island scouting possibilities for next time they visited before heading back to King Ash Bay.
In the next article, the boys head for the West Australian border and get in to some bother in the – now dry – Pentecost River by breaking an axle!