November 13, 2010
Carl and Bev left mid morning for St Crispin Reef but we took a little longer to get organised. We got away about 12.30 after some lunch and as we were pulling away from the Cay one of the rods that we had out for trolling went off. All you could hear was ZZZZZ!!! Over the engine. Toby grabbed the rod and next thing he was in for the fight of his fishing life. (see video)
After one heck of a battle Toby with a little help landed the biggest Spanish mackerel we had seen yet. Toby 144.5cm tall, weighing around 35kg, landed this 144cm, approximately 28kg Spanish mackerel. It was so big we couldn’t fit it on the fish bench, it wouldn’t fit in the freezer and so we ended up with fillets over a metre long. I think Toby has won the Angler’s Award for this year.
After the commotion, it took around an hour to clean up the back deck and put the boat back into order. We then only had about another 1 ½ hours to St Crispin Reef where Carl and Bev in Tic Tac where already there waiting for us.
Not long after that we had a lone dolphin riding our bow wave for a while. (see video)
It wasn’t as exiting as the encounter we had at Ribbon 5 with the pod but still a thrill to watch.
We arrived at St Crispin Reef around 3.30pm and with plenty of lookouts, we made our way through the bommies towards Tic Tac and anchored in 5m just on the edge of the lagoon. It was very calm here and looked like a good spot to spend a few days.
After a very still night we woke up to find a total glass out. The water was stunning, the only setback was because there was little wind it was stinker of a day with the water temperature already 28 degrees in the morning.
We set up some covers on the front of the boat to offer a little shade and wasted no time in gearing up to get in the water. Taking the tender north along the reef, there were a few exposed rocks that we checked for crayfish. We then went to a drop off on the inner edge of St Crispin Reef and dived overboard.
It was a great location dropping off to about 12-15m to a sandy bottom. Separate from the wall, there were pinnacles of coral starting from the sandy bottom reaching almost to the surface and along the wall many caves and swim throughs. The fish life was abundant in all varieties and sizes from tiny damsels to a couple of Maori Wrasse, one looking to be bigger than Bj and maybe 80kg.
As well followed the ledge around, we saw a large Barracuda over a metre long in a wrasse cleaning station. He just looked up as us as we passed content in having his beauty treatment without any interruption. The two Maori Wrasse followed us along obviously curious about these strange looking creatures in their world.
It took nearly an hour to follow the ledge around to the shallows and here we had two sharks, a White Tip and a Black Tip reef shark show a little too much interest in us and so it was time to get out.
Bev and I were dropped back at our boats and the guys went of spearing for the afternoon. It was so calm you could see every ripple in the sand. There was a fair bit of boat activity going on around us as there was another Marlin Tournament based from Port Douglas operating in the area and so all afternoon all you could hear was the radio chit chat from all the contenders.
Later on that afternoon the boys went over to Tic Tac to play poker with Carl and Bev. It had become a bit of a ritual whenever time allowed. Carl and Bev taught the boys how to play when we were at Lizard Island and now they were always keen for a game. They were gradually improving and Dylan had won the last few games.
By the time the game had finished it was time for a few sundowners and so we adjourned to the back deck of Tic Tac. The boys usually always have a fish while we were there on this particular afternoon a Giant Trevally took the bait. Bj grabbed the rod first and held on for his dear life. The fish ran with the line way off into the distance to some nearby coral where he tried to shake lo ose.(see video) Bj unable to hold on any longer passed it on to Dylan. Dylan then spent the next half hour moving around Tic Tac trying to turn the fish back towards the boat.
Finally after one almighty battle Dylan with a little help was able to bring the Giant Trevally back where Carl unhooked it and set it free, after a quick photo, where it did the bolt back into the safety of the deep water.
That brought to an end our stay at St Crispin Reef, our journey was to continue the following day to Tongue Reef about 3 hours south east closer to Port Douglas.