STYLE: It’s got to be sportsfishing! I’ve been fortunate enough to fish some of the atolls off the coast of my hometown of Broome. We target dogtooth, GTs, red bass, coral trout, wahoo, blue/black marlin and even sailfish. I also like heading into the remote Kimberley region, chasing barra and jacks. Broome is the gateway to some seriously great fishing haunts, and having a larger trailer boat with good fuel capacity lets us do our own trips on a reasonable budget. On our last Kimberley trip, I clocked up over 800km, ramp to ramp. Travelling through such a remote place is awesome ‑ not just the landscape, the fishing is insane!
BOAT: I have just had Stagg Boats in Perth build me a custom 8m centre console. It’s powered by a 4-cylinder 350hp Mercury Verado, with 700L fuel capacity, a 250L freshwater tank, 100L freezer and 100L fridge. We run a 150-watt solar panel on the T-top and three large deep-cycle batteries. I’ve had flush-mount tuna tubes built in the starboard side of the transom, and a fully insulated 200L kill tank on the main-deck, which is usually used for more fuel storage. I also have a steering console on the roof ‑ great for spotting fish or navigating through shallow water ‑ and these aluminium legs that allow the boat to sit level when the tide drops. The boat’s only a couple of months old, but it’s already travelled over 4,000km in only 200 hours! Oh, I forgot to mention, there are also 42 rod holders and 22 flush-mount stubby holders.
ELECTRONICS: I’m running two Simrad NSS12 evo2s on the bottom deck and a NSS7 evo2 up top. I use three transducers; two thru-hulls and one transom mount for StructureScan. The thru-hulls are both 1kW units, and I’m running the BSM3 ‑ a high-performance, dual-channel broadband sounder with built-in CHIRP technology.
SCREENSHOT: I remember this screenshot clearly. You can see tight bait on the right and what we believed to be dogtooth and scattered reefies along the bottom. Most drops in this area resulted in epic fish. We landed trout to 15kg, dogtooth to 40kg, and even yellowfin on stickbaits in this exact location later in the day.
DALE’S TOP TIP: Get jiggy with it.
Always have someone at the wheel watching the sounder, especially when jigging. This allows the skipper to talk to the anglers and tell them when to jig and when to conserve energy. Jigging deep water can be hard work, so fishing dead water can be draining. When you do find the honey hole on the sounder, make sure you jig, jig, jig! Don’t forget to rotate the skipper, otherwise your mate stuck on the wheel will probably take you off his Christmas card list.