FISH ’N TRIPS
With only a few days in Derby, I was keen to give my sister Colleen and husband Neil a memorable day out on the water in the vast Cambridge Sound. My boat was fully packed for the long haul to Middle Lagoon the next day, so I contacted Richard from Fish’nTrips charters to see what he could organise for us. If there is one big tip whenever choosing a fishing charter business, it has to be go with the company with the most local knowledge. Richard has lived and worked in this region for many years and for that reason his customers always comes home happy. To emphasise this point, while in Kununurra another camper had mentioned that he had paid out over $250 to catch a barra and both of the charter boats came home empty handed. Unfortunately they had booked with another Derby business that just does not have the skills and knowledge to get onto the fish. Meanwhile, Richard and his decky Brady have been consistently hauling in the barra all year using lures in shallow water.
For this half day charter, Brady skippered our group of six ferried out to the mother ship, which is an 11.5m catamaran. Mud crabbing was the mission using two dinghies, one towed aft and the other on the top deck, lowered down by a davit when we arrived. Richard and Brady were constantly laughing and joking as we enjoyed the view from the flybridge for the trip to spot X. They knew that to have any success we needed to be crabbing on the incoming tide, peaking at 130pm, so we quickly split into two groups and headed off.
I had conducted Brady’s skippers ticket for him a few months’ previously in Broome and so would like to pretend that his excellent skippering was all due to me, but of course he had been boating for years and was a natural. Brady has been with Richard for over a year now and appreciates just how lucky he is to be learning so much in this amazing environment. During the day I asked Richard about the various charters on offer and he rated the 3-4 day outer islands expedition as the stand out trip. This includes mud crabbing, barra fishing in creeks, bluewater fishing chasing pelagics and bottom species, as well as a trip to the Horizontal Falls. They need a minimum of four people to run this gig, but 6-7 is ideal. With air conditioning in the main cabin, fridge, freezer, gas cooker, two small vessels and two great blokes, I am looking to lock this one in for next year and will be looking for two other couples to join us. Anyone interested, let me know.
So of course the two boats were in competition, but it turned out a dead heat with six mud crabs each. They even offered to cook the crabs for us but I declined the offer as I wanted my sister to be involved in the process later. We again chatted and laughed the whole way back while Brady served us up chicken kebabs for lunch. At $150 per person this was unbelievably good value, especially as we would all be feasting on mud crabs later that night. So if you ever get to Derby, or even near Derby, contact Richard at Fish’nTrips and you will be assured of a great day out.
To answer last week’s question, distance on a marine chart is measured from the latitude scale and not the longitude scale, because lines of latitude stay parallel around the earth whereas lines of longitude start and stop at poles. This week’s question is, “Which is the largest of the two most common species of mud crab caught in WA?”
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