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Great climate, laid back and relaxing atmosphere, lots to see and do..
None that I can think of
In a nutshell
A great base for Fraser Island and whale watching trips
Three friends and I wanted to do some ocean fishing in Hervey Bay and decided a charter was the best option. The website for the MV Princess II has plenty of photos of people with big catches. I suspect they are doctored, but I could be wrong. The website also mentions that rod, reel and tackle will be provided, the boat has a live bait tank, you will be treated to a delicious rib fillet BBQ lunch, the boat has a clean full size domestic toilet, and you got to keep your catch. I think the only thing I was at risk of catching was a variety of diseases from using the revolting toilet. We caught nothing using the fish bait provided. Sure, that’d be forgivable if Captain Dave and first mate Charlie didn’t spend the entire time pulling in fish after fish (41 in total) on their lures. Charlie was only too eager to confess that the fish they were catching were no good for eating but they could use them for bait for the next charter, and so Charlie and Dave became preoccupied with catching fish while we watched on, bored and frustrated to be missing all of the action. We continued to try our luck, baiting our hooks and having our bait taken by nibblers while Dave and Charlie were working up a sweat what with all the action they were seeing. When one of us did manage to hook a small fish, Dave decided it was appropriate to reel it in for my friend. So very considerate. We pressed on, determined to catch something. Not even the live bait tank could help us. Of course that could actually be because the ‘live bait tank’ was a blue plastic 44 gallon drum that the fish died in three hours into the trip. I think the word ‘tank’ is a little deceptive. Perhaps they should call it a ‘temporary live bait enclosure which will become a plastic whirlpool of death before your very eyes!’ After three hours of watching Dave and Charlie have the fishing trip of their lives, we gave up on trying to catch fish on the bait supplied, and asked old mate Dave if we could have a go at fishing with lures like him and Charlie. ‘No’ was the answer. Apparently their rods were private and they didn’t have lures for us. We decided not to gripe about it, for fear Dave might spit in our delicious rib fillet BBQ lunch… which turned out to be container coleslaw and dangerously-tangy pasta salad served on a plastic plate, topped with some pieces of pineapple, a tough-as-leather piece of steak, and a sausage. The one table available on the boat where you could eat at was taken by Dave and Charlie, so we went up top to try our luck with our food (most of which we threw overboard for fear of offending Dave who clearly considered himself a bit of a chef). After ‘lunch’, one of my friends finally hooked something of size, which Dave then took as a cue to start barking instructions at him on how to reel it in. He even took hold of the rod to ‘feel the weight’, right in the peak of the struggle. When the fish got off the hook, and as my friend was still licking his wounds, Dave declared, albeit jokingly, my friend had “***ed the day” for losing the fish. Nice one Dave. Charlie didn’t seem to care. He instead muscled my friend out of the spot he was in and began fishing the area with bait, having suddenly lost interest in his private forbidden lure which had served him so well all day. We spent the rest of the trip waiting to return to shore where we might have a chance of actually catching a fish. I would certainly not recommend this service.
Unique Suggestions: Bring a variety of lures and tackle, pack your own lunch, go to the toilet before you leave, and don't get your hopes up in regards to landing a decent fish.
Fun Alternatives: The Princess II is a cheaper option, at around $130 per head for a day trip. I guess you get what you pay for. I'd recommend paying a little more and trying your luck with another company. Alternatively, buy some lures and bait from a local rod and reel joint and drive out to the estuary at Point Vernon at high tide, and save yourself $100+. You won't catch a marlin, but you may walk away feeling you've got more for your money.
Updated Jun 28, 2009