29-Aug-2004 -- On this confluence trip we did not have the usual inconvenience of staking tyres or a long walk through the scrub, the only thing we had to concern ourselves with was making sure we packed the “travelcalms” and that the fish were bitting. This confluence is located 17.8 km south of the southern coastal town of Esperance in the waters of the Recherche Archipelago. The Archipelago was named after one of the two French ships that navigated these virtually unexplored waters back in 1792 and consists of over 100 large islands and many more smaller ones that are spread along 230km of coast. All the islands are uninhabited except for one, Woody Island. This island is a nature reserve that allows eco-stay style camping eight months of the year. The dazzling white beaches with its cobalt blue water along this coastline of the Archipelago are said to be among the best in Australia, pity the same can’t be said about the weather though.
Every year we organise a annual 2-day fishing charter in the Archipelago with the guys from work. This year we decided to only do a single day trip but this time out to the most southern island – Termination Island. The island is roughly 70km due south from the coast of Esperance and it took us around two and half-hours in the charter boat "Southern Image" to get there. I checked the map this trip and as it would happen there was an unvisited CP located on our route down to the island. The plan was we would snare it on our return trip back to Esperance in the afternoon after the day's fishing.
As is usually the case, the weather was not kind to us with the passing of a cold front that morning off the coast. This did not dampen our enthusiasm as we have heard that the deep water fishing at Termination Island was pretty good and worth the trip out there.
We arrived at the island at around 7:45am; using his GPS and echo sounder, the skipper manoeuvred the boat upwind over the areas of sharp dropoffs in depth as this is where the greatest concentration of fish usually occurs. Power is cut to the props and then the boat proceeds to drift over the target area whilst we drop in our lines to the ocean floor, which out there was about 70 to 80 metres in depth. The idea is to keep the baited hooks of mullies and squid just off the bottom where the fish are, but as the conditions on the day were quite windy it resulted in high boat drift.This meant that you where continually letting out line to stay on the bottom and with so much line out at times it was quite difficult to feel if you had a bite or not. When it came to bring in the line sometimes you had to wind in over 100 metres. Anyway we immediately had a couple hits and two of the guys caught a couple of red snappers, we thought we were set for great day's fishing.
This did not eventuate and out of the last 10 fishing trips, we had the worst result ever, which was a pity as I had planned to include photos of the anticipated great haul of fish and brag about the big one that got away.
The weather was dismal with strong cold south-westerly winds and rain, much of our time was spent fishing on the sheltered side of the island. The weather eventually cleared up as the front passed early afternoon on our way back towards Esperance - typical. All up our catch included 9 red snappers, 5 swallowtails, 4 breaksea cods, 2 queen snappers, 1 harlequin fish and 1 western blue devil. Not a good result between 10 fishermen and nothing to brag about.
At 1:00pm we started back on our return journey back to Esperance and to the confluence point. The point is situated in the ocean 1.3km south of Gunton Island, 3.0km north of Sandy Hook Island and 8.3 west of the mainland at Cape Le Grand.
GPS: Garmin 12XL (precision 10 metres)
Map Name: SI5106 Esperance Special 1:250 000