I've had my fair share of adventures in Port Stephens, but one you don't often hear about, and one that deserves so much more attention because we have some of the best fishing on the east coast, is a day trip off the coast with Calypso Fishing Adventures!
Calypso Fishing Adventures is family owned and operated and you are in the very best of hands with Captain Tim Dean and his crew where they will take you on the ultimate marlin fishing charter along the east coast of Australia in Port Stephens and all the way up to Cairns in North Queensland.
This charter offers options for all budgets and abilities and a day on the water should be one that's enjoyed and stress free. Calypso has everything you need to make your day comfortable, with a spacious interior complete with leather lounges, a kitchenette and bathroom. This all inclusive charter provides every essential needed, it's fully catered with drinks and food, the best and highest quality gear to make searching and catching fish a breeze and it's fully licensed, surveyed and a fishing license isn't required to fish with Calypso, it's already taken care for you, all you need to bring is your sense of adventure!
When Tim invited me out for a trip on board Calypso, it was an offer I couldn't refuse, i've been on the water plenty of times but this will be my first experience out in the ocean and I was so excited of what we could find out there!
A day out on the water can be a very long one, so to make the most of the day my step dad and I met up with Tim at D'Albora Marina in Nelson Bay at 7am, we were then introduced to the crew Ben and Darren and the other guest on board, briefed on safety while being on Calypso and what the plan for the day was, which to put quite simply, was to catch marlin and have some fun!
Heading off coast, we were welcomed to the rising sun creating it's gorgeous golden glow and said goodbye to Nelson Bay. We made a quick stop to catch some slimy mackerel for live bait in the hopes to catch marlin with them. With nothing but fishing line and a hook with a little bit of bait on it, we were catching mackerel left, right and centre, it was the most successful fishing I have ever done!
Satisfied with our catch, we then began our journey to the deep sea and what we saw only about 40kms off the coast of Port Stephens absolutely blown us away; a juvenile whale shark! Tim and the crew couldn't believe their eyes, being out on the water is their lives and the thousands of times they have been out into the ocean they have never seen a whale shark this far south on the east coast so it was an incredible moment for everyone on board and this whale shark hung around the back of the boat for probably a good 20 minutes before we continued on!
It was a great experience watching the crew doing what they do best, I don't know a whole lot about the fishing world but with their knowledge I was quick to learn some tips and tricks about the most efficient way of catching marlin and the fishing practices and legislations they follow to ensure minimum impact on the marine environment.
Attached to fishing line are what's called teasers which are a type of fish attractor that's pulled behind the boat when trolling. Most teasers look like a rubber fish or rubber squid and is a device to tease and trick fish into feeding or biting. Once a marlin, or any fish, approach the teasers it becomes a whirlwind and adrenaline rushed hype of activity on board to get the bait out into the water, hook the fish and reel it in.
My step dad Ben has been trying for a couple of years to catch his first marlin, it was a dream of his, so when one became available, the crew handed the rod over to him and the battle was on! Ben put in every ounce of effort and energy he had in him to reel in this 70kg striped marlin and after a 10 minute battle, which to Ben felt more like an eternity, the crew finished off the last part by pulling the marlin to the side of the boat for a photo opportunity and then it was released back into the wild. I was so happy to share this moment with Ben and although he was thrilled with his effort, he was absolutely exhausted!
Once the buzz of excitement died down, we continued on our way to see what else we could find. I've said this many times before, but when it comes to wildlife, it's always better to have low expectations of what you may encounter. There were times out in the water where we would see no activity for a couple of hours, it's long and draining but that's fishing for you, it just makes every catch well worth the wait. We actually spotted a hammerhead shark swimming just on the surface of the water only metres away from our boat which I found pretty cool!
We were close at hooking another marlin but this one got away, we did however attract a dolphin fish which the other guest had the pleasure of reeling in. It was an absolutely beautiful fish and after a photo with his prize, Ben the crew member, went above and beyond and filleted the fish for this guest to take home, now Australian seafood doesn't get much fresher than that and he had enough fish to feed him for weeks!
It was starting to get late into the afternoon so we called it a day and headed back inland. This experience was amazing for me, I had many firsts and learnt so much about the fishing industry and would highly encourage anyone to try something a little different to the usual tourist activities you can find in Port Stephens and give fishing a go with one of the best in the business!
Contact Tim Dean for date availabilities and rates and see what he can arrange for you or your group and have a fishing experience like no other with Calypso Fishing Adventures!