A day out on Strike 1 for a fine feed of fish

Any fisher knows that there are no guarantees of success, which is why many improve their odds by taking a fishing charter, such as we did recently with Strike 1 Fishing Charters, which operates out of Adelaide Shores.

Owned and operated by experienced fisherman, coxwain and Sea Rescue volunteer Albert Di Vittorio, Strike 1 was a big 7.7m Witchcraft with an as-new 230hp Yanmar turbo diesel and everything required for serious fishing trips. This included two fishfinders, both a thumping Humminbird 1198c and a very powerful Simrad NSE12.

To ensure that Strike 1 could be manoeuvred right over each mark, Albert had fitted a Stress Free electric winch to handle a SARCA anchor. Elsewhere, the boat bristled with rods, reels and tackle supplies were tucked away in seemingly every available locker space, but the whole fishing space was presented immaculately.

This charter was hired by a father and son from Tasmania and others from NSW. We met at the boat haven just before 6am, waited in vain for the NSW contingent then set off in less than ideal conditions about an hour later, heading into the south-westerly wind and seas.

Within half an hour we had landed a good-sized rugger, while a few others had to go back. When things later went quiet, Albert moved on to the second of several of his marks that we visited that day, always in search of reward for his clients.

As the trip continued we were able to appreciate Albert’s choice of vessel. Raised bulwarks around the cockpit made for safer, more secure and dry fishing, a large ice box kept the catch fresh, while bait was instantly to hand courtesy of a large, well positioned bait board.

In the cuddy were PFDs of all sizes, even more fishing tackle and a marine macerating toilet. A large bench seat extended aft from each helm seat. The Yanmar, driving through a Bravo 2 leg, produced smooth, fume-free power which, with the excellent ride qualities of the Witchcraft, saw no cases of seasickness on this, a day of white capped seas, nearly 1m swells and a few hours spent underway, travelling at over 20 knots.

We came in at around 4.00pm, all smiles and with a decent mixed bag of fish for the Tasmanian pair, for one of which there was finally the chance to eat some King George whiting for the very first time. He explained that the whiting they catch in Tassie are too small to worry about keeping, let alone fit to eat!