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Ashley Matthews

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Bugatti 3:0
May 08, 2017, 11:37:09 PM
We called this one Bugatti 3:0

5 days fishing the grounds known as the Bugatti reef system. As a charter operator based in the Whitsundays we have a great fishery on the home grounds of the GBR out wide of the islands but the infamous Bugatti reef system has always been on our want to go locations. I must thank Brandon khoo allowing me to print out latest trip report, I hope you guys enjoy the read.

Our first trip was back in August 2016 where we barely touched the grounds. One thing with the Bugatti reef system it is huge! Second thing is that there is loads of tide movement almost regardless of moon phase you can always find some
Run. We got some ripper fish that trip but worked very hard for them and every day was a new reef and new things learnt. Our main target was GT on topwater and if conditions permit some jigging the shoals wider of the reef. We got lucky on both fronts and caught GT's to 45kg and managed 8 doggies on jigs up to 25kg. Super happy!

Our second trip to Bugatti was in march this year. Tony Warnett did a trip
Report on this adventure. We had a great trip although the gt were a lot slower compared to the previous trip but we still
managed fish to 30kg.

Our latest adventure started last Monday with 4 guys with mixed fishing experience but not a huge amount of gt fishing. We departed Monday afternoon after the guys flew into proserpine airport and made there way to the marina in Airlie beach.

The trip plan was to "chug" out through the night and get further south of Bugatti reef by day break and work our way north over the coming days Returning to the mainland on Saturday. The forecast was not brilliant but certainly fishable with 10/15 knots for the first couple of days then winds gradually increasing towards to
Weekend.
Day one, found us at Stevens reef around 80nm from home town Airlie beach. After a quick breakfast and some gt one on one discussions we started fishing. The lagoon at little Steven reef was alive and it didn't take long to catch our first gee! We caught and released 7 fish to 20kg within the first couple of hrs so the trip was off to a good start. As the tide eased the bite dropped off so we had a bite to eat as we made our way to big Stevens reef for the incoming tide. Boom it was on. Almost every second cast was smashed or followed by GT's. At one point we had 3 hooked at once it was hectic stuff. Thomas (his first gt trip) boated a beauty which i called for 35kg although the majority of fish were around the 15-20kg mark. That fish turned out to
be the biggest of the trip. Around 3 pm I made the run to Goble reef which was to be our anchorage for the night. Getting inside the reef lagoon at 5pm with low light dodging bommies is always fun!
Light sea conditions made for a good night sleep ready for day two!

The wind started to pick up a bit the next morning but we had a crack around Goble reef for little reward. We moved over to chauvel reef for the change of the tide and things picked up. Finding the schools of fusiliers made things easy and the bite hotted up again. The highlight for me was watching a pack of gt in 2 Mtrs of water ambushing a school of garfish right in front of us. I think we managed to hook 2 but got dusted on both up on the shallow reef. Moving over to the Cole reefs where we managed a few more gt in the 20kg range along with a couple of nice Spanish mackerel. Back to chauvel for the night and some fish stories while pulling a few solid red throat emperor off the bottom for dinner!
Day 3 and the wind is up around 20 knots. Not savage but uncomfortable for the idea of heading wide and jigging the shoals. We moved further north trolling our way to the Southhampton group of reefs pinning a few Spanish, loads of sharky Macs, mac tunas and a couple more gt along the way.
Still fishing all new reefs and a tad challenging as from the Southhampton reefs and further east it is not charted (zoning maps have some detail) but there's an element of running by sight. Although the gt bite slowed a bit we still
Managed some nice ones up to 25kg a couple of coral trout and 2 flower cod all on the surface poppers/stickbaits. That night was spent in a lagoon I had been too and had previously had some nice gt action while on anchor. The boys wernt disappointed as just on dark the brutes arrived and a couple more found them selves hooked up! A quick pic and released back to the family!

Day 4 dawned and we had a steady 30knots. It was fishing inside lagoons or the western side of the reefs only day! The boys were happy with some trolling between reefs and the Spanish mackerel were chewing in the rough conditions.
We worked hard in the conditions but still
Managed to boat a few gt, barracuda and another trout. Derrick got smoked by a solid trout that looked every bit a meter long from where I saw it from the tower.

Anchoring at the unnamed reef 5nm SE of buggati for the last night in howling winds we knew the trip was nearing the end. A few solid spangled emperor kept the boys busy while dinner was prepared and then  the last sleep onboard before Saturday.

A couple more gt in the lagoon first thing in the morning and it was time to
Catch the ebb tide back to the mainland. 95nm run in 30+ knots of SE wind wasn't the way we wanted to end the trip but we can't control The weather but thankfully it was a down hill run. My log book tells me we boated 45 gt, 13 Spanish mackerel (3 on casting gear 10 on the troll), shark mackerel (I lost count after 100!!) 2 long tail tuna, 3 mac tuna, 4 coral trout, 1 passionfruit trout, 2 flowery cod, 4 barracuda, 4 gold spot trevally, all on top water. The lagoons at night yielded countless red throat emperor, spangled emperor, a few juvenile red emperor, hussar, Spanish flag and loads of sharks!

We can't wait to get back there! 

Tony Warnett

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Re: Bugatti 3:0
May 09, 2017, 04:16:31 PM
Great read Ash keep up the good work mate.

Doug Lindsay

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Re: Bugatti 3:0
May 13, 2017, 02:53:35 PM
Great report Ash! Are we doing Bugatti 4 in August?

Ashley Matthews

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Re: Bugatti 3:0
May 13, 2017, 07:26:30 PM
Cheers doug!

We still have a excellent window in August prior to the new moon if your keen!!?

Ash

Brandon Khoo

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Re: Bugatti 3:0
May 14, 2017, 07:42:28 AM
Great report, Ash. Still some excellent fishing in unfriendly conditions
If it swims; I want to catch it!

Peter Childs

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Re: Bugatti 3:0
May 21, 2017, 06:00:59 PM
Nice work Ash, well done! That first fish is a honker!😎

Ashley Matthews

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Re: Bugatti 3:0
May 22, 2017, 04:30:25 PM
Thanks pete yeah she was a beauty. We caught that one in. Flurry of fish on the first day. Awesome session.

Ash