The author describes their journey to the Rowley Shoals, a 150-mile shelf atoll off the Indian Ocean coast, with experienced operators Tracey Rushford and Ross Newton. The area offers breathtaking fishing opportunities, including the tough sailfin snapper and the energetic giant trevally fishing. The author's culinary experience makes this trip one of the best ever.
Reel Teaser Fishing Adventures
When you travel halfway around the world to fish with people you have never meet, you just don't know what awaits. I have fished all around the world with some of the best operators, so I had a good gauge of what well run fishing operations should be like. This trip was by far the furthest I have undertaken. Thirty hours of flying and layovers from the east coast of the United States to Broome, Australia is what it took to get there. Exhausted does not quite explain how I felt, by the time I stepped off my final flight. There to meet me were Tracey Rushford and Ross Newton, owners and operators of the Reel Teaser Fishing Adventures.
Ross and Tracey are both extremely accomplished in the sport fishing world of Western Australia. From sailfish, marlin, barramundi, GT's and whole host of reef species, the two of them are both pioneers and repeat tournament winners. The experience and knowledge at your avail is everything you could expect and more for a long range trip offshore. Our final destination was the Rowley Shoals, a system of shelf atolls that site 150 miles off the west coast in the Indian Ocean. I had only heard tales of the beasts that prowl the waters out there. There was no way to be prepared for what was waiting.
Having only had a few phone conversations with Tracey and Ross, I had committed myself to a serious engagement and was praying things would go off without a hitch. Man, can I just say their mothership is a gem. Spotless, well organized and spacious are the first things that come to mind. The level of hospitality I received is unmatched. Never have I fished with folks that are so caring and giving. Anything I needed, they had. Aside from the fishing, which I will get to in a moment, the gourmet experience was mind blowing. Tracey Rushford is an amazing chef. At every turn, she was rolling out another delectable treat. After long hot days of fishing, to come back and be treated with such wonderful edibles is absolute perfection in hosting. The breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack offerings were as good or better, in most cases, than any I have tried on any fishing trip. My culinary experience alone marks this trip as one of the best ever.
Now, the reason for my journey to these remote atolls was the fishing. Breathtaking does not cover it. Much of this area is a marine sanctuary that is patrolled daily. There is no commercial fishing and much of the recreational fishing is catch and release. This keeps the surrounding waters virgin. There was not a boat in sight, as we fished this premier reef. This is reef fishing nirvana. Inside the atoll we fished, the water is calm, but the myriad of color and power in the fish is off the charts. The sailfin snapper has to be one of the toughest and most beautiful fish I have ever tangled with. On the outside, the water is full of energy. This is where the big fish roam. You can fish for sailfish, wahoo and tuna in a 150 feet of water. This is what reef fishing is all about. When you get around to the GT or giant trevally fishing, things get a lot more serious. You are sitting on top of huge double overhead swells that crash into the reef casting lures into the white water. Dangerous, maybe. Exhilarating, for sure. You really have to be on top of your game to excel out here. Ross Newton and his mate Chris Rushford are just that. These guys are excellent watermen. Constantly on the look out for the swells as they roll in, they will get you right up to the edge, so you can cast your popper into the lions den. This is reef donkey village. You had best be ready, because there are some damn big GT's and dog tooth tuna patrolling these waters. Boy, did we hook into some beasts.
Since I am in the business of producing sport fishing instructional films, I love fishing with and learning from great fishermen. Chris Rushford is fishyAF and a cat that I would enjoy fishing with anywhere in the world. I learned more than I could have imagined from him. Ross Newton is one of the best and you can see the knowledge and skill he has passed along in the way Chris handles himself. Between the two of these guys, I was able to put together a collection of really cool videos.
What a place of peace and power. Rowley Shoals and Reel Teaser Fishing Adventures will forever be seared into my memory. This journey is what fishing trips are meant to be about. Making memories and walking away with new friends. I cannot thank Tracey, Ross and Chris enough for their time, hospitality and fishing knowledge. I hope to see you soon.
In The Spread
In The Spread is one of the world's premier sport fishing video companies and educational outlets for demonstration, explanation and insight on how to catch fish. Get inside access to our video library by becoming a member.Seth Horne In The Spread, Creator