Ken Gerke and Dayne Taylor were lucky winners of the AFC Battery World Promotion, the prize of which was an incredible fishing trip to The Mackay and Whitsundays Regions. Check out their adventure below!
What an awesome experience the last five days have been, I was lucky to win an all expenses paid trip to North QLD on behalf of the AFC and Battery World to fish some awesome impoundments and waterways with some experienced local guides and fishermen. Everything was looked after on the trip, the flights, accommodation, food, drinks, hire car, fuel and the professional guides all covered, and I was lucky enough to get to share this with a great mate of mine, Dayne Taylor.
DAY 1 was spebt travelling and flying up to Prosepine.
DAY 2 kicked off very early to meet up with local guide Lindsay Dobe who runs Barramundi Fishing Charters and also runs the Barra World tackle store in Prosepine. We hit Peter Faust Dam which is renowned for its trophy Barra, unfortunately the weather made it a little tricky with very windy conditions and cooler water and air temps than expected, besides he odd enquiry and a follow right to the boat, I was unable to raise a Barra from the dam. But right at the end of the day in the last few minutes of the charter, Dayne hooked a monster which violently ripped line off his locked drag and then snapped his braid in the timber within seconds, unfortunately as Dayne was trying to work out what had happened and shaking with adrenaline, the same Barra decided to jump out of the water and attempt to still throw the lure that Dayne donated to him, it also got-us a clear look at what have been an easy 120cm Barramundi waving Dayne goodbye just to rub salt into the wound. Besides the tough fishing, it was an awesome day still.
DAY 3 had Dayne and I fishing Eungella Dam chasing Sooty Grunter with Dan Grech. Dayne and I have been fans of the Australian Fishing Championship since its very first series, it was something that inspired us into tournament fishing and also a great learning resource watching some of Australia best anglers fishing for Australian species. So when we heard that we were fishing with AFC great Dan Grech for two days, with an opportunity to check out his local waterways and learn a thing or two whilst fishing along side him, we were stoked. Dayne definitely had the touch on this place and was able to boat a few awesome Sooties, luck just wasn’t with me and I had a few dropped fish over the day but was able to witness the bruising fighting quality of these tanks, you fish for them in a similar way to Bass…but these things would pull the biggest Bass backwards in a fight, great fun.
DAY 4 and we headed out on Teemburra Dam, another very special place with the promise of big Barra, the weather was cruel at times with cool temps, then hot, then rain, then wind, then hot, then cool, then rain and so on…welcome to QLD. We searched high and low, literally at times as Dayne and I put plenty of expensive lures into and over timber…Dayne even somehow leaving a TN60 over an overhead powerline at one stage as the casting was becoming desperate. Dan moved us down into a protected little cove and told us to cast hard against the weed edge and not stop until we had a bite, a few hundred casts later and I heard Dayne yell a strained “yeeeep” as he ripped into a big fight with a good size Barra, it was an awesome fight to watch and plenty of high fives given once he had his first ever Barra in the boat, It was great to see him catch it and I was just as excited as he was, congrats mate.
DAY 5 we headed in Mackay to explore some local inshore and estuary fishing from Shoal Point with Jason Kidd from Inshore Fishing Mackay. Beach launched at sunrise on what could only be described as calm lake conditions as the beach rarely gets a few centimeters of swell being bordered by the Great Barrier Reef and outlying islands. Fished a rocky headland first up before heading into a creek to chase some Barra, Jacks, Queenies, Threadies and anything else that was keen to chase a lure, once we were in the tide dropped away leaving us in a productive section of river as our own for the day. Dayne and I caught some great species, Barred Grunter, Finger Mark, Mangrove Jack, Blue Nose Salmon, Cod etc. Dayne was unlucky to drop another great size Barra near the end of the day when the tide started its run in, but still a great day .
DAY 6 was home time as we left Airlie Beach to fly home out of Prosepine.
A huge thank you to the AFC and to Battery World for this great prize and opportunity to visit and fish a magnificent part of the Australia, we had an awesome adventure, plenty of laughs and memories, met some great people and new mates, we are already planning our return, I am already burning for redemption to go and catch that elusive Barramundi and explore some more. Huge thank you Michael Harris from the AFC for arranging a great trip and taking care of everything, everything was perfect, thanks to the accommodation providers who were all fantastic places hosts and comfortable places to stay. Massive thank you to Lindsay Dobe, Daniel Grech and Jason Kidd for the awesome fishing adventures and showing us your part of paradise, you were all fantastic hosts and we had a great laugh getting to know each other, we’ll be back soon. Cheers to Jetstar amd AVIS car rental for the flights and nice ride.
The biggest thanks to my mate Dayne Taylor for sharing this adventure with me, its never hard travelling with you, we always have a great time, a lot of laughs and quality trash talk of each other...I'm ready for the next adventure when you are. Glad you caught a few firsts, ticked a few bucket list species and enjoyed the trip mate, I know I did. I’ve been told I have to refer to you as the Interim Sooty World Champion from now on...pfft.
A list of places we stayed and fishing guides to contact if you are fishing the awesome Whistsunday Coast and Mackay Region below...highly recommended.
Plenty more pics and vids to come.
Barramundi Fishing Charters
(O7) 4945 4641
Inshore Fishing Mackay
0457 254 740
Reef Gardens Motel, Prosepine QLD
Broken River Mountain Resort, Eungella QLD
IBIS Mackay Airport Hotel, Mackay QLD
Mantra Club Croc Resort, Airlie Beach QLD
Watching the AFC series as a teenager was hands down 100% the reason I become interested and pursued a path into local fishing competitions, then later on into national tournament series like the ABT, B.A.S.S and the Hobie tournament series
Turning 30 around Christmas last year, I said to my wife Sal that I wanted to finally tick off that lifelong dream of catching a Barramundi this year... a few weeks later my mate Ken asked me if I would like to join him on an AFC experience to fish the Whitsundays/Mackay Region. All expenses paid and pre-booked by the legends at Australian Fishing Championships & Battery World! I think it took me around the same amount of time to answer as it did to blink an eye lid! 😂
That dream finally came to fruition this past week... my words can't describe how greatful I am for this opportunity so here's a gallery of pictures to help explain just how awesome this experience was!
The biggest and most sincere THANK YOU to Ken, Daniel, Lindsay, Jason, Michael and Battery World. All absolute LEGENDS for turning a dream into reality!