I recently upgraded my 4.5m old-school glass boat to something a bit larger and more seaworthy (and not 35 years old!). For a while now I have been keen on an aluminium centre cab, and after much deliberation I decided on a 5.8m Formosa CC. For the fishing I do and the area I live in, this style of boat appealed to me as a good all-round option.
I really liked the walk-around access of the centre cab, while still maintaining some form of cabin. Down here in SA a cabin is great for protection from wind and spray as well as for stowing equip and somewhere for our kids to sit or have a quick nap which they often do while on the water. And while the 6.2m was tempting, the versatility of the slightly smaller 5.8m (or 6.0m LOA) was going to better suit my needs, also seeing as I will be launching and retrieving by myself on occasions.
After driving to QLD a couple weeks ago to pick the boat up (which is second hand at 3yrs old), I gave the new tub a maiden voyage in SA about a week ago. The wind was puffing which cancelled the offshore plans, so instead I gave the boat a run in the bay where I live, and managed a feed of garfish, snook and small snapper as a bonus.
I was keen to give the boat a proper work-out and get the monkey off its back, so to speak. There always seems to be a bit of pressure on the maiden fishing trip of a new rig. “Oh, so it doesn’t catch fish” was the comment I was expecting from the guys at work if we drew a blank. I picked a period of good tides and launched last night after work with my Dad and good mate Matt on board.
The weather wasn’t ideal for the 30km offshore run with a 15 – 20kt Southerly wind pushing up the Gulf. It made for a reasonably slow run, but at least we got to see how the boat handled choppy conditions.
It took around an hour to run out to our chosen wreck, which we had to ourselves. The three of us flicked some baits out and after around 20 mins fishing we had the first 20lb snapper on the deck, nice start! The fishing was pretty consistent through until nightfall, finishing the session with 5 big snapper, 4 of which were over the magic 20lb mark. It was a relief to have a successful maiden fishing mission, and reassuring to know the boat isn’t cursed!
It always takes a while to set a new boat up to suit the exact fishing and conditions you expect to encounter. Even from last night’s session I can already see the need to add and / or change some equipment on board to better suit our fishing needs. New boats are exciting toys!