Saturday 27 August 2022

How we catch all those fish on Our Dreamtime


Spero Kartanos - the man responsible for our fishing success.

One of the most common questions we get asked is "What do you use to catch all those fish?"

Well yes! We do OK on Our Dreamtime in the fishing department but it's all due to our wonderful marina neighbour, Spero. He is known far and wide as THE FISHING GURU of Moreton Bay where we've been based for much of our time since buying our ketch. Day after day he returns to his berth beside ours loaded up with his bag limit of fish and fortunately for us, and you, he is very free with his help and advice. It has worked brilliantly for us all over the coast here so it should work for you. Following is all the details of the rig Spero advised us to use for trolling behind the boat in his own words.

For Spero it's all about getting your lure down to the fish


Diving boards and catching pelagic is not new in the world but they have become the choice of fisherman in Moreton Bay since we started writing about them a few years ago. Of course the pros have been using them for a lifetime but it has been so much fun to show fisherman starting out how good it is to get a few for a fresh feed on the table, I thought I would go through how I rig as I have had good success over many, many, years mostly for school mackerel and bonito but also for spotted mackerel in the Bay and the occasional tuna. (NOTE by Dreamtime Sail - We've had good success with Spanish Mackerel amongst the Great Barrier Reef  as well)

As most know the Yamashita boards are now no longer available. However, there is talk of someone about to reproduce some which would be good. The delta boards were fantastic till they played around with a proven formula and made them heavier and they did not swim at all and the K5 copies of the Yozuri orange boards are simple to rig and work well, but don't have the movement of the white boards. In their favour they don't drag as much water so a lighter rod, reel and line is the advantage and do catch fish.

I have attached a few photos for all to see.

How I rig the boards

1. Main line 25 to 30 lbs. I never use braid for one simple reason when you are trolling at 6 knots plus and the fish hits you want plenty of give in the line to cushion the hit and you will pull the hook especially if you're drag is a little tight so nylon is very forgiving, Also slow the boat down but keep it in gear and wind in slowly and constant pressure as you are using single hook any slack in the line the mackerel will shake the head and you will loose the fish.

2. Snap swivel to the front of the board and towing arm half way. This Tends to dive to 12 to 14 ft (3.5 to 4 metres) depending on how far behind the boat you are towing them. The further back the deeper they go so if you are catching grinners you are too far back. Depending on the depth you are trolling in, 30 to 40 ft (9 to 11 metres) is all you need to be behind the boat.

3. 30cm trace from back of the board to a swivel and then 2 mts to spoon 3 inch work the best in the Bay with chrome or chrome and yellow or gold the best or Smith jigs in white or chrome, (NOTE by Dreamtime Sail: When we sail north amongst the reef we use a larger spoon to suit the larger fish up there) I all ways tie direct to back of board with locked blood knot, NOT a loop and always put a notch at the back of the board to keep line straight. I use 30 to 50 lb trace as I prefer to lift the fish into the boat without gaffing also getting them out of the smiling assassins mouths (dolphins) helps also NO swivel on the spoon. Its suppose to have the movement without spinning.

Spero notches the rear of the board which keeps the line in place.

4. A trolling rod 6 to 10 kilos are ideal and an overhead 15 to 20. I use a Penn 15. It's is all you need and fill it with line. Bringing in fish is easier when the reel has full line .

4a.. Orange boards must have swivels either end. so I use same set up but no swivel between board and lure apart from the one end of the rope at back of board.

5. Oil you're swivels every now and then and ball bearing ones work the best for less line twist.

I have added one of the first ever Yamashita boards made out of wood so any wood working experts might be able to make a few..

UPDATE _ Since posting this blog we've been told a lot of people have had trouble finding the dive boards / paravanes that we use in our "Spero Rig" for fishing from the boat. They are normally available by mail order from Watertower Bait & Tackle at Manly, Queensland. Hope this helps. Cheers R & K

So good luck and happy fishing.

Friday 26 August 2022

Your Questions answered about our Liveaboard Sailing Lifestyle - Q & A Part 1 – S 2 Ep 4


After a number of comments on our Dreamtime Sail social media, we invited people to send us the questions they would like answered about our sailing, live aboard lifestyle, boat and any other aspect of cruising. In this Part One video we begin answering those questions about our sailing history, land base situation, sea sickness, crewing on other people’s boats, challenges of living aboard, night passages, what rig we use to catch all our fish, why we bought a ketch, how our in-boom furling mainsail works, using our stay sail, solar power, what we’re always fixing onboard and if we would recommend buying a boat in the Mediterranean like we did. We hope you’ll find Part One of our Q & A interesting.

Watch the video HERE

We were asked what sailing experience we had before buying a boat and explained we started by doing our RYA courses up to Coastal Skipper in 2010

Our first crewing was on this Benneteau 57 from Cairns to Bali via Darwin in 2011.

We then joined the 50ft ketch Atlantia from Bali to Malaysia

We completed our South East Asian sailing adventure by racing the Oyster 56 'Curious' in the Kings Cup Regatta in Phuket Thailand

The happy Curious crew celebrating a 2nd place finish

Conditions ranged from no wind to 25 knots on different days

We then flew to Venice to join a 72 Shipman and sailed to Tunisia via Malta then onto Sardinia  the Balaeric Islands and Spain

We gained invaluable experience on Moksha sailing with a Professional Skipper, Tim.

Our final crewing positions were back on Curious sailing her from Gibraltar across the Bay of Biscay to Dartmouth, London and finally Ipswich in the UK.

We were privileged to be on Curious in St Kats Dock next to the Tower Bridge in London surrounded by famous boats assembled for the Queen's Jubilee celebrations.

Robin Knox Johnston with Suhaili that sailed to became the first person in the world to complete a
non-stop solo circumnavigation of the globe

We even got a bit of press back home

Rob and our crew mate Marc applying Alcheringa's new name after purchase in Palma Mallorca

Alcheringa was a 2006 Jeanneau 43 Deck Salon

We sailed Alcheringa around the Med for two years. Here Karen enjoys some sun of Ibizza.

Crossing the Straits of Gibraltar is often a game of dodge ems.

Alcheringa anchored off Isla de Dino on the southern Italian coast.

Another question was what lead us to buy our ketch 'Our Dreamtime'

You will have to watch the video to get the answer to that and a number of other questions we were asked. 

Becalmed to Near Gale - The Final Sail of our Great Barrier Reef Season - Ep 47


Our eight month odyssey sailing amongst Australia’s Great barrier Reef finally comes to an end.  We leave beautiful Double Island Point and experience everything from no wind to a near gale all in the one day as we make our way south, to Our Dreamtime’s home port in Manly Boat Harbour at Brisbane.

Watch the video HERE

We left Double Island Point before dawn in sloppy seas and 10 knots of wind.

The wind dropped to nothing during the morning.

We over took our friends Liam and Allison on SV Velindra off Noosa Heads

SV Our Dreamtime photographed by Liam and Allison.

Conditions changed off Bribie Island and Karen was kept busy tending the main sheet.

We reefed the mainsail to suite the 25-30 knot gusts and wind against tide conditions.

Our Dreamtime climbing one of the short, sharp and high swells

What goes up must come down - with a splash

Once around the southern tip of Bribie Island we surfed our way to Pumicestone Passage for the night

Next day we enjoyed a lovely light airs sail to Manly Boat Harbour

12 year old Kristian, enjoyed helming across Moreton Bay

It was lovely to be welcomed home by friends as we entered the marina

Back in our berth at East Coast Marine after eight months cruising the Great Barrier Reef 

Safely crossing the treacherous Wide Bay Bar & sailing into the Double Island Point Lagoon. - Ep 46

In this video we cross some of the most dangerous waters in Queensland, the Wide Bay Bar, but not before waiting for the right weather conditions, consulting the Tin Can Bay Volunteer Coast Guard and taking all the sensible safety precautions. Then we sail across the bay to one of mother nature’s great playgrounds at Double Island Point where we are able to anchor in totally protected, crystal clear waters and have some fun.

Watch the video HERE

Our trip across the Wide Bar began on glassed out waters in Gary's Anchorage at K'Gari (Fraser Island)

Our Grandson Kristian is a bar veteran already

Our Dreamtime climbing a high swell as we head out over Wide Bay Bar

We never under estimate a bar crossing and came across a few large swells

All crew in live jackets and harnessed on in the cockpit for the crossing.

Once over the Wide Bay Bar we enjoyed a nice sail to Double Island Point.

Double Island Point was a playground for all the crew

Double Island Point is now a glorious spot to anchor behind a large sand bar

It was nice to have a designated driver back to the boat after sundowners.

Sunset over Double Island Point with Our Dreamtime in the foreground.