Reflecting increasing visitor interest in the world-class fishing grounds of the Fraser Coast, charter operator Freedom III has introduced a new long-range, live-aboard sports fishing experience as a tantalising lure for novice and experienced anglers alike.
Operated out of Hervey Bay by Keith and Sue Reid, and hosted by Scott “Scotto” Mitchell and Andrew “Chozza” Chorley, Freedom lll is a luxury 17.7m catamaran originally custom built for renowned documentary film producer Ben Cropp.
Licensed for extended fishing expeditions up to 200 miles off shore, the vessel offers a varied range of options from micro and deep water jigging to popper fishing and billfish, depending on time of year.
Packages are available outside of whale season from $1125 per person depending on numbers and includes all accommodation and meals while on board. Some tackle is available on a cost for replacement basis however serious, sportfishers are encouraged to bring their own gear. A list of recommended tackle can be supplied depending on the time of year and main target species.
Manager of Tourism and TEQ Partnerships for Fraser Coast Opportunities, Robbie Cornelius, said the Fraser Coast fishing experience was one of a kind.
“The Fraser Coast is fast becoming a must-visit destination for fishing enthusiasts. There is nowhere else in Australia where anglers can catch all three of Australia’s iconic sports fish species – bass, bream and barramundi – in one place,’’ Mr Cornelius said.
Recently appointed the home of the Australian Fishing Championships for the next three years, the destination is protected from prevailing winds by the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, creating ideal fishing conditions.
“Hervey Bay and the Great Sandy Strait form a meeting place for warm northern and cooler southern ocean currents, bringing with them twice as many species that can be found elsewhere,’’ Mr Cornelius said.
“The Great Sandy Strait provides one of Australia’s largest seagrass beds to act as a nursery for many larger fish species and a feeding ground for prawns and fish.
“No wonder anglers from around Australia and the world are getting hooked on Fraser Coast fishing,’’ he said.