Fly Fishing the Exmouth and Ningaloo Reef World Heritage coastline is the number one place to chase Marlin on fly. The pioneer behind the development of the Exmouth Billfish notoriety in 2009, Murray Pattison has now returned to Exmouth after fine tuning his skills internationally on big game boats around the world.
Murray set up the first sport game fishing vessel in the region and has now launched Australia’s first 40ft live-aboard game boat targeting Marlin on the fly. It is without doubt one of the most prized Black Marlin fisheries in the world.
With Black, Striped and Blue Marlin all available including Sailfish, this is the place to go if you are seeking the ultimate bluewater challenge. The experienced crew are all passionate fly-fishermen, and their energy and enthusiasm to put their clients onto fish is impressive. The excitement generated, combined with great hospitality and facilities on-board make this a must-do experience for fly-fisherman of all levels.
Exmouth lies approximately twelve hundred kilometres north of Perth in western Australia. Ningaloo Reef, famous for its whale shark migration and diving, runs two hundred and fifty kilometres along the coastline of the region. With the vast, shallow Exmouth Gulf offering protection from the open ocean, the Ningaloo Coast offers an endless array of stunning, unspoilt, deserted beaches with crystal clear water and clear blue skies.
It is perfect for snorkelling, sunbathing, water sports, or simply relaxing and soaking in the superb scenery. For non-anglers or as a family destination, there are world-class dive sites, and the annual Whale Shark, Manta Ray and Humpback Whale migrations along the breeding and birthing grounds of the Ningaloo reef to immerse in.
- Location: Exmouth is less than a two-hour flight north of Perth
- Climate: with no wet season, it is dry and warm all year round
- Ningaloo Marine Park: the coral reef fringes 280 kms along the coastline
- Black Marlin: grow fast and reaches 50 kilos at 3 years of age
- Season: August to April are the best months, but available all year round
Recently refurbished, the custom built 40ft Black Watch game boat, provides the perfect blend of being both an entertaining and fishing vessel, and is known as a 'Billfish raising machine'. Murray and the crew can lay claim to catching and tagging some of the largest Marlin every recorded in Western Australia and have a huge amount of experience in teasing, hooking and landing Billfish on fly.
In terms of spending a few days at sea in luxury, Set The Hook has set the standard for live-aboard game boats in this part of the country, providing great crew, skipper and service while on board. They know these waters intimately and will maximise your chances of rising above one of the true great challenges in our sport.
The interiors include a double bed, two single bunks, complete bathroom facilities and hot shower, and a beautiful air-conditioned galley. Home cooked meals, fresh seafood, fruits and beverages are all provided while the crew also have BBQ and outdoor seating facilities when moored at the end of each day. The boat has an excellent working/fishing deck area, with ample space to move about during the fight.
Fly Odyssey provides fully guided fly fishing packages to Exmouth as well as offering comprehensive advice on family holidays in the area. Exmouth is a great destination for the family with the outstanding Ningaloo coral reef diving and whale watching, two of the more popular activities in the region.
When not on the game boat, there are some great accommodation options including the acclaimed Sal Salis beach-side safari camp, nestled in the dunes of Western Australia’s Cape Range National Park. Located on the shores of Ningaloo Reef with just sixteen luxury wilderness tents, you can share this striking location and one of Australia’s best kept natural secrets, with few others. With just a short drive to the game boat mooring, it is a perfect location to start and end your trip.
Outside the Ningaloo fringing reef, the waters off Exmouth have a huge amount of variety with vast underwater canyons and nutrient rich water providing an ideal habitat for baitfish and a multitude of pelagic fish, including the apex billfish predators.
Arriving at the Tantabiddi boat ramp, which is a short thirty-minute drive from Exmouth or Sal Salis, you will be greeted by the crew and transferred via a 5.2m Quintrex tender to the 'Set-the-Hook' mothership moored in the bay.
After unloading your gear and setting up your fly-rods you will head out through the reef pass and hit the marlin grounds where you will begin the search. The crew will lay out two teasers and then it is a waiting game, as Murray works the marks and the underwater formations that make this area such a brilliant marlin fishery.
With the fly-rod ready and the boat out of gear, it is a case of making the cast once the Marlin are teased to the back of the boat, and setting the hook. With blinding speed, the fish will scream the line from your reel before putting on an aerial show that will stick in your memory forever. Unlike chasing Sailfish which are far easier to tease and capture, you will typically raise and have shots at two to four big Marlin per day either on conventional fly gear or on tailored 15kg IGFA leaders for those chasing records. Seasonally, each billfish species are available year round, subject to water temperature and water clarity.
Ideal for two fly-fisherman, the optimal live-aboard duration is three to five days which will ensure you have plenty of time to cover the water and explore the various hot spots along the coastline. With several moorings in the region, Murray will anchor the boat late in the afternoon where you can relax with a drink in hand and watch the sunset from the deck, before dinner is served. You will then unwind in the beautifully appointed lounge with the crew into the evening, before resting up with the gentle sound of water lapping the side of the boat as you drift off to sleep.
As per all Fly Odyssey bookings, we will provide a comprehensive and detailed pre-trip fly fishing guide, prior to your departure.
The rates for this destination vary throughout the season. We offer the best available rates for this destination and do not charge for our service. By calling we are able to tailor a package to specifically suit your requirements at the best available rate. As we have offices in both the United Kingdom and Australia we can also ensure you are being quoted in your local currency. Please enquire for the latest rates and availability, including information on any applicable special offers and group discounts.
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Flights to Exmouth are available via Perth, Western Australia, through Qantas.
Flights generally depart very early in the morning or around midday which are perfect for connecting flights from Melbourne and Sydney.
Landing in Learmonth Airport which is thirty minutes from the Exmouth town centre, you will have time to check-in to your accommodation and gear up ready for a big day ahead.
Fly Odyssey staff can organise and host corporate groups in Exmouth including flights and all transfers. For groups looking to combine business with the ultimate reef experience, we can provide tailored one-on-one fly fishing tuitions on the water, while partners can relax in a day spa, by the pool, on the beach or enjoy snorkelling/diving with Whale Sharks and Humpback Whales.
All the gear is supplied and tied, to ensure your guests or staff get to experience the ultimate saltwater fly fishing experience. Includes photography, and accommodation options to cater to any level of hospitality you require.
Price on Application.