Ep.9 Wild Jumping Sharks, Hand-lining 30kg Spanish Mackerel & Grouper – FISHING THE WILD NT

Ep.9 Wild Jumping Sharks, Hand-lining 30kg Spanish Mackerel & Grouper – FISHING THE WILD NT


The Northern Territory’s coastline is one of the healthiest marine environments on earth. The biological diversity and the numbers of
marine creatures is almost unmatched worldwide. One of the signs of a healthy marine ecosystem
is the amount of sharks present, and there is one particular spot in the Northern Territory
that has more sharks than anywhere else. At the very top of the Wessel Islands in North
East Arnhem Land is a three kilometre stretch of reef that is home to an extraordinary number
of aggressive sharks. They are here because of the pristine water
and the abundance of food. This particular stretch of reef is a place
called Cape Wessel, the very tip of this dramatic chain or islands that knives out 100 kilometres
off the Northern Territory’s mainland coast. It is sacred Aboriginal land with deep cultural
significance and a place that has to be respected. Its prehistoric rock formations create an
eerie underwater landscape of deep drop-offs, coral reefs, cracks, tunnels and deep holes
that seem to go down forever. It is a place that you feel like you haven’t
been invited. It is also one of the most remote and wild
places on earth and has some of the best big Spanish Mackerel fishing in the world. Because of this there is one family of professional
Spanish mackerel fishermen that venture out there every year to brave the hostile conditions
to chase the mighty Spaniard. Dad Bruce Davey, mum Juanita, their children
Elsbeth and Tiger and Tiger’s wife Prue all lead a unique lifestyle living aboard the family
mothership Wildcard. The Daveys have been professional fishermen
for generations forging a living off the wild north Australian waters for collectively around
a hundred years. Raised on the ocean they have all lived an
adventurous life beyond comprehension to most people. Professionally line fishing for Spanish Mackerel
is an adrenalin-loaded dangerous form of hand- to-hand combat fishing. Its not for the half-hearted. It’s physical and takes a lot skill and understanding
about the ocean and the animals that live in it. Because of the sharks, mackerel fishing at
Cape Wessel has a unique set of challenges. Unless they are landed quickly the Spaniards
are ripped to shreds in a vicious game of tug-of-war between fisherman and shark. These battles are brutal and it is not uncommon
for the sharks to get airborne as they attack with so much force, and it is no wonder they
have given this place the nick-name “Cape Carnage”. The Wildcard family are some of our closest
friends and they have always wanted Simmo and I to join them and experience first hand
their way of catching Spaniards and to witness some of the craziest shark behaviour
we are likely to ever see. So this week we have decided to take the three
day journey living aboard the Wildcard to see first hand this form of fishing and the
Jumping Sharks of Cape Carnage. alright Lets go fishin Yeah! Here we go. Put this one on. So this is a skirted garfish tie one hook
in and a bit of wire through the garfish’s eye and that skirt comes down over his nose
and those colours are proven attractants basically make it look pretty and thats it. So Cape Wessel mackies are bigger than other mackies around the country? These are the horses? Yeah we call it Cape Carnage. Big fish. Big sharks. Big everything. I was looking under the main boat there just
before we jumped out and there was just sharks everywhere already and we haven’t even started
processing. You can get in even closer and get out of
the “shark zone” but sharks have really honestly evolved here to fish off the backs of boats
– they know. I just had a hit then. I’m getting out of the way of – here we go! Come on Juanita. Are you calling a good one here? Yep calling a good one. Woah! Shark on him? Go Juanita! Here we go….. He’s got a shark on him for sure This is a tough battle Did you see that shark? Yep, here we go. He is still on it! Woah. Scheez! Woah that is a massive mackie…
and a shark was on him straight away Here we go! She is on. Another one. Wow. Another goodie. Another one woah! We are in trouble. Everywhere here. Oh no! I don’t think I’ve got a whole one in yet Woah There are just sharks and mackerel everywhere here at the moment. Bloody sharks Arhhhhh! Woah! Ah thank God So this is why they call it Cape Carnage there is just sharks everywhere you can see them
below the boat when Juanita pulls up the mackerel. Thats a pretty common occurrence Juanita,
that there? Yup
That a bigger one, look at the size of those teeth there. So this is a place you definitely don’t want
to fall in around. But um, is there some days when they are not
here at all? Or are they always here? The sharks are always here but sometimes they
are more brutal than others. Ok well thats just incredible. Alright
She is back in. You are kidding me! Look at that! Holy dooley She’s on Fletch see if you can get that Here we go! We are on here Fletch. Yes. Go Prue! Hang on yep we are on here again! Holy F%^# Got him, Got him. Should I move? Nah Woohoo. That is what happens. Wow
Oh there is a shark. Holy hell. Oh yep yep we’re on. Look at that. Far out
No this is a bit of the scary bit for Simmo, oh off again. That my friend is why we call it Cape Carnage. Don’t drop it it is very sharp. Thats all thats left of one mackie his bottom
jaw. Have a look at that And those teeth there they are designed for
the mackie just to slice into the bait and cut it in half
We are on again! And I don’t want these teeth to hit my leg
or my femoral artery here. Thats going in. Do I have to change sides? You’re right Woohoo. Go this is a biggie! You beauty! This is the worrying bit oh oh a shark on
him right here. Go girl. yes. That’s the worrying bit for me. You beauty! Geez Yeah! Ok so immediately killed him. Brain spike him and cut his throat. that is clinical. Clinical. So this is the set-up, we have go our VB cord
or like 4mm rope and it has actually got a bungy strap there. That is the shock absorber. So when the fish hits it is not going to pull
itself out straight away its going to take a bit of the pressure and then this goes back
13 metres, is that right? 13 or 14 metres. Look at that one. Oh man its fun. I love watching it. Look at that woah! Here we go we are on! Here we go! Come on I’ll get one here, I had a hit. Go girl, there it is! Yes. Rock it! Geez
Thats a shark up it. Oh Jesus Christ. No just leave it leave it! Ok Oh yeah a shark’s got it Now you are pulling in a fish and a shark. Holy hell. Jesus! What? Oh yep I got it! F&%*ing hell. Righto be careful. Remember what I taught ya. Look at that! I’ve got him. Alright are you good? I’m good. A bit slippery. Be careful now. It’s a bit slippery. Alright. What is going on? Shark on him. A shark on him. Shark on him. A shark has got him. Alright now land it. Woohoo! Bang! Debut! Well done. My God I slipped on the floor there and started
heading towards the drink and there’s sharks everywhere Commercial debut. Far out that is a lot harder than it looks. Oh no! This is epic! There is just no way you can get them in hey? Thats why I did giggle when you said that
you wanted to use a rod. That is just absolute carnage. It’s carnage you ‘re right. How long have you been fishing this country
for Juanita? Ah here probably about 25 years. It still scares the willies out of me. Do you still see things that you are surprised
by? Yeah. Don’t tell me a whole one! Don’t tell me. We got one. Yay, we got a whole one woohoo. Mackerel are faster than sharks thats why
um they’ll still feed. Sharks don’t normally get to eat mackerel. But these sharks have evolved to learn that
they’ll get and easy feed hanging off the back of our boats. So this shark’s behaviours is pretty specific
to these islands? Yeah. A couple of other spot where we fish that
they are like this. But no where near as frightening as here. So the sharks are thick here at Cape Wessel
as we know – Cape Carnage as they call it. That is a mackerel that is not going to go
for commercial use that is going to feed the crew tonight. But look at the size of that bite that was
a 2.5m shark all over him, he had a couple of friends as well. Man this is adrenalin. Adrenalin. Hang on I think you are on there girl, and
I’m on too you beauty. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
Alright its making a run. Wait up wait up don’t pull any more. F*%^ing hell. I can see why they use gloves. Here we go we have got another fully here
good work girl. Nutso. Oh no. Was that a shark right there? Pretty excited pretty nervous too actually. Because I know how fast how hard these guys
can pull and I know how hard the sharks can pull. Part of me wants to hook up part a little
part of me doesn’t. Thats perfectly normal mate. If it makes you feel any better I pooped myself,
I crapped my dacks every time I come out here. Really
Yep And you have been doing it for 30 years. Yep
That really instills confidence in me too. Yeah but come on have a look at the size of
my arms mate. These are just show muscles Juanita. They’re just show muscles. You have a little bit more horsepower than
me mate. Mackerel have got a ‘wanted poster’ of Juanita
underneath the water. Dead or alive. They’ve had a few goes at reefing me in. You’re on. Here we go. Do you want to have a crack? Ah… Alright. Ok
Go ready. Oh he is off I think. Go! Go! Go! Go! How did you get pantsed that time? Oh no! That happened pretty quickly. I was wondering why I was I was doing so well. He had no propeller. Thats right gone. It’s just incredible. The sharks around here are just absolutely
insane the amount that they are on. And like Juanita said they have actually trained
themselves to feed like this. This is actually a natural feeding process
for them now. Coming behind these boats they obviously know
the sound of the engines and will just hang around for one of these guys to be disabled
by getting hooked up and then thats the only time that they are fast enough to catch mackerel. Two Three That was a big one. Mackie Bae, like that Salt Bae – Mackie Bae Yep. Just drop mackerel like this. I made a mistake on
that one, I got the gut cavity and that side is beautiful. So when it is done like this you have lost
the tail so it is harder to fillet. So then you have just got to find wherever
you can start and take it through and especially for the way we fillet once you have lost that tail it makes it harder to process. So it’s beautiful if you can just pick that
white line on the belly. Ah is that the rule, ok. The white line on the belly, right I’ll remember
that. So you flip it over, same thing I might get
that whole fillet so you just try to take it back there. And that one you can see the difference in
the flesh. So that there versus this one here which hasn’t
been bitten by a shark. That looks like you have just caught it 5
minutes ago. That one’s stressed. So its started pumping adrenalin through its
body and you can see that even though we’ve pulled that in in 30 seconds it looks like
it is older than this one is but they are about the same time. What makes that look older the lighter colour? Yeah and see how it starting to get a bit
fluffy along here? So this one here, I wouldn’t that doesn’t
pass my quality control. So that one has go to be sliced and we can’t
put that in our pro box. So it’s got to be perfect like that. Does everyone have standards like this? No no I think our standards are high. But there are definitely people who adhere
to the same standards as what we do. Quality is everything if your reputation takes
one batch of sub-par fish and your name is mud after that. How long have you been doing this Tige? Well I was on the boat from 2 to 3 weeks old
and I’m 28 this year so I’ve been here pretty much the whole time. Hey! It shows. Filleting for 6 months Great with a knife. Great with a knife. Holy shit. (cameraman) I did that for Mike’s benefit. I’ve been out here for 40 …. never dropped
a knife. So thats the perfect example of what not to
do. And all this stuff that you are talking about
in terms of the quality of the fish and the way that you process it.. that apply to all
species of fish? Exactly. Especially what Juanita was saying with the
brain spiking. If you brain spike every fish you are just
guaranteed that the quality is going to be twice as good as if you didn’t. Because we have been doing it wrong Simmo
and I a lot of the time because we just neck a fish straight away thinking that it needs
its brain to operate the heart to keep pumping out the blood. So there could be truth behind that I’m not
going to definitively say that that is not the case I know with tuna they cut them off
here and let the brain pump the blood out. I just know from what we do with mackerel. Its also its more a safety principal as well
because if you have got a mackerel going spastic in front of you the first thing that you want
to do is shut that fish down. Quieten it because it becomes safer then and
then you can deal with everything after that. Its also cleanliness you can see if you keep
your boat as clean as possible you are preparing food for the populations. So now it will go into our wash tub there
which has got constantly running water and that water. Yep
and that water just washes the fish washes the last bits of blood off. And then after that it goes into the boxes
and straight down to the freezer. And thats the thing, the thing that I’ve seen
so far is this whole process is that there is not one element thats not designed to keep
that mackie as fresh as possible. The whole process is designed that way I suppose
is it. Safety and quality. They are the two things. There you go, if you ever see Wildcard Wild
Caught mackie on the menu I’d advise you to have a crack at that. They are not over exaggerating when you use
‘wild’ twice. Here we go. Whack him in there Morgs. I’m going to go after this. Here we go. Bull shark. Thats a bull shark. Go Grab that frame behind you. Look at that whoah. Sharks in here. He’s bitten that rope off. He’s bitten that rope in half. This is actually where Morgs… I don’t know whether you saw series one for
Fishing the Wild this is where Morgs fell in the drink. Because one of these mackerel came through
the boat, Morgs actually had to jump out of the way to avoid it. The severity of the situation at that time. I’m scared. He’s got it. Simmo… don’t pull on that rope. Its giving me the heeby geebies here a bit. Ocean whaler, black tip reef shark, bronze
whaler, lemon shark and bull shark. Look at that one, there the bull shark there. thats a bull shark. There the scary ones. Massive massive bull shark. There is another one look at that. Oh geez
Just the weight of these things alone, you can imagine if in amongst that and had two
of these guys pulling in different directions you are going in half very quickly. Thats awesome. That is so cool They got the line. What are you going to do? Pull one up? Just an insane amount of sharks out the back
here all the time and they’ll hit that pretty quickly. Whoah. Geez. Oh it a big bull sharks down there too. And they are the bad boys around here tiger
sharks and bull sharks Juanita? All the sharks with teeth are the bad ones
there Morgs. It’s just absolutely incredible. Whoah
It’s just carnage. We had a GoPro in the water and a shark came
along and just ate the GoPro. So there it is. Yeah they are eating rope they are eating
absolutely anything that touches the water. So if one of use just puts any limb in there
jumps in – over. So thats why its really important boat rules
to have. Stay in boat. Stay in boat, that’s the biggest rule. …the lighthouse thats going as well its started… ..he’s head-butted the side of the dinghy.. …just totally, just the one time, just totally supportive…. …he’s an absolute wanker…. ..yeah thats Robbie yeah…. Well done Prue that’s lovely. Remarkable days seem to just continuously
just stack up on one another out here in the Territory. If you make the effort and you put yourself
in wild places well, inevitably, wild things are going to happen. Fishing the Wild has always been more about
the wild then it has the fishing. Our love for being in it and our passion for learning
more about it. And being around people who share the same
experiences and outlook is something just as valuable as the experience itself. And on that note we would like to whole-heartedly
thank the wonderful Wildcard family for their continuous friendship and hospitality and
if you would like to experience the wild Wessel Islands for yourself and be a part of the
Wildcard family while you are doing it then head to www.wildcardluxurycruises.com.au
Simmo and I both believe it is the wildest fishing adventure in Australia, their details
are also in the description area of this video. And of course if you would like to know more
about the Northern Territory and how to plan your own adventure then head to northernterritory.com
to find out more. And if you haven’t consider liking this video
and subscribing to our channel. It helps us create more of these free episodes. We would also like to sincerely thank the
traditional owners of the Wessel Island group for allowing us to visit. See you next time.

100 thoughts on “Ep.9 Wild Jumping Sharks, Hand-lining 30kg Spanish Mackerel & Grouper – FISHING THE WILD NT

  1. Morgs actually fell into the water while fishing in these shark-infested waters in series 1. Check out the video here.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVGIAtZEt2c&t=2s

  2. That episode was just awesome. So interesting watching how the Davie Family earn a living in such an amazing place. Well done.

  3. I just watched the 4 min intro and then stopped. Morgs got me all excited i had to cast it on the big screen. Will watch the rest on tv now. ๐Ÿคฃ you guys deserve your own tv show. Your passion for fishing is unmatched. Salute!

  4. R.I.P GoPro! I wonder if it will stay inside the shark and travel the world, or get ejected and document the trip to the ocean floor? Can't believe you didn't jump in after it! Send a message to Dallmyd and see of he'll come and dive for it ๐Ÿ˜†

  5. I guess the sharks are as entitled to have a feed as anything and the macks were going to die anyway, but I really hate to see them getting chewed up like that.

  6. my mouth was watering when watching them cook that barbie. mackeral prawns crays looks so good while im here eating 2 minute noodles.

  7. Dude I love living up here. The coast is amazing but there is just am much wild NT inland too! We live in the best part of the world for sure. great video boys.

  8. I would love to know why the women are doing all the pulling the fishing come on you big pansies pull the fishing for the ladies

  9. It's wonderfully produced – especially the little explanations of Morgs and Simmo in between. However, I hope you both have the responsibility to market such untouched nature, to advertise it consciously. I'm sure there were countless pristine places in Australia before they were exploited commercially.

  10. Wow , absolutely incredible footage. Awesome episode guys.I would love to go fishing with you guys . Iโ€™m huge fan from Melbourne .

  11. Another great episode!!!ย  You guys always produce the top quality video and respect to those that support what you do!ย  Thanks for sharing once again…ย  From the USA, ALWAYS a pleasure keep up the good work!!

  12. Wow Prue is tough!!! She could work the deck for me ANYDAY!!! I have spent a good deal of time handlining King Mackeral in the Gulf of Mexico and it is not for the faint of heart. Add those Sharks and wow that brutal!! Great stuff fellas funny the Ballyhoo or as you say Garfish and an Islander is the bait of choice for us as well I also see the #5 Clark spoon!!!

  13. Feeding sharks from boats is what has made sharks dangerous for boaters and shore swimmers.. like the tourist shark sighting/shark feeding excursion boater guy's kid fell overboard, and got eaten by sharks.. Their karma came right back at them…

  14. You guy on Fishing the Wild have the Best Job In The World..How i wish i could quit my job n do what u guys do for a living…

  15. Iโ€™ve fished like that, itโ€™s hard dangerous work, whereโ€™s the nearest hospital ? Sharp teeth sharks sharp knifes the risks are endless, the pink poppers are deadly.

  16. Stir fried Mackral one of the best meals I had at sea, and Iโ€™m not a lover of fish..
    Gosh watching this brings back memories ๐Ÿ‘

  17. I would have to say that was one of the most wildest days of my life. Wildcard do regular fishing tours around the region too, and the fishing will absolutely blow your mind as much as the scenery.

  18. Best vacation Iโ€™ve had in a while. Hilarious watching Simmo handline that fish after Prue made it look so graceful. You can tell you are both out of your element somewhat and loving the new experience. Beautiful family, they should be very proud. Not sure how you can top this one but I sure am looking forward to it. How does Morgan keep getting younger?

  19. You boys are living the absolute dream! Starting following your channel just the other day and it's honestly the best fishing channel I've come across not shitting ya haha looking forward to your future adventures lads ๐Ÿค™

  20. One of our sons is married to the eldest daughter from the Wildcard family. They both did their gap year on board fishing. Best time our son had. Proud to know this amazing family who have the greatest respect for the Australian fishing industry and the environment. Johanna grew up on Wildcard as did Tiger and Elspeth, totally amazing family and now Tigers wife Prue is living the dream too.

  21. Oh don't worry if you hook 2 at a time and the sharks get them both….after you destroy the population you will catch one at a time and then have more time to get them on the boat. There will be plenty of sharks by then, since you give them numerous huge feeds every time you go out. Surprised you haven't figured out a better way.

  22. Can anyone tell me why they wouldnโ€™t use some type of mechanical winching system to winch the macs in a bit quicker, I canโ€™t imagine doing that all morning my arms would fall off

  23. Im a ex line fisherlady. We had 3 lines out, The middle line we had on the electric. And the 2 outer ones we used a huge reel so if i wasnt fast enough yep the sharks were on. I worked on a trawler also. Both hard, heavy work. But i didnt let it stop me .3 guys quit while i kept going. Heres to the females that wont let hard work stop you.

  24. Huge fan of your videos and the series but in my humble option this is by far my favourite sensational work. Work love one day to join them, keep up the great work

  25. Thanks To The Wildcard Team……..People should never, ever Bitch about the cost of Fish !! So Much Respect….Thank You. Great Show.

  26. Mate you definetly need a bit cardio ๐Ÿคฃ That Gal was just smashing it. Huge respect. Nothing but the best from you guys. Cheers

  27. Best fishing show going around. Absolutely loved series 1 and series 2 has clearly surpassed that. Hopefully they can think release both seasons on uhd.

  28. Amazing video! I'm still blown away by the absolute beauty of the northern coast. Amazing video quality, production and content.

  29. Good show but u talk to wrong bloke Terry yambalul is not the person u c or any cunt from sky beach. Landowners live at elcho mate Terry has no lore n he is the offspring from his father who made him with his grandma. Got to elcho with these cunts n get the right permission dickhead. Who gave these cunts the right to rake the shit out of the land yeah we know that Terry also ripping money of from pearl farms that u two pair work. That's not his land he is a lier. Get your facts right . Bet u Terry told u mob he was born at weasel island yeah.the dickhead was born at elcho mission n has never seen lore the bullshit lying cunt

  30. Fork! Epic stuff mates.
    Wanitas a champ.
    On my channel I make Soulless humans organic Portals videos and food plant teaching videos

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