STRANDED ON LAND: Tim Price of Double Threat Charters says he hasn't been able to run offshore fishing charters for the past six months as the wind has been too rough. He is hoping the winter weather will provide some relief.
STRANDED ON LAND: Tim Price of Double Threat Charters says he hasn't been able to run offshore fishing charters for the past six months as the wind has been too rough. He is hoping the winter weather will provide some relief. Vanessa Jarrett

Boaties and fishermen feeling the effects of rough seas

CQ BOATIES have been forced to stay home thanks to what has been labelled "the worst-ever consistent run of bad weather”.

For the past seven months, it has been too windy and rough for offshore trips and fishing.

Tim Price, Yeppoon-based owner of spearfishing, cruise and fishing business, Double Threat Charters, said since November they have only had two windows to get out and do offshore trips.

And it's not just around the Capricorn Coast and Keppel Bay, Gladstone, Bundaberg and Mackay boaties are said to be feeling it too.

Tim said even the local tackle shops were suffering as well.

Tim started his business at the end of 2017 and they had a bumper Christmas.

Freediving (holding your breath with no equipment) for spearfishing.
Freediving (holding your breath with no equipment) for spearfishing. Contributed

Fast forward to now, he has only been able to do island trips as the land provides some shelter from the weather.

It has just been "too rough to fish in open water”.

As an operator it has become increasingly frustrating not just for him, but others are in the same boat.

This week, Tim ran into some guys at the marina who had taken their boat out but when they got to the other side of the island, they turned around and came back because it was too rough.

Tim's dad is a commercial fishermen in Gladstone and has been for 40 years.

He has never seen such a long run of bad weather.

"It makes it hard, it's stressful some days, you have to ring up customers and say we can't go out but I haven't had a customer unhappy because it is too rough,” he said.

With water and fishing in his blood, Tim launched his business because it was something he always wanted to do.

He grew up on boats with his dad and always loved fishing.

He always dreamed of working for himself and with the support of his wife, Jessica Price, they made it happen.

Tim had his eye on a boat over in Western Australia.

Tim Price has a keen interest in spearfishing.
Tim Price has a keen interest in spearfishing. Contributed

He was gutted when someone else put it under contract but it ended up falling over and Tim was able to put his offer in.

The boat is an eight-metre leisure cat built out of Exmouth for marlin fishing.

He still works a few days a week as a fitter and turner but hopes one day he can run his boating business full-time.

"We knew that running day trips would take a while to build up the customer base to do it full-time,” Tim said.

Eventually, he would also like to have bigger boats and be able to do longer trips.

In the meantime, he is kept somewhat busy, despite the weather.

Along with the cruises, Tim also offers freediving courses and training.

Freediving is a form of underwater diving that relies on breath-holding until resurfacing rather than the use of breathing apparatus such as scuba gear.

Tim has done six courses so far this year, most of the clients being spearfishermen looking to improve their depth and bomb times.

Tim can freedive for one to two minutes and enjoys going anywhere there is reef.

Outer Rock, east of North Keppel Island is his favourite place to go.

He was once even chased by a shark, but the most interesting thing he has seen is an anchor that would have been 80-90 years old as the coral was completely embedded around it and grown over.

Now that it is coming into winter, Tim has his fingers crossed the weather will stay calm.

"Summer is always hit and miss with cyclones, but winter is usually the charter season where it really ramps up,” he said.

Tim Price, Double Threat Charters, with a whopper red emperor he reeled in.
Tim Price, Double Threat Charters, with a whopper red emperor he reeled in. Contributed

DOUBLE THREAT CHARTERS

  • Freedive courses/training, cruises and fishing
  • Phone 0447 210 099
  • info@doublethreatchartersyeppoon.com.au


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