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Bugatti Reef GT Fishing with Topwater Sportfishing #Superkast

Ebb Tide Tackle heads off to Bugatti Reef with Topwater Sportfishing. Check out the epic times that were had by all!

With fishing travel limited in recent times due to domestic and international Covid lockdowns, the chance to get back to the Great Barrier Reef for some serious topwater sportfishing action as soon as possible was a sure thing!

Fellow topwater tragics Aaron and Daniel jumped on and away we went, with Capt Jason Legg from Topwater Sportfishing and crew Mick for a liveaboard trip exploring the iconic GT mecca of Bugatti Reef and surrounds.

Flying into Hamilton Island, the crew had the vessel ‘Kiama’ awaiting us, a 46ft flybridge fully equipped for long range fishing and ideal for everything from topwater casting to jigging and trolling with loads of space for up to 4 anglers, plus crew. Tales of the previous trip
had us eager and itching to get amongst it! Check out the trip run down, gear guide and a load of images below!

Topwater Sportfishing Kiama
Kiama, an epic vessel!

Topwater GT Action!

GT action across the trip was consistent and there was plenty of topwater action, thanks to the efforts of Capt Jason! The level of planning and behind the scenes effort the team at Topwater Sportfishing put into these trips is amazing, purely so us anglers are right there, in the prime location, on the best bait holding reefs where GTs hunt at the ideal tide stages and we get to experience insane fishing!

Big tides with a full moon delivered plenty of time across the days for GT casting, at the expense of lagoon and flats fishing. After being locked in Victoria, we were more than happy to maximise the opportunity! Aaron kicked us off swiftly with a solid Gee from a reef edge and late in the day, Daniel and Andy kicked in with a double GT hookup on the ever faithful Angry Panda Hanzo 120 Yumi (Fusilier) and Orion GTX170.

Topwater GT
Aaron straight into the GT action


Fittingly, the first day at sea finished with the iconic Heru GT Mania 130g GT Popper delivering the goods (previously known as Bugatti Special by Nomad Sportfishing during their time in the area).

Morning glory

As a topwater fisho, you dream of awaking to schools of Fusiliers nervously rippling the surface within a cast of your anchorage and when it happens, the boys cash in! We even managed to get the skipper to have one cast, and that was even before his morning coffee! Multiple GTs to us before we were up and away, a great start to open the weary eyes.
Capt Jason Legg Topwater Sportfishing
The Skipper with an anchorage GT on Amegari Standa 195
After a short run and utilising his extensive knowledge of the area, Jason had us dropping jigs on likely looking grounds for reds, midway between reef edges and Aaron delivered an absolute monster Gold Spot Cod. Some drag burning trevally species for us all and off we headed, in search of the target GTs we all love.
Jigging Trevally
Trevs on jig
Catch Fishing The Boss jig
Catch The Boss jig, a must have!
The afternoon delivered some quality tidal flows and a slow midday window soon turned into pack attacks of GTs, peeling heavy drags and buckling Howk rods. The newly revised edition of the Howk Bullfighter 200 proving itself as a great allround option for both GT and trophy tuna anglers. The pattern on reef edges remained for the trip, with fusi schools on reef edges and numbers of GTs close by, more than willing to jump onto a well presented popper or stickbait. There was a healthy dose of Mackerel along the edges waiting to ambush you at any chance also.
Giant Trevally Ebb Tide Tackle
Midday Gees, love the tide flow!
If awaking to Fusiliers and GTs isn’t your thing (really, it’s everyone’s thing!), then tuna mowing down bait schools may just be it! Daniel soon had his first longtail, with huge numbers of these topwater speedsters destroying bait schools within close proximity to reefs and providing loads of fun on PE3.
Longtail Tuna Topwater Sportfishing
Daniel with his first Longtail tuna


Taking a range of outfits on these long range trips is a must to maximise the entire opportunity an operation like Topwater Sportfishing provides.

Prime tidal flow stages delivered every day, a recipe of delicious current, Fusiliers pushed against reefs and with a #Superkast deep into the reef edge, often resulted in multiple GTs eager to climb onto lures!

GT Double hookups
GT Double Hookups!
Both stickbaits and poppers worked well, with the Blaze Saththa Popper getting treated like a chew toy by both GTs and vertical airborne Spanish Mackerel. The Jack Fin Argo 240 raising plenty until a beast peeled over top of a reef bombie deciding to take it back home.
Blaze Saththa GT Popper
Blaze Saththa GT Popper proved a hit!

Unfortunately the same fate was bestowed to the OG, Heru Skipjack 120, one lure that every GT angler needs in the lure roll. It made it through to the final day, however one lit up Gee headed back through a bombie after getting the early advantage on Andy. You don’t always win every battle.

Heru Skipjack Giant Trevally GT
Another pre coffee GT awakening at Anchorage


The sheer area of reef systems to explore on the Great Barrier Reef can deliver a huge range of opportunities, with plenty of activity in between these systems as well! More often than not, Jason and Mick made sure there was a lure or two (and teasers) in the spread for a mackerel, sailfish, tuna or other pelagic hunting the open areas.

While late in the season to be so far north, we were stoked to cross paths with a pocket rocket Black Marlin that put on a great aerial show on hookup and the gun skipper Jason channelled his heavy tackle skipper skills, with the twin 800hp diesels in reverse, the little beakie was soon boatside for a fast release after a pic.

Black marlin Topwater Sportfishing
Black marlin release


Gear Guide

We used a huge suite of gear on the trip, but there were consistent producers across the entire time with Topwater Sportfishing aboard Kiama. Here’s a list of the gear we found best success with during our time with the legends at Topwater Sportfishing.

Outfits (all available online)

GT POPPING: Howk Big Blue (18k sized reel), PE8 Tasline, 170 to 200lb YGK Leader
GT STICKBAIT/ALLROUNDER: Howk Bullfighter 200 (14k sized Reel), PE8 YGK Castman, 170lb YGK Leader
LIGHT GT ALLROUNDER: Howk Bullfighter 170 (14k sized Reel), PE6 YGK Castman or Tasline, 150lb Fisherman Leader
LIGHT TACKLE: Howk Little Tunny 76 (6k sized Reel), PE3 YGK Castman, 100lb YGK Leader
JIGGING: Howk Hot Spot 300, Catch Fishing JGX3000 reel, PE4 YGK Jigman, 100lb YGK Leader

Poppers (click the link to view them)

Blaze Saththa 90, 120, 150g: CLICK HERE
Heru GT Mania 100, 130g: CLICK HERE
Heru Skipjack 120, 150g: CLICK HERE
Heru Cubera 125g: CLICK HERE
Amegari Standa 195: CLICK HERE
Amegari Urpekari 190, 220: CLICK HERE
Reefs Edge 130: CLICK HERE

Stickbaits (click the link to view them)

Angry Panda Hanzo 120: CLICK HERE
Jack Fin Argo 240: CLICK HERE
Jack Fin Pelagus 165-S: CLICK HERE
Heru Wahoo: CLICK HERE
Angry Panda Hanzo 40: CLICK HERE
Amegari Flavie (S&P Series) 110: CLICK HERE

Jigs (click the link to view them)

Catch The Boss 80, 100g: CLICK HERE
Sea Falcon Z Slow Jig 90, 120g: CLICK HERE
Catch Black Label Livies 7″ Jerkshad: CLICK HERE
Atomic Seekerz XOS 1oz Jighead: CLICK HERE
Many fishing operators have been doing it tough across the world and supporting these guys in our industry allows us to experience world class fishing on our doorstep! Plus, planes are pretty much empty too so getting to your destination is easy (and cheap)! Jason and the team at Topwater Sportfishing are a world class operation, delivering next level meals and snacks, coffee and hospitality that is purely A grade. If you are considering a trip, topwater, bluewater, flats or other areas, check out their website
The guys also have a huge Instagram page @topwater_sportfishing_charters
Heru Wahoo GT Fishing Ebb Tide Tackle


Catch Fishing 7" Jerkshad


Coral Trout on sea Falcon Jig
Sea Falcon Jig, dinner!


GT Coral Trout Double Topwater Sportfishing
Everyone loves a photo bomb!
Flats Red Bass Topwater Sportfishing Angry Panda Hanzo
Brute Red Bass!
Gourmet Food platter Topwater Sportfishing
You never go hungry aboard!


GT Double catch


PE3 GT Howk Little Tunny
PE3 GT, classy driving from the skipper!


Topwater Sportfishing meals
Eating like kings!


We know we’ll definitely be back, and remember to #superkast like you own it!
Keep an eye on our socials for loads more action from the trip!
(Images Ebb Tide Tackle, Topwater Sportfishing, Michael Lang)

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