A gun fisho uses this cool tournament-style boat for a whole lot more than chasing bream as David Green reports.
THIS relatively new boat is owned by Roderick Walmsley, one of the keenest anglers I have ever met. Roderick lives and breathes fishing and has a very diverse background of fishing skills. He moved to Australia from South Africa a few years ago and has caught everything from big marlin to largemouth bass and has spent a fair bit of time working as a commercial fisherman in South Africa, running a large squid fishing boat for quite a few seasons.
This boat is one of the most multi-functional fishing boats on the market. Roderick is a very serious competition angler and has fished in many bream tournaments in Queensland and NSW. He also likes to do a lot of offshore fishing, with a particular interest in deep jigging for kings and fishing soft plastics for snapper. He needed a boat that would cover all of these roles, and the Lewis Typhoon definitely does that.
Based at Tweed heads, Roderick has some great fishing on his doorstep, and he needed a boat that was just as comfortable fishing under electric power casting for bream around the oyster racks as it was going out to the Nine Mile Reef to chase wahoo, snapper and mulloway.
Fast & dry
The Lewis Typhoon is a very handsome looking vessel, with clean lines and a very solid hull. With a beam of 2.29m and LOA of 5m it is plenty of boat to carry the 150hp Suzuki that pushes it along to a maximum speed of over 48 knots (90kph). The ride and dryness of this boat are very impressive indeed. On the test day the wind was a solid 30-knot southeasterly and while I was getting flogged in my small tinny taking a few pics, Roderick’s hull ate up the heavy chop with hardly a bump around the Jumpinpin bar. Lewis is a very well known boat builder with a main interest in building some of the finest production ski boats in the country, and it’s great to see the same fantastic finish in a fishing boat design.
Roderick commissioned the boat last year and has had it on the water for a few months now. Already he has caught big threadfin in the Brisbane River and some ripper snapper and jewies just off the Tweed from his Lewis Typhoon. This is a very well thought-out boat with plenty of storage and great fishability. Powered by a long shaft 150hp Suzuki four-stroke the rig has excellent top end speed yet at the same time idles and trolls very slowly. The motor is currently running a 23-inch Suzuki prop and revs out at approximately 6000rpm. The rig has been modified from the standard Typhoon in that it has a fuel capacity of 140 litres, whereas the standard hull has a capacity of 100 litres. Talking to Roderick he feels the extra fuel isn’t probably needed as the Suzuki uses very little juice. The extra range however gives him the ability to fish a few days in remote places without the need to carry fuel in jerry cans.
Fishing set-up & layout
A big black 24-volt Minn-Kota is mounted on the Lewis’s bow. Roderick’s favourite type of fishing is lure casting and the electric gets a lot of use both offshore and up in the Tweed River. Two 140-amp hour batteries are mounted forward to run the electrics, and a single cranking battery is mounted in the stern. The electric has sufficient power to work into heavy current, which is important when fishing strong tidal flow around the mouth of the Tweed River.
The console holds the instrumentation and GPS aerial and the two padded seats are mounted in a recess behind this. There is a large front and rear casting platform and the boat has stacks of underfloor storage with strong hatches. Two heavy stainless steel rod holders are mounted on the rear hand-holds. A full-length rod locker is on the port side of the console to keep rods out of the way and protected. Roderick has a huge collection of lures and there are plenty of dry compartments in which to store his extensive number of lure trays.
The boat runs a pair of Humminbird sounders, including a 797 Side Imaging unit and a smaller combined sounder/GPS mounted forward so it can be easily seen while operating the electric motor. Roderick is very happy with both of these units. Instrumentation on the console is easy to see from any angle and there is easy open access around the starboard side of the console to the forward casting deck.
The rig is mounted on a single axle Ezi-Tow trailer that has lived up to its name. This is a rig easily towed by a standard 2WD six-cylinder vehicle and the trailer makes it very easy to launch and retrieve.
Roderick’s ideal rig
The Lewis Typhoon as kitted up by Roderick is an extremely impressive rig. There are a lot of anglers who want to be able to fish competitively in fishing competitions but also like to get out to sea chasing bigger beasts. This boat is a very good example of a well designed vessel with excellent rough water performance and offshore capability, yet at the same time is perfect for working the quiet flats of an estuary. With a transom height of 50cm the boat provides the perfect compromise between a dry hull, rough water performance and not too much windage.
Roderick has some fantastic fishing close to his home, and as he is working flat out six days a week and more in his restaurant, the windows of opportunity to get out and catch a few are often limited to a few hours here and there. With this fast hull he can duck outside, catch a few big snapper on plastics and be back home and washed up by 9am. Such is the beauty of living on the Tweed. The downside of the Tweed River is the bar entrance, but Roderick is very happy with the performance of his boat when crossing through this passage; once outside he can be fishing good reef in five minutes in a good sea. The high top end speed gives him the option to get back home quickly and increases his fishing time on the water.
This is a great fishing boat and the owner is clearly very happy with it; his only negative comment referred to getting its carpet a bit wet in rough offshore conditions! Overall, its great rough water performance, fuel economy and versatility make this rig one that should definitely be scrutinised by anglers wanting an extremely versatile boat that does both estuary and offshore work with little compromise between the two.