I truly enjoyed the fine food and service provided by your staff and you during my week on your ship. The offshore fly fishing for pelagic species was an entirely new and exciting experience for me, and it was the highlight of my trip. I am especially grateful for the your gift of the gyotaku tarpon print and your tutorial on making such images. The print will fit in nicely among other fish depictions on the walls of my home. And the print making will be passed on to my grand daughters for the fish they catch in our farm ponds.
Best wishes for good fishing and future prosperity,
Tail end excerpt from a long email to a lot of followers copied to us from Harry Robertson of Hanover fly USA detailing his partys trip to join us…….Courteous friendly cairns airport staff and away we went. All the stuffing putting the fear into us about overweight was unrealistic, I realize that has to do with whom you deal on a given day... arrival after the restful and pleasant peek at the GBR for two hours and a timely efficient arrival and loading for the trip to our ship. He fit so well into the program I though Greg Bethune was a luggage handler...more about this Prince of a man later.
Ah, there she rocking at the pier...a general quietness as well all had misgivings about the ships size...boats can fool you when well designed as this one was. We were assigned quarters and told about the safety measures, met the crew and our mother hen, Naomi, and settled in for the voyage as planned. Gene and I are portly and I am being careful with the wording here. We could enter and use our stateroom one at a time or shoulder to shoulder but never pass each other without first alerting the coastguard in case the hull split.
The low point and high point of the trip were at dining tables. (apparently some upset at a Cairns restaurant explained in un related text earlier in this document .Greg) This will be my most long report and will have follow ups but Judd the chef was a five star find...what he wrought from the small well designed galley. He walked about with jumper cable combed(?) hair with a razor wit and ever-present smile. Then seemingly undaunted by the numbers he must satisfy, put on a dew-rag or do-rag (spelling?) from the survivor program on TV and orchestrate award winning dishes. Greg said he was the best he had ever had and he will be very,very hard if not impossible to replace. This takes an enormous weight off the Capt. when the weather frigs around or the fishing is so so.
The fishing was at about 60 % of what GB expected...lots of Tuna was our call but he said there should be more...the big surprise...Queenies. Took the pressure off the lack of Permit for the most part along with the GTs as you suggested. We saw them occasionally ripping by as is their way. To my knowledge none were cast to. Over fifteen species caught, and yes, I got my Barra and some Queens that were worthy of pictures and all my individuals in the group were all well satisfied.
I have been asked to write an article with details about the fishing for Paul Squires' club and will copy you on that at some point.
Now Greg Bethune aka Cap' Skippy, Rugged movie star good looks, absolutely in charge at all times. Clean well run program well thought through details...a professional in all ways. When we first met upon arrival, loading the gear then casting off I found him a bit aloof and not approachable. Not at all a fair assessment. Always there when needed, can tell a joke with few peers....answered the ubiquitous tour questions pleasantly and complied with almost any detail of a request. I would join him anywhere...anytime. We talked about a rather on the edge adventure to you know where and we will see to details and cost and be in touch... I will appraise you.
This report done in all candor will only be sent to a few...general stuff to individuals I will copy as I see interest. Ken Korth,
Thanks team, very well done in all respects.
Harry aka El Gitano
Greg, David and Peter
I've just been going through the photos of the trip and wanted to thank you all for making it so enjoyable.
Many of the photos are truly outstanding and capture the memories.
I've also realized just how remote the locations were: Google maps doesn't even have names for some of the rivers we moored at!
just a short message to let you know that we had a long but safe trip home !
Thank you very much for the great week we had with you guys, we'll definitly come back maybe next year on a great barrier reef trip this time !!! And I hope I'll send you some crazy french men as clients in the future.
We keep in touch for all,
GDAY I ARRIVED IN ABERDEEN WEDNESDAY MORNING 3DEGREE AND SNOW.
WOULD JUST LIKE TO SAY THANKS TO YOU AND YOUR CREW FOR MAKING OUR TRIP
TO THE REEF VERY ENJOYABLE. LOOK FORWARD TO 2012. GOT MY ROD REPLACED NO PROBLEM,
ONCE AGAIN MY THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR ANOTHER MAGNIFICENT TRIP
VERY BEST REGARDS
Our group had the most awesome fishing trip with you.
From booking, to flights, to get on board, everything was running like a fine tuned Swiss clock!!
Tropic Paradise left a most wonderful memory with us.
We all had a most exciting and fabulous fishing experience. Catching such a diversity of different species; to be part of a most pristine marine ecosystem is unforgettable and like a dream.
The delicious food served was a daily feast. Thank you Naomi, you outdid yourself!!
We all loved your great hospitality and your lovely smile.
Because of you Greg, each one of us never felt any pressure or discomfort; your total operation
each day from morning to night is a great credit to you. You made this happen, you made all
of us happy. Best fishing vacation ever - we'll do this again on the Great Barrier Reef with YOU.
To you our very best wishes; the same to the crew.
0n the next full moon remember us - we were with you on the last one.
Have a splendid day.
Trevor Costa from Environment (SEWPaC) asked that I pass on to you, and
I quote "their appreciation for a job well done and for the generation
of such a clear and concise report". Hopefully no more nets.......
Manager - Foreign Compliance Operations Torres Strait
Australian Fisheries Management Authority
Thursday Island QLD
7th April 2008
From the first e-mail contact, through booking, hotel arrangements,
travel provision and pick up prior to boarding the excellent Tropic
Paradise, Greg’s operation was characterized by a smooth, friendly
efficiency seldom encountered in an increasingly impersonal world. Once
aboard it became obvious that this philosophy continued into the actual
fishing operation, with great food and living quarters and a warm welcome
extended to both myself and my (non-fishing) wife. The fishing itself
was nothing short of spectacular --- there is no hype attached to the
claims made about it --- and it was enhanced by expert, patient and
knowledgeable guides who bent over backwards to ensure that above all
their 'guests' had FUN. I cannot recommend Carpentaria Seafaris highly
enough. If you want fishing at its best --- go.
Bill and Isobel Macdonald, Aberdeen Scotland
To Greg and the Seafaris crew on the superb "Tropic Paradise", that
was a fantastic week. There's not another mother shipping operation in the country that comes close to what you guys are doing, ESPECIALLY
from the perspective of a fly fisherman. From the SUPERB meals, the fishing boats, the guides, and Alison's endless smiles, it was just
brilliant. See you next year and every year after that!! Peter Morse
"This is my favourite trip on the planet... for me, it just doesn't get any better!" —
Steve Starling, Fishing Writer & TV Presenter
Australia's Gulf of Carpentaria offers profound
angling opportunities for both light tackle and fly anglers. The area is remote, pristine and loaded with exciting game fish; and booking a trip
with Greg Bethune's Carpentaria Seafaris aboard the Mother Ship, Tropic Paradise is the only way to go in my experience. In all my years as a
fishing writer, traveling to angling Mecca's world-wide, nothing has yet topped my trips with Carpentaria Seafaris, from action to service – the
boat, the crew, the concept are hands down, the best on the planet! -
Dan Blanton, Editor-at-Large Fly Fishing in Salt Waters Magazine; Fly Fisherman Magazine; publisher/host of
www.danblanton.com – Fly Fishing – Panfish to Billfish
"Unbelievable", "ridiculous", "this is fly
fishing heaven", "surely it cant get any better than this" are just some of the things you will find yourself saying as you experience the
awesome fishing of this remote location. The diversity of bluewater, flats and river fishing in a single day combined with superb mothership
accommodation, food and service provides an unsurpassed experience that has me coming back year after year.
Mike 'Felty' Felton
10th May 2006
Hi Greg, Phil, George, Bubbles, Brian, Alli & Al,
Just wanted to drop you all a line to say thanks for the most amazing
holiday experience of our lives. Extreme fishing in every sense of
the word....sharks, crocs, cyclones, fish everywhere, exploding rods,
awesome scenery, incredible food (including the best cheesecake I've
ever eaten and I've eaten some good ones), laughs, excitement. The
fishing was pretty good too!!
A particular thankyou to George and Peter for always finding
something new and exciting around every corner. Also a big thankyou
to Al for some great flyfishing advice for an 'agricultural'
flyfisher more used to trout and 4 weight rods, even though he was
off-duty. 6 days of fishing... around 120 fish between Sharyn and I.... 28
different species. The next trick is to slot another trip into a schedule that includes
a promise of Disneyland to the kids!!
Many, many thanks and may your amazing jewel of Cape York long remain
hidden and unspoiled. Cheers, Tony
PS. As part of Phil's I.T. training, look up Google Earth on the
internet if you haven't done so already....you'll get an amazing view
of where you work.
Just want to say that I had an awesome trip the other week with Pat and the Compleat Angler Crew. Everything about
the trip was unreal. Not only the fishing, but the food, the boats, the crew, the location... everything. We caught
more than I ever imagined and it exceeded my expectations by so much.
I showed the video and photos to some mates last weekend and one of the guys dads has booked a trip with you and is
coming up in a few weeks. He couldn't believe that the fishing was that good. I've been checking out the website
thinking about the barrier reef trip and have decided that I have to be there for it. The fishing looks ever better
than the west coast. Pat tells me there are still places left and said that they've all booked and will pay at this
season's price. If I book and send my deposit this week, can I still get on at this seasons price too?
Thanks mate, I look forward to hearing from you.
Just a quick note to say how much we enjoyed the trip. Your team where the best combination of professional and
friendly with Johns cooking lifting the trip from excellent to amazing.
You sell the trip as the best weeks fishing on the planet and it is hard to disagree. I suspect we may have to come
back as we have now been spoilt for the rest of the world.
Danny and Ben Broughton
Dear Greg and crew of the Tropical Paradise,
Just wanted to let you all know that we made it home to Germany safely.
We are still trying to get back to our normal routine which of course is somewhat hard after
such a wonderful experience. As I said this is definitely the best and most exciting trip I have
done so far and I am sure we'll see you back on board of the Tropical Paradise again for a return trip.
As to Géza pics look great and we have enough good material for two articles. Should you need any pics
for your website please let me know and I'll forward you a PDF with a selection of the pics. you could
choose the ones you need then and I'll email them to you asap.
May we also express our thanks to your excellent crew which added to the success of this trip no end.
Jade did an excellent job with the food, Phil and Jaryd were some of the best guides and guys I have
ever fished with (went to great lengths to ensure we caught some fish with our modest skills; not
often that a guide drives you with enthusiasm to a tarpon hole after a 11 hour day... says a lot
about their attitude!!) and it was a joy to see the enthusiasm Nina has for fishing and living her dream.
Hope you'll be able to put up with more Germans in the future.
All the best, thanks a lot and see you all!!
Marcus and Géza
Dear Greg, Jenny and crew
Thank you so much for the wonderful trip again this year, Each year seems to get better than the last.
You all put in so much hard work for us guests and it is very much appreciated. Thank you all once
again for putting up with this old pommey and his lousy sense of humor. See you next year.
I wanted to thank you before too much time went by for the week out east in the GBR. As Stephane would say ... “was wonderful, wonderful”
Not only was the fishing great, the food superb and the organisation faultless, but the company of both the staff and the other guests
was truly outstanding.
I really had a terrific time and would not hesitate in re-booking. If you are considering the trip with Stephane in March ’06 out
to Ashmore etc.. I would be more than happy to be a part of it.
Please keep me informed and let me know what you need from me regarding deposits, commitments etc... Please thank and pass on my warmest
regards to John, Gary and the lads.
All the best,
8th December 2004
Dear Greg, Jen,& Crew......
Finally back in the states and back HOME in Oregon Slammin Salmon !! After have having FISHED (2) OUTSTANDING
trips with you this past May of 2004....I have been BLESSED, and have fished for 40 years as a GUIDE and OUTFITTER
on 5 continents and many islands around the globe.. Your Carpentaria SEAFARIS trip is absolutely FIRST CLASS !! From
Outstanding FOOD to Oustanding FISHING, you and the crew are true professionals, and I would recommend this trip as
high as they come (perfect10).
22nd September 2004
The memory of our wanderful holiday with you on Tropic Paradise is so alive! It looks like it
will never ever fade away. I and my son (Fabio Elia, 14 years old) were expecting a lot from this
fly-fishing holiday, more than 48 hours trip away from Italy. We have been fly-fishing in salt waters
in countries like Belize, Mexico, Cuba and Seychelles - and fresh waters in many other countries like
Argentina, Kola Peninsula, Mongolia and several European places - but we were spoiled by this experience!
How could we imagine that we were going to catch Queenfishes in the early morning, three different kind
of Tunas in the late morning, Permits at noon, Queenfishes, Giant Herrings, Mangrove Jacks and Barramundies
in the afternoon, and Tarpons in the evening!!! All in one single day! How do you call this? An Indo-Pacific
Grand Grand Grand Slam? How could I expect tha Grazia (my wife) and Gaia Camilla (our 11 years old daughter),
without even trying to catch a single fish in their life before, were having a lot of fun fishing in your
beatiful rivers, sight seeing, bird and wild-life watching, feeding the huge cods and sharks under the boat,
shell collecting on the endless beaches, tasting the beauty of nature at sunset and walking with you in the
bush, eating at the wanderful dinner tables set by cook Adam (oh yes this Adam fits well in your Tropic
Paradise! Don't let him be tempeted by any Eve!)! Now we all feel as if we have reached the top and from
now on it will all be a descent. I think this holiday should not become a term of comparison otherwise every
other experience will be inevitably impoverished. It must and deserve to stand as THE unique fly-fishing
week everyone can expect. We hope you and your government will be able to preserve the immense beauty of
this pristine natural environment, we hope all the fishermen and visitors will understand that a place like
this must be handled with extreme care and much love so that our actions will damage it as little as
possible preserving it for the future. I and Fabio Elia say special thanks to Philip and Indo-pacific
Permits; Grazia and Gaia Camilla say special thanks to Emily and her great company. We all say special
thanks to you, Adam and your staff. Let us dream about joining you again in the next future.
Tanti carissimi baci Claudio, Grazia, Gaia Camilla, Fabio Elia Your italian friends.
Fishing Trip #417 August 18 - August 25 2004
Dear Greg, Jenny, Phil, Zatch and Emily
25th November 2002
Thank you for a truly memorable holiday - the more I think about it the
better it gets.
Dreamt all last night catching fish from the back deck of Tropic Paradise
(which I never did) It really was a weird sensation as the end of the
bed was the deck and the window past it was the water. And the fish just
kept coming - it felt very real and I woke up exhausted.
Thinking about highlights for me. The morning off the river catching
the bludger trevally followed by barra off the beach, huge crocs in the
sea, beautiful flocks of birds, sunsets and others too numerous to
Enjoy your well earned rest
28th September 2002Greg - just wanted to drop a note to say thanks so much for a wonderful trip.
Lori and I agreed that this was the "trip of our lives" - it would have been near impossible for
us to have any better of a time. You and your team (Jenny, Emily, Zach and Phil) were tremendous
hosts, and The Tropic Paradise was beyond our expectations for function and comfort - we were both
amazed that 17 people could be on a boat that size for a week and never feel cramped or crowded.
The fishing, of course, was unlike anything we've previously experienced - I think we accounted
for upwards of 20 species between the two of us. More impressive in my mind, though, was the operation
itself. Your experience in running these live-aboard trips really shows in the details - it's clear
that you have spent a lot of time thinking through how to make this a trip full of lasting memories
for your clients. The food (The Food!), the videos that are carefully shot to capture the experience,
the impression-print you made for Lori of her Tarpon - all exclamation points on a truly unique and
first-rate fishing experience! Thanks again, and please pass on our regards to the crew - we will be back!
Chicago, IL USA
Have a look at what one happy customer put up on
his personal site.
"It's the fishing trip you will never forget"
29th May 2002Good morning Joseph.
We just loved our trip on the wonderful Tropic Paradise. For us
Kiwis it offered opportunities that are not available in our part
of the world and your team certainly provided the experience in
style. The whole package gave us everything we could have wanted
on a fishing holiday(or any holiday in terms of comfort and good
food)Greg Jenny and Zatch were great hosts. Our friends have been
very impressed with the look of the vessel (took lots of photos
of the TP as well as the fish)and the style of fishing ...having
the use of the dinghy to go off and do your own thing with or with
out a guide in the river or outside in the ocean. Clint was thrilled with the opportunity to catch Tuna and Saratoga
on the fly. In fact he had a ball with his fly rod and got to catch
something on every piece of equipment we had taken I just loved
the fishing too but the most important thing for me was not being
seasick so I could enjoy every minute of the trip. Now I know we
have to be in Astralia in June 2003 do you have a trip running 21/05/03
to 28/05/03. Can you let us Know about availability "Take me
to Tropic Paradise" Thanks for your part in making the whole
operation work. We look forward to hearing from your again.
Cheers Brenda & Clint
18 December 2001Dear Greg and Jenny,
The time spent on your terrific boat was simply unforgettable.
It was the most exciting fishing experience I've ever had. Each
day was filled with great adventure and astonishing scenery. You
truly live and work in one of the most beautiful regions on earth.
Much is said about the fantastic fishery that you are able to access
for your clients and rightfully so. The fishing is magnificent.
But is was your super efforts that made my trip so special. Both
of you helped me feel so welcome. I really appreciate the opportunity
to have met both of you and anxiously await the next trip with Carpenteria
10 August 2001Greetings Greg and Jennie from old John. Firstly,
thanks to you both for topping up my memory bank with a heap of
beautiful memories for me to re-live in the years ahead. As an 83
year old geriatric with a wonky knee I owe you a special debt. A
concern that I could be a burden to you and others on board troubled
me at the outset but, if you ever felt that, it never showed. Nevertheless,
I was aware and very much appreciated the extra attention I received
now and then, like Jennie's concern that I should protect my crook
knee when climbing over the ship's rail and down onto the fishing
I congratulate you both on the splendid enterprise you've built.
The organization impressed me greatly -- no fuss, no pressure ;
everything one could hope for just happened perfectly, as though
it wasn't organized at all. The fishing, one could only have dreamed
about. Then there was the pleasure of bonding for a week with a
small group of very nice people in the appealing atmosphere of isolation
from the rest of he world And the food... that was a real surprise.
I didn't have any expectations about it, only that we would be well
fed. The reality was that it was some of the best food I've ever
eaten. The wonderful taste of Lobster Lasagne, the sushimi and the
image of a table piled high with an endless supply of perfectly
prepared mud crabs will stay with me forever.
I hope your future plans for Seafaris are fully realized and I
wish you both good health and happiness in the years ahead. Once
again, thanks for a great trip -- for me, the experience of a lifetime.
13 July 2001
Dear Greg and Jenny,It is difficult to reduce to writing the experience we had on our
recent trip on the Capricorn Mist.I have fished most of my life, have my own boat and have been lucky
enough to travel far and wide in the pursuit of all manner of piscatorial
quarry.Prior to our trip with you, I expected a lot, both from my reading
of the Cape York area and reviews of your operation in particular.
Quite simply, the reality far exceeded all expectations at all levels.
Statistics tell only part of the story - over 40 different species
of fish between 4 of us with most of us catching well over 30 different
species each. We lost count of the number of fish caught before
noon on the first day! But it was the quality and diversity of the
fishing that is the real story. Catching longtail tuna, huge trevally,
monster queenfish and mackerel in the morning, coral trout, red
emperor and fingermark at midday, barramundi, mangrove jack and
tarpon in the early afternoon and into the freshwater for saratoga
in the late afternoon. All on either a 6kg baitcasting rig or 2kg
spin rig and all on lures or flies!The breakfasts, lunches and dinners were unbelievable - the quality
of the food and cooking was first class and completely unexpected.
Fresh crayfish lasagne, just caught spanish mackerel and large mouth
nannigai, homemade sushi rolls, rib eye steak and the best meal
I've ever had in my life - Greg's chilli mud crab claws (all 40
of them!)But it was not just the fishing nor the food that made it so special.
Your hospitality, friendship and operational prowess. The 300 1b
cod living under the boat. The sunrises and sunsets. The beautiful
estuary and river systems. The comfort and functionality of the
Capricorn Mist. The crocodiles, sea eagles, dolphins and wild boar.
The stars at night - I could go on forever.Highlights - there were many and each day brought a new adventure.
But, for me was the longtail tuna on 2kg, the saratoga, the sightfishing
for permit (one of which my brother caught on the first day!), the
fact I could use 6kg or less the whole trip (and the wonderful bruises
and aches associated with doing that for 8 days), the extraordinary
fighting qualities of every fish, large and small, your excellent
company and, of course, the mud crab mayhem!Really it was not a fishing trip, it was a five star adventure
of a lifetime and an experience that will live with me for the rest
of my days.Thank you.I unreservedly recommend this trip to anyone, whether an experienced
or inexperienced angler, whether male or female and of whatever
"I've been fortunate enough to fish some of the world's finest
waters. I've caught Atlantic salmon on Russia's Kola Peninsula,
steelhead in British Columbia, bonefish at Christmas Island and
giant bluefin tuna off Nova Scotia. Yet there's one destination
- and one charter operation - I return to year after year without
fail. That place is the north western coastline of Australia's remote
Cape York wilderness, and the operation is Greg and Jennie Bethune's
As far as I'm concerned, there is no
better nor more consistent sport fishing to be found on this planet!"
Steve Starling, Fishing Writer & TV Presenter
"Excellent fishing and great company, the best trip I've been
Jim Harnwell, Editor Fishing World Magazine
"The best weeks fishing in tropical Australia"
Jim Allen, Owner of The Complete Angler chain
"Best value, best quality fishing trip in the world, I'll be
back next year, for the ninth time "
Sydney businessman & world traveling angler Ernie Allen
"We have filmed over 30 stories in the last 5 years. Greg and
Jennie's professional, first class operation is second to none.
The fishing is fantastic and we never leave empty handed, we will
keep coming back"
Dickinson, Producer Rex Hunt Fishing Adventures.
"An unbelievable experience! The diversity and quality of the
fly fishing in these unspoilt waters has to be seen to be believed.
Every day produced big fish and memorable moments. Greg and Jenny
run a great operation and worked exceptionally hard to make our
week aboard "Capricorn Mist" the success that it was."
Mike Felton, Felty's fly's and reels
The Angling Report
9300 S. Dadeland Blvd.
Miami, FL 33156-2721Gentlemen:I have just returned from probably the most incredible fishing
trip that is available in the world. The trip is on a 40 foot Troller
with a flying bridge, which can comfortably accommodate six anglers,
the captain and his wife or a total of 8 people. Minorly cramped,
but certainly doable.I have fished around the world and this is, by far, the best fishing
that I have ever experienced or that anyone will ever experience.The variety of places to fish, the variety of fish, the ability
to fish out of the wind, because you are on the west side of the
Bay of Carpentaria where the prevailing wind is from the east and
therefore you are protected, makes every day marvelously fun.Without reservation, without hesitation, I would recommend this
trip to anyone who is willing to do the two days of flying to get
to a virgin part of the world, which is still undiscovered.If I can supply other information, please do not hesitate but to
let me know. I am also aware that of the 19 weeks that Seafaris
charters for next year, seven or eight are already booked.Warmest regards,
David B. Heller
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