HOMEGROWN HERO: MV Mikat to set sail again
A HOMEGROWN fishing charter with an expansive travel CV will begin to entertain guests again soon, according to the vessel's experienced skipper.
Kenneth 'Kenny' Smith, 64, has been associated with the MV Mikat, a 20-metre, three-storey catamaran, for 16 years, and skippered her for 12.
Mr Smith said the Mikat's primary function was as a charter boat, with room for up to 14 guests who possess a serious passion for fishing.
"In years gone by it used to go to Hervey Bay every year for three months to do whale watching," Mr Smith said.
"But now we are just dedicated to charter fishing mainly."
Mr Smith said the COVID-19 pandemic had completely shut down fishing charters in the region, with about 80 per cent of their customers coming from outside of Queensland.
"The reopening of interstate travel should help business to pick back up again," he said.
"We have a few booked charters coming up, one being a small group from the Gladstone area tourism board around the islands.
"Hopefully we are able to see a resumption to our regular schedule once the borders open up in late July."
Having been built in an engineering shed on Red Rover Rd in 1993, the Mikat is approaching its 30s but Mr Smith said it got better with age.
"We are a little different to the other fishing charters in Gladstone," he said.
"We fish off the main boat most of the time and this is powerful enough to chase fish in the deeper water.
"Given that she's got over 1500 horsepower, it allows us to fish for higher quality, primarily out near Swain's Reef, and we are pretty good at it."
To book a seven-day fishing charter aboard the MV Mikat, contact Michael Beale on 0427 125 727 or visit www.mikat.com.au.