ME AND MY BOAT: Versatile family fisher
THE versatility of the Quintrex 510 Frontier gives owner Luke Houweling a variety of options for hitting the water.
The 5.1m boat with Apex hull provides a smooth ride.
“The good thing about this boat is it’s small enough I can take the kids fishing for flathead and whiting, but on a good day when it’s glassy I can go out bluewater fishing or out to the reefs,” he said.
“With the high sides, if we’re outside Facing and a big roll comes through, it’s a nice stable boat.
“It doesn’t rock and roll too much.”
A 115 Evinrude E-TEC motor is efficient but powerful and Mr Houweling said the top cruising speed was 40 knots.
He said the boat’s technology was a favourite feature.
“Ship and Sail had a fish finder mounted but it was a different model to the one I was looking at so I upgraded the screen size and went to the new Lowrance HDS-9 Live in the console,” he said.
“I put the motor guide on specifically so they could talk to each other so I could control the electric motor from my fish finder at the helm and the remote up the front.”
Since owning the boat, Mr Houweling has upgraded to a second fish finder unit.
“The Garmin LiveScope system gives you video camera-like views,” he said.
“You can see the fish moving through the transducer beam, see them come up and look at your lure and you can see them turn away and not hit it and get really frustrated.
“You’d think fish wouldn’t stand a chance but they’re still hard to catch.”
As a teacher, Mr Houweling said the boat was only really used on school holidays.
He and his family have spent time around Round Hill Creek and Seventeen Seventy in the boat and recently spent two weeks on Bribie Island.
“We launched in the boat harbour everyday,” he said.
“We’d just step on and fish in the passage and around the area.”
When at home, Mr Houweling usually launches from Boyne Island and said if the weather wasn’t good he stayed in the river.
Mr Houweling moved to Gladstone in 2012 and has since pottered around the rivers and creeks in his old Quintrex Hornet Trophy.
He owned the Trophy for 20 years before realising on a trip to Lake Awoonga that the boat wasn’t big enough.
“I started dreaming about upgrading to something a little bigger with a bit more power that could get us all around,” he said.
“Now we’ve got something bigger and it’s given us the opportunity to start having a look further afield.
“What’s in the harbour and those sorts of things that locals take for granted.”
He said people often asked why he fished for bream around the marina when he could be out fishing for mackerel and bigger fish.
“We’re building into that but the family fishing side of things is what’s important to me,” he said.
Mr Houweling loves going out on the water with his kids, but said he also enjoyed time to himself to explore.