Gun guide’s fishing weapon: the Bar Crusher 535XS

Keeping it local, fishing guide Patrick Linehan says iconic Aussie boat brand Bar Crusher was a logical choice for his upmarket estuary charter business.


Based in Port Macquarie on the NSW Mid North Coast, Castaway Estuary Fishing Charters specialises in guided lure and fly fishing experiences.

The Bar Crusher 535XS. Image: Bar Crusher.

Exceptional fishing

Castaway owner and head guide Patrick Linehan grew up fishing the area and is a highly regarded angler who has been working in the recreational fishing industry for almost a decade.

“The Mid North Coast region is well known for its exceptional estuary fishing,” Patrick says.

“The Hastings River, which runs through Port Macquarie, has been net free since 2000 and is probably one of the best – if not the best – rivers in Australia to target giant dusky flathead on lures.

“We also get plenty of people visiting the area over summer and autumn to target inshore black marlin, Spanish and spotted mackerel, while the cooler months turn on some very good snapper fishing.”

Patrick is on the water most days of the week, guiding Castaway clients onto mulloway and giant flathead in the estuary; other days he’s targeting bass in the furthest tidal reaches of the rivers. On days off, you’ll usually find him out on the ocean. So, when it came to choosing a new boat, he did his research!


Fishing for Spanish mackeral on the Bar Crusher 535XS. Image: Bar Crusher.

The Bar Crusher 535XS

“I recently took delivery of a new boat, a Bar Crusher 535XS centre console, and couldn’t be happier with it,” Patrick says.

“I’ve fished from a few Bar Crushers over the years and I’d always been really impressed with how well they’ve performed – they’re extremely practical boats, meticulously designed and purpose-built for fishing in Australia.

“Built from plate aluminium, the 535XS is much tougher than the many ‘tinnies’ out there and can access areas that are just not practical for heavy fibreglass boats.

“The 535XS is an easy boat to handle and Bar Crusher has done a really good job at making this boat – and every other Bar Crusher – a breeze to launch and retrieve at the ramp with a quality drive on, drive off trailer and the Bar Catch launch-and-retrieve system.”


Catching flathead on the Bar Crusher 535XS. Image: Bar Crusher.


Versatile and capable

Powered by a Yamaha 90hp outboard, the Castaway Bar Crusher is also fitted with a bow-mount electric motor for sneaking around over shallow sandflats, working along deep river banks and holding position near likely-looking structure.

“The Castaway Crusher is set up for lure fishing, featuring an open layout with a forward casting deck and ample casting space,” Patrick says.

“It also features Bar Crusher’s water ballast system, QuickFlow, for extra stability at rest – which is really important for active lure fishing – and is fitted with a Garmin Echomap UHD 125SV display mounted on the console and another Garmin Echomap display mounted on the foredeck.

“I wanted a boat that was nimble, with enough draft to fish knee-deep flats and oyster leases as well as access the furthest tidal reaches of our Mid North Coast bass rivers,” Patrick adds.

“I also wanted a boat that’s capable of handling the region’s notorious bar crossings for inshore and offshore fishing in my own time… which is a tough ask, but after recently doing both in my new boat – I’m not dreaming!

“I genuinely believe the 535XS is one of the most capable and versatile boats of its size out there… most importantly, it’s safe and comfortable for our loyal Castaway clients.”

Visit Bar Crusher Boats and Castaway Estuary Fishing Charters.

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