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Information on the quality and location of local Boat Ramp facilities. Includes photographs, maps and some video content.

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Regular fishing reports from our fishing trips.

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Fly Fishing

Chasing Golden Trevalley on the Magnetic Island flats.


Enjoying one of the many beautiful beaches of Magnetic Island.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

A good feed of Doggie Mackerel

With such a good forecast how could you not be out fishing today? I was keen as, but after spending $200 on fuel last weekend I didn't not really want to do another big run. So my plan was to fish close. But not being able to get the kids up out of bed and to the ramp early, I didn't feel like being a part of the madness at the ramp either! Easy solution, go in the afternoon. Worked out well in the end, bigger tide in the afternoon anyway. We hit the ramp around lunchtime just as everyone else was arriving back (including Ward). Made it easy to get a park too. We were soon off at 30knots zipping across a dead flat ocean....Fantastic.

As it was middle of the day I decided not to anchor up and burley for Mackerel. Instead I did a bit of a troll around. Managed our fist fish of the day in under 5 mins. A nice little GT. This was followed by another 3 or 4 over the next hour.

Although Tania spend most of the time watching a large group of Dugong feeding. There must have been 50 in the area.

We anchored up about 2pm and set up the burly. First fish the came into the trail was a Toadie....Eek. Things could only get better. And indeed they did. Once the burley began to work the action became quite quick. Trevalley and Mackerel were hitting the baits one after the other. And at one point we had them sitting behind the boat. Metal slices were getting a fish a cast, but mostly of the smaller variety.

Things died off as the tide slowed. And by 4.30 it was pretty dead. We had used up the block if pilchards so decided on a quick troll before heading home. As we trolled through the area we had been burleying a fish hit my lure. I kept the boat in gear to keep the tension on, and soon Tania's rod took of. Within a few minutes another pair of 60cm+ fish were in the boat.

We finished the day keeping 2 GT and 7 Mackerel over 60cm. After filleting the fish at home we put them on the scales. 5kg of boneless Mackerel fillets. For once we might actually have caught enough fish to cover the cost of fuel!

Oh, and I released a nice Golden amongst the other fish too...

Trevally for the kids

Well a baby sitting we will go!! The wife was at work and Liams brother and sister needed looking after for the weekend. What to do? Go Fishing! As it turned out the weather smiled and on Sunday it was perfect. We took the kids to a close spot near Pallarenda but the fish did not want to co-operate. Liam managd a small mackerel and Emily and Reece a few small trevally plus a few grinner (nice one Liam)!

We made a group decision and I was over ruled! Off to the spot of Rattlesnake! Well the weather worked fine

and we managed to squeeze in to the spot. There were a few boats around but there was plenty of room for all. I felt a bit sorry for the first boat that was there but I hope we did not effect there fishing.

When we settled on a spot, it took awhile, as again we were looking for schools with the sounder, we anchored. We were in the correct place but the anchor was not lowered correctly! So we did a slow drift which was safe for all and as we caught fish we did not feel we needed to move.

It was interesting as again fly worked well bait kinda and lures kinda. The nice part of the day apart from the return as the sea flatterned, was getting up at 6 and fishing by 7am. We got to the the spot of Rattlesnake late for us but there were enough fish to keep us going. The only real problem was the ramp at Pallarenda not being an all tides ramp, but maybe in the future. All in all a great day for the kids and even with 4 on the boat, bait, lure and fly working we only had some minor tangles!

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Trevally on fly

Well Liam and I went for a quick fish at the spot near Rattlesnake today. Malcolm was going out tomorrow and I have a couple of kids to baby sit so it was a quick trip. We left at about 6am and we were fishing by 6.45am.

We looked for the bait schools as this seems more important than looking for structure at the moment.

Well I guess you want to know how we went. It started brilliant with Liam dropping his metal slice down and hooked up straight away. We tried the same drift but nothing, so we looked around and found the bait. Yep you guessed I had a fish a drift when we got it right on my white fly, but it was hard getting the drift right! So we anchored and got it right first time! Straight away we both had fish, Liam on metal and me on fly. Eventually Liam changed to fly and he picked up a few as well. Over all in an hour and half we had 12 trevelly between 40 and 50cm and missed a few each. Liam got taken and broken up a couple of times on metal as well.

All in all a great morning, we finished at 8.30am and back home by 10.00am

Monday, 21 July 2008

No Spanish Mackerel for me

Finaly getting around to posting a report from the weekend. Tania, the boys and myself fished the monthly Baptist Church competiton on the weekend. Lucky for us we had the Friday off work, so we headed of mid morning. Weather was forecast to be ok, but not dead flat.

We first ran to West Point to chase some live bait and try lure up some Doggies to get the ball rolling. We got bait ok, but could only manage one VERY small mackerel. Actually, Tania caught him on the bait jig! We worked the area pretty hard for NIL result. From here we headed to Horseshoe bay for dinner. It was pretty rough around the back of the Island, although the wind was not blowing that hard. My plan was to head back out and fish into the night while the kids went to sleep. But it was simply too rough. So back into the bay we headed for the night.

Next morning I wanted to head to some shoals and chase Spanish Mackerel. Weather was ok, light 5-10knot breeze, but it was still lumpy. We slowly bumped our way out with the boys still asleep in the cabin. On arrival we trolled a couple of Gar around for about an hour. It quickly became obvious the Macks where not around. Not even much in the way of bait schools showing. We then drifted some live baits on the bottom. Tania managed a nice 8kg cod, but nothing else.

Weather was now building a little, and the kids and Tania simply didn't want to stay. So back in close we headed. This time to the North Cardinal. On arrival there were bait school massing everywhere. We quickly caught a few and put them back out. Pretty soon I was hooked to a solid fish. It darted around like a Mack, but burried a bit like a Nannygai. Had me confused for a while, but was obviously a good fish. Eventually I caught a glimps of silver and identified it as a Queenfish, and a good one too. No jumps, but a good solid fight.

Missed a couple of other runs, and landed a MASSIVE cod (probably 15kg or so). Too big for me to worry about, so I tagged it let it go. Tough fish. Finally we just to too exausted so pointed the nose home. I tried on more little rubble patch just off Picknic Bay, caugh another Queenfish on a live herring. But lost it at the net. I was fishing my two hook rig, and the second hook caught the net on the way it, from there it just wouldn't go in. I tried to tail it just at it spat the hook and swam off. I blame Tania, but it was probably no ones fault. But it prbably lost me the competition!

Off home, and I am yet to see what we used in fuel!! But we covered just over 100km. So it won't be cheap.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Poll Results

Well the first poll was only slightly successful! Of the hundreds of people to visit the site over the past month, only 28 people voted. Bit of a shame, I would love to see more people get involved with the site, especially the comments section.

The results of the poll has a few surprises. I didn't expect to see people (7%) with boats over 7m! I'd love to know just how big these boats are? And I didn't think so many people visiting would not have a boat at all (21%). No surprises that most people have boats in the 4m to 6m size range (50%).

I will leave the poll results up for a couple of days and then add a new question. Perhaps someone could suggest a new poll in the comments!

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Tuna and Trevally on Fly

Great day!! Liam and I went out for the July Townsville Baptist Club Competition. We were hoping for some mackerel but we were happy with anything to keep us amused. Well we went out around Rattlesnake Island and found a nice patch of Nannagai and Trevally. Liam landed 6 or so nannagai just short of legal plus 1 legal. I started to annoy him by landing 20 trevally on fly!! Through this session I was bricked by 3 monsters that did not want to play in the open water. Then towards the end of the session I was hit by a small sub! It was a tuna! A lovely fish with some nice work by Liam to unravel a nasty line loop on my fly line. A great day. Liam was fortunate and he managed to land his first trevally on fly in 20m of water and he finished the day with a small mackerel. We were fishing in 20 plus meters of water and the fly rod is a St Croix 12wt with a Orvis reel with a shooting head sinking T14 line, the fly is one I have been developing (mind you I imagine there is another fly out there that looks the same) and it seems to be working!

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

More Barramundi on Soft Plastic Lures

Took the Family for a drive yesterday afternoon back to the lagoon for a quick fish. Again, we found the Barramundi keen to bite on small soft plastic lures. We only fished for an hour, and in that time landed about 8 fish. Again the biggest was only about the 40cm mark, with most fish in the 30's. The trick seems to be a show retrieve of the lure, just enough pace to make the tail work.

After we took the boys for a bit of a drive to take some photos of the local area. This involved another drive across the sand dunes. So I got Tania to take a bit of video. I think she was a little nervous, but the Pajero just walked over it.

Rest of the pictures from the afternoon.....

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Flathead and Barramundi on a Day Trip South of Townsville

Went for a lovely day trip with Bob and Ward yesterday. The plan was to fish the beach for some Flathead in the morning, and make out way home as the day progressed. We left Townsville at about 6am, and were fishing by 7.30. High tide was early, so we were going to fish the full outgoing tide. Bob and Ward fished fly, and I fished my favorite soft plastics.

Soft plastics turned out to be the winner here. I released about 6 undersized flatties, as well as keeping two. One Flag-tail about 38cm and a Dusky about 49cm. But Bob did take out the prize for biggest fish, he tagged and released a 55cm Dusky. A good fight on his light 5-wt fly rod.

Next was a try for some big Tarpon at a lagoon close by. But as it was late in the day, and in the middle of a cold snap, the fish didn't want to play at all. So we didn't give it long. Next was lunch, then off to a freshwater creek to tempt some Sootie Grunter. I finally got to get my 4wd on the sand here, and it was heaps cool. But again, like the Tarpon, the fish were not biting for anyone.

Last stop was another freshwater lagoon. This was a last ditched effort for a fish in freshwater. With the cold water we didn't expect much, and though we would be on our way home pretty quickly. But after a few cast we managed to raise a couple of small Barra. Then all of a sudden Ward comes up with a 38cm fish. The biggest was have pulled out of this spot, so we stuck at.

Over the next couple of hours we managed to tag about 20 fish. Ranging in size from 30cm to the biggest 42cm. Fly worked well on these small lagoon fish, but again the little plastics dominated. Of the fish landed, over 3/4 were on my little squidgie fish!

As the sun went down we were all suffering sore backs from standing all day, so it was off home to see what the Wives had cooked up for dinner.

Rest of the pics from the day....

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Flathead on Soft Plastics and Fly

Went for a fish the other morning with Ward for some Flathead. We left Townsville at about 6am and drove South to one of our favorite beaches. We fished the last of the outgoing tide and the first of the incoming. I was using soft plastics on a light bream stick, and Ward was fishing fly on his 7-wt fly rod. Initially soft plastics were looking to rule. Things were quiet, but I managed 3 fish before Ward had so much as a look in. But his first taker turned out to be a beauty. For some reason this large fish came if quite quickly and easily, but just at the edge of the sand it shook its head and took off, breaking the light leader. Ward estimated the fish to be over the maximum 70cm. Then a couple casts later and he was on again. This time the fish was successfully landed. At 48cm it was a nice keeper. We didn't see much more after that, I missed a few small hits, but nothing solid.

On the way home we stopped off at a freshwater creek to look for some Sooties. We were only there for about 30mins. I managed one small Sootie, and a small catty. Nice morning without having to worry about putting boats in and cleaning up!

Friday, 4 July 2008

Quick fish inside Maggie

Took the family for a quick fish inside the Island today. I wanted to take advantage of whats looking like the last of the good weather for a while. We didn't plan on having a big day, just some fish for the kids to catch.

Managed to get out of the house by 6.30am, so we were launched and heading off about 7. That's early for us. Weather was fantastic, light southerly just putting a slight chop on the water. For a minute I was tempted to head to West Point and chase some Mackerel, but I didn't re-fuel after last trip, and besides, this was supposed to be a morning for the kids. So I held back.

Lots of bait and arches showing on the sounder, things looked promising. We anchored and set up some burley. There were plenty of bites to keep the kids occupied. But only a few small Large Mouth Nannygai came on board. Two of which went 38cm.

Not long after we pulled up another boat joined us! And who should it be? Dion with his family. He asked politely if I minded if he pulled up beside us. "Sure" I said, "no problems". Later I was to regret this decision......The bugga took home a nice Cobia!!! Good job mate, but I needed that fish for my top 10! LOL

Fish of the day for us turned out to be a BIG Gold Spot Cod. I estimate about 20kg. Threw the hooks while sitting beside the boat. Didn't worry me, was to be released anyway.

Flew home at 26knots all the way. What a lovely day. Excpet we got stuck at the ramp for almost an hour. Boys fell asleep in the cabin on the way back, and they stayed asleep while getting the boat on the trailer and up the ramp. So we decided let them be.

Chatted to a couple of guys back at the ramp who recognised my boat from this site. They had been to the cape and Salamander with no luck. Apparently none of the other boats were doing much either. Maybe next time!

Thursday, 3 July 2008

West Point and wide

Tuesday afternoon we put the boat in with plans to fish West Point for some Mackerel, then stay overnight and go wide Wednesday morning. The forecast was good, without being great. The trip to West Point was fantastic. With winds from the NE, the run in front of the island was almost a glass off. But once turning the corner we were greeted with a stiff 15knot breeze. With a very large incoming tide in the same direction as the wind, the drift was very fast. So we attempted to anchor on our mark. But even with a full length of rope out, we couldn't hold bottom. After 3 attempts we stuck with the quick drift. I was hoping for 1/2 a dozen doggies in the boat before the sun set, and I almost did. Well.....I got the numbers, but all where about 40cm. We then headed into 5-beach bay for dinner and to anchor for the night.

The boys were up bright and early (5am) the following morning, so we quickly gathered some live bait before heading to a spot wide off the back of Rattlesnake Island. The run was good, with just a light chop on the water. We drifted the mark for a while with both live baits and metal slices. Tania managed one small Coral Trout that was probably just legal, but we put him back anyway. NOTING in way of Mackerel. So we decided to work some marks on the way back.

I had passed over some bait on the way out, and had marked it on the GPS. On the way back past bait was still showing there so I had a bit of a look around. I couldn't find and kind of structure, but there was bait and big arches off the bottom for a good 500m. So we dropped the live baits down for a bit of a look. It wasn't long and one of the baits went off. Obviously a big fish, holding the bottom hard and taking some good long runs against an almost locked up 50lb braid. Hoping for a good Red Emperor I was rather disappointed when a hefty Catty came to the side of the boat! "That can't be all thats down there" I thought. We were in 25m of crystal clear blue water some 16nm out! But successive live baits only managed to nail more bit Catfish. I was stuffed after 2 of these monsters, so Tania had a bit of a go too. A drop of the bait jig revealed there was indeed massive amounts of bait down there. What they were I'm not sure? Kind of a cross between a gar with no beak and a pilchard? Died pretty quick in the tank too, just like a herring. I'll keep this spot marked and try it again some day, I'm not sure if there is any bottom structure there, but something was holding the bait and catfish.

Other marks on the way back yielded nothing more than a couple of sharks and more undersized Doggie Mackerel. Luckily the day was salvaged by a couple of 60cm Doggies back at West Point. Probably should have saved the fuel and fished there for the morning! But I'm still chasing my first Spanish Mackerel for the year!!!