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Local Boat Ramps

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

Family orientated

Promoting family fishing.

Fish for the future promotes catch and release fishing.

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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, 24 August 2008

Sooty on a fly

Liam, Julie and I decided to have a run to a river north of Townsville for a quick fish. We were hoping to catch a few sooty grunters. We left about 1.30pm and we were fishing by 3pm. Liam loaded his 9wt and I fished my 7 wt. We both had different flies. Liam tried a new multi coloured fly and I tried my red/red clouser style fly. We moved into position at the first reach and I landed a nice fish within 5 minutes. I took this fish to Julie who at this time was still in the car. It was a nice legal size and as I enjoy eating these guys, and also I needed one for a competition this was the unlucky one. Liam then proceeded to thrash the water but to no avail. We moved slowly up stream and Liam landed a nice fish. Liam then followed this by another one a little smaller but still a good fish. It was was cool catching these guys as they fight hard right till the end. The water was running clear and quite fast so the fight was a lot stronger as the fish used this to there advantage. I landed another which ment we both were trying hard for the next fish.

We then noticed the fish sitting mid water. We then followed a trout approach and as one person fished the other spotted. We missed the fish, had a few touches, had a lot of follows and a lot of fun.
It was really cool fishing this stream in this way. It has always reminded me of some of the few trout streams I have been on. The main difference,the types of fish, the weather, and of course the crocodiles. This last difference meant wading was interesting and a desire for a long accurate cast important.

As we approached the last part of the run we fished the top and around the snags. Liam landed the last fish for the day. We then fished a little longer but few fish followed and we decided to call it a day. We had a great time in a short period of time. Finally to top the day we stopped at the Frosty Mango for a nice coffee and ice cream.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Whales on a fly in Cleveland Bay

An interesting day. After reading the weather report we decided not to go out Saturday morning. When I woke the wind was up so a good choice, plus I wanted to look at a new car to replace the Disco. After having a look for a car I was driving home and Liam suggested we try a freshwater fish. The idea seemed Ok so off we went. We got to the front of Pallarenda and there was no wind! So a quick change of mind and out we went in the boat.
A strange thing happened as we travelled to Magnetic Island. We spotted a pair of whales! A great way to start. In the background you can see Townsville.
We then drifted past the whales with the motor off and we then moved over to Middle Reef. We had a fish but no touches so over to the wreck on Magnetic Island.

When we arrived it looked a little low but we had a couple of casts and managed to pick up a couple of barracuda and a trevelly.
We decided to anchor and have a proper fish but as it happens we did not land any more. The fly that worked was a sparkle flash clouser with a white deer hair tail. The interesting thing with fly fishing even after catching largish fish, it is still nice to catch smaller fish, you can have just as much fun.

I was told to have photos with people in but I am not sure that needs to be me! That hats a beauty!

All the same for a potential no fish day it turned out well. An interesting thing happened on the way home, we found the whales! Nice finish, also thanks to the guys that helped me put the boat back on the trailer. The tide was out a little and the ramp did not have enough angle. Thanks again guys!

Monday, 18 August 2008

Weedbeds a dissapointment

Well, another disappointing fishing trip out from Townsville. Seems we are having more bad trips these days than good ones. And I don't think its my fishing ability, I kinda know what I'm doing!

We (Tania, the boys and myself) left the ramp at about 6am and headed for the weedbeds. Should have been a good morning for the Doggies. Good tide, cold water and an early start. High tide was scheduled to be 9am. So I was hoping to get the last part of the run in right on sunrise. But when we arrived at about 6.30am the tide was almost dead! Water was dirty and things looked bad all round. But we stuck it out, thinking things would improve when the tide started running in the other direction. By about 8.30 the tide was moving, but the water was not clearing. So I up anchored and began a troll out a little wider looking for the clean water. The clean water wasn't too far away either, but the troll produced nothing.

We went and anchored up near another group of boats (which included Ward). Water here was beautiful and clear, and the tide was now running strong. We added out burley slick the ones already present from the other boat. But after an hour we still had out origional baits on! There was obviously no mackerel around here!

We headed toward the tripod marks to give the channel a go. It was a bit choppy in the bay as we ran over, but the close we got to the channel the better the weather. As we got closer, it almost classed out, so I pointed the nose wide and headed for the markers wider out.

We started at he second last marker and trolled around. There was obviously bait around but nothing hit the lures. Time to try a different approach. I drifted the boat through the bait dropping metal slices and retrieving them at high speed. FINALLY a hookup! A nice doggie that was clearly a keeper. But he threw the hooks beside the boat. Another dozen drifts and NOTHING. Not a tap. Ok, next was to collect some live bait and try them......No, that wasn't going to work either. Ok, troll agian. So we put out some lures and trolled past the final couple of markers and out to the North Cardinal. You guessed it, Nada!

Finally we tried everytihng possible around the North Cardinal. All I could manage was one 40cm doggie on a tiny metal slug. Ok, home time. Enough fuel spent chasing ZIP.

Lucky the weather was so nice, cus thats all the day had going for it!

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Weed Beds failed again but wait there is more!

Liam and I went to to the weed beds off Cape Cleveland this morning. We arrived in the spot at dawn and let the berley trail do its thing! The only problem it failed to deliver! We fished until 9.30 am and then moved over to do the tripods.

Mal and Tania and family were there also but I will let him do there report, though when we left they were empty as well. Hard to work out the weed beds at times!

Again, the berley trail failed to have any bait fish even though we had a reasonable slick out the back. We then headed over to the shipping channel. When we arrived we finally found some bait and Liam managed a nice queen fish on a metal slice first cast! We then tried another drift and Liam landed a nice bonito (look alike, I had trouble working out the id. of the beasty). But no fish on fly! I guess there is always next weekend.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Loomis fly fishing competition fishing Hinchinbrook

A big weekend! Well I have not fished this competition for a few years but I thought it was time to have another go. I fished with a chap from the fly club Ric for the weekend. We planned for the boys to meet us at Hinchinbrook on the Sunday for a fish as well.

First thing A BIG THANK YOU to the guys from Cairns Fly fishing Club a great job and well run, I would suggest that any one who wanted to fish a fly only competition to think strongly about this one! The cost was all inclusive and well worth while. Also I would like to thank Richard for allowing me to crew on his boat and enjoying his company all weekend!

How did we go? We headed out to the end of the jetty on each day hoping to get into some queenfish which we did! We then went into the channel to chase other species and we didn't do so well! The idea worked though we need to work on our planning in the channel. Over all, the boat landed 4 queenfish to 1.050m and 3 smaller queenfish plus cod and archer fish. This was enough to keep us of the bottom (which was my first aim). The competition was won by two North Queensland Flyfishers Daniel and Raymond well done boys.

Some interesting info from the competition. A Northern blue fin (approx 1.5m in length) was landed inside the channel! Over 50 Queenfish around the metre mark were landed by 4 boats, most of those by one crew! All Seven target species were landed including Barramundi, Mangrove Jack, Trevelly, Queenfish, Cod, Tarpon and Salmon. This was a catch and release competition so the majority of fish were released.

Chris and Liam also met up with us on Sunday and they also did well. Even though Liam did not land a fish he was fishing well hooking up to seven fish but mainly lost at the boat. Chris did a lot better with landing three queenfish and a scad mackeral. a great weekend!

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Bad weather hampers competition efforts

With the predicted weather forecast of 15-20knots earlier in the week I wasn't even contemplating fishing this weekend. And then there is the slack tids!! But then I realised it was the monthly competition weekend for the Baptist Church! Bugga, gotta try and catch a fish somewhere. I organised Thursday night to fish first thing Saturday with Dion in his boat. We were going to try hit some Doggies early before the wind got up and be back by lunch.

However, standing out the front of Dions house at 5am the wind was already rustling the trees quite strongly. The web was only showing 6 or 7knots in most places. But it was definatly breezy out there! So we hummed and harred for a little while before calling it quits on boating. But its a competition weekend and we are already what to do??

I suggested a drive south to fish Alva for a Flathead, and then try the lagoons on the way home. Dion had not been down that way chasing Flatties, so he was keen to give it a go. So off we headed.

We arrived a little after 7am, and were fishing by 7.30. It was obvious that the lack of run in tide was going to make it difficult. We worked a very nice looking drop where the tide was pushing over a ledge. There should have been fish there. But we didn't manage so much as a tap. So we gave up and tried the main drain.

I managed 2 small fish in quick succession. Both Duskies well under size. A quick photograph and they were released. Dion had a couple of good hits that pulled the plastic partly off the hook, but failed to make contact with mouth.

We left there about 10am and tried one lagoon on the way home. Only had a couple of casts, but I did manage one small Barra about 40cm.

So anothe comp weekend passes with nothing to weigh in....

Sunday, 3 August 2008

More Doggie Mackerel on the Weedbeds

Wow, what a great few days of weather! We put the boat in Friday night after work with the plan to spend the night on the Weedbeds. I wanted to fish there first thing until the tide slowed, and then head out the back of Sally to look for a Spanish Mackerel.

We launched the boat at about 7pm after getting KFC for dinner on the way. But we were delayed from getting away when Tania took a tumble into the water while stepping onto the boat! It really highlighted for us just how poor the facilities here in Townsville are. There was a boat already at the pontoon, so I simply nosed the boat in. We do this all the time, and Tania steps onto the nose of the boat and I back off. But rails were wet from the cold and bacame slippery. Luckily, there was a couple of guys on the pontoon who lifted her back up. Rater shaken, she only ended up with a couple of major bruises. One under her arm where she caught the boat on the way down, and a couple from being pulled back onto the pontoon. A BIG thankyou must go to the guys who helped out! But we can't help but think of how bad it could have been. Not only is it dusgusting that we only have one pontoon, to service 8 lanes of boat ramp. But the pontoon is NOT lit and has NO ladder or life ring attached! Anyway, after getting dry and assessing the situation it was decided that we would continue.

Next morning we got the burley going at about 6am, and the fish started about 6.30. We managed 7 Doggis in about an hour. But we missed many more. They were doing that typical doggie mackerel thing where they hit the bait hard and manage to avoid the hooks. The tide slowed by 8am and it went quited all of a sudden. So we packed up and headed out to the cape.

We headed for a spot Dion gave me about 10nm out. On the way we spotted a pod of Whales breaching on the horizon. Once I pointed these out to Tania it was obvious the fishing had to wait. The Whales were amazing to watch, and I think they were very interested in us. We stopped well clear, but they came over to investige us. I tried numerous times to move the boat well away from the pod, but it didn't seem to matter where I positioned the boat, they would turn and come straight to us. Made for some very tense moments. I even have some shots of the sounder showing 2 passing directly under the boat! Oh, and I have a 'once in a lifetime' shot of a pair in the side image of the sounder. You can see the tail and everything. I will share this one day! After one too many nervous moments we decided to leave them be. But even when we did the 2km run to our fishing spot, you could see the pod following the bubble trail of the boat. In the end they made it back to within 500m of where we were!

I couldn't see and bait or structure around Dion's mark, so we dropped out some lines and went for a troll. We trolled for a couple of hours searching for new ground. I managed 1 small Spanish Mackerel. I didn't measure him, but I think he was just under size. For all the distance we covered I only found one small patch of shoal that looked interesting. In the end we were just over 15nm from the Cape. I wanted to be back fishing the weedbeds by 3pm. So at about 2 we pulled the lines and ran back.

Back on the weedbeds we managed another 4 mackerel and several Trevalley. But only kept the one mack as the others looked like juvenile Spanish? Check the pic, I'm pretty sure its a Spanish Mackerel?

Home and out of the water by about 6.30pm. What a 24hrs! Can't do that every weekend!!

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Thar She Blows

Well an interesting day!
The North Queensland Flyfishers decided to go to Hinchinbrook channel for a fish. Two boats went up channel and we decided to try the Jetty and out to Polerus Island. We lost contact with the boats up the channel but I thought I would add what happened out wide.

We visited the Jetty first and fished for a couple of hours. The game was to find the bait fish and then the predators. The plan was good but no bait fish. So instead we worked the jetty.Liam hooked up a couple of scad mackerel on slices.

Then we found a patch of fish and I landed a queenfish. Then it went very quite so we went out to Polerus Island. Beautiful day! But few fish. I managed an under size coral trout and a nice stripey but little else. It turned out to be a better day for a dive with a nice Manta Ray having a swim around the boat.

Then we left and on the way home we saw some whales. lovely beasts. There were 2 pods but the only one pod did we got within a reasonable distance to get some photos.

The mother and calf did a nice show with breaching by the calf and back floating by the female. The little one finished with some spy hopping! A great day was finished with a couple of small school mackerel on the way home.