Product Reviews

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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.

Great Fishing Locations

Popular fishing spots including GPS locations, sounder shots and maps.

Regular fishing reports

Regular fishing reports from our fishing trips.

Product Reviews

View the latest Product Reviews.

Fly Fishing

Chasing Golden Trevalley on the Magnetic Island flats.


Enjoying one of the many beautiful beaches of Magnetic Island.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Shimano Stella 1000FE and T-Curve 661 Product Review

Over the past couple of months I have been testing out the 1000 size of the latest release of Shimano's flagship spin reel, the Stella 1000fe. I am a big fan of the 1000 size reels, even in North Queensland waters. While they are considered 'bream reels' by most, there is a lot of fun to be had on a whole range of fish up here in the north. Over the years I have used these small reels to chase everything from Sooties, JP and Tarpon in the fresh to Flathead, Bream, Jacks and even Barramundi in the salt. What makes this size real so ideal and pleasurable to use is that they are very light weight and nimble. You can cast small lightly weighted or unweighted plastics and lures all day without getting sore arms. Small plastics and light poppers can be cast considerable distance, and with incredible accuracy, with little effort at all. And matched to the right rod and some good quality braid, these little reels can handle some big fish!

On this occasion I matched the reel to a Shimano T-curve T 661 rod. The T-cureve T-series of rods are Shimano's top shelf range, formerly knows as the Tournament rods. This rod is a 6'6" (1.98m) one piece 2-5kg blank with fuji sic guides and a beautiful cork grips. Spooled up with 8lb Power Pro this little lightweight is capable or some serious fish.

My first chance to try out the combo was on a Kayaking trip to the Burdekin with All Aussie Shock Leader manufacturer Phil Lawlor. The reel arrived in at ProTackle on the afternoon we were due to drive out, so it was a quick trip into the store before heading off. The outfit received plenty of attention from the other guys on the trip and performed admirably on the many Sooty Grunter caught from the kayak.

But this was just a drop in the ocean for what I had planned for this little reel! I have since been using this particular setup to cast lightly weighted soft plastics, like the 3in prongs, into the snags for Mangrove Jack and Barramundi. This setup has the advantage here of being able to get the small plastics right into the mangrove roots and snags where the fish are hiding. But on light line, the challenge begins when the fish hits and heads for cover. The drag on the Stella 1000 is capable of 3kg of pressure, more than enough to push the 8lb Power Pro to its limits. I'm not going to lie, I have been dusted by some big fish. But those that have been landed are a lot of fun and very rewarding, you just have to laugh at those big ones who smash you up!

The reel features no less than 14 Shielded A-RB stainless bearings and 1 stainless roller bearing, has a 5.0:1 gear ratio, weighs just 170g and holds just over 100m of 8lb Power Pro. That is an amazing spec list for such a tiny light weight reel! There is no doubt this is an expensive setup, and if you only fish a few times a year its probably not the reel for you. But if your hard core about your fishing, you won't beat the precision and smoothness of a Stella reel! If you are interested in this or any of the Shimano range then head into ProTackle and talk to the guys about a top deal.

Shimano Stella 1000FE

• X-Ship
• Paladin Gear Durability Enhancement
• Propulsion Line Management System
• Aero Wrap II
• SW Concept
• Shielded A-RB Bearings
• Rigid Support System
• Waterproof Drag
• Maintenance Port
• Dyna-Balance
• Ultra-Light Saltwater Safe Magnesium frame
• Super Stopper II

Shimano T-Curve T 661

• TCurve Blanks
• Fuji SIC guides and reel seats (VSS for
  threadline models and ACS for casting models)
• Split-style butt sections (excluding Estuary Spin
• Enhanced decorative blue trim

    Friday, 24 December 2010

    Boat Storage opening in 2011

    Townsville Marine Centre

    Townsville Boat Storage in association with Townsville Marine is pleased to announce that 2011 will see construction commence on the first Townsville Boat Storage facility.

    The Townsville Boating community will be able to store their boats securely and out of the weather without having to spend tens of thousands of dollars on sheds.

    People who would love to own a boat but live in a unit, townhouse or simply don't have the room to build a shed for a boat can now enjoy the lifestyle that Townsville offers and get out on the water!

    Construction of the first of a planned 15 boat storage facilities at the Townsville Marine Centre site is due to commence in March 2011.

    19 boats up to 12 metres in length (including trailers) can be stored in stage 1.

    Demand for the new facility is expected to be high - given the thousands of boats already registered in Townsville.

    Boat owners looking to store their boat under cover should contact Townsville Marine to express interest.
    email with details of the boat size. Boats from tinnies to 9M cats can be stored.

    Prices will be published in early 2011 - storage fees will vary depending on length of the boat, duration of the term required and any special requirements the owner may have.

    Emmanuel Theodosiou
    Townsville Marine

    Merry Christmas

    On behalf of the Fishing Townsville team I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge all our sponsors. If you are stuck for that last minute Christmas prezzie then I'm sure they will be able to help out. Thankyou Townsville Marine, ProTackle, Shimano and About Fishing NQ.

    Have a safe holiday everyone and keep checking back regularly for more fishing reports, tips and reviews in the new year.

    Thursday, 16 December 2010

    Suntag News - 173

    Sunday, 12 December 2010

    Coast Guard gets a new boat!

    Saturday morning Lucy took me (Dave Little) to the official commissioning of the Townsville Coast Guard's newest vessel... "Rotary Rescue".

    The coast guard made a special point of thanking the wider boating community and other local community clubs, because without your support this great new rescue vessel would never have been built. Sponsorship came from Xstrata, Townsville Port Authority, Rotary Townsville, as well as the Local, State and Federal governments to name but a few.

    The new boat at 14.95m by 4.7m is 1m wider, longer and taller than the former flagship, Spirit of Rotary. Rotary Rescue displaces 17t with a top speed of 28 knots. It has a fuel capacity of 2836L to support twin Cummins QSM11 motors that are rated at 610bhp. The Flybridge is kitted out with state-of-the art radar, forward looking infrared camera (thermal night vision), ray marine plotter depth sounder and automatic identification system.

    It's a beautiful new boat... and is there for our safety... So please continue to show your support for the local chapter of the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard. AND look out for the hot chick at the wheel next time your on the water!

    Dave Little

    Sunday, 5 December 2010

    Quick shoal run

    Yesterday morning Dad I took a quick run to the shoals for a long awaited bluewater fish. We took Dad's boat as mine is now in at Townsville Marine for sale. It was to be a very quick run indeed, I needed to be back at the ramp no later than 9am to get my car in for some work. So we met up at his place about 3.30 and were in the water and off by 4am. Despite the good forecast, the ramp wasn't overly busy.

    As we headed out we experienced quite variable conditions. Patches of calm water and some patches with almost white-capping conditions. Maybe it was from the back end of a small storm cell we could see headed out to sea? What ever it was, it made going a little slower than anticipated. But still a good run.

    We pulled up on our mark and I immediately threw over a 7in Gulp soft plastic on my TwinPower 6000fc combo. It hadn't been sinking for more than a few seconds when the line stopped going down! I gave it a jig to see what was going on and SMACK, it ran off at a million miles an hour. Now I'm only fishing 30lb on this outfit as its intended for Spanish Mackerel spinning, so I was a little nervous about this fish. I'd gain line slowly and loose it all and some in another big run. The spool was starting to feel warm from the friction of the drag and it was becoming clear this was a quality fish. But everything held and eventually the fish was in gaffing range. A perfect head shot from Dad and the fish was on the deck. A beautiful cobia!

    After re-positioning the boat Dad was next with a fish. He hit the fish and the fish hit back! This was a freight train. It ran, and ran, and ran....and then it ran some more! There was no stopping this thing, even with the 50lb Jigwerx he was using. So eventually we fired up the motor and tracked back on it. After recovering all the line a massive GT came into view. Expecting a large cobia I had gaff in hand ready. So it was then a quick scramble for a towel so I could tail the fish. I grabbed the fish around the tail wrist what? I seriously struggled to lift this thing over the side! I then struggled with Dad to get the fish onto his lap for a quick photograph. We pulled it through the water for a moment and it swam away happily. Turned out the fish had been tail-hooked. Any wonder it ran so easily and didn't look like stopping!

    We then anchored on the mark to get in some bottom fishing. I was determined to fish plastics for something a little different. And despite landing a small Barracouda and a couple of nice Bludger Trevalley on the Gulp, the only Nannygai I landed was a 45cm specimen that fell to a 4in Prong. But Dad did well on the Pillies. My final Cobia fell to the 4in Prong! This particular Cobia followed up a Nannygai on Dads line. He held the Nanny beside to the boat to keep the Cobe interested. I flicked the Prong in the water and as soon at the Cobia spotted it he was off! Not as big as the first fish, but still nice to see take a plastic.

    By about 7.30 am we had an eski full! A good half a dozen Nannygai and our bag limit of Cobia. What a day. On the water at 4am, back and at 8.30am with a good feed of fish. Now I remember why I like fishing the Bluewater so much!! Here is a little video footage from Dad's GT.

    Saturday, 4 December 2010

    about fishing NQ released!

    Fishing Townsville contributor Dion Forman today officially launched his first edition of the locally written 'about fishing NQ' magazine. It has 243 GPS Marks, 40 Boat Ramps, 24 Fishing Maps, 30 Writers all in 208 beautifully coloured pages written just for the North. Copies are NOW available for purchase on their website or from the best tackle store in Townsville, ProTackle. Price is just $19.95. You can check out my article on Fishing the Channel Markers on page 114. 

    Here is Dion Forman pictured with about fishing NQ's youngest writer, Christine Little, from the launch at Dion's house today.

    Wednesday, 1 December 2010

    Fishing Townsville - December Competition

    Congratulations to forum member cam0511 who won the November longest Mangrove Jack. His Jack measured an impressive 42cm and won him a $50 ProTackle voucher.

    For the month of December Fishing Townsville will once again run a 'longest fish of the month' competition. This month we are looking for the longest total length for a Fingermark.

    Competition Rules
    • Fish can be caught on ANY line class and via any normal legal line fishing method. 
    • The fish must be of a minimum legal size, measured accurately and photographed in a way to prove its total length (ie on a brag mat). 
    • Photo entries can only be submitted online in the appropriate thread of the forum
    • Fish must be caught between Lucinda (excluding Hinchinbrook channel) and Ayr.
    • Competition runs between 1st December 2010 and 31st December 2010 (inclusive of those days). 
    • The angler must be a member of the forum prior to the capture, or be an immediate family member (ie child/wife/husband) of an already registered forum user.
    • To beat an already submitted entry a fish must be a minimum of 1cm longer than the current leader.
    • Photo entries must be submitted within 48hrs of capture.
    • Entries close at 8am on 1st January 2011.
    The prize is a voucher to the value of $100 donated by our good friends at ProTackle Townsville. 

    Fishing Townsville promotes catch and release fishing. Fish to don't need to be kept for entry to the competition.

    If you are not already a member of the forum and would like to take part in this fun and innovative competition then head over and sign up. Its totally free to join and participate. Good Luck!