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Fly Fishing

Chasing Golden Trevalley on the Magnetic Island flats.


Enjoying one of the many beautiful beaches of Magnetic Island.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Acres of Tuna!

I was supposed to spend Wednesday and Thursday of this week fishing Hinchinbrook with Graham Knight, but a phone call on Tuesday night put an end to that idea. Knighty had blown his power tilt and trim that day and it wasn't going to be fixed in time. So a last minute change of plans saw me out the back in the dark madly preparing the big boat for a run offshore with the family. Luckily the forecast was for 5knot winds and I had already been cursing the commitment made to fish the channel!

Knowing there was a lot of timber floating around after the heavy rains and big tides, we didn't plan to do any running around in the dark. So we didn't hit the ramp until about 5.30am. Being mid week for everyone else, it was quiet at the ramp and a park was easily obtained. We were soon shooting across the bay at a comfortable 25knots.

First location we planned to target was an old favourite shoal mark of mine. But on arrival the water was green and horrible in colour, confidence was not high! A sound around soon located a small patch of fish holding to the bottom and down went the baits. We managed to hook a couple of good fish that were assumed to be Nannygai, but the sharks got every one only meters off the bottom! It didn't take long to get sick of sharks and decide on a move wider.

Our second location wasn't any better, only small shows on the sounder and very little biting. Anything that did get hooked up became shark bait one more.

From here we headed to the Bomber wreck. I was at lease hoping for a Cobia or Spanish Mackerel to take home for dinner. There was considerably more showing on the sounder here, but the bite was still slow. Lachy managed one undersize Mack, but some nearby Tuna schools caught our attention. With little bottom action we thought we might go investigate.

What we found was acres of Tuna schools working patches of little flying fish. The schools were not dense like when feeding on smaller white-bait, but were spread out and feeding over very large distances. This was more suited to trolling than casting metal slices, so out went a couple of small skirted lures. It didn't take long and we were soon getting single and double hookups one after the other. I will let the video tell the story, but the kids had a blast.

I also managed to get 3 or 4 nice Tuna on a cast Thready Buster! It was already rigged on a Sustain 4000 and 20lb braid ready for Hinchinbrook. I couldn't be bothered changing it over to a metal slice, and when a Tuna poped up beside the boat I thought I'd give it a go! Proved very successful indeed. No need to wind fast, the action of the plastic at medium pace was enough. One fish even took the lure as soon as it hit the water, I hadn't even closed the bail arm! So they must look attractive in the water.

A couple of hours later we headed back in closer to one last mark before home. Tania managed a couple of SM Nannygai that made it to the eski for dinner, but the sharks where thicker here than anywhere we have seen. At one stage we counted 8 under the boat at one time, and there was a second boat close by with them around their boat too. A few large GT's thrown into the mix made getting any decent red fish to the surface almost impossible. The only thing that could beat the Sharks was the Stella 10000SW and DeepJig 200. In fact, Tania demanded I put a bait on it for her as she couldn't enough hurt of the fish with any of the other gear!

About 3pm we decided to head home, but not before playing with a few Dolphins that enjoyed swimming along the bow of the boat. Tania even managed to reach over and give one a good rub on the side and fin. I think they enjoyed our company as much as we did their! The kids tried for a pat too, but they couldn't quite reach. There is some footage of the Dolphins toward the end of the video clip.

Lachy was so keen that he drove all the way home. Sitting on 4,400rpm and just over 50km/hr the GMI-10's showed the Suzuki DF150 sipping away at 0.5lts per km or 27lt per hour. I think this is outstanding economy from a big 150hp motor pushing a fairly heavy glass boat.