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Fly Fishing

Chasing Golden Trevalley on the Magnetic Island flats.


Enjoying one of the many beautiful beaches of Magnetic Island.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Another Hinchinbrook trip with Knighty

G and T Fishing School owner Graham Knight and I have been itching to get back up to Hinchinbrook for a fish together for a very long time. Last Sunday presented us with the oportunity to head up and chase some of the big silver salties that Knighty has been nailing of late. Our plan early in the week was to head up to Missionary Bay for the day. Light winds were forecast and I have never had the chance to venture that way. But the forecast later in the week started to predict strong NE winds in the afternoon, not ideal for a run home from Missionary! So a last minute change of plans saw us put Graham's 5.8m 'Cruse Control' in at Lucinda to fish the southern end of the channel.

We left Townsville very early to ensure we were at the ramp by first light. With light winds for the morning Graham took us out to the end of the Sugar Loader to chase some fingermark. Some good fish were showing on the sounder and soon we were letting down our G.I.M.P. lures. The fish were there, but they were hard to entice a bite from. But soon Knighty was getting a few decent bumps. A couple of missed hookups and then he was on. A short solid fight soon had a nice keeper size Finger in the net. I was next to get a hit, and the 20lb PowerPro sizzled off the Sustain 4000fe. The angle on the line started coming up and I was praying for Barra. But a big Queenfish soon launched into the air. After a few more speedy runs and lunges just under the boat, the fish was led into the net. At 107cm it was a lovely fish!

It was a long time before the next decent hit, but it was Knighty who managed to sink the hooks. He was soon tussling with a very solid fish on 30lb. Several strong runs along the bottom and we were pretty sure it was a good finger. A few minutes later and the fish came into sight, easily a 6-7kg Fingermark. But on the next run the hooks pulled! A few expletives were said, but ultimately there was nothing we had done wrong and nothing we could do about. But it was to be a point of discussion for the rest of the day!

It started to get a little lumpy for the 'flats' boat, so we headed back into the channel for the target species. We started working some rocky outcrops, but despite a couple of Barra crashing bait, we only managed a few cod. The tide had quickly dropped too low for this area, we were about an hour too late after chasing the Fingers.

We then headed up Benji flats and worked around some drains and snags, but only managed a handull of Salmon and Grunter. The tide was now on the incoming and not ideal for what we were targeting.

As the tide built in the afternoon we made our way back to the rocky headlands for one last go at a big salty Barra. And it didn't disappoint. I picked up a few smaller fish on the DOA prawns and my Stella 1000fe, including one legal that, at 58.5cm, went back to grow a little larger.

But then something bigger came along! I got to see the fish strike and take the DOA in crystal clear water not too far from the boat. I know it was a decent fish, and soon the 8lb PowerPro was pealing off the Stella. A bit of tight manoeuvring of the rod and some extra pressure on the spool managed to keep the fish from reaching the snags, and it was soon into the open water where I could play it out better. The fish surfaced 3 or 4 times and lunged back to the bottom every time. I was very nervous knowing my leader was only 20lb! But I am yet to have a fish wear through it. The fish quickly tired and was lead into the net. Some handshakes and high-5's before the obligatory photographs. At 76cm it is my best Barra for a long time, and maybe a PB for the Stella.

As this fish had hit my lure away from the rocks and more in the deeper open water, I decided to next send down a Thready Buster. This was attached to a Sustain 1000fe that was being used earlier in the day. And yes, still 8lb PowerPro and 20lb leader. It only took a couple of casts and the Thready was hit hard. Line tore off the Sustain spool and the fish headed up the creek. Then I lost weight on the fish. Hooks pulled and fish kept going! From the power of this run I strongly believe this was even better than the 76cm, but its hard to say for sure. 

Knighty then proceeded to miss 3 really good strikes, all in quick succession and all from fish in the 70+ range. We saw the fish hit the lure every time, but they just failed to find the hook. The tide then came up too high and the fish disappeared into the back of the mangroves. Time for home!

Knighty is a real character to go fishing with. He knows Barra like nobody else I have fished with. So if you are looking for a day on the water that you will never forget, give him a call an book a session. Barra season is closing soon and I know he is booking out fast! So get in quick and secure a position. Visit for all the details. 

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Family Fishing for Barramundi

The kids have been bugging me for the last few weekends to get them out in the 'little boat' to chase some Barramundi. They had soccer games yesterday morning that prevented us getting offshore, so with the wind coming back up today I thought it would be a good chance to get them into the creek. The plan was to allow them to work the Thready Buster lures in the deeper holes where Andrew and I had caught a stack of Salmon the weekend before. At least it's open water and pinpoint casts into the snags don't matter. So we headed off about 7am to catch the last of the run in tide and first of the run out.

We marked a few fish in the hole when we arrived, but nothing like last weekend. Spot-lock was hit on the iPilot and we all started working the Thready Busters. I was first to hook up, a solid fish that I 'just' caught a glimpse of before the hooks pulled. It was very quiet compared to last week, but were persevered. Tania eventually nailed a good fish that had her moving all around the boat. We had not idea what this was going to be as it didn't fight anything like a Salmon or a Barra. Soon a nice Grunter came into view and was slipped into the net.

The next decent fish to hit the lure was a nice size Salmon. A much better quality fish than last weekend, it danced all over the ocean. A couple of tense moments and it was in the net. Just in time too as lifting the fish from the net the leader broke from the wear of the rough mouth. The Thready Buster was well down his gob! 

I missed another couple of hits and landed a smaller Grunter. But the wind was coming up and it was getting cold and rough where we were sitting. So the decision was made to head back into the creek and find another spot. I wanted to stay with the Thready Busters in the deeper water as it is much easier for the kids. But after a flash of a Barra on a Thready I threw colse to the mangroves, I just had to change over. 

I tied on a DOA and threw it back into the mangrove roots. Two nice silver fish flashed and fought over the lure, but both missed. Back it and 'whack', Barra on. The little 55cm fish thrashed on the surface before being netted and released. 

Over the next hour we pulled at least a dozen Barramundi out of this one set of mangroves. Most were in the 55cm class, but I did manage 2 that went 63cm. The kids nailed plenty of the smaller fish, but I had to put the cast in do the hookup for them. It was just too tight around the mangrove roots for the boys to successfully work a lure. The DOA's are not exactly snag proof! 

A great morning on the water overall. Water temp is back around the 23 degree mark and was running beautiful and clear. A few meals of fish this week! Lucky the whole family enjoy eating fish. DOA lures are only $20 for 5 at ProTackle. Right on the front counter. They are good to as they are or you can upgrade the hooks if your fishing heavier line. Ask Matt about the best hook! They are available in 3in and 4in sizes, but I only by the 3in now as its my favorite. 

Monday, 13 August 2012

Barramundi in the cold snap!

Yesterday Andrew and I headed off into one of the local creeks to target some Barramundi. We were planning the trip all week, but as the weekend predictions started to show mornings down in the 7 degree mark out expectations were not very high! But the tides were perfect and Andrew had a new Ci4 Stradic 3000 to test out, so we were going regardless.

Andrew picked up me and my boat about 5.30 and we headed off. Boat was in by about 6.30 and we were soon rugged up and running across to our first location. On a previous trip I had sounded up some good shows of bait in a deep 6m hole near the mouth of this particular creek. It took my interest at the time, but we never stopped to investigate. So today I thought we might drop some Thready Buster lures down and see what was holding with the bait. As we approached the sounder lit up! The iPilot was dropped and put into 'spot lock' mode directly above the school of fish. The sounder shot below is from a Humminbird 998 SI and shows what was marking in the hole.

It didn't take too long and Thready Busters were being bumped left right and centre! The first fish was a nice Salmon to Andy, but I was soon connected to something much more substantial. I was using my older Sustain 1000fe and 8lb Power Pro. The fish slugged it out deep and I wasn't game to put on too much pressure. The Side Image of the 998 hadn't shown too much in the way of structure down there, so I was happy to let it play out. The fish never came to the surface for a jump, and the first flash of silver had me thinking big Grunter. But as the fish came better into sight it was soon apparent this was a nice Barra. A couple of final lunges and he was slipped into the waiting net. I didn't measure the fish as I was too keen to get another lure down. But we estimated it in the low 70's.

We continued to work the Thready's for the next hour and experienced a pretty good session from the Salmon. We had double hookups on several occasions. A few smaller Queenfish thrown in for good measure, but we didn't see another Barra. Andrew even nailed a few Salmon on the newly released 'Interceptor' hard bodied lure from Smoking Drags Co (the same guys who make the Thready Buster). It was very successful on these feisty little Salmon, and even seemed to get them fired up again just when they seemed to go quiet. The action was so consisted I put the GoPro on for a little video action.

We left them biting and went in search of some timber to throw the lures at. Barra were really the target species, and despite raising one we had given it a good shot for another. We managed a few Rats for the snags and the tide slowly fell, but it was quiet overall. On the bottom of the tide we decided to sit in another deep hole on the outside of a big bank and again work the Thready's. While the tide was dead we didn't see too much action, but as the tide began to run back in the fish came onto the bite. A number of smaller Barra were landed and Andrew nailed a nice Fingermark for the eski. But we also landed the usual by-catch of Cod, Salmon and small Jew. The best fish to come out of this hole was a 63cm Barra that took my TB.

As the tide made we returned to the snags. But again just a handfull of rats kept us entertained for the afternoon. We called it quits about 4.30 and headed back to the ramp.

We had had a day of both hot and cold sessions (weather too!). We had seen multiple hookups and fish a cast as well as long periods of no hits. But with out a doubt the Thready Buster lures fished in the deeper holes were deadly. Without this lure and this technique it would have been a very ordinary day. Species for the day included Barramundi, Jack, Salmon, Bream, Cod, Jew, Flathead, Archer and Fingermark.

If you need to stock up on some Thready Buster lures then Pro Tackle have the best range at the best price. Go and have a chat to Matt about what he is catching on them and how to use them.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Fishers’ Forum – Protect your rights 8 August 2012