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Fly Fishing

Chasing Golden Trevalley on the Magnetic Island flats.


Enjoying one of the many beautiful beaches of Magnetic Island.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Big Queenfish to test out the Ci4+ Stradic

After a good little session with the family on Saturday morning, Sunday was a chance to fish with old mate Andrew Gleeson. One would have thought the forecast and tides would have been even better than Saturday, but it wasn't really the case! Upon launching early we took the last park at the Coast Guard ramp and headed off. It was sloppy out the front of the harbor, very sloppy! Thoughts of heading to the shoals for a Spanish Mackerel soon dissipated as the boat turned to starboard and pointed toward the creek mouths! Conditions improved as we got into the protection of the Cape, and we eased into position over our first mark. There was not a lot showing on the Humminbird Side Image, but first cast and Andrew hooked up. I was still rigging a lure and fish took both of us by surprise. But soon a small Barra was lifted aboard, photographed and released.

With nothing more happening at this spot we decided to move to spot number 2 before the tide ran out. A little more showing on the Humminbird at this location, but still not the kind of activity Tania and I had seen on numerous previous trips. But we were soon landing small Trevally and Blue Salmon relatively consistently.

We were pretty keen to see if there was any Mackerel action on the channel markers, so as soon as the bite slowed we headed off. Conditions had improved and we were able to make the run back to the channel fairly easily. We sounded around numerous pylons, there was nothing showing on Humminbird on any of them! Disappointed by the lack of sounder activity, we decided to bump our way out to the furthest marker, the North Cardinal.

To my surprise, initially we were the only boat there. We sounded around, but still we couldn't locate any decent schools of bait or fish on the sounder. But having made it this far, we were not going to leave without at least trying. So we deployed the iPilot and locked ourselves into position. While we couldn't attract a bite, we soon spotted a school of bait a hundred meters or so away shimmering the surface, so over we went to investigate. There was a massive amount of bait moving though and flicking on the surface. But we couldn't for the life of us attract a bite. It was almost as though there were no predators around. After a while we gave up and moved back into position at the marker. Two more boats joined us, and soon one was hooked into a nice fish. It turned out to be a nice tuna that gave the boys a good run for their money.

We kept working the area and eventually I was rewarded with a good strike on a Threadybuster. The angle on the line came up abruptly and soon a nice Queenfish launched from the water. This was going to be a good test out for the 3000 Ci4+ Stradic. The Queenfish took of at a great rate of knots, repeatedly leaping into the air. I followed the fish with the Minn Kota electric, always trying to keep the boat between the fish and the channel marker. After a good solid fight and several long runs the fish was lead into the waiting net. A few quick snapshots for the boys at Shimano the fish swam away strongly.

One press of a button on the Minn Kota remote and boat automatically returned us to our previous 'spot-locked' position. A short time later and I was hooked up again. But this fight was going to be very different! This fish ran deep and hard. I again followed with the electric, but the fish always hung to the bottom. I had no hope of getting this fish to turn its head, for the next 15 minutes it was in complete control. I was convinced this was going to be a big Fingermark! We ended up several hundred meters away from the marker, still with the fish hard on the bottom. Finally I got frustrated and added a little extra pressure on the spool with my hand. Not technically the right thing to do, but I was able to gently push the 15lb Power Pro to its limits and ease the fish up. Colour at last! No fingermark, this was another Queenfish. But this time it was jagged in the side! I have never been so disappointed to land a big Queenfish! Its amazing the difference jagging a fish can make to the fight. It just didn't tire the fish at all. Even after a few photos the fish took off like a rocket.

After this we decided to head home and check out some more markers on the way. I had commitments for the afternoon and we had to finish early anyway. And from what I understand, conditions severely deteriorated in the afternoon. So probably a good thing.

Below is a highlights clip. Nothing from the Queenfish as the camera wasn't running.