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Fly Fishing

Chasing Golden Trevalley on the Magnetic Island flats.


Enjoying one of the many beautiful beaches of Magnetic Island.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Give a kid a break!

A few weeks ago I was chatting on the phone to Graham Knight from G&T Fishing School and Charters. Graham says to me "mate, we haven't been fishing for a while, I'll have to get you back up Hinchy soon". And I said to him in reply "well, I was actually going to ask you a really huge favour. I have this young lad in year 12 here at school who recently lost his father. Obviously its been a very tough time for him. He is super keen on fishing, always chatting to me in the playground about where and when to go fishing. I though it would be a nice to take him for a fish up Hinchy when he finishes school." Knighty's immediate response was "just give me a date!" So we did all the right things and sought out permission from the School and his mum. And after sussing out the tides it was decided Thursday the 12th of December would be the day.

With the Barramundi closed season in place, the target species for the day was going to be Fingermark. Knighty has been nailing them up the channel lately, and I was pretty keen to see more about how he is doing it.

We picked Giulian up from Ingham on the way through and had the boat in the water about 6am. Just by chance we happened to fluke a day with 5-10knot winds forecast. So the obvious thing to do was head to the end of the jetty for the bigger Fingermark. After the mandatory safety brief from the captan we were off.

As it turned out the wind was not a light as anticipated, and by the time we got to the end of the loader it was a solid 10-15's. But we sounded up some Fingermark on Knighty's Humminbird 998si and figured we were here now so might as well give it a few drops. Down went the GIMP lures, right on top of the school. But despite our every effort, we just couldn't get them to take the lures. After an hour or so of throwing our hands in the air at the fish we pulled the pin and headed up the channel.

Knighty took us straight to a set of sunken timber marks in deep water up the channel. The technique was pretty simple. Using the Side Image of the Humminbird 998 we located the position of the structure and where the fish were hanging. The Spot-lock feature of the Minn Kota electric was then used to hold the boat slightly down-current of the fish. With the boat held in position we cast soft plastic lures above the structure. Once these hit the bottom they were worked with the current back toward the boat. The most important thing is to always keep the lure in contact with the bottom. Plastics such as GIMP's, Threadybusters and even the heavier Jellyprawn 'tide-tamer' were used in an attempt to entice a bite. But even though the fish were marking strongly on the sounder, we struggled to get so much as a bump from them.

We continued to systematically work our way through a plethora of waypoints that engulf the screen of Knighty's 998. We managed to pick up the odd by-catch of Trevalley, Cod and smaller Fingermark, but the bigger fish we were expecting just didn't want to bite. We must have been up to our 5th or 6th mark of the session when eventually a solid fish took my Threadybuster. A good solid fight on the Shimano 3000 Ci4+ Stradic. Hoping for a keepable Fingermark I was surprised to see a bright red shape emerge from the depths. A Small Mouth Nannygai was led into the net. We were sure it was going to push 42-43cm, but on the tape it only just nudged the legal length of 40cm. Too close for comfort, he was photographed and released.

A little more perseverance and eventually a second hard hit on the Threadybuster. This one tore line off the Stradic as it headed along the bottom. A solid fish that took some turning on the light braided line. But it eventually turned and was pumped back toward the surface. I was rather pleased to see the golden glimmer make its way up through the water column. In the net and it was handshakes all round. Not a massive fish, but on a tough day it was one worthy of a photo and placing on ice. Knighty did measure it, I think it went 54cm?

By now the tide had bottomed out and we headed to the tree-line to try our luck on a Mangrove Jack. We managed a couple of flashes from something red, but didn't set any hooks. I managed a hefty Flathead and Giulian tangled with a couple of incidentals. But as the afternoon shadows grew, the wind built and it was suddenly blowing 20-25knots, straight up the channel! So we decided to up the Minn Kota and head for home. It was a wet ride back into Dungeness, but perfectly safe in Knighty's big glass boat.

I would personally like to thank Graham and G&T Fishing School and Charters for taking the time and effort to get Giulian and I up to Hinchy and onto a few fish. Knighty did not withhold any of his vast knowledge of fishing spots and techniques to help Giulian out in the future. Despite a quite day overall, it always a blast fishing with Graham & Giulian. Thanks Guys!

G & T Fishing School and Charters
Mobile: 0419 648 320
Fishing for Barramundi, Mangrove Jack, Fingermark and more...
Specialising in Lure and Fly Fishing
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