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Fly Fishing

Chasing Golden Trevalley on the Magnetic Island flats.


Enjoying one of the many beautiful beaches of Magnetic Island.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Handy Tip - Photos from your GoPro

Recently I was on a fishing expedition with Graham Knight of G&T Fishing School and Charters. It wasn't a particularly successful day and I hadn't taken many photos. When I sat down to write a short article from the trip I began regretting not taking the camera out and snapping more photos. But while I was cutting together some video it struck me that I could capture some still images from the video that was shot. The GoPro's had been running for most of the day, so there was plenty of footage to pick from. And with today video cameras shooting at 720p or 1080p, the resolution of images extracted are fine for web use.

So here is a quick tutorial on how you can get photos from your GoPro or other video footage. Completely free and easy to do!

I use Adobe Premiere CC to cut together all my video footage, and it does have a button to click that captures jpeg images from the video. But to keep it free and easy, download a program called VLC. This is a media play that you should be using to play video anyway! It runs on both Windows and Mac, and will playback almost any video file without the need for additional codecs.

With VLC loaded open you video footage you want to use. Play or use the progress bar to scrub through to where you want the image taken from. Pause the video on the exact section. From the menu bar select 'video' and then 'snapshot'. This will save a png image to your photos folder. You can then load and edit the image just like any other photo! Too easy :)

Photo's taken from 720p footage will be at a resolution of 1280 x 720. This is only about 1MP is size, but is fine for Facebook or the web. 1080p will be slightly better at 1920 x 1080, or about 2.2MP. One point to note is that these resolutions have a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is fine if you like it. But you may want to crop back to 4:3 for a more standard photo aspect ratio.

The following sample images were all taken from my GoPro recording at 720p. Some are cropped to 4:3 while others are still in the original 16:9 aspect ratio. I should also note that these sample photos have been further reduced in resolution for upload and display here. All my photos used on this site have a maximum resolution of 800px in any one dimension. The reduces file size and increased load time for readers. But I am sure you will agree that they are perfectly ok for online viewing.

Soft Plastics in the Bay

Tried to take advantage of the break in the weather yesterday. But those Northerlies just won't back off. Friday was apparently the pick of the days, but a sick child prevented us from getting on the water. He still wan't 100% on Saturday, so a short trip was planned to fish some spots in the bay with plastics. No real target species, just anything that wanted to play the game!

We left from the new Ross River boat ramp an day-break and headed to our first spot. On arrival the Side Image of the Humminbird was showing schools of fish tightly working around the area. The Minn Kota was deployed and we 'spotlocked' into position.

The fishing was slow, but the occasional hit and small fish kept us going. The first decent fish to be landed was a nice GT that took my Threadybuster on the drop. A great fight in relatively shallow water and on light gear. This was a good sized fish for this area.

The next decent fish hit Tania on the new 60mm mini Threadybuster. She was using the little Stella 1000 and really enjoyed the fight. But it didn't take long and a nice little 40cm Fingermark was led to the net.

We had landed a few small Grunter for the morning, and missed hooking up heaps of bites from what I assume were Grunter, but finally a decent fish smashed my Threadybuster. Looking like a solid 50cm fish, it spat the hooks just out of netting range. Not to worry, a few casts later and this fella was successfully landed. These new 60mm mini Threadybusters really suite the smaller mouth of the Grunter. The snack sized plastic has an excellent vibration and is fished the same way as its bigger brother. Its well worth grabbing a few and having them in your tackle box.

Sebastian fished hard all morning. He really likes his lure casting. And throwing soft plastics like Threadybusters in relatively open waters is much easier for a young kid than putting lures among snags. He managed to land an assortment of smaller Trevalley and Queenfish. But it was this nice GT that really made his day. Fishing with a small Sustain 1000 it had him doing circles of the boat. But with a little help from Mum and Lachlan the net boy, he was able to lead it in for a quick photo.

I would have really loved to run offshore, but the Northerly was lightly white capping in the bay and Lachlan wasn't feeling well in the heat. So by about 10am we called it quits and ran home.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Hinchinbrook Channel with the Family

On Monday this week I decided to take Tania and the boys for a run up Hinchinbrook Channel. Strong winds had been blowing for the first week of the holidays and I didn't much feels like fishing the local creeks. With good catcher of Fingermark being reported form up the Channel it seemed like a good idea to try catch some Christmas lunch.

We left home a little before 5am and stopped of at Ingham Maccas for breaky. With the strong winds still forecast I decided it was best to launch up at Fishers Creek. A minimum of 1.3m of tide is needed for this ramp, and with small tides and nothing less than 1.6m for the day, I knew we would be right to come and go at any stage.

Initially we dropped Threadybusters on an assortment of marks in 10-15m of water in the main channel. But apart from a few tiddlers it was very quiet. Not even a lot showing up on the Humminbird. After a couple of hours baking in the hot sun with little success we decided to head into some timber for a Jack.

Tania had snuck in some Prawns for bait, so I hit Spotlock on the MinnKota just off a good looking snag and kids tossed in a few baits. It didn't take too long and pickers were all over the prawns. The kids caught a few small Grunter and Cod that entertained them for a while.

We then returned to the plastics around some rock-bars and sunken timber. But Tania was keen on her bait! So she suggested to go drop the prawns on the deeper structure where the Fingermark were supposed to be. With nothing much else happening it seemed a good enough idea.

I marked up a sunken tree in 11m of water and hit 'spotlock'. First bait down and Tania hooked up to a solid fish. A small Nannygai just under the legal size of 40cm. We put down a few more baits, each one turning quickly into a fish. As the last of the incoming tide ebbed in we managed almost a fish a drop. And in the end we had also put 4 legal fish in the eski. Tania even managed to hook up a big Shark that kept us busy for almost 10 minutes. But as the tide topped out the bite stopped. We were all hot and tired and it seemed a good time to pull the boat out and head home.

Sorry about the crappy photos, they are just off the GoPro.

It had been a quite morning, but a lot of fun and some fish in the eski for Christmas. I cut together a short clip of some of the highlights of the day. Please enjoy.

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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