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Fly Fishing

Chasing Golden Trevalley on the Magnetic Island flats.


Enjoying one of the many beautiful beaches of Magnetic Island.

Wednesday 29 October 2008

Rattlesnake Reds and Macks

Thanks Ward for getting the story of our little 2 boat adventure underway. Although we didn’t break any rods, lose a landing net or a shirt, our day also started a little on the wrong side of Murphy’s Law. I had left my landing net and gaff at home, got hooked up in the bait jig while unhooking live herring and lost the lid off the berley pot along with my nice big frozen block of berley all before 6.30am. More about that later!

My crew for the day was my good mate John and his son Dan and nephew Adam, up for the weekend from Brisbane. Being a big believer in always keeping an ace up my sleeve, I took the opportunity to jig up some live bait from the northern Middle Reef channel marker just as the sun was appearing over the horizon. We managed about a dozen large greenback herring and would have been hot on Ward’s tail a littler sooner, had the hooks on the bait jig been a little blunter and hadn’t penetrated all the way through my shirt! Thanks to John’s expertise with a pair of pliers, the culprits were carefully removed and we on our way.

The 6m Hooker made easy work of the surface chop and before long we were drifting alongside Ward’s Stacer, sounding out any structure and baitschools that were in the area. We found a small cluster of larger fish tucked into the flow-on face of a small lump on the bottom and also a nearby baitschool that was moving between the lump and a rubble patch.

Keen to get into some action, we dropped anchor up current of the lump and put the berley pot to work. Within 10 minutes a cloud of fish about 20ft thick had appeared out of the bottom structure and the lads started to pull fish. I was just thinking to myself how much I love my berley, when John informed me that the blue berley bucket lid was now 20m behind the boat. My worst fears were confirmed when I saw my prized berley block floating off into the distance, perfectly releasing tuna oil soaked particles as it bobbed in the swell. The good news is that about an hour later the tide turned and the lid and berley block came floating right back past the boat. A few lucky casts and the berley block and lid were reunited with the berley bucket. It was going to be a good day!

Unfortunately there were no Spaniards around, but the next couple of hours still produced plenty of grunting and groaning from the lads as they landed some good nannies and a few other species to top off a hot session.

For those of you who are like myself and want some specifics, the larger nannies came on the bite immediately after the turn of the tide. Best baits were whole pilchards, squid and live greenback herring. The school mackerel were all taken a couple of feet off the bottom and came on the bite as the tidal run picked up, about 2 hrs after the turn of the tide. All of the macks were taken on a 45g Bumpa Bar in green – absolute killer lure on the larger doggies. Due to the CRFF Closure, all nannies were released.

All up a fantastic day catching fish and catching up with mates - and plenty of laughs as well.

Before I go I must thank Ward for providing us with so much entertainment while landing his northern bluefin tuna. Usually you would have to buy tickets to see such a show! Champion effort mate – and yes, I will help you build a new fly rod!