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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 17 November 2008

Great day around the Island

Our morning started at 3am Sunday with a quick check to see what the weather was up to. Only 4 or 5 knots of breeze for most of the night. Yes! So I got things ready and woke the kids. We managed to get to the ramp by 4.30am. It was almost dead still and anticipations were high. Initially we headed out the channel, looking to at least reach the North Cardinal and, if things were looking good, further to the shoals.

We had a good run at 23knots for about 3/4 of the run to the Beacon. But that last couple of miles slowed us down to about 18. It wasn't THAT bad, but with the kids I like to take it easy. The wind was only light, but the swell was a bit messy. It was decided that wasn't worth the show bumpy trip to the shoal, so we stopped at the Beacon.

There was not a lot showing around the mark. But within a few drifts we had a mackerel each on board. Both caught high speed spinning off the bottom. But it went quiet pretty quickly.

I spun back to a couple of the other marks looking for the bait. But nothing seemed to be around. It was getting later in the morning by this stage, so we had to decide on a change. With some nice fish caught at West Point last week, we though we might head over that way.

It was a nice run across the back of the Island, with the swell behind us. And the Northern end of the Island was much more pleasant. I anchored right on our mark and set up some burley. It was pretty quiet, but we did manage a nice Grunter and a couple of under size doggies. And it VERY went quiet again. No bites at all. Then we spotted why. A small doggie mackerel came flying out of the water right beside the boat. He lept over a meter in the air. And hot on his tail was a small Hammer-head shark. Probably no more than 2m in length.

At this stage the wind had dropped right back, and the sea was easing. It was only about 9am, so I decided to take a run out wide to a mark off the back of Cordelia. It was only about a 25min run in pretty good conditions. We drifted the mark a couple of time and got some good bites. Tania got bitten off a couple of times, so we decided to anchor where the fish were holding and start some burly up.

Over the next couple of hours we were treated to some pretty fast action. The bites were coming pretty quickly, and we landed a couple of just under Nannygai and a nice little Red Emperor (now call Nemo by Sebastian).

But every time we hooked onto what looked like a good fish, things turned sour. First up, a nice size Spanish Mackerel that Tania fought hard with for over 10mins mysteriously transformed into a BIG Barracouda.....right beside the boat!!! Bloody thing. I was convinced it was a Mackerel. Even circling under the boat all lit up the 'bars' looked just right. It wasn't until it was in gaffing range that we realised what it was. Oh well, a nice jaw gaff and a quick pic and it was on its way again.

Next problem was some huge denizen of the deep that kept stealing our Nannygai. On no less than 3 separate occasions Tania had a nice fish (probably a keeper by the initial struggle) suddenly snatched by what we think was a BIG groper. I took the rod on the first occasion to try get a look. I looked up the drag on my Calcutta 700 which loaded with 50lb braid. But I had no hope. And after 10mins the fish was further further away than what it started and the side the reel was feeling a little hot! So I held on and snapped it off. The following two time I just just let it break.

Oh, and then there was the Doggie that took my floating pilchard intended for a spanish mackerel. It hit the bait and splashed on the surface as it too off. Yes, Spaniard I yelled. Only to find the fish came is WAY to easily once I grabbed the rod. At least this fish could go in the eski.

By 11am it was getting hot and everyone was tired. So we headed for home. A clean run at 28knots most of the way. Just the last little bit inside the island had a stiff little 15knot breeze starting.