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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 30 November 2008

Great morning on Magnetic Island Shoals

Well a big day out on the Shoals off Townsville! Finally finished a shower and I almost feel human again. Our day started at 2.30am with the alarm sounding. I got up first to pull the boat out and get the fishing gear loaded. Then time to wake Tania and the boys. Both kids were very excited, running all over the house. Even though it was 3am! Fuel on the way and we probably managed to get to the ramp around 4.

We were greeted with some spectacular weather. Smooth seas and winds of no more than 5knots. I was flat enough that Tania and the boys crawled into the cabin and slept for most of the 50min run out.

On arrival at my newly found mark bait was showing with some big fish hunting around. With everyone still asleep, I simply dropped a metal slice before even thinking about what might be down there. On the bottom, a couple or cranks of the handle and bang. Good fish. The screams of the drag soon got Tania out of the cabin. A solid fight soon had a nice Trevally in the 4-5kg range in the net. Not one of the good eating variety, a few snaps and he was on his way again.

I had high expectations of this site producing some quality Nannygai. So with Tania now up it was time to try squid! I positioned the boat above the mark and both dropped our lines. Within seconds of hitting the bottom, both of us were hooked solid. I pulled the hooks on my fish quite quickly. But Tania stayed connected. The fish pulled hard, but Tania pulled even harder on that 50lb braid. The fish began to show, and it looked the right colour. And a good size too. Into the net and onboard came a Nanny in the 5-6kg range. Quick pic and in the eski.

Subsequent drifts produced a succession of hookup, but none managed to make it to the boat. We had a terrible time with pulled hooks, bit-offs and bricked fish. With the drift being pretty quick and the fish holding over a small area, I was decided that we should anchor.

We anchored right on the mark, and within minutes I was hooked up solid again. But this didn't fight like a Nannygai. It kept making big runs, almost like a Spanish Mackerel, but not fast enough. As the fish reached the surface if ran wide. Puzzled, but assuming a big Trevally, I was very pleased to see a good size Cobia come into sight. Tania got a little stressed out with the net, but it went in fine and soon joined the Nannygai in the eski.

For the next hour our bad luck on Nannygai continued. We consistently hooked up on good fish, only have the break off only meters up off the bottom. I was frustrated. Tania was frustrated. And I could not work out what was going wrong. We must have busted off on 1o or so quality fish. I was fishing 60lb leader on 30lb braid, and Tania 60lb leader on 50lb braid. The leader was giving way just above the not on every occasion. I had concerns the leader may have been sun damaged and brittle.

Then we were shown as to the problem. Tania got a good fish 3/4 of the way up when suddenly it took off like a freight train. Not fast, but unstoppable. Then a couple of fish later Tania had one almost boat side when two BIG shadows came up and stole the fish. SHARKS! And bit ones too. Reminded of my trip to Shark Shoal.

We up-anchored and moved to try some other close by marks. But everywhere we went the same thing happened. We would get the fish up off the bottom, only to have it stolen from us in seconds. We should have had an eski full to the brim with fish. But instead we went through and box of 25 5/0 hooks, a couple of dozen number 4 bean sinkers, and almost a spool of 60lb jinkai. So it will be off the Pro Tackle this week to replenish supplies!

Its only 8pm as I write this, and already I'm thinking of bed! My arms hurt, by back hurts and my legs can bearly hold me up. I hope others had as much fun as we did today, and perhaps managed to get some fish in the boat?