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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 26 January 2009

Mackerel out of season

As Ward said in his post, we managed to get out for this Magic Australia Day. After Saturdays effort I was not keen on a big day. So a run in Wards boat chasing those Mackerel around the North Cardinal sounded like just the thing.

We left the ramp about 5am and headed out into pleasant, but slightly bumpy conditions. We were soon at the beacon, but with the cloud cover and rain it was still quite dark. So our first couple of attempts did raise so much as a bump. But once the sun made an entrance the bait moved up in the water column and Mackerel came on.

I was fishing my Stradic 4000 and 20lb braid with a 40g 'Knight' metal slice. The trick was to sent the metal to the bottom directly over the bait school, then rip it back as fast as possible. Most strikes were coming within a few turns of the handle up off the bottom. But a couple of hits on the drop resulted in lost lures. Throughout the morning I landed 6 fish that made if over the 50cm mark, but had MANY more that were just under. I would say in total 20 or so fish made it in the boat, and about 10 more threw the hooks while being lifted. Didn't matter as they were mostly under size.

Ward fished fly most the morning and had to contend with bite off after bite off. I think we counted 7 or 8 in a row. But one was finally landed, unfortunately under the 50cm. He also managed to hook a nice fish that we think might have been a Golden Travalley. But the fish found the base of the pylon pretty quickly.

On one of the drops I managed to hook something a little more substantial. Turned out to be a nice Cobia. A welcome surprise. As the fish came to the surface I could see a nice size GT sitting under it. Ward had a couple of goes with the fly but couldn't tempt it.

With my Cobia netted an in the boat I switched over to my TwinPower 6000 and a 45g Bumpa Bar. The same Bumpa Bar that nailed my last big GT from the same spot. Second drop and the fish hit hard. We were drifting pretty close to the pylon, and I had to put on some serious pressure to keep the fish away. But it did turn and headed out to sea. Took a good 15mins before we saw the fish, and we ended up about 500-600m away from where we started. But it was a great feeling to see Ward tail the large fish and lift it on board. A few snaps and the fish was on its way again. I'm no good with guessing weights, particularly on large fish. But I'm guessing this is getting up around 40lbs?