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Local Boat Ramps

Information on the quality and location of local Boat Ramp facilities. Includes photographs, maps and some video content.

Family orientated

Promoting family fishing.

Fish for the future promotes catch and release fishing.

Great Fishing Locations

Popular fishing spots including GPS locations, sounder shots and maps.

Regular fishing reports

Regular fishing reports from our fishing trips.

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Fly Fishing

Chasing Golden Trevalley on the Magnetic Island flats.


Enjoying one of the many beautiful beaches of Magnetic Island.

Saturday 28 February 2009

Neaps and Northerly's

Thought I would follow Ward’s lead and catch up on a few posts. It’s great to be back on deck and I am happy to say that my bout of Dengue Fever that welcomed me into the New Year seems to be finally gone.

I recently caught up with fellow Bush’n Beach writer Karl Mendis was passing through Townsville on his trip north to Dunk Island. Despite Karl timing his visit with neap tides and an early morning Northerly that was expected to swing to a solid 20 knot South Easterly mid morning, we managed to sneak out for a few hours to one of my spots near Cordelia Rock.

Having only 0.5m of tidal run between high and low tides meant a different game plan than usual. When you have a big tidal run, well defined eddies and pressure points form on the current side of any structure or obstruction. It is here that the bait schools take refuge and here that the bigger predators know they can get an easy feed. As expected with the lack of current, the bait schools were scattered over a 200m radius around the structure and among them were some good schools of nannygai, trevally and the occasional mackerel. The other problem with neap tides is that the schools of fish are continually moving, and often not actively feeding.

Karl was keen to catch some red fish, so after finding the best looking nannygai school we began to drift fish. The key to doing this successfully is to mark the school on your GPS each time you do a drift and berley continuously. After a few drifts we could see that the school was making its way slowly back to the main structure. Karl was fishing dead squid on a dropper rig and I was using my trusty old 45g green Bumpa Bar. We managed to pick off a few undersize nannygai on the bait and a couple of school mackerel on the metal. Just before the change of tide the schools of bait and fish had aggregated near the main structure and were holding there, so we anchored up current and got a good berley trail going. As quick as the fish came on the bite, it was over. In that 15 minute window we landed a few more nannygai, school mackerel, barracuda and were harassed by a big mackerel-eating GT.

Fishing neaps and northerly’s is always a challenge here in Townsville. Just be prepared to search a bit harder for the bait schools and when you find them, stick with them because they won’t be sitting still. Where you find the bait you will also find the big critters – you may just need to wait them out!