Product Reviews

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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.

Product Reviews

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Fly Fishing

Chasing Golden Trevalley on the Magnetic Island flats.


Enjoying one of the many beautiful beaches of Magnetic Island.

Thursday 30 April 2009

Townsville Predators Tournament - Postponed!

From Scott NthQld....

Well its officially been postponed until next weekend. I heard it on the radio this arv, on the way home from work

Registration will occur NEXT Friday the 8th May. Also, the comp will be shortened so that weigh in will be on the Sunday.

The tournament will NOT be postponed again, next weekend is it, rain, hail, shine or cyclone. Townsville Game Fishing club urges everyone to use their head and consider their own and others safety if it blows up.

Predictions currently stand at 20-25's Saturday increasing to 25-30+ knts Saturday arvo and the rest of the long weekend.

Monday 27 April 2009

Townsville Boat Ramp Petition - Update

After beginning the petition last week, I contacted several council members including Mayor Les Tyrell. I pointed out the shortcomings of our local ramp, of which I'm sure they are already aware, and indicated that we would be petitioning for some action.

David Crisafulli was the first to respond. Below is a copy of his response.

Thank-you for your interest in boating facilities. We agree the situation is disgraceful. I was down there on Sunday morning with my dad and saw the situation first hand.

We have committed to building another 100 car parks at National Park boat ramp. Sadly, at the moment, this is locked in a court battle with a handful of local residents who are getting some poor advice from a Councillor. We would appreciate your efforts to throw your support behind this concept. It is only the first of many steps that need to be taken, but it will at least make a start to addressing decades of neglect.


David Crisafulli

To my surprise, Mayor Les Tyrell was also quick to respond. Below is what he had to say on the topic.

Dear Mr Brown,

Thank you for your email of 23 April 2009 regarding the need for better boat ramp facilities in Townsville. I agree there is a definite need for more ramps and parking spaces. Unfortunately the Townsville City Council does not have the responsibility, or financial resources, to install new ramps. These facilities are the responsibility of the State Government. The Council has been pressuring the State for years to build new facilities in our city and we have offered to assist with building the car parking. This is especially the case in North Queensland where the high number of small boats generates a huge revenue flow into state coffers. In relation to the Ross Creek boat ramp and adjoining car park areas, these are under the total control of the State of Queensland via the Townsville Port Authority.

I note your petitions calls on the Council to raise the standard of public boat launching facilities, however, I urge you to lobby the three Members of State Parliament in this area. Without their support I doubt there will be a satisfactory outcome as far as this issue is concerned.
I look forward to working with all stakeholders to improve the boat ramp facilities in the city and I thank you again for your email.

Yours sincerely

Les Tyrell OAM

My response to Les was simply that he was elected to be the voice of the Townsville people, and that it was his job to rally the State Government on our behalf. However, I have now emailed Premier Anna Bligh on the topic. So far I have only received the standard "thank you for your email...." type reply. I will let everyone know as soon as I get a proper response. My email was a very emotive one, not just outlining the shortfalls of our facility, but also the various safety aspects. It was the type of email that made you wonder how anyone could read it and not think 'wow, something needs to be done here!'. But we shall see. Stay tuned and keep the signatures coming.....

Sunday 26 April 2009

Queenfish save the day

Headed out today with Ward and Liam in Wards boat. Owing to Rising Sun Marine not having my boat ready Friday afternoon I was boatless for run of magic weather. I was feeling pretty down about the whole thing, being that it was my Birthday and all. We had made plans to be out on the water with the kids Saturday and stay the night. Not easy telling a 4yo who has been waiting all week that we can't go. But Ward saved the day, for me at least.

We headed out early to try some of the new marks we picked up last weekend. On arrival the sounder lit up and we thought we would be in for a great morning. We landed a couple of Trevally, including a monster Golden, and all went quiet. We were about to go looking for another spot when a bit of breeze started to come up. This little breeze took us completely by surprise, and was soon white capping strongly. As the fishing was not looking like being stunning, Ward decided to head in. I was quickly reminded of why I went up to a bigger glass boat!

Back at the island and it calmed off a fair bit. We tried a few placed around the Island before deciding the only chance we had for any quality fish was the North Cardinal. It was now back to totally calm and we headed out.

We pulled up with another couple of boats, and were completely surrounded by bait. But we found tempting anything decent hard going. But soon Ward was hooked into something decent on his 10wt fly rod. Decent enough that we had to up anchor and chase. The fish faught high in the water, and soon a big Queenfish was jumping in the air. We boated the fish and it was smiles all round. We then spent some time finding the bait and where the big fish were sitting. Turned out to be a fair way off the cardinal. Over the next half hour or so we had a great time, all landing at least one quality fish. A couple had to be kept as the didn't swim off. The ones we kept went 5.6kg and 5.7kg cleaned.

We then had a nice clean run home. Thanks Ward for getting me on the water when things were not looking good!

Wednesday 22 April 2009

Online petition for beter boat ramp facilities in Townsville

I think most of us are pretty fed up with poor standard of boat launching facilities available in Townsville. Well, there seems to be a bit of heat around the place about it at the moment. So lets take the chance to add to that heat. I have started an online petition requesting something be done to address the problem. Please follow the link below and fill out the detail. Also, feel free to copy the link into and email or any other online forum and pass around to as many people as possible.

Monday 20 April 2009

Beautiful day on the Shoals

Fished yesterday morning around the Magnetic Island Shoals with Ward. It had been a while since Ward was out in my boat, and we had been planning all week to at least do a run along the channel markers for some doggie mackerel. But as Sunday approached, the forecast on Seabreeze just got better and better. And once I got up Sunday morning, I realised we should be going further than the channel!

It appeared that everyone else in Townsville had recieved the latest update in weather, and by the time I arrived at the ramp at 5.15am, the car park was FULL. It really is time Townsville boaties were given a fair go with the ramp situation. Luckily we were still able to get in and under way pretty quickly.

We had a near perfect run all the way to the shoals. In fact, it got better the further we went. First stop was a new shoal of mine where last trip Tania and I were catching Bludger Trevalley one after the other. Nothing special about them, but I really wanted Ward to boat some fish on fly before we went looking for something better. As it turned out it was a good idea, Ward had half a dozen fish notched up inside half and hour. So time to try for a Spaniard!

Next stop was Shark Shoal. I knew there would be the obvious problem of the sharks, but I also knew we stood a very good chance of at least hooking up to some Spaniards. Landing them would be something to work on. I was right, on arrival the sounder light up with fish. And it didn't take long for us to be hooking up. The sharks were quick to join in, and we lost fish after fish after fish. Eventually we managed to boat a few smaller fish in the 65-70cm range. Ones we could drag up quick before the sharks got onto them. But every time we hooked a good one, we just couldn't get em to the surface quick enough. We even tried free-spooling them, knowing a Spanish can outrun a shark. But the stupid fish just wouldn't head to the surface. The only fish we boated before leaving was a nice Rainbow Runner. My first of this species, I was very excited. And as it turned out, I found this a superior eating fish to a Mackerel anyway. Highly recommended from me. There is a bit of a discussion about Shark Shoal on the forum if anyone is interested.

We left Shark Shoal with a large hole in our wallets from lost flies and metal slices and headed for another mark of mine. There was not a lot showing here, but we gave it a couple of drifts. I put down a bait, and Ward continued with fly. I didn't take to long and Ward pulled in his fly line with nothing attached to the end, and I got bitten off on the way up with the bait. So I sent down a bumpa-bar and sure enough it was hit and took of screaming. Without the problem sharks I was able to cleanly fight a very nice Spanish Mackerel and get him boat side. But he was only hooked with one hook just in the top lip. And just out of gaffing range he shook his head and swam away. As it turned out that was as close as I was going to get today.

It then went quiet, so we decided to run back to where we had begun the day. Perhaps some Macks might have moved in. But we only got about half way when I ran over a huge patch of fish. We quickly pulled up and spun around. The sounder light up almost a good as Shark Shoal, and was to later name this spot "son of shark shoal". We quickly dropped metal and fly, and began to land all assortment of Trevalley one after the other. It appeared the area was shark free and we were having a ball landing some very nice pelagics. I was sure there had to be macks in there too, so we kept on fishing. But just as we started to hook into some screaming mackerel, the sharks arrived. It was almost as if the sharks were following the schools of mackerel. From then on we lost just about every remaining fly and metal lure on the boat, forever hopeful we would get just one fish to the boat. But it wasn't to be. Even a kick arse Groper moved in on the action, following up a Trever. I estimate this fish was at LEAST twice the size of the sharks that were hassling us. It was MASSIVE.

We left there about 1pm with very soar arms, very few lures left, and massive smiles on our faces. Two fish in the eski! We couldn't have been happier.

Below is some video of Ward on a fish on fly. We assume it was a GT. But unfortunately the 11kg tippet let go about 5mins after I stopped recording.

Friday 17 April 2009

Barramundi on Soft Plastics

Just got back from an afternoon with Ward chasing Barramundi in the freshwater. There has obviously been more rain around in the last few days than I though, water was up in all the freshwater areas.

To cut to the chase, we had a great session. I landed around 7 Barramundi, two of which went 62cm and 64cm. The smallest was 29cm, but there were a few in the 45cm range. All fish were caught on my sustain 1000 and 8lb Braid with 10lb leader. Only 1 large fish was lost due to wear on the leader. Not bad odds on such light gear!

The plastic of the moment was again a 65mm Squidgie Fro Fish in Grasshopper Green. I was using a 1/8 jig head (see below).

Unfortunately Ward was far less fortunate hooking 2 nice fish on fly, but failed to stay connected to either.

All fish were tagged and released.

Baptist Church Fishing Club - Comp Results April 2009

Finally some magnificent weather for the BCFC April Comp which meant plenty of anglers getting out to enjoy the calm seas and sunshine. A total of 5 anglers weighed 12 fish for a total weight of 16.02kg and 454.1 points. An additional 16 fish were released and 3 nice mud crabs were also weighed.

Congratulations to all those who weighed fish and it was great to see so many at the weigh-in and BBQ. A big thankyou to Kalven and his crew for the great job on the BBQ - another awesome feed after a big weekend of fishing!

Division Winners:

Senior Male: Malcolm Brown 194.7 points
Senior Female: Tania Brown 106.8 points
Lure/Fly: Malcolm Brown 80 points
Tania Brown 80 points
Catch & Release: Ward Nicholas 39.48 points
Hard Yakka: Allison Quayle 30 points
Mud Crab: Jayden Jacobs 17.4 points
Encouragement: Ray Elliman

Individual Results:

Senior Male – Line Fishing
Malcolm Brown 194.7 points
Spangled Emperor 2.34kg 58.5pnts
Spangled Emperor 1.56kg 39.0pnts
Sm Mouth Nannygai 0.86kg 17.2pnts
School Mackerel 0.97kg 38.8pnts
School Mackerel 1.03kg 41.2pnts

Ian Ferguson 95.2 points
Red Throat Emperor 1.82kg 63.7pnts
Red Throat Emperor 0.90kg 31.5pnts

Michael St Johnwood 33.9 points
Barramundi 2.26kg 33.9pnts

Jordan Quayle 23.5 points
Coral Trout 0.94kg 23.5pnts

Senior Female – Line Fishing

Tania Brown 106.8 points
Sm Mouth Nannygai 1.34kg 26.8pnts
School Mackerel 1.04kg 41.6pnts
School Mackerel 0.96kg 38.4pnts

Fish Released
Stripey x 5
Silver Jewfish x 3
Barred Grunter x 2
Tuskfish x 2
School Mackerel x 1
Bream x 1
Estuary Cod x 1
Mangrove Jack x 1

Thursday 16 April 2009

Bagged out on Doggie Mackerel

The brief drop in wind yesterday was looking like the only chance we would have to get out on the water over the school holidays. So Tuesday night we got the boat, gear and lunch ready for the following day. With such slack tides, we didn't really hold much hope for the fish. We would have been more than happy to have a quick fish and then duck to island for a swim and lunch. But that all changed when we woke to rain and a breeze as 5am!

I looked at the radar and continued to get the boat ready hoping that by the time we got to the ramp it would be clearing up. By the time we were ready to drive out (about 6am) it had indeed stopped raining, and seemed to have calmed off. So we continued on our merry way.

We ran out the channel in what can only be described as 'sloppy' conditions. But for the most part we were able to maintain a constant 20 knots. As this was not really meant to be a 'fishing' trip, we only had a couple of spin rods and a handfull of metal slices on board.

We started working from about the second tripod out, but didn't find much in the way of bait until almost to the last marker. But even when we found the bait, we couldn't get the fish to bite. A couple of bumps on the slices indicated there were mackerel there, but not feeding. I found a bait jig and put it down, thinking we could try some live bait. But every time Tania got bait on, the mackerel would clean them up! So we could get them feeding, but not on metal. Eventually Tania managed to get a live bait back to the boat, and he was immediately sent back down and into the mouth of a nice plump Doggie.

Tania got a couple more in the bait bucket and it started to rain. I put a live bait down on the bottom and put the rod in the holder to get the clears up. I had the first zip in when the reel screamed off. This was no doggie! Tania continued to try get the clears up while I took the rod. After a solid fight a lovely Golden of about 6kg was netted and brought aboard.

I moved back to metal slices and started to see a bit more action. I hooked and dropped a couple of fish before finally boating one for the eski. I got Tania going again on metal, and things started to improve. The more we hooked up and more the fish started to bite. They seemed to get quite excited by all the action. And over the next hour or so we managed to reach our new quota or 10 fish per person. Not counting the kids, this gave us a total of 20 nice fat Doggies all in the 52-55cm range. Not a bad swag of fillets. I even had a go at a couple with a 15g Bumpa-Bar and my Sustain 1000. Lots of fun on 8lb braid. Next time I will try putting on the spool with 4lb braid on it!

From here we went into Nelly Bay and pulled up for an ice-cream and drink. Oh, and to add a bit more ice to the eski. The kids watched the fish swimming under the jetty for a while then we headed home.

Sunday 12 April 2009

new spot

We (Raymond, Richard and myself) had an interesting fish in a new location just North of Townsville.

We discussed the idea on our regular fly tying night and decided to fish on Saturday. We meet and drove to the location. Raymond was a little worried with the weather conditions but we continued as a scouting trip if nothing else.

We arrived at the location and it proceeded to rain. No problems tried one location and Raymond landed a nice sooty. Nothing else, so onto the next location and we planned with a couple of barra, they looked and we missed! All three of us had a go but no luck!

So off we went to the next location. Nice body of water, a little difficult for casting but still possible. this time we landed a few Sooties and a couple of tarpon. The biggest sooty went to 37cm and heavy.

As darkness arrived we left and went back to the original location to see if the barra and tarpon wanted to play some more. By now it was raining again and Richard and I had left our day glasses in the car so a little difficult to see! Raymond had a couple of goes with a gurgler and showed us how to fish for tarpon at night. Good fun, all you need is a head lamp, floating line, gurgler and of course some fish! All in all a good afternoon and somewhere new to try.

Monday 6 April 2009

Mackerel a plenty!

First up I apologise for not getting this report up quicker, but I had some video footage I wanted to sort out and upload first.

What a great week of weather. And luckily it held for the weekend. Our plan was to leave Friday afternoon after work. Stay the night in Horseshoe Bay, and head to the shoals first thing Saturday. We left the ramp about 5.30pm and had an easy 25knot run out across a light afternoon wind chop. No swell, so it was obviously calm out wide. We tried a couple of markers on the way, but quickly lost light and called it quits. I wanted to be anchored in the Bay before dark.

After dinner the lights of the boat had attracted some small fish life. So the two boys spent about an hour catching small Grunter and GTs. They had a ball, most of the GT's were no more than 6in long! But there were plenty of bites to keep them happy. But the fish of the night was a nice little Sucker fish Tania caught. Lachy though it was great when it sucked onto the lid of a container!

Next morning we woke to glassed out conditions. I upped the anchor and headed off. Tania and Sebastian stayed asleep in the cabin, but Lachy joined me for the smooth ride out. We maintained an easy 30knots and were at location is quick time.

For the next couple of hours we fished various shoal marks in search of a school of Nannygai. But we found just about everything but! One shoal was loaded with Bludger Trevaley, another with HUGE trigger fish. With only 1 small Nanny in the eski, we decided to head wider in search of some Spanish Mackerel. We arrived to find a couple of other boats already on location, but large schools of fish were marking on the sounder all over the place. Visibility was stunning, and we could see schools of Spanish Mackerel right under the boat. There must have been dozens. But enticing a bit in the crystal clear water was difficult. And every time we did manage a hookup, it was sharked in quick time!

These videos show just how shy the fish were, a pillie thrown over the side is initially ignored, and my bumpa-bar is bearly looked at.

However, we did manage to pull about 1 in 5 fish off the bottom and beat the sharks to the surface. An expensive and exhausting exercise, but it got us a couple of nice Spangled Emperor and Small Mouth Nannygai.

On the way home we gave the NC a try for some Doggies. I wasn't holding my breath, as it was about 1pm. But a few casts of a 40g slice saw us hooking up one after the other. And in the next hour or so we boated 13 fish in the 53-55cm range, and let a few smaller specimens go. Oh, and I should also mention, one of my doggies got pummeled on the surface by a huge GT. Was an amazing sight to see. Unfortunately he did hook up, and peeled the 20lb braid off like there was nothing there. Needles to say, it ended pretty quickly!

We came home about 3pm with the worst part of the entire trip being the last 500m into the harbor. And that was just a little afternoon seabreeze! Love it! Wish we got more weather like that.

Fly fishing Film Festival

Hi folks I thought I would put this up. Thanks Malcolm for the space for the posting. I have seen over the last few years a lack of stuff about flyfishing coming from down south. I appreciate the Tackle shops and what they are doing but I wanted to see this particular festival. As the festival could not be brought to North Queensland because of costs, I wondered if we could stage it ourselves. Thank fully the company agreed and they are providing the stuff for the event. If you have an interest in fly fishing or fishing in general you should enjoy this. There will be an opportunity to purchase DVDs at the show. So if you have an interest please reply to the address provided.

Saturday 4 April 2009

Fly fish nice weekend

Well every man and his dog was out fishing today! We decided to leave from Pallarenda and miss the rush at the main boat ramp in town. We succeeded in leaving early but that is when the problems began, or did they!

We began the weekend with a nice repair to the skeg on the motor which was damaged on Thursday, thankfully Rising Sun Marine completed the job in record time and the boat was ready go by Friday at 4pm! Thinking all was good up we get at 4.30am, done to the ramp by 5am, in the water and no start on the motor! Cutting a long story short we eventually took the boat out of the water leaving the 4wd in low range (this may be important later) and home we went. While cleaning the boat up I noticed the kill switch was not connected! All fixed back to the ramp. In the water, motor out and !!! we cannot accelerate. Problem the bar that connects the 2 levers in the motor has slipped off? I did adjust it to check the fuel so probably my fault. A quick fix then off to the barge.

At the barge we look for schools of fish but we find little? Liam manages a couple of trevally and some bites. I rig up the 12wt and second cast a hook up and the rod breaks!! Not a good start, a small nannagi is all on fly from this loacation. Ok after a while we decide to run to to the back of Cordilia Rocks. Nice weather still, as we arrive the fitting for the accelerater cable goes again! This time not such an easy fix, so while I am doing this Liam decides to do some casting with the metal slice. Nice job, he misses one spanish mackeral and lands a spotty and then a nice legal spanish! After the motor is repaired we move off to Rattlesnake, we notice a nice school of tuna but we missed the fish as another boat beats us to the punch, rats!!! No matter, off towards the beacons off Magnetic to finish. We work the pylons and Liam lands a couple of small mackeral and I finally get a legal fish today with a 52cm schooly! Well thats it, but we have to pick the boat up so we decide to ask the wife to bring the trailer to the main ramp, yep you guessed it we forgot to tell her that the car was in low range 4wd! After travelling at 80 kms/hr she was wondering why the car was making a funny noise! An interesting day to say the least.

Wednesday 1 April 2009

BCFC April Tackle Night - Fishing Hinchinbrook

The Baptist Church Fishing Club is holding its April Tackle Night this Thursday night where local fishing guru Trevor Fuller will spill the beans on fishing the spectacular Hinchinbrook Channel. Come along to get your fishing map and learn how and when to fish Hinchinbrook’s 12 hottest fishing locations. Details are:

When: Thursday 2nd March @ 7.00pm
Topic: How to Fish Hinchinbrook and Lucinda
Speaker: Trevor Fuller
Where: BCFC Club Room (Church Hall 38 Canterbury Rd, Kirwan)

The April Fishing Comp is OPEN so can fish wherever you like. Comp details are:

When: 12.01am April 3rd – 5.00pm April 4th
Landbased Location: Palarenda Beach from 6am Sat 4th
Boat Trips: Contact Don Anderson
Weigh-In and BBQ: Saturday @ 5.00pm (38 Canterbury Rd, Kirwan)

Everyone is welcome. If you would like any more info on the above, or BCFC in general, just shoot me an email at or post a comment below.