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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 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.