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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 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.