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Fly Fishing

Chasing Golden Trevalley on the Magnetic Island flats.


Enjoying one of the many beautiful beaches of Magnetic Island.

Sunday 30 August 2009

Nq Flyfishers go fishing

Just a short report. This week the club decided to go to the pylons and Cockle Bay of Magnetic Island. The weather looked good, the tides seemed right. We only had one boat and two fly fishers for the trip. We started early and went to the pylons to see if there were any mackerel around. We thought as there was plenty of bait fish this should not be a problem. What we found was quite different. The larger predators were just not feeding. OK no problem off to the inside and see what Cockle Bay had to offer. Here we thought the depth of water would be good. But this time the water was a little shallow so we changed the plan and drifted the outer edge. here we found a nice variety of fish including a legal coral trout. Thanks Richard for a nice mornings fishing.



Fish 4, Fisherman 0!

Went out last night in my boat with dad to again try for some Fingermark. We left about 3pm and spent a while filling up on live bait. We tried a well known mark at West Point, and with nothing happening we decided to head to a wider mark before the hoards arrived. We arrived and Dads first bait down was taken by a nice Cod, but then it went very quiet. Lots of bait around, but nothing happening. Then, just before sunset, we got a small run of fish. Both Dad and I managed 2 big hits each, but all 4 fish managed to brick us on the 50lb gear. Then Dad managed to pull one to the boat, but it turned out to be a big Cod, probably 15-20lbs. We tried numerous marks on the way home, but no luck!

Thursday 27 August 2009

He's at it again!

Dad had another shot at some land based fishing in the creeks around town today. Landed himself another nice Barra at 68cm, and a nice little Jack. All on light gear and plastics. Just shows the Barra are about and feeding. Just mobile phone pictures today...



Monday 24 August 2009

Picture Perfect!

PhotobucketTime for the second installment! After returning to Dion's house with his boat, it was probably only 3hrs and I was back on the water in my boat with Tania and kids. Dad was already out on his boat, and plan was to meet up and chase some fingermark for the evening. It was probably around 5pm by the time we found and collected some live bait and anchored up. First bait down wasn't in the water long before it was hit hard. I'm sure it was a Finger, but he bricked me pretty quick. The boat had moved off the mark with a change in wind, so I had to re-anchor. This took a few goes to get right, but the effort paid off. I was soon hooked up to a solid fish. A couple of quick runs back to the bottom had my heart racing. But before long a nice big fat fish was lead into the landing net. A quick phone call to Dad and he revealed that he had also been bricked a couple of times. Again, the boat moved off the mark. We spent a while trying to get the boat sitting right, I lost count of the number of times I pulled that bloody anchor! But eventually we sat right. It was now well and truly dark and the kids and Tania wend to bed. I put out the squid light and sat back and relaxed. Noting happened for quite a while. Then, out of the blue, the ratchet raced under the pressure of the 50lb braid, then noting. I jumped out of the chair expecting to find myself bricked, but instead the fish was moving sideways. I sunk the hook and got stuck into him. I few moments later and I caught a glimpse of the fish in the squid light. Soon another big fat fish was in the boat. This fish later pulled the scales down to 7kg cleaned! I'm not sure of the length, it was longer than my 75cm tape, but I'm guessing close to 90cm. Things went VERY quiet from here, even a live squid didn't get touched. The boat again moved off the mark as the tide slowed. And with 2 good fish in the eski, and tomorrow being another day, I called it a night.



Next morning I woke about 5.45am to find first light had already arrived. I still had a few live bait swimming in the tank from the night before, so I wasn't that worried about collecting too many more. Dad was already up and finding the bait very difficult to get. I pottered around for a bit and then said I would head off wide with what I had. He stayed to try get some bait.

It was a beautiful run, with glass conditions all the way to our next spot. We dropped the live baits and I was instantly hooked up. But this fish turned out to just be a Trevalley. He was released and baits sent back down. There was a lot of fishing marking the sounder, but we couldn't get any takers. After a while of nothing hitting the live baits, we decided to try some cut baits. This proved to be a good move, and we quickly boated 3 Nannygai and a Coral Trout. But things soon went quiet again.


We decided to head to another mark, one I had only been to once before a long time ago. Was again a good move. Within a few drifts we started picking up some nice Trout. There were some under size fish, but in the end we bagged quite a few 40cm plus fish. The biggest went 2.2kg cleaned. There was also some bait around the area being hassled by something. A few flicks of a slice revealed some mackerel feeding. But they were hard to get going. I hooked and lost a couple, including a nice spotty boatside. Eventually I did get one big fat doggie in the eski. There was also some tuna among the school.


PhotobucketBy about 11am it was getting hot and it was time for lunch. We decided to head into a beach on one of the island and give the kids a swim. It was still total glass and the water was crystal clear. From here we headed home, getting back to the ramp about 2pm. What a great day! or Two?


Sunday 23 August 2009

Mackerel Run

Went for a quick run with Dion and Steve yesterday morning. The plan was simple, one rod and a handful of metal. Given the way the Mack's had been biting last weekend, we thought we would get out early, bag out, and be back before lunch. We couldn't have been more wrong! On arrival we could barely find a show of fish on the sounder. But we dropped the slices anyway. It wasn't long and Steve had a bite off, and then I was away with a fast running Mack. Unfortunately it was sharked not too far from the boat. A few drops later and my reel was racing again, but hooks pulled as I tried to beat the sharks to the surface. And that was about the last we saw of the Mackerel. We managed the odd Trevalley, a nice one by Steve, but that was it. Ward arrived on the seen, better late than never, but we decided it had been so quiet we would go try some other marks. Big mistake that turned out to be (read below)!

We spent the next hour or more moving from shoal to shoal looking for the elusive bait, and fish that would then follow. But luck was not on our side. The best we could manage was more Trevalley. Although Dion did manage to prove to me that he could get Nannygai on the magical Bumpa-Bar!

We returned to Ward to see how things had gone for him. Its seems anchoring and getting some burly going was the trick! It was getting far later in the day than we had planned, so we called it and headed for home. I dropped Dion and Steve off and headed straight back home to pick up my boat and the family. Stay tuned for the next installment....

Saturday 22 August 2009

Spanish Fly!

An interesting day. I was invited out to fish with 3 different boats! First Dion, then Rick and finally Liam. Initially I was not well so I thought as I did not want to disappoint anyone I would pull the plug! Luckily Rick rang back and said he was a bit tired and better to fish in the afternoon, cool that's a good idea. Then I decided to turn the phone off and have a sleep in but no I was awake by 5.15 but too late to go with Dion, so as I was helping to get the boat ready for Liam his fishing partners pulled the pin so as I was up, and I wasn't feeling to bad and seabreeze said zero knots off we went! We didn't get to the site until 8am and Dion, Malcolm and Steve were already working the area. We had a drift around and found very little. There was a bit of a show so we decided to anchor and berley. This seemed to work and we had our first trevally on board. Dion decided to scout further grounds as they had not landed a spanish at this time. We stayed and finally the mackeral showed up. We landed between us seven fish for the boat and six of these on fly! Liam landed his first and second mackeral on fly. We both found the tyger wire did the job with only three bit offs. As can be seen by the photo above the mackerel took the flies quite deep. I have no idea why but today fly landed the fish and metals just did not work at this spot. Apart from the great fishing we also saw a couple of whales. A nice day.

Friday 21 August 2009

Weekend Weather

Seabreeze is again forecasting a weekend of fantastic boating conditions. Given the moon and tides it should be an ideal time to chase some of the fat Spanish Mackerel that have been hanging around in good numbers. With the new moon it might also be a good time to get out overnight and start chasing some of the big Fingermark this area is well know for. I did hear of an 80cm specimen being caught by young Deion of ProTackle earlier in the week. With the water slowly warning these fantastic eating fish will once again be on the menu.

Well, good luck with what ever fishing venture you take on, and we would love to hear about it in the reports section of the Forum!

Thursday 20 August 2009

Ozbee's Fishing Charters!

If you are a forum member you will know that the forums number 1 idol Ozbee offered to have a get together fishing trip out from Ayr to some of his world famous Nannygai holes. In the week leading up to last weekend the forum thread was alive with comments from people keen to go and people who wished they could go. Unfortunately I was one that couldn't go. So the following report is written by forum member ScottNthQld.

It was well the largest gathering of "Fishing Townsville Forum" members the world has ever seen with 2 boat loads heading out from Plantation creek at 6am. That means a departure from Townsville By about 4......we all met up at BP cluden before heading to Ozbee's joint where GBF had stayed the night with boat ready. All was going well, until that is we couldn't see 10m in front of us because of a thick soupy fog, a sure sign of good weather.

Once the gear was loaded and esky filled with rations of the amber kind we all piled into the vehicles and head off to the ramp where we met another boat "Dee Ben" a recently purchased Barcrusher 640C, the owner of this boat, Stef (Ozbee's bro in law) was keen as to head out and give his new toy a good run, this being the first opportunity to take it out to the reef proper.

Once all were in the water we make our way out and have a troll for some spanairds on the 12 mile shoals, no love their so the first spot is a quick run, and we get into some great trigger! yeah awesome :roll: Upon retrieval the first half decent fish is caught by yours truly and a Doggy we would be proud to catch in the channel is added to the bait pot. Nothing but trigger makes it self known so off we head for Morinda Shoals where the first trout are pulled for the trip, both Ronnie and I boating a good specimen each of a guesstimate weight of 5-6kg. Not long after I add a 3rd slightly smaller trout to the box. Things soon slowed and we were off again to meet up with GBF who had gone ahead to Broadhurst reef.

Fishing was tough, the usual high catch rates that are normally associated with Ozbee's fishing trips were failing us at this point, though enough interest was shown by the ooglies that they kept us well entertained, as well as the constant banter between the crew and the downing of several amber bevvies. Finding the fish was easy, finding the right fish that were hungry was proving the difficult part, though we did mange to add the odd trout to the box every now and then. We would troll, find a bit of structure with fish holding, stop trolling have a drop and a drift and move on, it wasn't long before we found a good patch of fish, but whilst others (me included) had hooked up on the coral and were re rigging, Adrian pulled in the first nanny for the trip, which also turned out to be the biggest at around 7-8kg at a guess:

We fish several other spots and slowly build up the esky, but we keep plodding along having way to much fun to worry about how good the fishing is.

Perhaps my most memorable part of the trip was me hooking up on a Spaniard on a drifted pilly, and fighting from the pod, I managed to lose my footing and go ass up, but being the all ass no class fisho I am, I still managed to hold onto the rod, keeping pressure on the fish and still get it in after scrambling back to my feet, AND manage to refrain from breaking anything in the process! Definitely my most embarrassing moment and my highlight at the same time. At this spot we also managed another trout and another Spaniard between us.

We start to move off to the red spot to setup for the evening and in the distance we see Spanish mackerel leaping 30 feet clear of the water chasing bait! Its the first time I've witnessed anything like it and it was truly a spectacular site to see. We tried to get the camera's out for a photo shoot, but they seem to know and disappeared every time we tried, so in went the lures fro a trolling session that ending with us boating another 5 Spaniards between us, all in the 8-10kg range:

After the mackerel fun we head off to the red hole, and bite to eat and setup for what surely was to become a hot bite of big reds. Unfortunately the hot bite never really came, with the current raging, and us somehow managing to drag anchor all night even though we had 2,yes that's right TWO anchors out! We stiall managed to catch several good fish to add to the box though ending up with 5 Red emperor and 4 more Nannies to add to the box. The first Red of the trip fell to Adrian once again:

We persisted for a while longer and soon enough I am hooked upto something HUGE! It was a no win battle for either fish or foe, with me gaining line back, only to lose it again, I was tiring but the fish tired first and after some tense moments some expletives were fired across the ocean, for as the fish revealed itself from the depths I was a dirt great big Chinaman, the biggest I had ever seen, let alone caught, easily a 15kg fish, to say I was disappointed would be saying the least, I was down right pissed off, I was totally spent, back aching, arms numb, hands locked up for what I felt at that moment was nothing, so much so, once I managed to get the hooks out I threw it back without even thinking of a photo, but I assure you, the one Mal's missus caught on his main pain would be nothing more than a snack for this beast. However, its at this point I will mention that my newly purchased outfit, A saltist 40H (high speed model) and my New T-curve Deep Jig 500 handled the job brilliantly and I couldn't be happier with how it performed. Soon aftert I managed to boat a nanny and a red before heading off into the cab for some sleep ready for when the tide stopped and current would be down at midnight. Well that didn;'t happen cos as soon as my head hit that pillow I was out like a light and didn;t awaken until about 3am. During my sleepy time, Ronnie (3-rats), Adrian (Eugah) and Ethan (Adrian's son) all managed to land big chinaman, so they all know how I feel in that respect.

The next morning we wake up to breakfast of a bit of chicken, some chocolate, lollies and beer (Breakfast of champions I tell you) and head off in search of more trout. Whilst sounding the area we were once again on the troll, picking up another 2 spanno's before dropping anchor on a likely looking bommie.

Bottom fishing was slow, with pickers rife, only small stuff being brought to the boat, but the box was still slowly being added to, with a couple more trout, tricky (redthroat emperor) and a couple of Long nose emperor (though I think these were caught the day before and I forgot to mention them earlier). GBF heads in early because he's starting to get low on fuel, even though Ozbee reminded him that he had an additional 60l on board if he needed it, speaking of which, I'm not sure how long he had to wait to get in because the water level was low in the creek and the tide was still falling....I'll be interested in how far they had to push for in some very croccy looking water.

We head towards Bowden reef, where we see trout boats and a few dories working the shallows, so we stay a bit deeper and still manage a few small trout for the box, Stef pulls up on a some good looking ground and gets onto a patch of small mouth nannies, we head over to join him, and can't buy a bite, it was even more frustrating to see another boat 50-100m away from us is getting into them about annoying. We tried everything a bit of burley to steal the fish from the other boats, a variety of baits, things juist weren't happening for us.

We persist with a few more spots, only to wait for the tide to come in before heading for home. Again a bit of excitement on the way in we spy 3 or 4 whale's at the 12 mile shoals splashing and carrying on, so ozbee guns it over handing me the video camera to get some footage. Well I tried to keep the camera on the whale's on the way over but only managed to get lots of good shots of the sky and dash as we bounced out way over, but I think I managed to get some good stuff once we got right up close. Soon though we had to boogie with a big cargo ship bearing down on us we make a beeline for home, Ozbee showing us some of the landscape along the way, though I was more interested in the miles and miles of good bottom with loads of fish holding (my guess is they were grunter), something I want to head down that way just to have a go at some very close shoal.

We get into the creek but still have to wait a good hour or more for more water to come in before making it back to the ramp, then it was back to ozbee's place, for clean up and we are on our way home. Our totals catch in the obligatory lawn of death shots:

No Barramundi for us!

Ok, went back last night to the spot Dad had caught his Barra just one day earlier. But despite the tide and everything being almost identical, we didn't see a single Barra. If fact, Dad didn't even turn a scale! I managed a couple of small Trevalley and a little Jack. It does make you wonder, what could have been so different just 24hrs later?

Wednesday 19 August 2009

Dads first keeper Barramundi

Dad went for a fish in one of the smaller creeks yesterday afternoon. Just tossing plastics from the bank in search of a Barra or two. He managed to land his first keeper, a nice 69cm specimen. But not before dropping two other. One bricked him as he had forgotten to set the drag, and the second, a big fish, straightened the hooks. I'm heading back there today after work with him for another go. Only a mobile phone pic as he was on his own.

Sunday 16 August 2009

It's hard to keep a secret around here!

What a wonderful weekend of weather! I had been watching Seabreeze all week and was very excited when Friday finally arrived. We picked the kids up after work, packed the boat in quick time, and were at the ramp about 5pm. Dad had headed out in his boat a little earlier, and was going to collect some live bait and meet us at the North Cardinal. We sped across the bay at almost 30knots and made it to the NC in no time. Dad had found the bait collecting process a little tough, so we decided it give it a miss and head straight to our shoal mark.

On arrival there was one other boat anchored there. But that didn't seem to matter, there was plenty of room for us all to anchor. Although I do apologize to the folk if I ended up a little too close. The current was racing through, and by the time my anchor grabbed I was closer than I wanted to be. It was now well after 6pm and the kids were hungry. So we got them dinner and sorted before any fishing. Not that it mattered, there really wasn't much biting! I only fished for a couple of hours, landing nothing more than 2 massive Batfish and a Slatey. Another boat joined us, but not long after both left. So only Dad and I remained here for the rest of the night.

I got up again about 5am. I put a bait down and managed a couple of bigger Trevalley and something big that rubbed me off on the bottom. Not sure what it was, but I suspect something big and red! As the sun rose I prepared the rods for floating pilchards and set them out the back. Ward then arrived and set up not too far to one side. The kids and Tania rose about 6am. It was pretty quite then until there was a bit of light from the sun. Tania started a bit of bottom fishing while I kept and eye on the floaters. Her floating pillie was the first to go off. And boy did it go off! I grabbed the bottom rod from her as she grabbed the other rod from the holder. The ratchet was screaming and she was finally hooked up to her first Spanish Mackerel for this year. She was having a ball and soon had a nice fish on the other end of the gaff.

With the guys in Wards boat looking like there were doing quite well I though I would drop some metal and give that a go too. Then things got a little crazy! I hooked up and landed another nice Spanish on the slice. That fish was laying on the floor of the boat with hooks still in its mouth when one of the floaters went off. I grabbed that rod and then the other rod got hit too! Unfortunately it that one didn't hold for Tania. So with another fish landed and kicking on the floor of the boat it was a mad rush to get lines back out again. Lucky are kids are pretty savvy about all this and had the good sense to stay in the cabin! We manage on more Mack for the morning giving us a total of 4. Noting massive, all around the 6-8kg mark.

Tania continued to try the bottom for a red fish. But all she could manage was Trevalley and Ramora! Then when something red did finally come up, it turned out to be a Chinamon! She also managed to get dusted at least twice on the bottom. She is now thinking 50lb may not be enough, but I sad she would be pulled out of the boat with anything more!

By now about 10 other boats had come over to join us! So I guess the secret is out! LOL. I don't claim ownership over any particular spot, so good luck to those that were there. As Ward said, everyone there seemed to play the game fair. Those anchored did so at a good distance, and those trolling also kept their distance. I just hope everyone looks after these spots so we can all continue to go and enjoy the good fishing they have to offer.

It was about now that I realised that of all the things to forget to pack, I had forgotten to put in the EPIRB! As my boat is not locked up at home, I keep noting of value in it. So everything has to be put in before heading off. We decided to do the right thing and head back in around the island. Besides, we had a good feed of fish and the kids were itching to do some fishing themselves. So we headed back to a spot inside the island and have them a good couple of hours catching all manner of small fish.

Back to the ramp about lunch time we had had a wonderful trip with the family.

Saturday 15 August 2009

Spanish Fly

A great day! Weather was right tide was right an the fish wanted to play. I took Liam and Richard out to the shoals for a go at landing some trevally and if possible Spanish mackerel. The purpose of the day was to see if we could hook up Richard and a trevally and mackerel on a fly line. We arrived at the mark and Malcolm and his Father had already set up. we found a spot set the berley trail and watched the sounder. Thankfully Richard landed a nice couple of trevalies and Liam landed a couple of very nice Trevally and he landed at least 9 Spanish mackerels. All in all a great mornings fish, oh I also managed to land my bag limit on Spaniards. The really interesting part of the day was the large number of boats out and about and in the most part they did not seem to cause any major problems for other fishers. The other thing we noticed was a fast moving school of mackerel that came through, they were right on the surface and noticeably in the middle of the day. For the record the fly of choice was a white/ metal clouser with a tyger wire bite tippet onto a standard IFGA leader, onto a slick shooter line and T17 shooting head. We did manage to get everyone fish which was good but we will have to work harder next time and get the mackerel and Richard together!

Wednesday 12 August 2009

BCFC - Comp Results August 2009

The Baptist Church Fishing Club’s August competition was again well contested, with many members getting out for a fish. Locations such as Bushland Beach, Morrissey’s Creek, Bohle River, Middle Reef and the Shipping Channel all received a thorough work-over. Despite all the effort only 13 anglers managed to catch fish. A total of 13 fish and 1 mud crab were weighed and an additional 43 fish released. Pikey bream once again dominated catches due to the blustery conditions out front.

Once again a very big THANK YOU to Steve Holloway for organizing a great Fishing Trivia Night and to Rod and Sylvia Gear for the fantastic camp oven scones on the beach – your effort is greatly appreciated by us all.

Individual results are summarized below:

Senior Male
Ian Ferguson 88.0 pnts
Dion Forman 83.2 pnts
Don Anderson 67.2 pnts
Tony Turner 25.0 pnts
Jordan Quayle 15.4 pnts

Senior Female
Trisha Forman 153.8 pnts
Sylvia Gear 25.0 pnts

Jordan Quayle 15.4 pnts

Mud Crab
Brent Quayle 8.8 pnts

Catch & Release
Trisha Forman 59.3 pnts

Hard Yakka
Brent Quayle 75 pnts
Allison Quayle 55 pnts
Trisha Forman 25 pnts
Dion Forman 20 pnts
Jayden Jacobs 15 pnts
Thomas Grills 5 pnts
Jason Page 5 pnts
Tony Turner 5 pnts

Sunday 9 August 2009

Pike on a wooly bugger

This weekend has been a bit slow particularly with the wind. So we fished the the creeks to see what would happen. To cut a short story very short no luck in Crystal Creek or Balgal Beach. So I went for a little paddle this morning and found a nice spot where there was a few pike working. I usually use a white bait fish pattern which again was very handy, the only problem was the pike ate all the flies! I ran out, all I had left was a black woolly bugger. Not really thinking this was going to work off it went. Yep it worked! As Rick said they were very hungry! There was something else working the school but all I discovered about it, was that it ate live pike! Still all good fun. While I am here just a reminder that fly tying is on this week at 7.15 pm at Sunfish Hall and the fly of choice is a blue water variety, so anything from a small tuna fly through to a large deceiver. See you all there.