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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.

Wednesday 30 June 2010

Cobia 5, us 1!

Went for an early morning run yesterday in Dad's boat to the Mackerel grounds of Cape Cleveland. Wind was from the SE at about the 10knot mark, just white-capping lightly. It was a slow run, but with no improvement in the weather any time soon it was worth a shot. After a slow run out we arrived to find not much showing on the sounder at all. We anchored up and tried a few different things before going looking for the fish. It took a while but eventually we found a school of Makerel marking on the sounder. I dropped a metal slice to the bottom and hooked up after only a few turns of the handle. But within seconds I was bitten off. Dad hooked up on a pillie and landed a big fat Doggie. A second drop with a new bumpa-bar and I was bitten off again! I didn't even feel the bite this time, I was winding in hard and suddenly it all went slack. Almost like the lure 'fell' off! After this we couldn't locate the school again. So it was off to another spot.

The sounder lit up nicely at our new location, but do you think we could entice the fish to bite? It was starting to look like our efforts and fuel were all for nothing. I had about given up when I thought I'd try something different. I swapped over my Bumpa-bar for a big 7in Gulp. I dropped it to the bottom and 'jerked' it just a few times when it took off with a solid fish. After short but tough fight a nice Cobia around 85cm was boat side. A second fish had followed my fish up and took Dad's pillie, so he was now busy with his own fish. With the net out of reach I went for the tail, but couldn't quite reach. The hook was well down so I thought I'd try a quick lift. Big mistake, the hooks of the jig straightened and fish won its freedom. I really wish someone would make a jig head with a decent hook! But this freed me up to net Dads fish, another Cobia about 85cm. Another bait down for Dad and he was on again, this time a much bigger fish, but it came to the surface reasonably quickly. Dad called it for a shark,  but it was a monster Cobia. Easily in the 20kg range. I grabbed the gaff but it typical Cobia style the fish soon took off for the depths. A few mins later and Dad was gaining, then suddenly the leader let go! The fish had worn through the 80lb leader. 

Tuesday 29 June 2010

NQ Fly Fishers - Fly Tying Night

Ward and NQ Fly Fishers have been very busy sharing information and skills on how to build different types of flies. The group meet once a month to hone their skills. Here are some samples of the flies built at the last fly swap. If anyone is interested and would like to join the club for a tying session they meet on the second Thursday of the month. Just leave a reply here or email Ward. Ward is also active on the fly fishing section of the forum under the name 'flytime'. 

Sunday 20 June 2010

Fly fishing local beaches

Richard and I decided to fish land based yesterday as the weather was not quite right (we thought) and my boat was in a bit of a mess. We decided to chase flathead and tarpon at a few of our local locations and work on our top ten competition for the Fly club. 

We arrived early and we fished our local beach and found that it had changed a lot. We thought a nice outgoing tide early morning would work. We did fish the spot but only managed 1 flathead a stingray and garfish. We did drop a legal flathead at the waters edge but this needed to be landed to count for the top ten. We spoke to some locals and they indicated that the flathead had either gone off or not arrived as yet? 


We then moved onto the two tarpon spots. As it was middle of the day we thought it was probably not going to happen. As it turned out there were plenty of fish working the area. The water was very warm so probably a lot of air breathing going on. We tried the normal pink/black but no touches. So in switching to a chartreuse/green we managed a nice 50cm tarpon. This was the lone fish so off to the next spot. 

This time fewer fish showing but while I poured a cup of tea a few tarpon started working. Again on went the pink and black and this time Richard was first to strike. Again the fish seemed hard to entice but with a slower retrieve and for me a change in fly to something larger (still in pink/black) and I joined the crew. So for us a slow day but still worth while.

Story By Ward Nicholas

Spanish Mackerel on the Shoals

A trip to the shoals yesterday morning was not as successful as one would have liked! Due to some trouble getting going, a second trip to the ramp had us departing at about 6.30am. Some 2hrs later than anticipated! Unfortunately for us, this meant we missed the early morning glass out and had to slop our way out in a stiff 10-15knot breeze, one that just kept building the further we went. By the time we were within 10km of our mark we were down to about 30km/h. But too close to stop and go back.

It took us a minute to locate the school of fish around the mark, but when we did the sounder lit from top to bottom. We really thought our luck was about to change. But alas, it wasn't. Dad dropped pillies and I ripped Bumpa-bars through the school. But we couldn't entice the fish to feed! We drifted the mark a good dozen times before we concluded that it just wasn't going to happen here. In the drifts we had done I managed 1 undersized Mackerel and Dad had had a few pickers and a bite off. Time for a new location.

We then headed to the Mackerel grounds where there had been a few boats working when we went past on our way out. By the time we returned only a few remained. But one was hooked up, so that was promising. Dad pulled us up straight onto a school marking the sounder. I dropped the metal slice and within a few turns of the handle a Spanish Mackerel was screaming off against the drag of the TwinPower 6000FC. This was a good fish, but didn't take long to have boat-side. An excellent shot under the gills with the gaff by Dad and he was on board. Our fist decent fish of the day was in the eski and mackerel were cutting up on the surface in places, an indication luck was changing! Or was it? From this point on we had real trouble locating the school, and when we did they moved off very quickly. I got a bite off on another drop, but apart from that it was all over. Other boats had now left the area and things looked quiet. I think we arrived right on the tail end of a good bite! The price we paid for getting going late.

On the positive side the wind had backed right back and it was turing into a great morning. We tried some trolling of gar for a bit and then headed to Salamander for a look-see. Then a last ditch effort at the weedbeds and off home for us. Luckily that one fish was a good one, probably 10-12kg, so we have gotten plenty of good feeds of him.

Sunday 13 June 2010

One for the family

After fishing yesterday with Dad, today was family time. Tides were good for getting into and out of Cocoa creek, so we decided to take down a block of pillies and see what we could find. No alarm today, woke at 6am and left home not much before 7am. For the last of the run in tide we sat out the front in about the channel in about 4m of water. Hoping to find a few nice Grunter, the first fish to come on board was a small GT. Then another, and another. Good fun for the kids on light line. Eventually they did managed a Grunter each, but both a little on the small size. A few bite offs suggested maybe a mackerel or two hanging around in close! But we never even hook one, let along get a look. If it wasn't as windy I might have been tempted to run the little boat wider to the weedbeds, but it looked to blowing hard out there!

As the tide topped out we headed back into the creek proper to try for some fat bream and jacks. But it was WAY to quiet. We managed on keeper Pikey, and a few under sized. The kids were getting board by now, not enough action, so time to move.

We then tried anchoring over the flats and fishing into a gutter thats about 1m deeper than the rest of the area. Lachy and I both managed a nice Yellowfin Brem, and mum caught a Catfish! It was now getting late so we headed for home.

Saturday 12 June 2010

Plastics on the flats

For something a little different today I decided to do some flats fishing across the front of Cocoa creek. High tide was about 8am, so the plan was to work plastics around the gutters and drains that run across the mudflats as the tide fell. The main target was Flathead, we didn't mind what showed up.

The last part of the run in fished quite slowly, despite a few good bust-up's of bait in the area. But as the tide changed we got a couple of hits. Dad hooked the first fish of the day, a 39cm Dusky. There were plenty of puffs in the mud as we drifted around in 50cm of water, but we couldn't get anything to play.

We then anchored on a deeper channel across the flat to catch fish as they moved off the shallows. Here I managed nice yellowfin bream and a flounder! A small bust-up had Dad and I scrambling to get a lure out. Dad landed first, but fell short of the mark. I hit the water second, but made the distance. A couple of turns of the handle and good fish was pulling drag on the light 1000 Sustain with ease. A small jump and a Barramundi was confirmed. It was landed pretty easily in the snag free waters, but only measured about 54cm. A quick pick and he was away again leaving me with a very big smile.


We worked the area some more before getting out before the tide dropped too far for the ramp. We were working a range of Squidgie fish on a 1/8oz #1 Jig head. Most of the fish came with the falling tide.

Wednesday 9 June 2010

A feed from Ross River

Saturday was the Baptist Church Fishing Club monthly competition day. With the weather a little dodgy our best hope was a run over to the Weedbeds to look for a Mackerel or two. But when we woke up at 4.30am the wind was howling outside our place. So the decision was made to bail on the big boat and take the kids into the creek in the tinnie. But which creek? Well, by the time we managed to get organised and drive out of the driveway we were wishing we had stuck with plan A, the wind had dropped considerably. But we were committed now. It wasn't until we crossed the train tracks on the way south out of town that we decided which creek to go to, Ross River. We just couldn't be bothered driving too far, and the sun was already making an appearance. 

So we put in a bit after 6am and headed up river slightly to a set of snags at the mouth of a creek. There were plenty of bites here, but all very small Bream. We were fishing with half pillies on a 3/0 chemically sharpened hook an tiny pea sinker. 

The tide was running out and we decided to go looking for bigger fish, so we ran up the creek opposite the boat ramp. Its a good looking creek that seems to have plenty of water most of the way up. We found an outer bank in 3m of water with good structure and tied up. It was pretty tight country and the first fish had me in the snags pretty quick. But the next few baits managed 2 Bream in the 27-28cm class. 

We re-positioned the boat a little further from snags to give us better access, and over the next hour or so we landed several small Mangrove Jack up to 40cm, some more small bream and a nice flathead. We had had enough by mid morning and headed home with a nice feed.

Friday 4 June 2010

NQ Flyfishers Training Day

The NQ Flyfishers are having an education Day at the Townsville Barramundi Farm on the 4th July 2010. There will be learning to tie a fly, fly casting, and  plenty of fishing. The cost for the day is $25 and  includes all equipment, a sausage sizzle, and an hours fishing at the farm. If you are interested Ward needs to know numbers by the end of June. Can you please PM Ward (flytime) through the forum, email him, or leave a comment here.