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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 11 September 2011

Fat Jacks from Haughton

Had another fish yesterday morning with forum member Jake (snake). The last time I fished with Jake we took his car and boat, so yesterday was my turn to host. I picked him up about 5am and headed south to the Haughton River. Some road works on the way down held us up for a bit, but we were soon putting in at the main ramp and heading downstream.

We started off at a creek mouth and deep hole that I was keen to try the Threadybusters in. But the wind was up and the water was very dirty. There were fish marking on the sounder and a bit of action in eddying current, but only one small bump was felt by Jake. So we decided to head up into this particular creek and look for some cleaner water. 

Despite some very good looking snags, and a slight improve on the water quality, we didn't manage a single fish! Not even a grumpy old Cod wanted to come and play. I was persisting with 3in prongs among the snags, but Jake tried an assortment of lures including DOA prawns and some wooden hard bodies. With no action it was decided to make a drastic change of location. So we pulled the electric and headed back up river past the boat ramp. 

The tide was in the final stage of making so we headed a fair way up in search of better looking water. But we never found any! The wind was blowing even harder by this stage, chopping up the water and making it difficult to find a place worth fishing. We gave one section a short go, but confidence was not very high! We had now wasted several hours of the morning fishing water that just looked crap. 

One last ditched effort saw us head well up a small creek. The tide was now falling and the more the tide dropped the better the water became. In the smaller creek we were able to get out of the wind and fish the cleaner green water. We found some excellent looking timber and finally managed a good hit. It was Jake who got the strike, but the hooks failed to find their home. It was in a section of back water in behind a stack of timber. We both said 'there has to be a fish in there', but it took each of us a few casts before Jake put his lure in just the right spot. Even though the fish failed to hook up, it at least got our confidence up. 

The next snag to produce a fish wasn't too far further along. A lone bit of timber sitting well off the edge of the creek. Jakes DOA prawn was nailed big time, and in the blink of an eye the fish had him buried back in the snag. Jake was only fishing 4lb on his Stella 2500, so it was bound to be trouble! We could see the fish still surging on the end of the line and with a bit of patience it soon came free and into open water. Then we caught a glimpse of the fish as it surfaced, a big fat Jack! It was lead to the net and in the boat where there were a few yells of joy. It was measured at 42/43cm and photographed before release. However, the fish did not want to let go of that DOA prawn! Even after the hook was removed the fish bit down hard on the plastic. Jake even swam the fish in the water for several minutes before it finally let go and swam away.

We continued to work our way up into the creek. We passed several good looking bits of timber and a few gutters that failed to produce a fish. But eventually was came to a set of snags with a couple of big black fish hanging off them. They were very dark fish, almost like a Sooty Grunter, we guessed big Bream, but it wasn't until I nailed one on the 3in prong that our suspicions were confirmed. I managed 2 of these big fat Bream and 2 Archer fish before we moved even further up.

As we moved up the creek Jake managed another big fat Jack off a single twig sticking up in the water. It was one of the best strikes from a Jack I have ever seen. We actually saw the fish cut through the water as it headed for the lure. It grabbed the lure and just kept going. Lucking it went into open water and was easily contained on the 4lb gear. Another photo session and quick release.

I managed another smaller Jack before we hit a snag that produced a double hookup for us. Jakes was first on and was quickly buried into the timber. But two twitches of my prong and I was also connected to a solid fish. Lots of pressure on my 8lb 'just' prevented my fish from joining Jakes in the snag. With my fish netted we turned to trying to get Jake's free of the timber. I managed to get hold of the line on the other side of the stick he was around and 'hand-line' it over the side. My fish ended up the biggest Jack of the day around 44/45cm and Jakes just a little smaller.

I was on a tight time-line as the car needed to be home by 2.30 for Lachy's soccer game. So we had one last bash at a set of snags that produced Jakes Barra last trip. And yes, he managed another! Not as big, it was still a great performer on the light line. A great way to fishing the session. 

The lesson learned for the day was to have some patience and look hard to find the better water where fish are working. The choppy, dirty water just wouldn't produce so much as a bump. The main lures of the day were the DOA prawn used by Jake and my trusty 3in Prong in white.