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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 23 December 2012

Haughton Softies

Fished yesterday morning in the Haughton with Andrew Gleeson. It was supposed to be a quick run and back home by 11am. But a little fuel problem extended our day longer! Now when I say it was a 'little' fuel problem, I mean the problem was that I had too little fuel! 

We left early and started with some Thready Busters on the rockbar just down from the ramp. The hope was to find a Fingermark on the turn of the tide. First cast from me nailed a rat barra from right under the boat. It was released in the water without photographing it! We had a couple more hits and Andrew dropped a good one after a short run. Not sure what it was.

When the tide turned we headed to the mouth in search of cleaner water. We worked a deep bank with DOA prawns and gulp shrimp in search of a Jack. Andrew nailed a ripper of a Yellowfin Bream, followed by nice Pikey. He also landed a nice Moses Perch,  probably the biggest I have seen in a creek system. My DOA was falshed a couple of time by Barra, and I released one small one. Again, no photo and was released in the water as per DPI's instructions!

From here we moved to the mouth. Going back to the Thready Busters, we worked around the deeper water off the edge of the sand bars. Jake and I had come across schools of Grunter here a few weeks ago. But after over an hour of casting and not one touch we moved on again.

Last bank we fished was at the mouth of Burrumbush. There are some good snags here that I have caught a few Jack from in the past, including a couple over 40cm. Andrew got another nice Bream, and some Archer fish showed interest in my prawn imitation. Then a decent Barra smashed the lure half way back to the boat and launched into the air. It was easily in the hight 70's. A couple of jumps later and it threw the lure right back at me. Funny how it doesn't bother you when you know its going back. But its got me keen for opening now!

We finished fishing at 9.30am with ample time to make it home by our deadline. I opened the 80hp Suzuki up and headed toward the ramp. But we only got about 1km and she stopped dead! Out of fuel! To explain, the fuel tank has had a small leak since I picked it up. The leak is high in the tank and is only a problem when full. No worries, all fixed under warranty. But I needed to run the tank down low enough to be able to lift it out easily. I was always estimating how much was remaining, and I clearly over estimated! On a positive note, the Century 120ah AGM batteries got a good test out. The 80lb iPilot ran at full power for about 2 hours, and at the finish was still showing 3/4 level. And thats after being used all morning fishing too. Also a big thanks to the guys who gave us a tow for the last leg back to the ramp. Probably saved us another hour. Now to get that tank fixed.....

Thursday 20 December 2012

Birthday Fish

Yesterday was Lachlan's birthday, and all he wanted to do was got for a fish and have morning tea on a beach at Maggie Island. So after the obligatory present opening we headed off to the ramp. Despite the persistent good forecast from both Seabreeze and BOM, it continues to be very breezy and sloppy on the water. So we just played around on the reef area off Picknick Bay again.  We only fished for a little while as plenty was planned for the rest of the day, but the kids managed a handfull of small reefies. We had our play on the beach and headed home by 10.30am.

It's a good little area over there to take the kids or have a quick fish in less than ideal conditions. Just sound around a little wide of the channel marker off the Bay. We got dusted twice again yesterday, so there are some bigger fish kicking around too. 

Monday 17 December 2012

Sloppy in the Bay

Just home from a very sloppy run with the family in the Bay. Despite the forecast of light winds, it was blowing steady from the North very early, and conditions were a long way from perfect. We planned to run wide of the Cape and chase some Fingermark, but even before pulling up at the ramp it was becoming obvious that wasn't going to happen. 

A short run to middle reef and we put out some trolling lines hoping for a Mackerel. First hookup took less than 5mins, and soon Tania had a nice little Trevally in the boat. Second hookup came soon after, this time Lachy was on. Initial runs had us thinking Mackerel, but it wasn't to be. A nice Barracouda about 80cm was quickly released. With nothing more on the trolling lines after a full run around Middle Reef we decided to look on.

We ended up working some plastics around the reefy bottom just off Picknick Bay. We landed a few small fish including Grass Sweetlip and Trout. Best fish was a 'just' 38cm Trout that went back. But I got dusted twice by larger fish. 

Two Thready Busters down I thought we might go for a swim in the nets at Picknick Bay. But with lots of rocky areas along the beach it was very hard to pull up. I dropped the kids off for a bit of a play and managed to tap the prop on one section of rock. I should have trusted my gut and not gone in! Bit of an expensive lesson!

Still waiting for some good conditions to get this boat out wider! Its just not working out!

Sunday 16 December 2012

Circumnavigating Maggie

Great weather this weekend, I hope everyone is out there today enjoying it! I picked my boat Friday afternoon after having a set of rod lockers installed by Chris at Fibre Finish. So a quick call to an old friend and trip was arranged for Saturday morning. I hadn't seen Ward for a long time, and it had been even longer since we had a fish together. So this was more about catching up and giving the boat a test out than actually catching a fish. Just as well too, cus we didn't do very well! The plan was to fish the big outgoing tide on Maggie island flats for some Golden Trevalley. I even put the fly rod in to give a go! The top of the tide wasn't until 10.30am, so a sleep in was on the cards. But I woke up early and quick text saw Ward was up too, so we met at the ramp about 7am and headed off. 

A quick chat to North Queensland Fishing Show presenter Gary Powis at the ramp and we were on our way. We ran down the side of the island and out the back to Horseshoe Bay. There are a couple of rocks out there that I have done ok on with Fingermark. But a couple of other boats were fishing the area. I sounded around elsewhere and found some bait, but nothing big was showing and nothing was hitting the lures.

From here we moved around to West Point to try some marks. Despite the good weather there was only a handfull of boats in the area, although there looked to be a lot more over at Bay Rock. We found fish marking on most of the spots, but again nothing was biting. The big incoming tide was still racing in, and I don't usually like big run for Fingermark. 

We finally found some fish biting on a hard patch closer in to West Point. The tide was dropping back and we had a small bite period before it turned. With nothing hitting the larger GULP plastic, I dropped back to the smaller Thready Buster plastic vibe. But as it happened, I had the Thready rigged on the 8lb Stella! And rather than re-rig the heavier line, I just put it down on the light rod. All was good as a handfull of smaller Nannygai began to come over the side, but a cast wide of the Nannygai soon saw a more solid run. Against the light drag setting I am not sure the fish even knew it was hooked, but as soon as solid pressure was applied the hooks pulled. I'm pretty sure it was a Fingermark, and I'm pretty sure ne went and dobbed! That was the last of the bite. 

We moved up onto the flats for what we anticipated would be a good afternoon session. But as soon as we did a stiff Northerly breeze came in. It chopped up the water and made sight casting to fish impossible. With few options left we made a quick call into the Cockle Bay wreck. We pulled off a handful of small Trevalley before deciding to give the Picknick Bay jetty a look in before home. 

There was no wind in Picknick Bay, and it was nice to see the old jetty. But we couldn't attract a bite and it looked very quite on the Humminbird. Time for home. The fishing may not have been too crash hot for us, but the boat went well and it was great to catch up again with an old mate. Thanks for the morning Ward.

Saturday 24 November 2012

Barra reminder: off limits means release immediately

Most of us are well aware that as of Midday on the 1st of November the Barramundi closed season began. Over the last few years anglers have become more aware of the rules regarding this particular closed season. In particular, the fact that deliberate targeting of the species is in fact against the law. The issue becomes the number of other species that an angler 'may' be targeting in the creeks at this particular time. Barramundi then become an accidental capture and release as soon as possible. The vast majority of Queensland anglers are happy to accept this legislation and release any Barramundi captured while chasing fish like Mangrove Jack. What has been less well understood is at what point a captured Barramundi becomes 'in possession' and therefore a fineable offence. Many anglers like to capture a quick photograph of their fish before releasing it back to the water. But this action has always been a bit of an 'unknown' with regards to the law, even among fisheries officers! But Fisheries Queensland have just release the following statement on their Facebook page that clarifies the rules. Please make yourself aware of the laws that apply to the Barramundi closed season as I expect Fisheries officers will be enforcing this heavily this closed season. Barramundi will be on the menu again midday February 1st 2013

Fishers are reminded that barramundi is off limits in East Coast waters and the Gulf of Carpentaria, following recent reports of fishers targeting the species during the closures.

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol (QBFP) district officer Rob Ibell said the closure was in place to protect barramundi stock during their vulnerable spawning season.

"During spawning, millions of eggs will be laid, but only a few will survive the natural selection process," he said.

"Barramundi typically gather in one area to spawn, making them more vulnerable to predators and fishing pressure.

"It’s important that barramundi are not targeted for catch and release during a closed season as the stress of capture may prevent the fish from spawning.

“If accidentally caught, the fish must be released into the water immediately. It is not to be removed from the water for a photo or tagging.

“The purpose of these closures is to allow stocks to replenish. Targeting and stressing these fish by tagging and taking photos of them out of the water will not assist in the protection of this species.”

Mr Ibell said QBFP officers would be out patrolling Queensland waters over the spawning season.

“Officers conduct regular patrols during closed seasons and those found doing the wrong thing are risking an on-the-spot fine of $440 and a maximum penalty of $110,000,” he said.

The barramundi closure applies to East Coast waters and the Gulf of Carpentaria until noon 1 February 2013.

For more information on fishing closures in Queensland visit or call 13 25 23.

Monday 19 November 2012

Weekend Mackerel

Seabreeze was predicting some nice weather for the weekend just gone, but BOM didn't agree. I think most of us new what to expect, but were hopeful Seabreeze was right. My plan was to get up early Saturday and take the kids for run in the bay looking for Fingermark. I wanted to get the new boat out for a decent run. But when I woke at 4am it was still blowing about 10knots on the bay. I wan't going to wake the family early, only to find it was choppy on the water. So back to bed! But then the kids were then up by 6 so I thought we might as well go have a look. 

It was choppy on the water alright, and by the time we got past Middle Reef it was easily in the 10-15's. But the new boat handled it well and we were comfortably able to run to our mark. Tania and the kids put a bait down and I worked a Thready Buster around the mark, but nothing was biting. So we headed back to the Middle Reef markers.

I 'spot locked' the iPilot just downwind of the mark and began working the Thready Buster. It was soon smacked by the first fish of the day, and the 8lb Power Pro was quickly peeling off the Stella. Turned out to be a nice Doggie Mackerel that was quickly placed in the eski for dinner. Bit of a surprise in 26 degree shallow water!

Next fish to take the Thready was a Golden Trevally. He had me thinking Fingermark the whole way, he fought deep and hard! 

Time for the kids to get a fish. Next hookup I passed the rod to Lachlan. Another Mackerel. This fish was considerably bigger and kept him honest the whole way. Luckily it was on a larger Sustain 4000 reel and 20lb! He was soon in the eski with his mate. Fish and chips for dinner!

Tania was next. Not liking lures, Tania had a bait down and it was hit hard and peeling line off at a great rate of knots. We followed the fish around with the Minn Kota and eventually worked in within sight.... a dam Catfish! It was released and the very next bait down Tania repeated with another one! 

With the wind building and it becoming difficult to fish we headed for home. Two fish in the eski and several others caught or missed, it wasn't a bad hour or two on the water.

Still some fit-out being done to the new boat. Once its all finished I will get some pictures up! Should be fishing and writing a lot more again too once the boat is finished. 

Thursday 15 November 2012

**SOLD** Boat For Sale - 3.86m SeaJay with 20hp Yamaha **SOLD**

1998 3.86m SeaJay
1998 20hp Yamaha 2-stroke
1998 Single Axel trailer in good condition
55lb Minn Kota iPilot electric motor
Deep Cycle battery
25lt Yamaha fuel tank
Near new tires and a never used spare
Anchor and chain
Tie-down strap and Motor bracket

The trailer is registered until 14/3/2013
The boat is registered until 14/9/2013

Recent improvements to the boat include
  • Add the alloy plate for the electric motor
  • Fill in the hatches for the front and rear casting decks (proper marine ply and painted)
  • Carpet floor and casting decks
  • Install bilge pump
  • Replace wheel bearings in trailer
  • Add Bearing Buddies to the trailer
  • Install good quality LED trailer lights
This is an excellent little luring boat for two. It can get into the smallest creek and run through some pretty shallow water. Only selling due to purchase of a new boat. 


Phone 0428788672 or email

Thursday 1 November 2012

SOLD - Stacer 575 with 115hp Mercury 4-stroke

Stacer 575 with115 Hp Mercury 4 stroke

Accessories include

• Raymarine GPS/Sounder
• CD Player
• VHF Radio
• Dual Batteries
• Full Storm Covers
• Electric Winch
• 110 Litre tank
• Epirb
• Bait Board
• Bait Tank
• Dual batteries

Price - SOLD

Saturday 20 October 2012

DVD Review - Double Island Point & Beyond

A couple of weeks ago Greg Lamprecht sent me a copy of his recently release DVD "Double Island Point & Beyond". It arrived in the mail on a Tuesday afternoon and I was going to wait until the weekend to watch as the runtime is well over 2hrs. But I couldn't resist putting it in the DVD player for a sneak peak! Well, I watched half that night and had to finish the second half the following night. And I have since watched it again on the weekend with the kids! This is an absolutely fantastic DVD production with some of the hottest Red Emperor action you are likely to see. Greg has mixed in just the right amount of additional information on anchoring, drifting, reading your sounder, baits and rigs and even underwater footage of the structure on the bottom. While the area fished may not be local to us North Queenslanders, the fishing encountered and techniques used are identical. The action is incredible and fish are BIG. This DVD comes highly recommended from me, and is a must have for any reef and shoal fisherman! Check out the short preview below and then follow the link to the website where you can purchase for only $25. You can also follow Greg on his 'Wicked Fishing' Facebook page.

Thursday 30 August 2012

Another Hinchinbrook trip with Knighty

G and T Fishing School owner Graham Knight and I have been itching to get back up to Hinchinbrook for a fish together for a very long time. Last Sunday presented us with the oportunity to head up and chase some of the big silver salties that Knighty has been nailing of late. Our plan early in the week was to head up to Missionary Bay for the day. Light winds were forecast and I have never had the chance to venture that way. But the forecast later in the week started to predict strong NE winds in the afternoon, not ideal for a run home from Missionary! So a last minute change of plans saw us put Graham's 5.8m 'Cruse Control' in at Lucinda to fish the southern end of the channel.

We left Townsville very early to ensure we were at the ramp by first light. With light winds for the morning Graham took us out to the end of the Sugar Loader to chase some fingermark. Some good fish were showing on the sounder and soon we were letting down our G.I.M.P. lures. The fish were there, but they were hard to entice a bite from. But soon Knighty was getting a few decent bumps. A couple of missed hookups and then he was on. A short solid fight soon had a nice keeper size Finger in the net. I was next to get a hit, and the 20lb PowerPro sizzled off the Sustain 4000fe. The angle on the line started coming up and I was praying for Barra. But a big Queenfish soon launched into the air. After a few more speedy runs and lunges just under the boat, the fish was led into the net. At 107cm it was a lovely fish!

It was a long time before the next decent hit, but it was Knighty who managed to sink the hooks. He was soon tussling with a very solid fish on 30lb. Several strong runs along the bottom and we were pretty sure it was a good finger. A few minutes later and the fish came into sight, easily a 6-7kg Fingermark. But on the next run the hooks pulled! A few expletives were said, but ultimately there was nothing we had done wrong and nothing we could do about. But it was to be a point of discussion for the rest of the day!

It started to get a little lumpy for the 'flats' boat, so we headed back into the channel for the target species. We started working some rocky outcrops, but despite a couple of Barra crashing bait, we only managed a few cod. The tide had quickly dropped too low for this area, we were about an hour too late after chasing the Fingers.

We then headed up Benji flats and worked around some drains and snags, but only managed a handull of Salmon and Grunter. The tide was now on the incoming and not ideal for what we were targeting.

As the tide built in the afternoon we made our way back to the rocky headlands for one last go at a big salty Barra. And it didn't disappoint. I picked up a few smaller fish on the DOA prawns and my Stella 1000fe, including one legal that, at 58.5cm, went back to grow a little larger.

But then something bigger came along! I got to see the fish strike and take the DOA in crystal clear water not too far from the boat. I know it was a decent fish, and soon the 8lb PowerPro was pealing off the Stella. A bit of tight manoeuvring of the rod and some extra pressure on the spool managed to keep the fish from reaching the snags, and it was soon into the open water where I could play it out better. The fish surfaced 3 or 4 times and lunged back to the bottom every time. I was very nervous knowing my leader was only 20lb! But I am yet to have a fish wear through it. The fish quickly tired and was lead into the net. Some handshakes and high-5's before the obligatory photographs. At 76cm it is my best Barra for a long time, and maybe a PB for the Stella.

As this fish had hit my lure away from the rocks and more in the deeper open water, I decided to next send down a Thready Buster. This was attached to a Sustain 1000fe that was being used earlier in the day. And yes, still 8lb PowerPro and 20lb leader. It only took a couple of casts and the Thready was hit hard. Line tore off the Sustain spool and the fish headed up the creek. Then I lost weight on the fish. Hooks pulled and fish kept going! From the power of this run I strongly believe this was even better than the 76cm, but its hard to say for sure. 

Knighty then proceeded to miss 3 really good strikes, all in quick succession and all from fish in the 70+ range. We saw the fish hit the lure every time, but they just failed to find the hook. The tide then came up too high and the fish disappeared into the back of the mangroves. Time for home!

Knighty is a real character to go fishing with. He knows Barra like nobody else I have fished with. So if you are looking for a day on the water that you will never forget, give him a call an book a session. Barra season is closing soon and I know he is booking out fast! So get in quick and secure a position. Visit for all the details. 

Sunday 19 August 2012

Family Fishing for Barramundi

The kids have been bugging me for the last few weekends to get them out in the 'little boat' to chase some Barramundi. They had soccer games yesterday morning that prevented us getting offshore, so with the wind coming back up today I thought it would be a good chance to get them into the creek. The plan was to allow them to work the Thready Buster lures in the deeper holes where Andrew and I had caught a stack of Salmon the weekend before. At least it's open water and pinpoint casts into the snags don't matter. So we headed off about 7am to catch the last of the run in tide and first of the run out.

We marked a few fish in the hole when we arrived, but nothing like last weekend. Spot-lock was hit on the iPilot and we all started working the Thready Busters. I was first to hook up, a solid fish that I 'just' caught a glimpse of before the hooks pulled. It was very quiet compared to last week, but were persevered. Tania eventually nailed a good fish that had her moving all around the boat. We had not idea what this was going to be as it didn't fight anything like a Salmon or a Barra. Soon a nice Grunter came into view and was slipped into the net.

The next decent fish to hit the lure was a nice size Salmon. A much better quality fish than last weekend, it danced all over the ocean. A couple of tense moments and it was in the net. Just in time too as lifting the fish from the net the leader broke from the wear of the rough mouth. The Thready Buster was well down his gob! 

I missed another couple of hits and landed a smaller Grunter. But the wind was coming up and it was getting cold and rough where we were sitting. So the decision was made to head back into the creek and find another spot. I wanted to stay with the Thready Busters in the deeper water as it is much easier for the kids. But after a flash of a Barra on a Thready I threw colse to the mangroves, I just had to change over. 

I tied on a DOA and threw it back into the mangrove roots. Two nice silver fish flashed and fought over the lure, but both missed. Back it and 'whack', Barra on. The little 55cm fish thrashed on the surface before being netted and released. 

Over the next hour we pulled at least a dozen Barramundi out of this one set of mangroves. Most were in the 55cm class, but I did manage 2 that went 63cm. The kids nailed plenty of the smaller fish, but I had to put the cast in do the hookup for them. It was just too tight around the mangrove roots for the boys to successfully work a lure. The DOA's are not exactly snag proof! 

A great morning on the water overall. Water temp is back around the 23 degree mark and was running beautiful and clear. A few meals of fish this week! Lucky the whole family enjoy eating fish. DOA lures are only $20 for 5 at ProTackle. Right on the front counter. They are good to as they are or you can upgrade the hooks if your fishing heavier line. Ask Matt about the best hook! They are available in 3in and 4in sizes, but I only by the 3in now as its my favorite. 

Monday 13 August 2012

Barramundi in the cold snap!

Yesterday Andrew and I headed off into one of the local creeks to target some Barramundi. We were planning the trip all week, but as the weekend predictions started to show mornings down in the 7 degree mark out expectations were not very high! But the tides were perfect and Andrew had a new Ci4 Stradic 3000 to test out, so we were going regardless.

Andrew picked up me and my boat about 5.30 and we headed off. Boat was in by about 6.30 and we were soon rugged up and running across to our first location. On a previous trip I had sounded up some good shows of bait in a deep 6m hole near the mouth of this particular creek. It took my interest at the time, but we never stopped to investigate. So today I thought we might drop some Thready Buster lures down and see what was holding with the bait. As we approached the sounder lit up! The iPilot was dropped and put into 'spot lock' mode directly above the school of fish. The sounder shot below is from a Humminbird 998 SI and shows what was marking in the hole.

It didn't take too long and Thready Busters were being bumped left right and centre! The first fish was a nice Salmon to Andy, but I was soon connected to something much more substantial. I was using my older Sustain 1000fe and 8lb Power Pro. The fish slugged it out deep and I wasn't game to put on too much pressure. The Side Image of the 998 hadn't shown too much in the way of structure down there, so I was happy to let it play out. The fish never came to the surface for a jump, and the first flash of silver had me thinking big Grunter. But as the fish came better into sight it was soon apparent this was a nice Barra. A couple of final lunges and he was slipped into the waiting net. I didn't measure the fish as I was too keen to get another lure down. But we estimated it in the low 70's.

We continued to work the Thready's for the next hour and experienced a pretty good session from the Salmon. We had double hookups on several occasions. A few smaller Queenfish thrown in for good measure, but we didn't see another Barra. Andrew even nailed a few Salmon on the newly released 'Interceptor' hard bodied lure from Smoking Drags Co (the same guys who make the Thready Buster). It was very successful on these feisty little Salmon, and even seemed to get them fired up again just when they seemed to go quiet. The action was so consisted I put the GoPro on for a little video action.

We left them biting and went in search of some timber to throw the lures at. Barra were really the target species, and despite raising one we had given it a good shot for another. We managed a few Rats for the snags and the tide slowly fell, but it was quiet overall. On the bottom of the tide we decided to sit in another deep hole on the outside of a big bank and again work the Thready's. While the tide was dead we didn't see too much action, but as the tide began to run back in the fish came onto the bite. A number of smaller Barra were landed and Andrew nailed a nice Fingermark for the eski. But we also landed the usual by-catch of Cod, Salmon and small Jew. The best fish to come out of this hole was a 63cm Barra that took my TB.

As the tide made we returned to the snags. But again just a handfull of rats kept us entertained for the afternoon. We called it quits about 4.30 and headed back to the ramp.

We had had a day of both hot and cold sessions (weather too!). We had seen multiple hookups and fish a cast as well as long periods of no hits. But with out a doubt the Thready Buster lures fished in the deeper holes were deadly. Without this lure and this technique it would have been a very ordinary day. Species for the day included Barramundi, Jack, Salmon, Bream, Cod, Jew, Flathead, Archer and Fingermark.

If you need to stock up on some Thready Buster lures then Pro Tackle have the best range at the best price. Go and have a chat to Matt about what he is catching on them and how to use them.

Monday 6 August 2012

Fishers’ Forum – Protect your rights 8 August 2012

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Hot Creek Session

This is a very quick report from a trip to a local creek last Saturday with Andrew Gleeson. I have spent the last few days re-building the OS on my iMac after it started developing random errors. So my computer has been out of action. But its now all back to normal and most of my photos have been restored.

We headed of to the Haughton Saturday morning only to find that on our arrival the water was running Chocolate with massive logs and timber throughout. I was expecting a little fresh in the system, but not this much. The surface water even tasted completely fresh. So we bailed from there and went in search of a smaller creek with less catchment area and thus less influence from the run-off.

So we headed off into the Cocoa Creek system for a look-see. As soon as we pulled up at the 'ramp' hopes were once again raised. The water was a beautiful green colour and very clear. Only problem was we would have to remain in here all day and wait for the high tide in the afternoon to pull out again. At least it looked like there should be a fish!

We headed a fair way up with the top of the tide and then worked the lures with tide on the way out. But were were pretty lucky not to get stuck up the top. As the tide dropped some of the corners shallowed out considerably, and large sections of timber made it a tight squeeze to get back out. It has certainly silted up a bit since I was last up there.

But we had a pretty good time. As the tide dropped only a handful of snags and drains remained fishable. But they all held multiple fish. We finished the day with over 40 fish landed, the majority of which were Rat Barramundi in the 55-60cm range. Overall only 2 fish made it over 58cm, and only 1 (at 62cm) cleared legal enough to make it in the eski. While the fishing was consistent with several multiple hookups, its a disappointing ratio of legal fish to captures. I guess that is the problem with a small system that is relatively heavily hit. But we also managed 3 nice Jacks, 2 of which went 47cm.

It wasn't until about 4pm that I was game enough to back my car down to pull the boat out. So it had been a long day, but a good day! Also spotted a dead Dugong floating up the river with the incoming tide in the afternoon! Thanks for the day Andrew, had a great time. 

Tuesday 10 July 2012

School Holiday Fishing

I have to admit to being really lazy over the school holiday and haven't written about any of the fishing expeditions I have been on. The odd photo has been up on the Facebook page, but nothing here. So here is a quick summary all in one post.

Took the family across to the Weedbeds to take advantage of the early morning calm weather. But the fishing was very quiet. We anchored and set up a burley trail, but only managed a ray and one bite off. We trolled for a bit and put a couple of small Doggies in the eski and released a ripper Golden that Lachlan caught. The calm weather didn't last long and we were heading back in about 10am. On the was in we had the pleasure of watching one of the race boats do a run to Palleranda and back and then get pulled out of the water right in front of us!

The wind was supposed to come down on this particular day, and with so many small Black Marlin being caught down in Bowling Green Bay we decided to give the Billfish thing a go. Plan was to head to the Mackerel Patch at first light and chase some Spaniards before beginning a troll south. But as we cleared the Cape it was apparent the wind wasn't dropping! We persevered and made it to the Mackerel Patch, down to about 17knots to get there! But it wasn't worth the run. There was no bait and no fish to be seen! We trolled around with half a dozen other boats for about an hour, but it was sloppy and very uncomfortable. And none of the other boats looked to be doing much either. Luckily I had run over a couple of bait balls on the bottom on our way out. The Humminbird 998 SI is very good at picking up the bottom while traveling at speed. I had marked them for a later look, but didn't expect that later look to be today! So we went back and found huge schools of fish on the sounder. For the rest of the morning we drifted the area with high speed metal slices and put all sorts of fish in the boat. Several 65cm plus Doggie Mackerel were probably the highlight.

The following sounder shots from the Humminbird 998 show what was picked up at speed, and what was discovered when we returned later.

The tides looked really good for a trip up to Hinchinbrook to chase some big Barra. So Jake and I decided to take the tinnie up to Fishers Creek and investigate some drain fishing. We found the Barra crashing the bait, but they just didn't want any part of what we were offering. The tide soon dropped out and we then struggled to find suitable structure still in the water. It was a tough day, but eventually Jake managed to snare a good fish on the fly rod. At 68cm it is his best Barra on fly to date.

Yep, only 2 days later and we were back at it! After sleeping in Sunday I was pumped for another lure casting session on the show day Monday. Jake offered to take his car and boat this time and we were off to the Haughton. The tide was big and the water was cold, we would have been happy to catch one each. But we managed to put away a very good session with over 20 Barramundi landed for the morning. The best fish of the day was Jake's at 79cm, and my biggest went 69cm.

Most of my fish fell to Ben Jones' locally made Jelly Prawn. But Jake found great success with the good old DOA prawn.

With the success from the Haughton a few days earlier I decided to take Tania and the kids for a run to see if I could get them onto a lure caught Barra. But despite better tides the water temp had plummeted. Even though the water was down to 17 degrees, I still managed to boat 4 Barra to 62cm and missed a couple more. Again the Jelly Prawn lure was doing the job in tough conditions.

So all in all it was a great school holiday for myself and the family. Plenty of trips on the water and some nice fish caught by all. Bring on the next holidays I say!