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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 8 January 2012

24hrs on The Slashers Reefs

Wow, what a spell of beautiful weather we are having at the moment! There was no way I was missing out, I have been waiting a long time for this kind of run in the weather to do my first run to the reef out of Townsville. Ever since replacing the dirty old Yamaha 2-stroke with the more fuel efficient 4-stroke Suzuki I have been itching to get to the reef. 160lts of fuel in the Cruise Craft just wouldn't make it with the old motor, now even the more distant reefs are in range!

I left the Coast Guard ramp about 3pm Friday afternoon with Tania and the two kids. I was a little undecided on running to the reef that night, but the stiff Northerly pushed me against it. So we headed to West Point to chase Fingermark for the evening. While we didn't sight a Finger, the small Nannygai kept Tania and the kids entertained for the afternoon. On dark we came back inside the island for dinner and the night.

About 3am I pulled the anchor very quietly and started off toward the Slashers group. Sill a light breeze blowing, and everyone else was still asleep in the cabin, so I sat on a very comfortable 17knots most of the way. The closer we got to the reef the better conditions looked, and by the time I passes Brewer it was billiard table conditions.

I am a total amateur when it comes to reef fishing, just never had the opportunities to get out there. I was fortunate enough to have a mark sent to me by a very generous forum member, so that was our first stop. A nice lump in 50m of water got us started with bites coming immediately. 50m of water is new to me, shoals are generally 25-30m, so that was the first thing to get use to. Its a long way down!

I fished with some plastics on 1/2 and 5/8oz jig heads. Squid viscous, jerk shads and tails, they all seemed to work. Tania stink baited with pillies. All sorts of fish came over the side, some we struggled to identify! Numerous Coral Cod and various sweetlip of all types kept us busy, but the size was well down. We managed a couple of keeper Trout and a nice Spangled and Long-nosed Emperor.

With fish now in the eski and the trip worth while it was time to look around and see what we could find ourselves. To my surprise it was not difficult locating lumps and bumps in the 40-50m range, but finding ones with good fish was much harder. I guess I need to learn a bit more about what makes one bommie better than the others. But again, plenty of small fish and the odd keeper kept us entertained.

We worked our way around the back of one of the reefs and all of a sudden it was the middle of the day. So we started working back toward town. Passing the thousands of boats on Loadstone, we were surprised to find almost no boats fishing the more familiar shoal area. And a sound around soon showed why. They were void of any life! I sounded around several marks and hardly sighted a fish.

It was now getting late in the day and I still had fish and the boat to clean, so we headed for home. Still glassed out we sat on a very economical 22knots all the way, sipping down just 0.5lts/km. I'm very impressed with this new Suzuki, well over 200km traveled for 125lts of fuel. The whole family had a great time, with the weather looking good all week we are even contemplating a second tip out!

Here is a short video of some of the highlights. The GoPro camera is excellent for capturing the moment!