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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.