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Information on the quality and location of local Boat Ramp facilities. Includes photographs, maps and some video content.

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Promoting family fishing.

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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 29 December 2013

Handy Tip - Photos from your GoPro

Recently I was on a fishing expedition with Graham Knight of G&T Fishing School and Charters. It wasn't a particularly successful day and I hadn't taken many photos. When I sat down to write a short article from the trip I began regretting not taking the camera out and snapping more photos. But while I was cutting together some video it struck me that I could capture some still images from the video that was shot. The GoPro's had been running for most of the day, so there was plenty of footage to pick from. And with today video cameras shooting at 720p or 1080p, the resolution of images extracted are fine for web use.

So here is a quick tutorial on how you can get photos from your GoPro or other video footage. Completely free and easy to do!

I use Adobe Premiere CC to cut together all my video footage, and it does have a button to click that captures jpeg images from the video. But to keep it free and easy, download a program called VLC. This is a media play that you should be using to play video anyway! It runs on both Windows and Mac, and will playback almost any video file without the need for additional codecs.

With VLC loaded open you video footage you want to use. Play or use the progress bar to scrub through to where you want the image taken from. Pause the video on the exact section. From the menu bar select 'video' and then 'snapshot'. This will save a png image to your photos folder. You can then load and edit the image just like any other photo! Too easy :)

Photo's taken from 720p footage will be at a resolution of 1280 x 720. This is only about 1MP is size, but is fine for Facebook or the web. 1080p will be slightly better at 1920 x 1080, or about 2.2MP. One point to note is that these resolutions have a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is fine if you like it. But you may want to crop back to 4:3 for a more standard photo aspect ratio.

The following sample images were all taken from my GoPro recording at 720p. Some are cropped to 4:3 while others are still in the original 16:9 aspect ratio. I should also note that these sample photos have been further reduced in resolution for upload and display here. All my photos used on this site have a maximum resolution of 800px in any one dimension. The reduces file size and increased load time for readers. But I am sure you will agree that they are perfectly ok for online viewing.

Soft Plastics in the Bay

Tried to take advantage of the break in the weather yesterday. But those Northerlies just won't back off. Friday was apparently the pick of the days, but a sick child prevented us from getting on the water. He still wan't 100% on Saturday, so a short trip was planned to fish some spots in the bay with plastics. No real target species, just anything that wanted to play the game!

We left from the new Ross River boat ramp an day-break and headed to our first spot. On arrival the Side Image of the Humminbird was showing schools of fish tightly working around the area. The Minn Kota was deployed and we 'spotlocked' into position.

The fishing was slow, but the occasional hit and small fish kept us going. The first decent fish to be landed was a nice GT that took my Threadybuster on the drop. A great fight in relatively shallow water and on light gear. This was a good sized fish for this area.

The next decent fish hit Tania on the new 60mm mini Threadybuster. She was using the little Stella 1000 and really enjoyed the fight. But it didn't take long and a nice little 40cm Fingermark was led to the net.

We had landed a few small Grunter for the morning, and missed hooking up heaps of bites from what I assume were Grunter, but finally a decent fish smashed my Threadybuster. Looking like a solid 50cm fish, it spat the hooks just out of netting range. Not to worry, a few casts later and this fella was successfully landed. These new 60mm mini Threadybusters really suite the smaller mouth of the Grunter. The snack sized plastic has an excellent vibration and is fished the same way as its bigger brother. Its well worth grabbing a few and having them in your tackle box.

Sebastian fished hard all morning. He really likes his lure casting. And throwing soft plastics like Threadybusters in relatively open waters is much easier for a young kid than putting lures among snags. He managed to land an assortment of smaller Trevalley and Queenfish. But it was this nice GT that really made his day. Fishing with a small Sustain 1000 it had him doing circles of the boat. But with a little help from Mum and Lachlan the net boy, he was able to lead it in for a quick photo.

I would have really loved to run offshore, but the Northerly was lightly white capping in the bay and Lachlan wasn't feeling well in the heat. So by about 10am we called it quits and ran home.

Thursday 26 December 2013

Hinchinbrook Channel with the Family

On Monday this week I decided to take Tania and the boys for a run up Hinchinbrook Channel. Strong winds had been blowing for the first week of the holidays and I didn't much feels like fishing the local creeks. With good catcher of Fingermark being reported form up the Channel it seemed like a good idea to try catch some Christmas lunch.

We left home a little before 5am and stopped of at Ingham Maccas for breaky. With the strong winds still forecast I decided it was best to launch up at Fishers Creek. A minimum of 1.3m of tide is needed for this ramp, and with small tides and nothing less than 1.6m for the day, I knew we would be right to come and go at any stage.

Initially we dropped Threadybusters on an assortment of marks in 10-15m of water in the main channel. But apart from a few tiddlers it was very quiet. Not even a lot showing up on the Humminbird. After a couple of hours baking in the hot sun with little success we decided to head into some timber for a Jack.

Tania had snuck in some Prawns for bait, so I hit Spotlock on the MinnKota just off a good looking snag and kids tossed in a few baits. It didn't take too long and pickers were all over the prawns. The kids caught a few small Grunter and Cod that entertained them for a while.

We then returned to the plastics around some rock-bars and sunken timber. But Tania was keen on her bait! So she suggested to go drop the prawns on the deeper structure where the Fingermark were supposed to be. With nothing much else happening it seemed a good enough idea.

I marked up a sunken tree in 11m of water and hit 'spotlock'. First bait down and Tania hooked up to a solid fish. A small Nannygai just under the legal size of 40cm. We put down a few more baits, each one turning quickly into a fish. As the last of the incoming tide ebbed in we managed almost a fish a drop. And in the end we had also put 4 legal fish in the eski. Tania even managed to hook up a big Shark that kept us busy for almost 10 minutes. But as the tide topped out the bite stopped. We were all hot and tired and it seemed a good time to pull the boat out and head home.

Sorry about the crappy photos, they are just off the GoPro.

It had been a quite morning, but a lot of fun and some fish in the eski for Christmas. I cut together a short clip of some of the highlights of the day. Please enjoy.

Saturday 14 December 2013

Give a kid a break!

A few weeks ago I was chatting on the phone to Graham Knight from G&T Fishing School and Charters. Graham says to me "mate, we haven't been fishing for a while, I'll have to get you back up Hinchy soon". And I said to him in reply "well, I was actually going to ask you a really huge favour. I have this young lad in year 12 here at school who recently lost his father. Obviously its been a very tough time for him. He is super keen on fishing, always chatting to me in the playground about where and when to go fishing. I though it would be a nice to take him for a fish up Hinchy when he finishes school." Knighty's immediate response was "just give me a date!" So we did all the right things and sought out permission from the School and his mum. And after sussing out the tides it was decided Thursday the 12th of December would be the day.

With the Barramundi closed season in place, the target species for the day was going to be Fingermark. Knighty has been nailing them up the channel lately, and I was pretty keen to see more about how he is doing it.

We picked Giulian up from Ingham on the way through and had the boat in the water about 6am. Just by chance we happened to fluke a day with 5-10knot winds forecast. So the obvious thing to do was head to the end of the jetty for the bigger Fingermark. After the mandatory safety brief from the captan we were off.

As it turned out the wind was not a light as anticipated, and by the time we got to the end of the loader it was a solid 10-15's. But we sounded up some Fingermark on Knighty's Humminbird 998si and figured we were here now so might as well give it a few drops. Down went the GIMP lures, right on top of the school. But despite our every effort, we just couldn't get them to take the lures. After an hour or so of throwing our hands in the air at the fish we pulled the pin and headed up the channel.

Knighty took us straight to a set of sunken timber marks in deep water up the channel. The technique was pretty simple. Using the Side Image of the Humminbird 998 we located the position of the structure and where the fish were hanging. The Spot-lock feature of the Minn Kota electric was then used to hold the boat slightly down-current of the fish. With the boat held in position we cast soft plastic lures above the structure. Once these hit the bottom they were worked with the current back toward the boat. The most important thing is to always keep the lure in contact with the bottom. Plastics such as GIMP's, Threadybusters and even the heavier Jellyprawn 'tide-tamer' were used in an attempt to entice a bite. But even though the fish were marking strongly on the sounder, we struggled to get so much as a bump from them.

We continued to systematically work our way through a plethora of waypoints that engulf the screen of Knighty's 998. We managed to pick up the odd by-catch of Trevalley, Cod and smaller Fingermark, but the bigger fish we were expecting just didn't want to bite. We must have been up to our 5th or 6th mark of the session when eventually a solid fish took my Threadybuster. A good solid fight on the Shimano 3000 Ci4+ Stradic. Hoping for a keepable Fingermark I was surprised to see a bright red shape emerge from the depths. A Small Mouth Nannygai was led into the net. We were sure it was going to push 42-43cm, but on the tape it only just nudged the legal length of 40cm. Too close for comfort, he was photographed and released.

A little more perseverance and eventually a second hard hit on the Threadybuster. This one tore line off the Stradic as it headed along the bottom. A solid fish that took some turning on the light braided line. But it eventually turned and was pumped back toward the surface. I was rather pleased to see the golden glimmer make its way up through the water column. In the net and it was handshakes all round. Not a massive fish, but on a tough day it was one worthy of a photo and placing on ice. Knighty did measure it, I think it went 54cm?

By now the tide had bottomed out and we headed to the tree-line to try our luck on a Mangrove Jack. We managed a couple of flashes from something red, but didn't set any hooks. I managed a hefty Flathead and Giulian tangled with a couple of incidentals. But as the afternoon shadows grew, the wind built and it was suddenly blowing 20-25knots, straight up the channel! So we decided to up the Minn Kota and head for home. It was a wet ride back into Dungeness, but perfectly safe in Knighty's big glass boat.

I would personally like to thank Graham and G&T Fishing School and Charters for taking the time and effort to get Giulian and I up to Hinchy and onto a few fish. Knighty did not withhold any of his vast knowledge of fishing spots and techniques to help Giulian out in the future. Despite a quite day overall, it always a blast fishing with Graham & Giulian. Thanks Guys!

G & T Fishing School and Charters
Mobile: 0419 648 320
Fishing for Barramundi, Mangrove Jack, Fingermark and more...
Specialising in Lure and Fly Fishing
** Now with Credit Card facilities **

Monday 25 November 2013

Quiet at Cungulla

With many family commitments the last few weeks I have struggled to get a decent session on the water. So yesterday morning I was sitting around the house thinking 'where can I go for a quick fish after lunch' when Cungulla Beach came to mind. Its been years since I fished Cungulla, and I though it might be worth a look see. Its only about a 30min drive from home, and a possibility as a good spot to put the Kayaks in. High tide was set for about 3pm, so I headed of with the family (dogs included) with the idea of fishing the first couple of hours of the outgoing tide.

All I took was a rod each and handful of plastics. The kids were more interested in collecting shells, and Tania was looking after the dogs. So it was just me flicking lures around. But after an hour and half of not even a bump on the end of the line we gave up! I wasn't expecting a fantastic haul of fish, just a flathead or two would have kept me happy. But not my day! So the only photos I took were a couple of nice cloud formations over the back of the Beach.

We headed off for a drive down the AIMS road for bit a wildlife hunt. A few 4wd tracks later and we hand managed to spot several Wallabies, a Goana, a Frill-necked lizard and an assortment of different Birds. Tania and boys love spotting animals, and it made the drive down worth it. KFC for dinner on the way home and was a good family outing.

Holidays coming up soon, so hopefully I will be able to get some real fishing in!

Saturday 16 November 2013

Purchasing and Electric Motor

Never before have electric motors been as popular and affordable as they are today. But there are a number things to consider before jumping in buying any old electric motor. In this article I would like to address some of the things that need consideration when making this very important purchase. On many boats, an electric motor will be your most expensive accessory. So its worth getting right! But please, let it be said now, that I am not an electronics expert. I'm simply sharing my thoughts based on past experience.

Transom or Bow Mounting

The main outboard motor of a boat is located to stern and bolts to the transom. This motor 'pushes' the boat when the throttle is applied. Steering adjustments are made when the motor is turned left or right. It is possible to also mount electric motors to the transom of the boat also, although this is usually slightly to one side of the main outboard. In this situation steering becomes incredibly difficult. Generally speaking, steering from the transom becomes easier with speed, and electric motors will not be moving fast enough to make quick adjustments. I would only mount an electric motor in this position for general straight line trolling. It is not suitable for delicate adjustments needed for lure casting to snags.

Bow mount electric motors, on the other hand, are positioned on nose or 'bow' of the boat, as close to centre line as possible. In this position, the thrust of the electric is used to 'pull' the boat along. In this way the front of the boat is easily pulled left or right in a tight turn, the rest the boat just follows. This is by far the best method of mounting an electric motor for lure casting, but is still fine for trolling also.

On a slightly different note, I see a lot of people raise their outboard motor when under electric power. I would highly recommend not doing this unless you are running in shallow water and need the clearance. The outboard provides a 'keel' for the back of the boat and keeps it tracking straight. Without the outboard in the water the stern of the boat with 'wander' uncontrollably from side to side.

Tiller / Foot / Wireless Remote Control

Entry level electric motors will primarily be tiller steer. They are far cheaper as no additional electronics and motors are required for steering. These motors have throttle and steering control on a handle, or tiller, attached to the head of the motor. This means all steering is done manually. There is nothing wrong with this at all. In fact, manual steering is a lot faster than the motor driven steering of remote controlled units! You can alter direction and apply thrust almost instantly. And while tiller model electrics are primarily designed for transom mounting, with the right bracket rigged up they can easily be mounted to the bow.

Foot control electric motors have the steering and thrust controls mounted to a large controller board that sits on the floor of the boat. These are connected to the head unit via a long cable. The cable is usually long enough to allow the pedal to be positioned anywhere in the boat. Generally there is a left and right button, thrust on and off and speed control. Sometimes there might be a thrust lock button as well. The big advantage of foot controlled electric motors is that your hands are free to cast and land fish. Many people prefer these for this reason. Some people go to a little extra effort and mount the foot controller into the floor of the casting deck so the buttons are flush with the floor. But then they can't be moved at all. I really liked using the foot control myself, however, holding one leg up on the controller all day can get very uncomfortable and tiring. The other advantage of the foot controller is that there are no batteries to run flat. Foot controllers do have the tendency to fail due to saltwater corrosion entering through the buttons. So good maintenance is needed.

Wireless remote controls have taken over in recent times. Over the last few years there has been big advancements in these remotes, and the latest Minn Kota remotes have a large clear LCD screen and buttons to perform all sorts of advanced functions. The most basic of the remotes will have the same control as the food pedal; left, right, thrust on/off and speed. Most remotes these days hang on a lanyard around the neck. But there have been watch style remotes in the past. The advantage is the ability to move anywhere in the boat without dragging around a cable. You can fight a fish 360 degrees around a boat and have control the whole time. The Minn Kota electrics also allow you to very easily attach a 2nd or 3rd remote to the one motor, giving your fishing companions the same control. The remotes also work from quite a distance off the boat too! The big disadvantage of this type of controller is having to take you hands off the rod to operate the buttons. But it doesn't take long to get use to this. The other disadvantage is the loss of control if batteries run flat. So always carry either a spare remote, spare batteries or a foot controller, just in case!


While outboard motors are rated in Horsepower (h.p.), electric motors are rated in pounds of thrust (lbs). The higher the thrust the more powerful the motor. The main consideration is the ability to push around the weight of the boat given the addition of wind and tide. Generally speaking, the most popular motors are either 55 or 80lbs. There are bigger and smaller, but these two cover over 90% of the boat that would be using one. I have now had a fair bit of experience with both of these thrusts in various sized boats. And I would comfortably say that the 55lbs is suitable for boats around 3.5 to 4.5m, and the 80lbs is best suited to 5.5 to 6.5m. Boats in-between this size range are faced with a difficult decision. On one hand the 55lbs will do the job, but on the other hand the 80lbs will do it far better! And the decision is not a simple matter of the cost difference between the two motors! I'll talk more about this decision after discussing batteries and charging.

There are smaller motors for kayaks and small car toppers and larger 120lb motors for bigger offshore boats.


The smaller 55lb electric motors run on a simple 12v battery system. This will be the same voltage used to start an outboard motor and run the general onboard accessories. And while you can run the electric motor off your start battery, it isn't recommended. Electric motors draw a lot of power. Running off a start battery introduces the very real risk of flattening the battery while on the water. It also isn't good running an electric motor off a 'cranking' battery that is used primarily as a start battery. These are not designed to be constantly discharged and recharged. The best battery to run an electric off is a Deep Cycle AGM. And as it happens, these are very expensive! A 100 or 120ah  AGM will give a full days fishing on one charge, probably with plenty left over. I recommend mounting the battery somewhere safe under a hatch in the bow of the boat, and keeping the circuit completely separate from the rest of the electronics. There are ways to wire the battery into the charging system of the motor, but it will add to the cost and complexity of installation. This might be best left to the professionals.

80lb electric motors use a 24v battery system. This is required to provide the extra power. To achieve 24v of power, two 12v batteries are connected in a series circuit. Again, Deep Cycle AGM batteries are the best. As 24v is completely incompatible with other onboard electronics, the circuit should be kept completely separate. But again, there are onboard charging systems available that connect these batteries to the charging system of the motor. I personally have 2 x 120ah AGM Century batteries in my boat and I rarely use more than 1/4 of the capacity in a mornings session.

The 120lb thrust electric motor is a 36v system, achieved with 3 batteries wired in series!


The simplest method of charging a Deep Cycle AGM battery is with a good quality 240v charger you plug into the wall at home. Ctec are well known as the best quality chargers around. These are designed to charge the batteries in stages, and if left connected to the battery permanently while the boat is out of the water and at home, they will actually prolong the overall life of the battery. 12v batteries require a 12v charger and 24v system will require a 24v charger. Various amperage chargers are available. The higher the output, the more expensive the charger. But the faster the batteries will be recharged.

What I have always done in the past use use an anderson plug to connect the electric motor to the batteries. This is on the bow of the boat and easily accessible. I also have an anderson plug on the end of my charger. So when I return home I simply unplug the electric, and plug in the charger. It remains plugged in until I go fishing again.

The 55 or 80lb decision!

As I said earlier, the decision on electric motor size for boats in the 4.5 - 5.5m range is a difficult one to make. There is far more to consider than just the cost difference between the two motors. I faced this exact issue recently when I purchased my Haines Signature 485sf. It came with a 55lb iPilot bow-mount electric that ran off the 12v dual battery system. These were the same batteries used to start the main motor and run the accessories. But after testing the 55lb on the water I decided to make the costly move 80lb. There were several personal reasons for this besides a pure lack of performance from the 55. Lets face it, the 55 worked! But I was coming from a 3.85m tinnie with 55lb fitted, and was looking for similar performance. This was never going to happen! While the 55lb navigated the boat around the creek tossing lures ok, it was always using high power, running at 70-80% all the time. Strong current and wind created issues and offshore holding on marks in strong current wasn’t going to work too well. The motor would have been on almost 100% power just holding position. In the long term this wasn't going to be good for the motor, or the batteries. Plus I wanted this particular boat decked out properly right from the get go!

But moving up to 80lb presents more problems and costs than just the initial difference in purchase price. And while this difference alone is quite considerable, other associated costs can soon blow the budget completely! The first thing to consider is that this motor is 24v compared to the 12v of the 55. This meant for me the purchase of two 120ah Deep Cycle batteries. These are $500+ each! And now with 24v batteries there is the need for a 24v charger. I opted for a Ctek that was also about $500. I then had to find space under the front hatch to secure two batteries additional batteries. They are heavy and take up a lot of space! So all of a sudden the cost of an 80lb system is substantially more than the simpler 55lb. For me, I think it was worth every dollar!

Minn Kota definitely produce the best quality and most advanced electric motors. Please consider purchasing your next Minn Kota electric motor and accessories locally from Townsville Marine.

In the near future I will be producing a short video review of my 80lb Minn Kota, so keep an eye out for that one in coming weeks.

Friday 1 November 2013

Barramundi season is now CLOSED

Just a friendly reminder to everyone that as of midday today Barramundi are off limits. The closure remains in place until midday February 1st 2014. Not only is it illegal to keep a Barramundi during this time, it is also prohibited to deliberately target fish for catch and release purposes. This is due to the stress of capture may prevent a fish from spawning.

"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 a fish is accidentally caught it should be handled carefully and release as soon as possible, preferably without even removing the fish from the water.

“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.

Different regulations apply throughout the Gulf of Carpentaria, check out the DPI&F website for specific details.

“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.

Monday 28 October 2013

Slow finish to Barra season!

I spent all last week on a school camp and come Friday night, I was exhausted! I thought 'I'll get a good nights sleep tonight, and then be right to fish Sunday'. But at 5.30am Saturday morning, my boys had a different idea. But I wasn't going to let a lack sleep prevent me from one final fishing session before Barra season closes. So the alarm was set for 3.30am Sunday morning.

I met with a work mate from school and headed off to launch the boat at Ross River. It was a beautiful morning with a light land breeze. This gave a great run over to Crocodile creek, where we planned to spend the majority of the day.

Initially we tried a couple of spots in the channels of both Crocodile and Cocoa creeks, but the tide wasn't really big enough for these locations. So we soon made the long run right up the back of Crocky.

With hard bodied lures being relatively unsuccessful on the last trip up this way, I decided to drop back to the light Stella 1000 and some old faithful DOA prawns. And within the first 5mins I had hooked and landed the first Barra of the morning. Just a little rat, he got my hopes up for the day ahead.

It wasn't long after this fish a much larger lump of chrome followed my DOA to the boat and surprised me with a massive 'BOOF' just as I was about to lift the lure from the water! Unfortunately it failed to hookup, but the heart sure was racing.

But from here the fishing went incredibly quiet. For the remainder of the day all we managed was another rat, a couple of baby Jack and Cod or two. Very disappointing.

By lunchtime we had had enough and headed for home. One last stop at a spot out the front and we sounded up a good show of fish on the Humminbird 998 Side Image. But despite a bump or two on the Threadybusters, we just couldn't finish on a high!

So Barra season is finishing for me as a complete fizzer. Hopefully the mojo returns ready for the 1st Feb 2014. Time now to concentrate on some summer Fingermark.

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Hinchinbrook Channel Session

After spending 10 days of the school holidays out west at Winton, Hughenden and Richmond digging up fossils with the family, Monday public holiday was my only chance to hit the water. Wanting to make the most of the day, I thought it would be a good opportunity to grab Andrew and head up to Hinchinbrook Channel. The tides were pretty good, and the weather was dropping. So the alarm was set for 3am Monday and we were on the road by 4.

After putting the boat in the water just before 6am we made use of the calm conditions and ran to the end of the sugar loader to look for a Fingermark. Its was a very smooth 10 minute run. But after sounding around the structure with the Humminbird 998 it quickly became apparent that there was a distinct lack of baitfish. Dion Forman, author of About Fishing NQ, was reporting on his Facebook page of a quiet morning the day earlier. But we persisted and eventually I managed to hook up a solid Fingermark on a Gulp Squid-Vicious. This was the first chance I have had to put the new Stella 4000SWB and TK3G 701 through its paces. But, despite the extreme drag capabilities of this reel, the 20lb Power Pro peeled off as the fish founds its home among the pylons. I'm not sure 80 would have even stopped this fish!

After this we headed up the Channel to fish the outgoing tide. But despite looking around numerous creeks and headlands, we just couldn't find any decent supply of bait. And as a result, the predators were in short supply. We managed a handful of small Fingermark and Cod, but nothing substantial. Eventually the tide dropped out of the mangroves and we found a couple of fish on the snaggs and in the drains. The first Barra was good solid fish that I got to watch rise and smash my Flatz Rat at the mouth of a small drain. But despite a very solid hit and run, the hooks pulled and fish swam off!

A few casts later and decent Mangrove Jack hit my Flatz Rat the moment it hit the water beside a snag. A nice 40+ fish, this one came to the boat with a second sitting underneath it! In the net and in the eski, dinner! This was my first fish on a new Shimano Chronarch E7 and G•Loomis 644 combo. Loaded with 20lb Power Pro I have long said that this is the perfect combination for flicking hard bodied lures among the snags for Barr and Jack. A really well priced and capable setup.

Then Andrew spots a Barra sitting tight against a snag. 'Look at that one to the right of that tree' he says. He put in a perfect cast and the Barra turned on the lure the moment it hit the water. But then it just sat looking at the paused lure suspending nicely in the water. One more small twitch and BANG, he hit it hard and launched from the water. A definite legal, and with the luck we had been having, we took it easy. A couple of surging runs and shakes of the head made us quite nervous. But with the lure well down the fishes gob, it was easily lead to the waiting net. Around the mid 60's, its was good to finally have one in the boat.

The tide soon dropped too much and most of the snags were out of the water, and the drains were all empty. So we decided to make the run for home. It was extremely sloppy crossing the channel in the afternoon. Strong winds and and the last out the outgoing tide made for a very we run. About half way across I remember turning to Andrew, who was dripping with salt water, and saying 'go Barra fishing they said.... It will be fun they said...' We just laughed and kept going!

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Townsville Marine - Yamaha V Power Day

Townsville Marine presents....Yamaha V Power Day!

Feel the power! The exhilaration! Power that only a Yamaha V can provide!

Sure you can read the brochures and watch all the YouTube videos, but nothing is better than actually feeling the power of a Yamaha V8 or V6 on the back of the boat and in the water!

Townsville Marine has rigged 4 of the best boats on the water to put these finely tuned motors into your hands!

The massively powerful 5.3L V8 is bolted to the back of the flagship of the Hooker range, the 8M WRC!

On the plate side, we have the fully blown Bar Crusher 780HT with the fly by wire high performance V6 Yammie 300!

We will be down at Breakwater Marina on 22nd September from 9am to 1pm with 4 boats available for you to experience for yourself.

Check out the line up of boats that you can test and are available for sale at discounted prices!
  • 8M Hooker powered by 350HP V8 Yamaha 4 stroke
  • Bar Crusher 780HT powered by Yamaha 300HP V6
  • Bar Crusher 780C powered by Yamaha 300HP V6
  • Hooker 6.7M Sportscab powered by Yamaha 225HP V6
Want a new rig or trade in yours for one of our V-Power rigs? Specials!

Re-power your rig with a V Yammie and we'll do a great deal - trades welcome! We're doing business on the day, so if you are serious about a V6 or V8 Yamaha, talk to us as the pencils are already sharpened to give you the best deal!

Even if you are just thinking about a re-power, make sure you come down, do yourself a favour and get on board!

Like one of the boats on the water? All of the boats being tested are ready for sale on the day, so if you want a big reef boat powered by the big name in V power, talk to us - again, trades are welcome!

We have Yamaha Finance available at very competitive rates!

Register to for the day and we'll give you a Yamaha cap when you come on board for the ride!

You don't need to register, but you do get a free Yamaha cap if you do!

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Prospecting Bowling Green Bay

On Sunday Andrew and I went for a run out into Bowling Green Bay in search of some bottom that might hold good Fingermark. But despite a lot of sounding around we were unable to locate any 'honey holes'. We ended up down around the spit at Cape Bowling Green where Andrew hooked up a decent GT on the first cast into the current line. A fine capture on Barra gear. But the only other fish we could find in the area were baby Doggie Mackerel, Salmon and Grinner! So not a lot to say I'm afraid. But here is a nice clip of Andy landing his GT.

Monday 16 September 2013

Shimano Stella 4000swb & TK3 701 First Look Video

I have put together a short video that takes a look at the Shimano Stella 4000swb and TK3 701 combination. This is the first video of this kind that I have ever produced. This was really just a practice using video and audio recording equipment and cutting together in Adobe Premiere. So this is definitely not a product review, and it is a little rough around the edges! But I thought I would share it anyway and see what the response is like. In the future I would like to include a lot more video content on the site, including video reviews. So keep an eye out in the near future. 

Thursday 29 August 2013

Shimano Chronarch Ci4+

I know many people have been highly anticipating the release of this little beauty! The Chronarch Ci4+ will now be Shimano's flagship baitcaster. Since the demise of the Calais from Shimano's lineup, many fishermen have been feeling the loss of a high performance 'Stella-like' baitcaster. While the Chronarch E is a top little reel, its just not on the same level. The Japanese made Chronarch Ci4+ should be in stores soon.

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Shimano Nano PX Series Rods

Check out this clip from Shimano on the new Nano PX series of rods. Designed by Ian Miller, this rod has just taken out AFTA 'rod of the year'. Look for them in store soon!

Nano PX Model Range

Tuesday 27 August 2013

The Shimano Evolution 2014

Check out this neat little video clip from Shimano that highlights the new products for 2014.

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Works Notice - Yanks Jetty Restoration

Update on Yanks Jetty 20th August 2013

We refer to the notification issued on 14 June 2013 regarding restoration works planned for Yanks Jetty. We are pleased to inform you that the work is now substantially complete and the Jetty is again open to mariners and the public. Further minor work will be conducted in the coming six weeks, however this will not result in closure of the Jetty.

This work is being delivered under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) program; a joint federal (75%) and state (25%) government initiative.

Yanks Jetty was restored as part of the NDRRA program where Hinchinbrook Shire Council has partnered with AECOM to repair and restore local infrastructure in the region following damage caused by severe weather events in 2011 and 2012.

If you have any queries regarding the restoration works being undertaken, please call the project hotline on 1800 246 612 or email

AECOM and Hinchinbrook Shire Council would like to thank you for your cooperation and patience as we work together to restore the Hinchinbrook region.

From the program team

Please see the following release regarding the restoration of Yanks Jetty.

Hinchinbrook Shire Council has partnered with AECOM to repair and restore local infrastructure in the region following damage caused by severe weather events in 2011 and 2012. Additional repair work is also required after the recent January 2013 flood. This work is being delivered under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) program; a joint federal (75%) and state (25%) government initiative.

Yanks Jetty is being restored as part of the NDRRA program.

Construction is due to commence on the Orpheus Island site from Monday, 8 July 2013. All environmental and other approvals have been sought and have been issued. Construction is anticipated to be completed by Friday 16 August 2013, weather permitting.

Restoration of the Jetty will take about 12 weeks to complete. Work has already begun off site on the pre- fabrication of the new Jetty. From late July, work will begin on site and is scheduled to last between two, to four weeks, depending on the weather.

Work on site will involve the removal of the existing Jetty and installation of a new Jetty. The Jetty will be closed and out of bounds for community use during this period: 8 July – 16 August 2013.

The pontoon will remain in place during the works period, although mariners and the community will not be able to use the facilities during the construction period.

Every effort will be made to minimise inconvenience and provide information to stakeholders on work in progress.

Please note that construction timetables can be subject to change. Up to date information will be provided in the Notice to Mariners. If you have any queries regarding the restoration works being undertaken, please call the project hotline on 1800 246 612 or email

Your safety and the safety of our works team are most important. Please respect the construction zone and follow any signage. AECOM and Hinchinbrook Shire Council would like to thank you for your cooperation and patience as we work together to restore the Hinchinbrook region.

From the program team.

Monday 19 August 2013

Big Queenfish to test out the Ci4+ Stradic

After a good little session with the family on Saturday morning, Sunday was a chance to fish with old mate Andrew Gleeson. One would have thought the forecast and tides would have been even better than Saturday, but it wasn't really the case! Upon launching early we took the last park at the Coast Guard ramp and headed off. It was sloppy out the front of the harbor, very sloppy! Thoughts of heading to the shoals for a Spanish Mackerel soon dissipated as the boat turned to starboard and pointed toward the creek mouths! Conditions improved as we got into the protection of the Cape, and we eased into position over our first mark. There was not a lot showing on the Humminbird Side Image, but first cast and Andrew hooked up. I was still rigging a lure and fish took both of us by surprise. But soon a small Barra was lifted aboard, photographed and released.

With nothing more happening at this spot we decided to move to spot number 2 before the tide ran out. A little more showing on the Humminbird at this location, but still not the kind of activity Tania and I had seen on numerous previous trips. But we were soon landing small Trevally and Blue Salmon relatively consistently.

We were pretty keen to see if there was any Mackerel action on the channel markers, so as soon as the bite slowed we headed off. Conditions had improved and we were able to make the run back to the channel fairly easily. We sounded around numerous pylons, there was nothing showing on Humminbird on any of them! Disappointed by the lack of sounder activity, we decided to bump our way out to the furthest marker, the North Cardinal.

To my surprise, initially we were the only boat there. We sounded around, but still we couldn't locate any decent schools of bait or fish on the sounder. But having made it this far, we were not going to leave without at least trying. So we deployed the iPilot and locked ourselves into position. While we couldn't attract a bite, we soon spotted a school of bait a hundred meters or so away shimmering the surface, so over we went to investigate. There was a massive amount of bait moving though and flicking on the surface. But we couldn't for the life of us attract a bite. It was almost as though there were no predators around. After a while we gave up and moved back into position at the marker. Two more boats joined us, and soon one was hooked into a nice fish. It turned out to be a nice tuna that gave the boys a good run for their money.

We kept working the area and eventually I was rewarded with a good strike on a Threadybuster. The angle on the line came up abruptly and soon a nice Queenfish launched from the water. This was going to be a good test out for the 3000 Ci4+ Stradic. The Queenfish took of at a great rate of knots, repeatedly leaping into the air. I followed the fish with the Minn Kota electric, always trying to keep the boat between the fish and the channel marker. After a good solid fight and several long runs the fish was lead into the waiting net. A few quick snapshots for the boys at Shimano the fish swam away strongly.

One press of a button on the Minn Kota remote and boat automatically returned us to our previous 'spot-locked' position. A short time later and I was hooked up again. But this fight was going to be very different! This fish ran deep and hard. I again followed with the electric, but the fish always hung to the bottom. I had no hope of getting this fish to turn its head, for the next 15 minutes it was in complete control. I was convinced this was going to be a big Fingermark! We ended up several hundred meters away from the marker, still with the fish hard on the bottom. Finally I got frustrated and added a little extra pressure on the spool with my hand. Not technically the right thing to do, but I was able to gently push the 15lb Power Pro to its limits and ease the fish up. Colour at last! No fingermark, this was another Queenfish. But this time it was jagged in the side! I have never been so disappointed to land a big Queenfish! Its amazing the difference jagging a fish can make to the fight. It just didn't tire the fish at all. Even after a few photos the fish took off like a rocket.

After this we decided to head home and check out some more markers on the way. I had commitments for the afternoon and we had to finish early anyway. And from what I understand, conditions severely deteriorated in the afternoon. So probably a good thing.

Below is a highlights clip. Nothing from the Queenfish as the camera wasn't running.