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Local Boat Ramps

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

Family orientated

Promoting family fishing.

Fish for the future promotes catch and release fishing.

Great Fishing Locations

Popular fishing spots including GPS locations, sounder shots and maps.

Regular fishing reports

Regular fishing reports from our fishing trips.

Product Reviews

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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 26 May 2013

Hichinbrook Barra with Jake

Yesterday I fished up Hinchinbrook channel with Jake. Jake is now living down Airlie Beach way and I haven't seen him for ages. He was up for a Christening, but had time of a fish on the Saturday. Tides were too big to fish the southern creeks, and wind was predicted to be blowing hard from the SW. So with few other options we decided on the treck up to Lucinda. Jake picked up me and my boat about 5am and by 7am we were in the water and away.

First stop off was The Bluff area where we sounded up some arches sitting just off the bottom. We suspected Salmon, but couldn't raise a bump on a number of different bottom lures. As the tide turned we headed over to fish the strip of mangroves between the Herbert river and Dungeness. Despite some nice looking water and plenty of bait, we only saw a small Jack.

From here we headed up to Sunday creek. I have a little spot up there that gathers massive shoals of herring on the top of the tide. When we arrived the bait was thick and shimmering the surface. But other than a couple of follows by small creek GT's, there didn't seem to be too much harassing that bait. Then suddenly from nowhere a big silver shape appears and snaffles up my DOA. He took off for the timber, and there was no stopping it. The fish parked in the cover, but I could feel the line rubbing on mangroves. It didn't take long and leader popped.

We had a look around the drains in Sunday, but there was still too much water. So we moved on into Benjamine flats. We found a really good series of drains, one that was pumping out so hard that it was creating ideal white water rafting conditions! But we didn't manage a single fish from any of the drains. Within 30mins the water had dropped and these particular draines had emptied.

Next move was up to Deluge. It was a bit tight getting in on the now low tide (and still dropping). But the clean and clear water of this creek made finding the slightly deeper channel easy. A few showers of bait along the mud bank, but despite a couple of follows from big black Bream we didn't see anything else. A quick call to Knighty of G and T Fishing School and Charters and we found out he had some fish working in a little creek further North. So we decided to go say hello.

Knighty had some clients on board, so we kept our distance and let them work their area. But we sat with a couple of drains that clearly had bait being hassled. Sure enough Jake hooks up a monster fish, but first jump and lure is shaken from its mouth. Fish of the day for sure! But only a handfull of casts late and he hooks up again. This time a much smaller fish that is easily lead to the boat.

This drain then went quiet so we moved to the next few. But on returning 30mins later the bait was still being worked. And Jake, true to form, hooks up again within a few casts. A 65cm fish to take home to his family.

It was now getting quite late in the afternoon and time to start heading toward home. We had a good half hour run at 30knots to get back to the Bluff area. A few casts in the creek mouths here while waiting for a little more tide to get into Dungeness. I managed a just legal Jack and few bumps that failed to hook up. We had a friendly visit fromt he fisheries guys and then headed for home.

A very enjoyable and bloody cold day. Never good chasing Barra on the coldest day so far for the year. But Hinchinbrook is such a beautiful place that the fishing doesn't see to matter. Thanks Jake for a fun day.

Sunday 19 May 2013

Weedbeds still quiet

Yesterday morning I took Tania and the boys for a quick trip across to the weedbeds before having to go into the Townsville Boat Show at Townsville Marine. The plan was to head out the front of Alligator Creek in 3-4m of water and toll some lures for a couple of hours. It was never going to be flat conditions  but a quick trip first thing we though was the go.

We put the boat in at the newer Barnacle St boat ramp right on first light and proceeded through the 6knot zone. Once clear of the river we had good run to our spot with light 5-8knot wind chop. We trolled the area until about 8.30am and only managed a handful of Grinner! While the water quality was quite good, water temp is still about 24.4 degrees. Coupled with weak tides I don't think the Mackerel are in there just yet. There were a couple of other boats doing the floating pilly and burley trail thing, but I don't think they saw any action either. I would like the see that water temp get down closer to 19 or 20 to get them into the shallows.

It did, however, give me a chance to check out the new sounder combination add to the 485sf. I'm now running a Humminbird 998HD on the console and a 798HD on front casting deck. Networked with a single ethernet cable, the units share waypoint and transducer data. It will make it much easier to work lures from the bow of the boat while being able to watch the sounder.

The Townsville Boat Show was fantastic yesterday, with big crowds there at lunchtime when I visited. Nick and boys from The Sign Guys put a wrap on Emmanuels 485sf with everyone watching, and Gary from the NQ Fishing Show had his boat on display and spot at length about the up and coming billfish season. Its all on again from 8.30am today. So head on down and check out the massive under cover display area, free entry, free face-painting & free jumping castle. Plus on water boat tests, including the massive 8m Hooker with 350hp V8 Yamaha! Free bus shuttle service to the marina for the water tests!

Thursday 16 May 2013

Importing old waypoints on Humminbird sounders

Recently I replaced my Humminbird 998 with the newer 998HD. Before removing the old sounder I ran through the standard 'export all nav data' option to save all my GPS marks to an SD card. I then removed the SD card and deleted the waypoints form the unit. When I go the new 998HD I installed the SD card and turned the unit on. Expecting the waypoints to automatically load I was surprised (and a little concerned) when they didn't appear on the chart. I checked the SD card on the computer and correct .hwr file was located in MATRIX folder as it was supposed to be. And the timestamp on the file indicated it was created when I exported the data. I also knew the new unit was reading the card correctly as the snapshots were all present. In an effort to ensure I hadn't lost all my marks I installed the Humminbird PC software on the computer to open the file. This was a bit of a mission as I am a Mac user and so far Humminbird have not ported their software application across to OSX. The file loaded correctly and all my waypoints were definitely on the card. After reading around some forums I soon found the answer. 

To import waypoints from an SD card the unit MUST be powered on BEFORE the SD card with the waypoints is inserted. This is only a recent changed that occurred in a firmware update. Prior to this the card was examined for new waypoints every time the unit was turned on. But not any more. Once the unit is powered up, and the SD card is inserted, a dialogue box asks if you would like to import the new nav date. Once this is confirmed the waypoints are imported and everything is ready to go! Happily I can report that the link between the waypoints and the thumbnail images are maintained.

Thursday 9 May 2013

2013 Townsville Boat Show

In just over a week Townsville Marine will be hosting the 2013 Townsville Boat Show. Townsville Marine boasts the largest undercover display of boats in Australia, all powered by Yamaha.

One big weekend, one massive show!

Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th May.

Specials on every boat in stock.

Yamaha Repower specials all weekend! Free rig kits on selected models!

Special guest speakers on catching fish - pelagics (mackeral and marlin), reef fishing and estuary fishing!

125+ boats in stock - including plate, fibreglass, pressed boats and tinnies!
  • Free Entry
  • Free Parking
  • On water tests all weekend (free shuttle bus to the water, leaves hourly)
  • $5000 voucher to be won
  • Major brands
  • Stress Free Winches on Display
  • Bar Crusher Plate Boats
  • Sea Jay Boats
  • Hooker Boats
  • TABS Plate Boats
  • Clark Aluminium Boats
  • Signature Boats
  • Yamaha Outboards
  • Specials on accessories and fishing gear!
  • Humminbird specials
  • Talk to the manufacturers!
  • Great deals on every boat in stock!
  • Yamaha Finance available on site!
For more information - visit
Or if you are on Facebook you can show your intent to attend here.

Monday 6 May 2013

Rollingstone Beach Caravan Park

For the ANZAC 'long weekend' a group of us teachers decided to go on a camping trip to Rollinstone Beach Caravan Park with our families. As it wasn't traditionally a long weekend, we all had to return for work Friday. So being not much more than 30mins out of town, Rollingstone Beach Caravan Park was an ideal location for a quick trip away. 

We left directly from work Wednesday afternoon with boat in tow. By 6.30pm we had the camp set up and dinner ready. I have never been into this camp ground before, and we were pleasantly surprised when we drove in. The grounds are pristine, and out camp site was right on the beach. We opted for an on-suite site which we wouldn't normally do. But it was an excellent choice, giving us a personal toilet and shower as well as a room for lockable dry storage! There is also a beautiful pool and well maintained camp kitchen facilities. 

Thursday, ANZAC day, was my birthday, so there was no option for the family other than fishing! I spoke to Graham Knight from G & T Fishing School and Charters on Wednesday night and he talked of monster Queenfish off the Jetty! 'Sounds good' I though! 

We left early and headed for Lucinda. A quick breakfast stop and McDonalds in Ingham and we were at the ramp right on sunrise. A comfortable run to the end of the Jetty and Humminbird 998 soon light up with fish marking high in the water column. Down goes the Minn Kota and the magic 'spotlock' button held us over the best of the school. We put down a selection of GIMP lures and Bumpa-Bars, but it was the GIMPS the fish wanted! 

I was the first to hookup. A big queenfish smashed the GIMP mid water and was soon peeling 20lb PowerPro for the Sustain 4000. But too much pressure from myself as the fish headed to the structure resulted in the leader parting from the braid. But it was that or the jetty, as I found out from the next fish! I gave him the chance to run, and he found the structure! Lachlan was next, working a GIMP at mid water while I re-rigged the other line. Again the fish raced off and around the corner of the nearest pilon. I tried to manoeuvre the boat between the fish and structure, but it was unsuccessful. 

Finally, after a quick succession of lost fish and lost lures, I finally managed to boat one! This fish ran to open water and jumped well clear of the Jetty. A few good jumps and the fish was stuffed. It was easily lead the boat and the waiting net. Hold on, 'I think the net is still in the back of the car'!!!! Luckily it was an easy tail grab and fish was lifted aboard. This one went in the eski too cook on the BBQ that night for the hungry hords! 

As the tide slowed and topped out the fish went off the bite. I have no doubt they would have returned once tide started running out, but I had a date with a Barra up the channel! But unfortunately I was stood up! Due to other commitments for the day we had to pull out about lunchtime. A very thorough chat with fisheries at the Dungeness ramp and we headed back to camp. 

The wind camp up Friday afternoon and put a stop to any further fishing. And I think it has pretty much blown ever since!