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Fly Fishing

Chasing Golden Trevalley on the Magnetic Island flats.


Enjoying one of the many beautiful beaches of Magnetic Island.

Monday 24 June 2013

Kayaking Alva Beach for Flathead

If you have been following the Fishing Townsville Facebook page over the last couple of day you would have seen we have been having some success on the Flathead at Alva Beach. The first trip down was Saturday morning. The weather forecast was ok, but not good enough to tempt me to put the boat in. So with a good 2.9m high tide predicted at 7.30am it seemed a good opportunity to take the yaks down to Alva. I have not been down that way in a very long time, but always enjoy throwing lures off the beach on light spin gear.

I left Townsville about 6am with a mate from work who is a bit of a kayaking expert and who loves to go for a fish. We wanted to arrive in time for the full outgoing tide.

After walking the kayaks across the beach we paddled across to the outer bank. There was some pretty obvious banks with gutters and drop-offs with plenty of water movement. But when a couple of guys in a tinnie decided to run along the bank we were fishing, between the kayaks and the shore we were casting at, it kinda put an end to catching fish here! So we paddled on through one the channels cutting between the banks and out to the ocean side.

We fished along one of the drop-offs without too much success, but as soon as I came across an area that had very strong current pushing around a corner and over a bank I hooked up. A nice little fish to open the account, and a sure sign we were in the right area. A few more casts of my Squidgie Fish and the count was up to 4! And the fish were growing too, buggest being a respectable 50cm.

But the current was making fishing the corner very difficult in the kayak. It was pushing the little boat past very quickly, and open water I was being pushed into was a little unpleasant! So we pulled the kayaks up onto the beach and walk down to fish the corner from the bank.

It soon became a very hot little session as the tide dropped away from the corner. The fish came thick and fast, well.... for Flathead fishing it was pretty thick and fast! All the fish were big and fat, well into the 50's and 60's.

After I had caught a few on trusty Squidgie Fish I thought I would try something different. So I pulled out a Quickcatch hard vibe in the smallest size. These little lures are quite heavy for their size and put out a very strong vibration in the water. They were perfect for long casts down the bank we were fishing, and sank quickly in the drop-off. Worked with a very sharp action and short pauses it was soon out-fishing the Squidgie.

In the short time it took for the water to completely dropp away from the bank we hand landed over 20 Flathead. We didn't measure all the fish, but at least 90% were over 50cm. All fish were released to happily to fight another day.

With the tide now completely dropped away we had to walk the kayaks back to the 'lagoon' area. We continued to fish a few areas there and added 4 or 5 fish to the count. But they were smaller fish and it was a long time between bites. So we decided to call it a day and head home.

The next day I decided to take Tania and the boys back down to see if they could get into some of the action. With the tide an hour later we didn't even have to get up early. We paddled back across to the same bank and pulled the yaks up.

The tide was still coming in for the first half hour or so, and we didn't get a single fish! But once it turned, the fist bite came. I caught the first one and kids had already given up and were shell collecting on the beach! It was a small fish and soon sent on his way.

The next fish was a little better at 53cm and kept for a planned BBQ lunch on the beach. Tania caught the 3rd fish of the morning, but another small one that had to be let go. Then Tania hooked up to a good one! It gave her plenty and when it came into view it looked like a fish into the 60's. She was very excited but couldn't quite see what the fish was doing in the dirty water. Then the hooks pulled and I had to watch it swim away. Tania was very disappointed, but equally keen try again for another one. And it didn't take long either. She was soon hooked up again to a bigger fish. It was taker her out toward the ocean as she walked the beach trying to keep up with the fish. She took it easy and played the fish out well. With the aid of a beach wave a solid Flatty was soon on solid ground. A run on the tape put it at 65cm. Probably one of the best fish of the two days.

The wind was now up quite strong and time to make the paddle back before the water got too dangerous. Unfortunately not the hot session of the day before, but it was a good morning non the less.

Over the two days I fished with a 70mm Squidgie Pro Fish in 'Poddy' and 'Grasshopper' colours. I match these up to a 1/8 oz jig head. The Squidgie was fished on a Shimano Stella 1000fe and T-curve 661 loaded with 8lb Power Pro and 20lb mono leader. The Quickcatch hard vibe was fished on a Shimano Sustain 1000fe and T-curve 661, also loaded with 8lb Power Pro and a 20lb mono leader.