Product Reviews

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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.

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.

Saturday 17 August 2013

Doggie Mackerel demolish some Threadybusters!

Only a very quick report today. Took Tania and the boys back out into the Bay for a quick session.

The wind is dropping, but was still very sloppy early. Initially we headed down the front of Crocky / Cocoa to get out of the rough stuff. But the tide really wasn't idea for the type of fishing we have been doing there. So we only got in a short session before the fish went off the bite. Still managed a couple of good Salmon and few smaller Grunter.

We then moved back into the deeper water for a troll in the 3m mark for some Doggie Mackerel. But after about half an hour it was obvious this plan wasn't going to work. I think there was only one boat on the weedbeds, and he left as we approached.

As the morning progressed the wind had dropped a little. So I thought we might give the Mackerel in the shipping channel a go. I started toward the North Cardinal, thinking we could work the markers all the way home. But it soon became obvious that it was just too sloppy out that wide. So a change of direction had us comfortably heading to some markers closer in. I sounded around 3 or 4 different lead lights before the Humminbird showed a good patch of bait. Initially I sent down a 40g slice in the hope of attracting the Mackerel, but nothing would hit it. A few decent fish showing on the Humminbird amongst the bait convinced me to put down a Threadybuster. It only took two drops and a fish hit and run. He had me guessing for a while as the fish ran deep. I was even thinking a small Fingermark! But it turned out to be a foul hooked Doggie. With Mackerel clearly around, and Threadybusters already hitting the back pocket hard, I quickly added 2 inches of light single strand wire. For the next hour we proceeded to pull in about a dozen good size Doggies.

Also witnessed a free jumping Queenfish not 2 feet from the front of the boat with big black GT on his arse! That queenfish, or one of his mates, was also hooked during the session. Awesome fight with several good jumps. But the hooks pulled at the last moment.

The new Shimano 3000 Ci4+ Stradic performed superbly. It is perfectly matched to a Raider II Soft Plastics Barra Spin and 15lb Power Pro line. This setup actually handled the big queenfish very well. The Raider II Soft Plastics Flathead Spin I purchased from ProTackle is also an excellent match for my older 2500 Ci4. Doggie Mackerel were no problem and kids found this setup very light and easy to use. Excellent quality setups, without breaking the bank.

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Shimano Stradic Ci4+ IN STORES SOON

Well, I have been saying how much I enjoyed fishing with my 2500 Ci4 Stradic, and that I would be looking at getting a 3000 size! May I introduce to you the ALL NEW 3000 Stradic Ci4 PLUS! This is the 2014 model that will be available in store in the next few weeks. I have chosen to place this reel onto a Shimano Raider II Soft Plastics 682 Barra Spin with 15lb Power Pro. But I have also purchased the slightly lighter Flathead Spin to put my current 2500 on. I am not sure what price the PLUS will hit the shelves at, but this is by no means an expensive combo. I look forward to giving this a run over the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for a product review in the near future. In the meantime, some more eye candy!

Tuesday 13 August 2013

New Stella SW4000XG

I consider myself extremely lucky and privileged to be associate with a company as elite as Shimano. I have been a fairly exclusive Shimano user, and avid fan of their products, since I was a child chasing Carp in the Murray River near Cobram. When Tania sent me a message to say a box had just arrived from Shimano I couldn't finish work and get home fast enough. It was hard to contain the excitement as the packing tape came off. Inside was a small assortment of rods and reels for testing and review of the next 12 months. Amongst the range of tackle and accessories was this all new Stella SW4000XG. This is the smallest reel in the new 2013 range of black Stella's. The reel will be loaded with 20lb Power Pro in the next few days. Not much to say on the reel yet, except that it looks simply stunning! Keep an eye out for a full review in the coming weeks. But for now, enjoy a little eye candy!

Sunday 11 August 2013

ACM Custom Rod - Build Progress

Aaron McKell of ACM Custom Rods is currently putting together nice light custom made 20lb spin rod for me. I have known Aaron since he worked at Pro Tackle on Charters Towers Rd some 10+ years ago. Back then he made me a pair of overhead blue water rods for me that I had a couple of Calcutta 700’s on. These rods are exceptionally built, and are still in use with a pair of Torium 16’s running 50lb Power Pro. Since his time at Pro Tackle, Aaron has branched out and started his own rod building business. ACM Custom Rods was established in 2009. Aaron has grown the business considerably since then, and is building a strong reputation for excellent quality custom lure casting rods.

I approached Aaron a few weeks ago about building a rod to replace my 7 foot GL2 Loomis. This Loomis is over 10 years old, but I quite liked it! The cork is now badly damaged from rolling around in the rocket launcher of the old boat, so time for retirement. We discussed stripping the Loomis back to the blank and re-building, but quite frankly the cost difference to a new rod was going to be negligible. So on his next visit to Townsville Aaron brought some blanks for me to look at. We decided on a 10-17lb 43 million modulus blank. This will have a split cork grip, Fuji VSS reel seat and Fuji SIC guides. When finished it will be a total of 7 feet long and paired up with my Shimano Sustain 4000fe. The Sustain will be loaded with 20lb Power Pro, and the whole setup used mainly to fish soft plastic vibes for Barramundi and Fingermark. But I will probably still throw the odd metal slug to a Tuna or chase a Spanish Mackerel or two on high speed.

Aaron has now started the build, and today he sent me through a few pics. So here are a few progress build photos of the rod. I will put more up when its finished.

Even more Blue Salmon on Vibes

Well work unfortunately got in the way of some spectacular mid-week weather. By all reports it was glassed out Wednesday and Thursday with plenty of fish being caught. Not only was the weather good, but it was New Moon time too, good Reef and Pelagic time! I'm hearing reports of plenty of Spanish Mackerel being caught around the shoals, Red fish out on the reef and Billies around Bowling Green Bay. But the winds were predicted to return during Friday with 10/15's for Saturday. So we decided not to tackle the offshore chop, and instead played around in the calm waters of the bay.

We put the boat in at the Coast Guard ramp about 6.30am and headed off. But we were slightly delayed when we spotted a boat a few hundred meters from the ramp drifting ever so close to the rocks. On investigation a family heading off for the day were having some motor trouble. They had a brand spanking new Suzuki installed and this was their first run. They only got a few hundred meters when it stopped and wouldn't re-start. Needless to say the owner of the boat was most unimpressed with new Suzuki dealers. We gave them a quick tow back to the ramp and headed off. Hopefully its something simple for them to fix up.

It was only a little lumpy out the front of the harbor, and we were able to head comfortably to our spot at almost 30knots. And when we got into the protection of the land, it almost glassed off.

We quickly sounded up some fish on the Side Image of the Humminbird 998 and deployed the Minn Kota. I hit the anchor button right where I wanted the boat to sit and put the first cast in the water. I hardly had two turns on the reel and the Thready Buster was smashed and screaming off. I turn around to see Tania is also hooked up with drag racing! Sebastian is jumping and yelling for joy and Lachlan is grabbing for the net. All hell had broken loose and the Minn Kota hadn't even settled us into position yet! Both fish turned out to be nice plump Blue Salmon. I don't think I need to say too much more! For the next hour and half we caught more fish than I care to count. We had almost a fish a cast, and many double hookups. At the end of the session we had caught numerous Blue Salmon, multiple Trevally species, Queenfish, Grunter, Barracuda and a couple of small Fingermark. Lachy even commented at one stage that we had caught so many fish it was starting to get boring. Kids! The Thready Buster soft plastic vibe was the standout lure of the day. But after losing a couple to the rough mouth of the Salmon, I changed over to some Squidgie flick baits. Tania even tried, with great success, a metal slice when we thought we spotted some Mackerel chasing the lures. But the flick baits were really only good on the pelagics, most the demersal species like the Fingermark fell to the Thready. The Quickcatch hard vibe was also quite successful, especially on the Salmon, but also accounted for one of the Fingers.

We did have to move the boat around a few times to re-locate the bait and schools of fish. But with the Side Image of the Humminbird sounder and silent movement of the Minn Kota electric, this wasn't difficult. It never took more than 5 or 10 minutes to find and re-position the boat. At one stage the breeze came up a little and turned the boat a complete 180. But the 'spot-lock' feature of the Minn Kota took care of this, and we didn't move at all from our location. For most of the morning I didn't even touch the remote! If we had been anchored with a traditional rope and chain the boat would have swung off the mark with the change in breeze and/or tide, and I would have had to re-anchor. And when I wanted to move position I would have had to haul the anchor and re-deploy. This really does away with all that hassle. Its nice to be able to completely forget about the position of the boat and have full confidence you are not going to move. 100% concentration is then on the fishing! Townsville Marine is your local stockist of Minn Kota electric motors and Humminbird sounders.

This week I was again using a 2500 Ci4 Stradic as my Stella is still holidaying with Shimano. This reel was originally purchased for Sebastian to use. It was placed on a light Jewel Rod, and while he has used it a few times, this is really the first time I have used it casting lures. Sebastian unfortunately broke the tip of the Jewel, and it hadn't been used much since. But even sitting on the T-curve 661 I am very impressed with the reel. I feel its a bit large for this particular rod, but the reel itself is very light, super smooth and comfortable to use. I am definitely going to get another rod for this one and start using it more.

I just want to take a moment to publically thank Pat at Townsville Marine for making some adjustments to my trailer. I had been having great difficulties getting the boat on and off the trailer. Even with the trailer well dunked the boat just wouldn't roll cleanly. I dropped the boat of last Monday and picked it up Friday afternoon. Pat had taken the boat off the trailer and fixed it up good! When I picked it up again he assured me it would only take two finger to get it off! Well, turned out it didn't even take that! It now rolls off completely unassisted, and drives back up smoothly with just a little controlled throttle. I'm very impressed as launching and retrieving is now a pleasure, rather than a chore! It really is worth having your trailer set up correctly for the boat!

It looks like the good weather is again forecast for mid-week this week. So best of luck if you are able to get out and amongst them. If you do, feel free to share some pics and a few words on the Fishing Townsville Facebook Page.