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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 4 August 2013

Blue Salmon in the bay

Earlier in the week Seabreeze was indicating a substantial drop in the wind for the weekend. So Saturday morning was quickly penciled into the calendar for a session with the family. I had hoped that it might be the first decent opportunity of the year to get out among the Spanish Mackerel. But as the week progressed the forecast dwindled somewhat. But it wasn't going to stop me getting the boat on the water! I was on Maggie Island Friday with a school Biology excursion, and there was a pretty decent breeze and swell running from out wide. But it was a southerly breeze and in close to the mainland was quite pleasant. So I decided a run down the bay to the mouths of Cocoa and Crocodile might be the go. Its nice and protected in the corner of the bay, especially from southerly winds. 

We left the Coast Guard ramp at about 6.30am, the car park was already full and it was looking like a busy day on the water. As soon as we exited the harbour we were met with a southerly breeze and sloppy conditions. But we turned south and easily punched out way though the wind chop. Conditions got better and better the closer in to Crocky. And by about the front of Alligator it was almost glass.

On our way past Crocodile creek we dropped two crab pots onto the flats. Kids haven't put pots in in a very long time, there were quite excited at the prospect of catching a crab! Besides, I had a wolf herring in the freezer that didn't look like it was ever going to get used on a Mackerel!

From here we headed to a little patch of ground well out the front of Cocoa creek. Fish marked up straight away on the Humminbird 998, to the Minn Kota was deployed and 'spot-locked' in position. It only took a couple of casts and I was hooked up. A solid fish took the soft plastic Threadybuster on the drop. My Stella 1000 is currently on a holiday with Shimano having a service, so I had a 2500 Ci4 Stradic on the T-curve for day. This is spooled with slightly heavier Power Pro and made quick work of the first fish, a nice little Grunter.

I was pretty keen to land a few more of these delicious table fish, and bigger one would have been nice. But the Blue Salmon quickly moved in on the lures. It then became pretty difficult for any other fish to have a chance. For the next hour the Salmon came in one after the other. The fish were not big, between 50 and 60cm, but great fun on light line. Tania and kids had fantastic time with this hard hitting, fast running and acrobatic little species. We lost count of the number of fish caught, but it was well over a dozen. We kept a few for a fresh feed, and rest lived to fight another day. Fish were caught on both the Smoking Drags Threadybuster and Quickcatch hard vibe. The idea is to cast the vibe well up-current of the boat, let it sink, and then work the lure back toward the boat by raising if firmly from the bottom with the rod tip and then winding up the slack as it sinks to the bottom again. The rod needs to be raised firm enough to feel the vibrations of the lure. Fish will generally be attracted to this vibration, and then hit the lure as it sinks. Always follow the lure back down with the rod, taking up the slack as you go. Don't just drop the rod as this will create too much slack line, and you can miss the strike of the fish. If a bite is felt you need to set the hook quickly with the rod. Again, too much slack and the hooks will not set.

After we had had enough with the Salmon we headed back to check the pots. They were completely empty so we took them with us into Crocodile Creek. With the pots re-positioned it was time to try for a Barra. We didn't have much time left in the morning so it was a quick work of a couple of banks. Nothing wanted to come and play so time for home. Collecting the pots and one had 3 nice blue-swimmer crabs and the other a just under Muddy. So the blue-swimmers went in the eski for the kids.

On the way out of Crocodile creek we sounded up a patch of fish in the channel, so one last cast! First drop and my Threadybuster was repeatedly hit on the way back, but no hookup. Second drop and 'whack' a hookup! A solid fight and a plump Pikey Bream soon came into view. We tried a few more drops, but the bream just couldn't find the hooks in the largish lure. But they sure were hungry! With soccer commitments back home I just couldn't be bothered changing down lures for a Bream, so we headed off.

Despite the sloppy offshore conditions, we had managed a lovely morning in the bay. And even brought home a good feed of fresh fish and crabs. I think the Suzuki 4-stroke used about 15lts of fuel for the entire morning. With conditions this year making is so hard to get offshore, I am really glad I made the change from the big Curse Craft to this Signature 485sf. Its the ideal creek and bay boat for us. And it is still capable of reef and shoal work in the right weather. Just look at how much space the family has to fish and move about.