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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 16 February 2014

Morning session in the Bay

Finally some half decent weather presents itself to Townsville! Saturday was forecast for 5 knots most of the day, and I think all of Townsville tried to take advantage of the calm conditions. We arrived at the Coast Guard ramp about 5.30am and car-park was already overflowing onto the lawn. To avoid the congestion we launched at the un-lit ramp and were soon on our way. Despite the lack of breeze on the water it was a bit sloppy out the front of the harbour. It was still a nice run to our fishing destination and soon the Minn Kota was deployed and were spot-locked in position.

Fish were marking clearly on the Humminbird Side Image, and the first hits came very quickly. A steady succession smaller fish began making their way over the side of the boat. Small Grunter, Fingermark, Queenfish and Trevalley were all hungry for our lures.

But persistence eventually paid off when a larger fish tore line from my Ci4+ Stradic. Clearly a better fish, I was hoping the Barramundi might have finally shown up. But soon a much larger Grunter came into view. Lachy assisted with the netting and we had a ripper 58cm Grunter for dinner.

As the tide built the fish seemed to grow. The bite slowed, but larger fish began to take the lures. The next Grunter to take my lure again nudged the 60cm mark. These are top fish to catch in many respects. They are aggressive on the lures, fight hard and excellent on the table. Grunter a fast becoming one of my favourite fish to catch.

The next fish to take my lure left a large boil on the surface as the Threadybuster came flying back at me. I never saw the fish, but I would be lying if I said I didn't suspect a big Barra! Even though we hadn't seen one yet, the take was very different to the Grunter.

Just then another boat rocks up, and who should it be? Mr Gleeson out for a run. He had a bit of a late night and didn't get get on the water as early as he would have liked. We have a quick chat about how the fishing has been and I tell him we haven't seen a Barra yet. Nek Minute..... Barra on! It was quite funny and I soon confess to him that the last fish I dropped I had suspected was a Barra. This was a nice fish that, despite a lack of airborne acrobatics, put up a good fight. But tension grew as the fish came into sight and we spotted the poor hookup. Just one hook of the treble holding on the outside of the mouth. A few final lunges from the fish at it was safely led into the net. At 71cm it was my best Barra for a while, and got that blasted monkey off my back for 2014.

Andrew proceeded to land two Barra in the 60's from his boat, and I missed two more myself. One busted the leader as it smashed the lure and went airborne, and the other simply threw the lure back at me. Both of these were captured on the video below!

As the tide topped out and began to turn the fishing slowed. So we decided to take a run to the mangroves and try for a fish on the run-out. We said G'day to Ryan Moody from Hooked on Hinchinbrook who was collecting some live bait. But by now it was getting too hot for the kids and the mozzies were rampant. So we decided to give ourselves and early mark and head for home.

The lure of the day was undoubtably the trusty Threadybuster. This lure is so well suited to fishing deep holes, drop-offs, rock-bars and sunken timber. On this occasion the larger Threadybuster accounted for the majority of the fish, including the bigger Grunter. But Sebastian was still having good success with the new smaller Mini-Thready. If you haven't given the Thready a go yet, I suggest grabbing a few and giving them a run on your next trip.

Below is a short clip from the morning. Two missed Barramundi at the end of the clip were pretty exciting!