Fishin’ Maggie

What’s Happening on Maggie

Adam from Aquascene Charters has commenced his tours on his new much larger boat, after the digital signage wraps were added to the side and back of the boat, making it look pretty cool.

John has also commenced fishing and sightseeing operations in Barnacle Bill’s fishing boat, having completed his first paid trips this week. Good luck to both of you.

Have you ever wanted to go to the reef, but were time poor, or just plain hate boats? I have your solution. Janie and I had a very special and different trip to the reef on Thursday thanks to Townsville Helicopters. We departed Nelly Bay, from the old Helipad, and flew at 1000 feet out to Centipede and Wheeler Reef at a brisk 98 knots, (significantly faster than I get there by boat.) We landed on the sand cay at Wheeler Reef lagoon, for champagne, cheese and bickies, before flying home via Horseshoe Bay.

Try a full reef experience including low reef flyovers, in under 2 hours. It was an amazing scenic bucket list experience. Ring Townsville helicopters and book one, you won’t be disappointed. I GPS marked some good bait schools on the way out for further investigation as well.

This week was an absolute blinder for fishing, as those big bait schools moved even closer around the island. Billions of tiny whitebait are being followed by all sorts of ravenous pelagic species. The most sought after this time of year, are obviously Grey Mac’s although there are plenty of School Mac’s travelling with them.

There were, thankfully, way less box jellyfish dragged and seen last week, although there are some annoying fire jellies around, and a suspected Irukandji was found at Alma Bay. The suspect has been sent to JCU for testing. Caution and stinger suits advised.

Fishing Maggie by Land

Congratulations to Bill Popping, who has been struggling to get out fishing after a knee operation. Bill managed to get out to West Point on Friday with friends, and hooked and landed a 113cm Queenie after some spectacular aerial action.

The Trick with Pelagic’s is most definitely to be fishing at the right time, as they sweep through an area, not when the fish are deep and resting. Horseshoe Bay had a couple of those fun angling experiences last week, when the bait move through the bay and hug the beach, followed by hungry predators. Anglers  along the beach found lines suddenly being slammed was tasty Grunter, hard fighting GT’s hard massive Queenies  and leaping Tarpon took baits in a blistering fishing session. As they pass the fishing dies again. The same thing has been happening on the jetty, like Last Saturday, when, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon the bait rolled through and under, and the water boiled as Macs GT,s and other top  predators all smashed the bait, and provided great entertainment for island visitors.

Fishing Maggie by Boat

Now is the time to fill your freezer with those very tasty and easy filleting Macs, so you have enough for the summer. There are plenty out there, they just take a bit of work. Morning and Afternoon are obviously better than middle of the day, and deep luring seems to be more productive than shallow. Last week trolling at depths of 4 to 7 m depth with lures or spoons seemed to produce much more action then shallow trolling. There is also the battle between light and heavy as I like leader, but most run wire. Last week was my most expensive lure week with 5 losses. Although my freezer is half full already, it was way too costly.

Ray hooked up a 15 kg Northern Bluefin a just few miles out from HB on Tuesday, while out with Josh. The hard fighting fish took dead bait off the sea bottom, which was rather unusual but much appreciated.

Josh had a great time at Chicken Reef, working quality reds and plump Trout on soft plastics.

Benny went out to Brewer where the Trout fishing was unusually brilliant. Benny said you could hear the cheers from other boats as everyone was pulling in good 3-4kg Trout.

Spaniards on the other hand were very scarce. There were some reports from the deeper reefs but not as many as normal this time of year. Mike S caught a 1.55 Spanny close to the Island on Sunday night. That’s a top fish on a grey spoon.

Until next time gone Fishin’…. be back at dark-thirty

Cheers Dale

Fish’n N Fuel’n

36 Mandalay Ave, Nelly Bay 4778-5126

For all of your fishing and sports hire gear. We hire and sell fishing rods, and snorkel equipment, plus sell bait, tackle, ice spear fishing equipment, toys, party, pool toys, and BIKE HIRE, SEGWAY TOURS and convenience supplies. Check out Kooler 24 hour Ice 7kg plus $4. New BIKE section. Rod and reel repair available.

Fishin’ Maggie

What’s new on the Rock

We had some beautiful weather last week to go chasing Mackerel around the island, although it is set to blow up again from today. I missed some fishing time after a family emergency caused me to have a sudden trip to Coffs Harbour for a week. Lovely as it is down there I always appreciate coming home. At the Bellinger River, the big bass were firing, and as always it was absolutely awesome freshwater fun. I still love my freshwater fishing, but at the end of the day my wife likes fresh fish dinner on the table.
Down at the Nelly Bay boat ramp bridge there was an incident with some Bridge jumping
children during last week. One of the boys was injured jumping into the water at low tide. That bridge has been a popular jumping spot for many years, but please use caution.
We had a local customer in the shop the other day, absolutely over the moon about catching his first ever Barra. That was after the season closed, and of course he had to release it. As he told the story and described the fish, myself and another customer told him it was actually a seabass. Needless to say he was totally devastated.
Adam from Aquascene is back with his new boat. This twin hull is much more resilient and with loads more room, (this beauty can handle up to 24 people.) For those with
functions, that means a totally new offer to the island, whilst with the
same wonderful personality, professionalism, skill and knowledge as always.
( No this is not a paid ad, Adam and Steph are one of the best operators on the island)

Speaking of good operators, happy birthday to Cliff from Getaround for last Sunday.

Fishing Maggie by Land

I remember doing fishing reports years ago, when the jetty would be a source
of great fishing stories. These days they are few and far between. Ian and
Amanda decided to fish the jetty Friday night, despite it being fin fish
closure. As Murphy would have it, they landed, with a crowd watching, a cracking Yellow Stripey. These are great eating fish and big ones are rare inshore. I had a call from Amanda who thought I was joking to Ian about the fin fish closure, so I had to convince her that it was true, and sadly they released the fish to fight another day.

Some keen fishing visitors scored 3 eating flatties off the Nelly Bay beach on prawn, all going into a plastic bucket for dinner.

The 1-2 kg Tarpon are back in the harbour, and at night are top fun on lure.

I had some of Janie’s family here and Thursday night, whilst I was prepping my big boat for a morning run, the boys came down to my Pontoon for a fish. I mostly fish the area near the rocks for Jacks and rarely fish the channel, as near the rocks produce 10 times the fish. Kel and Son Josh both threw lines out to the middle, and both hooked up immediately. Josh with Tarpon, and Kel with, of all things a decent size Barra. As I had just told them the middle was pretty barren of fish it made me look like I knew nothing. That’s fishing. (The Barra released itself at the pontoon. )

Fishing Maggie by Boat

The long awaited and much talked about Grey Mackerel have finally arrived in decent numbers. Large schools are congregating off Nelly Bay following the huge bait schools. They are very playful and hard to catch still, as they are well fed and chasing really tiny bait fish. They surrounded my tinny several times Saturday afternoon, and almost ran into the sides. A large scoop net would have seen several more in the boat.

Smiley, Joel, Roo, Graham, myself, and other local boats all landed some mid-size Greys over the weekend. Prime Time was the arvo, with only a few caught in the morning. Macks have no eyelids so go deep during the day for a rest. Fish early or late

I took Patchie out for a run in my Tinny on Saturday, and he landed his first ever Coral Trout, (and on my favourite Tilson Barra Lure it was even more of a thrill for him.) Patchie also got a 65cm Grey, but dropped a monster 15kg Spaniard at the side of the boat as it decided to scoot under the hull and rub my Gliss line along the rough aluminium. That was a huge loss as that would have been a POB for him. Next time mate.

New Product

SATcase is a heavy duty case that transforms your Android smartphone into a satellite phone. All you need to do is to install the SATcase app apart from satellite airtime contract to use it anywhere. It also contains a 406 beacon and for boaties going deep, it is a wonderful idea.

Until next time gone Fishin’…. be back at dark-thirty

Cheers Dale

Fish’n N Fuel’n

36 Mandalay Ave, Nelly Bay 4778-5126

For all of your fishing and sports hire gear. We hire and sell fishing rods, and snorkel equipment, plus sell bait, tackle, ice spear fishing equipment, toys, party, pool toys, and BIKE HIRE, SEGWAY TOURS and convenience supplies. Check out Kooler 24 hour Ice 7kg plus $4. New BIKE section. Rod and reel repair available.