Fishin’ Maggie

First of all congratulations to Ray, Isaac, Joel, and the other boys who went out to WestPoint and scored big time , with 8 odd Barra’s in a single night session during the week. The boys told me the banana prawns were going ape out there on the tide rise, and the Barra were actively smashing big prawns and anything else that they could find. Those powerhouse Barra sessions are top fun, awesome to watch, and it was great to see some of the big Barra thrown back for another day as well. Great job boys.

Ethan has also scored his 1st and 2nd ever Barra in the same week, inside the harbour at night. The first (and most important) Barra stayed on the line, despite some top acrobatic attempts to dislodge the hooks. Ethan, it’s been a long time coming, congrats from FNF and more to come. Now you have to catch one on lure.

The Easter break has had some fine fishing moments, and quality catches, as many boats took advantage of the great weather.

One of Cliffs “Get around Island” group got more than they bargained for when they hooked a massive 6 foot Hammerhead shark. There will be memories and pics in the holiday album of the moment they got it to the side of the boat and released it.

In other shark stories a 4m plus tiger shark was filmed off Nelly bay cruising the shallows before taking a drum line bait in the afternoon on Sunday. Shane B took some extraordinary pics of this behemoth, check it out on FNF or Shanes facebook.

This coming weekend will be much more windy, and lumpy for boating, so I suggest you get out now while the weather is perfect.

Onshore Fishing

For those of you that like fishing for quality Grunter, (like most northern anglers because they rate high in the super tasty range), then you had better get out to the west side of Maggie. With the bigger banana prawns making an appearance, so are the Grunter. The beach at WestPoint still has good numbers and they are active in the morning, and on the neap tides. Live bait is a great option for these superb fish, but if you can’t get any with the net, make sure you have some good squid or prawns in the esky.  Grunter to 65cm range have been landed in the rocky shoaly areas, and up at the far northern rocky point.  A number of anglers have spotted bigger prawn schools than usual in the small bay before the rocks and also found squid and prawns in the stomachs some of the Grunter.

Flathead has been taking baits or lures at Horseshoe Bay and in the harbour at Nelly Bay These fish are excellent eating and should be bleed and put on ice straight away if you are going to keep it. I usually catch and release a couple at Nelly on soft plastics, fish the shoaly areas mid beach, or off the culvert.

That big Barra (or more than one?) is causing much cursing at the jetty as it breaks lines just on or after dark. This bugger knows how to use the pylons and is still scoring wins against the light gear anglers. Hand lining with live bait may be an option but if the Barra hits, you want to be hanging on to that hand reel.

Those big Trevally are back in the harbour, sitting on top of the thousands of HardyHead congregating around the terminal lights at night. These big Trevors take some stirring up, but once in a frenzy, will hit lures one after another. I call this the best fun you can have in Nelly between 6.30 and 8.30pm, and as they are regular harbour visitors, we always welcome their arrival.

Offshore Fishing

Decent Cobia and some 6kg plus Largemouth Nannygai have been some of the haul out at the Maggie shoals in a very sharky set of fish tales. Hungry sharks have been very actively targeting line catches at the shoals for weeks and some reports have had up to half the hooked fish sharked before reaching the boat. It is a frustrating time and requires multiple moves in an attempt to keep your fish.

Maggies spear fishing population have reported the largest population increase in big Coral Trout around Nelly for years. The reasons are unknown, but the bommies are again populated with plenty of small and many large Trout. Fishing with pilchards or soft plastics in Nelly Bay evening and night in a small tinny, kayak, old bathtub, or whatever floats is a great way to get one of these top table fish.

Remember, “To the world it may be just one fish but to me it is the World”

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

Cheers Dale

Fish’n N Fuel’n

36 Mandalay Ave, Nelly Bay 4778-5126

For all your fishing, snorkelling, sports, cycling, boating, auto, convenience and

Rod and reel repair available.

Fishin’ Maggie

What’s New on the Rock

Rain.. we had between 160-220 mm of rain across the Island, depending on which bay you live in. Can I get a home rain reader at Horseshoe, Picnic and WestPoint with a mobile phone so I can txt for rain results please? At the moment I have to wait until someone drops in for bay by bay results. That way I can keep a regular record on the FNF website, where everyone can look.

The creeks have finally all had a damn good flush, and Horseshoe Bay Lagoon filled up, burst its banks and poured out into the bay. The sludgy creeks at Picnic flushed as well, (although I’m not sure all those toxins should be in our oceans, it is clear for now.)

Some decent mud crabs are finally on the move, having been enticed from upstream, and the remaining creek prawns have been pushed into the bay. Finally some of those monsoon events that we have been waiting for are happening.

The Mount Cook trip will be scheduled for early May. To all you who expressed interest in the trek, I will keep you updated. If we can get another couple of hundred mm of rain the lagoons on the plateau will still hold some cool down water, and believe me you need it. In the meantime I better get to boot camp and find some fitness.

For fellow lovers of marine history, don’t forget the shipwreck info special this weekend at the History Center at Picnic Bay. Most anglers love that stuff. Around the Island we have more than 20 wrecks including slave trader ships, one of the earliest passenger ships, Patrol boats, and dozens of stories that go with them.

You will also find out about the reef name origins, when they are ship related.

For example “Arab Reef” is named after a troopship. The Arab sailed from Sydney for India in June 1842. As part of a convoy consisting of the troopships John Brewer, Kelso, and the barque Hopkinson, who ran on to reefs north-east of Palm Island, Queensland, 30 June 1842. After six days, the vessels were refloated, and beached for repairs before continuing their voyage. The convoy had 26 officers and 700 men of the 28th Regiment of Foot, known as The Slashers. All you boaties that go to the Slashers, for a snorkel or fish, now you know why they were named.

In the middle of the bay is USSYP 79 a patrol vessel, and around the Island is the Radical, Moltke, City of Adelaide, Argonaut, Morning Light, Coquette (1883 still under our bowls club), just to name a few.

With the wet weather, most anglers have been playing the waiting game. Wayne, never a man to stop fishing for any reason, was rewarded with his first Coral Trout. Wayne pulled a beautiful well fed 55cm trout from the rocks inside the harbour. The Trout was in the oven within an hour and Wayne reckons that was one of the best feeds he has had.

The Flathead have come in close and are taking bright soft plastics at West Point and Picnic Bay. The presence of all these mid-size hungry flatties means top fun on light tackle, go have a flick.

If you want to catch Barra on soft plastics, I have been finding murky water is preferable to clear. I have been testing the Mangroves and my hook-up rate on softies is 3 times better when the water is murkier.

With the weather improving from Wednesday, the weekend fishing should be amazing, I am looking forward to next week’s reports, and yes one of my boats is fixed.


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.