Fishin’ Maggie

What’s Happening

How good was that rainy Sunday last week? There is nothing quite like relaxing at home watching movies on a wet Sunday. The rainfall at the top of Mandalay at Nelly for the event was 59mm, just what was needed. Horseshoe Bay 52mm

Dave managed to drop his phone into the water at Picnic Bay jetty, leaving it in his top pocket and then bending down over the water. I wonder how many phones have entered the water at the Jetty. My record is 2 expensive phones on the same weekend, mine, and then I borrowed Janie’s, and dropped that too. My worst drop effort though, and also at the Jetty. I had a shop order for a custom tackle box to be made up for a 12 year old boy’s birthday present. His parents had ordered it because he was a mad keen junior angler. The next Sunday, (his birthday) I was at the jetty chasing Mackerel, and he was also there fishing with his parents, his amazing new tackle box open and proudly on display. I sauntered over his side of the jetty to cast for baitfish.  As I cast my net, the corner of the cast net caught his open tackle box and the whole lot went into the drink.  Imagine his face, and that of his shocked parents Kerry and Andy. Needless to say he got a new load of gear free the next day, an expensive mistake I haven’t repeated.

I see the Americans have started official fishing therapy courses in the Everglades for retuned veterans to help them deal with post war stress. Positive proof finally that fishing can cure depression and help cope with life, a fact us keen anglers always knew.

A get well message from FNF to Whippet from Early Bird Charters. Early Bird Charters are the newest fishing charter on the Island, and Whippet is their fishing Guru. We all hope you get well soon mate.

A new Dive shop on the Island is set to open shortly and with their own dive boat.  This experienced team are set to do some advanced diving courses and offer dive trips out into some deeper water. Good luck with the new venture.

About Fishing

There is a colossal Groper still feeding at night, off WestPoint, and this monster can’t be stopped. She swallows big live baits set on 50-80 lb braid lines, and the battle starts. After 5 to 10 minutes of back breaking action, she spits out the bait and disappears. This girl must be huge; she peels off 80lb braid like 10lb, and is frustrating the regular night anglers. There must be a big holding Bommie out there somewhere to afford day protection.

Congratulations to mad keen Angler Caillen who landed 6 quality Grunter in a session with his mate off WestPoint on Friday.

WestPoint has also seen big Blue Salmon in the muddy areas chasing small prawns, along with 40 plus Grunter. Grunters, (Silver Javelin), have become much more active in the last month, feeding in shallows, and are well worth targeting at this time of year.

Horseshoe Bay has seen some 40-60cm Golden Trevally moving in close in the mornings and on the top of the high, along with Doggie Mackerel and again quality Grunter. Golden Trevally is also one of the nicer eating fish and well worth targeting on prawn and small lures.

Wolf Herring are still schooling, so we need more Spaniards to come in the bay chasing them for top action.

Nelly Bay is still producing Winter Whiting and small Queenies, but no Barra despite plenty of sightings. Although too lazy to chase lures at this time of year they are still showing their numbers.
Big Doggies are schooling around the southern side of the Island and out at the pylons, as are a few 5-8kg Spannies. That’s less boat fuel for a good time with metal jigs, spoons and lures. There were bust-ups all week as more predators move into the shallow waters around the Island as it cools. It is well worth trolling the points for Tuna and Mack’s again over the next few weeks.
The Reef has been producing bag limit Trout and some good Reds. It is well worth a trip out and that means lots of locals now have fish fillets in the freezer again. With the school holidays approaching this weekend the fishing spots will take some extra pressure, so try to get out before Saturday.

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

Fishin’ Maggie

What’s New On The Rock

What amazing winter weather we had last week, calm, warm and the best part, fish were on. Saturday the Island was filled with visitors, and there were 5 weddings including Smiley and Eleanor’s surf club gig. Congratulations to you both.

Sunday saw the wind blow up again, but Horseshoe Bay was still calm enough for a fish. That’s the beauty of Maggie for you. Where else can you go on a windy day down to a pristine calm beach, and start hooking up Queenie’s, Trevally, School Mack’s and Wolf Herring whilst turtles play in the background. I don’t understand Sunday sleep ins, I sneak out of bed and go for a fish and come back with a coffee for the wife about 9 when the household is awake.

Some good news for our water sports operators at Horseshoe Bay. TCC had been making things hard by only granting short lease extensions only. Imagine running a business when the landlord only gives you a 6 month lease on your shop. After some pressure TCC are finally going to grant longer licenses, so people can reinvest in or sell their businesses. Thumbs up to Jenny Hill and all others who helped get this sorted. TCC needs to understand we need tourism up here desperately and help not hinder.

Barnacle Bill has started up his new tinnie hire business based out of Horseshoe Bay. Called East Coast Boat hire, and starting with three tinnies Bill hopes to expand his operation as need arises. So many people ask at FNF for tinnie hire that I know he will do well.

I had some friends who went on the Sealink Cape Cleveland Lighthouse tour Sunday and said it was a brilliant experience. They also had helicopter tours for $70 over the Cape and from all accounts that was  well worth the price. More tours are available at Sealink.

Congratulations to Jackson for his 1.35 meter Queenie on Wednesday in Johns boat. John and I were bottom bashing 20 NM out, when Jackson decided to grab my light rig with a 10 g Halco Twistiie on it, and do some casting off the bow. On only his 5th cast, a hungry Queenie belted the tiny lure and took off at full noise. In the ensuing battle, the Queenie peeled off drag, and had Jackson battling to get to the back deck of the boat so we had a chance of boating the fish. . The massive Queenie dived and then went full speed for the surface launching out of the water to try and shake the lure. An excited Jackson made no tactical errors and eventually had the 1.35 meter on board the boat for photos. It was a great battle and Jackson was a very proud young man. A great job Job Jackson, that’s a lifetime trophy fish mate.

Off The Shore

Some Sealink commuters were given a treat early Wednesday morning in the harbour when 5 or more Barra 50-60cm smashed surface bait in a short but adrenaline pumping session right near the boat. Although relatively inactive at this time of year they still need to feed occasionally. Talking about right place at the right time,

Westpoint  and Horseshoe Bay have been holding bait very close to the beach providing anglers with great lure action. Fast retrieve lures are the go and the Pelagic’s are hitting hard. The best time is an hour after the turn of the high tide


For all those that managed to get out for a reef trip during the week, (and many including Chalkie, Downtime, JH, JK, JB went out) the water was absolutely spectacular. There was barely a ripple all the way to Myrmidon, and the the water a spectacular deep turquoise. Coral Trout were on the bite, and the Spannie’s were also very active on the deeper reefs. Fishing for reds was productive, but as we got deeper, the shark numbers went up and bated fish numbers decreased. We worked a couple of top spots past Faraday and got less than 10 percent of the quality fish up, the rest being slammed by big Noah’s.  Belinda and Josh were finding the same on Nautical Blue. Bel managed one beautiful 4kg Trout, but the rest got sharked, causing massive gear loss and very sore shoulders from fighting the sharks for the fish.  The water was so clear you could actually watch the sharks stalking the boat, and annihilate our dinner as they came out to chew the baits. Josh picked up a couple of nice Yellowfin Tuna for Sashimi, at Myrmidon and we all had a quick Marlin troll with no results.

Johns Seaswirl is an incredibly fast boat, with twin 150s pushing 35 knots on the plane We landed a range of fish, snorkelled,  and trekked from Keeper to Faraday to Myrmidon and back through The Slashers and past Brewer.  Snorkelling was refreshing; and we thought the corals were in fine healthy condition. I was 40 m from the boat on top of Keeper at one stage when a huge bull shark cruised straight past me on the drop off 2.5 m away. John was back at the boat and for a moment I felt very alone. Fortunately for my heart and sanity, the big fella kept swimming. At 24.5 degrees the reef was like a refreshing bath.

Crabbing has been very productive, although it takes a trip to the Crocodile Creek to get the big bucks. 3 local boats did the trip last week setting in the arvo and going back in the morning, with an average of 2 big bucks per pot. That’s a good catch rate and worth the fuel and time.

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

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 hire gear. Weekly specials. We hire and sell fishing rods, and snorkel equipment, plus sell bait, tackle, ice spear fishing equipment, Toys, Party and convenience supplies. Check out Kooler 24 hour Ice 7kg $4. Specials Bins

Rod and reel repair available.