Fishin’ Maggie

What’s Happening On Maggie

My little Tinny did the seemingly impossible las week, saving a 15 tonne Yacht from foundering in the Harbour. Moosh and I were about to pull the boat out of the water due to high winds, when we saw a yacht in real trouble. The travellers had entered the harbour and got the massive keel wedged firmly in the rocks at the public boat ramp with the tide going out.  You can imagine the stress of the 2 yachties as their home was going to be submersed as it leaned more and more into the sea. Enter “ Bite me” my little Clarke with the Bigfoot 60 on the back. We tethered up with difficulty in the 20 knot winds, and pulled the damaged boat all different directions gradually ripping it off the rocks and into deeper waters. My boat was really working, and Moosh was doing all the rope work and nautical advice. Arne from the Marina was calling the coastguard boat when he saw my tinny doing the work of a much bigger vessel, so came over to lend a hand. Towing such a big vessel inside the harbour was a real challenge, avoiding moored vessels, before we had it safely tied to the public pontoon, where it looks like staying until repairs are completed.

I have to congratulate the crew of Reel Crazy for the 900lb Marlin tagged in crappy conditions off Myrmidon Reef. Great job Renee

A large mother Greenback turtle was photographed laying eggs near X-Base on Tuesday, hopefully the first of many. Now it is up to all of us to protect them from people, dogs and weather. Please all make sure your dog is leashed or watched carefully in while in Nelly Bay beach area, and locked up at night.

The Super Moon was absolutely stunning for all, but to watch it rise over Cleveland Bay while sitting in a boat with the water glistening below it was extraordinary. Pollution from the bush fires spoilt the first 20 minutes but then it rose higher and was a real treat. Another amazing sight while the moon was approaching height last week was the appearance of a school of massive Barra in the harbour right up on the surface, frolicking and feeding. These 75-100cm Barra were not afraid of people, it’s like they know they are safe for a few months. There were at least 4-6 of them being watched by several suitably impressed locals and visitors. (I need a good camera for night video).

The Grey Mackerel season is in full swing and the bait is thick off the Island, from Horseshoe to Picnic Bay. These huge schools of tiny anchovies are sustaining the incredibly fast growth of these voracious feeders. What is disconcerting and discussing is the way the Greys spit small partly digested fish all over the boat when you catch them. Cleaning up the boat after Grey fishing really is hard work.

Grey Mack’s are fast growing, and reach maturity in about 2 years at 70-80cm. On top of that are great chewing, and due to their fast growth, are not known to be susceptible to ciguatera. (I am always concerned about this as I love alcohol and fish so much, and in severe cases you can have neither for a very long time). Research has shown that their natural death rate is higher than the fishing death rate and with several annual spawning’s of 250 000 eggs per female, the Population is considered stable in QLD.

These fish freeze very well and taste amazing. We are lucky to have a yearly visit in November each year of thousands of Greys, usually followed by schools of Longtail and Mack Tunas. I have not seen evidence of the Tuna yet but we have been smashing the Greys. Happiness is bagging out on Grey Mack’s 80-100 cm for 1-2 litres of fuel off Arcadia, in 1-2 hours and then back home for a Mackerel dinner. For value for money, it beats the 200 litre reef trip with 1 fish per 10 litres of fuel hands down, plus we get home  in 5 minutes at the end of fishing.

My tinny has caught 30 quality Greys in 4 days, with many fish released. Young kids love catching the big fish and grandsons Kyahn (9 years) and TJ (10 years) had a ball with 12 in total between them and a big bag of fillets to take home to mum.

Kyahn had a huge battle with his 113cm Grey off light gear in sloppy chop, before I had it gaffed and on-board. Great Job Kyahn, although his brother TJ filled the esky, that fish was a horse of a Grey and nearly as big as Kyahn. I normally release the really big ones in case they have Roe but fortunately this trophy was empty.

With only 7-10 days left of our remarkable fish fest it is best get out there and have a go. I love my new lure and for island fishing now use nothing else. Several reports of a massive 4m (est.) Tiger shark out in the depths of Florence last week had some locals nervous. Our balanced ecology generally keeps the well fed sharks from tasting anyone, but it is still a frightening sight, especially when snorkelling. I get plenty of reports of the Wobbegongs being sighted, lying lazily on the bottom, plus Larry the lemon shark, (he’s the one that sticks his head into rock caves off Arthur and floats there looking dead) However those reports are from happy and excited snorkelers, the Tiger sharksighting reports come with a little more vocal tension, (I don’t know why.J).

Please report and Turtle laying’s to Parks or FNF over the next month or two as the come in to lay, so Parks can set up a safety zone.

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.