Fishin’ Maggie

What’s Happening On Maggie?

Did you know many people including avid anglers have no idea that we have such a great Barramundi fishery here on Magnetic Island? Not only do we have hundreds of healthy Barra, but the Saltie’s we do have in my view have better flavour than any creek or river fish. With all the hype about Barra fishing in NQ Maggie generally get missed in the fishing media. Many of you would say great more for us but I’m considering a Barra challenge Maggie style for next year. Release a few Barra with tags with prizemoney values, and see where they get caught. It won’t be the same values as NT of course. (Did that 1 million dollar Barra ever get seen again?

Congratulations James, for his monster Barra hook-up off the Horseshoe Bay boat ramp. Although he didn’t land the feisty beast,  it was his first Barra hook-up in years on lure, and the aerobatics made his day, leaping and twisting, and scaring another Barra nearby. The excitement of a Barra fish can be just as good, even if it isn’t landed. (Some of you probably disagree.)

I told a story a little while ago about a child falling off the Jetty while fishing. Well there is now another aquatic incident to report. The other night, on the full moon, an adult local riding out to the end of the jetty for a night fish, misjudged their braking distance and rode their bike right off the end into the low tide waters at night. He was carrying rod and fishing bag and all went with him in the calm tepid waters. A stunned walker rushed to help, (holding his laughter until the soaked and slightly inebriated angler was safe and back on the jetty). They managed to cast net the fishing bag that night, and the bike and rod has now been recovered with the help of a local Spearo. (Unfortunately he was also carrying an Iphone which is now only good as a sinker.)

Maggie Island is a beautiful and special place. One thing that I get upset about is people littering, particularly near water, where it gets washed or blown into the sea around the Island damaging sea life. I have 2 major complaints this week. One is the anglers leaving line and hooks around the rocks and shore. A resident’s dog ended up in pain as it trod on a discarded hook (still attached to line week), whilst walking with its owner. The poor animal didn’t deserve that. If you fish, clean up your mess when you leave. The second complaint is the night anglers on the Horseshoe bay boat ramp who constantly leave cigarette butts all over the ramp, to be washed into the ocean. (If anyone knows who does this, come and let me know off the record please.) Fishing is fun but clean up afterwards.

I went for a run Sunday to Palm Island. I set my alarm for 4am. (IPhone Siri is getting a better sense of humour. I said “set an alarm for 4 am”, and Siri said. “Alarm set for 4am Dale don’t wake me”. I wasn’t expecting thatJ) For those anglers who jump in their boats and head straight to the reef each trip, Palm Island is well worth visiting instead. Turquoise waters with colourful reef, and plenty of marine life, magnificent unpopulated beaches and loads of rocky shoals. I landed 2 beautiful Red Emperors off Hayman Rock, more than I’ve seen for a while, and we found Grey Mack’s and Trevally, in all locations. Unfortunately the sharks were very active and we got sharked a dozen times. Albino Rock is a great fishery as well, and I can’t say enough about the beauty of the place. Try that area next time for a fish.

Where’s the Fish?  With the hot waters (31 degrees) Salmon and Barra at WestPoint, Barra and Dart at Horseshoe Bay and some nice Flathead in all the Bays. Live bait is the best still although the last 3 Barra reported to me were caught on blue hard body lures,

Pirtek Fishing Challenge 19th March 2017

It’s that time again Maggie anglers, the National Pirtek fishing challenge. In support of Prostate cancer, I will be entering. (most of you know I lost my father to Prostate Cancer last year) It will be a great day. Sunday 19th March, 22 target species and $176,000 in prizes. https://pirtekfishingchallenge.com.au. If you are not able to book and pay online, (No credit card or internet etc), come in to FNF.  Pay at the counter and give me your details, and I will register on your behalf. You get a brag mat and the night before you get a text with your identifying number and all fish entered must be placed live on the mat with your number and a picture taken. The picture gets sent in and if you win, you get notified. In QLD we have 8 target species, to be announced.

Victorian Barra

Victorians aren’t happy to leave the Barra fishing to us in QLD, and have established their own Barra Fishery at Hazelwood Pondage near the LaTrobe Valley.  Using a Power station lake, which has warm water from cooling tower output, the Barra are apparently flourishing. An incredible 25000 people applied for a ballot to fish the lake in December/January, of which 500 lucky anglers got to launch their boats and fish in the lake.  The fishery opened in December 2016 and catches of barramundi over 80 cm have been reported already.

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 Happening on Maggie

Big tides were hampering fishing last week, with the huge run making finding the fish a reel challenge.( Old Pun)  Barra was the preferred target and finding Mullet was the big mission, believe me they were tough to find. Barra were on the chew an hour before the high and there were plenty around near creek outlets boat ramps and rocks. Nelly Bay Harbour Cockle Bay, and Horseshoe Bay were all hotspots but having live Mullet was definitely an advantage. Congratulations to all those who scored a Barra. Andy was the first with a Picture, a golden healthy 70cm Barra. Patience and live bait always get rewarded so get out there. We had a ball fishing the high Saturday morning in a blistering short session. After we ran out of live Mullet we had to use live Gar. If you haven’t seen Queenies chasing live gar you should give it a go. The water boils, the Gar gets hit over and over again all the way to shore and then they finally hook up and you get the classic leaping Queenie display. Live Gar are the 2nd best island Bait, and quite often easier to get than Mullet.

Several boaties arrived super early with their boats at the Nelly Bay boat ramp at 4 am and 4.30 am Sunday morning, only to realise the tide was way too low to launch, at 0.68m. The bottom of the ramp is just too slippery to hold the car. Imagine getting out of bed at 3am to go fishing, and having to sit and watch the tide come up when you are keen as mustard to get out to the reef.

JC got more action than he bargained for when he was spearing for Trout out near WestPoint. His dad was in the boat nearby watching out for him when a 3.5m Hammerhead decided it was breakfast time. The massive and hungry shark launched out of the water chasing a large stingray, and JC was caught away from the boat and unable to swim towards it as the carnage occurred.  In this battle of nature Hammerhead won and Stingray became breakfast. JC had a chance then to get back to the boat and as you can imagine he moved fairly quickly, his adrenalin flooded body having no problems with the short swim. Nature can be awesome and also scary when you share the venue.

Sunday there was half a dozen local spear boats out around the island, all chasing Trout and Crays in the murky waters. Crays were hard to come by with 2 crays being a morning average.

Powerray Drone – New Technology

Release Date 27/2/2017

Check out the new hi-tech fisherman’s friend: PowerRay. ( just google the name) This drone can track fish underwater – and even drag your hook or lure to them. It uses a sonar system and blue LED lures to bring fish to you. The underwater drones sonar system detects fish up to 40m below the swimming robot and it can dive up to 30m. It has a remotely operated precision remote bait drop to deliver the users bait to the desired location, which they can then monitor and control the entire fishing experience via the smartphone app. The drone includes 4K UHD camera functions for underwater photography and videography.

The development firm claims its sonar system can detect fish up to 131 feet (40 meters) below the swimming robot – making the total diving depth up to 230 feet (70 meters) with precision up to 3.9 inches (10 centimetres). For Maggie Island that means you can take it in your boat head out to the shoals, drop the done, find the fish and drop our jig or bait. Where’s the fun? On the other hand looking for Crays becomes was less work, Powerdrone can search all the Island Bommies for you. It also hooks up to VR Glasses so you can be immersed in your camera vision.

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 happening on Maggie

The first week of Barra season is finished, so what are the results? Read on

I watched a program about Koalas during the week, and the estimated Koala population left in the whole of Aussie is only 50, 000 to 100, 000 animals, and declining fast. That’s terrible news, and critical action is needed to help our icons. On the local level, that means we Maggie islanders on our small Island have more than 1 percent of the total worlds Koala population. Now that is a responsibility that we all need to be aware of. Dog off leashes is one of the big Koala killers, so keep your dogs locked up at night, and report any injured koalas.

Fishing at HB last week I noticed a large pile of stuff tucked away in the sand dunes. On closer investigation, there were piles of a girls clothing and personal possessions, bag, mobile phone and food that had been eaten by animals. The camp had been deserted for weeks. Apparently Parks and wildlife are supposed to clean it up soon. Why this female camper left everything except ID we will never know, it’s all a bit weird. Even her pillow and very personal effects were still there.

Last week we named all the cars in our MI rental fleet with the names of the female first settlers. That’s 12 cars with names so far but I would love to see all the island hire cars named, that’s something special. I remember when all the buses on the island were named and visitors just loved it.

Some nice Barra have been caught, although not in big numbers yet. Congratulations to Belinda from FNF who got her first Barra of the season, and commiserations to Ray who was snapped off after an epic battle with a meter plus behemoth at Picnic Bay. (Lighter gear gives a better fish hook-up rate , but when the monsters hit its always going to be a challenge. )

I have done nothing to serious yet about getting a Barra, and have totally stuffed the first 2 half attempts, which is ironic when I planned to be ready for Barra season. I finally scored a 63cm  on Monday morning with a 2 Deadly, one of my favourite Barra lures. That’s not a huge fish but it’s a start, especially given my pathetic start.

On the first of Feb I did the keen thing, grabbing the old cast net and collected eight  good size Poddy Mullet. I chucked them in the bucket, added the aerator, put the lid on, put them on the ute tray. I parked the ute under the carport until night to keep them cool.  Somehow they must have conspired to all jump at the same time and knocked the lid right off the bucket and escape. Mind you it wasn’t well thought because they were all dead all over my tray when I came down after dark. All I had was one lonely mullet swimming in the bucket. I said to Mikki, “one live mullet is enough, used in the right area. ” Mikki  and I jumped in the Ute and went round to a special spot, where  I quickly baited that last mullet to the hook. Although he was a bigger mullet I broke the rules and hooked him through the tail instead of the nose. As I cast the rod with gusto, the bugger came flying off the hook and became the only fish in that school to survive. Alas, nothing left in the bucket and no lures with us, adventure done, we  went home.
Night 2, and I was having dinner and drinks with friends at the Lions Park. Of course I had a couple of new live mullet so I put my line out where I see Barra jumping occasionally. A few Vino’s, wonderful dinner conversation, and I couldn’t see my rod in the dark any more. Add a few cold Crownies, and I got too lazy to check the line. About 9 o’clock we decided to leave and went to pack up. As I pulled the line in with the live mullet on it, the sudden movement must’ve stirred whatever was lurking in the water nearby, and it struck. The line peeled off the small Fi-Nor at record speed as the big fish went straight around the pylons where the yachts moor, and snap, fish gone. Thus ended my second lazy Barra adventure. This week I will get a bit more serious, and hope for favourable winds.

Those Twitching Lures have not turned up yet, but Mark tells me they are available at the “As Seen On TV” shop in Castletown for $25. According to the lady there have been no returns yet.

Live Barra Fishing Tips

Bait small mullet through the tail really close to the tail, and larger ones through the mouth through to the top of the beak.

Use Leader 40lb to 60lb

Best Lures, Halco, RMG, Tilson Hardbodies.

Find the bait schools.

On the Island the best spots are near structure, mangroves, reefs, rocks, pylons, jetty and stinger nets.

Watch your drag settings, too tight or to soft equals lost Barra.

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.