Fishin’ Maggie

What’s Happening On Maggie

The beginning of May sees the Spanish mackerel finally coming back, enjoying the rapid sea temperature drop. They have schooled up in big numbers and are set to excite anglers again this year I was blown away with the numbers of Spaniards at Container, Bomber and the Shoals last week. Read on.

Bill told me about a surprising catch at Horseshoe Bay while fishing the beach. Did it fall off a ute while launching a boat?

The boat ramp at Nelly has been extremely hazardous, several cars and boats slipping badly trying to get up the ramp. Whilst on that subject, that Horseshoe Bay ramp has to be fixed soon with the big chunks missing from it post Cyclone Debbie weather. Whether they do it whilst still keeping it open is another matter entirely. Let’s hope so. All the commercial guys need access to the bay daily.

With the water temperature cooling down, me and a mate decided to go and see whether the Spaniards had come in yet. I had heard from the game fishing club that there were some decent Marlin around already, so it was good odds that some of the Macs might be here already as well (Ray had already found hundreds of small Greys around about 50 cm schooling off WestPoint through to Bolger Bay.

Because the tide square logo Hurley, we couldn’t leave the boat ramp till 615. Straight out to Bomber we dropped out 1st lures, Halco pilchard seven meters my favourite for big Spaniards.

I guess that the effect was kind of like dropping live bait into a tank of starving African Piranhas. The nearly new Halco Lures were barely in the water, when the water boiled and the first lure disappeared for good. Dozens of hungry Macs were trying to eat each lure as we dropped it in. We quickly put 2 fish in the esky, before losing another big lure on 80lb steel. The next 30 minutes was a frenzy of Spaniards, just desperate to grab those Lures as soon as they were put out. We dropped plenty, and at one stage we had 4 fish on the deck, and decided to drop the lines again. Two more big ones came in at once, and bugger we were one over the bag limit. Doing the right thing, we tried to hand it to the only other boat nearby, but he was having too much fun getting his own bag limit. . Sadly we had to let go a big injured Spaniard knowing it was going to die, and didn’t those big whaler sharks make short work of it. They stalked the boat after that until we left.

Looking at our lure collection after the session, the paint jobs were stuffed, big teeth marks everywhere. That’s a top mini session.

Trolling all the local reefs with Halco deep 190’s, (pilchard, red white, Dorado etc., woghead and chin guard rigged Gars is just slaying the hungry Macs. Also working well is floated pilchards and live baits (although sharks were a problem in many locations last week.  The occasional Black Marlin is already being raised and tagged already off the Cape, and that’s not too deep for Tinnies to play with as well.  I would expect their numbers to multiply as we approach June, and I’m so looking forward to the big game fishing comp this year. Cobia has been prolific at present on most of our local reefs and wrecks and has always been a favourite of mine. Cobias are being caught by those targeting mackerel and by bottom fishermen targeting big Reds.  Personally I like floating squid over structures out 25m plus, just drifting a line, particularly at wrecks like Bomber. This technique also picks up Largemouth nannygai, which are again featuring in reef bottom fishing catches after a slow period Feb/March Good numbers being caught on the rubble patches and gutters in the paddocks between the reefs, and out chicken Reef way Josh had a blinder last week bagging all his and his Dads favourites without working too hard.

Horseshoe Bay

It is exactly one year since the massive Jelly Prawn schools turned Horseshoe Bay Beach alive with fish, and my son and I got the massive Queenie next to the ramp. Guess what, they are back again. Boat ramp to stinger net, left of the boat ramp and deeper out is filled with excited Queenfish, GT’s Golden Trevally, Tarpon and of course those annoying Long Toms. Yes Barra are there too, and will take Tarpon fillet.  For the best fun use tiny soft plastic, small slugs, small divers and small poppers. Remember what they are feeding on.

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, bike hire and ELECTRIC BIKE HIRE, SEGWAY TOURS, car hire and convenience supplies. Check out Kooler 24 hour Ice 7kg $4.

Fishin’ Maggie

What’s Happening On Maggie

These strong winds just will not abate. The school holidays finished last weekend and it was a lean time for snorkelers, as well as fishing and sightseeing charters, with so many grounded for nearly the full 3 weeks. It’s the longest consistent strong winds I’ve seen in the Easter holidays ever.

On the positive side of life the Island was incredibly busy and the humidity drop has cheered up many. The water temperature has dropped 3° plus, and is now sitting about 27 degrees around the island. That temperature drop has brought in some big schools of GT’s and Spaniards. For the Barra anglers, the cooler temps mean more lethargic fish and choosing live bait over lures. Wednesday Thursday might see the winds finally abating for a while. Fingers crossed boaties.

Barra are still getting caught in Horseshoe Bay, although you need to take a number for a spot some afternoons.

WestPoint is producing quality Grunter to 3kg. One angler had to do a fast swim to save his little Shimano rig after it was pulled in the water with a big fish attached. He managed to get the rod but the fish was long gone by the time he swam back to shore. No rod holder in can make fishing difficult. On top of that I wouldn’t have swum 20 m out at WestPoint, ever.
A Father and son team, from Brisbane and Ayr respectively, spent a few days here fishing on the jetty with live Herring. They had an absolute ball despite the blustery conditions, and vowed to return soon. Floating Herring off the end of the jetty, they saw action aplenty each morning. Day one started with a run of hard fighting GT’s, a thumping Spaniard, School Mack, and Queenies Galore, these guys couldn’t believe how good our fishing is. Day 2 Saturday morning there were more GT’s and legal size Coral Trout, Golden Trevally, along with some massive runs and snap offs. There were plenty of hungry sharks as well, and it is obvious that the Jetty has come back to life as a quality fishing destination.
With the Greenbacks back in fashion and plentiful, I and others have been trying a new baiting tactic. We head to the jetty, net up some of those big Herring, and take them elsewhere on the island for a fish. Talk about good results, tossing those fish unweighted where there are none has worked well for all of us. Barra seem to love them, as do any other predators in the vicinity including Reds and big Trout.  West Point has been fun if you can take Herring down there after dark. Big Barra equals top action. Personally I’ve been struggling with Lures for a week or two, so I have got back into live bait fishing while the Greenbacks, Yakka’s And Sardines are plentiful.

Death Adder Warning

Death Adders (Acanthophis antarcticus) are reportedly pretty active at the moment. Chris who got bitten at Nelly Bay this week can attest to the fact that the resulting hospital time is not fun at all. In another adder encounter Ray helped a neighbour remove a huge active adult from near the porch, and yet another was on the road at Mandalay heading north on Tuesday.

Fun Facts and the Bizarre

Talking about Herring, Did you know, that Herring communicate by farts? I promise it is true. They keep that amazing school formation is by using farts to coordinate their spacing. The scientific name is FRT (Fast Representative Tick). Basically they squeeze their sphincters, fart and create super high pitched sound (22 kHz) that predators can’t hear. The fart patterns allow communication in keeping the distance between fish the exact distance that predators cannot discern a difference in fish. They squeeze out 60 farts in 6 seconds in patterns. They also use farts to fool predators and try to escape in the bubbles.

While talking about the Bizarre, a visitor to the island called James had read my spider story last week, and told me his weird tale. I thought it was on the urban myth side of fishing stories, but he had his wife with him and they swore it was true. He was down in Noosaville fishing recently, and things were very quiet so he and his wife decided to have a sneaky skinny-dip in the river together, hidden behind the pier. As he started swimming he suddenly yelled as a hungry Bream attached itself to his appendage. Apparently his wife was laughing so hard that she was no help at all, and another Bream was showing some interest as well. A wack in the head to scare the fish off and he made it back to shore, Needless to say I didn’t agree to see the scarring as proof.

Welcome Back Pilgrim Sailing

Pilgrim sailing have sailed into town, back from their very busy summer charter stint in Sydney. The team is ready to start sailing from Nelly Bay from the fifth of March. The Island needs quality offers, and this one fits the bill. Cruising the coast of Maggie in the afternoon with a cold beverage, great company and spectacular scenery is not to be missed. We went out last year and had a ball.  Whale season is nearly here again, and the chance to see whales in the afternoon on a relaxing cruise can be as spectacular as the hand selected cheese and wine and of course great the great company. Glad to have you back Paul and Clare.

Blinking Ballista’s

I had trouble sleeping recently and decided to go down to Horseshoe Bay and flick a Lure at the stupid hour of 4 AM. Yep I’m crazy I Should have had a shot of coffee first because I only made about 10 casts trying a new Ballista  LED flashing lure before stupidly snagging up on the far end of the boat ramp too far underwater to retrieve.
Last week I was down at the HB boat ramp talking to Jason, and he was telling me about this new Lure he had found snagged on the ramp, and subsequently lost further down the beach. I said was it a flashing one. Sure enough it was my flashing Ballista he had found, still flashing merrily away underwater, days later. Now he has unintentionally donated my lure to the next lucky angler. I wonder who has it now; recycling lures is part of fishing life.

The other question is if anyone catches a fish on it. I don’t want it back but if anyone found the lure again, can you drop in and tell me where you found it and whether you caught a fish please?

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, bike hire and ELECTRIC BIKE HIRE, SEGWAY TOURS, car hire and convenience supplies. Check out Kooler 24 hour Ice 7kg $4.

Fishin’ Maggie

What’s Happening On Maggie

Easter is over and the winds just did not let up for a moment. Horseshoe Bay was the only bay for boating, although I saw some visiting anglers trying to make the most of things spending the day in the harbour in tinnies fishing the bottom. It’s a shame the winds were so strong virtually since Debbie left, murky waters are not good for snorkelling. They have brought out the crabs though, big crabs, and full. One caught at Westie was 28cm across the carapace, that’s a massive Buck, well done YT. Barra and Muddies love the murky waters, so get your crab pots out.

The Barra continue their dominance in Horseshoe Bay, being regularly caught between the stinger nets and the boat ramp. I’ve never seen such a top year for Barra at Horseshoe Bay, most are around that nice 60 to 75 cm, which makes them 3 to 4 years old. These Barra live in the caves along the far edges of the bay and sweep in morning and night, for a feed of mullet, which is holding in the rough ground near the boat ramp.
Congratulations to Ray K for his big Fingermark landed in the harbour just before dawn. Ray lost 3 bigger ones before finally landing his dinner. Apart from Queenie’s and Tarpon, the harbour currently holds a big school of 3 to 5 kg Golden Snapper which are stalking bait after dark. They will take a vibe lure at night, and love live mullet and live Herring.

Anglers using the beach in the harbour in th strong winds have been rewarded with some nice Bar Tailed Flathead, and small GT Fun. GT schools run through the harbour on the tides causing great light tackle action. Look for the bait ripples when the Hardyheads start getting harassed.
Geoff and many other Picnic Bay anglers are landing plenty of hungry Queenfish at the Picnic Bay Jetty, along with a bunch of other hungry predators, although the Macs and Cobias seem to have disappeared. Other fish caught at Picnic last week include the very pretty Sand Bass (which look like a Barra and have a beautiful glowing eyes), Coral Trout to 3kg and Trevally I have also had reports unfortunately, of too many stonefish. I didn’t know until the last few days that there were so many stonefish around the end of the jetty, although it is habitat that they love. Take care swimming; these are very painful fish to tread on.

Ray C  been picking up some 2 kg Grunter at WestPoint, near the shoals, but the only other thing getting caught out there are sharks, and lots of them.
Anyone see those campers in the pullover zone at Rocky Bay headland Saturday morning? One man tents set up in the hard gravel tied to the rail and the car. When we went past the guy was doing his morning pee over the edge of the rail, in full view of passers-by. Very Bizarre, but what a great view from the loo.

Arachnophobia 2

So the other Arachnid story that triggered the first one, told last week with the same angler friend, happened on our last trip. We were kayaking along a very pretty patch of riverbank flicking lures. Every angler knows that the closer to the structure you can flick a lure, the more chance of getting Barra and any other ambush predators. This unfortunately causes a few annoying snags, and some can be difficult to get out of the bush. When you kayak alone, you have to do the hard work myself, but when you’ve got a fishing buddy, you can be lazy and let them help you..
I asked for assistance after snagging up, and he graciously came in to get the lure from the tree. As he jiggled the branch up and down, a big eyed hairy bush spider dropped into the kayak, along with the lure. The poor guy could believe his bad luck, another spider encounter, why me? (My mate was still going to Spiders anonymous dealing with the wolf spider incident.)
We had a strong current trying to drag us down stream, towards some rocky rapids and I was trying to keep my kayak level and keep the fishing line over to his boat loose, but my mate was more concerned with the spider and with the spider was going to do now it was in the open. His hands were holding my line and the river bank, so no he dad free hands. As he dropped my line to try and flick the spider away, the kayaks twisted and my lure flicked around his back and wedged firmly into his new rain jacket. Now we were in one of those stupid situations, linked together, hooks loose, kayaks uncontrolled, and still that spider watching closely. My mate has a Mirage Drive Hobie which has the hole in the front where the Mirage Drive is supposed to be. It was pulled out for this trip, and the spider finally made a decision and mercifully backed into the hole, big bug eyes still watching my mate as it went. I could read the fear in my mates face, so I said let’s sort the lure first and then we will tackle the spider issue last because we’re not in a good position buddy, rapids coming up. I hauled myself closer, cut the leader, and then carefully cut the lure out of his jacket luckily with minimal damage. Then I grabbed the pliers dealt with the feisty spider, and we got the kayaks untangled. Honestly I think any more spiders and I will lose a fishing buddy forever.

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, bike hire and ELECTRIC BIKE HIRE, SEGWAY TOURS, car hire and convenience supplies. Check out Kooler 24 hour Ice 7kg $4.

Fishin’ Maggie

Fishing Maggie

Geoff reported a massive 80cm Barra launching out of the water in Nelly Bay right next to his boat. Geoff has been watching the big Barra play in the evenings for a while but this monster did a full body leap, shaking its mouth like it was trying to get rid of a bone or lure and nearly hit the side of the boat. It’s one of those moments that you needed a boat dash cam, (used to be called a Kodak moment.) Barra are very active in Horseshoe Bay very early am, and in the harbour after dark, They have been noticeably absent at WestPoint, maybe the bait schools at Westie are a bit thin, and they have moved out deeper following food.

With the thick bait schools at Picnic Bay the lure fishing has been fantastic, quick retrieve Halco Twisties are working a treat. Those 10gm Twisties and Halco hard body poppers are also working at Horseshoe Bay, especially in the shallow southern end on the rising tide. Golden Trevally and GT schools have been coming in runs into the shallows causing top light gear action.

Congratulations to young Sammy on his lure caught big Queenie. Sammy is now an avid lure angler after his first big fish on lure.

Picnic Bay Jetty

It has been ages since Picnic Bay has the hottest spot on the Island but now I’m very happy to report that there is action aplenty off the jetty. Hard fighting Cobias, at least 3 last week, is a surprising bonus, rarely seen in the area anymore. Queenies are thick, feeding on the massive schools of Hardyheads and Greenback Herring. Visitors with light gear have been rushing back to FNF for heavier line as the big Queenies do their aerial antics and snap light line.  2 big Coral Trout, Cod, GT’s and Mackerel are all sweeping in for a feast. Flathead along the beach are great for a soft plastics session, most at the 30cm range but with a couple of larger ones for a good feed. Work around the shipwreck on the high and first hour of the drop.

Crab Report

There have been some big Bucks squeezing into pots with the creeks flowing gently into the ocean. Hotspots are Cockle Bay, Young Bay and Nelly Bay Harbour. There is nothing as sweet at Maggie Mud Crabs.

What causes crabs to die in a crabpot checked daily? This something I’ve been trying to find out all week. One of the Nelly Bay crabbers is on the island has been finding that many of his crabs caught in Gustav Creek have been dead when he checked his pots each morning. He has been getting some big crabs, and frustratingly can’t eat them. They’re obviously alive when they climb in the pot, but then die. I’ve heard two main theories.  One is that the rapid temperature difference from cold water coming out of the creek, vs the warm mud where they live, and the other is pollution from Gustav when they are exposed in a cage overnight. I’ve never seen it before, so if anyone has any other theories come and see me.

What’s Happening On Maggie

Easter is finally here, and everything is happening at once on our spectacular island. The weather has finally cooled down, with the humidity dropping to bearable levels. After such a hot run, people are happy again, leading into our best months of the year.

That 2 tonne boat that people saw sitting on the boat ramp at Nelly Bay, was due to an incorrectly tethered winch. The Boaties had just got back in and were pulling the boat up the ramp, when it slid right off the trailer and slammed onto the hard concrete. Imagine the sickening feeling the boys had hearing that. Fortunately there was minimal damage and the boat was re-trailered without too much drama.

A couple of adult Box jellyfish have been sighted around the island, and even though its late in the season, is a timely warning to wear stinger suits at least for another few weeks, One sting from these guys will hospitalise most people and ruin the holiday.

Fishing and Arachnophobia

I have this mate, and last time he had a spider run in I didn’t tell a soul, but after another one last week I have to tell both the stories.

The first incident happened after we had just been kayaking, and hopped back in to his car to drive home.  Unbeknownst to us, this guy had a sizeable wolf spider (the ones with the big fat body) sitting on it. When we hopped in the car the wolf spider dropped on his lap. I tell you honestly I have never heard a male scream that high-pitched before in my life, and because he didn’t realise he could scream at that octave he was kind of laughing at himself at the same time. The nervous spider didn’t like being out in the open and decided to run up my mates shorts. Well that caused his vocal cords to tighten and his screams got at least 2 octaves higher as he leaped from the car. Now I was cracking up laughing (mainly because it wasn’t me), and the scared arachnid fell to the driver’s side floor. Both being spider lovers, we decided to try and gently get the spider out without hurting it. (Some people would laugh, but we both normally like spiders) The wary spider didn’t like the idea of me attempting to flick it out of the car with a thong, and promptly ran up inside the driver’s dash cavity. We were a long way from civilization and a can of fly spray, and had to drive to the nearest town about 20 km away to get one. By this time we given up the heroic notion of saving the spiders life, and we both just wanted it stone dead. My mate was the driver, and watching him drive made me start laughing again, he kept his legs wide apart and kept nervously glancing from the road to his drivers side floor, waiting for the spider to fall out and lunge at him. I said “mate you but not going to kill us driving like that are you?” He replied “Dale if that spider drops down on my floor,  I’m leaping straight out the door without stopping you can kiss your butt goodbye.”  I think he was serious too, what a nervous trip back.

Finally we got to town and purchased some fly spray at a servo, went to the nearest fishing area, sprayed half a can into the car and had a fish for 15 minutes. We never found the carcass of the spider, and to this day it still hasn’t been seen. Story two next week.

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 gear. We hire and sell fishing rods, and snorkel equipment, plus sell bait, tackle, ice, spear fishing equipment, toys, party, pool toys, and ELECTRIC BIKE HIRE, SEGWAY TOURS and convenience supplies. Check out Kooler 24 hour Ice 7kg $4.   Electric Bikes from  $29