Fishin’ Maggie

What’s Happening On Maggie

The TGFC had their Ladies day on Saturday with 27 boats registered. FNF had one of our own Belinda registered in the Comp and the fishing was as tough as it’s ever been, with windy rough conditions and Marlin tough to catch. Consolation Spaniards were everywhere so most boats came home with dinner for all, not many tagged Billies though. As stated before this seems to be a huge run of rough weather out deeper, and with the holidays now here we would all love a break.

How cute is our newest resident duck in the Marina. Nicknamed Duncan (Dunkin?) by some schoolkids, he spends most of his time sitting stationary on the rock and a little time fishing. Reported last week was a decent size toothy Barracuda floating stationary nearby. How the duck feet kicking in the water don’t entice a strike I’ll never know. (I’m still amazed that all those big Booby Birds (Sula nebouxii) way out deep in the clear water don’t get eaten by sharks…or do they?)

The run of Doggie Mackerel is continuing as these fine eating fish congregate around the Island and the shipping channel, (in fact they are everywhere.)  The trick with these fish at the moment is not to troll for them, they are working deep and eating tiny baitfish. Drifting pilchard baits is a technique that works best for these fish and with the strong currents on the dropping tide you can get these baits out away from  the shore and if angling from a boat, away from the boat. Setting up a berley trail off will entice the mackerel into your fishing area resulting in a much higher catch rate. As mentioned last week I still like dropping a small jig or sinker with jig assist hook attached.

A great land based and under fished spot is Rocky Bay and the reports of lots winter Whiting and flathead from those that venture down there make it worth the walk. Take it easy I heard a boat got swamped last week sith the big waves, whilst fishing the area. From the land setting sand spikes, and using small prawns on the run out tide should see some fish in the bag. When targeting whiting Yabbies are excellent bait and spending a few hours sifting them at low tide is defiantly worth the effort. Cockle Bay is a great spot to collect Yabbies.

For the holidays get down the Picnic Bay Jetty where the Queenies GT’s and Mac’s are still smashing Herring jigged up and dropped live away from their friends. (Remember the Herring fart story?, get the fish away in the open and you can’t lose.) Try to drag the big fish all the way to the beach to reduce losses and snap offs.

Barra should be targeted now before the water cools too much more, (23 degrees and they are getting lazy.) It is against the norm for this time of year but lures are working great, both on the Island and in town. (Top effort to Luke, with 18 Barra in a single day session on the Houghton.) Normally livie’s would be the way to go to get these sportfish firing in the cooler waters. Barra are in Horseshoe Bay, the Harbour and out in the western mangroves.

WestPoint has seen big Grunter fishing towards the shoals and rocks on slab baits or big fresh prawns. (Peeled Endeavours.) Just after dark works well, after the sunset crowd have gone home. For boaties, this week heading around to WestPoint, anchoring up on the edge of the sand drop offs or any area rubble (like at Young Bay) with the first hour of the run in and out, great times to get into a good Grunter patch. You will often encounter nice size Jacks and Pikey Bream as well which are great sport on lighter tackle. The head of Retreat Creek and Ned Lees Creek has these hard fighting fish hanging close to the structure. Last time I was there on the northern side of NLC there was a large shopping trolley turned into a crab pot, dangerous for losing gear and the tricky fish sit inside for safety.

For the avid lure fisherman there is one lure that should be in every tackle box particularly in the winter time and that is the Zerek Prawn. Anglers using these have caught Trevally and Barra and there is literally not a fish these lures won’t catch.

In our tidal creeks, at WestPoint and  and off the rock wall near the harbour, the crabbing has been very consistent with some nice bucks showing up. Thanks Graham for bringing me one last week, I’ve been a little too busy to put pots in.Fresh bait is always the key to a good feed of crabs, and for long life add a can of slightly punctured cat food. I’m pretty sure the new moon was the key to good crabbing last week so we will see what this week holds.

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

Cheers Dale

Fish’n N Fuel’n Sports and Tackle

36 Mandalay Ave, Nelly Bay 4778-5126

For all of your fishing and sports hire gear. We hire and sell fishing rods, plus snorkel equipment, bait, tackle, ice, spear fishing equipment, sports, party, pool toys, bike hire and new 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

Whales are finally back, the fast-moving early pods are currently cruising past our reefs with the main mass soon to follow. I was chatting to the boys on Adrenaline Dive on Saturday afternoon and they were still buzzing from their experience. The boat was moored at Yongala with divers down and one other charter dive boat on another mooring. The boys on board were treated to an energetic and extremely curious fully-grown Humpback, who circled their boat for a good look right up close, then went and checked out the other boat. Then this majestic beast dived down to the Yongala wreck and visited the astounded divers. What a rush that was for all on the trip. Check out their Facebook for some of the cool pics.

The monthly competition for the Game Fishing Comp was on last weekend and what a big weekend it was. Black Marlin have moved into the Northern and Southern Marlin grounds off the cape en-masse, and finally after many challenging Marlin fishing years, the season started with a bang, not a whisper. Black Marlin are great sport and our small blacks are feisty and hard to keep hooked up. I was happy to get out with John and Brent on the weekend to chase a few. We finished Saturday with 5-5-2 a great day in rough challenging conditions.  The last 2 Marlin came in a double hook-up at the end of the day, a real challenge for the skipper John. The two Marlin came in to the boat at the same time and John did an amazing job controlling the boat, organising the deck and then tagging two lively fish in 20 seconds. We just got to play with leaping Marlin, leaving the hard work in his capable hands, thanks John and good job Brent.

There are plenty of hungry Doggie Mac’s hanging around the pylons and right in the middle of the channel, not huge but great sporting fun. They are aggressive and eat sinkers on jigs to the frustration of anglers. One solution I was using is a dropper sub, a sinker with a hook attached, used for soft plastics. Jig them with no bait and you clean up. Last Monday for something different I jigged up a 62cm Grey Mac on and decided I’d drop it back down on an 8/0 hook and see what happened. There are some big Finger-mark to be had along the channel wall so dropping a big livie can be a good move. The Mac lasted about 15 seconds before it got taken by something huge. My rod peeled meters of line off per second as the unknown creature took off. Very quickly it decided to breach, and the line started to straighten towards the surface. I wasn’t looking in the right direction when it breached and suddenly there was this massive splash and Ray said, “Holy …. Look at that” I turned my head I just saw the end of this massive shark dropping back into the water. Immediately it went below and breached again doing a full half twist with the whole body out of the water. It was a two-meter plus whaler but it leapt nearly as high as my boat canopy. The manoeuvre worked perfectly for the shark and dislodged the hook. All I got back was a badly chomped mackerel tail, time to move the boat.

While I’m on the subject of big sharks, I had this story come to me last week. An angler with a Haines Hunter Patriot 6.5 meter boat was spending the night fishing at Chicken Reef on his own. Now I prefer company, and don’t really like night trips on my own in case something happens. (Ever seen the movie where the guy falls from the boat and there is no one to save him?)

This guy was out doing a bit of hand net squiding when his whole sounder screen lit up with colour and shapes. He was netting the squid hanging over the side of the boat. Just in time he saw this massive dark shape coming up at him from the deep and jumped back into the boat. This massive bull shark leaped out of the water and part way into the boat, landing hard on the gunnels, pulling the boat down on that side to the edge of the water. Old mate reckoned if he had of been slightly slower the massive Noah would’ve cleaned him up. As it was the weight of the shark landing on the side, nearly swamped the boat. Now that’s a scary moment.

A reminder now to check your flare dates. I got pulled up on the weekend out at the channel markers and unfortunately my flares were out of date. I thought they were 2018 but I think belatedly that that was the ones in my other boat. An expensive lesson and a wopping $243 fine. As Wayne said when he checked, “Dale you sell them you should be current.” True and I thought I was. It did look like he was enjoying his new job on the Police boats, the weather was perfect in shore but he doesn’t get to run troll lines.

If you get a chance, have a fish around White Lady Bay. The structures are holding good Coral Trout, Trevally and Queenies and unweighted Pillie is producing good hauls for a small area. Im going to use the windy days to fish the Jetty this week, something different and relaxing.

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

Cheers Dale

Fish’n N Fuel’n Sports and Tackle

36 Mandalay Ave, Nelly Bay 4778-5126

For all your fishing and sports hire gear. We hire and sell fishing rods, plus snorkel equipment, bait, tackle, ice, spear fishing equipment, sports, party, pool toys, bike hire and new 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

The Townsville prawn trawlers have been happily netting up loads of those big juicy tiger prawns off Horseshoe Bay, finding huge schools of healthy yummy prawns. Early last week at the peak there were about 7 trawlers operating out of Horseshoe Bay, but by Sunday the number was down to 3 as the Quotas were quickly met. All in all a great local prawn season so far. With the issues with white spot disease down south, the prawn industry up here is going gangbusters. You just can’t beat a kilo of Marlene and Reece’s big green prawns, Bugs and juicy cooked prawns.. If you want to prepare something different try making Tamarind Prawns, they are sensational tucker.

On the subject of prawns, the big endeavour bait prawns have finally arrived back up at the shop, after being hung up in a white spot political tussle down south. They are massive and working tops for big Jacks in the harbour entrance.

I see Drew has launched his charter boat into Horseshoe Bay, (previously Barnacle Bills Charters.) The new look pontoon boat is now operational running out of Horseshoe Bay. The business is now called Island Time Charters. Drew is a top bloke so I know he will do well. Good luck mate.

Joel Hurst had a boy’s party birthday trip to the reef Saturday. ( where else would you want to celebrate. When they were leaving the shop the car was packed with 15 bags of ice 10 packs of bait, beer fishing gear and a Smiley. Suspension was sagging as they drove away to launch the boat. Happy Birthday and tight lines mate.

We get lots of visitors up here from Brisbane, and they are just stunned by the quality of the fishing. Brisbane area is crap fishing according to the visitors, nothing left. I was having a quick flick Sunday morning off the HB boat ramp, and annoyingly there were nothing but small Queenies and big Wolfie’s hooking up on the Mullet Halco lure. Not great fishing if you live here, but the amount of attention these fish get from visitors as they do their aerial acrobatics is astounding. Our bad days are often better than a good day down south.

I see the Bulletin decided to run an article about sharks again with the Island as usual being a focus. It must be close to holiday season, thanks for nothing Bully. At least it wasn’t front page this time, they may have learnt from the strong Island reaction last time. ( or not)

Spaniards have moved into the bay, finally, with some big fish cruising around S8 and along parts of the channel. As luck would have it Macca’s boat was trolling the channel and the biggest Spanny of course took the lightest line, a lighter spin rig. Despite being on a boat the rig was spooled before they could flip the boat around get enough speed up. That put it at plus 20 kg, and yet another Halco lure lost.

The squid run continues with big (for us anyway) squid in the harbour and in the weed beds at Nelly Bay beach. Best lures are the pink and blue 2.5 JW squid jigs. They tend to get spooked by bigger lures, grabbing gently, then releasing. Calamari is exceptional chewing, try marinading in Kiwi fruit for 1 hour, then dust in flour, egg and then rice crumbs. The kiwi fruit enzymes soften the calamari to a perfect texture to melt in your mouth. Just sensational.

I had an email from some happy Maggie visitors that fished the jetty last week quoted below.

“Hi Mate Tyler and Kate here, we chatted to you about fishing at C-stay Picnic Bay.  Just thought we’d share a few photos with you  of this weekend we had fishing off the Picnic Bay jetty on livie’s, we had an amazing stay on the island, it was a blast! Kate’s just got into fishing recently so it was great to show her a successful land based experience, as we’ve had a fair few days of catching no fish at other locations before we got to Magnetic Island!  Myself being from Canada it was great to catch 6 new species, including a 66 cm Barra, Queenies, Golden Trevally, Fingermark and Mangrove Jack Anyways feel free to share any of the photos you want, bye Dale”

Thanks Tyler proof positive that the jetty is still firing with those big action predators sweeping through regularly for a feed. Get down there while the action is hot.

Doggie Mack’s are thick out towards Palm Island with thousands congregating over near Phillips Reef and on the edge of the green zone. Mike is running Miss Nelly in night runs toward Palm, easily netting bag limits every trip. If you are after the bigger Spaniards, pop out to Bomber Wreck, where the same problem is being faced. What to do after you bag out in an hour? The biggest complaint is there is no time to have a beer, too much action.

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

Cheers Dale

Fish’n N Fuel’n Sports and Tackle

36 Mandalay Ave, Nelly Bay 4778-5126

For all of your fishing and sports hire gear. We hire and sell fishing rods, plus snorkel equipment, bait, tackle, ice, spear fishing equipment, sports, party, pool toys, bike hire and new ELECTRIC BIKE HIRE, SEGWAY TOURS, car hire and convenience supplies. Check out Kooler 24 hour Ice 7kg $4.