Fishin’ Maggie

With great forward planning Council are closing the Horseshoe Bay carpark accros the road from the boatramp to start working on the new toilet Block. Yes right in the middle of the holidays when it is being used flat out. Good Planning as usual.

We have hundreds of sifnatires now to put pressure on council to keep Picnic Bay Boat Ramp, thank you all. The loss of any services in a small community should be by full consultation with ALL interested parties.

Crazy season is here and the evidence is everywhere. Cars parked sideways in parking bays, cars on wrong sides os the road on Horseshoe Bay hill, and my favourite, a car parked on the boatramp so the kids can fish in the A/C comfort because its too hot. On the water we are seeing freen zone fishing, like Geofrey Bay last week and Radical on the weekend. Please come and get a Green Zone Map. Fis zize limits can be downloaded on the Playstore or App store and is called QLP fishing and is a free App.

The offshore fishing at the moment is second to none with Spaniards in massive numbers out wide. In between the Spannys, are massive lure stealing freight trains to big to stop. They could be big Tuna, and also present are massive schools of Cobia. Cobia are great fun powerhouse fish and great eating. Add the big Coral Trout and hungry Nanagai and you have the perfect time to go deep. Top Fishing Reefs are Keeper, Arab and Lodestone.

Island fishing on the other hand take some finesse, fish are everywhere, you just have to work for them. This week I want to focus on the often underfished Nelly Bay.

The harbor rock wall external affords relaxed fishing for Coral Trout, Estuary and Gold Spot Cod species, Trevally, Queenies, Flathead, Sharks and many reef species. Try to float a line or use a paternoster style rig to fish (sinker on the bottom. Favorite baits are Pilchard, Poddy Mullet, Mullet fillet, Squid and Prawn.

Soft Plastics are a winner here, light and floated across the top of the coral Bommies and rubble. Also use 20 gram Twistie Chrome and Gold.  Shallow suspending Divers in blue and gold go well in the early evening as the fish exit their shelter to start feeding.

Nelly Bay Beach is very shallow and rubble strewn, so fishing at high tide will usually get the best results. Coral reef fish Queenies, GT’s and reef sharks are most commonly caught in the middle section. Bartail Flathead, Whiting, Trevally are common on the Harbor end whilst reef fish, Bream, Dart and more Trevally are caught at the Base end. Favourite baits are Poddy Mullet, Mullet fillet, Squid and peeled Prawn. Top Lures are mainly Halco Twisties and large soft plastics fast retrieved.

In Nelly Bay Harbour you are not permitted to fish on Marina side on walkways or pontoons at any time or around the ferry area during operational times. You can fish in many other places such as the public boat ramp, bridge and the southern beach, plus rock walls and Gustav creek. These are all top fishing in the right tides and times. As a safe place the harbour has a huge range of juvenile fish plus bigger predator fish sweeping through. Also present are Trevally, Queenies, Tarpon, Flathead, Cod, and Mangrove Jack. Smaller fish schools include Dart, Bream, Silver Javelin, Emperor and many Barracuda’s. The harbour is a good place for kids on windy days. Both sides of the public launching ramp are great kid fishing spots, with rocks holding hundreds of juvenile species. Favourite baits are pilchard, squid and especially small and large prawn. Soft plastics and small Halco’s are great, blue, gold and caviar. Night fishing with Prawns, Ballista LED lures and squid Jigs can score prize Mangrove Jack, massive cod and our northern squid, not huge but very tasty. Last week we say a visit of dozens of huge blue Salmon, who came in for breeding purposes. Quite the spectacle.

When the winds come up again, as always head to the Jetty.

Happy Holidays.

Dale FNF outdoor Adventure, 36 Mandalay Ave Nelly Bay for all your fishing, Outdoors and Sporting needs. We hire and sell a huge range.

Fishin’ Maggie

What’s New On The Rock

I was trying to identify a fish I had never seen the other day, and a mate told me to use the Grants Guide to Fishes Facebook page. They are fast at Identifying and replying. Load them on your Facebook. There are 1500 known species of fish on the Great Barrier Reef, 10 percent of the worlds known species, so there are plenty of fish we catch that need ID. ( Im still hoping to catch a totally new species, that would be cool.)

It is a fact that the council is planning the removal of the Picnic Bay boat ramp. With only two other boat ramps is on the island, I think it would be a big mistake. As short a time as two months ago we needed it for a safe landing after the steering snapped on the boat, and we were able to get somebody to come with a trailer and pick us up in rough weather. We wouldn’t have been able to get back to Nelly around the very rough Hawking’s Point.  With councils big focus on stopping people driving down the beaches to launch boats at Westpoint and Cockle Bay, why would you remove the only western side ramp? There is a petition in FNF to fight the removal of the ramp if you wish to keep it for the future. Removed infrastructure is rarely beneficial.

Whats the chances of throwing a popper as big as a large pike on the Island and actually getting a fish? The answer is next to nothing. That was until Friday when a lucky angler fishing near bright Point scored a fish of a lifetime when a 23kg GT smashed the popper the second it hit the water. With walkers watching in amazement , the angler from Winton fought the monster fish around into the harbour and over to the shallows for some quick pics. Never say never.

The Herring schools at the jetty are stillthere,  and large Pike and Gar schools are in near the jetty as well. Grabbing a Herring livie and taking it off the rockwall at Nelly has been rewarding with Coral Trout Mangrove Jack and Big Cod ready and waiting. The inner harbour has  schools of harassed Hardyheads being stalked by a school of juvenile GT’s, top fun on light gear.

There are only 6 weeks of Barra season left, well worth a bit of planning and effort, and yes there are plenty around. They are sluggish, noisy vibes are best. This week focus on Flathead, Trevally, Jacks and GT’s on the neaper tides. Queenies have been feeding in the murky shallows towards Base. Picnic Bay to cockle bay has seen some smaller GT action all the way around the rocky point. Chuck some Poppers around for some top fun.

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

This is the last week before the full on September school holidays, things will be go crazy next week as visiting anglers pack the jetty and the beaches to try their luck.

There were some nasties around last week. On Friday those rare but pesky Blue bottles filled Geoffrey and Nelly Bay, and lots of care had to be taken even walking along the sand. Several snorkelers were stung mainly on the arms and legs, and although not dangerous bluebottles can pack a nasty hit.

Pebbles friend Josh was unlucky enough to stand on a stonefish on Thursday, out at Cockle Bay. Stonefish cause agonising screaming pain for between four and 24 hours, and this one was no exception. Be very careful where you walk especially if you’re barefoot.

There are still a few whales around, WestPoint, Middle Reef and off Horseshoe Bay last week. but it’s the last stragglers mums, and babies.  The trawlers are now back into action again. Trawlers hate the chance of pulling a whale into their nets, can you imagine how scary that would be?

Did everyone see the FB photos of the tender catching on fire in Horseshoe Bay last week? Apparently there is an electrical problem with a fridge on a boat and it caught fire.  The quick thinking boatie threw it overboard but his tender was floating below and it landed in the tender. (Goodbye tender.)

Scotty and his mate bought a new boat, a Boston Whaler 28, absolutely top end US  fishing machine. With twin 350s on the back, you’re at the reef in 35 minutes, and home for lunch.

The water temperature is back up above 25.5°, perfect for snorkelling and Spearing, as well as crucial for getting the lazy Barra active again.

I lost my second huge Barra of the year, around the pylons in the harbour. Barra absolutely adore squid, and we had the biggest school of squid I’ve ever seen in the harbour on the weekend.

Hanging with the squid, were huge fork tail catfish, Huge Barracuda’s and a big school of Juvenile GT’s. (With squid being as cautious as they are, I don’t really understand how the whole lot hang in one big blob together.) Those Catfish were like freight trains on light gear. They were behaving strangely rolling over on the surface in close to each other. Were they Breeding maybe?

I tracked the big ball of bait fish squid and predators and around the harbour and then it suddenly disappeared, I have no idea where, check out FNF Facebook for the sounder and fish pictures.

Picnic Bay Jetty is still seeing awesome vibe action with GT’s, you have to wait for the schools to sweep through the jetty, and then its frantic action for 10 minutes before the school moves out again. They seem to move over towards Cockle Bay then come back for another run.

Two more Spaniards were caught off the beach at WestPoint, as well as a meter plus Cobia just on dusk last week. One Spanny weighed in at 15 kg the other one at 9 kg, both top fun on lure. The visitor with the Cobia on told me it all but spooled him, so he had to wade out in the water to get those extra few meters of line but he got it turned and landed after 15 minutes.

Chicken Reef is the best reef this week. Covered in Spaniards, Big GT’t and thousands of Trout it is well worth the extra fuel.

The breaks in the winds have seen plenty of boats out both Trolling for Game fish and fishing the bottom for the prize eating fish. Red Emperor, Large and Small Mouth Nannygai and the other Snappers and Emperors have been around the deeper water. Coral Trout are also being caught in the deeper water but will start to move up into the shallows as it continues to warm up.
Spanish Mackerel are still about as well including around Palm Island, and the lesser Islands. The schools of bait on the Northern Grounds have been a bit scarce up till now but hopefully will build up and give us a target to chase the smaller Billfish. Look for the bait and jig up a couple to fish straight back on the school. Marlin love Yakka, so its well worth making the effort.  (Sometimes Trolling needs a break.)

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 whale stream past Maggie has thinned out considerably, but in the tail of the massive migration is more mothers and babies, which are travelling slower and stopping in for a look around on the way. Last week Cleveland Bay was full of wonderful close encounters around the island off Nelly Bay Geoffrey Bay WestPoint and other bays. People packed the beaches to watch tail and fin slapping and juvenile whale antics. It’s a great time to be here, Winter on Maggie.

Unfortunately one of those dog injured koalas died last week, too injured to live, despite the outstanding care of Ally and the Maggie koala hospital. This week there have been a couple more koalas found around the forts with massive dehydration, causing confusion, and illness. This time of year is always tough for our koala population, with no rain, no new growth on the Eucalypts and no way for these awesome animals to keep hydrated.

Fishing Maggie

Picnic Bay jetty now has, in addition to the huge schools of resident herring, some very large Pike schools. Pikes are great bait for mackerel and really big fish.

The best way to catch Pike, (because they can strip bait jig to pieces and steal your sinkers,) is with tiny little metal blades. Put the Pike live on your rig to produce top fish like Troy’s 80 cm Cobia last week, as well any Spaniards and big GT’s cruising past. Big Cobia are a hard fighting sport fish and great on the chew, so well done Troy.

Picnic Bay has been outstanding for another week, with many Trevally and Queenies also bagged. Evening tides are perfect for night fishing. Matt bagged a 90cm Barra near the northern Pylon, and there was another Barra that smashed a squid that an angler had hooked on a squid jig. The big girl took the squid and the jig and took off.

Has anyone heard of this Black Magic Bait Buddy? We had an angler in the shop raving about how good it was. Apparently you use it to tie bait on your hook, and the fish have to work harder to get the prawn or your preferred bait off the hook. This guy swears by it, and said has anyone else this week caught Queen Fish Trevally Grunter and heaps of other fish off one packet of prawns? I’m going to get some in next week and give it a try, I guess everybody has the experience of losing all the bait all the time, with no fish resulting, so maybe it’s worth the extra effort.

Congratulations to Ray C on his massive Coral Trout last week (see pic), Ray and the boys caught masses of beautiful eating fish including huge Nannygai and Red Throat on their reef trip. The boys said the fishing was as good as they have seen, comments which are repeated by many anglers.

John Brewer is also fishing is good as ever, lots of fish on the chew. One of the local boats that went out without any GPS marks still did tops with Trout Spangled Emperor and species of that Jobfish there for the taking.

Spaniards are closer in and bag limits are easy at and around Cordelia Rocks with huge schools congregating on the bait schools.

This week looks to be a brilliant week for boating, with good tides and big fish biting so get out there.


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.