Fishin’ Maggie

I took a lovely lady from Sydney on a Segway tour on Friday. She is a nurse and told me some interesting stories. One of the stranger ones was that in Langkawi and much of Asia they deal with stingers by spraying WD40 on the wound, apparently it takes the pain away. I hadn’t heard of that before, it needs further investigation.

She also told me her friend was killed on the jetty in the early 70s after a car driven by some elderly people drove down the jetty and crashed off the side also killing all 4 on board the car. That would make it one of our biggest fatal accidents ever.  Here’s an unusual one, the first  report from Geoff in a Stessr 4.95 Sunday was that while he was fishing the shipping channel a Marlin surfaced, followed the boat, swam up to the side, checked things out and slowly swam away. What a rush that would have been. After that 2 more reports, including ProDive of a Marline cruising the channel,that’s as good as it gets.

Thought the Grey Mackerel have left? They should have but they have made a spectacular return appearance off middle reef in big numbers for some reason. Maybe the bait schools have stayed closer, it is very late for Grey’s, but no one is complaining.

The weather looks perfect for the Christmas period, enough breeze to stop the lead melting on your line but calm enough for a snorkel.

Holiday season Feature Bay Picnic Bay Jetty

Picnic Bay jetty is a favourite for relaxed family fishing. It is close to the R&R Bar for refreshments and with shade for the hot or rainy days. Midway down the jetty there are weed covered coral bommies.  This area provides excellent fun for young kids to catch and release Juvenile Grassy Sweetlip, estuary and Gold Spot Cod and dozens of reef species. The best Bait is small prawns and squid. Lure with small Berkeley Gulps, small RMG’s, squid jigs and small jigs.  The end of the jetty has a dredged sandy sea floor and harbors schools of bait fish that attract Trevally, as well as Queenies. These fish feed just on and after dark as well as early am. They will often take soft plastics and well-presented bait and livie’s. Bait fish can be caught on a $3 Jig rig or by cast net. Live Bait is tops for catching large pelagic species which periodically stalk the jetty. These include Trevally, Mackerel, Barracuda, Catfish, Cobia, Queenfish as well as Reef species including Coral Trout, Cods, Emperor and feisty Sweetlip.  Also present are many species of sharks including Reef sharks, Tiger sharks, Hammerheads, Shovelnose, and Stingrays. The largest Pelagic caught here in the last couple of years was a 37kg Spanish Mackerel, off a floated Pillie.  The jetty has sun cover at the end, is great for spotting Turtles, Eagles, Kites large Rays, Eagle Rays and the occasional Dugong. A Dugong sighting can make your holiday. Watching sunset over the mainland is a spectacular while fishing from the end of the jetty.

Fishin’ Maggie

What’s New On The Rock

Last week’s big blow was most unexpected, a super strong storm cell that wacked the island. Wind gauges on Yachts in the harbour measured up to 56 knots, that’s over 100km per hour. Several yachties were telling me there were waves breaking over their boats, and that was in the Marina. Lucky the whole event was short lived, but unfortunately only 8mm of rain. If sustained for 10 minutes those winds would have been Category 2 equivalent.

Windy.com long range forecasting has forecast top conditions for the Christmas, Boxing day period of under 10 knots. Let’s hope they are correct. There might even be a couple of reef trips if its that calm.

We had another mishap last week, a financially costly one. Happily fishing his favourite spot after dark, he was helping his wife pull in a suspected big fish/shark when his rod bent over in the rod holder and the line started peeling out. At the same time the rod and rod holder started leaning forward, a sure sign the drag is just a touch too tight, or sand too loose. A Conundrum, keep helping the wife with her catch, or dive for the other rod. Scott chose a combination of the two, trying to keep helping, while pulling the rod with the fish on it toward his straining rod. Alas too slow, the fine sand gave way and the rod took off for the mangroves, never to be seen again. Crabbers at Young Bay, there is an expensive rig somewhere near the mangroves. If you find, can you please drop to FNF so I can make a hard working guy very happy. After the boating mishap recently causing the bad injury to his wonderful wife, he needs a fishing break. He did report some top fishing at WestPoint with the lines being very active after dark.

Fishing Maggie

Picnic Bay Jetty had a brief visit from a school of Herring that fired up the fishing for several  days. Queenies and GT’s followed the Herring and were most welcome on visitor’s lines.

WestPoint is the most active spot to throw in a line, all the way from the top bay to Young Bay just after the high. Those big chunky rod straining Blue Salmon are back in numbers, great fun if you have guests up for Christmas. For those anglers who bait fish with a little finesse, try peeled local prawns floated over the top of the shoals on the turning high tides for Grunter and Trevally. Goldie’s are plentiful and top eating baked in foil with a little lemon, salt and pepper.

One of my regulars got a flattie on pillie at Cockle Bay. The mid-sized Flathead must have been hungry to take a pillie. Cockle Bay has to be one of my favourite fishing bays, great views, the best sunsets and top fishing on the right tides. Fish the weed beds past the blue house.

For the boaties, Coral Trout, Golden Trevally and Mackerel, are the current fish run around the Island. Good news is they are all tasty eating. For those chasing the elusive Grey’s, they are midway between Cordelia Rocks and Bay Rock, but moving fast. Most are the 900-1.15m Fish too, the good eating size. Heaps of Golden Trevally in the Grunter holes off WestPoint taking my red white Qantas RMG lures. The Coral Trout population around the island remains very healthy, in fact for shallow waters there is more per bommies than Lodestone, remarkable really.  For the night anglers on boat Gold Spot Cod are hitting floated squid off White Rock and Bay Rock.

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 New On The Rock

Lately it seems we are spoiling our reputation of 300 sunny days a year with low cloud hanging around almost daily. Last weekend was very busy, with relaxed visitors everywhere, enjoying our beautiful Island, despite the oppressive humidity and the persistent March Flies. Included in the weekend visitor tally was 150 Raffie’s from Williamtown, N.S.W., here to enjoy our special charms and have fun. We have had a big tourist year and seem to be attracting more attention from down south, wonderful news for the economy.

On a trip to Brewer Sunday we saw 10s of thousands of juvenile Jellyfish swimming in the currents, what an incredible sight. The good news, though, is that stingers have still been scarce around the Island, with the lifesaver net drags producing none all week , although there was an outbreak of red algae, (always smelly and annoying.)

After a boatie reported a dragging shark buoy, (a sure sign of a big fish or shark,) the shark man was seen taking a quite a while to remove a very large shark in the same location at Nelly Bay the following day.  It was reported as a big 9 foot tiger shark that had been sighted several times by boaties in the area prior.

Some boys from W.A have been shark fishing the jetty at night, catching the big Noahs that move in after dark on heavy gear. Then they drag them down to the sand, tag them and let them go. Yes, they do that for holiday fun. The biggest tag they achieved was a 12 foot Hammerhead.  Hammerheads apparently can travel thousands of km. (Interesting fact, Hammerheads are one of the few creatures in the world that actively sunbake and get a tan.)

I just got the latest Killer Vibe 16cm lures instore from River2Sea, big mean metal game lures with 2 big hooks. On the back of the pack it says. ‘ALL CONTENTS IN THIS PACKAGE ARE NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION AND MUST BE USED FOR FISHING PURPOSES ONLY. CAUSTION EXTREMELY SHARP HOOKS.’ I kid you not, it’s a crazy world. (We at the shop are still laughing about some 1 year old birthday cards we have on shelf. The warning on their packet says, “warning not for children under 2 years old.) Work that one out if you dare.

Fishing Maggie by Land

The moon was fill and the tides were very big, but despite all that movement the island fish remained extremely lethargic. Lighter tackle was needed to get the hits and the use of soft plastics a must, always a winner on a slow day. Soft plastics slow retrieved always fire up slow and lazy fish. Bartailed Flathead were hitting lures in Cockle Bay and Young Bay, but being so lethargic, you had to dong them on the head with the lure to make them have a go. Grunter were chasing small Whiting in the southern end shallows at Horseshoe Bay and taking peeled prawns and slow jigged Nemesis gulps right on sunset on the big tides. Speaking of Whiting, I just received a shipment of the new Whiting and Mullet soft plastics from River2Sea. Called Chasebaits they are designed to move like fish and have a small magnet to tidy up that 2nd Treble near the tail. They certainly look the goods, I will be giving a trial one to the 2 people in store to mention this lure, (Chaserbait Poddy Mullet), providing I get a report on its use and results.)

When fishing is tough, even on shore, a bit of burley can do wonders firing up fish, enticing them to smash well-presented baits. We tend to forget the value of fish burley, especially at WestPoint and Horseshoe Bay on quiet days.

The jetty is still producing those hard fighting pan size GT’s on prawns and lures, as well as Queenies in the smaller sizes, so the holidays should provide some action for visitors as well. One 1m Cobia smashed a live pike at the jetty, giving a local a work out, heading towards the stinger nets at full noise. B ran down the jetty while reeling in excess line, leaped on to the sand still holding his rod from the jetty. He managed to get the big fish to the creek mouth before the hook popped and had to jump on it to keep it. Where are the video cameras when you need them?

Fishing Maggie by Boat

The bait schools were thickest off Orchard Rocks this week, and following the bait was that elusive school of Doggies and 70cm plus Greys, as well as a couple of Spaniards. The schools were fast moving, earlier in the week they were reported off Westpoint where Dave E got into them.  Adam reported big Greys leaping out of the water near Middle Reef as well, so they are still doing circuits following the bait. Sometimes you get a pleasant change. Brett was chasing Greys off Hawking’s Point and landed a top shelf 4kg Fingermark instead. Pulling it up to the boat he thought he had a shark on because it was such a hard and heavy fight, and was stoked when he realised what it actually was. The aggressive hunter took a 4m mullet diver near sunset, and was a very welcome catch on an otherwise quiet fishing day.

Brewer Reef had schools of 80-95 cm roving Cobia in big numbers, although Spaniards were rere.

This week, with the NE winds prevailing, fish the pipeline and the mangroves on the high tides with soft plastics like my new chasebait mullets, and shallow divers.

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.