Fishin’ Maggie

What’s New On The Rock

Sunday saw the first probable Irukandji sting of the year with a visitor stung inside the nets at Horseshoe Bay. The injured person was medivaced to town and the nets were closed for 24 hours. Given the strong Northerlies, it is not uncommon to have stingers blown in, but its been such a good year, it was a shame to have anyone stung at all

More turtle stories, as more turtle nests release cute little hatchlings. Our own X-Base had a unique and moving experience for their international guests when a clutch of turtles hatchlings from a nearby nest decided that the base concourse was the ocean and somehow managed to get up the stairs and started running through the centre of the concourse where drinkers and diners were gathered.

The quick-thinking team at X-Base doused the lights and assisted the turtles to get back to their watery safety. Well done team. A couple that got washed straight back out of the surf again decided to turn up the beach and head back towards base, but they were gently coaxed to give it another go to get into the ocean.

FNF (Wally and I actually ) had to do a boat rescue on Wednesday, after some picnickers from town decided that halfway down Horseshoe Bay Beach was is a good place for a day picnic. Last week was a shocker in HB, Northerlies creating mucky rough weedy waters, no good at all. The rollers took care of the boat swiftly, swamping the boat and losing mobile phones etc, filling the boat with water and sand.

The boat owner walked up to Horseshoe Bay Store they suggested giving us a call . When you are stuck on a beach and swamped you are no longer Coast Guard’s responsibility (Although they didn’t have Coast Guard coverage anyway), and more the responsibility of MSQ who don’t really do rescues.  It took us nearly 5 hours to sort the situation and I ended up having to launch my boat “Bazinga” just back from town repairs into the crappy waters.   Well you wouldn’t read about it but after getting the distressed boat re-floated and towing it to within 400m of the boat ramp, my boat broke down, with the same issue as before. I couldt believe it, its cost over a grand and not fixed?  I now had to row two boats tied together to the beach and get them out of the water without power, not fun I can tell you. But Wally and I got it done and both boats retrieved thanks Wally.  The three people from town caught the ferry home, and were very embarrassed, I think just wanted the whole situation to go away.

Kids Fishing Competition Late May

I would like to get a kid’s fishing comp organised for late May, but I need some sponsors. Is there anybody out there that wants to do some sponsorship? We have $100, $50, 420 and  $10 sponsorships available We are planning the first Westpoint kids fishing competition, which I think could be a lot of fun, on the high tide, council permitting. Call the store on 4778 5126 if you have a spare $50 or $100 I will also need some donations of time from some parents, if you could register at FNF as well. Robbie A would you donate a Portaloo please?

The local fishing comps are great for kids and introduce a lot of younger people to the wonderful sport of fishing. We will be also organising transport for those without the means to get there and back. More soon

Fishing Maggie

With the typical winds for this time of year being hot Northerlies, most fishing has been restricted to calmer cleaner spots, mainly Nelly Bay and Westpoint area In the chase for Barra at WestPoint, many sharks and rays are taking bait, so I rather think lures might be the better way to get Barra without wasting time with sharks. (The excitement that happens when the line bends over and line peels out wanes quickly the second you know it’s only a shark or ray.)

The fish of the week went to a dedicated Melbourne angler, George. George landed a 75 cm Barra, his first ever, off the concrete block at Nelly Bay, on strip Diamond scale Mullet. (That’s the same place that Mikayla got her first Barra 12 years ago.) Without landing net, he had to quickly hand the rod to his wife Ally, with instructions to keep reeling in very slowly, and bolt down the rocks to grab the fish. He showed me some nice cuts, created in the process, caused by the lively Barra not rocks.

Roo smashed out a whole bunch of big Grunter in an all-night trip to his favourite Grunter spot off Westpoint.  Grunter, or Javelin fish are a great fish to chase at night, they come on strong on the change of tide on the mid tide. They would arguably be our most consistent edible catch around the Island, (apart from the estuary Cod)

February is quiet times, so hot that many hang up their rods for a while. Don’t give up take a couple of beers and try night fishing around the Bommies.

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 Reefboards for safe easy snorkelling. We also have car hire, E- bike hire and Segway tours, plus kids lolly wall and convenience supplies. Check out Kooler 24 hour Ice 7kg $5.

Fishin’ Maggie

What’s New On The Rock

There have been no jelly fish in the lifesaver drags, in any dragged bays, a great year for swimming this year so far. (Not so good for stinger suit sales.) Mind you if we think we have problems with Jellyfish, check out the Japanese scourge. Nomora’s Jellyfish. They estimate 20 billion of these 90 kg 4m wide  Jellyfish are causing periodical havoc to fishing boats and the ecology. Imagine if we had thousands of them up on the beaches, tourism would be impossible.

No decent rain still and its February. Our dam is at 15 percent and even the mighty Burdekin is only 74%.

I went with a few friends to do the magical sunset fishing at WestPoint; you know BBQ snags, beer, fishing and all that great stuff that goes with it. Janie was getting slaughtered by bugs and even got bitten through her clothes by unknown but vicious blood suckers. The next day she looked like Rocky after a world title boxing match, all red patches and swollen. Funnily enough nobody else saw a bug all night. (I encourage everyone to take someone with sweet blood fishing with them, it saves the whole group.) Anyway the next day Bert from WestPoint dropped in to the store. It turns out we had left a Quantum smoke combo still plugged into the rocks with line in the water all night. Thanks for saving it and your honest Bert. Great guys out at WestPoint. Bert said there was no fish on the end of the line though.

We did our first Repo this week just like on the TV shows. (Repo Man) Matt told me there were two of our hire bikes overdue by more than 24 hours after pulling out some paperwork at the shop, and no phone call. We called the numbers on the paperwork for hours and no reply. After some great detective work and help from a local accommodation house, we tracked the offender’s holiday location down.  Wally and I went there and knocked on the door several times, but nobody was home. We found the bikes around the side, rang FNF and got the lock combination, then took our bikes and rode off down the road back to work, it was all pretty exciting. The only problem was Matt had grabbed the wrong paperwork and this couple had the bikes for another 24 hours.  When they walked to the shop they weren’t too happy. (Moral of the story- check your facts first)

In another bike incident, last week, a very large Argentinian man hired an electric bike and on the way up Horseshoe Bay Hill decided to have a look at the scenery by veering to the right where the ocean views are. Unfortunately, he forgot he still had the power on L4 and went straight over the cliff, falling about 2 1/2 m and taking bark off arms legs back and face. The embarrassed and mangled rider got up, pulled the 24kg bike back out, then rode all the way back to the store still bleeding. Janie helped mop up the blood on his arms and back and legs, after which he asked us to check the bike over so he could keep going. Damn, they build them tough in Argentina.

Fishing Maggie

The fish of the week would have to go to Toby, with a 10kg monster GT off the beach at WestPoint on 20lb line. It is always top sport fighting such a powerful fish, and off the beach can be a real challenge for the big ones because they take a lot of line and fight hard. GT’s and Queenies were the go all week on the top of the high.

It only took a little rain, and mud crabs are on the menu again, and solid they are too. Most pots that are out have finally started producing more crabs than Cod. Yep big fat Cod just love squeezing into those pots looking for whatever smelly bait you have on offer. One surprise last week was a Coral Trout caught in a pot in the harbour, now that’s a rare catch. One question asked regularly is “Can you keep fish that get caught in the pot?”   I have asked fisheries this question because the pots are targeting crabs and Cod and Bream are a regular side catch. The only answer I get is that Fisheries are not in the habit of fining crabbers who get a fish in their pots and keep them.

Spotted Mack’s of the beach at Horseshoe Bay? Yes unusual but welcome catches in an otherwise uninspiring fishing week on the Island.

I had a top little session at Cockle Bay chasing Bar Tails and small GT;s in the weed beds just past the Blue house. Cockle Bay is a haven for Fly fishing; those GT’s causing plenty of shallow water action.

Barra Season Is Here

Are you all ready?? Barra season is here, and Midday Thursday is the big day. Normally that is my one day off but in typical bad planning Janie going to visit Mikki at Nowra Navy Base Thursday for 4 days, which means I do open till close at work. When I realised the big stuff up I called them both separately and asked really nicely if I could change Janie’s travel dates. I explained “cause its Barra season opening day” I thought what would work, but they both treated me like I was nuts. Please send your disgust at her lack of support to Mikki via Facebook.

Where are the Barra? Off the points at Horseshoe Bay, Arthur Bay, and of course along the Mangroves from Bolger to Young Bay. The harbour still has a heap, in fact at least 2 massive ones are living under the Sealink Pontoon. For the smaller ones hit Ned Lees Creek and Picnic Bay.

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 Reefboards for safe easy snorkelling. We also have car hire, E- bike hire and Segway tours, plus kids lolly wall and convenience supplies. Check out Kooler 24 hour Ice 7kg $5.

Fishin’ Maggie

What’s New On The Rock

My new fishing toy “Zombaits” have arrived from the US, and they really look the goods.  However everyone I showed couldn’t help smiling when I turned one on to show them how they work, they just don’t look right wiggling away without a dead fish around them. Next week if I can get any of my stupid boats going,  I’ll give them a burl and see what happens when I drop them out at the shipping channel. At $70 each there will be heavy wire on them.

More stock of the Chaserbait “Ultimate Squid” have arrived, they really look the goods. I gave a tester pack to Josh, and he’s going to drop some out at Chicken Reef and see if they perform as promised.

I ordered the micro Penn rigs for the 1lb invitational challenge, to be held on the jetty in late March. 10 Anglers working super light gear trying to land the biggest fish on only 1 lb line. That’s going to test the super anglers skills somewhat. Winner will get the best light angler award Magnetic Island. I will have more information about this fun event very soon.

I have a mate who professes to be a great angler. Last week he was out with some young anglers, new to NQ fishing. As luck would have it a huge Spaniard hooked the big 50lb overhead, just off Orchard Rocks and the braid started peeling off, ratchet clacking full noise. One of the young fella’s was right on to it, he jumped straight on the rig and started fighting the whopper Spanny, which was easily 20kg plus. As you imaging the fish was taking a while coming in, and my mate was getting a bit impatient. Being a man of vast experience he stepped forward and pushed the drag lever higher, explaining to the novice that doing that would help get the fish in faster. As he did the line snapped at the leader and the fish escaped. I can only imagine the pain they both felt at this moment. Moral of the story, if someone is doing just fine on their own, don’t intervene.

Cleveland Bay water temperatures have hit 30 degrees for the first time this year, that’s bath tub stuff. That pushes a lot of fish out deeper and makes Horseshoe Bay enter its quiet times, really hard fishing. Now is the time to work the points and the deeper waters. I like Fish Cove, deeper clearer waters and big Trout and Stripey’s.

Whale sharks are around again. I haven’t seen them out here for years; the last time was out at Arab reef with Adam at night. Whale sharks are filter feeders, so that should mean healthy plankton and krill levels somewhere near here, great to see. We were keen to swim with the one that hung around our boat, but not one of us was was game to leap in the water at night, we were all too chicken. When you fish out deep you know how big the sharks are.

Fishing Maggie by Land

While the Flathead have gone deep, the Queenies have come in closer to the beach. One thing about feeding Queenies, they will sweep right into the shallows near your feet chasing bait. Last week one supercharged queenie scared a big prawn right out of the water next to my feet. I tried to grab it as it frantically tried to get back to the water and just grabbed it in time. On the hook and in the water and bang, a Queenie was on. I was kind of hoping for a Grunter but it was something. Live prawns are top bait and rarely stay long on the hook. The prawn was a good size; try a cast net on the high tide to get some dinner. I use a milk crate and a cast net and stand in the shallows on the outgoing tide.

With the main catch Queenies and Trevally off the shore, small chromies and poppers are working well. For bait fisherman fillet of gar on light line with 20lb leader and 2 x size 1 sinkers is all you need, along with patience.

Fishing Maggie by Boat

JH hooked up on a massive 500lb plus Black Marlin off Myrmidon on the deep water on 30lb gear. That’s a big fish. He also reported plentiful Yellowfin and Mahi Mahi in the clear waters in the area. There is also a wonderful lagoon for swimming safely 70 nm out to sea. If you haven’t done a big trip out deep, put it on your bucket list, it’s just incredible out deep.  I’ve been out in several styles, the first in a large A/C game boat trolling all the way. Upon arrival we did some loops around Myrmidon and trolled back in, watching TV and having a cold beer from the fridge. The other trips, in smaller boats on small hot decks with sweaty anglers and beer in eskies and I definitely prefer the latter.

The Spaniards should be out deeper but some nice fish have been caught off Barber Island and through the Palm channel where the bait is still thick and close to shore.

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 Reefboards for safe easy snorkelling. We also have car hire, E- bike hire and Segway tours. Plus lolly wall and convenience supplies. Check out Kooler 24 hour Ice 7kg $5.

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.

Fishin’ Maggie

What’s Happening On Maggie

Thanks for all of you who signed the petition to save the boat ramp at Picnic Bay. Council now are on notice that you all care for its future. Too many services disappear

I was chillin in my loungeroom writing my fishing article, shirt off TV on, feet up when my front door suddenly swung open and a bikini clad French woman walked right into my loungeroom. (No it wasn’t a dream.) I looked up startled, and the girl stopped dead, mouth agape swivelled around and bolted with a shocked departing apology. Should I lock the front door in the future? No way.

There was a bad injury at the Nelly Bay boat ramp last week when a woman got her hand caught while assisting in retrieving a boat. The damage to her fingers was extensive, its sometimes a tricky business retrieving boats. I’ve seen lots of mishaps on the island with boats, including a poor fellow trapped between the trailer and his boat while the sea pounded the boat against his legs. (Us anglers do earn our fish with injury, boat issues and associated repair costs.)

RC did the big NC Charters outer trip last week. Massive schools of Cobia, 11 big Red Emperor, 40 quality Trout big Mahi Mahi ( Dolphinfish) on jig, lots of tasty Robinson Sea Bream, Gold Band Snapper and they even dropped a Marlin. Outer reef trips are a delight. For those of you who want the relaxing style fishing, being fed and having a coldie, whilst pulling big fish day after day Call Cliff on NC Charters, It’s a great experience.

Our new hire reef boards finally arrived from the US. From a starting price of $330 US each the price blows out rapidly when items reach our ports. 8 boogie boards and the shipping company managed to slug $2000 in extra charges, what a disgrace. What is automation fees, port security fees, Quarantine fees etc?

Fishing Maggie

The Grey Mackerel are in and building fast in numbers. Early last week they did a feeding run past Nelly providing a brief but exciting prelude to what’s to come.  My biggest was 110cm but there were plenty over a meter. After dropping 7 out of 11 on Monday evenings session I went back to the store and replaced all the rear trebles on the Halco lures I use with sharper shogun ones. The result? 100 percent hook-up rate percent on Tuesday. Unfortunately, the boat still playing up so I’m temporarily out of service. Greys aggregate to spawn and late last week were all schooled up for the full moon spawning. (Up to 250000 eggs per female per spawning.) Roo reported a massive aggregation on his sounder off Desolation point, the sounder full of hundreds of big fish, but not hungry at all. After spawning we should see some great local action, 3 weeks of fish frenzy, bring it on. Don’t forget minimum 60xm and 5 fish per Angler.

The good thing about Horseshoe Bay is that you can set a dead bait line and still flick a lure. Matt and the boys have changed tactics, giving up chasing Barra and using lighter peeled prawn lines for Grunter. The tactic worked a treat with the boys hooking some good size Barred Grunter to 60cm just on dark. Bob also had some good feeds of Grunter, enough to share with neighbours.

Down the Northern end hungry School Mack’s were following in the bait fish all the way to the shore and taking surface lures. Most were slightly undersize and had to be released, but top fun.

Cockle Bay was absolutely swarming with Snub Nose Gar and Whiting as the big tides forced them in close to shore. Great for a quick drag for bait and then off for a troll

Mick managed a trifecta of Trevally near the blue house at Cockle with a Goldie, a GT, and a Diamond Trevally in one high tide session. Nice Work Mick. Woops I’m out of room, will have to leave shipwrecks till next week.

Remember, “To the world it may be just one fish but to me it is the World”

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

Cheers Dale

Fish’n N Fuel’n

36 Mandalay Ave, Nelly Bay 4778-5126

Check out our new reef boards.

Fishin’ Maggie

Fin Fish Closure – October 17th-21st

The Coral Reef Fin Fish or 2017 are October 17-21 and November 15th-19th. All dates are inclusive. Dates are selected to coincide with the new moon when our key coral reef species aggregate to spawn. At these times the fish are extremely vulnerable.

What’s Happening Around Maggie

Death adders are active now, and another much loved dog succumbed to a bite at Horseshoe Bay. In addition, the number of sightings and encounters has increased, so take care around leaf litter and bush.

Congratulations to Dave for a fine 3kg Coral Trout of Sunken Rock. Dave for some reason has only caught 4 big fish on the Island and they have all been Coral Trout, what’s the chances?? Adam from Aquascene is still getting some lovely big Coral Trout, as is Jimmy on Early Birds Charters.

Jamie and Matt were out in Matts Tinny early last week trolling around the Eastern side of Maggie. Jamie had just asked Matt if you get Marlin in so close, and super keen angler Matt said “I’ve never caught one mate”. Not 5 minutes later 500n off Horseshoe Bay a 40kg Marling hooked up and Matt was fighting a leaping twisting Black Marlin. Jamie grabbed the phone was trying to film at the same time, so there was complete bedlam in the boat, the type that anglers love. After getting the tired fish to the side of the boat, Matt went to grab it, and the wily Black saw an opportunity to escape bucked hard and took off into the deep. The boys were devo, (especially when they realised the video wasn’t recording, ouch.) That’s the 4th Orchard Rocks Marlin I have reported, the deep water and big bait schools can lure the Apex predators in. The last one I think was Brett from Bungalow Bay.

Utopia Charters had a smashing trip to Myrmidon last week, cleaning up on the edible fish and some big sport fish, although Marlin were elusive. The biggest Mackerel they landed was an absolute horse of a Mack. As they were battling the fish and got first sighting, Warren said…’Holy Crap that’s a HUGE Spaniard. The other boys agreed and when finally, in the boat measured up at staggering 6-foot long. 30KG plus Mack’s are a rare catch indeed. It was released, the chance of getting Ciguatera is just too high in those big fish.

Around the Island we’ve had the pesky North Easterlies, Trico, Sea Lice, Fire Jellies, but its still perfect weather for fishing, if not snorkelling. Hopefully the winds in the next few days will dissipate the red Algae, which has been causing some smelly haired snorkelers at some of the bays, they are most unimpressed.

One of our favourite species Grunter are in numbers at Westpoint, falling to a floated peeled prawn. A focus fish of many Island angler’s mid tides and an hour after dark will set you up with a feast.   Sizes are 40-50cm, perfect size.

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

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