Fishin’ Maggie

What’s New On The Rock

One of the side issues of the massive rains locally is pollution. We can all help on the island. Our creeks and along the beaches have bottles and plastic crap in them. Don’t walk past the rubbish. On your exercise walk or dog walk take a bag and help clean it up before the next rains wash it out to the reef. Walk a creek bank or beach front. and grab as much rubbish as you can. If you need a bag or drop off spot for the rubbish come to FNF. One of the most polluted is Endeavour Creek at Horseshoe Bay, it’s a shocker. There’s even abandoned tents, campsites and fire pits along the floodplain, ruined by floodwaters and left to rot.

The island pilgrimage to watch the super tides will be on again this week, 4.18 and 4.15 Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, that’s huge.                                                                    Picnic Bay only sees the massive influx of locals during king tides and wild weather as they love to check out and photograph the Jetty. Here is some interesting info to plan your way around the king tides. The tide variance even in small areas like Townsville region can be more than you would think. For example, most people look at the tides at Townsville, where on Tuesday it is 4.18m at 8.56. However, you can refine your tides to your area on BOM. Tide data is extremely accurate.

Horseshoe Bay is 4.18m at 8.52am (Start there)

Nelly Bay is 8.53am

Picnic Bay 8.54am

Westpoint is not till 9.02am

However only a short distance away Palm Island has only a 3.75 tide, as its biggest this week, a huge difference.

The Barra farm in Townsville is open again, someone asked about it, so I checked. Give them some support, its been a tough year for many businesses, and it’s a great family day.

Fishing Maggie

Andy caught and released his first big Barra of the year. The only problem was he didn’t plan on the release bit. Andy was out doing live bait fishing, along the mangroves and had been live mullet fishing for a while, the fish being happy and untouched, when he decided to rig a line for lures. As things happening on fishing trips, as soon as he put the rod down and diverted attention elsewhere a massive Barra smashed the livies and performed spectacular aerial action, before self-releasing, with Andy’s eyes staring daggers after it.

Dave was out at Brewer reef, and there were big Mackerel down deep, and they were fat and hungry, smashing pillies and giving the boys a top day’s action, as well as filling the esky. The whole day they were fishing there was a behemoth GT circling the boat, 30 kg plus. No matter how much action was happening the beast wouldn’t take a bait or lure, but just kept an eye on the action. Later in the day the boys caught a juvenile Coral Trout, just undersize and released it, the smart fish went full noise toward the boat and swallowed the fish in a second, thanks very much.

Grunter have been on the chew, as has big Jacks 50 plus cm along the western side. With a couple of bonus crabs, the inshore fishing has been exceptional finally. The ravenous Jacks have been taking strip bait more readily than live or whole bait, and lures have also been a tough gig. The most effective have been the ZMan Soft 4-5inch plastics. The new range of chaserbait prawns has also been working well, getting the Jacks in the rocks on the dropping tides.  

Ray got out to Broadhurst for 5 days, leaving us to run the shop. He reported fresh water and flotsam all the way out to the reef. All reports in had many shark stories, they don’t seem to have settled down and were even challenging anglers with electric reels. Electric reels can often get the fish up before the sharks eat them but not last week where the ravenous hunters were faster than most anglers. Ray and the team got plenty of Coral Trout, Nannygai and Emperors in a great few days. The massive tides made getting baits down extremely difficult, but all the fish were very active.
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, snorkel equipment, bait, tackle, ice, spear fishing equipment, sports, party, pool toys, bike and E-bike hire, car hire and convenience supplies. Check out Kooler 24-hour Ice 7kg $5.

Fishin’ Maggie

What’s New On The Rock

What was the fist mail we all received on Maggie after the postal service resumed post floods? The council rates! Now wasn’t that worth waiting for?

Local tinnies that went out on Sunday reported incredible numbers of turtles along the western side of the island. Why so many suddenly?  I’m not sure, but it is good to see a healthy population in the weed beds

With so much rubbish and plastics washed into the ocean we all need to take a bucket or bag and pick up all the plastics and junk washing up on the beaches. There’s a mountain of it, especially around the heads of creeks and we need to get it out of the ocean.

The wet event totals from weather stations that are kind enough to keep me constantly updated that are as follows.
Horseshoe Bay – 2116mm. Thanks Brad
Nelly Bay – (average of three places) 1739mm. Thanks Fran, Don, Jackie, Fred, Stuart and Mel Picnic Bay – 2334mm (for the year so far), thanks John and Denise.

Any way you look at it, it was an extreme weather event. Our roads turned into rivers, some held up and some didn’t. While we in no way experienced the hell that Townsville has, we did have our own issues to deal with. Maggie Islanders, like the rest of FNQ are tough and we don’t like to whinge and whine, we roll up sleeves and get on with it.
Keep the donations coming for our friends in Townsville. If you can, try to spend locally not online, at least until the people we know and many we don’t are back on their feet.
If you need a link up with help and don’t want to use a help line most of you know Janie and I at FNF, come in and we will do what we can.

Fishing Maggie

The first FNF Barra bash was hard work in the torrential rain but many anglers braved the conditions to have a go. It took six long days for somebody to catch the first island Barra of the season and win the prizes. Congratulations to Jack Risson. His healthy-looking fish measured 64cm and was caught on soft plastics early morning on his way to work. Most of the Barras were hanging in Nelly Bay, full and lazy, and you could bounce a lure of their heads. Next week we will be starting a new Barra comp details will be released on the FNF Facebook page soon.
With so much freshwater around the island, fishing has been a tough gig because many fish had all headed deep for the best salinity. As the water mixes again, we should see the start of some top fishing action for the remainder of February.

If you can find your pots the crabs are out and hungry, although the crabbers who had pots in creeks have struggled to find them after the floods.
I’m trying to get clarification on a small Marlin been caught at Horseshoe Bay off the southern section of the beach, as reported by several people and the local lifeguard recently. Can somebody get me some more information on this if they know anything? That would be too cool if true.
This week try fishing the mangroves and the harbour as the creek flows slow down. Barra love Z Man lures and Gulps and will move on closer to the creek heads.
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, snorkel equipment, bait, tackle, ice, spear fishing equipment, sports, party, pool toys, bike and E-bike hire, car hire and convenience supplies. Check out Kooler 24-hour Ice 7kg $5.

Fishin’ Maggie

What’s New On The Rock

Australia Day came and went and there were plenty of island parties which didn’t mind the wet long weekend.  By Tuesday morning we had recorded over 190mm of rain in Nelly Bay and much more to come later in the week.

All the creeks are flowing well, and locals took no time diving back into some awesome waterfall pools at Dog shed and Endeavour.

Big operational issues for Magnetic Island Ferry Service (Fantasea) when the main Barge broke Monday Morning. Chaos at the ferry terminal ensued as departing holiday visitors’ cars lined up all the way to Bright Point, and around to the carpark disrupting all the traffic flows. Some were delayed up to 7 hours in the rain with kids in car, not a great experience.

In the meantime, here are a few quick Aussie facts for Australia day to while away the glorious rainy weather.

  1. The ‘dingo fence’ is the longest fence in the world (5,530km). It is about twice as long as the Great Wall of China.
  2. 750,000 single hump camels roam our deserts, the largest number of purebred camels in the world.
  3. We have 20% of the world’s poker machines, but only .3% of the world’s population.
  4. Perth is the only city in the world which can have aircraft land in its CBD.
  5. We are the only continent without an active volcano.
  6. No native Australian animals have hooves.
  7. Wi-Fi was invented by our CSIRO and so far, they have received over half a billion dollars in damages from other companies in the world for using Wi Fi without licence.
  8. We have the world’s largest cattle station. At 30 thousand square km it is the size of Belgium.
  9. The Australian Lungfish can live several days out of water as it travels through the dry country between creeks and pools.

The mast of the yacht that ran into the jetty has finally been removed where it was caught on the light pole at the end. I believe it was given away free by the yacht owner, conditional on them removing it at own cost. The tender was sold off for a song, and I also believe the yacht is now in Townsville, future unknown.

The old boat that has sat in Cockle Bay dredge channel for as long as I remember has finally been removed. MSQ have been doing a big clean-up of old and abandoned boats, plus removing or ordering removed tinnies and dinghies which are no longer in use. Some great island shots have included all the old vessels, but I guess progress and environmental concerns have resulted in this long overdue tidy up. The Cockle Bay boat is sitting at the Nelly Bay launch area, awaiting permanent removal.

A warm island welcome to Lucy and Jason who have moved here from Melbourne for a one-year sea change. The family loves fishing and I’m sure they will have a ball and stay forever? Once “Magnetized” the allure to remain is great.

There was a recent death adder tracking project on Maggie. The study involved tracking the movements of some death adders to see how far they travel. Now I love efforts to unravel the mysteries of life, but I could have guessed that you don’t need to be an athlete to follow that which by its design rarely moves. Death Adders are way too slow to get away from any animal or human, using camouflage, and inactivity to survive. Here’s an interesting fact, Death adders were originally called deaf adders. Why? Academics had noticed that snakes detect and avoid humans, whereas death adders didn’t. It was therefore assumed that the snake must have been deaf; hence deaf adder. The truth was that they were not fast enough to get away, therefore did what is natural and stay put.

Fishing Maggie

Mick told me his Barra story on Sunday, and with Barra season here Friday I think it’s a cracker start. Mick does lots of kayaking in Townsville and around Maggie for fitness. He was kayaking with his mates in the Ross last week when a feeding Barra, well over a meter leapt out of the water, landed on his kayak and slapped hard into his chest. A stunned Mick’s put his arms around this struggling fish with its powerful tail splashing buckets of water into the air. The razor-sharp gill plates narrowly missed slashing one of his arms open, as he tried to get the surprised fish back into the water. The boys in the other kayaks could see the commotion but there was so much spray from the flapping tail that they were unsure what to do to help. Luckily Mick managed to get the fish back into the water without getting cut to pieces.

Mick also had a snorkel around Horseshoe Bay and said there were a lot of Barra swimming in the murky waters and they were pretty laid back and unafraid of him. With so many Barra congregating, the next few weeks should be gold.

It’s hard to go past West Point for the third week in a row with big Queenfish and heaps of Grunter still being caught along the beach, especially just on dusk There are also some very good saltwater tarpon feeding along the beach. These fish pound for pound fight hard and often give the angler a fight that would put the lazy Barra to shame. But once again they are not much to eat and are simply a great light line sport fish. There have been plenty of reports of big Barra all around the island. I have set up a Barra section at work and look forward having a big go as well this weekend. With the water possibly set to be very cloudy and windy, live baits should be the best. Barra love cruising in murky waters and get bold enough to come in very close. Get Mullet and Gar and go as light as you dare, 60lb is my leader weight. If you can’t get mullet or gar get the freshest fish or fish fillet you can. Failing that big prawns.

Locations are Picnic Bay, Horseshoe Bay, Harbour and Arthur Bay, Barra have been spotted at all these spots.

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, snorkel equipment, bait, tackle, ice, spear fishing equipment, sports, party, pool toys, bike and E-bike hire, car hire and convenience supplies. Check out Kooler 24-hour Ice 7kg $5.

Fishin’ Maggie

What’s New On The Rock

What can make a teenager run really fast? I can tell you with some authority. We were walking along Westpoint beach with a teenage relative, and she was 100m or so ahead of us looking at shells.  All of a sudden, we heard a bloodcurdling scream, as she chucked an emergency u turn and was running back to us arms waving frantically and screaming louder than Curlews on heat. Most concerned I called out, but the only answer was to scream louder. Suddenly Janie saw the issue, she was being pursued by 3 march flies the size of small starlings. What was the hardest thing about this? Not bursting into laughter as the shrieking was probably getting the attention of the coastguard vessel, moored about 3km of Westpoint. We packed her into the car still hyperventilating and scarpered. Those March flies are back in force this week, remember they are attracted to Blue and dark colours. Deet products are most effective, Bushmans Tropica; contains 40% Deet and is made in Cairns. It has been proven most effective. Zebra flies are hatching as well, so stay well covered.

Unfortunately, a Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) has been killed in Cleveland Bay. Possibly the result of a boat strike, the Turtle, a member of a critically endangered species has been sent to JCU or a Post Mortem. The conflicts between human activity and animal life in Cleveland Bay is something that cannot be easily resolved. These turtles are named because of a sharper beak than other sea turtles, and like all turtles in QLD are part of our ecosystem.

Are we all totally fed up with crap internet on the island yet? I’m fed up with our substandard business internet, particularly in busy seasons. There is a rumour that Telstra know they need to upgrade the exchange but won’t. Can anyone confirm that?  Maybe a petition to get our bills reduced based on the fact that we don’t get the same level of stability and functionality as businesses in town would be worthwhile. In the meantime, if you log your speed regularly on tpeedtest.net and safe your results, send them to us on fishingmaggie@outlook.com. In my opinion Telstra don’t give a rat’s —- about us over here. Things need to change.

Fishing Maggie

I won a great prize in a Christmas Competition on Ryan Moody Fishing, and it’s a beauty. I won a “Finding Fingermark” course. I am looking forward to studying something I love. If you want to do any of Ryan’s quality courses log on to his website and book one. The sounder courses may just help you really understand what you are looking at, particularly on Structure Scan. I will post a pic of my next Fingermark on FNF website.

Pack up the crab pots for a while until these crustacean thieves have stopped stealing pots. If you have been raided or have seen suspicious activity, let me know and I will pass info on to parks. In the meantime, if you are walking, driving or flying your drones and see any strange activity let me know that as well. If we all work together maybe we can put a stop to this illegal activity.

Sharks abound in our waters with the fresh water stirring up their food sources and getting them active all-around Maggie. The most common caught on bait at the moment is the white tip reef shark. Ben was over at White Lady Bay on the weekend and saw dozens swimming in the reefy shallows. Shelly brought in a 80lb trace bitten through at the City of Adelaide in a couple of seconds.

Despite the extra rain the fishing has been challenging.  One species however has been on the chew across the island, possibly because the prawns have been pushed out of the creeks. The species is also on many people’s bucket list and doesn’t have a closed season. It is the mighty and adrenaline pumping Mangrove Jack. When to fish? The top of the tide with the start of the run-out is favourable as you will often find the Jacks pushing the bait closer around the mangroves, and the Trevally are there as well Lower light periods is better especially in summer, darker waters will increase your strike rate. Jacks come further away from snags early am and late evening into night. I just set up a basket of Jack lures at the shop, drop in and grab some.

The Jetty is still giving squid anglers a run just after dark with the hungry cephalopods venturing out of the weeds for a feed. Big Queenies and some Mackerel are hunting on dusk, get the livie’s and drop them without any weights.

Sandor scored some nice Spaniards and a plus 25kg Blue fin Tuna. In Japan that’s a grand.

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 New On the Rock

Happy New Year!! May all your fish be edible, and your Barra be hooked up only in Barra season. For my readers that don’t fish, may your year be filled with health, friendships and free seafood from friends that do. For those who can’t, I’m so sorry for your loss.

Based on our FNF over the counter conversations (no names of course,) I have selected the following quote for 2019

“Every New Year’s I celebrate making it through another holiday season without killing my relatives.”
– Melanie White

Recycling in 2019? What I see from my unit this holiday is bins full of bags saying, “I choose to reuse.” Hundreds of them in the bins, a little contradictory I reckon. Bottle recycling? We are still working on it, but it is refreshing to see so many people using bottle recycling to pay for their barge trips to town. Great ideas are born from a need to save and conserve.

FNF have gone solar in December. We have installed 66 panels generating around 140 KWH per day. We are hoping to halve our $2500 monthly bill. Given that the island power is teetering on full capacity and every holiday Ergon bring generators to provide backup, it’s a good decision. Our lines to town are sub-par, 35 years old and the replacement cost is huge.

Word has obviously got out that Janie and I have bought the old Tropicana Jeep. Honestly, we couldn’t let that wonderful iconic Jeep leave the island. She has been receiving a bit of a facelift and some tender lovin’ care and we will be starting under the new banner of Magnetic Jeep Tours ASAP.  More details on that soon.

Watch your crab pots. With so many people holidaying, pot raiding has become rampant again. It’s a crying shame that people take advantage of relaxed tourist time to hide their sleazy activities.

Finally, after weeks of strong winds we had some smoother waters, when tourist operators could get out and show what a beautiful island we really have. The only negative was that dreaded Trichodesmium is everywhere, sludgy and malodourous. Although a natural occurrence for this area and many others, it is smelly and makes snorkelling difficult. Did you know the Red Sea was named after the same Tricho we have?

Side note. You shouldn’t eat Oysters around places like Cockle Bay while the red tide is thick, that is a poison that can build up in filter feeders and possibly make you very sick.

Fishing Maggie

Prawns, crabs, reef sharks and Queenies. Murky water has meant the fishing conditions have been challenging but some big Salmon and Queenies have kept anglers throwing in a line. Horseshoe Bay boaties have been cleaning up on local Coral Trout, my red white lure pulling them away from their reef protection. Big prawns in the mangroves this week have helped fire up the western side with Queenies and Trevally cruising the mangroves following the schools as they move in and out of the shelter of the trees.

Well done Roo on the nice Jacks caught holding the mangrove line waiting for prawns. They fell to Roo’s carefully placed soft plastics instead. Hundreds of Queenies have provided sportfish fun across the shallow flats at Picnic and Cockle Bay. At West Point Reef sharks in big numbers have disappointed bait fisherman by smashing well presented baits before the target fish can have a look.

The harbour Jacks have been attacking gar fillet and whole Gar, in Gustav creek and along the inner rock walls. All in all, with big crabs being caught, a pretty good week on the island fishing scene. With the remnants of Penny due this week some extra rainfall may fire up the creek mouths into early next week.

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 New On The Rock

Little Bunyip has died, despite being in the wonderful care of the Koala hospital. For those that missed my story recently, Bunyip was the adorable baby koala up at the forts that was picked up by visitors, so they could have a photo shoot, then the scared mother ran away, never to be found again. Bunyip is just another casualty in the clash between Koala safety and island Tourism. With the holidays approaching, be careful with the wildlife, and make sure people are keeping safe distance from animals.

The dentist blog seems to have hit everybody’s raw nerve, (if you pardon the pun). Several suggestions for have come forward for a mobile dental van, especially for those that can’t travel very easily. Maybe that’s something for the future of the island and remote areas.

I am expecting some pics this week from the “Black Panther’s” paw prints, and I will post them on FNF when they come through. Its amazing how many people have sighted this big feline, although Annie and Patty are some of the original people stared down by this confident cat several years ago.

That moment when your mate puts a hook in your back while casting near you, then say’s

“ You all right buddy” (Name supplied)

I want your personal input this year for the weirdest present you get for Christmas. I will keep your identity secret if you wish, (we are like bartenders)

Merry Christmas to all our customers and my readers, both from Maggie from all states via my online Blog, and thanks to Editor Janie who tries to control how many times I have foot in mouth each year. Have a wonderful festive season.

Fishing Maggie

With just enough rain to push some prawns and crabs out of the creeks, we are seeing some increased activity, especially with Grunter and Trevally. Big Barred Javelin have been smashing fish baits just on dark at Westpoint, and Young Bay. Flathead are there in numbers as well, just on the drop.

Congratulations to Rob for his 10kg Spaniard off Picnic Bay Jetty. Rob used a big popper, not normally the go at Picnic Bay but the cruising Spaniard launched at it, missing the first hit but fortunately getting it square on second run. The lights had just come on at the jetty and the exited Rob fought the fish down to the boat ramp to beach it. When he came in, he told me there was a couple swimming on the beach outside the swimming enclosure and the commotion with the struggling fish and popper was so loud they got straight out of the water. What a top catch that is, but the jetty has been producing some nice coral fish, including Coral Trout and big Parrot for weeks.

Fishing after the rains this week should give you some great action, recommended spots being Horseshoe Bay and Picnic Bay. Flathead are still enjoying the warmer waters at Cockle Bay and will fire up chasing the small prawns.

If you can get on a boat, get over to the Cape where there are Fingermark and Schools of Doggy Mack’s hanging in the weed beds and the holes just off the point. Around the Island the bait schools are holding at Orchard Rocks and off Desolation point as well as near the shark buoys at Arcadia, just outside the green Zone. These are attracting Grey Mackerel, Golden Trevally and small Tuna schools.

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

The Black Panther And Other Matters

Is it really the return of the black panther? Many of you would remember several years ago seeing a story about a mysterious massive black feline “stalking Magnetic Island”. It made a great story, witnesses describing a cat as big as a grown dog, and Parks went looking. Despite an extensive search, the elusive creature was never caught. However, several recent sightings in the last three weeks of an enormous black cat around Sails Rock have re-sparked debate on the origin and existence of this oversized cat, as well as the feral cat problem in general. Feral cats slaughter up to 1000 native animals each year, and on Maggie we have untold hundreds of feral cats roaming the bush. As to the black panther and its origins, nobody yet knows. More soon.

I did get in a bit of trouble with the wife last week. Heading off chasing Grey Mack’s after work, I went to grab my boning knife, and of course it was facing the wrong way around it did its job perfectly boned my finger beautifully. Now that’s not why I was in trouble. Because it was a fishing trip and I was hyped, I grabbed a rag and wrapped around my hand and jumped in the boat with Matt. Matt had just re-fibre glassed his new pride and joy an ex Trout Dory. The glass was unsealed, and of course I bled everywhere, while Matt gave me quizzical looks (sorry Matt.) We pulled a few Greys in but after an hour on board it was hard to determine how much was mackerel blood and how much was my blood, so we decided to call it a day. I’m still trying to understand why I was in trouble. Janie said get your stitches first then go fishing, I said but the fish would be gone love. She really doesn’t understand, I don’t think its that difficult, maybe I wasn’t explaining myself well.

That tri-maran that suffered all the damage at Horseshoe Bay has been removed from the water’s edge, although with all the damage, and big hole in the hull I’m not sure whether it is easily repairable. The yacht-based visitor that was being abusive to tourists and locals in Horseshoe Bay has been politely invited to leave by residents of the bay and wisely scarpered. I heard that the yacht that is on its side in the duck pond is theirs, maybe Karma got him. For those ladies who told me about the abuse, you are fine now.

Finally, in January we will see the long-promised moorings in Arthur and Florence Bays, so boats can stop dropping damaging anchors on the reef and moor safely. Having used the Whitsunday moorings recently I think they are a great idea, safe and reduce damage in high use bays.

Dentist

I’m off to the dentist again and not looking forward to it. Apart from the money, and it is expensive, the time away from work and trip to town costs. So, I still wonder why there is no dental day on the Island. Check my maths. The average person has 32 teeth, 28 with your wisdom teeth out, about three for one of our customers TJ. So, 2200 population less children is 1500 x an average of 20 teeth. I get 30000 teeth plus tourist teeth looking for some lovin’. If we have one tooth per 6 months play up that’s 3000 dental visits P.A.  At 200 bucks each that’s a cool 600k. Anyone want a business? As I hear it the issue is the X-Ray equipment and the hoops to get radiation equipment onto the Island. Can anyone clarify this?

Fishing And Crabbing Report

I said no more Barra stories this year, but I must tell this one more from last week. A visitor from Vic was staying at Island Palms and decided to go for a wander down to the harbour and threw a bait in the water, and relaxed, enjoying the evening.  Along came a massive meter Barra who slammed the bait and resulted in this visitor’s bucket list Barra picture and release. He sent his jealous and incredulous mates from down south a picture and I think they might be visiting in Barra season next year. Many people don’t understand how good our Barra fishing is on the Island.

Why are so many Queenies around? I’m guessing that the big schools of whitebait have kept these great sportfish in close. Taking spoons, twisties and soft plastics as well as slab bait in the murky water, they have

With Christmas coming the Crab pots are out and the results have been awesome with some big fat meaty bucks being caught before and after Sundays wet, right in time for Christmas. With Muddy’s fetching $70 plus in the shops, catching your own is well worthwhile and the next 2 weeks should see the catches continue.

The big tides at Young Bay have been a bonanza with Grunter to 60 cm falling to Gar fillet and prawns. On the evening drop dozens of these tasty fish have been cruising hungrily up and down the bay, especially just after dusk. The always present GT’s have also been competing for the offerings.

Congrats to K and J for hooking up on an est: 400lb Marlin out deep before the weather closed in. Big fish like that are a rare treat and worth noting.

 

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

Cheers Dale

FNF Outdoor Adventure & Hire Centre/MI Rentals

36 Mandalay Ave, Nelly Bay 4778-5126

FOR ALL YOUR FISHING AND WATER SPORTS HIRE GEAR.

We sell the BIGGEST and BEST range of fishing rods & tackle, spear fishing equipment, snorkel gear, bait, boating and automotive needs, gift & party supplies, helium balloons, pool toys, bike accessories. We hire new Reef Boards for safe, easy snorkelling. We also have bike hire, car hire and electric bike hire, plus HUGE lolly wall and convenience supplies. Check out Kooler 24-hour Ice 7kg $5.

Fishin’ Maggie

What’s The Goss?

Seafood, that’s the word of the week. I read the article in the Bulletin that Maggie is going forward in leaps and bounds. True enough, it’s always been a cycle though with ups and downs, too much of the same, then not enough of the basics. Many years ago, there was a hire place, then 2, then none. Competition is healthy, but in small markets, it’s important we don’t lose everything by oversaturating the tiny market. Supermarkets are a classic example. There was none, then convenience, then a supermarket, then 2, now plus deliveries from Woollies and Coles. If all enhance each other or service a different market all can survive. If not, then we all take a step backwards. Given the business interest in the island now, these points are important. After Pip left a hole in the fish and chip market SOS (Stuffed on Seafood) have come along to create a new offer, fresh local seafood in a licenced and relaxed environment near the ferry. Will it enhance the island offers? Opinions differ. Now I see that Rock Paper Scissors are opening a trial offer on the island, is it too much too soon? In the end all of you will decide by voting with your very valuable dollars. Let’s watch this space.

Stranger Stuff

That saga recently of the 2 island Visitors from a country (starting with I) in Europe, who attempted a circumnavigation of the island with a bottle of water and bugger all else and had to get rescued the following day from 5 beach has been repeated when 2 explorers (I’m being nice) decided to head to Mount Cook via Horseshoe Bay. Apparently 2 lovely Poms found these boys all hot thirsty and with scrapes and bruises over near the pipeline on the Nelly to Arcadia track. Lucky boys I reckon, not a lot of water around for the bush explorer.

There have been many reports of a huge Manta Ray off Orchard rocks. This huge elegant 4m creature is a filter feeder and no danger to anyone, but an amazing sight.

The Fishing Stuff

There was this American chap, (Seems the right word with yanks doesn’t it) Anyway he came in to say goodbye, tell me he had a ball on Maggie and brag a little about a Mangrove Jack he caught the night before. I asked him to send me a pic and gave him my email address. Well I got this email with a google images link to his fishing on Maggie Island and it was a compendium of Jetty species nearly bigger than the Grants guide to fishes. Granted (pun intended) many of them were juveniles but the variety was outstanding, over 30 different species. I gathered from the pic order that he started with small hooks and towards the end was in the spirit and heaving out lures like there was no tomorrow, well done Sean Wilms.

The weather is better and the last week for Greys is this week so get out there, millions of the buggers surround the island and the semi calm waters. Queenies are there as well, and those bigger Tarpon top fun on 10lb gear.

Those schools of Trevally over at the beachhead at Nelly at night are awesome fun just on dark.

Stinger Season

Yes, stinger season is now upon us. Reports of large numbers of Blue Bottle Jellyfish (called an armada) along our beaches. We recently had a local lad hire snorkel gear but said he really didn’t need the stinger suit. Well turns out he did as he got a nasty sting from a blue bottle. A blue bottle sting is excruciatingly painful and causes red welts on the skin, even more so if stung multiple times. The most intense pain usually subsides within an hour, but the welts can sometimes remain for up to three days.

If you’re unfortunate enough to get stung, Surf Life Saving Australia has this advice:

  • Do not rub the sting area;
  • Remove the stinging cells from the skin by washing off tentacles with seawater or picking them off;
  • Immerse the sting in hot water or apply ice to help with the pain.

No reports of Irukandji as yet.

 

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

Cheers Dale

FNF Outdoor Adventure & Hire Centre/MI Rentals

36 Mandalay Ave, Nelly Bay 4778-5126

FOR ALL YOUR FISHING AND WATER SPORTS HIRE GEAR.

We sell the BIGGEST and BEST range of fishing rods & tackle, spear fishing equipment, snorkel gear, bait, boating and automotive needs, gift & party supplies, helium balloons, pool toys, bike accessories. We hire new Reef Boards for safe, easy snorkelling. We also have bike hire, car hire and electric bike hire, plus HUGE lolly wall and convenience supplies. Check out Kooler 24-hour Ice 7kg $5.

Fishin’ Maggie

Wrapping Up The Week

Does anyone know who towed a big old tinny way out past Horseshoe Bay and sunk it for a new fishing spot? Our Prawn Trawler owners would love to hear from you after it caught their nets and caused damage. That sort of stuff is extremely dangerous and destructive to trawlers and trawling nets.

Cockle Bay is being transformed as boats are being given marching orders by MSQ or simply disappearing. After the big Catamaran (formerly Sun Cat) was taken without owner permission, other boats have been given removal orders. Another Maggie ex residents’ boat has been removed from the water as a risk via MSQ and is now in dry dock in Townsville. I see the one in the Cockle Bay Channel is still there, many want it removed, although others use it as a navigation marker showing the start of Cockle Bay’s dredge Channel.

I wanted to stay away from dog stories this week, but some lovely locals were telling me they were confronted by an exuberant dog off leash and the woman nearly fell over, and being not well, she could easily have been injured. When she mentioned to the owner that the dog should be restrained very politely, she was subject to a verbal assault. I will say this, Maggie is home to many special people, yeah you know you are, but we all need to respect each other and especially respect our natural treasures. People don’t come to see dogs walking down the road with our wildlife is its jaws, as was posted last week on Facebook. People don’t want to be knocked over by your pooch. Half the money on the island is generated by tourism and we rely on it to survive. I’m sure you know everyone comes to see a Koala, it’s our big drawcard. We should look after them and dogs off leash equals a danger to koalas and more. (By the way baby Jedi is doing well at the Koala hospital.)

Here’s a new customer question for my “special” questions book? “Do some of the bays have more males than females, and which bay would have the most males?”  Now it’s not that I didn’t want to answer, I just didn’t want to know why he asked.

The Fishing Stuff

Yes, I will stop the Barra stories, except for these last 2. The final Barra caught just the day before Barra closure on the island a was mammoth 118cm monster caught at Horseshoe Bay by Matt during dinner on a mate’s boat. That’s tinny, by any standards. His mate Chris unfortunately, had been working hard on Barra each night at the boat ramp in the lead up to the closure. On the first day of closure, he changed his tactics targeting Fingermark, but you guessed it landed a big Barra instead. Totally devastated, he quickly got it back in the water and forlornly watched it swim away, with others watching as well. Timing can be everything, but at least Chris has had some success with big Fingermark off the beach. These powerful fish give nearly as good a fight as Barra and many think they taste better.

For those with Facebook, the video of 30 or more meter plus Barra smashing bait in the marina last week made riveting watching. We all know they are there, but they are just smarter than us, (me anyway) except when they gather to spawn, hence the fishing ban. Don’t worry they will still be there next year snapping your lines around the pylons. FYI meter Barra are about 8-9 years old and usually female so that’s why they are still beating us.

The run of top weight Flathead continue, are they schooling for breeding as well? Dozens of Flatties have succumbed to lures in Nelly Bay, Cockle Bay and Young Bay. 45-70 cm on the dropping tide these fish are getting more active than we have seen for a long time.

I see the Mackerel Gods have been protecting the Grey Mack’s big November run this year again with strong winds, just the same as last year. We will beat you one day, weather permitting. For the record Horseshoe Bay has seen some stonker Greys’s last weekend but this time they have guards, Spaniards and big Cuda’s, lure destroyers. Many local anglers running lighter Grey mackerel rigs have been cleaned up. Its good for business but bad for the pocket. Next week I suggest going up a notch, light wire, 50lb leader, and sharpen your hooks.

Those big Tuna are still smashing lures in Horseshoe Bay just off the points and in good numbers. Although frustrating when chasing Mack’s, they give you a damn good fight.   This weekend looks okay for boating, Sunday Monday and into next week. Let’s hope so, because the bait schools are thick!

 

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

Cheers Dale

FNF Outdoor Adventure & Hire Centre/MI Rentals

36 Mandalay Ave, Nelly Bay 4778-5126

 

FOR ALL YOUR FISHING AND WATER SPORTS HIRE GEAR.

We sell the BIGGEST and BEST range of fishing rods & tackle, spear fishing equipment, snorkel gear, bait, boating and automotive needs, gift & party supplies, helium balloons, pool toys, bike accessories. We hire new Reef Boards for safe, easy snorkelling. We also have bike hire, car hire and electric bike hire, plus HUGE lolly wall and convenience supplies. Check out Kooler 24-hour Ice 7kg $5.

Fishin’ Maggie

Wrapping Up The Week

After a windy couple of weeks on the water, and pesky Northerlies at that, it was great to see some relatively good conditions return over the last few days. Plenty of anglers chucked their boats in and played on the calm side of Maggie on the weekend. Horseshoe Bay has been lumpy and weedy, and the brisk night winds claimed a yacht on Sunday night as the sizeable vessel dragged onto the beach near the boat ramp. Police attended but there’s very little they could do.

Matt H was snorkelling off Geoffrey Bay Friday, when he saw a glint in the water. He discovered an epaulette shark, with a coke can necklace. This poor shark had the base of a soft drink can, without the centre wrapped around its neck, and already cutting in to the flesh. Matt did some careful surgery, cutting off the aluminium, and let the shark go, a reminder that the consequences of littering can be fatal to marine life.

On the shark subject, Horseshoe Bay had another temporary beach closure as a small shark was sighted near the swimming area. This is always a sensitive topic, but I think anytime we are snorkelling reefs and the sharks are present, that’s a healthy marine ecology. However, I understand sharks and swimmers mixed together can be a risk, and authorities are duty bound to act. The shark issues are not one to be easily resolved but I hope the ones near where I snorkel are always well fed and lazy. I did read in the shark stats that 2 people were killed by Tiger shark attack many moons ago at Lodestone Reef where I love to snorkel with pristine coral and heaps of fish life. I think we have bigger chances of being in car accidents, but it’s the fear factor that keeps it in the mind.

The Koala Hospital has a new visitor, a very small baby who was the victim of human contact. The mother was on the ground and the baby was picked up by some visitors and the mother disappeared. Despite several searches from volunteers over several hours the mother has not been found and now the baby is in care. If you do spot a koala in a tree please do not climb the tree to try to pat or hold it, as some visitors to the island have been found doing recently. A reminder to enjoy our wildlife from a distance and if you see anyone climbing the trees or trying to pick koalas up please tell them this is not allowed and report the incident immediately to the Koala Rescue team in case of any injury or danger to the koala.

Contact Ali on 0428 785 488 or Jay on 0405 677 454.

The Fishing Stuff

Josh and the boys got a 700lb Black Marlin, that’s a monster fish off Flinders. The beast put up a huge showing. The boys just returned from 7 days 120 nautical miles out to see playing with Dogtooth Tuna, GT’s and of course Marlin. What a trip of a lifetime, big boats and plenty of beer included of course.

There were anglers out on the water chasing Barra before the season closure, which is now over, the Barra are safe for 3 months, (and no, they are not now called Pink Eyed Salmon.) Over the weekend, there were a couple of beauties caught but many stories of the one that got away. Matt lost 2 in the last 2 weeks at Horseshoe Bay and but landed an 85cm stonker off the ramp just after dark. Matt B also missed his big shot but landed a 65cm Flathead as a consolation prize caught what a catch! Chris got on top a beautiful Fingermark at the HB boat ramp and told me he was surprised to find them there. Horseshoe Bay holds good populations of Fingermark

Offshore, the Tuskers, Trout and bigger Fingermark have been turning up, as well as those big Mackerel and Tuna are still abundant, and the hot fishing reefs are Arab and Broadhurst. The Cape still has Mack’s but there have been a lot of Catfish in the weed beds.

In Cockle Bay the Flathead have been going nuts, Blue and King Salmon are about, for those anglers prepared to be patient and pick their tides. I have also heard reports of some quality Grunter being taken mainly on peeled prawn.

With the Northerlies the onshore fishing has concentrated in Nelly Bay. All action from the break wall of Nelly down to base, and with big mud crabs still on the chew, this has been a bit of a pain for the guys using live baits for the Barra and Queenies as the crabs are eating the livies before the Barra have a chance to find them. Still some good size Queenies being caught just inside the marina wall. Big herring have been the best baits, grabbed from Picnic Bay, along with good big prawn, plus the guys using lures had been hooking a few Barra at night, white noisy Tilson’s worked a treat.  It has been especially good to hear some good grunter have been caught as well, 60cm plus, their great size fish. It would be certainly worth a fish in Cockle Bay this week if you’re keen, it will be hot as, but that will get the Flatties going and they will be hanging around those concrete piles for sure. I see that there have been heaps of Flatties in Cockle, maybe it’s their breeding cycle as well, for so many to be in one area.

This is a good time to get out there and get amongst them and there will be plenty of opportunities too wet a line over the next month or so, so get ready to go and when the weather comes good make the most of it. Offshore especially at the Cape in the weed beds there have been plenty of squid around and that is a great way to boost your catch for the day 6 or 7 nice squid in the esky makes for a good feed of salt and pepper calamari rings, try the Razorback jigs, small ones off Nelly Bay, bigger in the boats.

REMINDER: Next Monday November 5th from 12.01am is the start of the second Coral Fin Fish closure which extends until midnight on November 9th.

 

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

Cheers Dale

FNF Outdoor Adventure & Hire Centre/MI Rentals. Your one stop shop!

36 Mandalay Ave, Nelly Bay 4778-5126

 

FOR ALL YOUR FISHING AND WATER SPORTS HIRE GEAR.

We sell the BIGGEST and BEST range of fishing rods & tackle, spear fishing equipment, snorkel gear, bait, boating and automotive needs, gift & party supplies, helium balloons, pool toys, bike accessories. We hire new Reef Boards for safe, easy snorkelling. We also have bike hire, car hire and electric bike hire, plus HUGE lolly wall and convenience supplies. Check out Kooler 24-hour Ice 7kg $5.