Fishin’ Maggie

Maggie In The Spotlight

The island is a wonderful and special place, natural beauty and an abundance of wildlife.

It is subject to many different viewpoints on how to manage it. There are several hot topics this week, with opinions sharply divided.

  1. Radical Bay Road. This old fossil topic has raised its head again with severe damage during the wet limiting accessibility. What to do about it? That’s the big question. We market these places internationally Radical Bay, the piano, (deceased due to vandalism) Florence Bay. When the road gets killed, like now, there is no action plan on repair, and everyone walks away. We need a direction on this road. Tourism is our bread and butter and like it or not Radical and Florence bays are pivotal in tourist satisfaction levels. More on this soon.
  2. Shark Buoys. Love them or hate them they are here to protect swimmers, or at least give the impression that they are protected. With bycatch and kill rates public knowledge, and opinions so strongly defended, they will always be a contentious issue. I did a quick survey at work and it would seem those locals in favour only slightly outweigh the pull them out vote. What’s your opinion? This week the shark buoy man is being followed by a group who are analysing the impact to marine life. I had a look at some shark stats for us and in the 2017 year there were 47 Tiger sharks were pulled off buoys around Maggie. The breakdown is below.

14 Horseshoe Bay to 3.4m

12 Alma Bay to 3.15m

11 Radical Bay to 3m

6 Florence Bay to 3.4m

4 Nelly Bay to 2.35m

For many just having the buoys around makes them more comfortable swimming and snorkelling. Just FYI Tannum Sands info lists a 5.25 Tiger shark caught on drumline, I’m not wanting to see that swim up and say hello, what about you? The full statistics are available at FNF if you want a look.

Mangrove Madness

Congratulations to Chase, Jaydee and Bella for their top haul on Sunday in the Mangroves. With so much fresh water still running. Jacks are aggressively attacking baits in and around all the waterways with snags and rocks. The kids, and Matt climbed through the dense mangroves past sleeping snakes to get to a fishing hole that produced some amazing action in a small area. Pikey Bream and Jacks were hanging off every snag and smashed baits with gusto. The kids came out with 6 table fish and a whole lot of midge bites. One important thing to know about mangrove fishing, you categorically earn every fish, fighting snags, mossies, midges, sand flies and the smell. Well done kids and very nice of you Matt for taking the kids to a great angler spot.

Onshore Fishing

Well done to Jimmy M on catching a cracker 60 cm Mangrove Jack in Nelly Bay. That’s a super fish and such delectable eating. What bait did Jimmy use, did you ask? Was it a secret lure, maybe a Z man Diezel minnow or Gulp Nemesis?  No, this fine sportfish fell victim to a cooked local prawn, that’s very tinny Jimmy.

I had a text early Sunday morning from an unknown number. “Dale the fishing is just going off, big Grunter are smashing lines across the northern part of Horseshoe Bay there are hundreds of them”. The dilemma, on my one day to get a touch extra sleep, do I get up and ready and by the time you get there they have followed the bait and gone? Sadly, I report I took the bed option, next time boys. Why such a big school of Grunter is the other question and the answer must be prawns schooling near the creek head. Is anyone dragging a net through there?

Those tasty Whiting are schooling up on the beach at Nelly Bay near the bridge. Top fun on tiny soft plastics, don’t worry about using bait while they are so aggressive. 6lb line 4lb leader and a 1.5-inch grub, and off you go.

The Reef sharks for those that like flake, are thick off the beach and rubble in Nelly Bay all the way along the beach at high tide and throughout West Point.  

With all the freshwater still mixing slowly, Flathead will start to school up throughout the deeper holes in shallows around the creeks of Maggie. There is a heap of freshwater pouring out into the bays and flatties love this. They will also congregate in hollows in the recently changed sand areas of Nelly and Cockle Bays, and if you could get there, at WestPoint as well. Live and dead baits will do the job, but hard-bodied lures, soft plastics and small vibes provide plenty of fun and still catch fish. For Flatties, try working the shallow sand bars and mud flats during the higher parts of the tide and work the deep sections of those creek outlets on the lower tide. Flathead just love to lie in wait for that next meal to come along because they don’t tend to use up too much energy chasing a feed that way. You could also try slowly trolling a few hard-bodied lures along the edges of the drop-offs. You’d be surprised at what you might pick up as well as Flathead. Trevally, Bream, Whiting and Grunter, Barred and Silver can be hooked up while fishing for flathead. Barra as well may be a lucky catch, especially along the mangrove edge.

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

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