Fishing Maggie

Fishing on Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island has 23 Beautiful bays, all with unique features, and 14 of them can be fished. The other 9 are amazing Green zone protected bays, wonderful for snorkeling. All weather fishing, that’s the advantage of an island. There is always somewhere you can throw a line.  We have sandy beach fishing, rugged mangrove swamps. Tidal Creeks holding Barra and Mudcrabs, calm harbour waters for juvenile breeding, and fringing reefs with many colourful and tasty Coral Species.

Species regularly caught are Flathead, Giant Trevally, Queenfish, Mangrove Jack, Fingermark, ( Golden Snapper), Golden and Tealeaf Trevally, Salmon, Tarpon, Grunter, Cobia and Mackerel just to name a few.

Best baits are peeled or half peeled prawns, and squid for beach fishing. Try hole or cut pilchards over rocks and reef, whilst whole poddy mullet and strip fish flesh work well in most locations.

Lures are very popular and effective on Magnetic Island. Zman extra hardy soft plastics, Berkley Gulp soft plastics, Halco and RMG lures, and Tilson Barra lures.

Picnic Bay Jetty

picnic bay from lookoutPicnic Bay jetty is a favorite for relaxed fishing. Midway down the jetty you
will find coral bommies and weed covered rocks. This area provides excellent fun for young kids to catch and release Juvenile Grassy Sweetlips, Red Throat Emperor, small Coral Trout, many varieties of Cod and Yellow Stripey’s as well as many other reef species.

Best Bait on the heritage listed jetty are small prawns and squid. Lure with small Berkeley Gulps, small RMG’s, squid jigs and small jigs.
At the end of the jetty the bottom is a sandy desert with jetty pylons, and old bits of jetty timber still on the ocean bottom from Cyclone Yasi. (Caution with cast nets is advised.) This area currently harbors schools of, Hardyhead bait fish and at times Herring and Yakka. Pike Gar and squid can also be caught here.

Bait fish can be caught on a $3 Jig rig without bait or by cast net. Live bait is tops for catching large pelagic species which periodically stalk the jetty. These include Trevally, Mackerel, Barra, Fingermark, Catfish, Cobia, Queenfish as well as Coral Trout, Cods, Emperor and feisty Sweetlips’. Also present are various species of sharks including Reef sharks, Tiger sharks, Hammerheads, 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 and large Rays, and is near quality food and beverage areas at the R&R bar, and Momma Roma’s. Watching sunset over the mainland with a line in while the kids jetty jump is a favourite pastime. Picnic Bay Surf Club Area and Picnic Bay beach afford some interesting and varied fishing. Around the corner to the north is serene Cockle Bay,which is the start of the mud flats and the Mangroves. This area can get you Quality Grunter, Flathead, Barra. Blue Catfish, Parrot Fish, Queenie’s, Tuskfish, Trevally and Grassy Sweetlip.

Use big Endeavour prawn, (peeled or part peeled), sandworm, oysters, mussels and sliced Pike and Gar.

Lure with Zman soft plastics, Halco Twisties and small RMG lures.
At the southern end of Picnic Bay is a shipwreck and shallow rubble strewn waters, attracting Trevally, Flathead, Grunter and Summer Whiting. Fish with small lures, soft plastics, or small prawns. For the Summer Whiting fish with peeled small prawns, worms, or Gulp grubs.

The boat ramp and lower jetty are good night squidding areas providing sweet.

Calamari for dinner . Popular colours are Pink and Orange squid jigs or use your own preferred colour.2.5 or 3.0 are the best size.

Cockle Bay

Fishing Cockle Bay, Magnetic IslandCockle Bay is a favourite of Fly fishers. On the big low tides, the water recedes more than 500m. On the tide run in Trevally Flathead, Barra, Cod, Mangrove Jack and many other species race to be the first back to the mangroves.

Fish the incoming tide, or walk out to the coffin pool when the tide is .7m or below to fish the water hole for all sorts of species. The city of Adelaide shipwreck accommodates for all sorts of species shelter and is great fishing on the rising tide. In a tinny 2.2 m plus to get in here.

Nelly Bay

The harbor rock wall and Breakwater outside affords relaxed fishing for
Coral Trout, Cod Trevally, Queenies, Reef Sharks and other reef species. Try to float a line or use a paternoster style rig to fish ( sinker on the bottom and hook higher up).

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 Bommies. Also use heavier chromies and small Halco divers. Night times are best.

Barra Matt Horseshoe BayNelly Bay Beach is very shallow and rubble strewn, so fishing at high tide will usually get the best results. Coral reef fish and reef sharks are most commonly caught, along with Flathead, Whiting, Bream and Trevally on the Harbor end whilst reef fish, Bream, Dart and Trevally are caught at the Base end.

Favourite baits are Poddy Mullet, Mullet fillet, Squid and Prawn. Lures are mainly Halco Twisties and large soft plastics fast retrieved.

Fishing in the Harbour offers all weather protection. Anglers can fish in many places such as the public boat ramp, bridge and southern rock walls. The harbour has a huge range of juvenile fish plus bigger predator fish
sweeping through. Also present are Barramundi, 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.

Favourite baits are pilchard, squid and especially small and large prawn.
Soft plastics and small Halco’s are great, blue, gold and caviar

West Point and Young Bay

West Point and Young Bay are a wonderful place to fish at any time. It is especially beautiful and productive just before sunset, when the summer sun creates magical colours, as it sets over the mainland and across the water. Mornings are top fishing as the bait hugs the shore and the predators wake up for a morning feed.

Gar Prawns, Herring, Mullet and a myriad of fingerlings are all in dense schools across the sands. Watch out for little happy moments, they sting a bit.

West Point is popular for a great range of species from Flathead, Whiting, Salmon, Grunter and Bream to big Barra, Cobia, shark, Mackerel, and Trevally. In fact nearly all species available around the Island can be found in this area.

Beach fishing is fun and relaxing and West Point is mostly calm water. Fish with live bait, (Mullet and Gar can often be caught with a cast net near the creeks and points and are great bait.) Grunter love prawns, as do most species.

Squid are great bait, as well as whole poddy mullet and thin strips of fish flesh, Pillie’s can be tried, but tend to get stripped quickly by crabs and bait fish. At the end of Young Bay is the start of the mangroves, which run through toBolger Bay, and then all the way back to Cockle Bay.

Horseshoe Bay

Horseshoe Bay is one of the most photogenic and relaxing bays on the Island.

Protected from all but northerly winds, Horseshoe Bay is fishable nearly all
year round and has an incredible variety of fish.

Southern Horseshoe Bay

Shallow sandy and well protected, the southern end of Horseshoe Bay is a Flathead haven. At the creek head Whiting, Flathead, smaller Trevally and Grunter congregate to feed on the bait that flushes from the creek or schools protectively in the warm shallow water. Using lures and prawns produces the best results, and sun up, high tides and sunset are the best. Sunset luring give the most spectacular photo opportunities as the colours are amazing. Close to all sorts of food and beverages, this is a lazy fun family fishing spot.

The boat ramp area of Horseshoe both north and south side can be great fishing spots. Early in the morning and late in the afternoon are best, as the water sports and Jet Ski’s operate in the area during the day. A favourite spot for lures and bait, this area holds bait most of the year and can produce every fish know from 1 meter prize Barra to Mackerel, Tarpon and Grunter. Fast retrieve lures, slow luring, soft plastics, and part peeled prawns are a must.

Also close to restaurants, cafés and beverages, this area has chairs and BBQ areas with plenty of shade. Cook your catch on the spot.

Accessible by vehicle from Pollard Street off Apjohn St, then a short hike over a sand dune, is the Northern end of Horseshoe Bay. With rocks to your left and sandy beach with steep drop-offs, this is a top area to lure for all sorts of Pelagic, or rock fish for reef species. Quiet and secluded, this is a great evening picnic spot. Plant the rods in the sand and play some ball sports with the kids while waiting for a hungry Queenfish to peel the line off your rod. Best baits are strip bait, whole poddy mullet, and prawn.

Lures are your favorite divers, all sorts of soft plastics and Halco Twisties.

Magnetic Island Fishing Guide
Magnetic Island Fishing Calendar
Fishing with Eddie Townsville/Magnetic Island
Magnetic Island National Park Info
Magnetic Island National Park Walking Track Map
Magnetic Island Crabbing Guide