Fishin’ Maggie

What’s New On the Rock

Prawns and Jelly Prawns. One local was telling me he was at Radical Bay and was amazed to see prawns under the sand above the water line at Radical Bay, hundreds of them. For those that don’t know prawns often bury themselves in the sand during the day. Having so many under the sand above the tideline though, that is unusual.

Has anyone heard of Gympie Gympie, suicide plant, (Species name: Dendrocnide moroides) of the family Urticaceae. It is one of the most venomous plants in the world, and although all don’t agree, apparently it is on the island. Symptoms can last 2 years plus of stingers break off inside your skin.

“Like being burned by hot acid and electrocuted at the same time.” That’s botanist Marina Hurley” on what it feels like to touch the Gympie Gympie. It doesn’t even need to be touched to get a sting, an extremely fine fuzz of poisonous needles coats the entire plant, and the things shed like a cat in summertime. So, it’s disturbingly easy to get stung just by standing near them. There are many horror stories about the unbelievable pain that makes you vomit instantly, plus animals and people going mad from pain.

This week VV told me of her and a friend’s experience with the sting of this noxious weed right here on the Island on a ridge behind Nelly Bay, and that the pain is out of this world. I walk in shorts off trail occasionally (might cover up now though) so take care walking in bushy areas away from main tracks.

5.30 Sunday morning, I sneak down to the Horseshoe Bay boat ramp after setting up the shop ready to open at 7PM. The wife thinks I have gone early to write my article, but I’m still in the research phase, that is tax deductable fishing. The masthead lights on the yachts mingle with the last stars as the dark night starts losing to the light approaching the horizon. Its low tide, and the water is muddy. I have been down a couple of times in the mornings but much later as the sun comes up and the boys start the morning ritual of trying to hook up those big Golden Trevally as they school up the Jelly Prawns in the shallows. The sight of their fat bodies and black fins above water is a sight to see, as is the thousands of startled Jelly prawns glistening as they launch out of the water, probably hoping in their little prawn heads that they can fly rather than land back in the middle of the feeding frenzy below. My target this morning is different. If you can’t get the fish to take a tiny lure, think outside the square and go big, change targets. This morning, I’m aiming for a big Queenie, my network tells me they were there on Saturday morning. The lure, something different, a Ballista night cast lure, a magic popper with a flashing bum, designed for anglers or fish, that I’m not yet sure.

I start casting into the calm waters, the sound of the popper loud on the water, aware I have 35 minutes before work beckons again. Cast after cast and the surface remains quiet despite the popper looking so alluring, repeated tugs making it appear to be wounded and struggling across the ocean surface. Time running out and cast almost wound in I stop and turn around as the noise of Pete on the Garbage truck rumbles past. The lure sits limp in the shallow muddy waster until with the most amazing show a massive Barra, probably resting next to me the whole time launches itself out of the water and takes the popper. Light gear was a mistake as the big girl peels the line off the rig and heads to deeper waters. I tighten the drag as much as I dare and finally get her head turned and get her back to the beach. This is my biggest at Horseshoe Bay, plus 94cm, beating the last one by at least 10cm. What a morning. By the time I get to the ferry terminal to order coffee from the sweet and wonderful girls at Presto my day is already as good as it gets. I love Maggie. Well that my buzz this week, best get on to other news.

Graduations to Toby on his 51 cm Coral Trout. That size trout is about the perfect eating size, and a top catch around the Island. The Trout are still plentiful around Maggie so Don’t give up.

We welcome a new Fly angler to the Island, I might have to start ranging more fly gear to cater for the increasing popularity on the Island.

Gus’s 5.5 kg Coral trout on Sort plastic is an amazing achievement. Fish stories are coming in thick and fast as the cold water gets the fish in closer. Sandor’s picture with his 18KG Spaniard, caught off Salamander, on an otherwise tough day will be in next week. That’s a top fish Sandor, and more of these big fish will be caught over the next few week as finally the big winter Spaniards are busting lures causing mayhem and filling freezers. Hard hitting and line stretching, they are the fish that everyone loves to catch. Many of the locals are heading out looking for the big ones. Mike is running Miss Nelly and landing some cracking fish in the inshore areas. Martin just sent me a pic of his whopper 20 something kg beast off Horseshoe Bay on a brand-new rig bought at Magnetic Adventure & Hire, only 2 days prior. At Maggie Shoals 12-14 kg perfect food size are smashing lures on the turn of the tide. S.L lost his $60 Rapala Red white deep diver to a ravenous mack, and I lost a Halco Pilchard DD before landing some top fighting fish.

The funniest moment on the morning trip was when SL’s line bent over, and he started hauling his 2nd fish in, fighting hard, proud as punch. When it got to the side of the boat it was not hooked on his lure but had swallowed my Gar rig then crossed over. Having done the hard work, and it was the decider for day, as we had both caught equal, we split catch and ended evens.

The run of 4-6 Kg Spaniards visiting the jetty continues, especially just after dark, and although they are smaller ones, they are fun, hard hitting, enthusiastic and Ciguatera safe. It’s also nice to see Dads putting life jackets on the youngsters while they fish the jetty, that’s safety conscious.

PT is selling his tinny with very good condition motor, $2300 ONO if anyone feels they are missing out on the fishing action.

This week’s fish pic is a stonker of a flathead, fat from eating jelly prawns, caught by Karl at Horseshoe 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 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.