Fishin’ Maggie

Quick Chat

I enjoyed watching the island recycling in full swing over the last week. As the council clean-up commenced everyone put out their rubbish. There were mad dashes around as people grabbed treasure from others trash and relocated to their houses. I think it was just a relocation of home goods between the Bays. I hope some trash actually left the island.

Travelling recently, we drove off the barge and decided to grab a quick breaky in Palmer St. We stopped at a restaurant with a sign out the front advertising Breaky to go fast. We ordered breaky burrito. After 20 long minutes we finally got a Styrofoam takeaway container with sections for the different food stuffs. There was a burrito, baked chilly beans and salad. We went back in and asked for forks to eat the beans and other stuff. The staff walked around for a minute then came back and said, “No we don’t have any.” Ever tried to eat chilly beans with fingers?? Apparently, the word ready to go is subject to different interpretations?

Fishing The Herbert

One of the objects of my recent father and son trip was to get Sooty Grunter, a rugged northern fighting freshwater species on my bucket list. We selected the Upper Herbert River north of Ingham and packed the freshwater gear, beer, some food and headed off for the next adventure.

Day one we trekked deep into the upper river over millions of loose river rocks, (Aren’t they tough on feet) and amazingly picking our first spot carefully we both bagged nice Sooties. first cast. For us the trip was straight away a success, another bucket list fish checked off. We trekked kilometres through the riverbanks trying different lures and filming nature at its best. At the end of the long hot day we dragged our sore and sorry bodies into a motel in Ingham for some much-needed showers, cold Crownie’s and a good rest. The lovely reception lady asked about our day, so I proudly told her we had been fishing for Sooty Grunter up past Abergowrie and she looked at me like I had two heads. “What do you think you are doing? Do you know the size of the crocs out where you are fishing”? I listened as she told me stories of the 4m crocs waiting in the deep pools. I felt my confidence being sucked out like pulling the plug in a warn spa. Ten minutes later, room key hanging loosely in my hand, I went back to the car. Mitch said, “What took you so long?” so I filled him in on the potential for hungry 4m reptiles to rip us limb from limb. It was a sobering thought to end the day, but with a few beverages and some sleep, day 2 Mitch hooked a 60 plus Barra but on 10lb leader it was no chance in the small river pool. Ultra-cautious in the deeper waters, the casting was difficult with the need to stand in the water offset by the possibility of losing the legs we needed to fish with. (Life in the tropics is tough) Over the duration of the trip we landed plenty of quality Sooty Grunter and freshwater Tarpon, but all the Barra turned out to be self-releasing on our light gear.  After the dire warnings we were given, the temptation to hang over the deep pools and toss into structures was tempered by a strong sense of preservation. Having said that we spotted no crocs in our 3 days and left wondering if it was an elaborate and widespread hoax to protect an amazing freshwater fishery. Go check it out.

On that note there is Heli fly in fly out trips to save all the walking, if you have a lazy grand each. Townsville Helicopters will fly us to pristine locations and back with some Mud crabs thrown in.

The Fishing Stuff

The first decent Greys are appearing out around Rattlesnake Island as the early season starts. Traditionally the Greys congregate up that way and feed before moving out toward Palms until November when they pack around the island for 3 amazing weeks of freezer filling action. Several Greys and a big Spaniard have been feeding on Herring at the jetty, along with Coral Trout. Trout of course are off the menu until 10/10 as they and other reef fin fish are aggregating to spawn and obviously highly vulnerable. If you are wondering why fin fish closures, at certain times certain species get together for a massive free for all spawning event, imagine thousands of Parrot fish all getting together for some fun days chatting to the girls and…stuff, (like a big youth disco) and anglers come along and clean them all out while they are in a party mood. No good for sustainable fishing, hence the closures.

West Point evenings have been an absolute fishy gold mine with bait schools congregating on the big evening tides. Grunter to 50 cm, Jacks, Trevally and all manner of awesome fishing is happening so get out there all week for great fish. I went fishing and it was slow until this one 40-minute flurry saw 7 flathead and 1 Barra smash my soft plastics. Wednesday between 7.45 and 8.25, no reason for it, just bite time. Preparation, research hours and some luck equal fish.

Congratulations to Gary on a massive 1.2 kg Queenie on spoon in Horseshoe Bay


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

Cheers Dale

Magnetic Adventure & Hire/MI Rentals

36 Mandalay Ave, Nelly Bay 4778-5126


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.