Australia Day Recap

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.