Fishin’ Maggie

What’s New on the Rock

Happy New Year to all and thank you for all your support in 2015. For those I haven’t caught up with for drinks or a chat, February is always a better time for that as the wet season slows down business, and leaves time for serious fishing and socializing.

Maggie Island welcomes 4 Post Grad students doing a full-on Dugong survey around Magnetic Island. They are using Kayaks to record movements, numbers and other information in a study that will take nearly 3 months. I remember seeing Dugongs around the jetty in the mid 2000’s and sometimes near the Tinny at Horseshoe Bay on fishing trips. I have noticed that they don’t seem to be as prevalent any more, but I hope I’m wrong. Either way I look forward to seeing the results of the survey. (I even remember a baby dugong getting caught in the Picnic Bay stinger nets, I think in 2006, which was a big event and had kids very excited. Dugongs are the only solely marine Herbivorous sea mammal, and are listed as vulnerable to extinction.
Now that there is no talk of cyclones, we can all get back into the serious business of fishing, crabbing, and even chasing some prawns. There are prawns being caught in the cast nets at WestPoint and Young Bay, but they are still fairly small. If you don’t want to eat them they are exceptional live bait for Grunter, Trevally, Tarpon, Jacks, and Queenies.

Fishing Maggie by Land

I know it’s not the favourite of people who come to the tropics, but decent size summer Whiting are still very aggressive, and there is an abundance of them in most island bays. If you are using Gulp’s you will feel them smashing the tails of the soft plastics. Tiny gulps and poppers and prawns are still the go.
GT’s, which are such fun as sporting fish, (and good in the pan as well), have moved back into the Nelly Bay harbour, and are very active in the early morning and just on or after dark. GT’s love smaller lures, soft plastics, and live bait, particularly the readily available Hardy heads.
Live bait is particularly hard to get at the moment, but is well worth the effort, as it is always a brilliant way to fish.
JK was fishing a new Tilsan Timber lure at Horseshoe Bay beach, northern end, when he saw something very large following the lure, and unwilling to lose the new purchase, quickly yanked it in as fast as he could. JK thinks it was a fairly decent size shark having a look at his new offer.
Two Queenies caught by visitors at the PB jetty early in the morning were a welcome sight and hard fight in an otherwise fairly quiet week on the western side. Trevally are still resident under the pylons on and after dark and venture out periodically to smash the schools of bait fish.
This week, the tides are much better, and the fishing should improve markedly both in Horseshoe Bay beach, and at West Point.

Wayne continues his good run with a cracker of a Mangrove Jack at Nelly Bay. Wayne baited live Hardy head to land 4 very aggressive feeding GT’s before this 5kg monster Jack hit the line. A great catch fish in so close Wayne.

Fishing Maggie by Boat

Martin smashed out 10 good size Macs in Horseshoe Bay in one session during the week, as the last of the Grey Mack’s and plenty of Doggies continue to shelter in that area. Deep trolled spoons and deep lures still seem to work the best, 3 to 4 m is a good depth to be targeting.
The boats that went out deep had much more luck with Red’s than Trout, with the big Red’s being more active than you would expect, given the neap tides. Luckily this week Wednesday to Sunday will be much better tides for fishing. Fishing the deeper shoals and bommie’s was more productive than the actual reef areas, and those Spaniards are still scarce.

The northerlies put paid to Matt’s boat again, which was swamped for the second time in a really crappy HB swell. Another boatie reported needing 8 people to trailer his boat on the same day on Saturday, due to strong northerlies. This next week is looking much better, with the winds fairly light.

Crabbing in the harbour has a waste of time and bait, but the Mangroves are still producing Bucks of good size and weight. Remember 4 pots max per person and respect others.


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

Cheers Dale

Fish’n N Fuel’n

36 Mandalay Ave, Nelly Bay 4778-5126


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