What’s New On The Rock
I went out with a mate during the week to the Northern Grounds. Although its still early in the official Marlin season, it’s still worth a few hours on the water to look for bait and drop the lines. Things were very quiet and no bait and no Billies, and not even a Mac to mess up the still spotless boat. On the way back my mate quipped, “Well Dale at least the boat stayed clean. That was a mistake. We were coming in full noise and this massive Wolf Herring launched out of the water in front of us, grazed past my head and landed with a thump in the stern, on the glistening white fiberglass. The resulting fish struggles flicked slime and scales all through the boat and we had to pull up and clean anyway. What a mess, I wouldn’t have minded if it was a Spaniard.
I finished the side console on the tinny, what a difference it makes not having a tiller steer on the 60 Mercury. Unfortunately, I took cost saving short cut using an old steering cable re crimped. In the ways of fishing first day out testing the console Janie and I were flying along the edge of the Bommies near Bolger Bay when the steering cable snapped. The boat skewed sideways immediately, and with Murphy’s law and the laws of Torque in play, it turned towards shore instead of away. I turned off the motor immediately but there was enough momentum to hit the bommies anyway, what a thump. Fortunately, there was minimal damage but the motor cable, although snapped was still attached at the motor end making manual turning impossible. The winds were coming up and I had no mates in the water for a tow. I had to rely on moving Janie from side to side to try to steer all the way back to Picnic and Safety. After some trial and error we got it mastered and limped into Picnic Bay before the seas came up. Needless to say I have now put a new steering cable on, hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Watch those death adders. Dead dogs and dozens of encounters with our death adders in the last few weeks has prompted me to warn again to be very careful. One yard alone had 12 adders residing at Nelly Bay
The next CLG meeting for the Ports Expansion meets on Wednesday. I see my role in the group as reporting facts to you and taking feedback from you to the Ports. Obviously, our big concerns are the dredge material. One of the main questions are how long it stays in suspension, after dredging, and its impact on our waters and tourism. Also, the massive expansion means much more maintenance dredge material which is normally dumped out near Cape Cleveland. I have information at the shop if you want to drop in, more next week on this important community issue.
The emergency Generators remain on the Island as Ergon did not yet get our main line fixed, with other breaks in the line identified. We will be on 1 line to Townsville for a bit longer. Fortunately with low use of A/C units this time of year, one line seems to cope ok.
Sean was telling me how good my Qantas lure was. Sean went down the Burdekin with his mates and had an absolute ripping session,. Fish were active everywhere. The other lures they had were underperforming but the red white Halco was the star. A 1.2 m Spaniard was the highlight, but the boys cleaned up. The star Magnetic Adventure & Hire lure was finally lost when a 3m Tiger Shark took the fish that took the lure. The boys fought for 20 minutes before they had to cut the line and lose the lure. What a great story. After Kyles nice Trout story on the same lure Sunday its satisfying to the results keep coming.
Spearing has been quiet due to fairly murky waters, although those who have had a go have reported big Barra and more of those big Trout still hanging in the caves and holes. The Barra are picky eaters as the water cools, so live bait is a must. Horseshoe Bay is very quiet onshore but the structures around White Lady Bay hold big fish. Speaking of WLB, If you have a kayak or tinny have a float across the structures on the low tide. It’s spectacular viewing, and also has at least 6 of Dr Braleys Giant Clams.
The crabbing has vastly improved post those with some big bucks caught in Nelly and WestPoint. That bit of rain seems to have had a small flush of the creeks, try your luck. For fishing, I’m recommending the jetty though, (still the current hotspot,) because fishing is the best on Maggie, Mack’s, Trevally Queenies and even Barra. Commiserations to a local I won’t name for almost landing an 85 cm plus Barra on the Jetty last week. He was working under the jetty pylons where Barra sometimes hang when he hooked up. She peeled line off as she went through the pylons trying to escape. He managed to coax the big girl all the way to the surface with everyone watching and was so close. The Barra had other ideas when the line slackened and flipped off at the last second.