Happy New year to all

Happy New year to all. Let’s hope your 2020 is filled with whatever you desire, including family and of course big fish. Up here in FNQ we have been enjoying wonderful weather, a far cry from the devastating fires down south that are affecting our friends, family and fellow Australians. Make sure you donate to a fee free appeal if you are able, it is truly a nightmare Christmas for so many families. While watching the news, I have learnt some new Town names I never knew existed. Evacuations from places like Dandongadale, (No one is going to dong me.) Nug Nug and the town of Smoko come to mind. I googled unusual Aussie towns and was tickled by some. Check them out. Samples include, BurrumButtock ( N.S.W.) Eggs and Bacon Bay ( Tas) Cockwash

( S.A.) Nowhere Else (Tas and S.A) Pimpinbudgie plus Wonglepong

(QLD) and Edge of the World (Tas) Each has a rich history of naming.

Quick Fact. The only Aussie Town starting with X is Xantippe named after the Philosopher Socrates wife.

The favourite Koala resident population of Horseshoe Bay has been roped off, after massive pressure caused in part from excessive visitor numbers, and in part from inconsiderate people. The power of social media has been instrumental in allowing this one private property to become a circus. 2 baby Koalas had to be removed into care after being separated from their mums. Other heat stressed Koalas have been lifted out of trees for photos for travel instagram. Probably the worst incidents included people swatting the poor animals with broken branches to try to get them to eat leaves for pictures and others climbing the trees to get a pic. I reported a wile ago that based on current figures Maggie Island had 1-1.5 percent of Australia’s remaining Koalas. With the Bush fire impact on the southern population I think our responsibility is clear, protect ours. If you see any of this despicable behaviour anywhere, step in and report.

Nicks kids also had an encounter with the baby croc at Horseshoe Bay, hooking the reptile while lure fishing. They have reported to Parks and I noticed that the warning signs have gone up again. He is a tiny little guy, must be having a ball down there eating mullet.

I had reports of 2 meter plus Barra and 1 massive 8kg plus cod lazing inside the stinger net at Horseshoe Bay. In the very clear waters last week they were visible to bemused swimmers. I’m guessing they get in and out under the nets.

Mick had a truly epic day in the boat around island last week. Those super clear waters have attracted big bait balls, and these balls have resulted in lots of fish moving in, and increased action. Mick caught Grey Mack’s, 2 Fingermark, a Blue spot Trout and a 50cm Jack in a top daytime session in the Tinny The shallow Bommies are holding more Trout than has been seen in years, and Fingermark are everywhere.

Pick of the spots this week is Horseshoe Bay with Queenies and Trevally cruising along the beaches, particularly up near the lagoon. The underwater dead trees are holding bait schools and attracting big fish. This week’s best fish was landed by Trevor who hooked and held onto a cracker1.03m Queenie on a 4-inch spoon thrown out from the beach on a 10-foot 5000 rod reel combo. Trevor noticed some suspect swirls out a bit deeper and targeted the spot. 2 casts and he was on. Unfortunately, the normal aerial acrobatics were largely absent, but the fight was still tough. Trevor kept the fish and said fresh Queenie is as good a chew as any prize rated eating fish.

Fishing Guide Christmas 2019-2020 Part 2 Nelly Bay

Breakwall outside the harbour. – This lightly fished rock wall affords some amazing fishing action particularly in the mornings and evenings. The dropping tide also allows drift and float fishing for Coral Trout, Estuary Cod, as well as G’T’s Golden and Diamond Trevally, Mackerel, and big Queenfish. This area is one of our finest lure locations, although bait can also produce the goods. Reef Sharks are also in abundance, particularly just after dark, and when the water is murkier.

Lure Tips.  On larger rigs try 4” spoons, 15gm Halco Twisties and shallow divers. On lighter gear 5g Twisties, soft and hard vibes and soft plastics. Pelagic species will take the fast-retrieved shiny lures. Floating soft plastics over each Bommie will entice reef species to strike, Divers jigged slowly over the rocks also works well.

Bait Fishing Tips Try to float an unweighted line or use a paternoster style rig to fish (sinker on the bottom and hook higher up). If you float fishing, use the tide depth to ascertain your line depth below the float, (minimum 700mm) The best baits in this very productive area are Pilchard, Poddy Mullet, Mullet fillet, whole Squid and Gar Fillet. At night live bait fishing is exceptional, followed by a well presented Pilchard gang floated or cut in half. Diagonally on a single circle hook.

The main beach.  Nelly Bay Beach is very shallow, sandy and rubble strewn, so fishing at high tide will usually get the best results. Coral reef fish and reef sharks are commonly caught, along with Flathead, Whiting, and smaller Trevally at the Harbor end. Many species of our reef fish, Queenies, Squid and Whiting are favourite target fish at the Western or X Base end.

Lures- Soft plastics are a winner in this area. Gulp Squid Viscous and Nemesis, Chase Baits and Z-man. Colours. Pink, Blue, Orange and Pearl/ Natural. Small squid jigs 2.5cm work best for squid,

Bait – Peeled prawns, any filleted fish, shinier the better. (Mullet, Gar, Pike.) Fresh squid are a top bait to use in this area.

Inner Harbour A no fishing Zone encompasses the area involved in boating operations, and the marina area. This encompasses the walkways and pontoons and prohibits throwing lines or lures near any boats.

Fishing can occur in many other areas including the public boat ramp, bridge area, as well as the southern beach. Also fish the rock walls and the edges of Gustav Creek. A safe fishing area for kids, the harbour provides protection for a huge range of juvenile fish. This of course attracts some bigger predator fish which pop in for a feed. Also present are Trevally, Queenies, Tarpon, Massive Barra, Flathead, Trout, Cod, and the bucket list Mangrove Jack. Other fish schools include Dart, Grunter, Blue Salmon and bream. The harbour is top notch family fishing, especially on windy days. Both sides of the public launching ramp are great kid fishing spots.

Favourite baits here are pilchard, squid and especially small and large prawns, peeled. Soft plastics and small Halco’s are great, blue, gold and caviar. Shallow divers worked slowly across the weed beds and around the rocks will encourage hits from fish hiding for protection.

Live bait is gold, particularly at night. Throw a cast net on the beach side to get Herring, Mullet and Hardyhead. Live Bait works particularly well after dark.

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

Cheers Dale

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