Local Notes

The whales are here, although heading north they have their hustle on, getting to the warm waters to have babies. Going south they tend to be a lot more leisurely with all those new children slowing them down. This week they have been seen heading past Brewer and most of the deeper reefs. Migaloo, the famous white whale was sighted Saturday off Port Douglas on this his 30th birthday year. I’m still hopeful of seeing him off Maggie one year, what a treat that would be.
That triathlon on the weekend was extremely well attended and everyone seemed to have a great time, although it looks a lot like hard work to me. The one thing that seems strange is why the swimming section is conducted in the murky harbour waters, instead of at any of our beautiful beaches. Maybe someone can enlighten me as to why?
The Ferguson, one of AIMS main research vessels is heading out this week for a very important fish study. They aim to collect a number of coral fish species and analyse them for micro plastics in the body. Study so far have shown plastics in smaller marine creatures, so they are interested to find out what the flow on affect is to the largest species. It’s a little scary that nobody really knows the long-term effects of all these plastics in our bodies. With 10 million tonnes plus entering the ocean each year we are all going to have to do more. Microplastics are already in us from tap water, bottles, food and many other sources but what happens when we eat contaminated fish. The study results should be compelling reading.

When you look up and see white bellied sea Eagles flying majestically in the sky, while being constantly harried by smaller birds, this strange behaviour is called mobbing and relates to the protective nature of smaller birds to their nesting and territory areas. I find it annoying, watching those beautiful creatures constantly attacked.
As I type this on yet another cloudy morning, I’m pretty sure we’ve totally blown our heavily advertised 320 sunny days image this year, maybe Cairns has sabotaged our weather? Having said that it’s a perfect time to do all the walks on the island without that sun beaming down on your head. I also enjoy seeing all the southerners swimming like the ocean has a heating element while half you tough Queenslander guys here won’t hop in for a spear because it’s too cold.

Island Fishing

I had a visit from a guy called Andrew on Sunday afternoon who thanked me for putting him onto Arthur Bay as a gold fishing spot. He poppered himself a beautiful coral trout and was super excited with how quick he got it. Andrew was here with his family and he had limited fishing time. As he said, “where do you find a secluded bay that beautiful, and great fishing to boot.”
The pipeline has been producing quality Mangrove Jack and Grunter to 60 cm, great fighting and top table tucker. In the afternoons big Queenies have been taking Spoons meant for Mackerel, smashing them on the surface off Horseshoe Bay.
Big Trevally at the jetty, including a 10kg plus monster that the excited angler let go, even though one visitor was trying to score it off him. The guy was most miffed when he came in, so I explained Ciguatera and he was a bit happier after that.
A couple of holiday mishaps this week. One luckless angler landed his prize Golden Trevally off Orchard Rocks. As he was removing the hook, the wily fish flipped itself off the esky lid and back to freedom, then apparently ignored the heartbroken pleas of the angler not to swim away and did just that.
The other was a boat angler who did the big no no and failed to seat his rod in the rod holder properly. Rounding Hawking’s point the rod got the strike he had spent hours looking for, but the rod promptly disappeared overboard, a Shimano TLD 30 rig. He lives in Townsville and would love it back, fish optional if any spearos find it.
This week lacklustre tides means working hard for the fish this. Westpoint has been producing quality Flathead up in the sandy beach areas, if you can avoid the stingrays. Fishing the outgoing tide can be especially fruitful as Grunter wait for the prawns to drop out of the Mangroves and will hit a well-presented Gar fillet or peeled prawn in Young and Cockle Bays. Come in and see Ray if you want a Grunter Rig set up, he will show you how to rig for these tasty fish. Push up closer to the rocks on dark to chase Jacks and Fingermark as they come out of hiding and search for food. Use fish strips or soft plastics. Paddle tail Z-Man and Chasebaits work a treat.

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