What’s New On The Rock

The Horseshoe Bay wetlands has totally dried out forcing those remarkable Magpie Geese to spread far afield, fighting the wallabies for the remaining food including juicy mango’s They are good at chasing off Wallabies who are also reduced to eating fermenting mango remnants, but not so good at getting off the road, so please drive carefully. The issue of the overpopulation of Agile Wallabies at Horseshoe Bay is a serious one, should they be culled or not?        The original population is widely believed to have been released from the old Koala park and now is in plague proportions. They are desperate for food and dig under and jump over fences. (The Red Wallabies record jump height is 10 feet or 3 m, but our locals can jump 1.8m. What’s your thoughts on this issue of starving Wallabies?

Holiday’s – leave your brain in park mode. Here’s 3 this week.
My hire car A/C not working- (I went and pressed the A/C on button.)
Car won’t start. Put it in Park first.
Another “car won’t start”- Turn the ignition key. (She has electric car at home.)

For those of you who remember Rin Tin Tin, the 5m crocodile that used to live at Picnic Bay Hotel, back in the day, you’ll be happy to know he is still alive and well still in Taronga Zoo. I gave a quick call to Chelsea at the Zoo in Sydney this week, who assured me that the massive reptile is in fine health and eating well. I have a feeling he will probably even see a few of us out. That’s what happens when you get permanently spoilt and have and the best private health cover. For those who don’t remember, Mr Carnell the owner of the pub and the sterile croc fought Parks and Wildlife in 2001 for the right to house the croc after he had built extensive facilities in the grounds of the pub. Here’s a couple of comments from the story.

I go and put one crocodile into a resort and the unthinkable has happened,” he said. “I’ve been to enormous expense to build this thing – it is not like I am fitting out an old Queensland pub with a bit of chook-wire.” (Bill Carnell)

“Magistrate Mr Laurie Verra SM yesterday called for further affidavit evidence from both sides and set a start date for the hearing of 17 October. There was no indication that Rin Tin Tin would be tendered in court as exhibit 1.” (Courier Mail 2001.)

Eventually the Croc was sent off to the Zoo. As a tour guide of the stretched Jeep way back then I found the Croc was a wow factor exhibit in an already exceptional tour.

The first turtle nest of the season has been discovered at Nelly Bay near the old helipad. It’s up to us all to make sure that turtles keep coming back to the same beaches and nesting, let’s keep this one safe from animals, including wandering dogs.

That pesky Algae Trichodesmium has been mostly dispersed, after a particularly bad period of bloom, at times causing Alma Bay to be almost non swimmable. Unfortunately, there’s still people complaining of another ocean pest although a minor one, good old Sea Lice. In Australia, according to our experts they are actually tiny jellyfish, bits of tentacles and even some other microscopic marine animals. There is no such thing in Queensland, or even Australia, as sea lice. That annoying itching sensation fortunately goes away very quickly.

For the last few years, Grey Mackerel have only made short appearances, but now they have hit Maggie in great quantity and are gracing us for an extended stay. Grey or Broad-Barred Mackerel are the top tucker on everyone’s dinner list this week. Try a smoker for something different.

Our Grey Mackerel are part of a local group north of Mackay all the way through to north of Townsville. I can only guess that the southern gill nets didn’t get as many this year allowing a larger population to get through to Maggie. Lucky us I say.  As many as 10 assorted boats can be seen in the arvo’s ploughing the waters off Nelly Bay getting these delicious fish for the freezers. The bait schools, those little tiny pilchards are getting scarcer as all the fish smash them day after day. (who would want to hang with a bait school) Very soon they will start turning on themselves as the bait runs out, then move rapidly north. I do believe there are more commercial gill nets just up the coast.  The commercial Catch is 250t, so don’t worry we don’t dent the population too much.

The local spots that have been attracting Grey’s more than elsewhere are directly outside Nelly Bay Harbour across on a line to the old dozer and Nelly Rock off Hawking’s Point.  For land-based chuck a slice out off Bright Point in the evening, and off the concrete block in the boat ramp car park. The waters just off Radical Bay through to Horseshoe Bay has seen Mack’s Tuna and Salmon action aplenty.

Chewy and partner Zoe had a ripper session on his little punt Friday afternoon smashing 6 Greys and 2 Spotties, but one of the them was a monster approaching a meter, and they always fight like demons. Chewy attributes his fish success to the little holes in the boat letting the blood leak out the bottom attracting more fish. It sounds like a good theory to me but keep bailing.

RW finally got his boat operational in time to get a first day haul of 9 and followed up with some more on Sunday. While hauling in fish the boat was followed by a Tiger shark close to 3 meters and later by a Hammerhead just under 2 meters.   No shark buoys in sight though, only Horseshoe Bay has them.

Dave reported huge bait schools moving past West Point on Sunday, heading north so we may lose our fish soon.

40cm plus Grunter are on the chew in West Point and Cockle Bay.

This wonderful weather is set to continue, although the Northerlies have been very persistent and made Horseshoe Bay a difficult place for yachties and the commercial operators, the rest of Maggie is an angler’s dream.


Remember, “To the world it may be just one fish but to me it is the world”

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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