Magnetic Island – Townsville – 27 August 2011

Saturday AM

I was up early for a quick morning fish at Bremner Point on Magnetic Island. The climb out, over the boulders to reach the fishing zone was pretty tough. My knees are not that effective as shock absorbers anymore, but I managed to arrive just before dawn, at around 5.30 am.
The first cast produced a small pike and the next a small Stripy Perch. I carried on casting, gradually moving north around the front of the headland. I caught a few more Perch and a few more cod. They were all very small but pulled hard on the light rod.

After a slightly more solid fish bit me off I put a GULP 4” Minnow in the Peppered Prawn colour on a 1/8th oz, 1/0 jighead and cast it out. I was now standing on a flat rock above a ‘V’ shaped inlet. Things had slowed down a bit and I was letting the plastic slowly waft around in close to the shore. As I wound in the plastic and was about to lift it out of the water, a great silver shape came shooting up from beneath and in one clean movement, turned over on top of the plastic, swallowed it and took off. It was a good size Giant Trevally and line started peeling. The tiny rod was never going to stop it so reluctantly I gradually tightened the drag. The fish slowed for a bit and then as it took off again the line went slack. I wound it in to find a jighead with a thoroughly straightened hook.

I carried on fishing around the headland until I reached Alma Bay at about 11.00 am – where I stopped for a quick swim. Outgunned by the fish again.

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Saturday PM

This was to be my last session on Magnetic Island and I decided to try the north rockwall, in front of the main harbor at Nellie Bay. I tried a number of different soft plastics but nothing really happened until the sun dropped behind the hills. Then the familiar routine started up again. Just as the plastic reached the edge of the rocks, a fish would dart out, grab it and drag it back down. I think these fish were better sized cod and I did not manage to win my fight with any of them. Just as it was really getting dark I pulled one clear of the water, only to find the orange/ brown eye of a small barramundi staring back at me – it was no more than 25cm long and had grabbed the GULP 3” Pearl Watermelon Minnow on a 1/8th oz 1/0 jighead. Its skin was almost black and that was why I had mistaken it for a cod.

The session ended abruptly as the tip of the Pflueger rod snapped on the next cast. I had put it through its paces over the last few days but it should be made of sterner stuff – so I will be taking it back to BCF. It had been a great introduction to land based fishing on Magnetic Island. I will be back again soon,but next time I will go properly prepared!

Magnetic Island – Townsville – 26 August 2011

Friday PM

The benefit of working from time to time is that you sometimes end up on Friday in a good fishing spot. That was the case yesterday. I was in Townsville and decided to take the ferry across to Magnetic Island in search of some good land-based fishing.

I only had my recently purchased Pflueger Travel Spin Combo – 6’6″, 5 Piece light rod, so I knew I would be in trouble if I came across anything big. I started off looking at the map of where I could fish. Many of the bays are green zones, but fortunately you can fish off almost all the rocky headlands. So after a knee trembling boulder scramble, I arrived at the tip of Bremner Point – the headland at the northern end of Geoffrey Bay. It was around 5.15 pm and I put on a GULP 4” Jigging Grub in the Pumpkinseed colour. The first cast produced a nice solid bite, but no hook up. The next cast had the rod bent over. Whatever it was – it headed straight for the rocks and that was the last I saw of it. A couple of tugs and the 20lb leader snapped. I re-rigged and tightened the drag. The same thing happened but this time I heaved the fish straight up, out of the rocks and up to my feet. I think it was a small Fingermark (see photo).

Bremner Point is reached by scrambling over the boulders beyond this archway

I scrambled over a few more boulders to another promising looking spot and cast out. I was now fishing with a 1/8th oz, 1/0 jighead and using a GULP 4” Minnow in the Pearl Watermelon colour. After a few casts I was onto another fish but again it went straight down into the rocks and unhooked itself. I could see I was going to lose plenty of fishing gear. I re-rigged and a few casts later I caught a glimpse of a large black and white reef fish heading down into the rocks with my soft plastic. Once again I could not pull it out. I moved again and found a couple of small Stripy Perch and a tiny cod with a big appetite. The sun was now dropping behind the hills and I decided to climb back over the boulders while I could still see. I walked back to my hotel thinking about what might have been if I had brought the proper rod!