Mackeral Islands September 2020

Just got back from the Mackie Islands so thought I would do a bit of a write up for anyone thinking about going. We took 3 boats and 10 blokes

Day 1
Woke at 3:00am Drove straight up from Perth to Onslow. Got to Onslow around 5pm that afternoon and swagged it at the caravan park. Onslow tav for a good feed and to establish a few competitions for the trip!

Day 2
Checked in at the resort in Onlsow where we were told that we aren't allowed to bring Engels and fuel. Apparently not even allowed to have an Engel on your boat from what we were told.... Found out all this information that was supposed to be sent to us in an information pack but they forgot to send it to us. No dramas unloaded the Engels and left the Jerry cans in the kill tanks as we had 200 litres in fuel in jerries.
Went for a cruise down one of the local creeks before heading over to the island. Quick half an hour walk managed to hook 2 big buck muddies out of their holes. Stoked!!!
On the way over found schools of mackeral that we were sight casting lures at which was awesome fun.
Made our way to the island and unloaded the gear. Team was helpful and had a ute there waiting to unload us so we could go out fishing. Quick unload into our cabin and straight out. Didn't need to go far where we found Reds, Rankin, trout, Spangos, Saddles all in about 25m of water. Was a great little arvo sesh.
Dinner was a feast... Muddies were amazing!!

Day 3
Weather all week looks like its going to be windy in the morning, dropping off around 10ish then picking up around 3pm. Headed out around 9 towards the long island direction. Fished from 25m to around 70m picking up the usual Reds, Ranks, Trout. Had awesome fun landing a few massive chinaman and cod.
Came back towards the island around 3pm where we decided to have a quick dive on a few bombies we found. Crays and Coral trout everywhere. Got a few crays for a feed as we heard the painteds and ornates weren't the best eating and plucked a few trout on the straight hook - According to the Island manager they come in close this time of year waiting for the turtles to lay and hatch so they can eat the baby turtles so was more than happy to help the turtle population haha
Had surf and turf tonight for dinner and no matter what anyone says about the crays, fresh they were bloody awesome!!

Day 4
Thought this day was going to be the better of the days weather wise so my boat decided to head out deep dropping to get see if we could get a few rubies and fish the wells out wide. Rubies were everywhere however getting them past the sharks was a problem. Could have gotten our bag easily but was only getting in 1 in every 3 fish. Got a bag of rubies and headed into the wells. The wells are very fishy and very sharky. If you could get them past the sharks there was everything. Robinson sea bream, pearl perch, Reds. Sounder lit up when you went over a well, but could see the sharks hovering above.
Came in, filleted and had an awesome cheese platter.... Definently a hightlight for the trip hahaha

On this day when we went to put our fillets into the island on the freezer we found that the fillets from the first day weren't frozen. The freezers on the island don't work properly which is a bit average when you cant bring your own engels over. We were transferring fillets from their big freezer to our freezer in our cabin to freeze them then back into the big freezer. We talked to the manager and they turned another freezer on and transferred everything over but still didn't freeze the fillets. In the end they offered to put the fillets into their big freezer which helped but to not allow you to bring your own engels then not having adequate freezers to freeze your catch frankly isn't good enough.

Day 5
Headed towards Rosily Cay. Had a bit of a troll trying to get a couple of Mackies…… Got Rankin on the troll hahaha managed to get some mackies at the back of rosily cay. Casted lures into the wash at rosily but only managed to get long tom. One of the other boats got a good Spaniard on a stick bait casting into a school of bait fish which was epic. This day was extremely sharky, only bringing up probably 1 in every 4 fish. On one of the spots thought I had a massive shark on but ended up pulling up a 35-40kg Cod. When retrieving my hooks the poor bugger had about 5 jigs / assist hooks in his gob and in his gills, don't know how he was still living. Managed to get most of the air out of him and swam him back to destroy someone elses gear haha.
Later on in the arvo I was trying to untangle a couple of lines. Lucky I didn't have the braid wrapped around my hand but resting on it... Something big grabbed the line that was still in the water and burnt / Sliced my fingers open... Was painful and didn't want to look at my hand for a bit but after looking all my fingers still there and not huge cuts but still hurt. Lesson learnt... Get someone else to hold it haha
The next day was looking really windy so this night was pretty big.... Lots of beers and rums resulted in racing the local crabs on the beach which was bloody good fun!!

Day 6
Windy day today so had a sleep in to try cure the hang over. The guys on the island took us over to the sheltered side of the island on their bus where we had an awesome 30 minute session catching GT's off the beach, I managed an GT on a lure shaped like a dick which was one of our competitions we set so I was stoked with that.
Wind died right down in the arvo so 1 boat headed out with 5 people on board that wanted to head out for a sundown session. Massive trout were on the bight. Managed our bag of trout and rankin in about 3 hours. Was a great little session.

Day 7
Headed in from the island back down the creek to grab another couple of crabs, Got a few and headed into Onslow. Drove from Onlsow to Carnarvon where we all got on the sauce and regretted it the next day driving from Carnarvon back to Perth.

Conclusion
All in all was an awesome trip, if its on your bucket list I would 100% recommend it. In saying that I would only do it once as I think theres easier places to go with just as good fishing.
A few things
- Sharks are terrible. Cant do anything about it except keep moving. Some days only bringing in 1 in every 4 fish.
- Cant take Engels but the island needs to improve their freezers
- Cant take fuel unless you leave in on board like we did. Fuel is around $2 per litre on the island
- Cant take booze unless you leave it on the boat. We bought booze from the island which was about $10 per carton more expensive which isn't too bad considering
- Sand flies / mozzies etc weren't that bad, but leave your food items up off the ground as the mice are bad
- Bait out fished jigs / placcies 10 times over so use bait... Also cheaper than using jigs and loosing heaps
- Staff were pretty good and helpful. Some were very good to look at hahahaha
- Fillet station, island amenities were amazing. Good lights and everything at the fillet station which was a bonus.
- Moorings were great, ropes on the moorings must have been changed as they were all in great condition. We had 30knot winds one morning and were no issues

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I go boating not fishing

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Simo_'s picture

Posts: 1742

Date Joined: 13/11/06

great trip and write up.

Tue, 2020-09-22 12:18

great trip and write up.

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Bring on April

Swompa's picture

Posts: 2852

Date Joined: 14/10/12

 What a trip! Great write up

Tue, 2020-09-22 12:51

 What a trip! Great write up too. 

 

still trying's picture

Posts: 537

Date Joined: 27/06/17

 Sounds like a great trip,

Tue, 2020-09-22 13:20

 Sounds like a great trip, awesome write up and even better photos. 

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 rather be fishing

Brock O's picture

Posts: 2426

Date Joined: 11/01/08

Well done, Great write up and

Tue, 2020-09-22 13:51

Well done, Great write up and Pic's.

Them sharks must be a frustration....wasted fish too.

Posts: 449

Date Joined: 08/09/16

 Great write-up! I went there

Tue, 2020-09-22 16:05

 Great write-up! I went there years ago and had a ball. Sounds like the fishing is still just as good but the sharks are much worse (like everywhere). 

It is a bloody fun place to go with a bunch of mates like that too!

sea-kem's picture

Posts: 12697

Date Joined: 30/11/09

 Top report Josh! Lucky with

Tue, 2020-09-22 16:09

 Top report Josh! Lucky with the fingers mate. 

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Love the West!

Adam Gallash's picture

Posts: 15275

Date Joined: 29/11/05

Yewtz

Tue, 2020-09-22 18:10

Yewtz, sick trip!

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Site Admin - Just ask if you need assistance

Posts: 5913

Date Joined: 17/06/10

Great write up and pics

Tue, 2020-09-22 20:36

Thanks for the post, from what I'm reading the bloody sharks are really taking a toll on trying to get some good fish into the boat, bummer.
Did you finial get all of your fillets frozen good enough for the trip home.

Faulkner Family's picture

Posts: 16131

Date Joined: 11/03/08

 Well done all round. Sounds

Wed, 2020-09-23 05:15

 Well done all round. Sounds like a great time was had apart from the shark and freezer problem. Those braid cuts certainly hurt like he'll.  

Definitely sounds like a shark fishing licence is needed out there when your only landing a small percentage of hooked fish. 

You certainly got some good fish there and that cod talked body jewelry to the extreme.  

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RUSS and SANDY. A family that fishes together stays together

Piggy's picture

Posts: 384

Date Joined: 24/08/12

Cheers

Wed, 2020-09-23 07:26

Cheers Fellas
Yeah I agree the shark fishing needs to come back in the area. Some of the spots especially in 50 - 70m just aren't worth fishing. By only bringing in 1 in every 4 fish we are just feeding them when fishing.

Yeah the braid cuts hurt and just lucky I didn't have it wrapped around my fingers or I don't rekon I would have them.

All in all was an awesome trip, great company, great fishing and stoked on how easy the muddies were to get haha

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I go boating not fishing

Meeuwissen's picture

Posts: 666

Date Joined: 29/03/13

Thanks for taking the time

Wed, 2020-09-23 08:07

 To do a write up. Been wanting to do a trip for a while now. This is getting me even keener!

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Stay salty

kirky79's picture

Posts: 1306

Date Joined: 13/01/12

Great Report

Wed, 2020-09-23 13:48

 Some beaut fish there! Cheers for sharing.

crano's picture

Posts: 617

Date Joined: 04/11/09

Thanks

Wed, 2020-09-23 17:03

Great story 

Posts: 150

Date Joined: 27/05/11

 Nice write up. Thanks to

Wed, 2020-10-14 19:40

 Nice write up. Thanks to Shorecatch and Adam for promoting the story as I wouldn't have come across it otherwise.

Posts: 2309

Date Joined: 03/05/06

same same

Fri, 2020-10-16 11:03

 

I missed it, saw it on the Shorecatch comp.  Great report.  Lucky with the fingers. 

 

Piggy's picture

Posts: 384

Date Joined: 24/08/12

Stories

Wed, 2020-10-21 07:47

Spoke with Mick from Shore catch yesterday. Love the fact they are trying to promote more stories on the site!! Love coming on here and reading the write ups.

Cheers for all your comments fellas!!

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I go boating not fishing