FISHING Legends collide for fishing in Mackay
LEGENDARY angler and national television personality Scotty Hillier has been savouring the “diverse” waters of Mackay this week, while shooting footage for not one, but four Creek to Coast episodes to be aired throughout 2018.
“One of the main reason we came is because many of the regional towns in Queensland really enjoy watching Creek to Coast and Mackay is one of those regions,” Hillier said.
“We wanted to repay the people who watch by coming back to promote their region.
“What we like about this area is that it’s just so diverse; we could be inshore one minute catching a barra or a whiting, the next minute we’re out at the islands catching giant trevally and golden trevally, and the next day we’re further off shore catching nannygai and cod.
“It’s really the diversity and the close proximity for a lot of areas which appeal to a lot of people to go here and fish and the fish quality is fantastic.”
Speaking via mobile on Thursday morning as he fished blue salmon from a bend in Reliance Creek, Hillier said he was currently in the capable hands of local expert Jason Kidd from Inshore Fishing in Mackay.
“This morning we’re concentrating on the inshore, we’re going to chase a few salmon and a few whiting, while we’re here we are trying to show the full spectrum of what Mackay offers as a destination to come visit,” Hillier said.
The bends of a creek in June is the likely place to find Jason Kidd who told the Mercury in May, “What you will find is that (king salmon) will school up and find those little back eddies and currents which mean they don’t have to swim as hard, so if there’s a little back eddy or something on a bend because you’ll have periods of calm water in there where it’s not running as much and they (the fish) will hide in that.”
It has been a busy week in Mackay for Hillier, stopping by the Sarina Sugar Shed on Monday for a rum and fairy floss, the angler then met Mayor Greg Williamson in promotion of the newly relocated Mackay Visitor Information Centre at the Sarina Field of Dreams.
Aside from being able to savour local produce, Hillier said he was most excited by the fantastic weather conditions on the Mackay coast throughout the week, rising bright and early on Tuesday for a trip out to the Mackay shipping channel.
On Tuesday: “We went out with local lads, no charters, their names were Matty Sutton, Sean Wade and Aaron Wade, we went offshore in their boats, out in the paddock area in the shipping channel 30km offshore from Mackay,” Hillier said.
“We caught a couple of nannygai, a couple of nice grassy sweetlip and the fish of the trip on that day was a 1.25metre black jewfish caught by young Aaron.” Hillier said he and the three lads were fishing with squid baits over
a blue hole in the Mackay shipping channel when Aaron’s line started reeling.
Wednesday: “We went out to Sea-fort three golden vally up to 10 kilograms micro jigs which are a small jig, just out around the islands”.
“From there we travelled north and we got a trophy fish, we got a 25 kilogram giant revally on a popper.”
According to Hillier the noise of his shouting after realising it was a trophy-sized GT on the line may have made its way from Seaforth to Mackay. We were in Seaforth and we thought it would be heard in Mackay, I’m quite an excitable lad, I have landed one (GT) before, but I haven’t landed one for many many years, to do it on camera was a big thrill,” Hillier said.
‘Popper lures’ like the one used by Hillier to land the trevally are vibrating lures designed to be reeled along the surface of the water, creating a vibrating noise to attract fish.
Hillier advises anyone chasing a GT to be “casting poppers and then you bloop them back towards yourself and then bang, it’s like a small bus falling out of the sky”.
When trawling for GT, Allan Turner from Action Charters in Mackay recommends trawling a pilchard or hard plastic lure across the edges of a reef through areas of run, saying both Spanish mackerel and trevally will pursue the line.
Thursday morning and the third day of fishing, Hillier said he had only scratched the surface of what was available in Mackay and that the region was spoilt in regards to the variety and quality of species available.
Creek to Coast screens at 5pm every Saturday on Channel 7.
“The Mackay region is going to feature nationally, we’ve filmed four separate stories so they will be spread out over a three-month period,” Hillier said.
Hillier obviously enjoyed himself while fishing with Kidd yesterday, landing barra, salmon, queen fish, grunter and tarpon all in a half-day trip, cutting the conversation with
The Daily Mercury short as his rod took off in the background.
HUGE CATCHES: Creek to Coast presenter Scotty Hillier wit micro jigs around Seaforth.
th one of three golden trevally caught on Wednesday fishing with
Scotty with a 25kg giant trevally caught on a popper lure.
Scotty with a black jewfish caught by Aaron Wade in the Mackay Shipping Channel.