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.

Pho­tos: Contributed

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.

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