Fishing from Shute Harbour Jetty

Airlie Beach has returned to magnificent weather. The grounds dried out, the skies are blue, and its warm – a very pleasant 26 Degrees today. So, what does one do on a glorious sunny day at Airlie Beach when there’s nothing else on – fish of course.

I took some lambs liver out of the freezer (my preferred fishing bait), and packed up a few crackers and cheese, chopped up some water melon and put ice cubes into a bottle of water. In the meantime Paul sorted out the fishing gear. High tide was around 11.30am, so we timed our arrival at Shute Harbour jetty for around 11am, calling at a fishing tackle shop on the way to purchase some more hooks and Pauls preferred bait.

Paul trying his luck.
Paul trying his luck.

Within a very short time I’d caught a small shark (only about 1/2 metre in length), which didn’t live to see to see another day. A giant groper who lives under the jetty seized the opportunity of a captive lunch and lunged from the watery depths to claim my prize, hook, line, sinker – and shark, gone in a mouthful. This groper is famed for stealing catches from fisher people such as myself who are to slow in reeling in their catch. I kid you not – he is a massive fish. I wouldn’t like to fall in nearby, he’s certainly big enough to do me some serious damage should he mistake me for someones ‘slow catch’. Had he not taken my prize we would have released the shark back to continue on with his day. Just his rotten luck that I was to slow at reeling him in. It was awesome to see – so, so fast, for such a massive lump of a water creature. A spectacle we’d been warned about, and one we’re pleased to have witnessed.

A couple of hours later we’d had the joy of being surprised by a big ray completing a serious of high jumps only about 10 metres in front of the jetty. Obviously, something much bigger had decided he’d make a good lunch. We didn’t see if he’d been successful in evading the enemy. I hope so, we’re rather partial to rays. They’re such relaxing sea creatures to watch as they glide peacefully through clear waters. We witnessed a large turtle swimming along and poking his head up every so often for a look around. And we’d completely surrendered to the peaceful tranquility thet comes with a couple of hours gazing out over the calm, blue/green waters of Shute Harbour. So meditational!

The island fringed waters of Shute Harbour.
The island fringed waters of Shute Harbour.
Boats of all shapes and sizes coming and going.
Boats of all shapes and sizes coming and going.

Apart from the shark  nothing else was caught that was worthy of a mention. But our bait was constantly being nibbled so our hopes of ‘the big one’ was constantly being nurtured. With or without a catch, the jetty on a warm 26 degree day is one hell of place to wile away a couple of hours.

What a pleasure!

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