I HAVE been kindly invited to write an article on Stanage Bay: ‘the last frontier’ for this publication.
My name is John and this is my introduction to Stanage Bay, while nobody could or would try to replace Stanage icon and sadly missed Von Ireland who used to write for this area in this magazine.
My wife Karen and I own Stanage Bay Fishing Accommodation and recently purchased Stanage Bay Marine and Accommodation, with our main identity being Stanage Bay Accommodation. We have lived and operated businesses in this township for the past 14 years.
So let’s start at the beginning for those who have not visited this great area. Stanage Bay is a quiet, friendly fishing village. To get here, continue up the Bruce Highway about 75km north of Rockhampton and then turn right onto Stanage Bay Rd. It is 100km to the township from the turn-off, with 20km of bitumen and the rest dirt. This is an extremely scenic drive if you take it steady and enjoy the experience.
At the time of writing the road was a bit ordinary for the first 30km of dirt. The rest is holding up well, but as always, drive to the conditions. We had good rain during February, so the paddocks are a lush green and the birdlife is exceptional, with hundreds of magpie geese loving the water in the paddocks. Keep an eye out for the swans, brolgas and emus enjoying this wet. The cows and kangaroos as well as a mixture of other wildlife on this unfenced road like to share the same bit of real estate as the vehicles, so please be careful.
Upon entering Stanage, you will find this tranquil little fishing village has a lot to offer both the serious fisher and tourist who just wants to admire the place. The local pub boasts the Crab Pot Bar, which is a great spot to stop for a quiet beer.introduction to stanage bay
The shop has limited grocery supplies and fuel bowsers with unleaded and diesel. Boat Hire by Phil and Tina is a reputable local company. And of course, come and visit us at Stanage Bay Marine and get all your ice, bait, tackle and souvenirs or just have a chat to catch up on local information.
The new boat ramp complete with floating pontoon is at the end of the road leading in to Stanage, which makes launching and retrieving boats not only easier but much safer. Thank you to the Department of Transport and Main Roads for funding this project.
Though remote, Stanage has good Telstra mobile phone coverage and a well-equipped dedicated volunteer Coast Guard on channel 81. Please call these folks every time you go out on the water.
For those who just want to admire the area, we have beautiful and peaceful secluded beaches and caves. Take a drive off the black stuff and admire some of our hidden beaches. A drive to Porters Creek is worth the effort. Stanage boat ramp is classed as open waters, so all the relevant safety gear is required for boating activities in this area.
Unfortunately, or maybe not, Stanage Bay is out of the way for just a day’s drive, so why not give us a call at Stanage Bay Accommodation on 0427 664 000 and stay a few nights to explore this wonderful area. When available, we have overnight, weekly and long-term accommodation.
We had a number of guests during February who were very pleased with their catches, some of which are displayed in the photos on this page. The fingermark and barra being caught are of great quality.introduction to stanage bay
The reef fishing has been patchy but some good catches of nannygai and grassy sweetlip are being reported, as well as the much sought-after red emperor. I believe the good-old spanish mackerel are always here, it’s just hard to get them to take a lure or bait sometimes.
The photo of the one caught in February was a cracker. Greg caught a GT, got a few trophy photos and put it back in the water. While we do not know its weight, it was a good catch. With all the rain, the crabbing is definitely picking up and some proper Stanage crabs are being captured by both recreational and professional sectors.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the introduction to Stanage Bay, so until next time, safe travels and enjoy your recreation time – hopefully wetting a line somewhere.