Salmon And Tailor A Dinner Time TreatWhat an awesome autumn: sunny days with crystal clear skies and the warm water is still lapping the shores of our favourite beaches as I write in early May. And for those of you able to set work and life’s demands aside for a day or a week, the fishing has been pretty good too.
On the home front, right at our feet, everything wintry is starting to happen. Plump ocean bream have been around in decent numbers, as have the whiting. Find a calm morning with a tide just before dawn, use fresh beach worms for bait, and you should be able bring home a feed. Tailor have also begun to show their silver-sided selves around the ocean washes, although it’d seem the bigger specimens are yet to take up residence. Try casting flashy metal lures, medium to large soft-plastics or cup-faced poppers around the change of light a day or two after some big surf. Work them deliberately through the foam filled washes, being sure to keep the lure moving to the end of the rod tip. Australian salmon schools are back too, like clockwork, and are feeding up a surface frenzy generally just out of casting reach. For increased chances, look to dusk with a ganged pilchard wafting in one of the deeper beach gutters.
It is worth mentioning here that both tailor and Australian salmon are actually great to eat if you treat them right upon capture. If you bleed them immediately and chill them down on ice or at the very least ensure they are kept moist (but not immersed in water) and cool out of the sun you have the makings of a very tasty meal indeed. There are a number of ways to best enjoy both these species of fish. They are great hot-smoked, used in fish cakes or eaten super fresh, either that night for dinner or for breakfast or lunch the next day. Try them either pan-fried in butter or on a hot BBQ grill. With a touch of pepper and salt, and a fresh garden salad, you will wonder why you haven’t tried this before.
Over the horizon and beyond, diehard anglers are searching and waiting eagerly for the winter run of tuna. Will they turn up in force or merely in scattered numbers, here one day and gone the next? The truth is no one really seems to know. What we do know is that the future of these fish rests in our hands, but should we stop ourselves from fishing for them, or order something else when their tender succulent steaks are offered on the specials board? It is a complex dilemma and one that continues as an internal battle for me – on the fishing front anyway!
I for one do hope these majestic fish represent this year in awe-inspiring numbers. Australian Fisheries management is up there with the best in the world and perhaps the quotas implemented to save the south-pacific and southern ocean stocks of these once abundant species are working.
Catch plenty, release plenty and care for the environment around us!